Wednesday, March 7, 2012

#1148 Pipes blog on (1) U.S.-Israel relations and (2) Jerusalem in the Koran


March 7, 2012

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[Symposium on] The U.S. and Israel

by Daniel Pipes
March 6, 2012
Cross-posted from
National Review Online: The Corner

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With Washington, D.C., talking Israeli politics, National Review Online asked experts: "Going into a presidential-election year, what's a sane, responsible Israel policy?" For the responses of the other eight respondents, click here.

Two premises shape my preferred U.S. policy toward Israel.

Negatively, the two countries have the same enemies and suffer from the same problems coming out of the Middle East, notably WMD, wars, terrorism, piracy, anarchy, tyranny, refugees, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, oil and gas disruptions, extremist ideologies, conspiracy theories, etc. More than that: they share enemies. Anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism are first cousins, with one usually leading to the other.

Truman and Ben Gurion, with Abba Eban between them: Where it all began.

Positively, judging by such criteria as United Nations votes, bilateral commerce, intelligence cooperation, military alliance, intellectual influence, religious bonds, shared values, the U.S.-Israel bond is arguably the closest international tie in the world, making it what I call "the family relationship of international politics." One revealing symptom: the two states can barely restrain themselves from interfering in each other's affairs.

Together, these negatives and positives point to a self-evident policy conclusion: cooperate, seek synergy, work toward shared goals. Contra Obama, avoid daylight between the leaderships. Deal with differences quietly and effectively. Announce to all that the two governments agree on fundamentals and will not be divided.

Try this and see how existing problems, from the Iranian nuclear buildup to the Arab upheavals, start to look less formidable. (March 6, 2012)

Related Topics: Israel & Zionism, US policy This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

Claiming Jerusalem is in the Koran

by Daniel Pipes
February 29, 2012

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Apologies for only learning of Jerusalem in the Qur'an by Imran N. Hosein, 2d ed. abridged (Long Island, New York: Masjid Dar-Al-Qur'an, 2003) nearly a decade after its publication, but it nonetheless bears notice, for two main reasons.

First, how amusing is it to find a 142-page book on a non-existent subject, for Jerusalem is not in the Koran. I even have long-standing offer to pay US$1million to anyone who can locate mention of the city there, with no winner yet. As the Elder of Ziyon blog, which brought this book to my attention, puts it, "Wow! a book about Jerusalem in the Quran when Jerusalem is not in the Quran!" Indeed, to make matters even more curious, even Hosein acknowledges (on p. 31) that "It is true that the word 'Jerusalem' does not explicitly occur in the Qur'an." Okay, that settles that. Elsewhere, he explains (with slight editorial changes to improve readability) that

The Qur'an referred to Jerusalem, time and again, as a "city" or "town" – but without naming it ... This appears to have been part of the divine cloud that shrouded the subject of the role of Jerusalem in the Last Age.

I leave it to Hosein to interpret divine clouds shrouding subjects; I stick to earthly texts.

Second, Hosein explains that

Jerusalem in the Qur'an was written partly in response to the newspaper article of Daniel Pipes that was published in the Los Angeles Times ("Jerusalem means more to Jews than to Muslims," July 21, 2000). In it he attempted to dismiss any Islamic claim to Jerusalem by declaring of Jerusalem, among other things, that: "It is not once mentioned in the Qur'an or in the liturgy…" Dr. Pipes and his media surrogates, who provoked us to respond, may wish to revise their opinion if they were ever to read this book. … Regardless of whether Dr. Pipes accepts or does not accept Jerusalem in the Qur'an, it is clear that the study of this subject matter is basic for an understanding of the problem of Israel and Islam.

Well, I read Hosein's antisemitic screed and, sorry to say, am not convinced by his laborious argument that Jerusalem really is in the Koran despite its never being named there. I admit to special puzzlement when the good author asserts that Deuteronomy 9:6 is a forgery and that the long Muslim rule of Jerusalem offers "a clear Sign from the heavens of Divine approval of Muslim rule over the Holy Land!" How might these prove that Jerusalem really and truly is the Koran?

Hosain also wonders off to discuss such irrelevancies as a pharaoh's death, the Anti-Christ, the Khazars, the Soncino press, the Ahmadiyya, the outbreak of World War I, the Bretton Wood financial system, Israeli justice, and the feminist revolution. Also, Henry Ford, Fidel Castro, Hal Lindsey, and Louis Farrakhan all waddle into his account.

Comment: This shoddy rant is sadly typical of the Muslim attempt to construct a counterfeit history of Jerusalem. How can anyone take it seriously? (February 29, 2012)

Related Topics: Jerusalem This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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