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December 29, 1978 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

c

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

30 Friday, Decindier 29 , 1 910"

Will Arab-Israeli. Peace' Withstand Koran?

SAM
BARNETT

By DR. ABRAHAM KATSH

AND HIS ORCHESTRA

968-2563

President Emeritus, Dropsie U.

In the present Middle
East situation we tend to

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WE WRAP FOR FREEZING

Best Wishes for a
Happy New Year and a Happy Chanukah
from the makers of Farm Maid Dairy Foods -

the finest name in Kosher Dairy products
in the state of Michigan (under supervision
of Rabbi Jack Goldman)

Detroit Area
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lose sight of the fact that we
are dealing now not with 22
Arab states, but with 21
Muslim states which refuse
to recognize a non-Muslim
state in that part of the
world once occupied by Mos-
lems.
Though Islam consists of
many sects, some of which
are even hostile to one an-
other, all followers of
Mohammed share the hope
of "Islamizing" the non-
Muslim world. Islamic reli-
gious law divides the world
into two parts: d'Ar Al-
Islam, the region under the
rule of Islam, and d'Ar Al-
Harb, the area of war. Be-
tween these two areas there
can be__no peace.
Practical considerations
may induce Muslim leaders
to conclude an armistice,
but the obligation to con-
quer and, if possible, con-
vert, never lapses. Nor can
territory once under Mus-
lim rule be lawfully yielded
to the unbeliever.
Furthermore, there is a
unity between Islam as a
religion and the political
thought of Arab leaders,
and this unity is growing
stronger, not weaker.
Christopher- Wren, Cairo

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.

correspondent for the New
York Times, notes in an ar-
ticle for that newspaper,
June 18, 1978: "At least two
reasons have been advanced
to explain why Islam seems
inherently more conserva-
tive than Judaism or Chris-
tianity.
"First, Moslems revere
the Koran as the literal
word of God, not as
Mohammed's interpreta-
tion of it . . . . Second,
-Mohammed laid out in the
Koran detailed secular as
well as religious injunctions
for his followers, covering
personal, social and politi-
cal relationships and both
civil and criminal law, mak-
ing it virtually impossible
to confine Islam to spiritual
matters."
In the same article, Wren
points out that "Libya's
ruler, Col. Muammar Al-
Qaddafi, is perhaps the
most puritanical exponent
of Muslim fundamentalism
among the leaders of the
Muslim world today. He has
gone so far as to call for the
eventual reconquest of
Spain, Portugal and Sicily,
which were lost to Islam five
centuries ago . .
Wren indicates that the
rise of Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait and other ex-
tremely Orthodox states
as financial benefactors
has made it advanta-
geous for Muslim coun-
tries to pay greater atten-
tion to Islamic traditions.
In Egypt, for example,
the Muslim Brotherhood
plays a prominent role in
civil as well as political
life.
With this as background,
Sadat's "peace mission" to
Israel must be viewed by
what he actually offered to
Israel, rather than by the
undoubted political bril-
liance of his daring step
which rallied a large section
of world opinion behind
him.
He offered no inkling of
giving up anything that
would help secure Israel's
independence as a state. It
is not enough for Islam to
recognize Judaism as a reli-
gion which has a right to
exist. It is the Jewish
people, the Jewish nation in
Israel, that has never been
recognized by the Arab-
Muslim leaders.
In an interview with
Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein (Newsweek July
17, 1978), Arnaud de Bor-
chgrave received the fol-
lowing answers (among
others): Question: "Iraq
says it will always reject
the 'Zionist entity.' So if
you refuse peace with Is-
rael, even if it withdraws
to its 1967 borders, is it
correct to assume then
that what you believe is
the only solution?" An-
swer: "Correct."
Question: "Even if Egypt,
Syria and Jordan could
agree to act jointly, they
have little military credibil-
ity against Israel. Is war
possible?" Answer: "Not to-
day, not tomorrow. But the
Arabs won't always be
weak. Their strength is

DR. ABRAHAM KATSH

growing daily. Nor will they
always be ruled by capitual-
tionist regimes. In 10 years
you will see a completely
different equation."
No matter what Sadat
tells Begin, Israel must
keep these attitudes of other
Arab (Muslim) leaders in
mind when it negotiates a
peaceful settlement. Lead-
ers come and go. But so long
as the 21 Muslim states
agree that the Jews are not
a nation, and that they have
no right to a state of their
own in the Middle East,
then Israel's security is in
danger.
That Is what the Islainic
concept of Jihad (holy war)
means, for all practical pur-
poses. And if it is not yet
time for the war, there is
always the boycott, the at-
tempt to expel Israel from
the UN, the equating of
Zionism with racism, any-
thing to isolate Israel politi-
cally and economically.
Sadat's assurances are
in themselves not
guarantees. The New
York Times editorial of
Dec. 10, 1978 is right:
"What Egypt gives can be
revoked; what Israel
yields can be regained
only in war."
Who will guarantee that
the PLO will stop its mur-
derous attacks on peaceful
Israeli civilians? Who will
guarantee a Palestinian
state on the West Bank does
not become the center for
increased PLO terror? Con-
ciliation and peace must
mean safety, security. It is
not a question of territory.
The important thing is:
How secure is the territory
you do have.
There are other small
states in the world, but they
are not constantly being
challenged by terrorists
who do not recognize their
right to exist. Israel cannot
surrender all its claims in
exchange for words that
may never be implemented.
When I was asked in 1956
by a minister of education in
Russia to define Zionism, I
replied it was the Jewish ef-
fort throughout the ages to
emancipate itself from
world imperialism. Today I
think it is proper to state
that Zionism has become
the Jewish attempt to
emancipate itself from Mus-
lim and Third World im-
perialism. Today Zionism is
called "racism," tomorrow it
will be another epithet, but
the ultimate effort is to
eliminate the state of Israel
and the Jewish People as a
people.
Israel is no longer a'

pious wish to be fulfilled.
It exists. It is a legal
entity, achieved not by
conquest but by right and
justice. It has been forced
by others to become a
warrior state. But to the
Jew, Israel represents
the correction of an age-
old wrong, the end of
humiliation.
Israel today is no longer a
dream. We have passed in a
single lifetime from a workl-
in which the existence of
free Israel seemed incon-
ceivable into a world which
seems inconceivable with-
out Israel's existence.
To the Jew, Israel means
that the flag with the
Magen David is no longer a
symbol of degradation Or-
martyrdom but a symbol of
creativity, of independence,
of self-respect and dignity.
To the Jew, Israel means
that the Jewish people are
no longer servants to hu-
manity but contributors to
civilization. It means that
for the first time in 2,000
years the Jew has a place
where the term "majority"
includes him.
To the American Jew it
means that he is not only a
member of a major faith, but
a member of an historic na-
tion as well. And it means
that the world must now
recognize the Jewish defini-
tion of "What is a Jew,"
rather than the one imposed
upon him by his enemies.
Those who today ask
Israel to relinquish its
claim to nationhood, to
statehood, are asking the
Jews to commit corpo-
rate suicide. History has
proved that. During the
Holocaust there was no
country in the world will-
ing to welcome the Jews
and help them survive.
How dare anyone now
suggest to Israel that she
give up anything that
weakens her security and
the safety of her people?
What was the reason for
centuries of Jewish per-
secution and rightless-
ness? Was it not that the
Jews lacked a home, a
center, a place where
they could sink roots as a
people? Now that they
have achieved it, the
Jewish people can never
give it up.
Is there a solution to this
seemingly hopeless dilem-
ma? I see only one pos-
sible direction in which a
peaceful solution can b
found. The Muslim states in -
the Middle East — like the
Christian states in Europe
— will have to separate
themselves from the Mus-
lim "church." The concept of
Jihad will have to recede
into Muslim mythology.
The world of Islam will have
to concern itself with moral
and spiritual matters, and
leave the legal and political
problems to Arab govern-
ments.
When such a peace is the
reality, then Islam and
Judaism may once again re-
sume their centuries' old
inter-cultural relations and
contribute once more the
advancement of world
civilization.

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