The lay of the land:
So, here is this little sliver of a country, the only Jewish state in the Arab world – it truly is remarkable that they are still around when you think of the Arab and Islamic sentiment towards them. To put it in perspective; land mass wise, Israel makes up roughly 21 000 km2 – compare that to my home province in South Africa, the Western Cape, which is 129 000 km2.
“Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.”
— President Obama, speech to the U.N. General Assembly, September 21, 2011
So, in many ways its admirable that Israel has remained so steadfast in their beliefs, so unshakeable, because to them (and if you look at things from a Jewish perspective) Arabs are plainly the self-proclaimed enemy, and to withstand assaults and not buckle under international pressures is an indication of their unwavering resolve.
Yes, atrocities to Palestinians have been committed, ill treatment of innocent civilians are still occurring today, but when considering the alternative – a one country solution – means to absorb the Palestinian-Arab population, along with their considerable extremist factions (within Hezbollah and Hamas to name two).
Biblically this is the route to go – to overcome hate and evil with good, but I can’t help but imagine that if this route were taken, it would only hasten a civil war, which would then open the door for countries that share Iranian sentiment – Egypt, Syria… to come knocking. The global situation is made more interesting when you consider the US’s strained relations with Israel, the fact the Obama (US) and Putin (Russia) cannot come to terms regarding nuclear arms, that Russia is on good terms with the Arab world, as well as several Latin American countries, not to mention China. If all these countries are indeed aligned, in whatever capacity, it only further highlights the precarious position of that sliver of land called Israel.
What of democracy? The dawn of the Arab spring has appeared to bring about a bright new age of democracy to many Arab nations, but will that necessarily change anything – will international sentiment and policy making be in any way altered? Since these are Arab states, I salute the idea that it opens the door to many changes to laws which promote discrimination and bringing about a greater equality, specifically regarding women. However, this then brings Sharia Law into light;
• Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
• Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.
• Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
• A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Girls' clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad's words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
• A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband's consent to divorce.
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
• Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
• A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
• A woman's testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man's.
• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
>>> of course the list goes on
It comes together in a fascinating and somewhat disturbing melting pot, depending on whose side you’re on. And for the West, this is central to "the FEAR" experienced there - in addition to the stereotypical terrorism rhetoric.
Let’s get even deeper here for a second, real deep. Since this is Israel we’re talking about, God’s beloved nation, let’s look at some of what the Bible tells us – because as mentioned on this blog earlier, see Bible Book Review, this book has proven its accuracy in 80% of predicted events (the other 20 is yet to occur, into the future).
The Bible clearly states in 1 John 2:22 – that whoever denies Christ as the son of the living God, is the Antichrist. Logically, it is anyone who denounces Jesus as the son of God. Islam, and the Shariah Law advocates and are directly opposed to Jesus as being part of the holy trinity - despite many claiming that he shall return; how is he supposed to return if he was only a man, after so many years after his death, if his existence is NOT in some way divinely conceived? People following this train of thought plainly contradict themselves.
“the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region.” “the goal is not the military destruction of the Jewish state but “the defeat of Zionist ideology and the dissolution of Israel through a ‘popular referendum.’” – Imam Khamenei (2000) [of course that is one man’s sentiments, albeit a very powerful man in Iran]
And with that ‘why’ comes this ‘why’; why is all this relevant to me?
Well, we do like to pretend that the world is a largely safe place and that the world leaders know what they’re doing – I mean we elected them, sort of. However, the world as we know it is very easy to put to an end. Only buttons need pressing, certain triggers need to be pulled to spark off World War III. Yes, I mention that, because it is unfortunately a stark reality, one we normal folk living our everyday lives, refuse to face, because it seems so far-fetched, money-making fodder for Hollywood movies. The truth is that things, countries, are a lot more closely related, the world is a much smaller place. A man can have a profound impact on the world from the relative comfort of his living room. You can see 360 degree streetview shots of places/houses/people’s backyard’s with simply a few taps on your laptop. It doesn’t take much to topple that first domino, so in some respects its admirable that we haven’t seen countries go war on the scale and cost of the two World Wars, for whatever reason. The truth we must face is that there is so much Hate out there, between cultures, people’s, countries.
Some Arabs still target Jews because of their betrayal of Isa (Jesus). It speaks volumes that the very empire that killed Jesus Christ, then adopted Christianity as their official standard religion.
Russia hasn’t dismantled any of its nuclear bombs (and has even developed some more) because its unhappy about the US building more bases (weapons) in Europe. These nuclear weapons number in the thousands… and in all this we haven’t even considered the might of China’s military power (who are also consistently on the side of Russia – furthermore, there’s the unpredictable North Korea to consider too.
- French Second Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire wrote in his diary about WWI just before he died that “Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible! Men are mad!” (1917) [best we remember these sentiments, to remind ourselves what we don’t want to happen ever again]
Strange how we are - people - carrying grudges; even though your neighbor has never wronged you, you hold animosity because of disagreements generations old - sometimes the root source of that animosity may be forgotten, but somehow the hate remains.
For a look back at Part 1 of this article follow the link - An Objective look at Apartheid Israel
| || |