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Ideology and Victory

Reader comment on item: How Can Israel Win the Palestinian Conflict?

Submitted by Dave (United States), Jan 8, 2023 at 10:05

Ideology is always important in warfare as an adjunct to force. Here are some suggestions.
A salient aspect of the jihad against Israel is religious intolerance. Jews are routinely assaulted when they visit their holy sites, such as Joseph's Tomb or the Western Wall. They are hardly alone in suffering this humiliation, as Muslims also attack Hindus at their holy sites and have destroyed thousands of Hindu temples, Christians are attacked throughout Africa and thousand of churches have been vandalized or burned down in many worldwide locales, including Europe.
Modern, leading-edge historical research into the seventh century shows that this behavior does not accord with the tolerant and inclusive approach towards religion practiced by Muhammad and the early progenitors of the Islamic faith. It was precisely their tolerance that enabled them to conquer much of the eastern Roman empire, as they were able to form a broadly based, powerful coalition drawn from people with diverse backgrounds. At that time, there was no formal Islamic canon, nor was there any concept of sectarian religious superiority. As proof of such tolerance, seventh century witnesses attest to the respect shown to Christians and Christianity, despite the fact that the Roman rulers being fought were Byzantine Christians.
Also, the prohibitions on Jewish settlement in Jerusalem that the Romans had imposed were reversed, and work on rehabilitating Solomon's Temple was initiated as a holy place meant for all of Muhammad's followers, regardless of faith. Jews probably fought alongside his troops.
Religious intolerance and sectarian superiority only seeped into the Islamic canon long after Muhammad and his companions passed away. Given the central importance of Muhammad to Muslims, these historical facts should be discussed as a means of undermining the lethal religious intolerance which is so key to maintaining the conflict.
It is also important to counter leftist ideology, which has been a major western ally of the jihad. In order to do that effectively, the source of leftist anti-Zionist ideation must be identified accurately. This is a rather straightforward task, but it has been obstructed by an over-emphasis on antisemitism as the cause of the problem. Certainly, antisemitism is one major cause of anti-Zionism, and the tendency of Jews to focus on it is understandable given their experiences, but the root cause of leftist anti-Zionism can be found mainly in globalism and its extreme notions of equality, rather than in antisemitism, which is more a result of rather than a cause of their anti-Zionism.
First, defining Zionism must be done honestly and accurately. In a positive sense, it is the reanimation of the historical Jewish homeland for the purpose of providing political self-determination and physical protection for the dispersed Jewish nation. More problematically, it is also a novel approach to the Jewish question which is based on a form of nationalism based on ethnic and religious identity. It is this latter means of of defining Zionism which alienates the globalist Left. The globalist Left is fundamentally opposed to value judgements based on race, culture or nationality which could be in a any way construed to discriminate against anyone. These ideas of extreme equality, sometimes referred to as cultural relativism, are becoming ever more prevalent in the West; they are painfully evident in the Biden administration's deliberately lax border policies. If one accepts the idea that all cultures, all countries and all people are equally worthy, then why have a border, why have a country? This naive policy, which could actually spell suicide for western civilization, is a major source of anti-Israel hostility. To top it off, Israel has very strict border controls. How sinful. Obviously, conservatives are more at home with nationalism, its justifications and requirements, and this is very evident politically in their stronger support for Israel. Those are the guys that Jews seldom vote for.
Many Jews are attracted to these deceptively seductive ideas since they are ostensibly against all forms of racism, including antisemitism. Yet, ironically, antisemitism has been a major result of this globalist leftist assault on Israel. Jewish leaders have done an abysmal job at understanding this phenomenon, obsessed as they are with the more familiar traditional right wing antisemitism. On the other hand, Islamists understand it well and have adroitly adjusted their political strategy. One may note their hypocrisy, however, as Islamic states are anything but open-border paragons of religious or ethnic tolerance.
Thus, there are two main components that I can think of in the ideas war: The mismatch of modern Islamic religious intolerance with the historical evidence of Muhammad and his successful seventh century conquests, and the necessity to expose and oppose leftist globalist anti-Zionism and its invidious infiltration into Jewish and western liberal circles.

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