Decoding Gaza: Understanding Conflict Realities and Contemplating Future Scenarios

As my understanding matured, I came to regret my earlier assumptions, realizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict transcends simplistic religious clashes.

Reflecting on my past as a naïve and uninformed fundamentalist Christian, I once held the belief that the modern state of Israel emerged millennia ago following the Jewish Exodus from the Egyptian pharaoh’s tyranny. In my perception, Palestinians were cast as pagan antagonists perpetually seeking to vanquish the Israelites, who I viewed as the exclusive chosen people of God. My understanding equated the Hebrew God with my Christian deity, leading me to see Israel’s triumphs over its adversaries—Palestinians, Canaanites, Egyptians, and others—as personal victories, celebrated in the name of a shared faith. It took maturation for me to recognize the diversity of ethnocentric and cultural anthropomorphisms attributed to God, often entangled in conflicting interpretations and narratives.

I highlight this personal journey because similar perspectives persist among influential Western leaders, shaping foreign policies that perpetuate cycles of inhumane regional conflicts with implications for global stability.

Some Insights

As my understanding matured, I came to regret my earlier assumptions, realizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict transcends simplistic religious clashes. Allow me to share insights gained:

The Vision for Two State

Both Palestinians and Jews were presented with the opportunity to establish their own states. However, guided by Zionist leaders, the Jews successfully established their state on May 14, 1948, while the Palestinians did not, despite earlier promises. At the heart of the missed opportunity for a peacefully co-existing states lies the exploitative dynamics manipulated by colonial powers and compounded by regional ethnic-political-cultural tensions.

Mutual Violence

When Jews initially settled in Palestine, they faced hostility from Palestinians. As Jewish armed groups formed, they responded by targeting Palestinians. This persistent cycle of violence, frequently leading to civilian casualties, remains a pressing issue in the region today. While participating in warfare, as seen in the Arab-Israeli conflicts, poses its own set of challenges, deliberately aiming at civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian, only exacerbates suffering for both communities.

Shadowy Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution efforts by Western powers frequently prioritize personal or partisan motives over genuine altruism. These strategies often focus on the reelection or maintenance of power of political leaders or parties, rather than on altruistic aims. As a result, domestic political considerations often dictate the direction of global affairs. Additionally, internal factional discord within both Israeli and Palestinian groups adds further complexity to the prospects for long-term conflict resolution.

The Dangers of Religious Fundamentalism

Religious fundamentalism, marked by rigid adherence to a literal interpretation of sacred texts, has the potential to foster extreme beliefs and practices that profoundly impact both personal and societal life. The unwavering belief in being the chosen army of God, entrusted with subduing or even eradicating perceived adversaries, presents significant obstacles to peaceful conflict resolution and the achievement of a much-needed two-state solution. The significant influence of religious fundamentalists in governance may foster policies that devalue human life, potentially undermining Israel’s reputation, national security, and impeding the progress towards a peaceful and progressive Palestinian state.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is Simply Religious

According to the U.S. Department of State’s paper titled “Israel 2022 International Religious Freedom Report,” “58 percent of Jewish citizens do not affiliate with any religious group.” Israel is also characterized by religious diversity, encompassing Muslims, Christians, Druze, and various forms of Judaism coexisting within its borders. While the majority of Palestinians identify as Sunni Muslims, there are also diverse Christian denominations such as Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, various Protestants, as well as Druze and Samaritans.

Although extremist religious groups from both sides play a socio-political role in inciting conflict—whether through government influence or direct confrontation—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far more intricate. It is rooted in historical colonial political maneuvers, territorial disputes, resource allocation, socio-economic grievances, aspirations for self-determination, and the overriding self-centered interests (personal and clan) of political leaders.

The N Factor

Israel has the right to defend itself and retaliate against Hamas terrorism. However, Netanyahu’s response does not exhibit the strategy of a disciplined statesman and a tactical operations leader; rather, it reflects that of a man consumed by anger, employing tactics regardless of their inhumanity, solely to cling to political power. Accused of corruption, his hold on office was precarious, exacerbated by massive protests against his judicial reform efforts. These challenges left him uncertain about maintaining his grip on power, particularly in light of the fact that Hamas terrorism exposed his leadership’s failure to protect Israel’s security. In his desperation, he unleashed his fury not only on Hamas but on Palestinians in general, primarily targeting vulnerable and already oppressed civilians: children, seniors, women, and unarmed men.

Netanyahu even risked humiliating the supposedly powerful Biden administration and the U.S., despite Israel owing billions in aid. He could have opted for a strategic and precise special operation with his renowned military forces, aiming to minimize civilian casualties and infrastructure damage. Such an approach could have earned Israel global praise for effectively combating terrorism and restored its reputation as a model for military intervention. However, driven by madness, anger, and an obsession with power, Netanyahu pursued otherwise.

It has become evident that Netanyahu does not seek an end to the conflict. By perpetuating the war, he believes he can maintain his hold on power. Yet, in doing so, he not only sacrifices thousands of civilian lives and wreaks havoc in Gaza but also marred Israel’s global brand, puts its long-term national security and socio-political-economic interests at risk. The Gaza war is no longer just about Hamas versus Israel or Palestinians against Israel; it has devolved into Netanyahu and his extreme right-wing allies against Palestinian civilians.  The Israel that was once admired is now viewed with disdain by many, and even the United States is growing frustrated. Netanyahu’s actions could drag the US into a downward spiral of global reputation.

He has dimmed Israel’s future prospects, all for the sake of his personal obsession fueled by extreme right-wing support. In Western nations, such behavior would be condemned by the global media.

To facilitate the recovery of both Palestinians and Israelis, and ensure the long-term stability and progress of Israel and Palestine, an urgent and fundamental shift in governance is imperative.


Palestine is devastated. Many innocent and sacred human lives were lost. And the world has yet to witness sincere efforts from influential Western countries to address the dire humanitarian crises and initiate the process of rebuilding. Palestinians themselves are fragmented, experiencing internal conflicts, and grappling with issues of corruption.

Israel is a technologically advanced nation with the potential to emulate the economic successes of South Korea or Taiwan and develop its tourism sector akin to that of Qatar. However, the nature of the ongoing Gaza war has tarnished Israel’s global reputation and poses enduring challenges to its socio-political and economic stability. With the devastation of Gaza also comes the breaking down of the soul of Israel. Will it succumb to the forces of personal obsession and mono-ethnic and religious extremism, thereby destroying its international integrity as a divine and humane nation?  Or will it embrace the opportunity to emerge as a beacon for progress and inclusivity in the region? As Ehud Barak pointed out in his March 1, 2024 article in Foreign Policy, “Israel Must Decide Where It’s Going.”

To achieve peace and facilitate rebuilding, a paradigm shift is imperative. This shift must transcend obsessive personal and clan interests, overcome ethno-religious hatred to each other, and prioritize diplomatic solutions, peaceful coexistence, political stability, socio-economic development, and a shared vision for a brighter regional future.

Alan Delotavo, PhD
Alan Delotavo, PhD
Alan Delotavo, Ph.D. (University of Pretoria), is a Canadian writer with a diverse academic and professional background. Previously serving as an assistant professor in social science and a world religion instructor, Alan has also transitioned from a former sectarian clergyman to a secular job stint and became a person with inclusive and respectful outlook of religious beliefs and traditions. His academic background spans interdisciplinary anthropological studies, exploration of religion's impact on social dynamics, and ethical considerations. Throughout his career, Alan has actively engaged with scholarly communities, participating in esteemed organizations and presenting academic papers at international conferences. Alan is also the creator of, a platform providing specialized insights on global affairs.