08 June 2016

Zionism: An irrational and misunderstood fear

by Adnan Oktar
(The Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2016)

Born of the Westphalian peace of 1648, nationalism spread across the world in earnest with the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 – so much so that the dreams of a nation state shaped international politics for 150 years. It was nationalist enthusiasm which fueled wars of independence. Those who were responsible for these wars burned with the desire to unite those of the same cultural background, the same language and living in the same region under one banner. However among the hundreds of nationalist liberation movements, one is invariably singled out, maligned and placed at the center of sinister conspiracy theories.

Aspiring to reunite and emancipate the Jewish people scattered around the globe under one state, this movement for independence, named after the Mount Zion in Israel, came to be called Zionism. The Jewish people, a diaspora community, banished from everywhere it had sought refuge, determined to establish its own state in its ancestral lands. While every contemporary nationalist movement enjoyed friends and suffered enemies, Zionism faced unique, unbridled hostility from virtually every political current (save, in large part, Protestant Liberalism).

Following suit, non-aligned nations vehemently opposed the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of the historic Jewish homeland.

 
Demonstrators burn an Israeli flag in front of the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok
Today, anti-Israelism under the guise of anti-Zionism has become the main expression of anti-Semitism, of enmity to Jews.

An entire nation is targeted, for verbal or physical violence, women, children, elderly, innocent and oppressed alike – simply because of their Jewish nationality, and their demand to be seated at the table of nations with all of their peers. Despite the presence of 22 Arab countries, tied to a single ethnic origin, only the desire of the Jewish people to establish its own sovereign state has been subject to fierce opposition.

Nevertheless, Israel is concurrently a safe haven for millions of persecuted people, those who fled the Nazi genocide, Soviet brutality or violence in many other countries.



Nearly one million Jews, leaving all of their assets behind, were forced to immigrate from Arab countries in the aftermath of the 1948 war.

Yet, Jewishness is not understood in racial or traditional ethnic terms in the State of Israel, unlike its counterparts. It is a country of multiculturalism, one which hosts varying faiths and diverse ethnic backgrounds, in contrast to its Arab neighbor countries. One-fifth of the Israeli population is Arab, while the overall, majority Jewish population is comprised of over 70 cultures speaking 35 languages and dialects. Additionally, Arabic is an official language, alongside Hebrew, in the state of the Jews. The sacred places of all faiths are protected: There are nearly 400 mosques, all safeguarded since the declaration of Independence of the State of Israel.

Despite this fact, Zionism is equated in ever widening circles with a conspiracy to control and exploit the whole world.

Anti-Semitism is the only explanation for this phenomenon, a modern rendition of old, irrational Judeophobic rhetoric. Zionism, despite the well-accepted consensus in the Middle East, is simply the aspiration of the Jewish nation, who have been oppressed, persecuted and suffered greatly throughout history, to live freely and in safety in their ancestral lands. The Jewish people have been a part of these lands for 3,500 years, and were expelled from there long ago by the oppressive hand of the Roman Empire. The emergence of the State of Israel is the realization of this small nation’s dream of a homeland where they can ultimately live in safety and govern themselves.

Many if not most Muslims are unaware of the true meaning of Zionism. When asked about the reasons they oppose it, they define Zionism as “an evil system which aims to destroy the world order” and falsely believe that Zionism is the source of all evil. Moreover, many Muslims are under the illusion that anti-Israelism is piety, and this makes them unjust when it comes to Jews. Therefore, it is crucial to properly define Zionism to the Muslim-Arab public and to put an end to so much senseless Jewish hatred.

Hatred of the State of Israel and Zionism do not comply with the spirit of the Koran.

Murdering innocent Israelis or promoting expulsion of Israelis from their ancestral homeland, as is increasingly common not only in the Arab world but in European leftist circles, is symptomatic of a lack of conscience. The state of Israel may have its faults – which state does not? For its excesses and where it has committed crimes, it should be judged based on the law. Islam has a principle of “individual criminal responsibility” just as we see in international law. An entire state cannot be incriminated or punished without making any discrimination between the innocent and the guilty or the right and the wrong, and irrespective of context. The claim of some Muslims that “they fight against the Jewish people in the name of the Koran” is an act of ignorance and in violation of the Koran since God explicitly grants the Jewish people the right to live in the Holy Land: “Remember when Moses said to his people, ‘My people! Remember God’s blessing to you when He appointed Prophets among you and appointed kings for you, and gave you what He had not given to anyone else in all the worlds. My people! Enter the Holy Land which God has ordained for you. Do not turn back in your tracks and so become transformed into losers’” (Koran 5:20-21).

God informs us in the Koran – this is also promised in the Torah (Deuteronomy 30) – that the Jewish people shall gather and live in these lands in the End Times: “We said to the Children of Israel after that, ‘Dwell in the land and, when the promise of the hereafter comes, We will gather you as a mingled crowd’” (Koran 17:104).

Despite these unambiguous Koranic injunctions, no one in the Middle East seems to support or approve of Zionism.

On the contrary, hostility to Zionism is now assumed, and to buck that trend is to risk one’s life. In truth, Muslims are ordered by the Koran to act fairly and conscientiously, hence should advocate not only for the rights of the Palestinians but also the Jewish people as well.

Muslim intellectuals, religious scholars and politicians should stand out among others not by fueling the existing hatred for the Jewish people but by emphasizing the beauty of coexistence in these Holy Lands. They should explain that advocating for the rights of Palestinians is not tantamount to exhibiting hostility to Jews.

It is an incontestable right for Israelis to have the desire for self-determination, as the Palestinians do. When the Arab-Muslim world recognizes Israel’s right to exist as an independent and sovereign state, this century-long bloodshed will cease.

The greatest benefit here would certainly be shared by the Palestinian people, who suffer due to war and security precautions.

Needless to say, the spirit of peace and brotherhood is an urgent need for the local community. The sporadic warfare has cost a fortune, which could have been used for the welfare of people instead. More important, this useless war has claimed the lives of thousands of young and elderly, civilian and soldiers alike. Once the Arab world decides to acknowledge Israel as a neighbor, it can focus on developing the well-being of the Palestinian people, and of the other Arab peoples doing far less well than the Palestinians, too. The effort and means spent on conflict, destruction and hostility will be transferred to the construction and embellishment of the region; swords made into plowshares, hatred turned to science, art and technology.

The biased, baseless outlook regarding Zionism in the Islamic world has over time warped into a misplaced phobia of Jewish people. It is now high time to put an end to this pointless, anti-Koranic opposition to Israel and the Jewish people. Explaining Zionism in an accurate way and ending this cycle of hatred is incumbent on Muslim intellectuals everywhere.

The writer is a Turkish Muslim TV commentator who has authored more than 300 books in 73 languages on political, faith-related and scientific topics.

08 January 2016

The Koran praises ‘Qaum Mousa’ (The Jewish people)

by Omer Salem

With the Jews cleaving to Torah and the Muslims to the Koran, there will come a day when Muslims in the Holy Land will tell the Jewish people what they yearn to hear: “Welcome home!”

Isn’t it time for the Muslim ummah (people), through its Muslim ulama (scholars), to manifest the Koranic truth about the status of Qaum Mousa (the Jewish people) within the ummah? The Koran (5:21) is clear as to whom God granted the holy land. Why not have a group of Muslim ulama, especially from Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, convene and issue a fatwa regarding the status of the holy land in Islam? Also, what would happen if we Muslims considered Qaum Mousa (the Jewish people) as Ahlul Kitab (the People of the Book)?

 11th-century Koran in the British Museum 

Historically speaking, Jews and Muslims lived together in a state of harmony, prosperity and peace. From the time of our beloved prophet Muhammad and his Jewish wife, called Umm-ul-Mu’mineen or the “Mother of Believers” (Safiyyah bint Huyayy) in Medina, to the 20th-century Jewish communities in Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Levant, Iraq and Yemen, we coexisted in religious peace. Unfortunately, those Jewish communities were recently dismantled, not for religious reasons but for political ones.

My uncles Mohamed and Nabil, leather merchants, had close Jewish associates in Egypt before the government of Egypt “facilitated” (that is, forced) the Jewish community there in dismantling itself and leaving the country. No one felt free enough to admit it out loud, but I would hear murmurings here and there about how Egypt has declined since the Jews left. Ironically, it seemed as though the Jews were always getting blamed – even their eviction made some of my parents’ friends bitter!

In the late Seventies, our family immigrated to California, where I received an education at the highly acclaimed Berkeley and Stanford universities. I had little time to think about the plight of the Jews as I was making my way in America, but I did notice that my Jewish professors and schoolmates in college seemed to be more than reasonable people. They were bright and motivated, taking breaks at odd times of the semester to observe some holiday or other with their family, loyal to their heritage. Those impressions stayed with me and eventually brought me to become deeply involved in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict on a grassroots level.

To keep a long story short, after achieving a degree of success in business, I needed a break from the rat race, as we say in the US. In the late ‘90s, I was impressed with the simplicity and modesty of a Muslim sect called Tablighi-Jamat, and decided to join them on a trek to India to learn more about my parent’s religion – Islam. What I needed at that time was a dose of humility and pacifist spirituality that the Tablighi offered. While on khrooj (passing the time in the path of Allah), I had a chance to reconnect with my Arabic and Islamic roots. I also had an opportunity to read and memorize parts of the Holy Koran. When I returned to the States, I was determined to make a difference for my people and continued to have the nagging sense that peace with the Jews would herald peace and prosperity for all people in the Middle East.

Pursuing peace with the Jewish people led me to study the Hebrew Bible at Yale University. Upon my successful completion of my master’s degree in religion at Yale, I began work on a PhD in Islamic studies that would be supervised and defended at Al-Azhar University in my native Egypt. My chosen dissertation topic was the People of the Book in the Koran, “Ahlul Kitab fi al-Quran.” My efforts for peace also took me on several missions to the Holy Land, where I had a chance to meet with rabbis and imams.

Tirelessly pursuing peace with the Muslim and Jewish people, I recently completed a whirlwind tour of Israel. My jam-packed schedule placed me in 10 venues ranging from high schools to synagogues to yeshivot in the West Bank to the Jewish Agency, with an encounter interfaith group and a few mosque meetings to boot. I also participated in an intensive five-day seminar geared for US Muslim community leaders on the Arab-Israeli conflict that included an intensive program of tours and study throughout Israel. I was constantly presenting a call for peace based upon scripture, as well as relaying central concerns between the Muslim and Jewish communities.

As to what motivated me to get involved in Jewish-Muslim rapprochement, I saw the Arab-Israeli conflict as central to solving other conflicts in the Middle East. I have friends and family back in Egypt; I want the Jews and my people to prosper, and I see making peace with the people of Israel as key. My proposals on the topic are delineated in my new book, The Missing Peace: the Role of Religion in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Any solution in the region must be based upon scripture, both Torah and Koran, as this is what ultimately unites Muslims and Jews both theologically and historically.

Koranic verse 5:48 says, “Allah prescribed to each of you a law and an open way. If Allah had wanted, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you... so strive in all virtues as though you are in a race.”

Invoking multi-covenants – Jewish law for Jews, Islamic law for Muslims – this teaching demands more than mere tolerance, but active acceptance of other faith communities. Indeed, the companion of Muhammad and exegete of the Koran Ibn-Qatada stated emphatically: “There is one universal law, but multiple covenants.”

Jews and Muslims can prosper side by side. They can live and coexist together; it is not a situation in which one side goes up and the other must fall. Our ancestors prospered in parallel when both sides respected the other.

With the Jews cleaving to Torah and the Muslims to the Koran, there will come a day when Muslims in the Holy Land will tell the Jewish people what they yearn to hear: “Welcome home!”

The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He holds a master’s degree in religion from Yale University and a PhD in Islamic studies from Al-Azhar University

From The Jerusalem Post, January 6, 2016

20 May 2015

Aesthetic Peace Plan for the Middle East

Artist Mel Alexenberg explains his Aesthetic Peace Plan to the ambassadors of Israel and USA at the opening of his exhibition in Prague

My "Aesthetic Peace" exhibition at the Robert Guttmann Gallery of the Jewish Museum in Prague proposes that peace in the Middle East can emerge from a fresh metaphor in which the Arabs see Israel’s existence as Allah’s will.  This metaphor, derived from Islamic art and thought, invites a shift in perception in which the conflict is seen as an aesthetic problem.

The central image shows a geometric pattern from a Damascus mosque superimposed on a map of North Africa and the Middle East.  The Islamic pattern is painted in green, red, and metallic gold on a digital print mounted on canvas.  Israel is a tiny sliver with an alternative pattern – blue stripes on a white background like the Jewish prayer shawl and the flag of Israel.  An “angel of peace,” a digitized version of a Rembrandt drawing, is shown emerging from the blue stripes carrying the message of my aesthetic peace plan worldwide through the Internet.  In the exhibition, actual rugs woven in Islamic lands were hanging beside my digital artworks.

Islamic art teaches Arabs to see their world as a continuous geometric pattern that extends across North Africa and the Middle East.  Unfortunately, they see tiny Israel as a blemish that disrupts the pattern.  From this perspective, Israel is viewed as an alien presence that they have continually tried to eliminate through war, terrorism, and political action.  Arab television calls Israel a “cancer in the body of the Arab nation.”

Fortunately, the perceptual shift needed to lead to a genuine peace can be found in Islamic art and thought.  In Islamic art, a uniform geometric pattern is purposely disrupted by the introduction of a counter-pattern to demonstrate that human creation is less than perfect. Based upon the belief that only Allah creates perfection, rug weavers from Islamic lands intentionally weave a patch of dissimilar pattern to break the symmetry of their rugs to demonstrate that they are not competing with Allah.  In Islamic Textile Art: Anomalies in Kilims, we learn that devout Muslim women who weave kilim rugs would not be so arrogant as to even attempt a ‘perfect rug,’ since such perfection belongs only to Allah.  Consequently, they deliberately break the rugs’ patterning as a mark of their humility.

Peace can be achieved when the Islamic world recognizes that they need Israel to realize their Islamic religious values.



Israel provides the counter-pattern in the contiguous Islamic world that extends from Morocco to Pakistan.  Just as a religious Muslim weaver introduces a counter-pattern in designing a rug as a mark of humility, so Muslim leaders can honor the diversity in all of God’s creations by perceiving Israel as the necessary break in symmetry.  The in-gathering of the Jewish people into its historic homeland in the midst of the Islamic world is the fulfillment of Mohammed’s prophecy in the Koran (Sura 17:104): “And we said to the Children of Israel, ‘scatter and live all over the world…and when the end of the world is near we will gather you again into the Promised Land.'”        

Paper by Mel Alexenberg in Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2006.

05 August 2013

Perhaps Art Can Succeed Where Politics Has Failed

The repetitive geometric patterns in Islamic art teach Muslims to see their world as a continuous uninterrupted pattern that extends across North Africa and the Middle East. They see Israel as a blemish that disrupts the pattern that needs to be wiped out.

Israel is viewed as an alien presence that Palestinian Authority television calls a “cancer in the body of the Arab nation.”//// The Hamas charters calls for jihad to destroy Israel, an ugly stain in the midst of the Islamic world. “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims…. Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them.”//// Iran calls for the destruction of Israel as it races ahead to build an atomic bomb to carry out its threat.  Its leadership states emphatically that the need to exterminate Israel is non-negotiable. //// Islamic State is overrunning Syria and Iraq in its march to create a caliphate that incorporates all the Islamic lands and then the entire world.

However, a perceptual shift derived from Islamic art and thought will make the Islamic world recognize that Israel's presence in its midst is the realization of Allah's will.  

PEACE: Perceptual Shift Derived from Islamic Art
The perceptual shift needed to lead to genuine peace can be found in Islamic art where a uniform geometric pattern is purposely disrupted by the introduction of a counter-pattern that demonstrates human creation as less than perfect. Based upon the belief that only Allah creates perfection, rug weavers from Islamic lands intentionally weave a small patch of dissimilar pattern to break the symmetry of their rugs. Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Imam of the Italian Muslim community who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Saudi Grand Mufti, explains why the idea of including some voluntary counter-pattern in works of art is common in Islamic art, and extends to tapestry, painting, music, and architecture. Devout Muslim women who weave rugs would not be so arrogant as to attempt a perfect rug since such perfection only belongs to Allah. Consequently, they deliberately break each rug’s patterning as a mark of their humility.



The Islamic World Needs Israel to Realize Its Values
Peace can be achieved when the Islamic world recognizes that they need Israel to realize its own religious values. Israel provides the break in the contiguous Islamic world extending from Morocco to Pakistan. Accepting the Jewish State as the necessary counter-pattern demonstrates humility and abrogates arrogance before Allah and honors the diversity evident in all of God’s creations. The ingathering of the Jewish people into its historic homeland in the midst of the Islamic world is the fulfillment of Mohammed’s prophecy in the Koran (Sura 17:104): “And we said to the Children of Israel, ‘scatter and live all over the world…and when the end of the world is near we will gather you again into the Promised Land.”

Sheikh Palazzi quotes from the Koran,
Sura 5:20-21, to support the Arab world’s need to switch their viewpoint to recognize the sovereign right of the Jews over the Land of Israel as the will of Allah: “Remember when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favor of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the people. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you.”

Jews are the Indigenous People of the Land of Israel
According to the Imam, Islam’s holiest book confirms what every Jew and Christian who honors the Bible knows: The Land of Israel was divinely deeded to the Children of Israel. The Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel who have continuously lived there for more three millennia despite the conquests of numerous imperialist empires. Jews are from Judea. Arabs are from Arabia. The Arabs are blessed with 21 other countries.

A paradigm shift can transform the perception of Israel as a blemish to seeing it as a tiny golden seed from which a lush green Islamic tree has germinated and spread its roots and branches across North Africa and the Middle East.


Israel is a Blessing for the Muslim World
Professor Khaleed Mohammed, expert in Islamic law, explains: “As a Muslim, when I read 5:21 and 17:104 in the Quran, I can only say that I support that there must be an Israel. The Quran adumbrates the fight against tyranny and oppression, using the Children of Israel as an example, indeed as the prime example.” Tashibih Sayyed, Editor-in-Chief of Muslim World Today writes: “I consider the creation of the Jewish State as a blessing for the Muslims. Israel has provided us an opportunity to show the world the Jewish state of mind in action, a mind that yearns to be free…. The Jewish traditions and culture of pluralism, debate, acceptance of dissension and difference of opinion have manifested themselves in the shape of the State of Israel to present the oppressed Muslim world with a paradigm to emulate.”

An Islamic Metaphor to Usher in an Era of Peace
Peace will come from a fresh Islamic metaphor in which the Arabs see Israel’s existence as Allah’s will. A shift in viewpoint where Israel is perceived as a blessing, as the necessary counter-pattern in the overall pattern of the Islamic world, will usher in an era of peace. Peace will come when the Islamic world recognizes that Israel as the national state of the Jewish people is the realization of its own values.

02 August 2013

Israel is a Wound on the Islamic World


NEW IRANIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL WHILE THOUSANDS MARCH CHANTING “DEATH TO ISRAEL” AND “DOWN WITH AMERICA”
The newly elected Iran president Hasan Rouhani calls for the destruction of Israeli as Iran races ahead to build an atomic bomb to carry out its threat.

Rouhani called Israel an "old wound" that should be eliminated, while tens of thousands took to the streets in anti-Israeli rallies across Iran, chanting "Down with America" and "Death to Israel." Protesters burned American and Israeli flags.
"The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed," so-called “moderate” Rouhani ranted.

Outgoing President Ahmadinejad - who was known for vitriolic anti-Israeli rhetoric while in office, including calls that Israel be wiped off the map - spoke to the crowds after Friday prayers at the Tehran University campus in his last public speech before his term ends.
"You Zionists planted a wind but you will harvest a storm," said Ahmadinejad. "A destructive storm is on the way and it will destroy Zionism."

28 June 2013

New Opportunity for Creative Peacemaking


Fresh Directions
The
Jerusalem Post, 28 June 2013

Sir – Hamadallah’s resignation from being a powerless Prime Minister in a corrupt Palestinian Authority with a bogus “peace” process is good news (“Abbas accepts Hamadallah’s resignation” June 24).

His return to the presidency of An-Najah University offers him a creative opportunity to become an honest peacemaker.  Rami Hamdallah has the power to initiate a real peace process by driving 20 minutes to meet with Dan Meyerstein.  Hamdallah used his creative energies to build a small college into a major university in Nablus while Meyerstein built a major university a mere 12 miles away in Ariel.
Today, 600 Arab students study in Ariel University.  Hamdallah can initiate a genuine peace process by inviting 600 Jewish students to study in An-Najah University. 

These two neighboring universities working together can forge fresh directions for Arabs and Jews to live in peace with each other between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River.

Mel Alexenberg, Ra’anana
The writer is professor emeritus at Ariel University
 

02 May 2013

Allah Is a Zionist

By Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi                         

quran  
An 11th-century North African Quran in the British Museum. (Wikipedia) The Quranic argument for Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel

Over the past 15 years, the political conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs has been reframed as a religious war in which leaders from Yasser Arafat to Hassan Nasrallah to Osama bin Laden have appealed to the authority of the Quran to support their goal of eliminating the State of Israel. The authority of the Quran has also been cited in support of a revisionist history that seeks to deny the historical connection of the Jewish people to the city of Jerusalem and to its holiest sites, including the Temple Mount. Ignorant of what the Quran actually says about Jerusalem, Western reporters have recently tended to ignore archeological and historical evidence and give equal weight to the supposedly competing religious narratives of Jews and Muslims: Jews are said to believe that there was a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, while the Quran states that the historical and religious claims of the Jews are false.

The transformation of a political conflict over land into a religious war is one of the most dangerous and frightening goals of radical Islamist politicians—but it has nothing to do with the Quran. Here the Italian Muslim communal leader and Quranic scholar Sheik Abdul Hadi Palazzi examines what the Quran says about the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Far from negating the historical claims of a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Quran actually confirms Jewish accounts of the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem and supports the Biblical claim that the land of Israel was given to the Jews by God.

1. Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem
In August 2002, the Yasser Arafat-appointed “mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land,” Ikrima Sabri, told the Western media that “there is not even the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple in Jerusalem in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history.” By saying this, he confirmed what Arafat had already said to the London-based Arabic paper al-Hayat and reportedly repeated to Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak at Camp David: “Archaeologists have not found a single stone proving that the Temple of Solomon was there because historically the Temple was not in Palestine.”

In making such statements, Sabri and Arafat not only blatantly denied history, archeology, and the teachings of the Bible, but they also denied the words of the Quran. From the time of the Revelation of the Noble Quran until recently, all Muslims unanimously accepted that the Haram as-Sharif, or Holy Esplanade, on which the Dome of the Rock today stands is the same place where Solomon’s and Zorobabel’s Temples once stood. As a matter of fact, Haram as-Sharif, the Sacred Area of Temple Mount, includes a place called Solomon’s Standpoint, or Maqam Sulayman—according to the Muslim tradition, Solomon used to sit there and supplicate while Hiram’s masons were engaged in building the Temple. From that same place the Muslim tradition says that Solomon prayed to dedicate the House once it was completed and to intercede for those who will approach it for worshipping.

Accepting that Solomon’s Temple was in Jerusalem is compulsory for every Muslim believer, because that is what the Quran and the Islamic oral tradition, called the Sunnah, teach.
In the Quran, Surah Bani Isra’il (the Chapter of the Children of Israel), verses 1-7, we find a description of Solomon’s Temple and of how it was destroyed twice by the enemies of the Jewish people:
Glory to Him Who caused His servant [Muhammad] to travel by night from Masjid al-Haram [in Mecca] to Masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem] whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth everything. We gave Moses the Book [Torah], and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, commanding: ‘Take not other than Me as Disposer of your affairs.’ O ye that are the offspring of those whom We carried [in the Ark] with Noah, verily he was a devotee most grateful. And We warned the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and twice be elated with mighty arrogance. When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our creatures [Babylonians], given to terrible warfare: they entered the very inmost parts of your homes, and thus the first warning was fulfilled. Then We did grant you the return as against them; We gave you increase in resources and sons and made you abundant in human power. If ye did well, ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil, [ye did it] against yourselves. So when the second of the warnings came to pass, [We permitted your enemies] to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they entered it once before, and to bring to destruction all that fell into their power.
Imam Abu Abdullah al-Qurtubi, who lived from 1214 to 1273 and was one of the most authoritative medieval Quranic annotators, in his Al-Jami’ li Ahkam il-Qur’an, or Encyclopedia of Quranic Rules, explains the context (asbab) of the verses by mentioning among other sources the authentic Prophetic tradition (hadith). He wrote:
Hudhayfah Ibn al-Yaman asked the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him:
‘I travelled more than once to Jerusalem, but saw no Temple standing there. What is the reason?’
The Prophet Muhammad replied:
‘Verily Solomon son of David raised Bayt al-Maqdis [i.e., Beth ha-Mikdash, the First Temple] with gold and silver, with rubies and emeralds, and Allah caused human beings and spirits to work under his command, until the raising of the House was completed. Afterwards a Babylonian King destroyed Bayt al-Maqdis and brought its treasures to the land of Babylonia, until a King of Persia defeated him and ransomed the Children of Israel. They rebuilt Bayt al-Maqdis for the second time [the Second Temple], until it was destroyed for the second time by an army led by a Roman Emperor.’
One can easily verify that Jewish and Muslim traditional sources are confirming each other: The Temple was built by Solomon and destroyed by a Babylonian king. A Persian king later defeated the Babylonians and ransomed the Jews, permitting them to return to the Land of Israel. The Temple was rebuilt but afterward was destroyed by the Romans. This Temple stood in the area referred to as Beth haMikdash in Hebrew and Bayt al-Maqdis in Arabic. Those political and pseudo-religious Palestinian leaders who claim that “there was never a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem” are surely aware that, in order to support their political claims, they are compelled to lie, hide sources, and contradict the letter of the Quran and the Islamic tradition.

An earlier Quranic exegete and jurist, Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari, who lived from 838 to 923, writes in his Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, or History of Prophets and Kings, that the same sacred area was the place where Jacob had his vision of the Heavenly Ladder:
When Jacob awoke he felt blissful from what he had seen in his trustful dream and vowed, for God’s sake that, if he returned to his family safely, he would build there a Temple for the Almighty. He also vowed to perpetual charity one tenth of his property for the sake of God. He poured oil on the Stone so as to recognize it and called the place Bayt El, which means ‘the House of God.’ It became the location of Jerusalem later.  
In Jerusalem on a huge Rock, Solomon son of David built a beautiful Temple to expand the worship of God. Today on the base of that Temple stands the Dome of the Rock.
Historical negation of Jewish and Islamic sources concerning Jerusalem is recent and does not predate the PLO and its political propaganda. In 1932, during the British Mandate period, the Supreme Muslim Council of Jerusalem published a Brief Guide to Haram as-Sharif for Muslim pilgrims, written in English. “This site is one of the oldest in the world,” it says. “Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”

Not only were Arafat’s minions and heirs in Jerusalem attempting to rewrite the history of Arabs and Jews in the region as told by others; they were also attempting to rewrite the history of Arabs and Jews in the region as told by Islamic Arab sources, too.

2. Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel
The Biblical notion that God granted the land of Canaan to the Children of Israel is confirmed by the Quran. In the Surah of Jonah, verse 93, we read:
We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place, and provided for them sustenance of the best.
In Surah al-Ahraf (of the Barrier), verse 137, we read:
We made a people considered weak inheritors of the Land in both Eastern and Western side [of the Jordan river] whereon we sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We levelled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected.
Surah al Maidah (the Table), verse 21, is the only passage in which the Holy Land is mentioned by that title (al-Ard al-Muqaddas). It refers to the words Moses spoke to the descendants of Isaac:
Remember Moses said To his people: ‘O my People, call in remembrance the favor of God unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave You what He had not given To any other among the peoples. O my people! Enter The Holy Land which God hath written for you, and turn not back ignominiously [to this heritage of yours], for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.
In a commentary of Imam Abu al-Qasim Mahmud al-Zamakshari, who lived from 1074 to 1144, titled al-Kashaf, or The Revealer, we read the following explanation:
As for the borders of ‘the Holy Land,’ some scholars says its northern border is the Mount [Hermon] and its surroundings, and for others in also includes a part of the Land of Sham [the Golan]. Others say it extends from the territory of the Philistines [Gaza] until Damascus and a part of Urvum. Some say that God presented to Abraham this Land as an inheritance for his children when he went up to the mountain and said to him: ‘Look around as far as your gaze can reach. Every place reached by your eyes will be theirs.’ The Holy Temple was the dwelling place of the prophets and the residence of the believers. ‘God hath written for you’ means ‘God swore it and wrote in the Divine Tablets of Predestination: that it is yours, belongs to your people and do not turn back from it. Do not be afraid of the Philistine giants who live there.
A similar note is also found in a commentary of Abdallah ibn ‘Umar al-Qadi al-Baidawi, who lived from 1226 to 1260, titled Asrar ut-Tanzil wa Asrar ut-Ta’wil, or The Secrets of Revelation and the Secrets of Interpretation.

3. Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel was never abolished
Moreover, the Quran explicitly refers to the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel before the Last Judgment when it says in the Surah of the Children of Israel, verse 104:
And thereafter We [God] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.’
Therefore, from an Islamic point of view, Israel is the legitimate owner of the land God deeded to her and whose borders were defined by Abraham in Genesis.

All recent claims according to which the “assignment of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people was withdrawn or abrogated” are bereft of scriptural or traditional evidence. The Quran mentions the territory that God assigned to the Jewish people, but neither it nor the traditional Islamic sources mention a supposed withdrawal.

Imam al-Qurtubi explains in al-Jami that the last promise concerning the return of the Jewish people “together in a mingled crowd” after the destruction of the Second Temple will be a sign that precedes the coming of the Messiah.

The Quran only mentions a double period of mischief and a double punishment with exile from the Land. God says:
We warned the Children of Israel in the Book, that TWICE would they do mischief on the earth and TWICE be elated with mighty arrogance.
According to this Quranic proof, the contemporary Zionist rebuilding of the State of Israel—the third entry of the Jews to their divinely appointed land—is not mischief but rather a fulfillment of what Imam az-Zamakshari reminds the Jews: “God swore it and wrote in the Divine Tablets of Predestination: that it is yours, belongs to your people and do not turn back from it.”

Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi is secretary general of the Italian Muslim Assembly.

01 December 2012

Praise to the Czechs


The Czech Republic is the only European country that moved past Europe's anti-Semitic past to vote against the UN attack on Israel by the genocidal Palestinian Arabs who call for the annihilation of Israel and the murder of Jews.

The desperate need to obliterate the Jewish presence in their midst is stated in the Hamas charter: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims…. Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them…. I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill."

These murders approved by the UN General Assembly showered Israel's civilian population with thousands of rockets.  One made a direct hit on my niece's apartment house in Kiryat Malachi killing her neighbors and sending her children into shock!

In December, I was happy to be in Prague participating in the 2012 Mutaphorphosis conference exploring interrelationships between art and science.

The last time I was there was in 2004 for my exhibition Cyberangels: Aesthetic Peace Plan for the Middle East at the Robert Guttman Gallery of the Jewish Museum in Prague.

Peace will come from a fresh metaphor in which the Arabs see Israel’s existence as Allah’s will, rather than an alien presence that they seek to exterminate. 

25 May 2011

Aesthetic Peace Tweets

Artist Mel Alexenberg with the ambassadors of Israel and United States at the opening of his "Aesthetic Peace" exhibition in Prague
Dots are a counter-pattern woven into an Islamic rug

The tweets below are a commentary on the the biblical book Numbers/Bamidbar from the Torah Tweets blogart project 
 
Four of our grandsons are serving in the Israel Defense Forces protecting us from enemies committed to Israel's destruction.

When Mel served in the IDF, we had hoped that our children and grandchildren would live in our land at peace with all our neighbors.

Netanyahu made it clear in his address to the US Congress that peace can only come when the Arabs accept a Jewish State in their midst.

However, all peace processes from Oslo to Obama are doomed to failure because the conflict is not political but aesthetic and religious.

At his Aesthetic Peace exhibition in Prague, Mel explains to the ambassadors of Israel and US about his peace plan derived from Islamic art.

Behind them is a painting of a pattern from a Damascus mosque superimposed on a map of the Islamic world in which Israel is a counter pattern.

The continuously repeated geometric patterns in Islamic art are perceived by Arabs as spreading across North Africa and the Middle East.

They see Israel as a blemish that disrupts the pattern, an alien presence they try to eliminate through war, terrorism and political action.

Rug weavers from Islamic lands intentionally weave a patch of dissimilar pattern to break the symmetry of their rugs.

Since only Allah creates perfection, they purposely disrupt the uniform pattern to demonstrate that human creation is less than perfect.

Peace will come from a fresh metaphor in which the Arabs see Israel’s existence as Allah’s will.

Perceiving Israel as the necessary counter-pattern in the overall pattern of the Islamic world will usher in an era of peace.

The Arab world needs Israel to realize its own aesthetic and religious values. Perhaps art can succeed where politics has failed.

06 August 2009

Aesthetic Metaphor to Counter the Fatah General Assembly's Rejection of Peace


All peace processes and road maps are doomed to failure because the Arab world’s refusal to accept a Jewish state in its midst is an aesthetic problem rather than a political one.

A New Islamic Metaphor for Peace is Needed
In Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s July article in The Washington Post, he asks: “To this day, I cannot understand why the Palestinian leadership did not accept the unprecedented proposal I offered them. It included a solution to all outstanding issues: territorial compromise, security, Jerusalem and refugees. It would be worth exploring the reason that the Palestinians rejected my offer.” This is the reason, Mr. Olmert: without a perceptual shift and new metaphor for peace, no Arab will rest content with Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people existing in the Middle East.

Islamic art and thought can provide an alternative to viewing Israel as the alien presence that the Arabs have continually tried to eliminate through war, terrorism, and political action. Genuine peace can be achieved through a perceptual shift in which Israel is perceived as a realization of Islamic aesthetic values. Peace will come through a new metaphor through which Muslims see the State of Israel as a blessing expressing Allah’s will rather than as an unbearable blemish in the heart of the Arab world. Perhaps, thinking out of the box from a fresh aesthetic viewpoint can succeed in bringing peace where politics has failed. The Peres Center for Peace proposes that art and creativity can inspire new approaches and create new metaphors to transform attitudes fixed in old patterns of mutual mistrust and prejudice.

A Jewish State in the Land of Israel 1,600 Years before Islam
The Arabs reject the fact that Israel is the only nation among the 21 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea where its people still speak the same language, follow the same religion, celebrate the same holidays, and live by the same calendar that it did more than 3000 years ago. When King Solomon ruled in Judea, the Arabs were primitive pagan tribes in the Arabian Desert. Islam was founded and its warriors invaded the Land of Israel 1,600 years after King David moved the capital of the Jewish state from Hebron to Jerusalem.

Fatah Joins Hamas in Calling for the Extermination of Israel
Denying Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish people was forcefully reiterated by the so called “moderate” Fatah in its General Assembly in Bethlehem when it called for the “objection by force to all political solutions that are offered as an alternative to the extermination of the Zionist entity.” The desperate need to obliterate the Jewish presence in their midst is also stated in the Hamas charter: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims…. Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them…. I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill."
What does Fatah mean when they disingenuously talk of “two states for two peoples” hoodwinking the Americans and Europeans so that they parrot their mantra? Since Fatah refuses to acknowledge the right of the Jews to a state of their own, who are the other people? In the Fatah Assembly’s call for a strategic alliance with Iran is now clear that Fatah has joined Hamas, the front-line Iranian proxy army that has been testing the waters of world opinion by launching thousands of rockets into Israel as a prelude to an Iranian atomic bomb annihilating Israel.

Netanyahu and Obama Set Parameters for Peace
Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama set the parameters to overcome decades of hostility and lead to peace. Netanyahu’s first principle is the need for explicit Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. Obama rightly sees that the war between Palestinian Arabs and Jews can only come to an end within the framework of a regional peace that involves all the Arabs states. Both these two crucial parameters can be realized with a perceptual shift and fresh metaphor derived from Islamic aesthetics.

Art is a Mirror of Culture
Historian of Islamic art, Elisabeth Siddiqui, writes that art is the mirror of a culture and its worldview. She emphasizes that there is no case to which this statement more directly applies than to the art of the Islamic world. “Not only does its art reflect its cultural values, but even more importantly, the way in which its adherents, the Muslims, view the spiritual realm, the universe, life, and the relationships of the parts to the whole.”

The repetitive geometric patterns in Islamic art teach Arabs to see their world as a continuous uninterrupted pattern that extends across North Africa and the Middle East. They see Israel as a blemish that disrupts the pattern. From this perspective, Israel is viewed as an alien presence that the Palestinian Authority television calls a “cancer in the body of the Arab nation.”

A Perceptual Shift Derived from Islamic Art
Fortunately, the perceptual shift needed to lead to genuine peace can be found in Islamic art where a uniform geometric pattern is purposely disrupted by the introduction of a counter-pattern that demonstrates human creation as less than perfect. Based upon the belief that only Allah creates perfection, rug weavers from Islamic lands intentionally weave a small patch of dissimilar pattern to break the symmetry of their rugs. Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Imam of the Italian Muslim community who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Saudi Grand Mufti, explains why the idea of including some voluntary counter-pattern in works of art is common in Islamic art, and extends to tapestry, painting, music, and architecture. Devout Muslim women who weave rugs would not be so arrogant as to attempt a perfect rug since such perfection only belongs to Allah. Consequently, they deliberately break each rug’s patterning as a mark of their humility.

The Islamic World Needs Israel to Realize Its Values
Peace can be achieved when the Islamic world recognizes that they need Israel to realize its own religious values. Israel provides the break in the contiguous Islamic world extending from Morocco to Pakistan. Accepting the Jewish State as the necessary counter-pattern demonstrates humility and abrogates arrogance before Allah and honors the diversity evident in all of God’s creations. The ingathering of the Jewish people into its historic homeland in the midst of the Islamic world is the fulfillment of Mohammed’s prophecy in the Koran (Sura 17:104): “And we said to the Children of Israel, ‘scatter and live all over the world…and when the end of the world is near we will gather you again into the Promised Land.”

Sheikh Palazzi quotes from the Koran, Sura 5:20-21, to support the Arab world’s need to switch their viewpoint to recognize the sovereign right of the Jews over the Land of Israel as the will of Allah: “Remember when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favor of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the people. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you.”

Jews are the Indigenous People of the Land of Israel
According to the Imam, Islam’s holiest book confirms what every Jew and Christian who honors the Bible knows: The Land of Israel was divinely deeded to the Children of Israel. The Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel who have continuously lived there for more three millennia despite the conquests of numerous imperialist empires. Jews are from Judea. Arabs are from Arabia. The Arabs are blessed with 21 other countries.

A paradigm shift can transform the perception of Israel as a blemish to seeing it as a tiny golden seed from which a lush green Islamic tree has germinated and spread its roots and branches across North Africa and the Middle East.

Israel as a Blessing for the Muslim World
Professor Khaleed Mohammed, expert in Islamic law, explains: “As a Muslim, when I read 5:21 and 17:104 in the Quran, I can only say that I support that there must be an Israel. The Quran adumbrates the fight against tyranny and oppression, using the Children of Israel as an example, indeed as the prime example.” Tashibih Sayyed, Editor-in-Chief of Muslim World Today writes: “I consider the creation of the Jewish State as a blessing for the Muslims. Israel has provided us an opportunity to show the world the Jewish state of mind in action, a mind that yearns to be free…. The Jewish traditions and culture of pluralism, debate, acceptance of dissension and difference of opinion have manifested themselves in the shape of the State of Israel to present the oppressed Muslim world with a paradigm to emulate.”

An Islamic Metaphor to Usher in an Era of Peace
Peace will come from a fresh Islamic metaphor in which the Arabs see Israel’s existence as Allah’s will. A shift in viewpoint where Israel is perceived as a blessing, as the necessary counter-pattern in the overall pattern of the Islamic world, will usher in an era of peace. Peace will come when the Islamic world recognizes that Israel as the national state of the Jewish people is the realization of its own values.

09 January 2009

Perhaps Art Can Succeed Where Politics Has Failed

Framed with a pattern from a Damascus mosque is a quotation from the Koran stating that the ingathering of the Jewish people into its historic homeland realizes Mohammed's prophecy
Aesethic Peace Facebook Group
Hundreds of Jews, Muslims, and Christians worldwide are joining together in an “Aesthetic Peace” Facebook group to promote a new metaphor for peace to end the sixty-year war aimed at destroying the State of Israel. This metaphor derived from Islamic art invites a perceptual shift through which Muslims see the State of Israel as a blessing expressing Allah’s will rather than as an alien presence in the midst of the Islamic world. Perhaps thinking out of the box from a fresh aesthetic viewpoint can succeed in bringing peace where politics has failed.

Misguided Peace-Making Efforts
All diplomatic processes and road maps from Oslo to Annapolis are doomed to failure because the conflict is not political but rather aesthetic. The misguided peace-making efforts of the Americas and Europeans have not stopped Iran in its race to develop weapons of mass destruction while its proxy armies Hamas and Hezbollah rain murderous rockets on Israel’s towns and cities as part of their stated aim of wiping Israel off the map.

Israel Seen as an Ugly Stain
The repetitive geometric patterns in Islamic art teach Muslims to see their world as a continuous uninterrupted pattern that extends across North Africa and the Middle East. Unfortunately, they see Israel as a blemish that disrupts the pattern. From this perspective, Israel is viewed as an alien presence that they have continually tried to eliminate through war, terrorism, and political action. Palestinian Authority television labels Israel as a “cancer in the body of the Arab nation.” Its emblems, publications, and web sites show the map of Israel labeled Palestine. Israel does not exist. Former Iranian president Rafsanjani expressed his longing for a day when an Islamic nuclear weapon could remove the “extraneous matter” called Israel from the midst of the Islamic world.

Perceptual Shift Can Bring Peace
Fortunately, the perceptual shift needed to lead to genuine peace can be found in Islamic art and thought. In Islamic art, a uniform geometric pattern is purposely disrupted by the introduction of a counter-pattern that demonstrates human creation as less than perfect. Based upon the belief that only Allah creates perfection, rug weavers from Islamic lands intentionally weave a small patch of dissimilar pattern to break the symmetry of their rugs. Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Imam of the Italian Muslim community who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Saudi Grand Mufti, proposes that the idea of underlying the Divine infinitude and the human fallacy by including some voluntary counter-pattern in works of art is common in Islamic art, and extends to tapestry, painting, music, and architecture. The Islamic artisan does not want to be perceived as competing with the perfection of Allah.

In “Islamic Textile Art: Anomalies in Kilims,” Muhammad Thompson and Nasima Begum write that the weavers of kilim rugs, “devout Muslim women, would not be so arrogant as to even attempt a ‘perfect kilim’ since such perfection belonged only to Allah. Consequently, they would deliberately break the kilim’s patterning as a mark of their humility.”

Islamic Art Relects Islamic Values
Historian of Islamic art, Elisabeth Siddiqui, writes in the Arabic journal Al-Madrashah Al-Ula that art is the mirror of a culture and its worldview. She emphasizes that there is no case to which this statement more directly applies than to the art of the Islamic world. “Not only does its art reflect its cultural values, but even more importantly, the way in which its adherents, the Muslims, view the spiritual realm, the universe, life, and the relationships of the parts to the whole.”

Peace can be achieved when the Islamic world recognizes that they need Israel to realize their own religious and aesthetic values. Israel provides the break in the contiguous Islamic world extending from Morocco to Pakistan. Accepting the Jewish State as the necessary counter-pattern demonstrates humility and abrogates arrogance before Allah and honors the diversity evident in all of God’s creations. The ingathering of the Jewish people into its historic homeland in the midst of the Islamic world is the fulfillment of Mohammed’s prophecy in the Koran (Sura 17:104): “And we said to the Children of Israel, ‘scatter and live all over the world…and when the end of the world is near we will gather you again into the Promised Land.’”

Welcoming Tiny Israel in the Huge Islamic World
Instead of dreaming of wiping Israel off the map, the State of Israel needs to be drawn on Islamic maps as a small counter-pattern in the continuous design running from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of India. If the contiguous Islamic world were the size of a football field, Israel would be smaller than a football placed in the middle of the field.

Sheikh Palazzi quotes from the Koran (Sura 5:20-21) to support the Arab world’s need to switch their viewpoint to recognize the sovereign right of the Jews over the Land of Israel as the will of Allah: “Remember when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favor of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the people. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you.’”

Jews Are the Indigious People of the Land of Israel
According to the Imam, Islam’s holiest book confirms what every Jew and Christian who honors the Bible knows: The Land of Israel was divinely deeded to the Children of Israel. The Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel who have continuously lived there for more three millennia despite the conquests of numerous imperialist empires. Jews are from Judea. Arabs are from Arabia. The Arabs are blessed with 21 other countries.

A paradigm shift can transform the perception of Israel as a blemish to seeing it as a tiny golden seed from which a lush green Islamic tree has germinated and spread its roots and branches across North Africa and the Middle East.
The Jewish State as a Blessing for Muslims
Professor Khaleed Mohammed, expert in Islamic law, explains: “As a Muslim, when I read 5:21 and 17:104 in the Quran, I can only say that I support that there must be an Israel. The Quran adumbrates the fight against tyranny and oppression, using the Children of Israel as an example, indeed as the prime example.” Tashibih Sayyed, Editor-in-Chief of Muslim World Today writes: “I consider the creation of the Jewish State as a blessing for the Muslims. Israel has provided us an opportunity to show the world the Jewish state of mind in action, a mind that yearns to be free…. The Jewish traditions and culture of pluralism, debate, acceptance of dissension and difference of opinion have manifest themselves in the shape of the State of Israel to present the oppressed Muslim world with a paradigm to emulate.”

The “Aesthetic Peace” Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7590742794
and the “Aesthetic Peace” blog http://www.aestheticpeace.com/ promote the innovative paradigm that peace will emerge from a fresh metaphor in which the Islamic world sees Israel’s existence as Allah’s will. A shift in viewpoint where Israel is perceived as a blessing, as the necessary counter-pattern in the overall pattern of the Islamic world, will usher in an era of peace. Peace will come when the Islamic world recognizes Israel as the realization of its own values.

04 January 2009

Join the Aesthetic Peace Facebook Group


Join the AESTHETIC PEACE Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7590742794 and invite your friends to join, too.

Promote a New Metaphor for Peace
The Aesthetic Peace Group aims through art and creativity to inspire new approaches and create new metaphors for peace between Israel and its neighbors. The Arab conflict with Israel stems from an aesthetic problem that calls for an artistic solution. Jews, Christians, and Muslims are joining together to make peace through promoting an aesthetic peace plan for the Middle East.

Emphatically Reject the Hamas Charter that calls for Destroying Israel and Murdering Jews
An aesthetic peace between Israel and the Islamic world derived from Islamic art and thought will bring tranquility to both Gaza and Israel when Iran’s proxy army Hamas is defeated and its charter emphatically rejected. The Hamas charter states:

“Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims…. The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him…. I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.”