That confusion has pervaded Israel can be demonstrated by first considering a Dahaf poll of August 9, 2002, which reported the following about then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:
Asked, “Is Ariel Sharon a reliable prime minister?” — 63% of Israelis say Yes.
Asked, “Do you count on Sharon to successfully lead the nation?” — 57% say Yes.
Asked, “What grade do you give to the performance of Sharon as prime minister?” – 63% say “Good.”
Yet, when asked, “Does Sharon have a diplomatic program?” — Only 36% say Yes, while 55% say No!
To compound this confused state of mind, asked “Does the Sharon Government know how to wipe out terrorism?” – Only 36% say Yes, while 60% say No!
Finally, when Israelis were asked, “Since the establishment of the Sharon Government, who has been winning the struggle?” – 30% say Israel, 33% say the Palestinians, while 33% say Neither!
A rational person may readily conclude from the answers to these last three questions that (1) Sharon is NOT a reliable prime minister; (2) he CAN’T be counted upon to successfully lead the nation; and (3) his performance as prime minister is BAD!
To clinch the point, when asked, “Will the frequency of terror attacks change in the near future?” – 67% say it will Increase! And when asked, “Do you fear being hurt in a terror attack?” – 77% say Yes!
Pessimism and confusion
What can explain these paradoxical results? How can the same Israelis have had a positive view of Sharon as a Prime Minister and yet have such a negative assessment of his record on the all-important issue of Arab terrorism? How can Israelis grade his performance as prime minister as “good” and anticipate an increase in terror attacks?
Perhaps because most Israelis believe that Arab terror is inevitable, and that they know of no one who can do better than Sharon in preventing it.
Probing deeper, however, their pessimism regarding Arab terror, and therefore, their positive view of Sharon, can be explained as the result of many years of brain washing. For the public has in fact been indoctrinated to believe there is no military solution to the terrorist problem. (Yet there are Israeli and American military experts who reject this negative attitude.)
But there is still a deeper level of this problem. Underlying the denial of a military solution to Arab terrorism is the denial that there is any solution to the “Palestinian problem.” The public has been given to believe that the three million Arabs residing in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza can neither be pacified nor expelled. This is why the Sharon Government talks about “separation” and is building a “security fence” to minimize terror attacks (while he and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres advocate a Palestinian state).
The truth is that “separation” and a “security fence” merely testifies to the intellectual bankruptcy of Israel’s Government. The same may be said of those who advocate Palestinian statehood – as if there is enough room between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean to accommodate two states.
No one takes Islam seriously
At the root of the people’s confusion is the inability of Israel’s ruling elites to take Islam seriously. The Muslims have a single goal: to destroy Israel. And they want to destroy Israel not only because Islam is a “Culture of Hate,” but also because they see Israel as an outpost of Western civilization, which they correctly regard as a threat to Islamic civilization. The State of Israel, or its ruling elite, does not want to deal with this truth.
Viewed as a secular democratic state whose economic power dwarfs that of her Arab neighbors, Israel (like America’s pop culture) does in fact threaten the religio-political power structure of Islamic civilization. It’s obvious that the Sharon Government is or was utterly unequal to this enormous problem. This is why the people are confused.
To dispel this confusion one must take Islam seriously. One must not trivialize Islam by saying it’s compatible with democracy or that it can be moderated (the position of the estimable Daniel Pipes). One must also recognize that the secular democratic state, despite its virtues, has serious shortcomings. Suffice to mention its materialism, its family decay, and lack of reverence – all anathema to Islam.
However, one must also recognize that Islam, despite its positive accomplishments, such as its elimination of polytheism, has a history of barbarism justified in the name of Allah. Islam plundered and destroyed countless Christian and Jewish communities. To this day, Muslims slaughter, degrade, and enslave human beings whom they despise as “infidels.”
No substitute for victory
Such is their arrogance, their sense of superiority to unbelievers — reinforced by their former and phenomenal conquests in Asia, Africa, and Europe — that Muslims are intoxicated by their previous success in history and can dream of no other future. Unlike the West, Islam is incapable of self-criticism. (It’s futile to speak of individual exceptions.) Before it undergoes any “Protestant Reformation,” Islam will have the means of wreaking havoc on the West.
In this war between the West and Islam, highlighted in Israel’s war with the “Palestinians,” there is no substitute for victory. This is something the people of Israel must be made to understand.◙
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