This Land is My Land

Rick's picture

                                                                                  This land is my land:                     

     Temple Mount or the Noble Sanctuary, it is by far the most contested bit of real estate in the world. The decades-long arrangement under which the site was administered by a special trust in Jordan is coming unglued under unrelenting pressure by ultra-orthodox Jews who want to see a Third Temple erected there. Leading Israeli politicians pander to these pressures, making their own provocative statements. Worse, these same politicians backed versions of a proposed nationality law, hugely controversial in Israel and among American Jews, including the ADL’s Abe Foxman—that appears to privilege religion over democracy and that would, among other things, codify the second-class status of non-Jewish Israelis—most notably, Arabs.

    You can say, if you like, that this is about ethnicity, not religion, but without the strong religious claim that Jews have a divinely-bestowed right to all of Jerusalem and all of ancient “Judea and Samaria,” this move toward creating a full-on apartheid state would not be happening.

    Not that militant Islam is without its own aggressions. So many, in fact, that it’s hard to keep track. In their pursuit of a new caliphate, the Islamic State butchers have already obliterated the hated Sykes-Picot line between Syria and Iraq. Thanks in part to what is widely viewed in the region as a ham-fisted U.S. intervention, the Taliban are staging a fierce comeback in both Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan. The slaughter of children in Peshawar won’t be the end of it. In Northern Nigeria Boko Haram is determined to eliminate all non-Islamic schools and drive out the Christians. DIY jihadists commit random acts of violence everywhere from Ottawa to Sydney.

    And are there Christians anywhere who still wage war on non-Christians? We don’t see it, but in the eyes of many, that would be us Americans with our thousands of armed “advisors” still bunkered down in Afghanistan and Iraq and with our bombs and drones striking from the sky anywhere we want them to strike.  Not to mention the fact that white American Christians are more approving of torture as an instrument of foreign policy than is any other segment of the U.S. population. This finding comes as no surprise to those targeted by our War on Terror.

    The usual assertion that violence and aggression are, in fact, un-Islamic or alien to the true spirit of Judaism or Christianity just won’t hold up. You can call the aggressors “extremists” if you wish, but you cannot deny their religious devotion. You can argue, as Karen Armstrong argues in her new book, (“Fields of Blood”) that violence is not an “inherent” part of religious faith, but I don’t believe you can really argue that the world’s most violent actors today aren’t religious.

   70:1.1 War is the natural state and heritage of evolving man; peace is the social yardstick measuring civilization's advancement. Before the partial socialization of the advancing races man was exceedingly individualistic, extremely suspicious, and unbelievably quarrelsome. Violence is the law of nature, hostility the automatic reaction of the children of nature, while war is but these same activities carried on collectively. And wherever and whenever the fabric of civilization becomes stressed by the complications of society's advancement, there is always an immediate and ruinous reversion to these early methods of violent adjustment of the irritations of human interassociations.

  Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)