Call me Ishmael

I’ve been reading two things that seem to twine together.  The first is the ongoing news out of Gaza, about Hamas continuously firing missiles into Israel (as well as into their own population).  Noah Pollak wrote a very good commentary in response to a question about why Hamas, through its outpost in Gaza, keeps fighting and fighting and fighting.  The answer, of course, is that Hamas fights because that is its nature.  Fighting is its raison d’etre.  Without fighting, there is nothing.

The second thing I’ve been reading, which at first glance seems unrelated, is Rabbi Joseph Teluskin’s Biblical Literacy: The Most Important People, Events, and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible — a very informative and enjoyable retelling of the Old Testament, along with Rabbinical commentary.

The story of Abraham and Sarah, of course, brings up the history of Hagar and Ishmael. Telushkin reminds us of two things about Ishmael. First, he repeats the prophecy that God’s angel made about Ishmael:  “He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” (Genesis, 16:12.) The second is the fact that the Muslim Arabs claim descent from this same Ishmael.

I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

[Link fixed. Thanks, Gringo.]

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Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    The Qu’ran, which garbles almost every Bible story Mohammed had heard second-hand from Christian and Jewish traders, turns Genesis on its ear and makes Ishmael, not Isaac, the favored son. If anything, Muslim Arabs look upon the descendants of Isaac as the ass men.

    (Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing to be — although I am more partial to gams.)

    As for Hamas, it reminds me of the Irish Republican Army. When all was said and done, the only thing left to it was the simple and addictive thrill of murder. At some point Israel is going to have to go into Lebanon and clean Hamas’s house by giving all of its inhabitants the martyrdom they so earnestly aspire to.

  2. Mike Devx says

    Charles,

    Israel executed a terribly poor strategy the last time they went into Lebanon to disrupt Hezbollah/Hamas/Syria/Iran activities. They were poorly prepared; they had a flawed strategy; their warehouses of military supplies were almost in collapse; their military activities underwent vacillation and changed almost daily in response to political pressure from the US (supposedly friendly pressure) and European and UN pressure (definitely hostile pressure).

    If they go back into Lebanon, I certainly hope they have learned from the near-disaster. Perhaps they should rely more on the UN peacekeepers who station the border dmz zone. They’re very effective at sheltering and protecting the Hezbollah fighters – oops, strike that, how unfair of me! – the UN peacekeepers are very effective at keeping the peace. I meant to say.

  3. Mike Devx says

    So I was looking up the definition of U.N. peacekeeper. I expected something along the lines of:

    Peacekeeper, U.N.: Those who stand by idly and watch while Israeli soldiers are kidnapped by Muslim terrorists. By not being confrontation and not firing any shots, even in warning, they are keeping the peace.

    Peacekeeper, U.N. : One who keeps the peace along a violent border. Often they use vehicles specially marked for them, to preserve their safety, and so that neither side will attack them; and they loan these vehicles out to muslim terrorists so that the terrorists may strike unexpectedly.

    Peacekeeper, U.N. : Statistically, child molesters and rapers of women, since these activities happen far more often than any “keeping of the peace”. Known for their non-aggressive, doormat style of allowing anyone to do anything they want, they are quite effective at being peaceful even while the violence that they are mandated to contain rages all about them.

    Peacekeeper, U.N. : An oxymoron. See “craven”, “coward”, and “political bias” for further information. Sometimes they operate under the moniker, “Friends of Ishmael”. (See, I had to tie this to Book’s post somehow!)

  4. says

    Book,

    Several years ago when I was in the ministry I warned and explained regularly about the origin of the war — Israel vs Ishmael. As you say – it is still being waged. We love Israel.

    And now it is Israel vs the world and the USA, at best, stands by and watches.

    This proves several things — the Old Testament and the New are true and very prophetic. It claims for Israel, “They cry Peace, Peace but there will be no peace.”

    And, in the early sixties we tried to alert Americans to the dangers of the UN — and tried to “Get the US out of the UN!” We were as successful with that as we were trying to keep the BO man out of the Presidency.

    There will be no national peace for Israel until the Prince of Peace, the Messiah returns. No personal peace until one believes in the Messiah who has already come.

    Thanks for that very thoughtful piece, Book.

    In Jesus the Messiah eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  5. Tiresias says

    It’s hard to see any advantage to claiming descent from a total ass***, but… faults on both sides, I suppose. (Can’t say, wasn’t there: but the stories of Abraham never struck me as being models of exemplary behavior on anyone’s part, up to and including old Sees-And-Knows-it-All.)

    Mike (#6) they’ll have to put the Irish back in. Ireland’s been providing troops for “peacekeeping” for years, but their first encounter with the Middle East came in Lebanon in 2006 – and they declined to go. Defense Minister Willie O’Shea took a look at the UN rules, prominent among them being the one that says “peacekeepers can’t shoot back;” and the Irish have done no “peacekeeping” in the Middle East. (The Irish are Irish: you shoot at them, they’re shooting back – period. This attitude would only be a good thing in the Middle East.)

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