Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another day, another Middle East diatribe...


I don't know about you, but I am beginning to suffer from tired-head at the mere mention of Gaza.

What's left to discuss, rant about, or debate? It seems very clear to me that Hamas played it's usual cards - hiding weapons in apartment buildings and schools, using civilians as human shields, trumpeting Israeli "atrocities" from the rooftops, whilst doing everything in their power to make more of those "atrocities" occur. The depravity and cynicism displayed by Hamas and their fellow-travelers is staggering, vomitous, and pretty much expected by now.

Truly, there is no workable compromise possible with these lying murderers.

So, I'm reading They Must Be Stopped by Brigette Gabriel. If you have not read this, I think you probably should. Not because every word in it is true, or that it contains any real enlightenment. But because it makes an argument that I have wondered about for a long time: Islam, according to Gabriel, is basically about conquest and subjugation of every other religion on the planet.

First things first: I have some basic suspicions whenever someone indicts an entire (major) religion as intolerant and bent on destruction of all competing religions. Jews have long experience with this sort of accusation (Protocols of the Elders of Zion, anyone?) and we, in particular, should be very hesitant to believe blanket, negative generalizations.

With that disclaimer in place, I have been waiting since at least 2001 (at least!) for a Muslim scholar to tell me, in specific terms, how AQ, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc differ from mainstream Islamic thought. If such a discussion or dissertation has been put forth, I have not seen it. Seems like a well-written piece of this nature would get a lot of play, wouldn't it?

If such a document, in fact, does NOT exist, why not? Is it because AQ et al really don't differ significantly from mainstream Islamic thought?

Hell, I don't know. I really don't.

However, I can't help but think our stifling political correctness prevents us from asking tough questions along these lines. Serious questions about religion (except for Christianity, I've noticed) are verboten in public discourse - ask a serious question about Islam's true inclination to participate in the peaceful co-existence dance party, and you get shouted down by all sorts of well-meaning pinheads.

I guess my point with all this stream-of-consciousness is this: Is the typical Ahmed-on-the-street willing to accept Israel's existence in exchange for some guarantee that the IDF isn't going to drive a Merkava or ten thru his front door every once in a while?

If the answer is yes, then this will someday pass, and it's just a matter of time. If the answer is no, then what? If we're going to have an Israel (and we ARE going to have an Israel, we have to), then is this the price? Does the IDF have to go flatten civilian areas every couple of years? Do we have to endure CNN telling us how evil Israel is? The Euros turning red in the face over another "atrocity" visited upon the poor, defenseless, innocent Palestinians?

It's this simple. If the Palestinians want peace, the situation can be resolved. If they will be satisfied with nothing short of the destruction of Israel, well, we can recycle the headlines from the last 30 days for the next 30 years.

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