Palestine vs Israel: Whose Side Are Singaporeans On?

As somebody born in the 80s, the battle between Palestine and Israel has been going on since before I was even around. I suspect, for most of the readers, it’s something similar too.

Despite the conflict being fought in a far off land that many of us have never even been to, it’s definitely struck a chord with Singaporeans. Not just for religious reasons as you’d assume, but also for other more humanitarian reasons. Lives are being lost for no good reason on both sides on the conflict.

While the newly minted ceasefire is a welcomed respite to conflict, it (like all the other truces in the past), will nonetheless be shattered in the months (perhaps even days or weeks) to come.

With that in mind, I thought it’d be prudent to take a look back at past news regarding the conflict and see what Singaporean Netizens thought of the issue.

Unfortunate, there wasn’t much to surprise me.

Opinions are deeply divided, even here in far away Singapore.

Most Muslims view Israel as an outsider to the Arab world, and that view is shared among some of the local Muslims too. Despite happening decades ago, many are still livid about what happened during the Nakba.

Of course, there are religions underpinnings to the whole affair too. I’m no religious scholar so I don’t even know where to begin on this so I’ll just leave you with this Wikipedia link.

The Muslim anger of Israel is fairly evident in most online posts I’ve looked into that deals with this issue.

The majority of online comments from Muslims that are voicing support for the Palestines are all similar in tone. They want Palestinians to live in peace and without the threat of Israeli violence in the equation.

Many view Israel as the transgressor, with the Palestinians as the underdogs. The view of Israel as wolf’s in sheep clothing is also shared by some, especially with regards to US support of the matter.

The US has been a stalwart support of the Jewish state and President Biden’s stance (while not as hardline as Trump’s) is still that of support for the Israelis. In the recent U.N. debates, it was the US that kept vetoing resolutions brought forward against Israel.

It certainly doesn’t help Israel’s case any when they commit acts that many consider illegal, including massive human rights issues.

Without the US’ protection, it doesn’t take much to see that Israel wouldn’t been brought low by the international community.

Understandably, that hasn’t sat quite well with many nations, including China…which is a bit ironic considering the things the country’s been accused of.

However, there are voices among the Muslim community that want to take a measured approach.

Retaliation and retribution for past transgressions is a vicious circle and there can never be peace unless both sides decides to abandon their ‘an eye for an eye’ approach to dealing with each other.

Suffice to say, both sides have committed atrocities in the name of being ‘right’

Recently, Israel has been on the news for their attacks on non-military targets like hospitals, which is a clear breach of the Geneva Convention. However, in the name of peace, perhaps both sides should overlook this and look towards the futures of both nations.

Outside of the Muslim community, the plight of the Palestinians and Israelis aren’t as clearly defined.

Some advocate for the right of a Palestinian state, while some say that Israel is clearly in the right.

It’s a complex matter to be sure and one that many, many smarter people than me have tried to put right…and failed.

As long as there is animosity between both sides, and past transgressions on both sides are settled, it seems like the conflict will keep on persisting with no end in sight.

So, to answer the question of which side do Singapore Netizens support?

That depends on who you ask.

It’s either Palestine, Israel or neither.

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