By Alan Caruba
Following the latest American effort to get the parties to the conflict over the right of Israel to exist to discuss a peaceful resolution, there is the usual post-mortem. The quest is a corpse because there is no intent nor desire on the part of the Muslims of the Middle East to accept the existance of a "Jewish entity" in their midst.
Chief among their demands is the Palestinian "right of return" that mocks the Jewish right to return to a land in which they had a 3,500 year claim of ownership and settlement. The fact that a Jewish State currently has a million Arab citizens suggests a tolerance that exists no where else in the Middle East.
That said, Israel is so small and so militarily vulnerable that giving away any land won in war is suicidal. I think former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew from Gaza because, as a former general, he knew that the Jews there could and would be overrun at some point and likely slaughtered. The continued warfare waged from Gaza reflects a fanatical resolve to continue the seige of Israel.
The Jews in Israel face their physical destruction every day and Islam's holy book demands it. This is the theological and existential problem that faces the Jews and, by extension, the civilized world. This is the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran evokes.
By their very existence, Jews are a "problem" for both the late-comers, the Muslims, a religion that began around 700CE and for Christianity that preaches Jesus as the fulfillment of prophesy. Because the Old Testament (Torah) is part of Christian theology they are theologically more related, connected, descended from Judaism, but Islam is not. It is a wholly pagan religion that exists as an excuse for plunder and conquest. Its most holy object is a "black rock" in Mecca.
The return to Israel, Zionism, was a nationalist, i.e. political, movement that began as a reflection and response to the extensive anti-Semitism throughout Europe and Russia in the 1800s. The trigger was the Drefus case in France. In Russia, pogroms that killed Jews were a common event. The Nazi death camps were simply the ultimate example of that anti-Semitism.
So naturally the survivers of the Holocaust did not want to return to their homelands if they could go somewhere, anywhere, else. By then, the Zionists had established a presense in Palestine, the British mandate after WWI, and even the British government was on record saying the Jews had a right to a homeland.
After WWII the civilized world recoiled from the Nazi "Final Solution" and in fits and starts facilitated the establishment of a sovereign Israel. It occurred in 1948 with the blessing of the United Nations.
The Arab/Muslim response was to immediately attack. Successive efforts were defeated. Yasser Arafat introduced terrorism as a means to defeat the Israelis.
That was then. This is now. If the Muslims are permitted to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews, they will simply set their eyes and minds to doing the same in Europe. The next field of battle would be Spain. And since they already have millions of their co-religionists in Europe, it won't be that hard.
Either Muslims are forced to reform to the point of giving up jihad--the conquest of the world--as a legitimate goal or the 21st century will be one of endless war.