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How Israel will win

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Submitted by Yale Zussman (United States), Apr 5, 2006 at 13:07

I don't agree that Israel can defeat the Palestinians without convincing the rest of the Arab/Muslim world that it too has been defeated. That Arab/Muslim world created the Palestinians as a weapon in its war against the Jews; "defeating" the Palestinians without likewise defeating the rest of the Arab/Muslim world will simply result in their seeking out a new or different weapon.

I am convinced the war against Israel is basically driven by religious motives: the territory of Israel is a waqf, that cannot be surrendered to non-Muslims under any circumstances since that means abandoning a stricture of Islam. Defeating the Arab/Muslim world thus has religious overtones that most in the West simply don't want to acknowledge.

How does one defeat a religion? The key, I think, is to convince its adherents that its prophecies have been proved to be false. Curiously, the existence of Israel may achieve this end, and it is recognition that this might be the case that drives the vehemence of the anti-Israel jihad.

The reason Israel's existence might be this proof derives from supersessionary theology, the belief that one religion replaces its predecessor(s). In much the same way as Christianity once saw itself displacing Judaism, Islam regards itself as a supplanter of both Judaism and Christianity. But the early Muslims understood something important about supersessionism: if Allah had changed his mind before, someone might suggest that He has done so again, so instead of presenting Islam as a supersessionary faith, it makes the claim that it is the original monotheism, and that Judaism and Christianity are just deviations from that true faith. The strength of this claim is that it doesn't have to rule out future deviations since there is no obvious limit to the number of possible errors in religion.

But like any supersessionary faith, Islam must hold that any prophecies of the earlier faiths are now null and void; if they remain valid, how could the religion that holds them possibly have been nullified? Thus, the prophecy that the Jews will return and re-establish their state in Israel should be nullified by the supersession of Judaism. That this prophecy appears to remain valid suggests that supersession has not taken place. This is one reason why the Catholic Church has revised its doctrine of supersession.

Defeating Islam thus requires nothing more than that the Jews retain Israel as their state and establish Jerusalem as their capital. How long it will take before Muslims acknowledge that a prophecy of Judaism has been fulfilled, thus nullifying their belief in Islam's status, is hard to say, but it would certainly help if other countries recognized that Israel as a Jewish state has been re-established, with its capital in Jerusalem.
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