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 theyclashed on Sunday morning with Israeli special forces that enteredGaza. The Israeli army has confirmed these reports. Israeli primeminister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel is considering aground invasion of Gaza, but that no decision has yet been reached.
However, other reports indicate that Netanyahu is consideringproposing an exit strategy for the war. First, Israel will eradicatea major portion of Hamas’s military resources in Gaza, but leave it inpower.
Second, Israel will back down from a ground invasion of Gaza in returnfor international agreement that Israeli forces will be assigned theresponsibility for the security of the Jordan Valley and the WestBank, to protect them from an invasion of the Islamic State / of Iraqand 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 theybelieve that they could win it, simply based on population.Israel has 7.8 million people, while there are 123.2 million Arabsin adjoining countries, and population is destiny.
There were two categories of objections: Biblical prophecy, andhistory. I’ll address both of them below.
But in reading the Mideast press, I get the strong impression that theIsraeli people are way overconfident, and are certain they can’t lose.This is in contrast to Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whogives me the feeling that he’s in a state of panic. From thePalestinian leaders, I get the impression of gritty determination thatthis 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 thatmethodology a war is an act of nature, like an earthquake or ahurricane. It’s neither good nor bad. Like an earthquake, itaccomplishes 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 comingwith absolute certainty, just as earthquakes and hurricanes come withabsolutely certainty.
So this article continues the previous analysis by addressing thequestion of whether Israel is going to win the next major war betweenJews and Arabs. The analysis indicates that Israel is probably goingto lose. But wars end; in the aftermath, there may yet be a newIsrael.
Biblical prophecy and the future of Israel
People who believe in Biblical prophecy often look to the Bible to tryto discern what will happen to Israel. One person wrote the followingto me:
The one thing wrong with Generational Dynamics theoryis it does not account for religion. I am 100% backer ofGenerational Dynamics except when it comes to Israel who isYahweh’s chosen people, even though they don’t act like it. Hewould not let the region be trampled on by Esau’s and Ishmael’sdescendants. I don’t want to enter in a debate of who believes inwhat. I’m just saying that comparing Israel’s 7.8 million versus123.2 million Arabs and giving the victory to the Arabs is a bitpremature. Just sit back and watch what happens.
I would respond by saying that no one could know what Yahweh’s planis. Perhaps his plan is to let Israel be trampled on by Esau’s andIshmael’s descendants, so that a new Israel can rise from the ashes.That would be completely in the spirit of many historical Biblicalstories.
In fact, if you think about it, Israel was created by the UnitedNations out of the ashes of World War II. It would certainly beconsistent with millennia of Jewish history if Israel were completelydestroyed 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 biggestproblem is you do not address the Bible’s predictions in yourassessments of a world conflict. As the Bible sees it, we shallhave a limited war in the Middle East (Psalm 83/Isaiah 17/Jeremiah49) that will involve Israel vs. Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt andSaudi Arabia. This war will end with Israel ‘nuking’ Damascus offthe map and the world CRYING for a peace plan. With the inner ringof Arab nations conquered by Israel the Middle East problems willbe seen as over, a ‘new’ global leader will provide a seven yeartreaty 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 attackIsrael in revenge (with Russia adding their might, but planning todouble-cross the Arabs once things are done). … As Ezekiel38-39 reads God will supernaturally save Israel, and leave but1/6th of its attackers alive.
First, I try to tell people who believe in Bible prophecy to interprettoday’s events to be very cautious, because populations have moved.Just to take one example, the Turks came from central Asia, and didn’tmove into Anatolia (today’s Turkey) until about 1000 years ago. Sosomeone using Bible prophecy to interpret events today about Turkeywould have to explain away the fact that there’s a whole new race ofpeople living in Turkey, different from the people who lived there atthe 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, inIsaiah 17:1-3:
“1 The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascusis about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallenruin. 2 “The cities of Aroer are forsaken; They will be for flocksto lie down in, And there will be no one to frighten them. 3 “Thefortified city will disappear from Ephraim, And sovereignty fromDamascus And the remnant of Aram; They will be like the glory ofthe sons of Israel,” Declares the LORD of hosts.”
There are many people who interpret these verses as indicating thatsomeone is going to drop a nuclear weapon on Damascus. The attackerwould be Israel or Iran or Russia, according to differentinterpretations.
What’s fascinating about this prophecy is that it seems that almosteveryone in the Mideast seems to know about it. So if anybodyactually DOES drop a bomb on Damascus at some time in the future, itwill truly be a self-fulfilling prophecy, since the attacker willcertainly justify this action by saying it’s a Bible prophecy. Thus, itwould be possible to argue that the CAUSE of the nuclear attackon Damascus would have been the Bible prophecy.
So the net result of all this is that it’s very difficult to justifyapplying any Biblical prophecy to today’s events, and every easy toget 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 in1948 and 1967 and 1973. It always had a more efficient army withAmerican-made up-to-date weapons.”
As I mentioned earlier, this statement is based on an invalidassumption that just because Israel, with 7.8 million people, won warsin the past against Arabs, with over 100 million people, that they’lldo it again. In fact, my reading is that the Israeli people (asopposed to the politicians) are so overconfident, they may lose ratherquickly 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 populationin various Sunni Muslim countries:
Egypt 23.35Gaza Strip 32.20Jordan 25.23Kuwait 20.26Lebanon 14.80Libya 18.40Pakistan 23.19Syria 22.76West Bank 23.41Yemen 31.02
And here are the number of births per 1000 population for some othercountries:
China 12.17France 12.49Germany 8.42India 19.89Israel 18.44Japan 8.07Korea, South 8.26Russia 11.87United Kingdom 12.22United States 13.42
Since World War II, the birth rate in Sunni Muslim countries has beenroughly twice as high as in other countries.
I’ve been aware of this since the 1990s, since it was mentioned inSamuel P. Huntington’s book The Clash of Civilizations. I’ve askedmany Muslims why this has been happening, and I’ve never gotten anexplanation. 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. Ithad a series of almost unbroken conquests, including the destructionof the Byzantine Empire in 1453. It continued with one success afteranother until 1683, when the Habsburgs (Germans) defeated theOttomans, almost destroying their entire army, in the War with theHoly League (1683-99). This was a calamitous defeat, and signaled areversal of the Ottoman Empire’s fortunes. There were furtherdefeats, culminating in the complete destruction of the OttomanEmpire, 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 Muslimworld suffered roughly 300 years of almost unbroken defeats. This ledto several decades of chaos, and eventually to “the Nakba” or “thecatastrophe” — the partitioning of Palestine in 1948, and thecreation of Israel.
My speculation is that a sense grew across the Muslim world that theserepeated Muslim defeats could be turned to victories in only one way:by outbreeding the Jews and Christians. I don’t know if anyone issueda fatwa or if some Muslim politician made an appeal. But in the sixdecades since World War II, when Western politicians were encouragingcouples to have no more than two children, to prevent a populationexplosion, the Muslim world was encouraging couples to have as manychildren as possible, in order to defeat the West.
That’s my speculation for why the birth rate in the Sunni Muslimcountries has been twice the birth rate in Western countries. If someIslamic scholar or historian has a better explanation, I would like tohear 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 defeatIsrael, and they may very well succeed. But the destruction of theOttoman Empire didn’t mean the end of the Muslims, and the destructionof Israel will not mean the end of the Jews. It’s well to rememberthat the Jews have survived for millennia, despite many attempts toexterminate them, and there’s little doubt that the Jews will surviveagain, whether Israel does or not.