Writing of the Jews as a "people of solitaries," E.M. Cioran, the most dazzling and devastating French philosophical voice since Paul Valery, observed of the Jewish "nation" that this people, "../...unsuited to the complacencies of despair, bypassing its age-old fatigue and the conclusions imposed by fate, lives in the delirium of expectation, determined not to learn a lesson from its humiliations../..../.." If Israel is to endure, such determination must now end. To learn from its "humiliations," Israel must acknowledge, quickly and forthrightly, that its enemies are irrevocably and doctrinally committed to destruction of the Third Temple Commonwealth.
In Muslim parlance, all war dictated by the shari'a is necessarily "holy." Yet, the Arabic word jihad, which has the literal meaning of "effort," "striving," or "struggle," ought not to be taken lightly. A basic commandment of Islam, jihad - still a favorite term of "President" Arafat - is an obligation imposed on all Muslims by God, and is unambiguously military in intent.
Derived from the universality of Muslim revelation, jihad calls upon those who have accepted God's message and God's word to strive (jahada) relentlessly to convert, or, at a minimum, to subjugate those who have not been converted. Regarding the State of Israel, this obligation is not bounded by limits of time or space. Indeed, this obligation must continue until the whole world has accepted Islam or has submitted to the power of the Islamic state.
What is the prevailing Islamic worldview for the interim? It is that the world remains divided in two: the House of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the House of War (dar al-Harb). In the House of Islam, of course, Muslims rule and the law of Islam already prevails. In the House of War, which comprises the rest of the world, a constant struggle against the unbeliever is morally, legally and religiously obligatory. No authentic political compromises are possible! No conclusion to the struggle is acceptable short of a final and total military triumph. Significantly, the law books permit the state of war to be interrupted, when expedient, by an armistice or truce or treaty of limited duration. This state of belligerency can never be terminated by a peace that is not founded upon a final victory.
Could anything be clearer? Throughout the Islamic world, Israel's current pleas for "peace" agreements are exploited eagerly by Israel's enemies. These enemies, including the Egyptians (who negotiated a markedly self-serving "interruption" in their 1979 treaty with Israel), can hardly believe their good fortune. Can the Jews really be as foolish and self- destructive as they appear? Aren't they usually thought to be "smart?" Are they really determined, again, not to learn a lesson from their prior humiliations?
For Islam, the unsubjugated unbeliever - in our present concerns, the Jew - is by definition the enemy. A part of the dar-al-Harb, the House of War, he is differentiated sharply from the dhimmi, the unbeliever who submits to Muslim rule. As for a Jewish State, one that rules over Muslims and that "occupies" Muslim lands, it is nothing less than the very incarnation of unbelief, an intolerable source of contamination and a codified inversion of God's will. Such a state can be fit only for extermination!
When Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, spoke together with Hitler on Berlin Radio, in 1942, he cried out: "Kill the Jews - kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth - this is well pleasing to Allah." Today, the infamous PLO Covenant call for annihilation of Israel remains unaltered (despite Prime Minister Peres's persistent begging) and the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) calls for the "realization of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: `The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, killing them.'"
Israel is despised in the New Middle East, as it was in the Old Middle East, because it is a Jewish State. It will be no less despised, and no less an object of Islamic annihilation, once it has given away its essential strategic depth. On the contrary, Israel's enemies have found the Jewish State's craven and cowardly search for "peace" an additional cause for revulsion. Unless this is understood in time, Israel will continue to hope too much, to waste critical strength in vain concessions, to elicit still greater enmity by its capitulations and - above all - to learn nothing - absolutely nothing - from its humiliations.
LOUIS RENE BERES is a Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University, He was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with nuclear strategy, nuclear war and international law.