The Real Source of the Mideast Conflict

The recent wave of terror in Israel is extremely tragic and humiliating at the same time. Many offer their assessment of the situation and most blame it on the incitement of Abu Mazen. While this may be true in terms of the current crisis, nobody wants to address the real source of the conflict. That is, it is absolutely a religious struggle that is the crux of the problem.

The Islamic view of the region called the Middle East is “Pan Arabism”. The entire region is meant to be in the hands of the Islamic world. When Israel came into being and legitimately expanded its borders after the Six Day War, this was not supposed to happen. When millions of Jews returned to their ancestral homeland and revived the Hebrew language, and built a strong army,, and began to lead the world in science and technology, this wasn’t supposed to happen. When the Land began producing beautiful crops of fruits and vegetables after having been desolate swamps, this was not supposed to happen. The Jews were suppose to have been rejected and cast aside as insignificant, but they have proven to be anything but.

Christianity found a way to deal with Israel’s revival by adjusting Christian doctrine by saying that this is all part of the plan for their savior’s “second coming.” The Islamic religion cannot tolerate a Jewish entity in this region of ANY SIZE. If they recognized Israel’s right to exist, they would be, in essence, admitting that their religion is false. Instead they attribute Israel to some kind of fluke initiated by Satan that must be eliminated. It is a most unfortunate phenomenon that is the source of all of the incitement and hate.

Some naively feel that they are venting their frustrations by killing innocent Jews and if they only had more economic opportunities, everything would be fine. The portrayal to the world is that the Arabs in Israel are treated poorly. Very few point out the opportunities and advancements that Arab Israelis have made. The hospitals are filled with Arab doctors as are the hotels with numerous Arab employees. They enjoy our parks and malls and probably have it better here than in most Arab countries.

Israel has bent over backwards making all kinds of concessions to show a real intention to live peacefully side by side. It really is a tragedy because all sides would benefit on so many levels if there was peace. The reality is that there cannot be a peaceful solution unless Israel, G-d forbid, did not exist. It is clear to most as a result of recent events that we have no partner and it would be pure insanity to create a Palestinian State.

What it all boils down to is whether it is us or them. Does it make sense that because we are lovers of democracy, that we must acknowledge the “good Arabs” at the price of having our citizens living in fear of the next brutal terrorist act! Our first responsibility is to protect our loved ones that they should be safe.

The Bible offers a possible solution that really might be the only long term solution to the conflict. When Joshua was conquering the Land of Israel, he approached each king with an offer of peace. He told them that they were welcome to stay in the Land if they accepted Israel’s sovereignty and made a commitment to observe the Seven Noachide laws. If they were not willing, they were welcome to peacefully leave Israel. If they chose to fight, Israel would fight them with great force. All thirty one kings chose to wage war except for the Givonites.

The issue for us is not that we hate Arabs. The issue is that we love Jews. Perhaps this might sound premature or far fetched, but this is where things are headed. It is a privilege to live in this country and it must remain Jewish and ours. If its citizens do not abide by our laws, they cannot be here. We should start by throwing out terrorists and their families and demand a statement of allegiance to Israel. We must remember that the Author of the Bible was pretty smart and maybe the answers are right there. Let us hope real peace and security will be ours very soon.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for nearly twenty years. He has been teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach, Old Katamon, Jerusalem, for the past twelve years. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles.