Myths and Facts About the Israel and Palestine Conflict

Do conversations about Israel and Palestine leave your head spinning? Few issues seem to have as much misinformation surrounding them as the conflict in Gaza. When I go into an interview or Q&A on the topic, I prepare by reminding myself of the facts. Below, I share what I have found to be the most common myths and how to respond to these incorrect assumptions. By reading the arguments, you can prepare yourself with the facts so that you can have informed conversations centered on the truth.

Historical Arguments

Myth: “The modern state of Israel wasn’t formed until 1948. It’s not legitimate.” Irrelevant. None of the modern states in the region existed in their present form until well after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s. Lebanon, Israel’s neighbor to the north, was formed in 1943. Syria, Israel’s neighbor to the northeast, was formed in 1944. Jordan, Israel’s neighbor to the east, was formed in 1946. Egypt, Israel’s neighbor to the south, became an independent nation in 1947. Why wasn’t a Palestinian state formed at that same time? The Palestinian Arabs involved in the negotiations refused to form one—then or ever since. Israel is the world’s only Jewish state.

Myth: “Jews shouldn’t have their own nation.” Why shouldn’t Jews have their own nation? There are fifty-seven member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. There is only one Jewish state. About 1.8 billion people in the world are Muslim. The total number of Jews in the world is just over fifteen million. For every Jew in the world, there are 120 Muslims.

Myth: “The Jews want to commit genocide against Muslims.” If the displacement of a people group counts as genocide, then Hamas’s stated aim of killing Jews unquestionably meets the definition. Also, they point to the Islamic genocide against Jews that has continued unabated since 1948. In 1948, Egypt was home to seventy-five thousand Jews. Now fewer than one hundred are there. There are no Jews left in Libya and Algeria, both of which had populations of tens of thousands in 1948. At that time, there were 850,000 Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of Israel. Fewer than ten thousand remain. Most of these Jews presumably emigrated to Israel. But according to the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, they had to leave behind land and assets worth more than $300 billion, wealth that was confiscated by the various governments from which they fled. These same Arab countries, not coincidentally, have also ensured that Palestinians remain stateless. None, except Israel, are offering any kind of citizenship to Palestinians.

Myth: “The Jews have no history in the land.” The Jews are the only people group to have ever established a nation state in the now disputed land, and they did so more than three thousand years ago. Since the overthrow of Jerusalem by Rome in AD 70, though, the land has been ruled by foreign capitals as an administrative district. This was true until the 1940s when Israel and its surrounding nations came into existence in their present form.

Myth: “Israel is a white colonialist settler state.” In Israel, there are migrants from 103 countries, speaking 82 different languages. This defies the “white settler colonialist” label with which Israel’s citizens—and Jews everywhere—are smeared.

Myth: “Palestine is the original name of the land and it belongs to those who identify as Palestinian.” “The land was not called “Palestine” because it was owned by Palestinian Muslims. It was named Palestine in AD 70 by the Roman general Hadrian after he destroyed Jerusalem. Until the 1930s, the term “Palestinian” referred to Jews, Muslims, and Christians living in the historic land of Israel. In 1964, Yassar Arafat formed the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). It was Arafat who insisted that the term “Palestinian” be used to refer only to Arabs. The world has largely gone along with this distinction.

Myth: “Palestinians have never been given an opportunity to form a nation.” In 1947, the United Nations developed a partition plan for the region designating two separate states, one Arab and one Jewish. The leaders of the Arab faction rejected this plan, as well as subsequent two-state solution plans in 1967, 2000, and 2008. The situation is complicated further by the fact that the PLO in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, while both Muslim, are essentially at war with one another. According to the Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, they hate each other more than they hate Israel. A “two state solution” in which Palestine becomes its own country like Israel has been consistently rejected by the PLO. The rise of Hamas makes this rejection more likely to remain permanent because Hamas will settle for nothing short of Israel’s annihilation, and the PLO appears to fear the rise of Hamas more than it despises the presence of the Israeli army in the West Bank.

Myth: “Palestine is ‘occupied’ by Israel.” The West Bank is semi-autonomous, having gained this status through negotiations in which Israel gave back territory it had acquired when it fought back against Palestinian attacks in 1967. The West Bank is divided into three sections with overlapping governance by the Palestinian Authority (the governing body established by Arafat’s PLO) and the Israeli military. The term “Israeli occupation” mainly refers to the application of Israeli military law in these three sections in various ways, including policing and checkpoints. The IDF does not reveal how many soldiers it has inside the West Bank, but it is probably about six thousand. An American city with a similar population (three million) would typically have a police force of nine thousand. Why is this called an “occupation” rather than “policing”? There may be many reasons, but one of them surely is that Palestinians resent the Jewish presence and the term “occupation” offers them a rhetorical advantage in denying Israel’s legitimacy.

Anti-Semitism Arguments

Myth: “The charge of ‘anti-semitism’ is a bogeyman used by conservatives to demonize their opponents.” Obviously, being against Israel’s policies doesn’t mean that one is by default pro-terrorism. But it is naïve to think that groups like Hamas are not the greatest beneficiaries of the oppressor/oppressed mindset. It is also naïve to think that this will somehow not translate into attacks against the United States, as Hamas has called for. In 2021, three respected researchers conducted an eye-opening study of where this new kind of anti-Semitism—the double-standard that denies the fundamental legitimacy of Judaism and of Israel—draws its energy. They found that not only does higher education not protect against anti-Semitism, but it also licenses it in a sophisticated, socially acceptable way. Those with advanced degrees were between 15 percent and 36 percent more unfavorable toward Jews and Israel when examples of certain social behaviors were about Jews rather than Black Lives Matter (BLM) advocates or Muslims, and about Israel rather than other nations, such as Mexico.

Myth: “The student movement against Israel is a spontaneous movement of social justice.” The anti-Israel protests in the United States are part of a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign by Hamas. Just two days after the October 7 massacre, 127 university-based chapters of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) released a statement saying that Hamas’s genocidal attacks were justified and blaming Israel for committing genocide. SJP released this statement almost a full week before Israel ramped up its counter-offensive in Gaza, while the IDF was still rooting out terrorists from the homes of their victims and Israelis were enduring Hezbollah missile attacks from the north. It is now clear that Hamas’s propaganda campaign had been planned alongside the military one. But Hamas lackeys on US campuses apparently didn’t get the memo about waiting until Israel responded militarily before condemning it for responding militarily.

Myth: “Hamas had nothing to do with protests in America.” Hamas’s PR campaign surrounding its October 7 military campaign is a master class in propaganda. As we’ve already seen, the PR and the military campaigns were executed nearly simultaneously. Students for Justice in Palestine was so prepared for the campaign that it hosted a nationwide “Day of Resistance” just five days after Hamas’s brutal attack. Coordinators were alerted on the day of the attack to join for a planning call. The evidence that propaganda was at play became obvious when SJP’s PR messaging memo was leaked. It is a hodgepodge of Hamas talking points and Marxist mumbo jumbo, describing the October 7 attack as a “prison break” and claiming that the Israeli “settlers” were military assets, not civilians. It also claimed that Israel was fragile and on the point of breaking and that all means of resistance, including armed struggle, is “legitimate” and “necessary.” All of this is lifted concept for concept and, in many cases, word for word from Hamas’s charter. Even SJP’s chant “glory to our resistance” is a well-known Hamas war cry. Hamas’s PR campaigns after October 7 clearly fit the definition of propaganda. They manipulate symbols and slogans to play on prejudices and emotions, the goal of which is to leverage people’s natural sympathy for beleaguered Palestinians into support for a brutal terrorist regime.

Myth: “The experts all agree that the Palestinian cause is just.” According to Holocaust scholar Mark Roseman, half the Nazi leaders who planned the extermination of Europe’s eleven million Jews carried the title “doctor.” Why are educated people so often blind to the truth? One reason was explained by Joseph P. Overton from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Overton said that on any given issue, the range of “acceptable” ideas falls within a window. Picture a movie director framing a shot with her fingers. The audience doesn’t see everything the director sees but only what the director wants them to see. The Overton Window explains why so many bright people at prestigious institutions can look at a world of truth and see it falsely. G. K. Chesterton in his short story, “The Oracle of the Dog” wrote, “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense and can’t see things as they are.”

Faith-Related Arguments

Myth: “Israel is a theocracy and theocracies are bad.” Israel is not a theocracy. Israel is a democracy, the only one in the Middle East. It is structured in a similar way to the Hebrew republic of ancient Israel, with a president, prime minister, representative body, and supreme court. It is vibrant and diverse. Israel has 55 political parties. Fifteen of these hold seats in Israel’s governing body, the Knesset. As of this writing, the largest of these parties, Likud, only holds thirty-two seats out of the 120 available. It is the only nation in the region where women are equal to men and where people can live in freedom regardless of their religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation.

Myth: “Jews are no longer relevant to God’s plan for the world.” The clearest writings in the New Testament about the Jews are from the Apostle Paul. Paul’s understanding of Scripture was based on the idea of covenant. The covenant was from God, through Israel, for the nations. Jews are not Jewish just because some of them have Middle Eastern blood. They are chosen by covenant with God. Even when they are disobedient to God, his covenant with them remains. Further, the Abrahamic covenant was about the people in the land. God promised to bring his people into the land (Exodus 6:7-8). God swore to give the land as an inheritance (Deuteronomy 30:20). Ezekiel 36:28 says, “You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers.” Deuteronomy 11:12 says, “The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” God is the One who decides whether this covenant still applies, whether it has been broken, how it can be renewed, or whether its obligations have been fulfilled.

Myth: “Now that we have the New Testament, we don’t need the Jewish scriptures anymore.” The New Testament has essentially no meaning without the context provided by the Old Testament. Even the prophetic language used by the apostle John in the book of Revelation draws on Old Testament prophecies, such as Isaiah 52, 54, and 60. John writes that at the end of all things, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). This ties back to Isaiah 25:8, which says, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”

Myth: “The biblical references to Israel are just spiritual metaphors, not about a physical nation.” Before 1948, since Jews were dispersed throughout the world, the idea of “Israel” was sometimes seen by Christian theologians as more of a spiritual concept than a national identity. The gospel of Jesus is not somehow outside of or above physical reality, as the Gnostics taught. In the past, “Israel” may have been viewed as a non-physical, spiritual concept. I see the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as changing that paradigm, both geopolitically and theopolitically. Jews have a physical presence in the land of their history. Whether you agree with how it happened or how they are stewarding it, this is the reality.

Myth: “Israel is a secular state, not a Jewish nation.” Israel is a Jewish state and a homeland for the Jewish people. Most of its citizens are Jews. Israel’s Basic Law (its constitution-like agreement) is based on the book of Deuteronomy. Its national holidays are Jewish holidays originating in Bible times. It incorporates Hebrew law into everything from marriages being performed by rabbis to the kosher food served at government installations. Israel’s flag is based on a Jewish prayer shawl.

Myth: “Why should Christians support Israel when it is the most non-religious nation in the world?” Many Jews don’t claim to be religious because one of the main arguments Palestinians make against them is that they are “just a religion.” But regardless of the personal spiritual state of any given Jewish person, the attacks on Jews have nothing to do with how religious they are. Every anti-God movement from Haman in the Old Testament to the Bolsheviks to the Nazis all sought to destroy the Jewish people because they are a people, regardless of their level of religious practice. Secular Jews are as likely as religious Jews to be targeted.

Myth: “Christians are not to be involved in war.” Yes, Jesus said, “‘Blessed are the peacemakers’” (Matthew 5:9). But saying “‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” is to heal a wound lightly (Jeremiah 6:14). Evil must be opposed; peace dies when evil reigns. A shameful peace based on nonaction is not to be preferred to a just peace based on action. Evildoers must be stopped. War is a part of human life. It always has been. The historian Will Durant claimed that only 268 years in recorded human history have been completely at peace. It’s upsetting when our peace is disturbed; but war, not peace, is history’s norm. The question is not whether war is evil. It is. The question is, how might evil be minimized when war becomes inevitable? Biblical scholars, such as Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas, took a more prudential approach. War is evil, they wrote; yet it is also sometimes the only way to limit the spread of evil. Therefore, we are best served not by avoiding it but by carrying it out as justly as possible. To summarize their writings, both believed that a war can be just if it is (1) declared by a legitimate government, (2) acting on a just cause, and (3) with right intention. The United States government believes that Israel meets all three of these criteria. Incidentally, Augustine and Aquinas did not believe that the greatest evil of war was that people die. We all die. The greatest evil was that greed, lust, and generational hatred might be allowed to rain down misery on the innocent, preventing them from living integral lives as God intended.

Myth: “Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek, which means that it is wrong for them to support war.” In Matthew 5:39 Jesus says that if someone slaps you on the cheek, you should “‘turn to him the other also.’” The philosopher Arthur Holmes (1924-2011) maintained that the context of that verse refers to individuals, not to governments or churches. “It means that as an individual I do not take the law into my own hands,” he says. Justice matters. National defense and law enforcement are permitted. Personal vengeance is not.

War Arguments

Myth: “Israel is intentionally killing civilians in Gaza.” The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry refuses to distinguish between combatant and noncombatant deaths. It maintains that all Gazans who die are “victims of Israel’s aggression.” There are no combatants, only martyrs. Those who died with weapons in their hands were innocent victims engaging in justifiable self-defense, as far as Hamas is concerned. Yes, many of those who have died were probably noncombatants. But Israel is taking great pains to protect civilians. civilians Israel is not targeting civilians. Typically, in an urban warfare situation such as that in Gaza, civilians account for 90 percent of casualties. Using the Gaza Health Ministry numbers and Israel’s reporting about how many of the dead were combatants, one or two civilians have died for every combatant killed. This is far, far lower than the average and approximately the same civilian death rate as World War II and Vietnam, in a much more complex situation. Part of the reason civilian casualties have been much lower than historical norms is that the IDF operates by rules of engagement designed to limit civilian casualties. It uses precision weapons to focus on specific targets. It alerts residents through calls, texts, and pamphlets. It has evacuated 1.2 million Gazans to safe zones. John Spencer, a leading expert on urban warfare, says that “Israel has implemented more precautions to prevent civilian harm than any military in history—above and beyond what international law requires and more than the United States did in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Myth: “Israel is intentionally starving Gazans.” This charge is now known to be false. Columbia University business school professors Awi Fedengruen and Ran Kivetz analyzed the aid situation and reported that enough food was delivered to Gaza between October 2023 and April 2024—290,000 tons—to meet 50 percent of Gaza’s food needs, even as three-fourths of Gaza’s agricultural production ability remains intact. If people aren’t getting enough food, Hamas theft is the most likely culprit.

Myth: “Israel’s attack is disproportionate.” Proportionality is not based on the number of casualties but on the nature of the threat. Hamas’s threat to Israel has been going on for decades, and it continues even now. Hamas won’t release the hostages and continues shooting rockets at and conducting terrorist acts in Israel. It deploys a well-developed propaganda mechanism that is actively trying to inflame world opinion against Israel. It is backed by Iran, a nation whose escalating military aggression and sponsorship of the region’s most destabilizing forces represent Israel’s greatest existential threat. Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas political leader, has promised that Hamas will attack Israel “again and again” until it is destroyed. Every time Hamas has the opportunity to make good on this promise, it has done so. Israel has concluded—and the world has grudgingly agreed—that neither Israel nor the Palestinian people will ever be safe as long as Hamas remains powerful. In addition, we must consider the deterrent effect of Israel’s actions against Gaza. To Israel’s north, Hezbollah terrorists who control Lebanon make daily threats and back them up with rocket strikes. What keeps Hezbollah’s one hundred thousand fighters from storming into Israel? Armies won’t attack if they stand to lose more than they stand to gain. Hezbollah knows that Israel will defend itself aggressively if attacked. Iran, which controls Hezbollah, may not care whether Lebanon is destroyed; but it does care that its own infrastructure is not attacked by a nuclear capable Israel.

Myth: “Israel is deliberately committing genocide.” For genocide to occur, according to the deliberations of the International Court of Justice, “the intent must be to destroy at least a substantial part of the particular group.” To prove intent, the accuser must show something beyond cultural destruction, dispersion of people, or attacks on individuals from the group. It must be shown that there was an organized plan or policy designed to deliberately target the group itself. In its defense at the International Court of Justice, Israel said that not only did it not intentionally target Palestinian civilians in Gaza but that hostilities were decreasing as Israel achieved its stated war goals. It said that in addition to its strict rules of engagement, it had actively provided humanitarian assistance in Gaza through opening a dozen bakeries that produced two million loaves of bread a day, delivering its own water to Gaza through two pipelines as well as taking other measures to ensure water delivery, and facilitating six field hospitals and two floating hospitals with more being constructed. Israel says that it is evacuating the ill and wounded through the Rafah border crossing and has distributed tents, winter equipment, fuel, and cooking gas.

Myth: “It is wrong for the Israelis to respond militarily.” Dr. Eric Patterson, a leading expert on Just War Theory, offers the following analogy: “I grew up in San Diego. If a criminal group came across the border from Tijuana and killed 42,000 men, women, and children in cold blood, raping women, and posting videos to YouTube accompanied by a Braveheart soundtrack, wouldn’t we demand a reckoning?”

Hamas Arguments

Myth: “Hamas is trying to protect the Gazans from the Israelis.” Hamas has also publicly displayed a willingness to sacrifice Gazans if it serves the larger aim of annihilating Israel. Mashaal publicly described the October 7 attack as a clever form of self-defense and resistance. He told the interviewer, “We know very well the consequences of our operation on October 7.” He pointed to the millions who died in in Russia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Algeria in pursuit of revolutionary aims and crowed, “Dear sister, the Palestinian nation is just like any other nation. No nation is liberated without sacrifices.”

Myth: “Hamas has the support of Muslims around the world.” So far, most of the world’s Muslim nations have declined to join Hamas in their self-described campaign of “resistance.” These nations sympathize with the Palestinians, surely, but that doesn’t mean they want them arriving on their own shores. No Arab nations other than Jordan have ever offered citizenship to the Palestinians, and none are offering it now. Syria once offered Hamas refuge but kicked it out after it sparked a civil war. Not even the bad guys want to have anything to do with Hamas—except for Iran, which sees it as a handy tool to pry Israel out of the world community. For decades, Hamas maintained a that it is the “central cause” of Ummah, the global community of Muslims. This is false. Hamas has become a pariah, even in strongly Islamic nations. UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt have all outlawed it. Saudi Arabia has jailed all the Hamas leaders it has found. None of the non-terrorist Middle Eastern states have condoned the October 7 attacks. The only nations supporting Hamas are Iran and Qatar. Iran has been designated a “state sponsor of terror” by the United States since 1984. The Council on Foreign Relations says that Qatar took in Hamas after Hamas lost its Syrian sponsorship because of a 2011 uprising of Palestinian refugees, which precipitated a civil war. Qatar sends Hamas hundreds of millions of dollars every year to help it become a “reasonable governing power.” Other Arab nations find this explanation suspicious. The Gulf Cooperation Council suspended Qatar over its ties to terrorism. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed relations with the nation.

Myth: “Hamas is a poor victim of Western aggression.” The Foundation for Defense of Democracies has reported that Qatar provides Hamas between $120 million and $480 million per year. Much of this money makes its way directly into the hands of Hamas’s top echelon of leadership, who have found sanctuary in Qatar’s villas and five-star hotels even while Qatar receives billions from America for a military base in the country. Hamas’s top three leaders have a reported net worth of $11 billion. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s primary spokesperson, is estimated to have a net worth of $5 billion. He owns banks and real estate projects throughout the Middle East. If you were a leader of Hamas, would you be living a billionaire lifestyle of private jets and five-star hotels while your people are mired in misery and poverty? Apparently, Hamas’s leadership has no problem with this. It’s not just top Hamas leaders, either. The MacKenzie Institute says even Hamas’s mid-level leaders have become millionaires due to a 20 to 25 percent “tax” on all goods brought into Gaza. Some six hundred Hamas leaders have become millionaires through this graft.

Myth: “Hamas is a legitimate government that has been unfairly targeted by the U.S.” Hamas is an ecstatically revivalist cult that seeks to purify itself by defiling those it opposes. It desecrates victims not only to defeat them but also to deplete their lives of meaning. The last election in Gaza was in 2006. Hamas won. In 2007, they killed or banished members of the opposing party, Fatah. Since that time, Hamas has ruled as a dictatorship. Life in Gaza under Hamas has been a nightmare of torture, killing, fear, and suppression. According to Human Rights Watch, Hamas and its West Bank counterpart the Palestinian Authority have been “systematically mistreating and torturing Palestinians in detention, including critics and opponents.” This torture “may amount to crimes against humanity, given its systematic nature over many years.”

Myth: “Hamas maintains its rule in Gaza by popular consent.” Hamas maintains its control through carefully cultivated indoctrination beginning in early childhood. Children in Gaza are indoctrinated by Hamas through curriculum in their schools, even United Nations-sponsored ones. Arnon Groiss, a former Arabic language broadcaster with a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton, read and translated two hundred Palestinian textbooks used by Hamas. He found that from a young age, Gazan children are being desensitized to human life and prepared for war. Even math classes are not exempt. One math problem asks students to calculate how many Jews were killed in the first and second intifada. A history textbook describes a massacre as a “barbeque” in which terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered thirty-eight Jews, burning them alive. A report by two independent researchers found that even teachers in UN-sponsored schools taught children to kill Jews. The report names and shares comments translated from UN teachers’ speeches and social media posts glorifying terrorism, praising suicide bombers for their “self-sacrifice,” and honoring those who have killed Jews as “heroes.” A related group called Islamic Jihad runs “Revenge of the Free” summer camps for Gazan children as young as six. The camps feature military activities, including the simulated kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. The camps are used to recruit students to join militant organizations. It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Hamas intends to be that hand, and its education system displays exactly how it intends to rule.

Myth: “Hamas is telling the truth about what is really happening in Gaza.” Even Amnesty International, a group that sympathizes with the Palestinian people and regularly criticizes Israel, admits that there is no independent media in Palestinian territories and that dissenting journalists are brutally repressed. To discern the truth, we must ask, “How did you come to know that?” and “What’s your source?” War reporting rarely includes firsthand observation. War zones are dangerous. Almost no media outlets want to assume the risk of their employees being present as armies clash. Instead, they purchase reports, pictures, and interviews gathered by freelancers, sometimes called stringers, who are willing to take the risk. If Western reporters do go to the war zone, they are escorted by facilitators who work for one of the warring parties. In Gaza, these stringers and facilitators report to or work closely with Hamas. This practice was exposed when American media outlets purchased pictures from stringers accompanying Hamas terrorists on their raids, which obviously means that the stringers had to know about the attacks in advance. One of the accused stringers, Hassan Eslaiah, was outed because of a selfie he posted on social media being kissed by Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind of Hamas’s October 7 attacks.170 Complicating the situation, the Associated Press has also covered the proliferation of “deep fake” pictures generated by AI for propaganda purposes. The Israeli intelligence company Cyabra analyzed two million social media posts from early in the war and found that more than forty thousand profiles were fake. According to a source I trust but whose information I could not personally verify, the number of bots designed to promote anti-Israel propaganda could be in the millions.

Myth: “Hamas is being unfairly accused of things it doesn’t believe.” In its short history, at its founding and again in 2017, Hamas released a charter outlining its vision and mission. The original document, quoting the Quran, explicitly called for the killing of Jews. The 2017 “Document of General Principles and Policies” removed some of the extreme language about killing Jews while retaining the same aims of placing itself at the center of concern for the global Islamic community (Ummah) and eliminating the “Zionist project,” Israel. Here are some direct quotes from the 2017 charter that outline Hamas’s aims: “Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts.” “Resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine will remain a legitimate right, a duty and an honour for all the sons and daughters of our people and our Ummah.” “Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws.”

Myth: “Hamas doesn’t attack innocent civilians.” Hamas attempted genocide against the Jews. They ruined entire communities and decimated as much of Israel’s infrastructure as they could, destroying up to 70 percent of Israel’s agricultural production. It will take years to recover. By contrast, Israel has not attacked Gaza’s agricultural production. 75% of it remains intact. Hamas cares little about Western concerns for just war. Hamas does not distinguish between combatants and noncombatants in Gaza, though it does consider all Israelis to be combatants. Nor does Hamas act in a way that is proportional to the threat. Murdering and raping innocents and desecrating their bodies violates the very essence of just war. If you meet anyone who thinks these actions are justified, you should probably question the basis upon which they make any claims about the war. Their moral compass is clearly broken.

Myth: “Hamas upholds Muslim values and doesn’t specifically target Jews.” Islamic history is complicated. As his life progressed, Mohammed became increasingly militant. He expressed violent sentiments toward many, including the Jews. This includes verses in the Quaran calling for their deaths. Hamas takes these verses as clear-cut commands. To Hamas, killing Jews is a legitimate expression of “Islamic values.” In the Hamas charter, anything that advances the “resistance” is seen as legitimate self-defense. Doctors who examined Israeli victims of Hamas found evidence for Hamas’s brutality. They have said that the terrorists seemed “obsessed” with rape and with mutilating sexual organs. Terrorists who were killed were found with phrasebooks explaining how to say, in Hebrew, “Take your clothes off!” and “Spread your legs!” The evidence shows that the sadistic Hamas terrorists gang-raped women of all ages and cut off their breasts—often with their partners, parents, or children tied up and forced to watch—before killing them. Some of the women had been raped so violently that their pelvises were broken. These were not isolated incidents. They occurred across multiple attack sites.

Myth: “Hamas doesn’t use its population as human shields.” Hamas has displayed no regard for noncombatants caught in the war zone. Indeed, Hamas hides behind them as human shields, something that anti-Israel activists have cynically taken to calling “asymmetrical warfare,” to deflect from what it manifestly is: hiding behind civilians. In a Department of Defense publication, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder said, “We know that Hamas is integrating its operations, whether it’s command and control, operational centers, combat forces, putting rockets in Gaza, to include this complex and sprawling tunnel network underneath infrastructure throughout Gaza, in effect…using civilians as human shields.” This is not a new situation. NGO Monitor says that for years, “Hamas has systematically exploited the civilian population of Gaza as ‘human shields,’ expecting that their presence will either deter Israeli attacks or result in large numbers of civilian casualties providing a PR victory and generating international pressure, condemnations, and sanctions against Israel.”

Myth: “Hamas is trying to live peacefully; it is Israel that is the aggressor.” If Hamas laid down its weapons, there would be no more war. If Israel laid down its weapons, there would be no more Israel. If Hamas retains the ability to reconstitute itself, it has publicly promised that its fighters will repeat the October 7 attacks as many times as they can and “from wherever they can.” Khaled Mashaal, the billionaire “external leader” of Hamas who is a godlike figure to Hamas’s leadership because he once survived an assassination attempt and imprisonment, said in a publicly available interview that any plans for peace for Israel would be to “establish common ground” with other Palestinian groups so they can unite together for Israel’s abolition. He bragged that Hamas’s control of Gaza has provided it “political and administrative cover” to manufacture weapons, dig tunnels, and train its members without being disturbed by Israel or by the Palestinian Authority.

Iran Argument

Myth: “Iran is not a supporter of terrorism.” The Council on Foreign Relations says that Iran annually gives $100 million to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. Its foreign ministry spokesman Nassar Kanani praised Hamas’s October 7 slaughter and recently pledged Iran’s continuing support.90 After October 7, Iranian television showed members of parliament chanting “Death to Israel” and “Palestine is victorious.” Hamas is well-armed and trained by Iran and lavishly funded by gullible nations and state sponsors of terror, such as Qatar. Iranian security officials admit that Iran provided rockets to Hamas and showed its fighters how to build their own. CNN reported that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “has been giving Hamas engineers weapons training for almost two decades.” Weapons from Iran are shipped to Somalia or Sudan and then smuggled overland through Egypt and into Gaza through tunnels. The weapons provided by Iran include Qassam rockets that have been launched by the tens of thousands toward Israel. Hamas also has acquired Norinco automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades such as RPG-7s as well as Chinese Type 69 RPGs that are designed to defeat tank armor.97 Additional weapons include Russian-made mortars, Kornet laser-guided anti-tank missiles that can melt through two feet of steel, and “Shahab” suicide drones designed by Iran. A similar drone killed three American service members and wounded twenty-five more at a base in Jordan in January 2024.

Should Christians Support Israel? by Jeff Myers



This guide to myths and facts is based on the book Should Christians Support Israel? by Dr. Jeff Myers. Find out more about the book and get your free copy here.