By Ariel Natan Pasko

Am Yisrael Chai - the People of Israel lives! It is a traditional phrase that has been sung, danced to, and has uplifted generations of downtrodden Jews in the darkest depths of the nearly 2,000-year exile from their homeland Judea, the Land of Israel.

Christianity and Islam are commonly portrayed in world culture as the "daughters" of Judaism. Starting with Christianity - who claimed to supersede Judaism - and then Islam - who claimed to replace both - there's been a type of competition between them; or at least between Christianity and Islam. You see both are missionary, i.e. they try to convince you they are "right", that only they have the absolute truth, and you should join them. Judaism, in its quiet strength of belief, isn't a missionary religion, although it does accept converts.

This lack of missionary activity on the part of Judaism over the centuries, along with Christianity and Islam's seeming "victory" over their "mother", has led many to mistakenly characterize Judaism as "old" and "feeble", an anachronism. The famous historian Arnold Toynbee complained, that he could not understand why the Jews didn't just disappear, they were a "fossil". The Nazis, inheritors of all that was evil and corrupt in European culture; bought into this line of thinking and tried to eliminate the "fossil". Islam today is moving closer and closer to this position as well.

Take the recent meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Malaysia. Leaders from the 57 member states attended. The then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad - recently retired - in his keynote speech urged Muslims to unite against the Jews and against Israel. However, he said that it should be done by emulating the Jews themselves, who "survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others." Appear to be wrong? Persecuting Jews is really OK? Jews enjoying equal rights is somehow "wrong"?

He named Israel as, "the enemy allied with most powerful nations." Mahathir claimed, "The Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them...They have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains also." Well,
at least he recognizes Jews are not a "fossil".

He said that, "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter-attack." Mahathir then called for a "a strategy that can win us final victory." Is this another Holocaust in the making?

Then turning to peace treaties with the Jews and others, in what should open the eyes of all - Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, and others - he reiterated the Muslim view that such treaties are tactical, and are a prelude to victory, rather than peace: "The Koran tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True, the treaty offered to us is not favorable. But we can negotiate. The Prophet did, and in the end he triumphed." The lesson: treaties are meant to be broken. Israel and the world, beware!

The speech drew a standing ovation from the assembled leaders, who included Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri. "This was a pep talk to the Muslim countries for them to work hard and look to the future," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said. "But as soon as you have any criticism of Israel, then there are people who are very eager to rush to condemnation, without comprehending what it's all about." Karzai, asked by The Associated Press whether he thought the speech was anti-Semitic, responded: "No, I don't think so. Dr. Mahathir spoke of the inhibitions within the Islamic world and that those inhibitions must go away, and I entirely agree with that," Karzai said. "I don't think they were anti-Semitic at all," said Yemen's foreign minister, Abubakar al-Qirbi. "I think he was basically stating the fact to the Muslim world." They don't even recognize their Judeopathy.

Later, in Thailand US President George W. Bush rebuked the Malaysian Prime Minister for his Judeo-pathic comments. But Mahathir later shrugged it off, claiming that the global reaction to his words, including condemnation from many international leaders - including Bush - just "shows that Jews do control the world."

Which brings us to who's dying and who's thriving. The Pope, John Paul II and Yasser Arafat are both on their last leg, so to speak. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, "spiritual" leader of Hamas, isn't far behind. And Europe has been "morally" dead for quite some time.

The Pope symbolizes for many around the world, Christianity itself. And although this Pope, the man Karol Wojtyla, is said to have had good relations with Jews back in his native Poland, in the "old days", and has done a lot to promote better Christian-Jewish relations; he represents an institution that has persecuted and murdered Jews - when not trying to convert them - for century upon century, until the modern era.

I won't now get into the question of whether Pope Pius XII - the "Holocaust Pope" - did all he could to stop the Nazi mass murder of Jews in that period. But what I do want to emphasize is that the current Pope has a golden opportunity to right a historical wrong; to open up the Vatican vaults and return all the stolen Jewish property that the Catholic Church has confiscated over the centuries. It's well known that the Church "collected" Jewish books, manuscripts, and ritual objects for over a thousand years. Such cultural pillage can never be tolerated. Now before he dies, the Pope has to apologize for the Catholic Church, repent, admit to its sins, open up its vaults to inspection, return the stolen property, ask forgiveness, and promise that the Church will never to do such a horrendous thing again. Nothing less should be expected from a so-called "religious" institution. Regarding the Jewish people, this is the Pope's greatest opportunity before he dies. Will he take it?

Another couple leaders, Yasser Arafat and Sheikh Yassin are also making plans to meet their maker in the not too distant future. Given their track record of terrorism and murder, there doesn't seem much hope for them. That's why I want to point out that one door remains open. I therefore call on them to admit their evil ways, ask forgiveness from Jews and Israel, and publicly admit that the Land of Israel belongs exclusively to the Jewish People. Truthfully, even the Koran states so, although it's been ignored for a more "politically correct" interpretation. Arafat portrays himself as a good Muslim, and Sheikh Yassin claims to be a "religious" leader. Therefore, they should be very concerned about the life of lies and murder that they've been living. Now is the time to repent!

Now Europe. You thought until recently that they were repentant for their centuries of Jew-hatred culminating in Holocaust era behavior, didn't you? And then comes the massive 59 percent of Europeans, who said they believed that Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. According to the European Commission's October survey of about 7,500 Europeans, that's about 500 in each of the EU's 15 countries; given a list of 15 countries around the world, including countries such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan, India, and Russia; Israel topped the list. Have they been listening to Mahathir and his Islamic Jihad buddies?

In contrast to the coming demise of such antagonists to the Jewish people, one has to look at the State of Israel today. Jews from over 100 countries - literally all over the world - have returned to their ancient-modern homeland. They have built a thriving society, economy, military force, and are well on the way to a spiritual revival that's been gaining ground since 1967. I know I often criticize what's going on in Israel, but it's the constructive criticism of love and concern. And one should never overlook all the good that G-D has bestowed on Am Yisrael -the nation of Israel; how He's kept the promises He made through the Hebrew Prophets in the Bible. The beginnings of National Redemption are afoot, in our generations. One can see in the last 100 years, the re-birth of the Jewish people; they are a far cry from being "fossilized". The State of Israel today is far from "old" and "feeble". According to the Malaysian Prime Minister, "the Jews rule the world..." Well, if he senses the Jews and Israel as a threatening young upstart against the decadent and backward history and traditions he represents, then he's on to something.

While the world heard about his Judeo-pathic outbursts, few probably heard his internal criticism of the Muslim world and Muslim leaders. "There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right. They believe that things can only get worse. The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews. They will forever be poor, backward and weak," Mahathir said.

"The early Muslims produced great mathematicians and scientists, scholars, physicians and astronomers etc. and they excelled in all the fields of knowledge of their times, besides studying and practicing their own religion of Islam...At the time the Europeans of the Middle Ages were still superstitious and backward, the enlightened Muslims had already built a great Muslim civilization, respected and powerful, more than able to compete with the rest of the world and able to protect the ummah [nation] from foreign aggression. The Europeans had to kneel at the feet of Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage...But halfway through the building of the great Islamic civilization came new interpreters of Islam who taught that acquisition of knowledge by Muslims meant only the study of Islamic theology. The study of science, medicine etc. was discouraged. Intellectually the Muslims began to regress. With intellectual regression the great Muslim civilization be gan to falter and wither. But for the emergence of the Ottoman warriors, Muslim civilization would have disappeared with the fall of Granada in 1492," Mahathir continued.

But, "The early successes of the Ottomans were not accompanied by an intellectual renaissance. Instead they became more and more preoccupied with minor issues such as whether tight trousers and peak caps were Islamic, whether printing machines should be allowed or electricity used to light mosques. The Industrial Revolution was totally missed by the Muslims," He admitted. There you have it in a nutshell, the cause of "Muslim rage", and it's self-inflicted.

Another Muslim "thinker" has recently criticized the Arab world. Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi's analysis of the Arab world - reported by the Libyan newspaper al-Shams - began with a romantic look at the 1948 war of Israeli independence, "the only time that all the Arabs fought as one people and as one nation." The Arab leaders of the day, Qaddafi explained, are today seen as "reactionaries", but "they were 1,000 times better than the Arabs of today, who have no courage, honor, blood, or pride." Today, however, the Libyan dictator declared, "you cannot speak of Arab unity and pan-Arab nationalism." Qaddafi complained that Libya had stood up for Arab unity and the Palestinian cause. That "Libya became the enemy of the Jews and the entire West for the Arabs, and without this there would have been no problems between Libya and the US and even between it and the Jews, or between Libya and Europe. If we had not gotten ourselves in trouble in battles because of pan-Arabism and Arab unity, we would have been spared all the tragedies caused us."

Bitterly, the Libyan leader declared, "If we were not an Arab country, [the Arabs] would not be cursing us...Leave us alone! Are you attacking us because we are Arabs? We're fed up. We are Africans. Treat us like Africans." He asked, "What is the connection between Libya and Kuwait? One country is situated in Africa and the other in Asia." He sarcastically called for all Arabs to leave Africa and return to Arabia, "at least to receive their quota of oil," Qaddafi then continued: "The Arabs have become the joke of the world because they do not think of their future..."

"The Arabs are completely useless...." Qaddafi declared, "We will not be finished together with them. We will be, ultimately, in our African nation and on the African means of which we will become stronger, like the American continent and the European continent. The Arabs have written a mark of disgrace in history that they will never be able to eradicate. They watch what is happening in Iraq and in Palestine from the sidelines. They are finished. They have no honor and they have no blood. There is no longer any Arab blood or pan-Arab blood, Arab unity, Arab manliness, Arab femininity. There is nothing. The situation has gotten so bad that the women are the ones who take the initiative. Today was the most dangerous "fedaii" [terror] operation in so-called Israel - and it was carried out by a young Palestinian woman, not by a man." The Libyan leader repeated, "The Arabs are completely useless. We must not waste time. The Arabs are through. Tomorrow, Asia will es tablish great unions and Africa is already united - and where are you, Arab?"

As for Africa, Qaddafi apologized for having "brought Mauritania, Djibouti, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands into the Arab League...Look what an injustice I did them. I brought them into a failed nation, a failed regime, and failed people..." And of the Libyan people he asked that they, "agree to quit the Arab League, without wasting time. These people [the Arabs] are useless. Their situation is terrible. We must be rid of them, of their curses and of their problems."

The Arab and Muslim world, by self-admittance is crumbling. Although blaming outside forces is still popular, a growing number of self-incriminating "thinkers" are demanding that they look inward for the causes of their misery. Although blaming Israel, "the Jews rule the world..." still satisfies many; others are beginning to blame themselves for their problems. The moral decay of Islam can still be clearly seen.

Take for example the recent publication of a group of Arab academics, The Arab Human Development Report 2003, commissioned by the United Nations Development Program in Amman, Jordan. It found the Arab world lacking in three areas they deem fundamental to development: freedom of _expression, access to knowledge, and the empowerment of women. The report covered 21 Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority areas. One of the authors, Clovis Maksoud, said he hoped the report would generate debate among the Arabs to seek "objective and constructive change from within." The report said, for instance that Arab media outlets operate "in an environment that sharply restricts freedom of the press and freedom of _expression and opinion." Journalists, the report pointed out "face illegal harassment, intimidation, and even physical threats." Again, the real source of "Arab rage", we find out, isn't Israel but self-inflicted backwardness.

Today the Arab and Islamic world vis-?-vis Judaism and the Jews - and their unfolding process of National Redemption in their ancient homeland, Israel - seem pale in comparison, rather than "victorious" over their "mother". Yet, after having stolen elements of our heritage, Islam is trying to usurp our homeland as well.

In contrast to earlier Christian attitudes, Toynbee, and the Nazis; the American author Mark Twain so accurately wrote in Harper's, September 1899:

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and obtuse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all the ages, and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, and faded to dream stuff and passed away. The Greeks and the Romans followed and made a vast noise and they are gone. Other peoples have s prung up and held their torch high for a time. But it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all. Beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew. All other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?" And the famous Russian author Tolstoy wrote in 1908, "The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He who neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he who neither fire, nor sword, nor Inquisition was able to wipe off the face of the earth. He who was the first to produce the Oracles of God. He who has been for so long the Guardian of Prophecy and has transmitted it to the rest of the world. Such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is as everlasting as Eternity itself."

Both Twain's piece, and Tolstoy's words are as true today as then. So I ask you, who's ready for retirement or the grave? They're dying and Am Yisrael Chai, the People of Israel lives!

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at:

(c) 2003/5764 Pasko

HOME Maccabean comments