Professor Paul Eidelberg
August 1, 2009
Having supported the establishment of a Palestinian, i.e., an Arab-Islamic, state in Judea and Samaria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels compelled to present a rosy view of the future of the Islamic Middle East. Addressing the 2009 graduating class of the National Security College at a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “In the struggle between darkness and terror, advancement and prosperity, the vast majority of Muslim societies would pick advancement and prosperity.”
This calls to mind his address to a joint session of the United States Congress in the summer of 1996, when he denied any clash of civilizations in the Middle East. A few years later, the present writer heard Netanyahu say, in effect, that peace would come to the Middle East with the spread of Internet! What an insult to Muslims! An honest word about Islam is necessary.
In 1985, Said Raja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared, according to Amir Taheri, that “the very concept of human rights was ‘a Judeo-Christian invention’ and inadmissible in Islam.…According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the Shah’s ‘most despicable sins’ was the fact that Iran was one of the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Islam’s rejection of human rights derives from its tacit denial of the Biblical conception of man’s creation in the image of God. Alain Bosançon provides a most significant observation about Islam: “Although Muslims like to enumerate the 99 names of God, missing from the list, but central to the Jewish and Christian concept of God, is “father”—i.e., a personal God capable of a reciprocal and loving relationship with men.” If God is not “Father,” then it is difficult to imagine the human person as having been “made in the image of God.”
From the preceding it’s obvious that Netanyahu does not take Islam seriously. Surely this made it easier for him to vote for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza? Be this as it may, many experts on Islam are less optimistic about Islam’s future metamorphosis into a benign religion. There is not an iota of evidence that the Quran’s fourteen-century ethos of Jihad will undergo a Protestant evolution.
Anyone who has read Robert Spencer (The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion), or Bat Yo’er (Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide), or Lee Harris (Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History), or Moorthy S. Muthuswamy (Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War)—anyone, I say, who has read one or another of these books knows that Quran, on which countless Muslims are weaned, is the Mein Kampf of war, as Winston Churchill said of Islam’s holy of holies.
Mr. Netanyahu would nonetheless have us believe that Internet and economic prosperity will transform Muslim “extremists” into Muslim “moderates.” Even Daniel Pipes, who vainly appeals to “moderates” to speak out against “extremists,” has warned: “However much institutions, attitudes, and customs have changed, the Muslim approach to politics derives from the invariant premises of the religion and from fundamental themes established more than a millennium ago.”
Similarly, Bernard Lewis, the doyen of Islamic scholars, tells us that “Even when Muslims cease believing in Islam, they may retain Islamic habits and attitudes.” Various scholars have shown that the distinction between Islamic “moderates” and “extremists” has no basis in Islamic scriptures, that “extremists” can overwhelm “moderates” by citing the Quran and the deeds of Muhammad.
Pipes estimates that “only” 10 to 15 percent of world’s 1.3 billion Muslims support the jihadist agenda. That’s equivalent to 130 to 195 million Muslims—hardly comforting. Other scholars estimate at least 50 percent of the world’s Islamic population identifies with jihadists—that’s 625 million Muslims!
Samuel Huntington and many other scholars have shown that the West is involved in a clash of civilizations with Islam—a clash emphasized by Muslim theologians, writers, and rulers down through the ages. It is morally disarming and strategically reckless for Netanyahu to obscure this clash of civilizations, when at stake is nothing less than freedom and the sanctity of human life.
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Despite Netanyahu’s glowing words, Osama Bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are among the most highly exalted leaders of Islamdom. The Palestinian media continue to echo their maledictions against Israel and America. Is Netanyahu living in the unreal world of Barack Obama?
© 2009 Paul Eidelberg - All Rights Reserved
Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer, Eidelberg is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy with offices in Jerusalem.
Prof. Eidelberg served in the United States Air Force where he held the rank of first lieutenant. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago. He designed the electronic equipment for the first brain scanner at the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital.
Before immigrating to Israel in 1976, Prof. Eidelberg wrote a trilogy on America’s founding fathers: The Philosophy of the American Constitution, On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence, and a Discourse on Statesmanship.
In 1976 he joined the faculty of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He has written several books on the Arab-Israel conflict and on Judaism. Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy analyses the mentality of Israel’s ruling elites. Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall, which has been translated into Hebrew and Russian, reveals the flaws inherent in Israel’s system of governance and how they may be remedied. A Jewish Philosophy of History investigates the world-historical events leading to the rebirth of Israel in 1948.
His latest publication, The Myth of Israeli Democracy, provides an abbreviated version of a Constitution which shows how to make Israel a genuine democracy based on a Jewish conception of freedom and equality.
is on the Advisory Council of the Ariel Center for Policy Research,
which has published many of his policy papers. In addition to writing
more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and scholarly journals in the
U.S. and Israel, he has a weekly program on Israel
Prof. Eidelberg has been lecturing throughout Israel and the United States. He conducts seminars on constitutions, diverse parliamentary electoral systems, Jewish law, and related topics at the Jerusalem center of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy.
Web site: Foundation for Constitutional Democracy