Israel is a tiny island of a mere 8,500 square miles in a vast Islamic sea. Such a tiny nation could hardly threaten the Muslim world, with its vast oil wealth. Little Israel should go completely unnoticed by the great Arab world—yet the exact opposite is the case. Israel, to the Muslim, is the fly in the soup which cannot be ignored.
Today's Islamic zealots have sworn that there can be no peace or coexistence with Israel. The Islamists view Israel as a constant reminder of the Islam's humiliation. As long as Israel exists, there will never be peace.
A few weeks after 9/11, Al-Qaeda spokesman Suliman Abu Geith said, "We have a fair and just case. The Islamic nation more than eighty years has been suffering. "
“Eighty years” refers back to the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, which gave England and France control over large portions of the Middle East. It also eventually led to the creation of the Israeli state.
According to historian James S. Robbins, “The Ottomans had ruled the region for 600 years or so, and brought varying degrees of political harmony under the Sultanate and religious unity under the Caliphate. The 1920 treaty did away with the political order. . . . In bin Laden's universe, that was when everything started to go wrong.”
Although Jews had lived in Palestine for a long time (in 1914, some 85,000 Jews lived, alongside some 6,000 Arabs), the eventual presence of a Jewish state was more than many Muslims could stomach. Muslim nations invaded Israel three times during the next twenty-five years (each successfully repelled by Israel).In Blindsided, I write:
Many Arab Muslims believe to this day that the Christian West planted Israel in their midst as a means to exert control over the Middle East.
They see the existence of Israel as a new manifestation of the ancient Crusade against Islam. . . .
The thought that "the House of War"—the Muslim designation for the non-Muslim world—should occupy a land that once belonged to the House of Islam is no small matter to the people of the Middle East.
It strikes at the very heart of Islamic ideology—and Arab pride.
That's why Muslims will not rest until the Jews either leave Palestine, accept Muslim rule, or are eliminated.
Can Israel ever know peace in our lifetimes? It’s been said that if Muslim nations were to abandon their arms, there would be peace. But not if Israel abandoned theirs. In that case, Israel would be thrown into the sea.
The idea of armed conflict between Israel and Iran is a terrifying prospect. It could easily engulf the US and other countries.
But if we desire true peace, we must not be ignorant of the Muslim world’s determination to destroy Israel.