BLOG 339 February 27, 2017
Last week we began exploration of one of the most explosive issues facing the Middle East as well as the United States. With the change of leadership in Washington, D.C., the suggestion that America might alter policy that has existed for over 40-years has created intense speculation about what is ahead in solving the tension between Israel and the Palestinians.
Is President Donald Trump holding a stick of dynamite? Could be.
In 1988, David Grossman published in Hebrew The Yellow Wind, describing the smoldering hostility of the Palestinians. Originally intended to be The Yellow Time, but an Arab named Abu Harb told him about the yellow wind, the wind that will rise from the gates of Hell. Local Arabs call it rih asfar, the hot, terrible east wind which comes only once in a generation and sets the world on fire. The mountains will crumble into powder and the land will be covered with bodies.
This best selling book in Israel shocked many Israelis who had no idea the Palestinians had such hostility. Today, they certainly know. Unfortunately, the West is still struggling to wake up.
Let’s put it another way. Arabs are from Mars. Israeli’s from Venus. They are peoples of two radically different worlds.
Of course, many Arabs have higher motivation, but a good number are content to sit quietly, smoke a cigarette, and drink coffee in the morning sun light. They were happy with the land like it was. While some Arabs were Christian, most are Muslims.
Israelis reflect the democratic, industrialized world of Europe. Vast numbers migrated with a keen sense of what it was to be persecuted and annihilated. They came with cutting edge knowledge of science, technology, and a burning desire to create a safe haven for all Jews. They want a state that protects their Jewish faith.
Hey, we’re talking American Indians versus the cowboys and settlers. Again, Mars and Venus on a collision course!
All the rhetoric and political conferences in the world will go nowhere until they recognize the problem of this radically different political environments. Why is there no unity? Well, there is no unity in Christianity with its 40,000 different groups. The Arabs are currently killing each other over the division between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Judaism encompasses everything from the radical Hassidim to Reconstructionist divisions in Jewish thought. In our time, people are far better at splitting than unifying!
Make no mistake about it, Prime Minister Netanyahu will exploit these initial suggestions by President Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem with the hint of trashing the two-state solution approach. And if this occurs what will follow?
No one can say for sure. However, should a yellow wind result, the Arabs have already warned it blows hot from hell itself.
Let’s all take a deep breath and think it over before we do anything foolish.