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Reader comment on item: Jews and the Qur'an
in response to reader comment: Question about "Muslim Zionism"

Submitted by David (United States), May 30, 2022 at 18:05

Thank you very much for the reply. Yes then, your use of the term was as I had imagined. It is a phenomenon among Muslims in Israel though, primarily, not the worldwide Muslim "ummah." Indeed there are so many aspects of the Palestinian identity that are formed in direct conformity to the Israeli Jewish identity, if not the entire national ethos, and this is but one of many such examples. It does not seem to be especially Islamic per say. As I said in my remark, if Israel is to survive as a Jewish state for 1000 years and if the Palestinians somehow remain separated from the Arab world, perhaps the emergence of an entirely different religion among the latter-- some bizarre new form of Judaism-- would not be the greatest surprise in the world. Although I am not a prophet and do not tend to hazard to make predictions.
But there is something about the cultural diffusion that fashions a different and new collective identity. Personally, I was especially intrigued by the comments of an Arab Israeli on a right-wing media channel (Arutz 14) a few days ago. This was a very nationalistic (Palestinian) oriented individual, who on one occasion attempted to speak of the Palestinian identity as being derived somehow from the Canannites. What was particularly interesting was to hear him say, on a day that he was angrily criticizing PM Bennett, that the PM should "move to Yerushalayim," in a monologue where he also said "Yerushayayim is not less important for us than it is for you." I noted that he did not say, "Al Quds," but specifically "Yerusahalayim." And in the monologue about the Canannites he was making extended references to Old Testament and to the fact that Abraham came from Iraq. This particular emphasis on the Old Testament struck me as salient and interesting.

I would say, however, that Yerushalayim is absolutely central to the Israeli identity, as evidenced beautifully by the historically high participation in yesterday's march marking the 55th year of the Old City's liberation, which was sadly mischaracterized in many outlets of the world media with an emphasis on the actions of a fringe minority of the participants. The assumption that Muslim "Zionism" is stronger, as suggested in the article you referenced, should be revisited. But the phenomenon is certainly an intriguing one and thank you again for the reply and clarification.


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