Hamilton: Hamas vs. Israel made simple
August 14, 2014
Armed with American weapons captured from the failed Iraqi Army, ISIS forces are killing captured Iraqi Christians and Yazidis while the pro-American Kurds, which the Obama Administration refuses to arm, watch in helpless horror. And, if ISIS can conquer the Kurds, it could be that all of Iraq and its valuable oil will come under ISIS control.
While the 2011 withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq is the proximate cause of this latest genocide, let's put all this mayhem in perspective. For example, the number of people killed in Gaza by Israel's retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers pales in comparison to the rate at which the Sunni and the Shia have been killing each other since the 7th Century A.D.
But the conflict between Gaza-based Hamas and Israel is really two historic conflicts in one. First, there's the conflict between those who think of themselves as Palestinians (originally, Philistines) and the Israelis as to which tribe has the better claim to "The Holy Land."
Archeological digs show the Israelites were there before the Philistines; however, the Palestinians claim the Israelites were not in "continuous possession" of the Holy Land. But then, neither were the Philistines. Invaders, to include the Philistines and the Romans have, from time-to-time, banished most — but never all — of the Israelites from the Holy Land. Readers are invited to consult The Time Tables of History: New York. Simon & Shuster, 1975. You decide.
Second, there is the conflict between three religions. Islam is on one side, with Judaism and Christianity somewhat Biblically allied on the other side. The three religions are similar in that all three believe in one God, all three believe in some form of life after death, and all three seek the "true path" to Heaven or Paradise.
Unfortunately, they disagree as to the "true path." It is said about Christians and Jews that they all want to go to Heaven; however, none of them want to die. That saying underscores the major difference between today's Islamic jihadists and the Jews and Christians. Some of the Islamic jihadists want to die as suicide bombers in exchange for what they believe is a no-delay, guaranteed, one-way ticket to sit beside Allah and enjoy the promised delights of Islamic Paradise.
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While modern Jews and Christians are under no compulsion to kill those who do not believe as they do, the Islamic jihadists say they are compelled by the Koran to kill Christians and Jews unless they convert to Islam or become their tax-paying slaves. When you combine the Koran's commandments to violence with the Islamic jihadists' belief that the Israeli's alleged lack of "continuous possession" makes the Jews trespassers on Palestinian land, you get a great big geo-political-religious hairball that neither side can swallow.
Since the 1967 War, the Israelis, trading "land for peace," have already given the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and parts of the West Bank back to the Palestinians. According to the Israeli Defense Force, to give back any more land would be committing military suicide, something the Jews have been unwilling to do since the Siege of Masada in 73-74 A.D.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.