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It's all just one war, including the Arab-Israeli conflict

Reader comment on item: Sheikh Obama and His Two Wars

Submitted by Wallace Edward Brand (United States), Dec 10, 2009 at 14:44

It's all one war, a global war. In the 2007 Kristol Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, Bernard Lewis described the current wave of global Muslim violence as "the third wave" after a succinct description of the first two waves commencing respectively in 632 by the Arabs and Moors and in mid thirteenth century by the Turks and Tartars.

The physician/author Andrew Bostom, in an article entitled Doctors of Death used a medical term that expressed the concept even more clearly: "a fulminant recrudescence" of a millenium of Islamic holy war. Most think this third wave commenced circa the 70's with the murder of Robert Kennedy in 1968 by Sirhan Sirhan a Palestinian Arab who was not a Muslim but had been brought up soaked in Muslim doctrine, the murder of the American diplomats in Khartoum in the early 70s by Yassir Arafat, and the invasion of our embassy in Teheran in the late 70s by Khomeini. These were followed by a wave of skyjacking, bombings, and murders culminating in 9/11.

In my view, the Arab wars against Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973 were really a preface to the Islamic third wave of global conquest before the Arabs had the petrodollar financing that permitted them to reach out to murder far afield from the Middle East . In my view, contrary to popular belief, in Palestine a religious motive of Jihad, later cleverly disguised as secular nationalism by intervention of the Soviet Union starting in 1964, has always been the driver of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Even history revisionist Benny Morris, a historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict considered by many to be an apologist for the Arabs, correctly argues that it was religion rather than nationalism that inspired the 1948 invasion of Israel. He considers it a mistake to ignore the religious rhetoric that accompanied the 1948 assault by Arab armies. "The 1948 War, from the Arabs' perspective," he writes, "was a war of religion as much as, if not more than, a nationalist war over territory." Morris, "1948, A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, Yale University Press:, 2008), p. 394 and Denis MacEoin, "Dimensions of Jihad: Suicide Bombing as Worship", Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2009 pp. 15-24. The Muslim Brotherhood, the mufti of Egypt, Egypt's King Farouk, King 'Abdullah of Transjordan, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and many others spoke of a holy war, a jihad against the Jews. It was not a purely nationalist struggle then, nor is it today. The "[violence] did not emerge only from 'modern' nationalist passions; it also drew on powerful religious wellsprings. Nothing, it seemed, could mobilize the Palestinian Arab masses for action more readily than Muslim religious rhetoric and symbols."

Little has changed since the 1940s. With the rise of radical Islam and the expansion of violent recourse, Arab irredentism has continued to have a religious focus, sometimes on "Palestine" and sometimes on the umma, the abstract nation of all Muslims. And it is as Muslims more than as Arabs (or Iranians or Afghans) that today's leading enemies of Israel view the conflict." MacEoin, op cit. It is undisputed that it is religion rather than secular nationalism that motivates Hamas in Gaza. Is the politics of the West Bank, of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority any different? Why else is it that in a proposed Two State solution, Mahmoud Abbas adamantly refuses to recognize Israel as "the Jewish State"? It was Ceausescu, the dictator in Rumania and a great friend of Yasser Arafat, who, at Soviet Union urging, persuaded Arafat to desist from announcing his religious goal of "annihilating the Jews or driving them into the sea" and by doing that to reframe the issue by changing his announced motive from religious jihad to secular nationalism. He urged Arafat to announce instead, a desire to "liberate the Palestinan people" by achieving their political self determination even though there had never before been a "Palestinian people" with a quest for political self determination. "Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescus' Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption" by Ion Mihai Pacepa, Regnery Gateway, Washington, DC. 1990.

The change commenced with the drafting of the PLO Charter in Moscow in 1964, its signing by the first 422 members of the Palestinian National Council hand picked by the KGB, and its used of the term "the Palestinian Arab People" in its preamble, inventing a fictitious "Palestinian People" with a quest for political self determination, that even a member of the Executive Board of the PLO, Zahir Muhsein, later disowned. We must face the invevitable conclusion that there is only one war, a war of global jihad, and its third wave commenced in Palestine in 1929 when Haj Amin al-Husseini, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, imported its doctrines of violence from Egypt where they had been seeded by Hassan al Banna. The war in Iraq did not commence as a part of the holy war. It was commenced by the megalomaniac Saddam Hussein who thought he was a modern day Nebuchadnezzar and made war against Iran and Kuwait, and had in mind Saudi Arabia next. But after the defeat of his army, it too turned into a jihad.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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