Monday, November 24, 2014


People are sometimes distraught when more murders of innocent Jewish victims occur at the hands of ruthless Palestinian Arabs.  Will it never cease?  How could a man run down a young woman in his van, then turn around and park and cross the road with a knife and systematically stab her to death.  Two people tried to stop him and were also stabbed, until he was shot several times, but is still alive in hospital in Israel, receiving excellent health care.  A youth attacked and stabbed a young soldier at random at the busy Haganah train station in Tel Aviv, and stabbed him until he died of his wounds. This Palestinian Arab was captured and is in prison.  Two Palestinian terrorists entered a synagogue in Jerusalem  while Jews were praying and murdered 4 of them as well as a Druse policeman in cold blood.  There is such hatred, it is almost incomprehensible.  Yet, similar things occur in the US almost every month, a student with a gun goes into a school and shoots dead from 1 to 20 people, and for what reason?  It makes no sense, yet it happens all the time. The common theme is that these murderous acts are irrational.
It has been noted that such murders of Jews have been going on here for over 100 years.  From the time Jews reappeared on the scene, although some Arabs welcomed them and worked with them, but most have responded violently.  There were murders of Jews in the 1880s, the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s and on and on.  What is the origin of this intense hatred, primarily it is tribal.  Yes, it has a religious origin, in the exclusiveness of Islam, the belief that all men must be either converted to Islam (submission) or must die.  We see this process working very efficiently nowadays in the region of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, where massacres and beheadings on religious, ethnic and tribal basis are unfortunately commonplace.  What could oppose and prevent these kind of acts?  Unfortunately only defeating the armies of the religious extremists will work in the short run.  And this is also true of the Palestinian fanatics, but in the longer run the only solution is secularization.
Secularization is the process that has occured throughout the Western world as a consequence of two related things, the rise of science and the demise of Christianity.  The democratization of the West has occured gradually over hundreds of years as a result of a process in which the hold that religion, in this case Christianity, had over the minds and lives of men was gradually reduced, and the rights of the individual, the concept of human rights, has taken hold.  The development of science played a very important role in this process, since it has replaced religion as the ultimate source of authority in our societies.  We no longer go to the priest for the answer to all our questions, we go to the scientist and the doctor.  Scientific medicine and hygiene has doubled our life expectancy over the course of the last century.  The only societies that have thrived in the modern world are those that have embraced science and secularization.
In secular society, in principle, it is not important what an individual believes as far as religion is concerned, as long as he or she adheres to the basic laws set down by secular society.  These laws, civil and criminal, may be derived from religion, but now stand independently, and must have an indepengent judiciary to implement them, and there must be free speech and a free press and protection of minority rights.  All these factors are the basis of a modern liberal democracy that tolerates individual differences in belief.  No society based on religion can compare to the kind of society that has evolved in the West.  We see the return to a purely religious concept of a medieval society as retrograde and dangerous, and we must oppose it. 
I wish that Palestinian society showed signs of secularization and democratization, but it unfortunately does not.  They oppose the existence of a Jewish State, Israel, as they oppose the existence of Jews, on the basis of blind hatred driven by religious and tribal fervor.  The only short term solution is to fight them and defeat them, the only long term solution is secularization.  And the only way I see this happening is for Israel to take over these areas and force them to accept our version of a secular state, in which minority rights are respected and all religious views are tolerated.  Whether or not Islam can co-exist with secularization is still a question.  Turkey was supposed to have been the example that proves the rule, but now that looks increasingly unlikely.  In effect, secularization is the only cure for religious domination of society.  


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