Donald Trump made another off-hand boast: If Ivanka’s husband can’t broker Middle East peace, no one can. My vote is with “no one can.”

There can never be peace when one side refuses to acknowledge the other side’s right to exist. Well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) foreign powers have been trying to apply the civilized world’s standards to the Arabs since Israel’s creation in 1948.

The fundamental problem? It is a Jewish nation. The world’s only one; its total population is just over 8 million. By way of contrast, there are 57 member states in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, with an estimated population of 1.6 billion. Or, if you prefer, on the order of 2,000 Muslims for every Jew in Israel.

While Israel may have been allowed to join the United Nations upon its declaration of independence, I’d guess that in 1948 this was largely a result of collective guilt over the Holocaust. If it were put to today’s United Nations, I would be most surprised if it would approve membership for a Jewish state.

What might it take for the Islamic world to make peace with a Jewish state? At the least, it would take a tsunami of a cultural change. Not just a religious Reformation. But the Islamic world would have to undergo a Reformation and a political and cultural Enlightenment that implants the ideas of freedom of conscience, liberty, and tolerance in the hearts and minds of a large majority of the population.

Could it happen? Of course it could. Anything is possible. Will it? Not in the lifetime of anyone now alive. Islam’s problems are political and cultural, deeply ingrained. A big part of the problem is that Islam is not just a religion. It is also a dictated (by the Koran and Hadith) way of governing, and, depending on who one asks, there ought be little-to-no daylight between the state and the mosque.

Yes, they are adept at using modern tools and toys. But while they use the technology of today’s world, they are mired in the Dark Ages politically and culturally.

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1 Comment

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