0 $
2,500 $
5,000 $
3,015 $

The Utter Failure Of Philosophers: The Case Regarding Gaza

Support SouthFront

The Utter Failure Of Philosophers: The Case Regarding Gaza

Click to see the full-size image

Written by Eric Zuesse 

Who is to blame for the Gaza war? Which side is to blame for it? Is this type of question to be answered by a philosopher? Or maybe by a preacher or other religious person? Or perhaps by an investigative historian? Or by someone else?  

When science becomes born in a field of investigation, such as happened with Galileo in the field of physics, and such as happened with Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Gregor Mendel, in the field of biology, then both philosophy (belief based upon the existing faith-based speculations) and religion (belief based on faith instead of empirical evidence — and thus religions are actually a sub-category of philosophies) become replaced by science (belief based only on empirical evidence) in that field of investigation. Consequently, as science expands to cover more and more fields, the influence that both philosophy and religion have in those fields becomes inevitably reduced.

The existing remaining fields (or subject-areas of investigations) that are still addressed by philosophers therefore reduce considerably over the centuries, as science takes over more and more fields; so that what remains of the philosophical professions, at any given time, are only the fields where science hasn’t yet started. Consequently, the differing schools of philosophy are always defending themselves not only against each other, but especially against science, because, collectively, they suspect (if they aren’t intelligent enough to know) that science is what actually threatens their profession’s continued existence, not merely a given philosopher’s authority.

An excellent example of this fact is provided by a recent article in the Financial Times, headlining on November 6th, “Philosopher Susan Neiman: ‘I hate the words pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. I’m pro-peace’”.

On October 6th, I argued against that statement of hers (even before she said it):

Demonstrating against a war, or for peace, is naive, because the problem is never really war, and the solution is never peace: the problem is instead imperialism, and the solution is to end that — and NOT to end war. Because: if one’s nation is being aggressed-against, then for one’s nation to quit the war (on its side) will be surrender to that aggressor, which is wrong to do. And this means that anti-war, or pro-peace, demonstrations are always against the wrong thing (the war, instead of the imperialism). The publicly presented arguments always focus wrongly — on war and peace, instead of on the aggressor and the defender in the given case.

Consequently: in order to be able to be anti-imperialist, one needs to know precisely when and how the war started, because by definition the start of a war is “aggression,” and the defense to that start (that aggression) is correctly called “defense” — it is the defender’s resistance against that imperialist’s aggression (aggression being the evil — and defense being necessary in order for there to be even a possibility of freedom, decency, justice, and anything else that is called “good”). To join a war on the side of the authentic defender, and against the side of the authentic aggressor, is good not bad, and thus activists for peace and against war are focusing on the wrong things. By focusing on war-versus-peace, instead of on imperialism-versus-fighting-against-imperialism, they are distracted from what the real issue is, in any war.

To identify who is the aggressor, and who is the defender, requires a timeline of key events leading up to the present state of the war, in order to determine what the initiator of the conflict actually was, and when and where and how and why and by whom it was initiated, so that the ultimate culprit (the malefactor — the actual aggressor) can be correctly identified and prosecuted. Individuals who are instead concerned merely about peace and war are misdirecting their efforts — and, if they happen to be doing this in a defender-nation, then they actually are doing harm, by discouraging the defense against the aggressor; they are weakening the defender, and strengthening the aggressor. So: truthfully identifying whom the aggressor is, and whom the defender is, is essential.

The Financial Times interview of that philosopher does not even so much as touch upon any of that. It is all distractionary. It is irrelevant.

The only way that a philosopher can argue is on the basis of opinions, NOT on the basis of EVIDENCE. No relevant evidence is provided for anything at all in philosophy. Science starts in a field when relevant evidence is identified and then scientifically researched. Philosophers don’t do that. They’ve not been taught how to do it.

A philosopher is obsessed by distractions, and inattentive to what is essential. A philospher who is discussing the Gaza conflict can thus get into disagreements about whether the Jewish Scripture — the first five books of Christians’ Bible, the Pentateuch or Torah — favors peace or instead favors war. The actual fact is that it favors peace where that is in the interests of “God’s people” (here, supposedly Jews) and favors conquest where that is in the interests of “God’s people.” This is typical of any religion. That is true for any religious faith so as for it to be able to win converts to itself. For example: in the New Testament, the First Letter from Peter opens, “To God’s chosen people,” which establishes Christians’ superiority over others — over the non-believers. According to the Washington Post, regarding Christianity’s (these then being exclusively the Roman Catholic Church’s) Crusades, “It is estimated that 1.7 million people died in total. And this is all at a time in which the world population was approximately 300 million,” so that around 1 person in every 167 were slaughtered for Christian (Catholic) reasons (as being NOT “God’s chosen people”) during that time. In Judaism’s Scripture, the Torah, there is, for example, in its book Deuteronomy, the passages 7:1-2, 7:16 and 20:15 -18, all of which passages have ‘God’ say that when the Israelites enter the promised land they are to wipe out the Canaanites, Hittites, Girgishites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, living there. So: the real Israel’s President Netanyahu authentically follows Jewish Scripture by aiming to exterminate the Gazans. However, that Jewish philosopher who was interviewed by the Financial Times, simply ignored this highly relevant fact: that the Jewish nation is adhering to its Scripture there. But what is even more relevant to the issue at hand is that Israel — NOT the Gazans — initiated this war in 1948; and, so, the actual aggressor wasn’t Gazans on 7 October 2023, but instead Israelites during the creation of Israel, the Nakba back in 1948 (which continued and is still continuing, in Gaza):

The foundational events of the Nakba took place during and shortly after the 1948 Palestine war, including 78% of Mandatory Palestine being declared as Israel, the expulsion and flight of 700,000 Palestinians, the related depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages by Zionist militias and later the Israeli army[8] and subsequent geographical erasure, the denial of the Palestinian right of return, the creation of permanent Palestinian refugees, and the “shattering of Palestinian society”.[9][10][11][12]

That identifies the aggressors, and the Palestinians were and are the defenders. The ones that are in Gaza are now being exterminated by Israel with American weapons and intelligence-assistance.

The philosopher, Neiman, tried to support (or defend) her anti-war instead of anti-imperialism position by instead referring to the opinions of a hero of hers, Albert Einstein — who was a great scientist in physics but not necessarily in fields that remain outside it, in religion and philosophy — and who in 1948 actually repudiated and condemned the racist-fascists who created Israel but who subsequently ignored that those racist-fascists were actually carrying out their faith’s Scripture — and yet Einstein still considered himself to be a “Jew” (all the more so, if not only, because, Hitler and many other Christians wanted all of what they defined to be “Jews” to become killed). In that matter, then, Einstein’s opinions failed to break out from being merely philosophy — failed to constitute, on this particular subject, belief that is based 100% upon logical reasoning from ONLY relevant evidence — so as to possess authority according to science, instead of for it to be merely philosophical. On this matter, he was just another philosopher. Though Einstein knew that Israel was created by ethnic cleansing, and he called that “fascism,” and condemned it, he failed to repudiate Israel — something that he could have done, to great and good effect. As a liberal (not a progressive), he simply hoped that the fascists who had created Israel and whom he had condemned would not shape and control Israel, but they did. After all: they were behaving in accord with their Scripture. His expectations were unrealistic (because he never cared about that Scripture but nonetheless called himself a “Jew.”). The people who controlled Israel believed the religion — which Einstein did not. He called himself a “Jew” as a “nationality,” solely because anti-Semites viewed Jews that way. Perhaps it was his personal act of defiance against anti-Semites. But the people who ended up in control over Israel were (UNLIKE Einstein) deeply influenced by the Torah, their Scripture — their religion. He was irrational on this, not attentive to what was relevant — especially that Scripture: the doctrine of that faith — which he didn’t believe in. The people who control Israel believe that this Scripture is an account of history — not of myth. They based and base their nation upon it.

The Financial Times article says, “Now an outspoken philosopher, Neiman wants to reclaim Jewish universalism as a radical act.” So did Einstein. But there is no Jewish — nor any other religion’s — universalism, because intrinsic to any religion’s belief is the belief that it constitutes “The Way, The Truth, and The Life” (according to “rabbi Jesus”), not merely a way, a truth, and a life.

That’s what all philosophers base their professional opinions on: the opinions by OTHER philosophers. (I say this despite my having high scientific respect for most of Einstein’s opinions even outside his professional field, which was physics. The problem is professional philosophers — not individuals who, as much as they possibly can, avoid philosophizing; that is, avoid opinions that are based only on opinions, instead of — like science — entirely upon facts.)

As an example of what I consider to be a scientific analysis of the problems which that philosopher was trying to argue (from what she considered to be a progressive but was instead merely a liberal direction — her argument being anti-war, instead of anti-imperialism), I presented on November 22nd my “The Ethical Lesson From World War Two”, providing evidence that “it is clear, by now, that all of the nations that still are supporting Israel are, like Israel itself so clearly now is (but actually has been since 1948), themselves likewise nazi nations.” I believe that her failure is philosophy’s failure: it is epistemological (meta-methodological), instead of merely topical. It is the failure of her profession, and it is meta-epistemological in nature. 


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.


Support SouthFront


Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

it was said that rather than the “philosophy of poverty” it is more accurate to say ” the poverty of philosophy” – k. marx

Finality of Destiny

it is a complex subject. all great religious figures have one thing in common: breaking the cycle of violence and hatred in the world. after generations have passed, it makes little difference who started the bloodshed or who the culprit is. it is a race to the bottom. same as an arms race. instead of advancing space travel — scientists are busy advancing weapons of mass destruction. instead of looking up we look down.

Finality of Destiny

at some point the human condition must break out of this cycle of primitive warring. or risk losing the very ground you drag your knuckles on

Finality of Destiny

that said, it is true that you cannot let evil win. if today, evil comes knocking on your door, then you should be prepared to do whatever it takes to overcome it. but we must also keep in mind that we should always strive for a better tomorrow. a tomorrow where we can all conquer the stars and not each other.

Finality of Destiny

but in all conflict throughout history, each warring side believes their cause is just — that they are on the side of righteousness. in the israel-palestine conflict, jews believe that israel is their sacred home, they do not see themselves as occupiers as per international law. they truly believe themselves to be in the right. and so then it becomes a matter of perspective. even though they may be wrong — they see themselves as fighting evil.

Finality of Destiny

so from a spiritual perspective beyond even timespace. the cycle must end. violence is never the answer because hate begets hate in a never-ending cycle – regardless of causation — regardless of victims and perpetrators.

Finality of Destiny

as the author pointed out: the real culprit is imperialism. imperialism itself is the enemy of mankind. and it betrays the human condition and drags it down to the abyss. and thus, as the international community has rightly ruled: israeli imperialism is the causation and the culprit and fighting it is just and righteous for it is wicked and the enemy of all mankind, not just arabs and muslims.


many of your comments are good and many i can agree with. my only comment would be that the distinction between jewish and zionist must always be recognized in the discussion. i am not jewish or of any other faith either, however i have no quarrel with peoples faiths providing they are based in the accepted reality of equality of opinion.


it should be recognized and known that many jews living in israel and in other countries in the world, are in opposition and demonstrate their objections to the policies of the current governance of netanyahu’s zionist policies. such as the jewish forces for peace.


be careful. there are many controlled-opposition groups. it is political science meant to polarize your own mind and lull you into a false sense of security and complacency. none of those anti-zionist groups ever take any serious action. just lip service to give you complacency. that said, there are many secular jews. jews who are good people and that is worth distinguishing

Last edited 3 months ago by Nikova

i may be old but i am not naive. i mention the one group but that does not mean that all the israeli jewish people who come out onto the streets in israel are controlled opposition. they are conscious and thinking people who are opposing based on what they are witnessing. not on what they are instructed or coerced into doing.


netanyahu does not speak for the jewish people of the world. that is a certainty. and any group that stands and demonstrates in opposition to him and his government is ok by me.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ian

the biggest controlled opposition today is the un and icc. the un speak outs against israeli war crimes — but the un being largely funded by the us makes it ineffectual enforcement body to coordinate with icc. today, turkey is submitting evidence to icc courts of israeli war crimes. but do we think icc will release warrant against any israeli public officials? no. it’s a highly rigged system of phony (controlled) oppositionto create complacency among the intl community.

"R" Addison

history has joined with science, when the 14-semite tribes are understood to have come from the same region, of which, the israel’s are only one semite tribe. science and philosophy of science will bring that reality into focus when as others have suggested ecology is maintained and not continual contaminations by radionuclifes, by plastispheres, by chlorinated water, etc.


western science is not about science but about the government who owns the scientists and controls their findings


@ “r” addison “the israel’s are only one semite tribe” please, explain the word semite and the origin of that word. thank you in advance.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dear
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x