PART 1: THE JEWISH HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Recent happenings in the Middle East have put everyone on edge, including us Malaysians. It is important to get a clearer picture of what goes on in there, plus the historical perspectives of things in order to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the events. Here the author explores some possible misgivings that Malaysians have regarding the origins of the issue and how the distortion of some will influence the way we view events happening in that most fragile spot on earth. In this section, the last three of the “Top Ten Things” deal about the Jewish people, their historical difficulties as well their famous Covenant with God.
10. Jews And Muslims Had Always Been Mortal Enemies Since Time Immemorial
Nope. There had never been a mass history of conflict between Jews and Muslims before 1948. And this is purely due to one and one reason only: BECAUSE THE JEWS THEN POSED NO THREAT BOTH POLITICALLY AND MILITARILY. Starting from the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 CE and the start of the Diaspora, the Jews had had no government, no army, no country, no nothing. They wandered from one place to another and landed in various countries in Europe. Even then, they were persecuted in almost all the European countries they were in, although presenting absolutely no threat to the Christian host countries.
But with the Muslims, the Jews held a special place, because they were the descendants of prophets that each and ever single muslim endear. So there had never been any serious conflicts before. It there had, they would have been totally wiped out.
There WERE problems in the beginnings of Islam though. There were at least two assassination attempts on the life of the Prophet by the Jews and there were many, many cases of treachery during crucial times of war, in which they were supposed to sign up to be allies but later became traitors. But as a whole, there had never been any war between the Muslims and any Jewish state simply because there was none existing anywhere. The Caliph Omar even reprimanded his treasurers one day when he saw a destitute Jewish beggar scouring the streets, saying, we have no right to take the Jizya from them if we are unable to give them comfort and protection.
9. Jews Have Been In The Area Longer Than The Palestinians
It is indeed surprising to find some Malaysians having the opinion that Palestinians came over to that area only recently. That Palestinians were not there before. That God had given a blanket permission to the Jews to stay there.
Well actually, it was the Jews themselves who came from outside. The Philistines had always been there. There had been Philistine settlement records from 1200BC. Remember Goliath? He was a Philistine. But then, you see, the Israelites were the good people then, and the Philistines were the baddies worshipping another idol god. And the bible tells the story of how in each and every instant God helped the Isra’elites to overcome any and all of its enemies then: Canaanites, Philistines etc etc.
It is easy to see where the misunderstandings came from. Current Palestinians are mostly muslims and Islam came into the picture only after the 7th century. They forgot that a people who changed faiths does not mean they changed their ethnicities. Like the Malays in Semenanjung Tanah Melayu. Before Islam came, they adopted Hinduism. Does this mean they were Indians then? No. They were still Malays. They just changed faiths is all.
So the Philistines WERE there initially, even earlier than the Jews. What’s that? The Palestinians of now are not the same breed as the Philistines of then? Their DNA have changed and they are now of mixed breed? Well in that case each and every nation on earth can be subjected to similar scrutiny. Are Britishers of today the same as the Britons of old, the French of today the same as the Gael of old and the Italians of today the same as the Romans of old? Don’t let me even get started on the Americans. Whole communities evolve, dude.
8. Yes, But Don’t The Jews Have A Covenant With God Who Gave Them This Land?
Ahah, we are getting more and more closer to the source of the Chili: the question of Covenant and of free real estate given to the Jews by none other than God himself.
First and foremost those original Philistines had, upon the defeat of war, converted to the religion of their captive victors. They can never be Jews, definitely, the term reserved only for the descendants of Jacob. But they had come to believe in the One True God instead of the idols. So to God, is the bloodline more important than the people’s Faith in Him?
When Christianity came, some of them chose to believe in Christianity themselves, and they remain so up till the present day. After the conquest of Constantinople and Jerusalem by Caliph Omar, the entire region had massively converted into Islam. So the Question is, in all these past 3000 years or so, what is important to God is not that they believe in Him, but that they must be the descendants of a certain Jew? Is that it? Then what a racist God that must be. The answer is No. When people usher in the Covenant argument, stressing that God GAVE them this land, they always forgot: it is a COVENANT, dude. Not an IOU statement.
What is a Covenant? Simple. It is an agreement between two parties. Like between me and the buyer of my house: I must give him his house and in return he must give me appropriate money. The Jewish Covenant involves God telling them to do certain things and to REFRAIN FROM CERTAIN THINGS HE FORBID. In return, God promises to give certain specialities to them. The problem with the Covenant between God and the Isra’elites is, the Jews only highlight ONE part of the agreement. Where is the other part—the part that details of THEIR payments. What they have to do. It’s like parading to people the temporary deeds of a house to be purchased without showing the receipts of this purchase or proof that it has been paid. And here is the crux of the matter: Christians accept this narration without being shown the receipts of their Jewish counterparts!
This is where al-Furqan comes in. Furqan means “distinguisher between Right and Wrong” or “Reference Point” in case there is some ambiguity or dispute. It is another name of the Quran. The following narrates verses of the Quran in CONFIRMING that such a Covenant exists. But not only that. Read completely so that you know what God has to say about the fulfilment of that Covenant: al-Maaidah 12-13:-
And certainly Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel, and We raised up among them twelve chieftains; and Allah said: Surely I am with you; if you keep up prayer and pay the poor-due and believe in My apostles and assist them and offer to Allah a goodly gift, I will most certainly cover your evil deeds, and I will most certainly cause you to enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, but whoever disbelieves from among you after that, he indeed shall lose the right way.
But on account of their breaking their covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard; they altered the words from their places and they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of; and you shall always discover treachery in them excepting a few of them; so pardon them and turn away; surely Allah loves those who do good.
For those too lazy to read, let me spell it out for you. Allah says that yes there was a Covenant. But the Covenant was broken: the Jews dishonored it. Of course you do not expect to read about this breaking in the Jewish scriptures, do you? The Jews will not parade around to people about their warts. If anything, they would just hide or deny that portion!
Like somebody going around showing people the draft deeds of a purchase of the San Franciso Golden Gates Bridge, but hiding the fact that the transaction was cancelled because he could not come up with the payments. Would people still believe he legally owns the Golden Gates Bridge?
The question about a Jewish Covenant becomes more puzzling when one considers the following: if there WAS an on-going Covenant, must it wait for thousands of years till 1948 to realize it? And all this while the Jews had been humiliated, massacred, slaughtered, evicted, had their Grand Temple destroyed, and made to wander day in and day out since the first century AD. Does it sound like a people under a Covenant of God to you?
I can talk more about this and produce much more verses from the Quran. But not within this limited article. It cannot get any clearer than al-Maaidah 12-13 up there. Conclusion: there WAS a Covenant, but it was broken by the Jews. They did not come up with their part of the deal. Period.
Do not miss the second part of this series: it gets more interesting! – New Malaysia Herald
About the writer: Poet, Pianist, Painter and Technology Buff. Scientist by Profession, Artist by Heart.
Note: The views expressed in this article are that of the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the New Malaysia Herald.