This issue sheds light on how Israeli settlements came to be declared “illegal,” reveals what Israelis think about rebuilding the Temple and why Muslims would allow it, highlights a few Muslim traditions regarding the Mahdi, and gives a rule for writing sentences within sentences.
OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION
Excerpt from Moshe Dann’s article, “How Settlements Became Illegal” in the July 23, 2009 edition of The Jerusalem Post
In 1967, under attack, Israel struck back and conquered the Golan Heights from Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem (the West Bank) from Jordan. Israel had been threatened with a second Holocaust, and few questioned its actions. No one spoke of a Palestinian state; there was no “Palestinian people.”
Many legal experts accepted Israel’s right to “occupy” and settle in its historic homeland, because the areas had been illegally occupied by invading Arab countries since 1948. One organization, however – the International Committee of the Red Cross – disagreed. Meeting secretly in the early 1970s in Geneva, the ICRC determined that Israel was in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Based on the Hague Convention, GC IV was drawn up after World War II to protect innocent civilians and restrict brutal occupations. Unilaterally, the ICRC turned it into a weapon to delegitimize and demonize Israel. As far as is known, the ICRC did not rely on any legal precedents; it made up “the law.” Judge and jury, its decisions lacked the pretense of due process. Since all decisions and protocols of the ICRC in this matter are closed, even the identities of the people involved are secret. And there is no appeal. Without transparency or judicial ethics, ICRC rulings became “international law.” Its condemnations of Israel provide the basis for accusing Israel of “illegal occupation” of all territory conquered in 1967.
Joel Rosenberg reports
Both the Old and New Testaments indicate a Third Temple will be built in the last days. Cynics and skeptics abound, to be sure. But a new poll published this week finds that a stunning 64% of Israelis want to see the Jewish Temple rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. And it is not just religious Orthodox Jews who want to see the Third Temple built soon. Remarkably, 47% of secular Israelis want this as well, reports Ynetnews.com. Only 36% of Israelis oppose the building of the Temple.
IT’S NEWS TO ME
With the majority of Jews in Israel favoring the rebuilding of the Temple, we must answer an obvious question. How will the Muslims, who currently occupy the Temple Mount, permit construction of the Temple to begin? To us Christians in the West, rebuilding the Temple seems unlikely at best.
This scenario offers yet another example of how our ignorance of Muslim theology and traditions can lead us to wrong conclusions. We seem to think that the Bible is the only book that deals with prophecy on a theological level. Islam has prophetic “writings” too, but they take biblical prophecies and twist them to conform to Islamic doctrine. Among these prophetic writings is the prophecy that the Jews will one day rebuild the Temple. Amazingly, Muslims are commanded to allow this to happen, but under one condition-the Mahdi has appeared.
Another Islamic tradition says that the Mahdi will arise when the final of four peace agreements is reached between the Arabs and the Romans. (Muslims interpret “Romans” to mean Christians, or more generally, the West.) Though made with the “Romans,” this agreement is said to be mediated through a Jew who is descended from the priestly line of Aaron. This final agreement will be in effect for seven years. Another Islamic tradition says that after the seven-year peace treaty, the Mahdi will rule over the earth for seven years.
Other Islamic traditions clearly attempt to convince Muslims (and Christians) that at least one “lost gospel” is out there waiting to be discovered. Once they are uncovered, they will supposedly discredit the entire Christian church and all her claims. One such tradition says that the Mahdi will personally discover crucial lost portions of both Old and New Testaments. Apparently, he will be on quite a roll, as he also finds the Ark of the Covenant. The actual content of these “finds” will enable the Mahdi not only to argue effectively with Christians and Jews, but to win many to the Islamic cause.
One early Muslim commentator says that he will be called the “Mahdi” because he will guide (yahdi) to something hidden and will bring out the Torah and gospel from a town called Antioch.
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Using caps in sentences within sentences
A sentence enclosed in parentheses inside another sentence need not begin with a cap.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Dyslexic poets write inverse.