The sooner the Western world recognizes the true goals of those who are now fighting Israel, the better chances it will have of winning the next world war.
Is there anything left to be shocked at when considering Islamic violence? Muslims slaughtering fellow Muslims, Christians and Jews has become commonplace; the establishment of a worldwide Caliphate has been announced; “honor killings” and torture of their own daughters and wives is accepted – we have become jaded by news of Islamic cruelty.
Of course, the above “we ” does not include most of the Western world, which has yet to internalize that the all-out war extremist Islam has declared in many parts of the East and Middle East is planned for the West as well. Then again, war hardly ever catches the defenders well prepared.)
The evil of extremist Islam has become so banal that no explanation can be found for it other than “that’s the way it is.” That, at least, is how an Arab woman explained it last week to an Arabic-speaking Israeli reporter. She and her baby son were in an Israeli hospital receiving treatment for his heart problem, and she calmly explained, “Death is natural for us. We are not afraid of death – from the youngest infant, to the oldest. We all sacrifice ourselves for Jerusalem.”
“Arafat said a million shahids [martyrs]for Jerusalem,” she continued, “and I say more than a million; all of us! Jerusalem is totally ours. We feel we have the right to have it. It’s a religious issue; it’s infidelity to say that Jerusalem is not ours.”
Pressed by the reporter to elaborate, the smiling young mother serenely went on: “Death is very conventional and normal. Life is valuable, but not for us. Life is zero, life is worthless. That is why we have all the suicide bombers; they are not afraid of death. All of us, even our children, are not afraid of dying. It is natural for us.”
Asked if she would want her little son in the nearby hospital bed to be a shahid, she said, “Of course. If it’s for Jerusalem, no problem.”
The stark contrast to Judaism is chilling. Our Torah is a “tree of life,” and our prayers are replete with praise of and requests for life. Life is sacred and its preservation and nourishment are paramount.
But let us assume that Islam does not agree. Let us presume that according to Islam bringing a life into the world is only for the purpose of taking it away when the opportunity arises to kill an opponent or scream out “Allahu Akbar” for some thing or another. But since when has Jerusalem become a holy religious objective for Muslims? What makes Jerusalem a religious excuse for the death for which this woman and so many others like her strive?
The answer: Whenever its political needs dictate it; only then does Islam “wake up” to its barely existent “sacred ties” to Jerusalem.
Islam’s connection with Jerusalem is based solely on the fact that it is the “place chosen by God” in the Torah, the site of the Holy of Holies, the seat of the first national Jewish government, and the object of Jewish longing. We know this because the first time Islam embraced Jerusalem was when Muhammad wished to win over the Jews living near his hometown of Medina. He thereupon announced that from then on, prayers would be directed toward Jerusalem. However, like a scorned suitor, once he saw the Jews were not interested in his advances, he turned against them – and against Jerusalem – slaughtering many and directing prayers in a different direction, toward Mecca.
About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.
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