Who is More Passionate About Israel:
Jews or Arabs?
Riddle time. Take this little multiple-choice
test (and don’t peek at the answer below).
Who is the author of the
“… [the Jews are] more afraid to fight for the Promised
Land than they are of G-d. For this reason, the Jewish people does not find
it hard to break the covenant between G-d and Abraham, which awarded the Land
of Israel to the Jewish people for all generations. That is why G-d has despaired
of the Jews. After bequeathing them every possible means for securing victory
and independence, G-d found His effort had been in vain.”
Choose the author.
All the above.
None of the above; it’s
a fabricated quote.
Write down your answer,
then scroll down.
The answer is #6! The
quote is from a five-page essay published in Al Qaeda’s new print-Internet
magazine Zerwat al Sanam (Tip of the Camel’s Hump). The article appears
under the alias of Abu Zubeida al-Baghdadi and is titled: How Should Islam
Relate to the Jews?
Here are excerpts from the article (translated from the Arabic by debka.com):
Al Baghdadi divides Muslim
lore on the Jewish people into two stages.
“Stage One: Allah decided to test the Jews when they were
still an oppressed people [in Egypt]. He seeks to lead them to the path of
faith and victory and therefore urges them to conquer the Land of Israel.
But the Jewish people’s main weakness emerges at this early stage. Its shoulders
are too feeble to carry the heavy burden; the Jews always aspire to victory,
but they are not willing to devote the necessary effort, sacrifice or sweat
to achieve this end.
“The Jews have learned
and must still learn that there is no victory without sacrifice.
To this day, the Jews
have not discovered that which heaven imparted to us [the Muslims], that Allah
grants victory only to he who dares cross the threshold and face danger alone.
But the sons of Israel want G-d to go before them and win their victory for
The writer here differentiates
between God’s authentic representatives and Jews who, he says, make cynical
use of the divinity.
“Stage Two: Throughout the generations it transpired that
Jews, unlike Muslims, do not fear Allah and are incapable of understanding
that the world’s moving force is fear of Allah, not of people. For example,
they are even more afraid to fight for the Promised Land than they are of
“For this reason, the Jewish people does not find it hard
to break the covenant between G-d and Abraham, which awarded the Land of Israel
to the Jewish people for all generations.
“That is why Allah has
despaired of the Jews. After bequeathing them every possible means for securing
victory and independence, G-d found his effort had been in vain. Therefore
the time has come to get rid of the Jews, because that is Allah’s wish,” al
There you have it.
Believe me when I say
that I cringed when I read these lines. And I cringed even more when I cited
them in this week’s article. The last thing I want to do is quote Al Qaeda
dogma and its virulent Jew baiting anti-Semitism. And the last thing anyone
of us needs are violent killers of the innocent lecturing Jews about breaking
But, as the Psalmist says
“from my enemies I have become wise” (Psalms 119:98). Sometimes you have to
enter the belly of the beast to learn deeper truths about ourselves and our
In this case we enter
not the lion’s den, but the “tip of the camel’s hump.” Interesting that a
camel’s hump is a reference among Islamic militants
to the “epitome of belief and virtuous activity.” Hump indeed!
I therefore want to make
it absolutely clear that I see no virtue or merit in the words of the camel’s
hump other than another dangerous, ranting call to violence veiled in theological
shrouds. Make no mistake: We have witnessed the blood curdling hatred of Islamic
radicals in their jihad against the infidels and the hated Jews, and are not
deceived by any of its attempted justifications.
Yet, regardless of the
terrorists’ brutal intentions and their sub-human behavior, we can learn much
even from their philosophical masquerade.
An adversary can help
us expose our own vulnerabilities and what needs fortifying. Look at the place
the opposition attacks, and you learn what you need to protect. Just like
pain directs us to a problem (or in a reverse analogy: anti-bodies lead us
to identify an infection), enemies, not friends, can often direct us to the
root of the predicament.
The first thing we learn
is that we are faced with a religious, ideological war. Whether the secular
West likes or not, the enemy bluntly sees the conflict between Islam and the
West as a religious-territorial battle rather than a moral-social one.
The enemy clearly has
strong beliefs. However distorted, we cannot deny their passion and their
single-minded focus. Which compels us to ask ourselves: What do we believe
in with equal passion? Do we have an ideology, a vision that we can be proud
of and feel driven to share with the world?
The second question we
must ask is an even harder one to face: Is there any truth to al Baghdadi’s
argument that the Jews do “not find it hard to break the covenant between
G-d and Abraham, which awarded the Land of Israel to the Jewish people for
Is he correct in saying that the Jewish people are “are
not willing to devote the necessary effort, sacrifice or sweat to achieve”
victory in conquering the Land of Israel, that they are “incapable of understanding
that the world’s moving force is fear of G-d, not of people,” and that “they
are even more afraid to fight for the Promised Land than they are of G-d”?!
Remember, regardless of
this writer’s reprehensible intentions, he brings up a powerful point that
we must ask ourselves: Why are Jews living in Israel in the first place? Why
should 5 million people insist on creating an oasis amidst 250 million plus
Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East?!
I for one absolutely believe that the Jewish people in
their heart of hearts know that Israel is the Promised Land
and the Holy Land. They know that it is their homeland and
are willing to do whatever is necessary to live in
the Promised Land. They are ready to fight and do
find it hard to break the covenant between G-d and Abraham.
The only reason that it
doesn’t always appear that way, thus provoking the question, is because of
a profound apathy coupled with ignorance that has descended on our generation
(and generations past), which is concealing our souls and our innermost beliefs.
Much can be said about
the causes and forces that have shaped contemporary assimilation. Finger pointing
is not the issue at this point. We are all victims – or survivors – of a deep-rooted
erosion of spiritual integrity that has accumulated over the years, and is
perhaps the greatest challenge of our times.
Indeed, in this period of the year, traditionally called
the “Three Weeks,” we grieve over the loss of
innocence and the destruction of the Holy Temple as the
window between spirit and matter, between heaven and earth
Laugh and The
Roots of Trauma). During these 21 days we think
about the misalignment between our material and spiritual
Mind you this is not a
phenomenon exclusive to Israel, but a global one. We live in a materialistic
universe, a prosperous and technological world, with the freedom to do as
we wish, which tends to cause complacency to spiritual values, and blunts
our ethereal sensitivity to our deepest beliefs. Most people living in a free
society today cannot answer the question: What are you passionately ready
to fight for?
As deep as the problem
is around the world, in Israel the spiritual dissonance is amplified. In the
center of the universe – where battles have been raging from the beginning
of time – one can simply not afford to be complacent. Apathy in this region
is tantamount to death.
It should therefore come
as no surprise that Jews in Israel (and world over) struggle with their spiritual
identity and their relationship with their land.
Hence, the challenge posed
by the enemy, whether the Jewish people are ready to fight for “the covenant
between G-d and Abraham, which awarded the Land of Israel to the Jewish people
for all generations”?
Let us not be naďve and
believe that if the Muslim radicals suddenly saw all Jews as devout and G-d
fearing they would drop their arms and embrace the Jewish right to the Promised
But it sure makes you
think about what we should be focusing on in these trying times.
Sometimes even a camel’s
hump can teach us a thing or two.