Applying the Principles of International Relations as Homo Sapiens to the Israel-Palestine Conflict


As a former fundamentalist Christian believer and clergy, I was closer to Israel than Palestine, believing that Israel is the only God’s chosen nation on Earth and assuming that my Christian God is the same as the Jewish God. I now realize that this religious belief is one of the contributing factors to the Western affinity to Israel more than Palestine. 

Then, as a secular, my favoritism of one over the other dissipated. I realized that Israelis and Palestinians are my fellow human beings entrapped in a socio-political quagmire that both want to be free. Both sincerely hope they can live peacefully and productively thrive in their respective places—they call home.   

As a homo sapiens (“wise man”), my sense of humanity is tuned to the well-being and advancement of our human species—regardless of our superficial ethnicity and beliefs. With this sense and attunement, I realized that the root causes of our inhuman conflicts are hiding behind the usual portraits of national security and global interest. Ironically, these causes’ depths are superficial and non-essential to our humanity, like one’s political or commercial interest—driven by greed, ideological delusion, and egocentricities.

The “one’s” is either a person or a small group, but not of the whole people. This scenario tells us that the resolution to many of our international conflicts can only be humanizing when our global society transcends the importance of egocentricities and focuses mainly on the essentials of human life, existence, and advancement. We are the last human species, tagged as homo sapiens—universally human and intelligent—capable of shaping a life-enhancing creative human world. 

As the last human species, our closest relative and competitor, the Neanderthals, are long gone. It’s no longer about “us” and “them. “It’s just about “us”. We are the only human species left—but sadly, the only species that wants to destroy itself for narrow self-interests. We can see this destructive self-interest in the Western’s auto-response to war as more intense war rather than diplomacy and peaceful resolution. It’s a response devoid of conscience.

Herein, let me reiterate the principles I laid out in my previous article, “Principles of International Relations as Homo Sapiens,” published on September 18, 2023, in Modern Diplomacy, and apply these to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

  1. The principle of cohabitation

We all have the right to peacefully and productively cohabit on planet Earth without the sequestration of others due to superficial diversity such as geographical locations, skin color, social ideology, and culture or because of national or corporate resource exploitation.

Conflict starts when cohabitation stops. We cannot realize peace through the de-habitation of one but only through the cohabitation of both. Ironically, though, the invalid nature of our U.N., compounded by the searing propensity of some Western leaders to the culture and business of war—demean and obstruct the success of peace and regional development.     

However, influential figures with fervor vision for a socio-economic renaissance of varied global loci can play a crucial role, help empower the U.N., and engender constructive moral support to Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Isn’t seeing two societies peacefully and progressively cohabiting on the sacred land genuinely divine?  

  • The principle of mutual survival

We cannot survive without the human ecosystem. Human life is a multidimensional ecosystem. It cannot thrive with only one feature or characteristic in one locality. It necessitates global diversity and mutuality. We must base our relations on mutual universal survival for our species to survive.

Destroying Israel and annihilating Palestinians is a destructive obsession with arduous, lengthy, and cyclical miserable consequences to both. Like a biological disease, illness in one can sicken the other. Contrary to the dangerous notions, mutually ensuring one another’s security and well-being can spawn thriving life for both. Furthermore, both societies’ healing, reconstruction, and regeneration can harness their respective potentials to contribute to the Middle East’s economic, scientific, and technological advancements. And this will also have a significant positive impact on our global community.

Isn’t it more truly human to see two groups of people ensuring their mutual survival in a geographically and politically challenged land? 

  • The principle of co-thriving

We cannot thrive secluded from the universal life system. Regression and destruction of one geographical locus or ethnic group impacts the global societal life system. Inversely, flourishing one locus or race furnishes the entire human ecosystem of life to thrive.

Israelis and Palestinians are not two different human species but one. One is as human as the other. One’s life and future are as sacred and valuable as the other. In the depths of their soul, they both want to live and thrive, raise their children, and provide them with a bright future. It’s not in their very nature to kill.

Imagine a new Middle Eastern sub-region where Israel and Palestine, Israelis and Palestinians thrive together—to create a unique oasis of the world. Isn’t it truly globally transformative and just so wonderful to see?

  • The principle of developmental competition

We have a latent propensity for destructive bouts and a penchant for developmental competition. International relations based on violent outbreaks eventually inflect global crises. Global relations based on developmental competition advance our civilization. Though each progress in a varied sphere will not be the same, it complements the whole progression.  

When we realize peace and societal reconstruction, Israelis and Palestinians can productively and positively compete with each other—like Japan and Korea. And that developmental competition, which could be frowned upon by some war-based economies, will be enthusiastically welcomed by the majority of the world. Besides, the world is transforming, the culture of war is no longer sustainable, and people are tired and fed up with it.

It’s time for Israelis and Palestinians to transform their outlook on human life and civilization. Primarily because in the Middle East, silently but firmly, a new paradigm for the progress of human society is budding, and it’s a big contrast to the decaying and regressing Western model.  

Will it not be exciting to one day see—Israel and Palestine developmentally competing with each other and spreading the new culture of developmental competition to other parts of the world still entrapped in a cycle of destructive conflicts?

  • The principle of common home protection

We only have one home, one present habitat for our species to live and thrive, and one human family. Allowing these to decay will result in our degeneration and eventually pose a risk to our survival.

The “Holy Land” is the Israelis and Palestinians’ sacred home. It’s their habitat, the habitat of two surviving relatives. The land is their shared ancestral home. Their history predates the Western countries that try to dominate them. Being the people of the ancient sacred motherland, their sense of humanity should transcend the divisive nature of modern-day Western politics and the antagonism of religious radicalism.

They need to revert to their pristine worldview of being the people with common sacred roots that value the sanctity of human life, the nobility of Edenic people, and the holiness of their land—free from bloodshed and destruction.

Isn’t it genuinely divine when two warring groups declare together, “Enough of the bloodshed and war, let’s restore the sacredness of our land by respecting, forgiving, and protecting each other, and joining hands together to rebuild our land” and recreate what is more truly—the Holy Land!

Post Script

Peace will come when people realize there’s no future in war and no sustainable societal value to the economy of war. As the only remaining human species, we must survive and thrive mutually. Too many risks threaten the integrity and wholesomeness of our lives. Checking one out from our list of things to resolve will be another historic moment for our civilization.

Only calloused leaders refuse to listen to the voices of their people and the people around the world. They won’t mind dragging their countries into evil ways as long as it feeds their ego, advances their self-interests, and heightens their delusion for power. Only leaders or a group of leaders with a capacity for good more than the calloused leaders can reroute the evil path and bring hope to a new world.

Envision the scenario—Palestine fully ensures Israel’s security, and Israel and other countries fully support Palestine’s new state. Israel-Palestine issue resolved! Then, we move on to the next to shape the world with a better tomorrow.

Alan Delotavo, PhD
Alan Delotavo, PhD
Alan Delotavo, Ph.D. (University of Pretoria), is a freelance writer and researcher from Canada. He was an assistant professor in social science and a former clergyman before becoming secular. He has a background in interdisciplinary anthropological studies, religion, and ethics and has presented scholarly papers at international conferences. Alan is presently focusing on alternative socio-political analysis and societal rebranding.


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