Tag Archives: Arabs

Israel exists because…

Akedah_Caravaggio_183X144 The Almighty decided it should be that way, and acted on His decision. An Arab “Palestinian” state does not exist for pretty much the same reason.

How do I know such things? Because the Almighty wrote a book about it.

Although, as I’ve said before, I usually try not to emphasize the “religious” aspects of the conflicts in the Middle East, sometimes I just feel that the eternal viewpoint is what needs to be expressed at the moment. I’ll still try in this post not to cite book, chapter and verse, so as to keep my tone a little more like what it has been; write to me if you want details.

I put “religious” in quotation marks because it really isn’t about religion; it’s about what God has done, is currently doing, and—as far as we can tell from the book He wrote—is going to do. And I do this also because (the way I read it), God is all about relationship, not religion. The animosity of the Arabs toward Israel is not really a religious issue (let alone a land issue, as some would have us think) but an issue of relationship.

The Jews as a nation (and Israel, like it or not, is a Jewish state) descend from Abraham son of Terah through his son Isaac and through his grandson Jacob. The Arabs in general, correctly or not, trace their descent from Abraham through Isaac’s older brother Ishmael. And therein lies the problem, at least through human eyes.

There’s a custom in many societies (European included) to reckon a rightful inheritance though a firstborn son, and then only secondarily, if at all, though younger siblings, particularly male siblings. And Ishmael, not Isaac, was Abraham’s firstborn son, so according to this custom he was the rightful heir of his father.

However, God (being God) chose to supersede this principle and pass the inheritance to the younger son. Houston, we have a problem. To make matters worse (again, from a human perspective), Abraham then tossed the firstborn son out of the house. So the firstborn son not only had his (perceived) rightful inheritance yanked from his grasp, but he became rejected, and fatherless. It’s not that Abraham didn’t love Ishmael–he truly did, and was grieved to let him go–it was just that God had other plans in mind, told Abraham about them, and… what’s poor Abe to do? When God (and He is God) tells you to do something, you’d better do it.

Now, can we expect Ishmael to understand all this, or any of it? Did anyone ask him how he felt about it? Not that we can tell from the aforementioned book.

I may be making this sound like God is being very unfair, but that’s not by intention. Actually, I don’t see anywhere in the book where God characterizes Himself as fair by our standards. He does characterize Himself as just, and whether you see the difference or not, you have to simply acknowledge that it’s His standard that counts in the end.

But from a natural perspective Ishmael has every reason to feel as resentful as all get-out.

Fatherlessness, as many sociologists will tell you, is one of the biggest problems we have today in Western societies, and I’m told by others that it’s seen in Middle Eastern societies as an even bigger issue than it is here. And I’m told that in Middle Eastern cultures (please correct me, anyone, if this isn’t so), that what happened to my father, or forefather, however many generations back, happened to me.

What all this boils down to is that if I’m an Arab, I may think I have every right and reason to be resentful, even homicidally so, against any and all Jews. From a human perspective, anyway. And for that matter, resentful against God Almighty, since it was all His doing in the first place.

Seeing it from this angle, it makes sense that every modern war fought by Israel has been in self defense against Arab aggression. And it goes a long way toward explaining why Israeli defense and security forces go far beyond customary standards in treating their enemies with what actually appears to be favor, or at least sympathy. Who else would do, or has done, such a thing?! And I think we all—even the Arabs–know that Israel has not “stolen” any Arab lands. Even the adopted title “Palestinian” tacitly acknowledges that the Jews were the occupants of the region thousands of years ago.

But it’s not about land, or even recent history. It’s about a relationship issue that has never been resolved by human standards, and cannot be resolved by military or political means. There is a solution which has been offered on a spiritual plane, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject.

abbas In a little over a month, the Arabs are expected to submit a plan to the assembled nations of the world asking them to acknowledge that yes they are entitled to a piece of land in the middle of the State of Israel from which to launch further and more effective aggression against the descendants of the man who they figure stole the birthright of their forefather. I don’t think the assembled nations of the world as a whole have a clue as to what’s really going on. And that goes also for the current administration of Israel’s one remaining ally having veto rights against such a decision. So I don’t know how it will go. Maybe Abu Mazen or whoever makes the presentation will get up there and just speak gibberish? Whatever he says, you can be sure it won’t have anything to do with the real problem.

But God—being God—will ultimately have His way. If we’re smart, we’ll read that book He wrote, with an open and sincere heart, and find out just what that way is, and get on board with it.

Can I hear a “God help us,” anyone?

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Will the world as we know it end tonight?

Iran Nuclear To answer my own question – likely not. Although it’s been a little tricky to call it since Ambassador John Bolton said last week that if Israel is going to take out Iran’s nuclear capability, it had until tonight to do it without there being a drastic increase in the fallout from such a move. Fallout – in the literal 1950’s sense of the word (for those of you who were around then). The reasoning is that once uranium is loaded into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, any attack on the reactor will release an unacceptable amount of radiation into the atmosphere, seriously affecting Iranian civilians as well as neighboring countries. And the Aug. 21 date is determined by Russia’s promise to begin the process on that day. Which, as of this writing, is just a few hours off.

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bolton Will it happen? I don’t think so, but I don’t have a good reason to think that. You’d think that if Amb. Bolton is correct (and given the man’s track record, that’s not a big if), and nothing is done, then a sensible response might be something along the lines of, “what in the world are they thinking!?” But the world has not been sensible for quite some time now. And Israel has never been in the habit of showing its cards before a play. As most of our mothers used to say, we’ll see.

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As you may have noticed, the Arab states have been back and forth in their public support for Israel, the United States, or both dealing forcefully with Iran. Mostly back, but sometimes forth. I was just a little surprised at their silence with regard to Amb. Bolton’s warning, since the Gulf states are first in line for nuclear fallout from Iran. Maybe they were being a little more gutless than usual. Then this report came out yesterday about an editorial in an official Saudi newspaper supporting a military attack against Iran. I wonder if they were all just waiting for the other guy to speak up first. I’d be nervous, too, if I were in their Keffiyehs.

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POY2002121437 I’ve mentioned once or twice that US President Barack Obama has aligned himself not just with the Muslim world, but with the more radical segments of Islam. Another example of that came this week with his support of what’s being called the Ground Zero Mosque. We shouldn’t be surprised when he and his buddies in Hamas are on the same page, as it were. He quickly backpedalled when the stuff hit the fan over that, but we shouldn’t let ourselves be fooled by his dissimulation. The ironic thing, though, is that the Arab world in general is not being fooled. They didn’t like President Bush, but the latest information indicates that they like Obama even less. It’s not really surprising when you think about it.

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And finally, a little comic relief – sort of. Do you remember about the fake graves the Arabs created in Jerusalem? You’ll pardon my saying this, but to me it seems reasonable (and responsible) for the municipal authorities to take care of the situation. Ah, but since when are the Arabs going to be sensible, admit they were caught, and get on with things? No – now they’re crying, “desecration, desecration!” Uh… desecration of what? The graves that never existed? Lets see… you try to steal something of mine, I catch you and stop you, and suddenly you’re the aggrieved party? Kind of reminds you of that neighborhood bully angle, doesn’t it? It really would be comical if the world didn’t buy into it. But then, I wouldn’t need to be maintaining a blog like this if that were the case.

Laugh with me. Cry with me. Watch with me.

lineman

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Back from the South 40 for a few 140s

LAF_Sniper_view It’s been a busy week, for sure. I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, and it looks like the world got a little impatient without me.  OK,  it doesn’t have anything to do with me, but somebody sure got impatient.

The Lebanese army apparently became particularly impatient to score. The biggest news item out of the Middle East this week was the sniper attack by the LAF on a brush clearing operation of the IDF. You can read the details here, as well as other places, but the upshot is that at least one LAF sniper took well-aimed potshots at two IDF officers, killing one & severely wounding the other.

Plenty of better armed bloggers than I have posted on this, so I’ll just mention it here in passing that somehow the nations of the world forgot to scream at Lebanon in outrage, as they surely would have screamed at Israel for a much lesser infraction, had it been the other way around.

At least the UN representative did give a surprisingly honest statement.

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One of the odder aspects of the incident is the possibility that, astounding as it sounds, anti-Israel news media had reps in place to oversee the operation. Not to mention they of course misrepresented the facts in their initial reporting. Maybe they’re so accustomed to fooling the world, that they figured it would be just another piece of cake to do it again. Maybe the world is catching on—that would be great, wouldn’t it?

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As I’ve mentioned before, the idea behind this “140s” post category was the wonderfully rapid fire way that information travels over Twitter. One of the oddities of Twitter is that sometimes little flame wars break out, or short of that, people begin to follow each other not in a friendly way, but in order to snipe at another tweeter.

Something like that came my way a few days ago: I had the honor of being “listed” as one of the enemy by an anti-Israel site. Wondering who else I shared the honor with, I found an interesting essay on the Palestinian Authority’s own version of apartheid, and how it involves ethnic cleansing (of Jews, naturally).

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Another intriguing analysis that turned up on Twitter is an essay published in American Spectator speculating that Barack Obama’s apparent need to please the Arab world stems from early childhood rejection issues. And that these issues may eventually lead to a US attack on Iran. I’m not saying (not right here anyway) whether taking military initiative against the Iranian nuclear threat is or isn’t a serious consideration at this point, but it is a matter of grave concern that the reasons may have more to do with our president’s aberrant psychological needs than with matters of, oh, say, national security.

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Way over on the opposite end of the spectrum of gravity (so to speak) is the latest news of – get this – Arabs placing fake graves in a Jerusalem neighborhood. It had something to do with laying false claim to property that wasn’t theirs, if I’m understanding it correctly. Fortunately, due to alert action by Arutz7 news, the local authorities found out about it and laid the whole matter to rest. Hopefully. Should we stay tuned on this one?

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To believe, or not to believe – you always have to ask yourself the question.

I haven’t posted for a few days, largely because the major news surrounding Middle Eastern issues has been in more of a flux than usual, if that’s imaginable.

cokelore_santa_1942 You’ve got the al-Mabhouh  assassination – the latest wrinkle appears to be that now Dubai is issuing an arrest warrant for Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu; never mind that the organization to which the assassinated assassin belonged is saying no, no, see – it was Jordan. Or maybe Egypt. And it was probably Fatah. And Iran says it was Europe. So yeah, sure, lets go arrest Bibi. That will put a stop to all this nonsense. Yes, Virginia, the world is nuts.

Kerry-Bibi-GETTY But I’ve also noticed several developments since Monday that, if taken at face value, and without digging beneath the surface, appear amazingly positive. First, U.S. Senator John Kerry came out “solidly behind” Netanyahu’s call for truly tough sanctions against Iran. I’ve never been a fan of Kerry, but his statement on its own is positive; whether the man is sincere is really not for me to say.

And then yesterday it was reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Lebanon, in effect, don’t expect us to protect you from Israel if you keep letting Hezbollah bring in more arms. Now maybe you think this is not news – that the current U.S. administration has supported Israel’s right to self defense from the get-go, but to me, this is news. And  whether the woman means what she says or not, at least in this instance, I’m not here to say. At least not today.

Shalit-Israeli-Arabs And now it’s beginning to look like the Arab world is having second thoughts about its opposition to Israel. Say what!? Well, at least the Arab League is now saying it’s OK to talk. That might not seem like much, but it does represent a shift.  And here’s something that we didn’t expect (although it’s only right): Israeli Arabs demonstrated in front of the Egyptian Embassy in favor of the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Actually, this isn’t all that shocking, considering the little known fact that the vast majority of Arabs living in Israel do actually support the Israeli government. But it bears repeating.

ap_Muhammad_Tahir_ul_Qadri_100302_mn Now this is strange: the leader of a global Muslim movement has issued a strongly worded fatwa against terrorism. I don’t have a problem with that, do you?

And regarding anti-Semitism overseas? Well, there’s not much good news there – except Canada’s Ontario Legislature just passed a resolution condemning the annual anti-Israel event known as “Apartheid Week.” I might have mentioned this before, but, to summarize the words yesterday of Washington Post writer Richard Cohen, Israel is not South Africa.

Yet we still must – I repeat, must – have more sense than to blithely accept everything at face value, pleasant or unpleasant; we simply have to, as a matter of survival, roll up our sleeves and dig beneath the surface in all things. And that takes work. I truly hope my readers don’t think that I have a lot of answers here. I don’t carry the ball – I just try to say “whoa” once in a while when I see something coming that’s just not right. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Israel this week. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Biden was presented, as I recall, as a supporter of Israel. Maybe he is, in some ways. But take care – read these beneath-the-surface observations by respected columnist Caroline Glick during an interview published today in Israel National News.

In some words written several centuries ago, test and prove all things until you can recognize what is good, and then hold on tight to that.

Shalom, y’all.

lineman

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