World View: Will Israel Win the Next War Between Arabs and Jews?

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
  • Israeli special forces appear to be fighting in Gaza
  • Will Israel win the next war between Arabs and Jews?
  • Biblical prophecy and the future of Israel
  • History and population and the future of Israel

Israeli special forces appear to be fighting in Gaza

The Islamic Jihad and the Al-Quds Brigades in Gaza are claiming they clashed on Sunday morning with Israeli special forces that entered Gaza. The Israeli army has confirmed these reports. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel is considering a ground invasion of Gaza, but that no decision has yet been reached. 

However, other reports indicate that Netanyahu is considering proposing an exit strategy for the war. First, Israel will eradicate a major portion of Hamas's military resources in Gaza, but leave it in power. 

Second, Israel will back down from a ground invasion of Gaza in return for international agreement that Israeli forces will be assigned the responsibility for the security of the Jordan Valley and the West Bank, to protect them from an invasion of the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Al Aribiya and Jerusalem Post and Debka

Will Israel win the next war between Arabs and Jews?

I received a number of comments questioning my statements in "9-Jul-14 World View -- Mideast war or peace? It all depends on what Hamas wants" four days ago. I wrote that many Arabs want a war with Israel because they believe that they could win it, simply based on population. Israel has 7.8 million people, while there are 123.2 million Arabs in adjoining countries, and population is destiny. 

There were two categories of objections: Biblical prophecy, and history. I'll address both of them below. 

But in reading the Mideast press, I get the strong impression that the Israeli people are way overconfident, and are certain they can't lose. This is in contrast to Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who gives me the feeling that he's in a state of panic. From the Palestinian leaders, I get the impression of gritty determination that this time they're going to win. 

However, in writing this article, I'm not taking an ideological stand. I'm following the Generational Dynamics methodology. And in that methodology a war is an act of nature, like an earthquake or a hurricane. It's neither good nor bad. Like an earthquake, it accomplishes nothing but destruction. As I first wrote my analysis of President Bush's Mideast Roadmap to Peace, in May 2003, a war between Arabs and Jews is coming with absolute certainty, just as earthquakes and hurricanes come with absolutely certainty. 

So this article continues the previous analysis by addressing the question of whether Israel is going to win the next major war between Jews and Arabs. The analysis indicates that Israel is probably going to lose. But wars end; in the aftermath, there may yet be a new Israel. 

Biblical prophecy and the future of Israel

People who believe in Biblical prophecy often look to the Bible to try to discern what will happen to Israel. One person wrote the following to me: 

The one thing wrong with Generational Dynamics theory is it does not account for religion. I am 100% backer of Generational Dynamics except when it comes to Israel who is Yahweh's chosen people, even though they don't act like it. He would not let the region be trampled on by Esau's and Ishmael's descendants. I don't want to enter in a debate of who believes in what. I'm just saying that comparing Israel's 7.8 million versus 123.2 million Arabs and giving the victory to the Arabs is a bit premature. Just sit back and watch what happens.

I would respond by saying that no one could know what Yahweh's plan is. Perhaps his plan is to let Israel be trampled on by Esau's and Ishmael's descendants, so that a new Israel can rise from the ashes. That would be completely in the spirit of many historical Biblical stories. 

In fact, if you think about it, Israel was created by the United Nations out of the ashes of World War II. It would certainly be consistent with millennia of Jewish history if Israel were completely destroyed by the coming war, and then rose again afterwards. 

Here's a comment that a web site reader sent to me in February 2011, as the Arab world was in tumult over the "Arab Awakening" in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and other countries: 

I feel you are off in a few points. The biggest problem is you do not address the Bible's predictions in your assessments of a world conflict. As the Bible sees it, we shall have a limited war in the Middle East (Psalm 83/Isaiah 17/Jeremiah 49) that will involve Israel vs. Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This war will end with Israel 'nuking' Damascus off the map and the world CRYING for a peace plan. With the inner ring of Arab nations conquered by Israel the Middle East problems will be seen as over, a 'new' global leader will provide a seven year treaty that makes more war impossible. Though when everyone says 'peace and safety', the end comes quickly. In 2-3 months I think, Russia and Iran and the outer ring of Arab nations will attack Israel in revenge (with Russia adding their might, but planning to double-cross the Arabs once things are done). ... As Ezekiel 38-39 reads God will supernaturally save Israel, and leave but 1/6th of its attackers alive.

First, I try to tell people who believe in Bible prophecy to interpret today's events to be very cautious, because populations have moved. Just to take one example, the Turks came from central Asia, and didn't move into Anatolia (today's Turkey) until about 1000 years ago. So someone using Bible prophecy to interpret events today about Turkey would have to explain away the fact that there's a whole new race of people living in Turkey, different from the people who lived there at the time of the prophecy. 

However, I particularly want to focus on the prophecy about Damascus, which several people have written to me about over the years, in Isaiah 17:1-3: 

"1 The oracle concerning Damascus. "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin. 2 "The cities of Aroer are forsaken; They will be for flocks to lie down in, And there will be no one to frighten them. 3 "The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, And sovereignty from Damascus And the remnant of Aram; They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel," Declares the LORD of hosts."

There are many people who interpret these verses as indicating that someone is going to drop a nuclear weapon on Damascus. The attacker would be Israel or Iran or Russia, according to different interpretations.

What's fascinating about this prophecy is that it seems that almost everyone in the Mideast seems to know about it. So if anybody actually DOES drop a bomb on Damascus at some time in the future, it will truly be a self-fulfilling prophecy, since the attacker will certainly justify this action by saying it's a Bible prophecy. Thus, it would be possible to argue that the CAUSE of the nuclear attack on Damascus would have been the Bible prophecy. 

So the net result of all this is that it's very difficult to justify applying any Biblical prophecy to today's events, and every easy to get into trouble because of it. Pulpit Biblical Commentary

History and population and the future of Israel

Several people sent me messages something like the following: "In fact Israel was already outnumbered like that in 1948 and 1967 and 1973. It always had a more efficient army with American-made up-to-date weapons."

As I mentioned earlier, this statement is based on an invalid assumption that just because Israel, with 7.8 million people, won wars in the past against Arabs, with over 100 million people, that they'll do it again. In fact, my reading is that the Israeli people (as opposed to the politicians) are so overconfident, they may lose rather quickly and decisively. 

However, I'd like to focus on another aspect of the population issue, that I've written about in the past. Here, from the CIA World Fact Book, are the number of births per 1000 population in various Sunni Muslim countries: 

    Egypt                     23.35
    Gaza Strip                32.20
    Jordan                    25.23
    Kuwait                    20.26
    Lebanon                   14.80
    Libya                     18.40
    Pakistan                  23.19
    Syria                     22.76
    West Bank                 23.41
    Yemen                     31.02
    

And here are the number of births per 1000 population for some other countries: 

    China                     12.17
    France                    12.49
    Germany                    8.42
    India                     19.89
    Israel                    18.44
    Japan                      8.07
    Korea, South               8.26
    Russia                    11.87
    United Kingdom            12.22
    United States             13.42
    

Since World War II, the birth rate in Sunni Muslim countries has been roughly twice as high as in other countries. 

I've been aware of this since the 1990s, since it was mentioned in Samuel P. Huntington's book The Clash of Civilizations. I've asked many Muslims why this has been happening, and I've never gotten an explanation. So I can only make an educated guess. 

Around 1300, a Muslim Turkish tribe led by its chieftain, Osman, started making conquests, eventually becoming the Ottoman Empire. It had a series of almost unbroken conquests, including the destruction of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. It continued with one success after another until 1683, when the Habsburgs (Germans) defeated the Ottomans, almost destroying their entire army, in the War with the Holy League (1683-99). This was a calamitous defeat, and signaled a reversal of the Ottoman Empire's fortunes. There were further defeats, culminating in the complete destruction of the Ottoman Empire, and the declaration of the secular Turkish Republic in 1922. This was also the end of the worldwide Islamic Caliphate in Istanbul. 

So after roughly 300 years of almost unbroken victories, the Muslim world suffered roughly 300 years of almost unbroken defeats. This led to several decades of chaos, and eventually to "the Nakba" or "the catastrophe" -- the partitioning of Palestine in 1948, and the creation of Israel. 

My speculation is that a sense grew across the Muslim world that these repeated Muslim defeats could be turned to victories in only one way: by outbreeding the Jews and Christians. I don't know if anyone issued a fatwa or if some Muslim politician made an appeal. But in the six decades since World War II, when Western politicians were encouraging couples to have no more than two children, to prevent a population explosion, the Muslim world was encouraging couples to have as many children as possible, in order to defeat the West.

That's my speculation for why the birth rate in the Sunni Muslim countries has been twice the birth rate in Western countries. If some Islamic scholar or historian has a better explanation, I would like to hear it, and I would welcome receiving a communication on the subject. 

Returning now to the original topic, since the time of the Nakba, there has been a gritty determination in the Arab world to defeat Israel, and they may very well succeed. But the destruction of the Ottoman Empire didn't mean the end of the Muslims, and the destruction of Israel will not mean the end of the Jews. It's well to remember that the Jews have survived for millennia, despite many attempts to exterminate them, and there's little doubt that the Jews will survive again, whether Israel does or not. 

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