Category Archives: Israel

Solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Over the past 40 years, proposals to end the Arab-Israeli conflict have generally specified the following two pre-conditions.

1. The Islamic nations must recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace in the region.

2. Israel must return the Gaza and West Bank areas.

These pre-conditions appear to conflict with the following aspects of Islamic and Jewish religious traditions.

1. Mohammed’s final command that only one religion must occupy the Arabian Peninsula; therefore, the Jews must leave.

2. Moses’ final command that the Israelites must occupy the Promised land, which includes Gaza and the West Bank; therefore, the Arabs must leave.

Previous proposals have largely ignored these religious traditions and have sought to apply political solutions to the symptoms of these religious issues. Islamic and Jewish political leaders are well aware that accepting their pre-condition would violate critical aspects of their respective religious traditions. Therefore, both sides appear to have negotiated in bad-faith in order to avoid the fatal consequences of making unpopular decisions.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin are reported to have been assassinated, because they were the first national leaders to formally accept the pre-conditions.  Until the religious issues are resolved, the Jewish and Islamic political leaders are essentially being forced to negotiate a compromise solution in bad-faith, because they are well aware that their respective populations will never agree to the negotiated terms.

Having studied the Arab-Israeli conflict over the past 30 years, I have found a workable solution to the conflict that resolves the religious issues and proposes an equitable political solution.  Essentially, there is compelling evidence to show that Mohammed never intended that the Jews to be driven out of Israel, and that God never intended that the Arabs be driven out of Israel.  The details are in the book: Solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict which is available on linked here.


Link to:  Discussion on Brothers Kept Apart

The Middle Eastern Conflict (Suicide Bombers)

Dear Readers:

There have been many attempts to explain the reasons for the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks in the US and their relationship with the conflicts in the Middle East. In May 2003, the Prime Ministers of Israel and Palestine met to attempt to negotiate a settlement to the conflict. Today we shall examine the reasons for the attack from another perspective through a process of inductive reasoning. Each of the questions posed is a necessary link to revealing a solution.

We shall start at the moment of personal decision by the perpetrators. Why would some Muslims choose to kill US civilians and commit suicide? What would convince them to sacrifice their education, families, and dreams for the future for suicide and murder? They do this because they believe that they will be martyred and receive a martyr’s reward. In the Middle East, they are known as suicide bombers.

I understand the appeal of being martyred. For Christians it is an honour to suffer or to die for Christ. I imagine that the Muslim feels a similar appeal to suffer and die for God. However, when Christians suffer or are martyred, they are persecuted or killed by persons who hate them because of their commitment to God. The Christian martyrs’ response is to love those who hate them and to pray for those who persecute them. Conversely, the suicide bombers believe that they will receive a martyr’s reward for killing other people and dying in the process.

The question that follows is: Why do suicide bombers believe that they will receive a martyr’s reward for murder? They believe this because they have been convinced through the teachings of their Muslim religious leaders. Why would religious leaders seek to convince their adherents that they would be martyred if they murder as many US civilians as possible and die in the process? They do this because the US government supports the state of Israel.

Why do Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East generally teach such a response to Israel and the US in this way? Recorded history describes Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisting in a Muslim dominated Middle Eastern region without major conflict for over 1,000 years prior to the 20th century.

Towards the end of the 19th century, some Jews began to agitate for a Jewish state and thousands began to immigrate to Palestine. Following World War 2, when the German government tried to kill all of the Jews in Europe, the Jewish state of Israel was established by the United Nations in Palestine in 1948, and many Arab residents were displaced. These actions resulted in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invading Israel and being defeated. Several wars were fought since then and each time Israel was victorious. Israel is now well armed and supported by the US government.

The Koran was used by political and religious leaders in the region to convince persons that they would receive a martyr’s reward if they died while carrying out acts of terror against Israel. Thereafter, thousands of faithful Muslims have been disqualified from attaining the honour of martyrdom because they were deceived into committing acts of murder and suicide.

Why do Muslim religious leaders feel it necessary to distort the teachings of the Koran to support an agenda of terror? They believe that Islam is threatened with a dominant Israel in a Muslim region. Why would they feel that Islam would be threatened when the Koran teaches that the Christian, Jew and the Muslim worship the same God? The Koran suggests that God first chose Israel, but Israel rejected God, so God chose the Christians, but the Christians also rejected God, so He chose the Muslims. It is therefore challenging for Muslim political and religious leaders in the region to reconcile their chosen position with their successive humiliating military defeats to Israel and Israel’s continued assertiveness in a Muslim dominated region. It is easier to blame their challenges on the US’s political and military support for Israel.

The displacement of the Palestinian Arabs contributes significantly to the instability in the Middle East. However, a solution should include an honest examination of the Koran by Muslims. It should also include forgiveness by Israel, the Islamic states, and the Palestinian Arabs since they have all killed their brothers, some in the false belief that they were serving God. If these two important elements are absent from a peace equation, then there will always be an uneasy, fragile, and distrusting truce rather that a lasting stable peace.

Islam in the Balance – Part 2

Dear Readers:

Last week we addressed the first of three main arguments that the Koran describes to justify an apparent distrust of Jews and Christians. We reasoned that it was conceivable that God sent Mohammed to invite the Ishmaelites back to a relationship with Himself.

Today we shall address the second argument, which is that the Jewish and Christian religious leaders knowingly falsified their religion and made it inconsistent with the religion of Abraham. We shall examine whether it is likely that the teachings of the Jewish and Christian religious leaders, around the time that Mohammed was alive, were consistent with their faiths.

Abraham was called a friend of God, which essentially describes the personal relationship between himself and God, a relationship to which Jews, Christians and Muslims aspire. When the Israelites strayed from this relationship, God considered their behaviour adulterous, and sent prophets to invite them to return to Him. God summarised their behaviour through His prophet Isaiah: “These people draw near to me with their mouth and honour Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me, And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

When Jesus arrived approximately 2,000 years after Abraham, he found a respected religious leadership. This leadership effectively controlled the people through strict adherence to religious traditions that were inconsistent with their faith. Jesus summarised their behaviour by saying: “You have made the commandment of God no effect by your tradition.” The harshest words found in the Bible are actually mentioned by Jesus, and are reserved for religious leaders who distract people from a personal relationship with God in this manner. Here is a sample of His words from Matthew Chapter 23.

“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. Woe to you, for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. You travel land and sea to win one convert, and when he is won, you make him twice a son of hell as yourselves. You also outwardly appear righteous to men but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. How can you escape the condemnation of hell.”

Predictably, the religious leaders plotted to kill Him.

Approximately 600 years later, Mohammed appears to have encountered a Jewish and Christian leadership that exhibited similar incongruous behaviour. He noted: “They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides God. Verily there are many of the rabbis and monks who devour the wealth of the mankind in falsehood and hinder them from the way of God. O people of the scripture, why do you mix truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know.”

The behaviour of the Christian religious leadership described in the Koran, is not inconsistent with that described in a reading of Church history between 300 and 600 AD. The dominant Church leadership of that time, appeared to concentrate mainly on religious doctrine and ritual, amassing wealth, and pursuing state political power.

The behaviour of these religious leaders was therefore not in accordance with their faith. However, that does not mean that their faith is corrupt. Despite Jesus’ very harsh words, He still encouraged the people to follow the scriptures taught by the religious leaders, but not their corrupt or hypocritical behaviour.

If the Koran’s distrust was intended to discourage the Ishmaelites from committing the same error as the Jews and Christians, then it would appear to be justified. This error being that they allowed themselves to be controlled by religious leaders, who distracted them from a personal relationship with God by burdensome religious traditions. One of the roles of religious leaders is to liberate people to cultivate a personal relationship with God their Creator, not to attempt to control them. The most effective actions for resisting a controlling or hypocritical religious leadership are for persons to cultivate a personal relationship with God and to read the Bible for themselves.

Next week we shall address the third argument – worshipping the Messiah Jesus.

Islam in the Balance – Part 1

Dear Readers:

Following the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings in 2001, there has been considerable debate on Islam. Some argue that it is a religion that is used to justify acts of terror against Jews and Christians, while others argue that it is a religion of peace. I therefore obtained a copy of the Koran and read it.

The Koran, while acknowledging exceptions, does not generally view most Jews and Christians positively, and Muslims are not encouraged to trust them. The Koran uses three main arguments to justify this apparent distrust. In comparing the teachings of the Koran with those of the Bible, it seems that these arguments can be effectively addressed. It is my sincere hope that addressing them will lead to a dissolution of much of the distrust that has existed between these three religions, a distrust that has at times been allowed to fester into hatred with predictable results.

Today, we shall focus on the first of the three arguments. It results from the perception that neither the Jewish nor Christian religions formally accepted that Mohammed was God’s prophet or messenger. We shall therefore examine whether it is likely from the Jewish and Christian perspectives that Mohammed was a prophet sent by God. To make this determination, we need to start approximately 4,000 years ago with the patriarch Abraham.

According to the Biblical account, God called Abraham to be a father of many nations, inter alia, because of his commitment to passing on good cultural values to the next generation. Abraham and his wife Sarah were old and Sarah was barren, so Sarah allowed Abraham to go into her maid, Hagar, who conceived and bore Ishmael. When Ishmael was 14 years old, Sarah also conceived and bore Isaac. Sarah then asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away so that Ishmael would not share in Isaac’s inheritance.

Abraham was very disappointed since he loved his first-born; however, God promised Abraham that He would make Ishmael a great nation. God also made this promise to Hagar before and after she was sent away. Isaac later had a son called Jacob whom God later renamed Israel. When Jacob was 15 years old, Abraham died and was buried by both of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac.

For the next 2,000 years, the Israelites frequently engaged in irresponsible cultural practices and rejected God. God however remembered his promise to Abraham and frequently sent prophets to call them back to a relationship with Himself, and to encourage them to follow responsible cultural practices. Approximately 2,000 years after God called Abraham, Jesus the promised Messiah was sent.

God promised that He would make Israel a great nation, and sent prophets to them when they strayed from fulfilling their purpose. God also promised that He would make Ishmael a great nation. It is therefore not inconceivable that He would also have sent prophets to the Ishmaelites if they strayed from fulfilling their purpose. If we accept this reasoning, then the question that begs an answer is: was it likely that Mohammed was one of those prophets sent by God to the Ishmaelites?

Mohammed essentially encouraged the Ishmaelites to return to the religion of Abraham and worship one God, who was the God of Abraham, the Jews and the Christians. He also encouraged the Ishmaelites to adopt responsible cultural practices. He further admonished them to believe in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Gospels, and to believe in the Messiah Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary. Mohammed also warned the people that there was a resurrection and a judgement where everyone’s eternal future would be determined.

Since what Mohammed preached is not inconsistent with what the prophets to the Israelites preached, it is conceivable that God sent Mohammed as a prophet to call the Ishmaelites back to a relationship with Himself. That Mohammed was not recognised as a prophet by Jewish and Christian religious leaders during his lifetime should not distract the Ishmaelites from pursuing a relationship with God. However a festering distrust of or hatred for another group of people does not encourage such a relationship.

Next week – the second argument.