The issue of why Muslim Arabs want to destroy Israel receives only superficial commentary by students of the Arab-Israel conflict.
Most say Muslims want to destroy Israel because it’s a Jewish state. Notice, however, that the state’s ruling elites are only nominally Jewish. What more can be said of multiculturalists like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, and of course Israel’s President Shimon Peres, who once applied for Israel’s membership in the Arab League?
Others say Muslims want to erase Israel from the map of the Middle East because it’s a democracy that threatens, by its example, the autocratic power structure of the Arab-Islamic world. And yet, despite the veneer of democracy—periodic multiparty elections—any serious or classically educated political scientist would see that, such is the de facto concentration of power in Israel’s Executive branch, on the one hand, and such is the impotence of its Legislature, on the other, that Israel should be classified as an oligarchy—the more so when one considers Israel’s self-appointed Supreme Court whose judicial imperialism or power has no equal in the world’s 88 democracies.
Still other commentators say that Muslims want to annihilate Israel because Islam is a militant and expansionist creed. Although there is truth to this view, the question remains: What is there about Israel that Muslims most detest or fear if it is not, strictly speaking, a Jewish as well as democratic state? Could it be the state’s secular character, having ever been dominated by secularists?
One Muslim commentator writes: “The propagandists of secularism, who leave out of account the religious factor in the Palestine problem, ignore the fact that this is the only bone of contention in the world which has persisted for thirty centuries.”
Secularists simply refuse to face the fact that Muslims do not regard territory as the decisive issue in their conflict with Israel. This is why Israel’s policy of “territory for peace” has been an unmitigated disaster and cannot but lead to Israel’s territorial dismemberment.
Ironically, territorial nationalism, the paramount principle of secular Zionists, has given way to the self-destructive policy of “territory for peace,” which signifies that secular Zionism, as Isaac Breuer foresaw, is a terminal disease!
What is crucial here, however, is not the noun “Zionism,” but the adjective “secular.” From the Muslim point of view—which, after all, is of decisive significance—it is Israeli secularism that constitutes the greatest threat to Islamic culture.
To be sure, Muslim Arabs murdered religious Jews even before the establishment of this secular state. But the leading Zionists, David Ben-Gurion among them, were self-professed atheists. Even Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that what is most hateful about Israel today is its secularism.
And so, Muslim hostility toward Israel is primarily motivated by the fact that Israel is ruled by irreligious Jews—and it makes no fundamental difference whether these Jews belong to the political Left or the political Right. This signifies that the primary cause of Islam’s war against Israel is its government’s rejection of, or indifference to, the God of Israel.
This conclusion accords with basic Jewish sources as well as with Jewish history. When Jews turn away from God, God turns away from Jews. Stated another way, when Israel fails to exalt God’s Name, God will use various instruments, be it the UN or Muslim Arabs, to condemn and humiliate Israel. The underlying and hidden cause of the Muslim-Jewish conflict, therefore, is nothing less than Israel’s failure to act as the God-bearing nation, the nation chosen to exemplify in word and in deed ethical monotheism.
The root of this conflict has been obscured by the very brilliance of well-intended critics of the “peace process”—which is why they have had no discernible impact on the obviously irrational and suicidal course of Israel’s government.
The same critics would accomplish infinitely more if they would emphatically declare that the irrational and suicidal nature of the “peace process” is a consequence of the godless character of Israel’s government.
They would then see that Arabs are merely an instrument of divine providence. They would see that God has given Israel the best of enemies—Arabs who will never give Israel peace for the pottage of territory. We see, however, that these Muslim Arabs, aided by Israel’s secular elites, are dismantling a secular state—precisely a precondition of Israel’s spiritual redemption.