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A major region for Middle East rivalries, and for Israel's paramount importance to the people of the world

Reader comment on item: The Iran Deal Is 'Bizarre' and 'Wretched'
in response to reader comment: Pluses and minuses

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 4, 2015 at 02:29

Hello, Anon. You said,

the things in favor are Iran's demographics and pro Western populace that are natural enemies of the worst actors in the middle east from Saudi Arabia to PAkistan to Isis. In the long run countries like Saudi arabia and Pakistan are the real unplacatable foes of Israel.

I will answer this as briefly as I can.

First of all, the situation in the Middle East has little to do with demographics. One look at a map ought to tell you this: Israel, the only Jewish nation on the planet, having about 10 million people, is surrounded by 22 Arab nations with about 360 million people. Those nations have tried repeatedly to wipe Israel off of the face of the earth, but have not only failed but have been defeated time after time. In spite of this, Israel has countless times been labelled as an aggressor, and has been the subject of international demands to cede lands to the Arab aggressors to create for them a 23rd Arab state. None of this makes any sense, from a demographic point of view.

A far better understanding of the situation is to view it historically. There are some countries in the region of tremendous historic significance. One of these is Iraq, which is divided into a Shi'ite south and a Sunni north. The northern portion is renowned for having been the seat of the Assyrian Empire, which flourished around 850 BCE. They contributed nothing of lasting cultural value to the world. The southern portion, however, was the site of the Civilization of Sumer, whose records in cuneiform writing, dating back to around 3,500 BCE, are the oldest writing in the entire world. These writings include a Creation Epic, a Flood Epic and several early legal codes. Sumerian civilization extended into Elam, in modern-day Iran.

The Israeli Jews speak a language closely akin to that of the ancient Phoenicians, with whom they shared an alphabet that was ancestral to all the alphabets of the world. Their monotheistic religion, together with their principal holy book, Torah, has formed the basis of Christianity, Islam, modern Judaism, Mormonism and other religions, in total followed by over half the world. Tradition says that Torah was first recorded around 1400 BCE; and manuscripts of nearly all of it, nearly identical to modern manuscripts, date back to before 200 BCE. The Muslim holy book, Qur'an, by comparison, was not put to pen before the 7th Century CE.

Other countries in the region boast somewhat ancient cultures, notably the Egyptians and, as you have pointed out, the Pakistanis. Few of these have left much of a heritage in modern times. Evidence of even the existence of the Indus Valley Civilization of Pakistan did not even surface until recently, and their writing has not been deciphered. Egyptian hieroglyphics were deciphered in the 19th Century; but neither their writing nor their writing has stood the test of time. The Hebrew language of Israel, by contrast, is a living language -- spoken by the entire population and written in a variant of Phoenician writing hundreds of years older than the Arabic script used from Senegal to Malaysia.

These are the things that give Iran-Iraq, on the one hand, and Israel on the other, outsized significance in the region; and in the case of Israel, a preeminent position in the eyes of the whole world. It also goes a long way, to explain the rivalry among the states there.

Submitting....

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Reader comments (18) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The world's leaders are all acting against their own interests. Has God made them made, in order to destroy them? [791 words]Michael SJul 15, 2015 16:19224228
Pluses and minuses [114 words]AnonJul 19, 2015 01:55224228
clarifies some of the reasons.... [9 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahJul 21, 2015 00:37224228
Obama has an agenda, but it isn't Muslim [1303 words]Michael SAug 1, 2015 19:18224228
A major region for Middle East rivalries, and for Israel's paramount importance to the people of the world [578 words]Michael SAug 4, 2015 02:29224228
cultural divides. [536 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 7, 2015 06:21224228
1Of bear grease, and other smells [1927 words]Michael SAug 11, 2015 16:50224228
comments on comments [736 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 22, 2015 08:40224228
3The Gnostics and their great gift: knowledge [71 words]Dhimmi no moreAug 24, 2015 13:36224228
Fish and company smell in three days [855 words]Michael SAug 24, 2015 19:49224228
hope not [44 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 30, 2015 03:07224228
p.s. [28 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 30, 2015 06:59224228
I can't tell a German from an Italian. Also, it's the media who seem "wretched and bizarre" [439 words]Michael SSep 1, 2015 16:13224228
accents query [274 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahSep 7, 2015 23:31224228
American eye reporting. [305 words]Michael SSep 12, 2015 03:42224228
keine Garantien [71 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahSep 15, 2015 03:46224228
US-Australian ties [398 words]Michael SSep 18, 2015 04:31224228
The Iran treaty may have done Israel's work for them [396 words]MIchael SNov 13, 2015 08:22224228

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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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