The land of Israel, the Promised Land, is never quiet. This is the fate of those who live in a geographical corridor where global trade interests converge, and through which armies and troops have marched in all direction since the beginning of time. We are at the heart of the region, and while this land is devoid of precious resources like oil and its water is sparse, it is not short of stones, sands and enemies, which are all around.
Many ask what is the secret of this land, both blessed and cursed, that it was promised to the people of Israel, which even the Koran recognizes as the chosen people. Why have so many coveted this land—enough to plunder and murder to have it for themselves—to the point where they were denounced and driven out by the power of an ancient prophecy shared by all three major religions and declaring the land must be returned to its rightful owners, the people of Israel?
The clergymen of other religions spared no effort to deny the Jews’ right to their country. Some have stated that the Jews “angered God with their sins and were therefore stripped of the promise of land and exiled”; others have claimed that “the people of Israel no longer exist and those of pretend to be Jews seek to rob the land”; and all have ignored the fact that, for 2,000 years, despite horrific persecution, the Jewish people clung to their ancient faith and the divine promise of a specific vision.
The Muslims, who deny the Jews’ right to this land, themselves defy the decrees of the Prophet Muhammad, who foretold our people’s return from all over the Diaspora to the land of Israel. For if the Israelites do not exist, to whom did his prophesy pertain? The anti-Semites among the Christians conceal the history of Jesus in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and are even willing to deny their religion in order to harm the “captive Judah,” which has broken free of its shackles and established a Jewish state in this land.
Indeed, it is not for nothing that Islam calls us “the killers of the prophets.” History proves that they are right: Throughout the ages, our path has always been riddled with homegrown detractors trying to undermine the elected leadership, however successful and whether elected by God or by the people via a democratic process.
Now, too, elected officials’ successes and achievements meet not practical opposition, but one driven by jealousy and a lust for power.
The leaders of the left constantly find new ways to grumble and whine. The government’s decision to order the Israel Defense Forces to strike Gaza when terror tunnels were discovered during “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014 prompted detractors to decry the “blood spilled in vain,” and government prudence during the latest flare-up in Gaza—a policy chosen over complex security considerations—made the left decry the cabinet’s “impotence” and “opportunism.”
When the recent discovery of Hezbollah terror tunnels running under the Israel-Lebanon border emerged as the main reason for the restraint exercised in Gaza, past journalists turned would-be generals lambasted the military’s decision to refer to the activities to neutralize the tunnels as an “operation,” and questioned why it was the prime minister, who is also the acting defense minister, who declared it. Was Netanyahu trying to take advantage of the operation to distract the public from his legal troubles? Could it be that he turned the cabinet, the chief of staff, the Mossad intelligence agency and the Shin Bet security agency into marionettes, solely for his own personal gain?
The Arabs, for their part, cannot believe their eyes and ears. Those merciful Jews provide food, water, electricity, money and medicines to Hamas in Gaza, when all it wants is to destroy them; just like Hezbollah, which would not have hesitated to use its tunnels to attack the Jewish communities above.
How puzzling, the Arabs think. After all, if they had the firepower the Jews possess, they would have no qualms about killing every last one of us.
The Arabs pinch themselves with disbelief, as time and again the successful Jewish people prove that they meet the Prophet Muhammad’s decrees. Believe it or not, at times it seems that Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are miracles manifested by the God of Israel, as they drive us to succeed and who knows where we would be without them.
Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.