Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Ishmaelite Exile

All my life, I have been a quintessentially non-political person. I don’t subscribe to newspapers and I don’t watch TV news. Since the Internet has become a part of my life six days a week, I'm admittedly a bit more informed than I used to be. And, truth be told, since I began this obsession with Israel, I’m much more likely to know what’s going on in Israel than in the US Congress.

Nevertheless, I recently read a book that was written as a warning to Americans, but it involves Israel as well. The book is called Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America. It was written by Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of the American Congress for Truth.

Here’s the essence of the book in a nutshell. Brigitte Gabriel grew up as a Christian in Lebanon at a time before Lebanon was a Muslim county. She lived, if you can call it living, through the Muslim takeover of Lebanon. Her message? The Muslims intend to take over the entire world and will kill all the non-Muslim infidels in the process. Sounds like the plot to a B-movie I would never go see.

But she’s not the only voice making this argument. The Terrorism Awareness Project has two brief videos on its site that make the same claim. The goal of global jihad is to make the entire world Muslim.

If you’re paying attention, and Gd help you if you’re not, this message has to penetrate into your soul. There is a connection among the dozens of major terrorist incidents that are springing up all over the world. They are sourced from the same well.

When I was a kid, being educated in American public schools, we were taught that the American Civil War was fought over slavery. Later, I learned that subtler, more sophisticated political questions were also at issue.

Similarly, if you think that the problem Israel has with its Arab neighbors are all because of land disputes and Israel’s treatment of the Arab refugees and their subsequent generations, your vision would benefit from some expansion. The Muslims openly refer to America as The Great Satan and Israel as The Little Satan. The issue of Palestinians is like the issue of slavery in the American Civil War. Related, but not the essence of the conflict.

So, what’s the spiritual spin on all this bad news? The Torah predicted all this long ago. To learn more, read The Ishmaelite Exile by Rabbi Yechiel Weitzman

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