by Prof. Paul Eidelberg


Year after year the present writer has published article after article saying that the policy of "land for peace," which every Government of Israel has been pursuing since September 1993, is a MIRAGE — a deception — and for a reason that even a teenager can understand, namely, that whereas land is TANGIBLE, something you can touch and even STAND on, "peace" is INTANGIBLE, something you cannot touch or STAND on.

And so I wonder, inasmuch as I devote a reasonable amount of time the print and electronic media, I wonder why hardly any commentator speaks of this very simple and comprehensible fact about Israel's policy of "land for peace" — that is, about the simple fact that "land" and "peace" are INCOMMENSURABLE.

Surely everyone who reads this comment of the present writer will want to disseminate it far and wide. Surely he or she will want to ask his or her favorite journalist on the Jerusalem Post or the New York Times or their favorite TV news commentator on FOX News or CNN why they do not mention this remarkable aspect of the Middle East conflict that affects the well-being of the United States and the world at large.

Surely the above comment on Israel's policy of "land for peace" should not be buried with the present writer.


The futility of Israel's relentless policy of "territory for peace" needs to be understood from the vantage of Islamic theology and Arab culture.

Islamic theology is a doctrine of permanent war against the non-Muslim world and, therefore, Islam precludes genuine peace between Muslims and Israel. This state of affairs must be understood in Biblical terms, beginning with Genesis 16:12 and the birth of Ishmael, the archetype of the Arab nation.

Ishmael is there referred to as a "pere adam," an unusual construct since, contrary to Hebrew grammar, the adjective "pere" precedes the noun "adam." Many commentators have been puzzled and have commented on this bizarre construction. Some have translated pere adam as "a beast in the form of a man." Genesis 16:12 says of Ishmael, "His hand shall be against everyone, and everyone's hand shall be against him." Midrash Rabbah (Genesis 45:9) refers to pere adam as "a savage among men in its literal sense, for whereas all others plunder wealth, he plunders lives."

Other commentators refer to pere adam as a prolific man who will have abundant progeny spread throughout the world. That great convert to Judaism, Onkelos (c.35-120 CE), says of pere adam: "He will be dependent on every one and similarly everyone will be dependent upon him" (a prophecy that has come to fulfillment in our times — witness Arab dependency on Western technology and Western dependency on Arab oil).

Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra (1092-1167) also construes the reference to pere adam in Genesis 16:12 as a prophecy. "His hand shall be against everyone means that Ishmael will be victorious at first over all nations, and afterwards, everyone's hand shall be against him, meaning that he will be vanquished in the end."

Now let us consider what Professor Efraim Karsh records at the very outset of his book, Islamic Imperialism (2005):

  1. "I was ordered to fight all men until they say 'There is no god but Allah.'" — Prophet Muhammad's farewell address, March 632
  2. "I shall cross this sea to their islands to pursue them until there remains no one on the face of the earth who does not acknowledge Allah." — Saladin, January 1189
  3. "We shall export our revolution throughout the world . . . until the calls 'there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah' are echoed all over the world." — Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979
  4. "I was ordered to fight people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad." — Osama bin Laden. November 2001

Notice that "Allah" and "Muhammad" constitute the operative terms in this bellicose litany of Islam. Unlike the God of the Bible, Allah is absolutely transcendent — he is pure will without personality. Allah's absolute transcendence precludes the possibility of human free will or choice. Islam postulates absolute predestination of all that we think, say and do. The totality of all events is irrevocably fixed, preordained, and recorded from eternity.

Muslims are programmed, and to be an authentic Muslim one must accept Allah's program, which requires unending war against infidels.

Theologically speaking, there is no such creature as a "Muslim moderate." (No authentic Muslim can long abide by any agreement resulting from Israel's policy of territory for peace.)

Now let us descend from the theological to the cultural level. Here we see Jews, famous for their rationality, negotiating with their complete opposites — Muslims whose mentality, deep down, is fundamentally alogical, notwithstanding any veneer of rationality with which Muslim Arabs adorn themselves. Indeed, the great Arab Islamic philologist and historian, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), dared write that Arabs are a savage people, and that "savagery" describes their inherent character. But what is meant by a "savage?"

According to that most erudite and marvelous Christian C. S. Lewis, "Savage beliefs are thought to be the spontaneous response of a human group to its environment, a response made principally by the imagination. They exemplify what some writers call pre-logical thinking. They are closely bound up with the communal life of the group."

Moshe Dayan writes, "[The Arabs] live in a world which is not truth and they do this almost like a man who needs hashish ... It often seems to me that all Arabs — and on all levels — act as though under the influence of drugs. Yet illusion is worse than a lie. You make a lie consciously and you dominate it, while the illusion will finally dominate you.[i] This phenomenon is typical among savages."

It is futile to engage a savage in rational discourse, in which an idea is related to observation with a view of its affirmation or negation. The passion-driven and communal consciousness of a savage is impervious to reason.

This savage mentality is exemplified by the Taliban, whose religious police distributed placards in Afghanistan saying, "Throw reason to the dogs, it stinks of corruption."

Since savage beliefs may be dissipated by literacy, Muslims are famous for how few books they publish. Muslims account for 5% of the world's population, yet produce only 1% of the world's books. Muslims are also habituated to rote learning, rendering them more susceptible to indoctrination.

In Modern Islam (1962), G. E. Von Grunebaum writes, "It is essential to realize that Muslim civilization ... is not vitally interested in analytical self-understanding, and it is even less interested in the structural study of other cultures, either as an end in itself or as a means of a clearer understanding of its own character and history."

Bernard Lewis portrays Islam's overweening arrogance and utter contempt for Western civilization in "The Roots of Muslim Rage" (1990). Convinced of its possession of absolute truth, Islam cannot believe it is of any value to study cultures steeped in error. Hence it discourages among the faithful any incentive to understand other cultures from the latter's own point of view."

Therefore, it is ethnocentric folly that prompts Israeli and American officials to engage the Palestinian Authority in peace talks with the expectation of rational and reliable results, especially in view of the deeply ingrained cultural duplicity exemplified by the Islamic concept of taqiyya — dissembling.

It never occurs to people like Secretary of State John Kerry or of envoys like Martin Indyk — to say nothing of Israeli politicians — that in consorting with the Palestinians they are dealing with a savage culture, as was recognized by Ibn Khaldun and G. E. Von Grunebaum.

[i]   Cited in Michael Brecher, The Foreign Policy System of Israel (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), 354-355; Moshe Dayan: Story of My Life (Jerusalem: Steimatzky, 1976), 332

Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), a former officer U.S. Air Force, is a political scientist, author and lecturer. He has written on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His recent books are: 'A Jewish Philosophy of History and The Myth of Israeli Democracy: Toward a Truly Jewish Israel.' His previous book, 'Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall,' provides the philosophical and institutional foundations for reconstructing the State of Israel. It has been translated into Hebrew and Russian. He is the author of 'Toward a Renaissance of Israel and America' (Lightcatcher Books, 2009). His magnum opus 'The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today's Choice for the Almost Chosen People' is in process of publication. Dr. Eidelberg is founder and president of Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. Contact him by e-mail at, by phone at 02-586-9208; by cell phone at 0544-407581. The two parts of the article were published separately. Part 1, entitled "The Fiction of 'Land for Peace'," appeared October 25, 2014 in Right Truth and is archived at Part 2 appeared October 13, 2014 in Right Truth and is archived at

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