Tag: israel

  • Islam and the Problem of Israel: Zionism as Religion

    Born out of Europe’s Romantic lapse and anti-Jewish pogroms, Zionism might have occupied itself entirely with the question of Jewish security. At its genesis and for a long time afterwards, Zionism did little else besides seeking the real estate wherein to set up refuge from the dim future it foresaw. There is no evidence in early Zionist writing of any concern with the kind of problems faced by the Reform movement, and in search of a solution of which, the movement was born. The first leaders did not think in terms of the problems science and modernity posed to the application of the laws of the Shulhan Arukh, which dominated Jewish observance and living since its codification by Joseph Karo in 1567. The whole problem of “religion and modernity” did not occupy them at all. The Zionists were men and women nursed culturally and spiritually by a secular Europe which has been weaned away from religion. They were as immersed in romanticism and secularism as their fellow Christians; and a number of them were in fact leaders of the movement in Europe. It was therefore natural that, once renewed persecution blocked their self-identification as European, the Jews would seek their identity in their tradition, and that they would do so under the only categories they knew, namely, those of European romanticism.

  • Islam and the Problem of Israel: Zionism, The European Jew’s Counsel of Despair

    The Jews of Europe found themselves in the second half of the nineteenth century tossed on the horns of a terrible dilemma. If they pursued the gains of emancipation, they must assimilate; and the more they did so, the more their Judaism would have to be reformed, the more dilute it would become, the less Jewish they would finally turn out to be. If, on the other hand, they restricted their pursuit of the gains of emancipation and hence, the less they assimilated and lost thereby their Jewishness, the more they would stand out as strangers in a society bent on not granting them its identity. On either count, they stood to lose. But which loss was greater? Jewishness, or freedom, and often, life?

  • Islam and the Problem of Israel: Apercu of Jewish History in the Christian West Prior to the Emancipation

    The Christians understood, or misunderstood, the career of Jesus as one of a god sent down to earth to suffer the most ignominious death as an atonement and oblation for the sins of man. In consequence, they reinterpreted the whole history of the Jews as a propadeutic for this great event. If there is to be a crucifixion of a god, there had to be a historical situation in which a savior-god could be expected, accused to be the false savior, and then crucified. There had to be a religion, Judaism, which develops so as to reach the fossilized state of literal legalism, in which rabbis had plunged their faith in the “fullness of time,” and into the context of which the god to be crucified could enact his reform and be prosecuted and condemned in the process. The whole of the Jewish past and present was reduced to the status of an instrument, complex and winding, but still an instrument, for the incarnation and crucifixion of Jesus.

  • Islam and the Problem of Israel: The Three-Cornered Nature of the Problem

    The problem of Israel confronting the Muslim World today has neither precedent nor parallel in Islamic history. The Muslim World has tended to regard it as another instance of Modern colonialism, or at best, as a repetition of the Crusades. The difference is not that Israel is neither one of these; but that it is both and more, much more. Unfortunately, there is no Islamic literature on the subject. The need for this analysis of the problem is, therefore, as great as the present moment which calls upon the Arab World in particular and the Muslim World in general to accept Israel as an integral member of a world-of Muslim-nations in Asia-Africa.

  • Review of “Islam and the Problem of Israel” by Isma’il Raji al-Faruqi

    This new edition of Islam and the Problem of Israel is a succinct and thoughtfully organised reader. The author, though Palestinian himself, offers a reasonably fair appraisal of the issue at hand from a Muslim’s perspective. Some readers might find the strong vocabulary makes the read challenging, and this may sometimes be burdensome. The topic is approached in an organised and sequential manner. The historical, religious and political perspectives of the state of Israel are described before the relationship between Israel, Judaism, Zionism (all quite distinct entities) and Islam is discussed. The author briefly clarifies the distinction between Judaism as a religion, Zionism as a political concept of statehood (for a given race), Israel as nation-state, and the Jews as a race. He describes the problem as three-cornered, involving the Muslim world, Western Christendom, and the Jews.