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Friday, June 05, 2009

Discussing Israel with the 'Muslim world'

I've said many times before that I believe that our war with the 'Palestinians' is a religious war, and that the 'Palestinians' and their Arab patrons will never accept our presence here because they are religiously proscribed from doing so. But I was surprised to find out that Barack Obama apparently believes the same thing (Hat Tip: Tom Gross).
Obama, the White House press office told reporters last week, will address among other issues the Arab-Israeli issue. What does it imply to raise this issue in a speech to the "Muslim world"? Nearly 700 million of the world's 1.4 billion Muslims live in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, countries which share no linguistic or cultural affinities with the Arabs, and have only religion in common.

They have no strategic interest whatever in the outcome of war or peace in the Levant. Their only possible interest is religious. Does the United States really believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is religious in origin? If that is not so, why should South Asian or East Asian Muslims care about the conflict to begin with? Why should the United States address concerns that it does not consider valid to begin with? And if it is religious in origin, what specifically makes the conflict religious?

If it really were the case that the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs are fighting over religious matters, then the theological Muslim position is the one represented by Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon, namely that a Jewish state on territory once held by the ummah (Muslim community) is an outrage to Islam and never can be accepted.

For the US president to address the "Muslim world" on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and by implication frame the matter in religious terms, is to define the matter as a jihad, and to rule out a peaceful solution - unless, of course, the president were to tell Muslims to abandon their religious scruples in order to accept the existence of the state of Israel. Excluding the unlikely possibility that Obama will declare himself to be a Muslim and claim religious authority in matters affecting Muslims everywhere, that is not going to happen in Cairo this Thursday.

It is quite possible for the state of Israel to live in peace with nation-states whose population is mainly Muslim, to be sure. Israel has done so since 1975 with Egypt and Jordan, and has until recently maintained excellent relations with Turkey. Until the Ruhollah Khomeini revolution of 1979, Israel was an ally and arms supplier of Iran. As a matter of national interest, many Muslim-majority countries may seek peaceful and even friendly relations with the Jewish state, irrespective of what the dictates of Islamic theology might be. Rather than addressing nations with national interest, though, Obama is addressing Muslims, over the heads as it were of majority-Muslim nation states.

Even though the Koran mentions Jerusalem not once (against 832 times in the Hebrew Bible and 161 times in the New Testament), later Muslim tradition makes Jerusalem a Muslim holy place. No Muslim religious authority in Asia or Africa can or will rule that Islam can tolerate a Jewish state in Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem. There are a few Muslim voices in Europe and the US favorably disposed to co-existence with the Jewish state, but they are whispers against the roar of an ocean.
Should we be charitable and say that no one in the Obama White House thought of this?

Read the whole thing.


At 1:25 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Obama White House has a blind spot about Islamic anti-Semitism. Divine hatred of the Jews is even more a of a central motif in the Koran than in the Christian New Testament. And while Christianity has reinterpreted anti-Semitic passages in the Christian Bible, there has been no such corresponding change in Islam in respect to the voluminous torrent of Jew hatred found not just in the Koran but in the Hadiths and in Muslim tradition in general. No discussion of Jews and Israel with the Muslim World can bear fruit unless it confronts the long history of Islamic anti-Semitism and its present prevalence in the Arab and Muslim World. And this is what Obama did NOT do in Cairo address today.

At 2:13 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

I'm told Obama said, "timeless poetry and cherished music...."

Well, I'm not student of Islam beyond the basics, but, while poetry is obviously a part of Islamic culture, isn't music looked down upon. I mean doesn't orthodox Islam actually forbid music of most types? this may be a minor issue, but, ironically, it sort of is a slight against Islam for Obama to say such a thing. In fact, people are killed in Pakistan for the sale of music CD's

That small comment reveals his comedic understanding of the basics of Islam. I don't think this is a hidden tenant of Islam either from the point of view of music. So, he goes to Cairo, prostrates himself, calls for 'fair play' and dhimmitude with respect to Israel and the West, then insults Islam in her own house. Amazing. Funny, if it wasn't so tragic.

At 2:21 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

It is not just that divine hatred of Jews being more integral to the holy texts of Islam versus the New Testament.

The essential distinction is the lack of reformation within Islam. Even the most devout Christian will not stone a homosexual to death. Christianity and Judaism have evolved. The issue is not just Islamic anti-semetism, but also woman rights and lack of democracy, but both are stunted by the inflexibility of Islam.

This is the core of what Obama did not mention.He should have praised the few, brave advocates of democracy within Egypt. No mention is made to the secular elements(no matter how tiny)in Egypt or the long-suffering Copts, yet the Muslim Brotherhood is invited to the prime time event.

My wife and I are the only Jewish family living in a medium-sized town in the US South. I am not the only person who voted for Obama who now deeply regrets my stupidity. Of this I take solace. Like Carter, I think he will be a one termer. The republicans have to get their acts together, nominate a mainstream guy like Romney and we will see a regime change in DC.

I'm still so mad at this speech: the text and subtext of it I can can puke. He, Obama, does not represent me in any shape or form. I also strongly believe his speech may also embolden the Muslim Brotherhood to take the offensive in Egypt and eject Mubarak.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger The Reality Show said...

The Issues we have with the Arab-Muslim world - What Obama won't mention

- Teaching that non-Muslims are non humans, such as Christians are "pigs" and Jews are "apes".

- Sharia law (implementation) horrors, including oppression of women.

- Honor killings epidemic.

- Playing "victim" while being the aggressor, such as the Arab "Palestinians", Taliban, etc.

- The Genocide campaign by radical Islam (Hezbollah, Hamas, Ahmadinejad, etc.) on Israel / Jews.

- Bigoted Islamism: Persecution, oppression of and apartheid against all non Muslims in the Islamic world (including in S. Arabia, Palestinian Hamas, etc.).

- Racist Arabism: Persecution, oppression of and apartheid against all non-Arabs in the Arab world, especially of native Egyptians (Nubians), Kurds, Copts, Assyrians, Berbers (native N. Africans), Jews (not just inside Israel), Africans (Africans living in Arab countries and the racist slavery in Sudan, Mauritania... genocide in Darfur).

- The wide justification of Islamic violence all over the world (via that "victimhood" again).

- Squeezing the world economy by power of oil prices (OPEC).

- From the 22 Arab countries so far, they all range from totalitarianism to corruption, not even one has managed to be real free, equal and democratic.

- The global Islamic radical campaign to dominate the world - untamed by "moderate" Muslims.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Abu Yussif said...

so carl, why do you previously insist on referring to this conflict as a conflict with the arabs (and not an islamic one like i argued)?

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Paul W said...

Speaking of things that Pharaohbama won't say to the Arab world...here's an excellent series of articles regarding the modernity (i.e. political, rather than religious, origin) of Moslem claims to Temple Mount: http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/templemount.html

That Pharaohbama didn't and won't mention this, I understand (even as it disappoints me). That the present, and every past, Israeli government won't is incomprehensible.


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