The Mideast Crisis: Return
How are the children of Israel going to return to Hashem? There is the short way and the long way. By the short way, the children of Israel will decide that there is a God, that God gave them the Torah and set them up to be a light unto the nations (Isaiah 42:6). And so they will live in righteousness, in accordance with the way of the Torah. Then the Messiah would appear and the final Redemption would be ushered in.
There is the long way. By the long way, the children of Israel decide that there is no need to live in accordance with the Torah and that they can take care of themselves. Their gods are human intelligence, technology, science, and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). In this case, Redemption will come in its time. This is the meaning of the verse
I am Hashem, in its time I will hasten it. (Isaiah 60.22)
If Israel is worthy, God will hasten the Redemption; if Israel is not worthy Redemption will still come, since God has promised it uncontingent upon anything else. However, it will come in its due time after God afflicts the children of Israel motivating them to return.
In effect, God says that He will afflict the children of Israel with suffering brought about on them by other peoples. This is, for example, what happened after the incident of the spies (Numbers chapters 13 and 14.) The children of Israel decided that they could ascend the mountain and conquer the Amalekites and Canaanites on their own, without any help from Hashem. And what happened?
The Amalekite and the Canaanite who dwelled on that mountain descended; they struck them and pounded them until Hormah. (Numbers 14:45)
Moses recalls this incident.
So I spoke to you and you did not listen. You rebelled against the word of Hashem, and you were willful and climbed the mountain. The Amorite who dwell on that mountain went out against you and pursued you as the bees would do; they struck you in Seir until Hormah. Then you retreated and wept before Hashem, but Hashem did not listen to your voice and He did not hearken to you. (Deuteronomy 1: 43-44)
Notice here the metaphor of being pursued by bees. A bee stings and then dies. A homocide/suicide bomber blows himself/herself up and dies. Along with the bomber, innocent Israeli civilians -- mothers, children, and fathers -- die, are maimed, or are injured. This is the sting of the bee.
The Palestinian groups that have claimed responsibility for almost all recent suicide bombings in Israel include Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The executive director of Human Rights Watch said,
The people who carry out suicide bombings are not martyrs, they're war criminals, and so are the people who help to plan such attacks. The scale and systematic nature of these attacks sets them apart from other abuses committed in times of conflict. They clearly fall under the category of crimes against humanity.
Another metaphor the Torah uses is that of arrows. In speaking against the children of Israel, Hashem says,
My arrows shall I use up against them. (Deuteronomy 32:23)
The rocket is just like an arrow. From about 2005 through 2008 there were about 3000 rocket attacks made by Hamas against the people of Israel. This parallels exactly My arrows shall I use up against them.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has said in no uncertain terms:
Hamas will continue to use violence. We will keep to the same path until we win one of two goals: victory or martyrdom.
The Torah says that, measure for measure as the children of Israel align themselves with non-gods, the children of Israel will be afflicted by a people who are a non-people.
They provoked Me with a non-god, angered Me with their vanities; so shall I provoke them with a non-people, with a vile nation shall I anger them. (Deuteronomy 32:21)
Alan Perlman writes,
A non-people -- what a remarkable description! People who share a common identity and culture can be called "a people" or "a nation." People without a common identity are simply called "people" as in the plural of persons. But an entity called "a non-people?" This contradictory construct suggests a collective of people whose unifying, defining characteristic is that they are not a people. The term seems absurd, except that it precisely describes the so-called Palestinians.
A critical look at history prior to the time that the world media and Europe signed onto the PLO agenda clearly shows that the Palestinians are a non-people, a fabrication foisted upon a willing world.
First, in the pre-State days of the British Mandate, the term "Palestinian" was used by Jews and Arabs alike only to refer to the Jews living in mandatory Palestine. All Arabs, including those in mandatory Palestine, rejected use of the term Palestinian to describe Arabs. For them, the Arabs of mandatory Palestine were part of the greater Arab nation, and mandatory Palestine was part of Syria. There was just no such thing as a Palestinian nation or a Palestinian Arab.
Second, the PLO was established in 1964, three years before the 1967 Six-Day war that put the West Bank in Israeli hands. Thus, its purpose could never have been liberation of the "Israeli-occupied" West Bank. (Alan Perlman, The foolish people and the non-people, Israel Insider, Spetember 14, 2004)
Reinforcing Alan Perlman's assertion that term Palestine was even used by the Jews to refer to themselves, we note that The Palestine Post was a Jewish historical newspaper that was published in Palestine/Israel during the years 1932-1950 in English. In 1950 the newspaper changed its name to The Jerusalem Post.
Perlman then mentions that the first leader of the PLO, Ahmed Shukairy, made the following statement in 1956 (before the founding of the PLO and when Ahmed Ahukairy was very much involved as an Arab diplomat) to the UN Security Council regarding the refugee problem.
It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria. (see also Palestine Facts)
Ahmed Shukairy is not alone. There are others who have also made statements regarding Palestine.
There is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented. [...]Our country was for centuries part of Syria. Palestine is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it. (Auni Bey Abdul-Had, Local Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937)
There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not. (Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1946)
You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people. (Syria's former President, Hafez Assad to PLO leader Yassir Arafat)
Palestine is a principal part of Southern Syria, and we consider that it is our right and duty to insist that it be a liberated partner of our Arab homeland and of Syria. (Syria's former President, Hafez Assad 8 March 1974)
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism (Zahir Muhsein, PLO March 31, 1977)