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Five years ago, I had a conversation with a young Palestinian student who in short precise terms explained how Islam will defeat the West. The conversation opened my eyes to a much larger picture in which Israel plays only a minor role in the Islamic game of conquest. Since then I tried to speak to some Arabs who come to pray at the Mosque, but they were not as outspoken as the student.
Last week, I had another conversation with an Israeli Arabb construction boss by the unlikely name of Francis who was in charge of building a villa near our house in Herzelia. He told me that his family was Christian, and his name was given to him in honor of the Franciscan monks. Our conversation was as interesting as the first conversation I had with the Arab student five years ago and I would like to share it with you. Francis frequently parked his car near our house and we would exchange polite greetings.
About a week ago, the water was shut off for repairs in the house he was building, and Francis asked me if I could give him some hot water for his coffee. He was a tall man of about forty, with reddish hair and blue eyes. He spoke a perfect Hebrew, and I naturally became curious about him. I felt that he may the right person to exchange some views with. By his looks, I assumed that he was either a Druze or from the Syrian region. He looked more like a teacher than a construction worker and, as I later found out, he was actually a teacher by profession. Since my conversation with the student five years ago, I was always curious to hear their side of the story; therefore, I decided to invite him for a cup of coffee to our house. I saw him hesitate for a moment; then he smiled and thanked me for my hospitality.
While we drank our coffee, he told me that he was from a small village in the Galilee called Jish, near the present Kibbutz Sassa. I remembered the village very well as I was one of the soldiers who captured the village while serving in the 7th Armored brigade during the War of Independence in 1948. I decided not to tell him about it because at the time we encountered some stiff resistance at that village and quite a few of the inhabitants were killed.
He went on to tell me a little about himself. "For a while I was a teacher and I loved teaching, but I couldn't make a living at it and I decided to join my father in law who is in the construction business." Judging by the large Honda he was driving, I figured that he didn't do too badly changing his profession.
Our conversation soon turned to the present situation in the Middle East, about Hamas winning the elections, the situation of the Israeli Arabs, and the last Lebanese war against Hezbollah. "As Christians we are in a difficult situation here in Israel. Unfortunately, the Moslems and especially the extreme Islamist section, are giving the tone here. My family who lived in Bethlehem probably since the Crusaders, had to flee for their life. The Moslems have been forcing us out, by threats and even murder. Bethlehem that was once predominantly Christian is now predominantly Moslem. Very little is written about it even in the Israeli press."
He sipped his coffee and gave me a long look. He seemed like someone who wasn't quite sure whether to say what he was about to say. I gave him an encouraging nod. "I have to tell you something which very few of you seem to comprehend." He continued, "Your bungling war against a few thousand Hezbollah fighters which you should have crushed no matter what, considering the importance of the outcome, has created a completely new situation, not only for this area, but globally. Your inept leadership totally misunderstood the importance of winning this war."
"As a matter of fact, the whole Moslem world, not only the Arabs, simply couldn't believe that the mighty Israeli Army that defeated the combined Arab forces in six days in 1967, and almost captured Cairo and Damascus in 1973, couldn't defeat a small army of Hezbollah men. As usual the Moslems see things the way they want to see things. Most think that the present generation of Israelis have gone soft and can be defeated."
"The American bungling of the war in Iraq only added to their conviction that victory not only over Israel but also over the West is not only possible, but certain. The ramifications of these two bungling wars may bring an Islamic bloody Tsunami all over the West, not only in Israel. The sharks smell blood and these two wars gave them the green light to attack sooner than they had in mind. Your problem is that you are on the defensive and they have the option to choose the time and the places when and where to attack and there is nothing much you can do about it. When will you Westerners realize that half measures don't work with people who are willing to die by the thousands for Allah to achieve their goal? In their eyes the Western World is simply an abomination on earth that has to be wiped out."
He spoke quietly and I could just picture him in the school giving his students a lecture. I poured him another cup of coffee and encouraged him to continue.
"The Americans, the Europeans, and even you Israelis really don't know what it is all about, do you? During the last generation hundreds of thousands of children have been taught all over the Moslem world in Madrass schools to become martyrs for Allah in order to kill the infidels. These youngsters not only are ready to do it, but are actually in the process of doing it. Bombs are going off all over the world killing and maiming thousands of people, not only on 9/11 in the US, in London Madrid and Bali, but in Africa, India, Bengladesh, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and many other places. The first signs of the Islamic Tsunami is already here, but the West doesn't understand, or doesn't want to understand what is coming."
"The Americans, instead of realizing that this is as bad as World War Two, or even worse, are going to pull out of Iraq, handing it over to Iran on a silver platter. Next may come the Saudis and the rest of the Gulf states. When dirty bombs go off all over Western towns, who is going to stop the Iranians?"
"Now is the time to stop them, not only because they are developing nuclear bombs, but because Iran has become the base for all Islamic terrorist. They supply, money, men, and weapons to Islamic terrorist around the world, quite often through their diplomatic mail. Billions of petro-dollars that are pouring into Iran are being funneled into terrorist organizations world-wide. They believe, and perhaps rightly so, that the West will do nothing to stop them in achieving their goals. Is history repeating itself? Are the Iranians making the same mistake that Hitler made when he attacked Poland? Is the situation similar?"
"As a history teacher who studied the subject thoroughly I can tell you that Western victory in World War Two was not all certain. Hitler could have won the war if he would have gone ahead with the atomic bomb development before the Americans. The Germans began working on it in the thirties, and it was Hitler's decision to prefer building more conventional arms, as he considered atomic weapons sheer fantasy. Hitler made the wrong decision, but had he made the right decision the world would have been a different type of world today, wouldn't it? The West won the war against Hitler by sheer chance. Very few people seem to realize that."
I must say that his last words shook me up quite a bit. Had Hitler made a different decision, I would have died in Dachau, there wouldn't have been a Jewish state called Israel, and most likely there wouldn't have been any Jews left in the world. The idea that the Western democracies in general and the fate of the Jewish people in particular could have hinged on Hitler's one decision, is a scenario of the worst nightmare.
He notices that his last words had an effect on me, and he smiled. "I see that my words are not wasted on you," he said dryly. I nodded, and he continued with his lecture. "Coming back to our time, the Iranians rely on the West doing nothing about their development of nuclear bombs. They also rely on their secret weapon: an inexhaustible supply of Islamic suicide bombers, some of them who are already planted all over the Western World. Besides the Islamic countries that supply these suicide bombers, a second front has been opened, and that is the Internet with more than five thousand Islamic web sites, brain washing and urging young Moslems to become martyrs for Allah. They especially target young Moslems who live in Europe and the West in general. The Western intelligence authorities consider these web sites a bigger threat than the Iranian atomic bomb. Al-Qaeda recently issued a television broadcast that promised a devastating attack against its enemies this spring. As we all know, Al-Qaeda doesn't make empty threats."
"Actually, I don't understand why the Iranians bother to develop atomic bombs and bring the whole world down on them. Every suicide bomber is a potential atomic bomb, or a biological, chemical or dirty bomb that can be no less devastating than an atom bomb. The Americans and Europeans have no defense against this type of war."
"What can we do against this type warfare?" I asked him. "Well, you Israelis, should better prepare yourself for another round against Hezbollah. It will not be long in coming. It depends on the Iranians to give the word. This time you will have to destroy Hezbollah no matter what the cost may be."
"Of course, your next round against Hezbollah may involve the Syrians and the Iranians against you. The Iranians declared that they will not allow Hezbollah to be defeated no matter what and may launch their missiles against you. So will the Syrians. What will Israel do? It is unlikely that Israel will accept its destruction and may use their nuclear arsenal if the West will not come to their help. Perhaps our book of Revelation is not so wrong in describing that the end of the world would start at Armageddon, which we know as Har-Megiddo in Israel. The book of Revelations describe the last battle would be fought at Armageddon between the "Forces of good and the forces of evil."
"And who would you call the forces of good 'Israel or Islam?' I asked looking him straight in the eyes. He gave me a startled look. "If I were a Moslem, I would have no problem to name the forces of good and it wouldn't be Israel. As a Christian, I would probably name Israel, but as a Christian Arab I would prefer not to answer."
We looked at each other. His answer made it clear where the Israeli Arabs stood, whether they were Moslems or Christians. And why should I be surprised? After all the Israeli Arabs call the establishment of the State of Israel their nakbah (disaster).
Is there a way to avoid the "Armageddon"?
"I think there are two ways to avoid it. One can be a major war which the West can win. As in World War Two, had the West attacked the Germans in 1936 the war would have lasted not more than a month with very few casualties. Their procrastination resulted in World War II with all its consequences. Eventually, the West will have to tackle the Iranians, it is better that they do it now to avert a world catastrophe later. With Iran defeated the Islamic onslaught will lose its base, and it may be the turning point in history to defeat the menace of extreme Islam. The majority of the Moslems don't want this confrontation anyway."
"You are painting a rather dark picture. When do you think we will have the next round against Hezbollah?" I asked. "I think they will attack again as soon as they are fully re-equipped and I think it will be during the summer, while Israel is still in a military and political turmoil."
For a while, we sat in silence. He finished his second cup of coffee and got up. "I know what I am going to do. I am going to Canada to join my brother. This country is becoming much too dangerous for Christians as well," he said. He thanked me for the coffee and we shook hands.
"You said there are two ways to avoid Armageddon?" I remembered to ask him.
"Sure, all the West has to do is follow Putin's ways. He assassinates his enemies without blinking an eye. Assassinate the four or five Mullahs who run the show, Ahmadinejad, and a few more Iranian fanatics, and the War can be avoided. It may be difficult to do, but not impossible. With today's hi-tech technology I am sure that new weapons against individuals are being prepared right now. I think it would be a better way of handling the matter than an all out war against Islam."
The conversation with Francis was not more encouraging than the one I had with the Palestinian student five years ago. It was becoming clear that Israel may be on the forefront for the coming war of the West against Islam, unless we follow Francis' suggestion to assassinate the heads of the snake, rather than going to war with Islam.
Solly Ganor is a survivor of Dachau and the author of "Light One Candle." He lives in Herzelia Pituach, Israel. This essay appeared March 15, 2007 in Front Page Magazine
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