For many Muslims and Christians, except for evangelists and others who view it as a Divine plan, the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland can only be an accident of history—a parenthesis to be erased at some time in the future.
Muslims argue that since Jews and Christians did not convert, the world will be in turmoil until it acknowledges the Koran as the divine word. Indeed the Koran, in its final version, has two Korans: “ … The first one, spiritual, a book of peace and tolerance” (the one that former President Barack Obama referred to) and a second, legislative and military, which calls for jihad and intolerance” (the one that Obama ignored).
The Koran has surahs and verses revealed in Mecca and in Medina. And “In case of contradiction, the last word of Allah prevails. Thus, by this rule, the Koran is stripped of more than 114 “soft,” peaceful, previously revealed verses … (See Surah XVI: 101)
However, a chronological order is delivered to us thanks to the studies of scholars of Islam, who distinguish the Meccan Surahs and the Medina Surahs. The result is a chronology with heavy consequences, because what comes into play is the principle of abrogation (a nasikh verse repealing an abrogated mansukh verse), contained in the Koran itself. (See Surah II: 100)
The fight against the infidels, the idolaters, the non-believers, the Jews and the Christians, is declared starting with these two verses: “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; God is All-forgiving” (Surah IX: 5). “Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, such men as practice not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.” (Surah IX:29)
The idolaters to be fought unless they convert to Islam are the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Yazidis, the Polytheists, the Pantheists and in a general manner all those who do not believe in the religion of truth, i.e., Islam. It is not less than half of humanity. The Jews and the Christians have a special status having received the Bible, but they must be fought until they pay the tribute and are humbled. They must pay a tax (the djiziya) to be protected from angry Muslim mobs, pursuant to Omar’s Rules on the dhimmi (protected minority or second-class) status. Since they are not humbled today and they do not pay any tribute, they must be fought.
Prophet Mohammad foresaw that Islam would extend to the whole earth. It is therefore not surprising that Muslims interpret the massive immigration and the demographic increase of Muslims in Europe as a sign confirming Mohammad’s promise. In North America, the number of Muslims is expected to nearly triple, from more than 3 million as of 2010 to more than 10 million in 2050, making Muslims the third-largest religious group in the region by mid-century.
For Islam, once a given land is under Islamic rule, it belongs to Islam. In this perspective no permanent peace can be reached to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict. This conflict is not a territorial conflict. “Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion,” as stated by the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (the Hamas) (Article 13). For Islam, the sole solution is the end of the State of Israel before or on Judgment Day. It is important to remember that the land of Palestine was under the Islamic Ottoman Caliphate for hundreds of years, and for almost a millennium under Islamic rule before that until it ceased under the rule of Great Britain in 1918.
Indeed, by its mere presence on the land, most Muslims believe that Israel puts the Koran itself into question. It states that the Jews (the Apostles) falsified the Bible by not mentioning the coming of a messenger named “Ahmad” (Surah 61). A second falsification is, according to the Koran, the substitution in the Bible of Ishmael for Isaac, in the episode of Abraham’s sacrifice and attributing the Divine Covenant to Isaac and his son Jacob and thus to the Jews, thereby attempting to deprive the Arabs of such covenant. These Muslims consider that the Law of Moses was “falsified” by Ezra (the Scribe), and that the Jews that follow the Torah “earned” His “Anger” and do not have any legitimate right to the land. This is what they mean by “the Jews falsified the ‘word of God.’ ”
When confronted with the Zionist verses in the Koran that prophesize the return of the Children of Israel to their Land, Muslim scholars dismiss them out of hand with claims that such verses are superseded or abrogated. If this argument is charged as being weak, they will claim that the Jews are not the Children of Israel and/or that the Jews, “as we know them,” are not worthy of wearing the mantel of being chosen.
Europeans and Americans who are opposed to any Jewish presence and building of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria (in Area C) perceive this as an obstacle to the so-called two-state solution. In parallel, Muslims fight against the Jews to prove that their “Divine promise” is still unborn; that it is an invention; that Jews should leave Israel and return from where they came. For those who were born in the land before 1948, to return to their natural subservient dhimmi status, and that until then, there can be no peace.
When the Israeli government dismantles a village in Judea and Samaria, it is simply applying a decision of Israel’s Supreme Court which ordered it. But the Muslims see in this as additional proof that God is against the Jews—that He is using Jews to fight against Jews, that their would-be “Divine promise” is a lie, and that Jews have no right to be there, least of all in any sovereign capacity.
It is not by chance that the more religiously fanatical Hamas is a major threat to the less fanatical Fatah, infiltrating the latter continuously. In fact, the proverbial “problem of Palestine” is four-square at the heart of the current struggle within Islam itself. Land for peace and billions of dollars will not end such religious war.
The writer was born in Tunis, Tunisia. An expert in international law, he was a member of the International Court of Arbitration representing Israel. He is the author of “The Middle East and World War III: Why No Peace?” with a preface by Col. Richard Kemp, CBE.