The recent violence on the ship that was attempting to enter Gaza brought back some ideas that I expressed in this post that I had made on 3/15/09.
One of the many root causes of the conflict between Arab and Israeli is the fact that Islamic law is hostile to Israeli law. The two legal systems are not compatible. Naturally, everyone likes the system that they are familiar with and grew up in. And when push comes to shove, you would side with your view of the laws of the legal system that you favor.
From the Arab side, Israeli law is the problem. Israeli law gives far too much choice to the individual. These choices are explicitly and implicitly forbidden in the Koran. Given the ability to choose, many people will chose things that are considered ‘evil’ and ‘not modest’ by the standards in the Koran. Take the dangers of drinking booze. Islam bans what we believe to be the choice of the individual. The effects of drinking were well known in the 7th century, and are actually far better known today. Although it is harmful to you, we in the ‘West’ accept that you can decline. Islamic law does not want Muslims exposed to it at all. This is not unknown in the rest of the world, as various bans against drinking booze exist in many places and some religions. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) prohibits drink, although it is legal within the state of Utah. In addition, the religion had to drop its allowing polygamy when the state of Utah joined the United States. And herein lies another major problem. Islam has great difficulty with this concept.
Islam is designed as a nation-state. It has foreign policy, economic policy and a legal system with jurisprudence that goes back 1400 years. The legal system itself has great difficulty assimilating with other systems. Part of the problem here is that Islam is so restrictive in so many ways that this requires an authoritarian system just to enforce. In addition, Islam overrides the very function of a nation-state. Islam is much more lax when specifying executions and waging war. This type of power should only be held by a nation-state. Attempting to rid Islam of it will trigger open warfare. This is a war that MUST be fought.
The legal system of the U.S. is far more similar to Israeli law than to Islamic law. The culture of accommodation and acceptance of others is far more advanced in Israel and the U.S. than in Muslim lands. This is demonstrated time and again. Generally, we do not become violent when we are ‘insulted’ nor are we inclined to become violent when threatened by change. Israel, like the U.S. acts militarily in self-defense. In a way, Arabs do also, but they are defending their ways of life, which allows a far more liberal interpretation for justification of who attacked first. This is why Arabs see Israel as the attacker in all of the conflicts that have taken place between them.
The constant low-level warfare that exists between Israel and Muslims has expanded to the United States. The U.S. has always supported Israel and is seen as being far more similar to Israel than to them. Many Muslims see the U.S. (also correctly) as being the driving force behind modernization and worldwide acceptance of many issues that are forbidden in the Koran. Thus, the primary enemy has evolved from Israel to include the U.S. As the constant warfare between Israel and Islam has demonstrated time and again, peace will not be a short-term cease-fire. Nor will peace be a realistic goal until Islam either wins outright by having both Israel and the U.S. adopt Islamic law, or Islam changes to the point where it is by today’s standard, barely recognizable. As history has shown time and again, these types of issues trigger warfare EVERY time. This is a very large war indeed.