OPINION | APATHY | PALESTINE

The Pisdom of Solomon

The moral malpractice of “Not Taking Sides” on Gaza

Ramsey Hanhan 🇵🇸 🌍
6 min readFeb 14, 2024

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My 1970s illustrated children’s Bible had one most disturbing image. Two Roman-like soldiers are holding a baby upside down from his ankles, while a third soldier towers with a sword held high, ready to split the baby in half. Beyond looms the pointed index finger of King Solomon, the wisest king of the ancient world. This image from I Kings 3, too frightening for a child, seems to have spawned an erroneous line of reasoning in Western thought, one equating fairness and good judgment with an even division of property, guilt, or responsibility.

Detail from another book, The Children’s Bible in Colour, Bantam Books, 1978 (Photo by the author).
Detail from another book, The Children’s Bible in Colour, London: Hamlyn, 1964 (Photo by the author’s brother).¹

“Both sides are to blame,”

Say the armchair philosophers, who stoically endure the pain and misery of others. Fusing the wisdom of Solomon with that of Pontius Pilate, they absolve themselves of any responsibility to seek the truth. From Charlottesville to Gaza, this moral relativism presents knowledge as a murky grey sea of towering complexities, to be avoided at all costs. From here, both-side-ism descends into an abyss of “neutrality” and the contorted phrases it vomits: ‘conflict,’ ‘cycle of violence,’ ‘died amid clashes,’ ‘it’s complicated,’ or ‘all lives matter.’

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Ramsey Hanhan 🇵🇸 🌍

Author. Tree spirit trapped in human form, I speak for the voiceless: children and the Earth, nature, justice, truth, freedom, love and Palestine. 🇵🇸 🌍