Barbara J. Stock
Israel: then and now
By Barbara J. Stock
September 19, 2012

Much of today's news revolves around our relationship with Israel, a tiny country that is hated by the Arab and Islamic world. Israel's total land mass is 12,877 square miles which is just a little smaller than New Jersey. They are surrounded by 8,368,272 square miles that constitutes 21 Arab/Muslim countries who hate them in the Middle East and North Africa. For perspective, the land mass of Alaska and Texas combined is only 925,064 square miles.

It just drives them crazy that the Jews have staked a claim on this tiny little bit of ground that the Arab/Muslim world feels is theirs and theirs alone. What drives them even crazier is that while the common folks in many of those Muslim countries live hand to mouth, remaining poor while the ruling Muslim class becomes rich, the Jews have managed to thrive and become a modern country with a mighty military.

Many Arabs feel Israel and the Jews have no right to be there because they, Arabs and Muslims, were there first and the land is rightfully theirs.

But, were they?

Everyone knows that Judaism predates Christianity and certainly predates Islam by thousands of years, so it cannot be questioned that Jews were certainly there prior to Muslims. Mohammed himself was not born until around 570 A.D.

History puts the Jews on the very soil they now call Israel about 2166 B.C. This was the time of Abram, who, according to the Torah, had his name changed by God to Abraham. (Some sources even put that date as far back as 4000 B.C.) Abraham was the grandfather of Jacob.

To date, the earliest known use of the word "Arab" was found in an Assyrian inscription that dates 853 B.C. Giving credence to that date is a passage in the Bible (second book of Chronicles-xvii, ll) that refers to Arabs as nomads from the eastern bank of the Jordan river between 900-800 B.C. The Egyptian king, Merneptah, referred to Israel by name about 1213 B.C. or about 400 years before the word Arab has been found.

Now, of course, back in those days, Jews were called Hebrews or Israelites and in the Bible, they are referred to as Hebrews or Children of Israel.

Israel as a word is from the Greek and translates into Hebrew as Yisrael. Jacob, took the name, Israel. So, the Jews, as we know them today, are descendents of Jacob, and thus called the Children of Israel. Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, became the father of twelve sons who went on to become the twelve tribes of Israel. This is simplistic, to be sure, but to try and explain centuries of history would take volumes.

Jacob is considered a prophet by Islam and is mentioned numerous times in the Qur'an. Surah 2: 132-133, 136, 140 "And the same did Ibrahim [Abraham] enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub [Jacob]. O my sons! Surely Allah [God] has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims. Nay! Were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac — one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." **

Interestingly, Muslims teach that Jacob is referring to Islam and that his sons pledged that they would become followers of Islam. Muslims believe (though I must admit, it is rather confusing trying follow their logic) that the sons of Jacob promised their father on his death bed that they would be faithful Muslims. I have no doubt that all of Jacob's sons were long dead by the time Mohammed was born since the Bible puts Jacob's birth in 2006 B.C. How Jacob could have used the word "Muslim" on his deathbed is a mystery to me. Islam seems to be putting words in a dying man's mouth when it has no way of knowing what he said and there was no such thing as Islam or Muslims around when Jacob or his sons lived and died.

According to the Bible, Jerusalem was made the capital of Israel some 3000 years ago under the reign of King David. There is no doubt that Israel, as a nation, in some form, called the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, and a people known as the Hebrews or Israelites, existed before the Arab people got themselves pulled together to form true Arab countries that we recognize today.

Going to Saudi Arabia's own website for historical dates, the site talks about man being on the Arabian Peninsula since man walked upright. Then it jumps to the birth of Islam, then goes to the 1800th century as the birth of the first Saudi State.

The Middle East has always been a hotbed of wars, conflict, conquering and being conquered. Borders were recognized and then changed, depending on which power was in control at the time. But for Arabs or Muslims to declare that the Jews have no right to a small piece of land there to call their home is ludicrous. The Children of Israel have every right to be right where they are.

Modern Israel was admitted to the United Nations as the official Jewish state and homeland on May 11, 1949 and has had to fight for survival in a sea of Muslims every since. In effect, the "Palestinian Jews" became Israeli citizens. Since the death of Arafat, not much has been heard about the so-called plight of the Muslim Palestinians as an excuse to attack Israel. Palestinian refusal to state that Israel has a right to exist has always been something they cannot live by.

As the "spoils of war," Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem after the 1967 war. The Gaza Strip was returned to the Palestinians under the control of Hamas as a form of good will by Israel. Their thanks was that missile attacks on their citizens occur almost on a daily basis from Gaza. Every time Israel gave up land for peace, (and they have precious little to give up) that land has been used as a launch point to attack them.

Right now, there is no military in the Middle East that can touch Israel's. Many have tried, all have lost. They tried banding together and still lost. When you live under constant threat of death, you learn how to fight. However, there is one thing Israel cannot survive — a nuclear attack. A nuclear attack, on such a small country, would be the end. Neighboring Arab states know it could be the end of them as well, which is why they don't want Iran to get nuclear weapons either. A cloud of radiation could well wipe out millions of Arab/Muslims as well as Jews. The fact is that Iran is not Arab nor Sunni Muslim. It is Persian and Shia Muslim. There is no love-loss between them and the Arab/Muslims. Iran could care less if they die.

Iran has been determined to obtain their own nuclear weapons and the systems to deliver warheads to Israel for years. For years Iran has lied, stalled, refused to allow inspectors in to check their facilities and they continue to do so. They have said it was for "peaceful" use only. Now, they openly brag about how they will soon destroy Israel.

Israeli intelligence is finding that Iran could have enough weapon grade plutonium to make one or two nuclear bombs, (even what be considered small by US standards would cause untold death and destruction in Israel and the surrounding area) and the missiles to put them on that can reach Israel within six months. Iran already has the missiles that can reach Israel. The time for "diplomacy" is over. It has gone on for years and has not succeeded in even slowing Iran down.

Throughout the years, the United States has been a steadfast and solid friend of the only democracy in the Middle East....until now. Had Israel ever been involved in a defensive war that it looked like they would not win, they KNEW America was there to back them up. Their enemies knew this as well. Iran has always feared American military intervention. They no long do. Israel depended on that long friendship to keep nukes out of the hands of the Islamic leaders in Iran. They can no longer count on that assistance.

Barack Obama has refused to set foot on Jewish soil since becoming president. He has treated the leader of Israel almost with disdain. One of Obama's spokeswomen said Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of the night (PM Netanyahu's night, not Obama's) and they talked for an hour "because they are friends." Does anyone believe that lie? David Letterman is more important to Obama then the leader of the Jewish state. It's being reported that Obama is making time to meet with Mohammed Morsi, member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a known terrorist group and president of Egypt, but cannot find time for Netanyahu.

Israel will soon be forced to make a decision. Should Israel pre-emptively strike Iran's nuclear facilities or wait for the pressure of sanctions to force Iran to stop working on their nuclear program. What we in the West must understand is this: The Islamic leaders of Iran don't care if half their population dies of starvation. NOTHING will stop them from getting the nukes they need to destroy Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has been on TV almost begging for American attention to this situation to no avail. Israel is on it own. While other western countries such as the UK will assist Israel, they do not carry the weight of intimidation like the US does — or used to.

Obama's Middle Eastern policy is not just failure, it is an amazingly dangerous failure. As Americans, we all know the downfall of many a politician has not been failure, but refusing to admit failure and instead trying to cover it up or shift the blame to others. Obama's mistakes are now being compounded a hundred times over by his own arrogance. It doesn't matter if he doesn't care about Israel personally. As President of the United States, he has an obligation to stand by Israel and he has not. The old saying goes, "When the cat's away, the mice will play." and in this instance, the mice are extremely dangerous and the cat isn't just "away" it seems to be rooting for the mice.

**from online Qur'an found here:

© Barbara J. Stock


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Barbara J. Stock

Barbara is a retired Registered Nurse after over 35 years in the field. She is pro-life at both ends of life's journey. Mother of two, Grandmother of two, she is pro-America and anti-progressive. Absent from writing for too long, she is back and determined to make a difference.


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