If Israel were an Islamic country
June 4, 2007
If Israel were an Islamic country, Western liberal thinkers would shower praise on Israel as a successful Middle Eastern democracy and hold them up as a model for the backward nations of the Middle East and north Africa to imitate. The Arab world would be forced to admit the superiority of tolerance, diversity, and democracy over tribal dictatorships and theocracies.
If Israel were an Islamic country, its use of military retaliatory measures against suicide bombers and rocket launchers in the occupied territories would be regarded as self-defense by even those on the Left.
If Israel were an Islamic country, everyone would be amazed by its willingness to give back the Sinai to Egypt in the aftermath of the 1973 war. At the same time, its insistence on holding on to the Golan Heights would be regarded as a reasonable precaution until such time as Syria recognizes Israel's existence and expresses the willingness to live as peaceful neighbors.
If Israel were an Islamic country, its war against Hezbollah would be considered justifiable retribution for Hezbollah's unprovoked cross border incursion and the murder of Israeli soldiers. Israel's subsequent withdrawal behind its own borders and cessation of hostilities despite unresolved issues would be regarded as a sign of exemplary self-restraint and respect for international law.
If Israel were an Islamic country, its treatment of women would be regarded by liberal Arabs as a viable alternative to their definition of women as property. Even conservative Arabs would have to admit that keeping their women ignorant, illiterate, and subservient has not served their societies well.
If Israel were an Islamic country, its universities and newspapers would not be boycotted by British university and journalism unions. Nor would the Presbyterian Church of the USA have voted to boycott Israeli companies. The UN General Assembly would not introduce dozens of bills every year singling out Israel and condemning it for "occupation" of Palestinians. Instead, its behavior would be considered leagues above the behavior of the neighboring Arab regimes with their arbitrarily drawn borders, where political dissidents are routinely imprisoned and tortured, women are legally beaten up by their husbands or stoned to death for adultery by their own families, and Christians are imprisoned for spreading their faith.
If Israel were an Islamic country, its many contributions in computer technology, medicine, the sciences and the arts would be extolled by Arabs and Westerners alike. Students would flock to Israel from the Arab countries, and Israeli broadcasts and writings would be widely distributed across the Arab world, enriching the culture of the Middle East.
If Israel were an Islamic country, it could teach the oil-dependent Arab countries to wean their economies off petroleum, turn their deserts into fruitful farms, and utilize Israeli state of the art water desalinization and solar energy know-how.
If Israel were an Islamic country, the world might focus more of its attention on the genocidal wars of Sudan, the subversion of the democratic process in Zimbabwe and Venezuela, and China's continuing occupation of Tibet and oppression of internal dissidents.
If Israel were an Islamic country, the Christians, Moslems, and Jews would praise it for being a responsible custodian for the holy sites of all three religions. Muslims would not call for riots because Israel allows archaeological research digs 100 meters from a Muslim shrine.
Israel has millions of Islamic citizens who share the same freedoms with their Jewish compatriots, the sole exception being exemption from military service. So, Israel is an Islamic country, just as it is also a Jewish country and a Christian country. Why, then, is it so universally hated in the world?