In an Op/Ed for The Jewish Press, Tabitha Korol, a political writer, tries to pass her own interpretation of the Islamic concept of Jihad as its definition— on top of that, she portrays the Israeli regime as the victim of Islam. Her stance is far from novel, as many have already attempted to distort the notion of Jihad, but what makes her article stand out is how it ironically presents the vices of the Israeli regime as corresponding to Jihad.
“The brutal annihilation of entire communities is Jihad, and modern-day Israel remains in the spotlight of Islam and her many accomplices.” This statement is so deceitful it needs to be broken down into its elements first. To begin with, Jihad does not call for the eradication of communities. Second, the story of the Qurayza tribe mentioned in the article is taken out of context. The more accurate version of the incident is as follows: the Qurayza tribe betrayed a treaty with Prophet Mohammad. During the Battle of the Trench, they joined the enemies of the Muslims and threatened them from within the town. The Jews who refused to betray Prophet Mohammad were set free. Therefore, those who were killed had been traitors. As for the style of execution, it was customary back then to punish offenders from other tribes by letting them choose their own form of punishment. Third, it omits the reason why the Israeli regime is today a major concern for the Muslim nation. It does not mention how the ‘Israel’ of today came to be, by the brutal annihilation an entire community. Islam focuses on the existence of the Israeli regime because it is a religion that defends the rights of the oppressed, because it is a religion that protects one’s right to self-defense, because one of its holiest sites is in jeopardy.
Truces and treaties
While the story of the Qurayza tribe clearly shows which side betrayed the other, the writer still claims that the Muslims are the ones who have a long history of treachery. She claims the Land for Peace resolution cannot be achieved because neighboring Muslim countries cause ‘bloodshed’, but fails to mention the fact that Israelis kill Palestinians daily and that they are supposed to give up the land they occupied in 1967 in exchange for this so-called peace, their end of the UN deal which they are not keeping. In addition, this truce was not signed by all Muslim countries which believe that the Israeli regime has no intention of making peace—meaning that they are not breaking any treaty.
Intimidation and coercion for land
Korol says that Jihad is intimidation and coercion for land. The Israelis are experts at this. They took lands from Palestinians, established an illegitimate state, and then claimed that they were there first, some thousands of years ago.
She gives the example of the Golan Heights saying the “the Jews have been a presence in the Golan Heights since Biblical times.” However, in modern times, the Golan Heights are part of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Israelis thought it ok to just snatch it since the region is mentioned in their books. At the same time, they were not the first to inhabit the region. They in fact conquered the Amorite Kingdom in Bashan who, according to the earliest evidence of inhabitants in the region, were there before the Israelis.
The Golan was allegedly “the focus of a power struggle between the Kings of Israel and the Aramaeans who were based near modern-day Damascus.”
Back to modern times, the Golan Heights belong to Syria. The writer criticizes calls to return the occupied part to Damascus and claims that the country is supporting terrorism despite its 5 year war against it. Such a weak argument further damages Korol’s credibility.
Moreover, the Israeli regime is the force that practices intimidation and coercion when it comes to the land. Settlement construction in the West Bank and East al-Quds continue to this day despite international calls to halt the illegal act. The Israeli military frightens Palestinians, expels them from their homes, and destroys their villages as part of a policy to gain more land and leave as little as possible to the Palestinians. Israeli settlers carry out “price tag” and hate attacks against Palestinians because of their identity. Palestinians’ properties are vandalized, their sanctities are desecrated, they are frequently detained and targeted, their existence is enveloped with threat and then the Israelis claim that their land is being taken. This is the definition of intimidation and coercion.
Betrayal by “allies”
Referring to the 1948 Jordanian annexation of the West Bank and the ensuing Six Day War, Korol claims Palestinians are not part of the equation, a ludicrous claim as there are around 2.7 million Palestinians currently living there (according to a 2012 estimation.) Not only that but they have also been living on this land even before the Israeli regime was established.
“These wars had nothing to do with Palestinians, yet Obama and Putin are now demanding that Israel abandon the area to the Palestinians.”
She insinuated that by going against the interests of Tel Aviv, even its allies perform “Jihad.”
Mahmoud Abbas is the president of the Palestine Authority but that does not make him representative of every Palestinian that lives on this planet. What he does in his free time or where he chooses to treat his wife are options he possesses that not every other Palestinian has. Even if that were true, many would not make the same choices as he has. Regardless, giving Abbas as an example of Israeli generosity fools no one. Since when do the elite represent the down-trodden, the impoverished, or the suppressed? How many Palestinians have died because treatment was not available under the Israeli occupation? In Gaza alone, the Israeli-imposed siege has created crises including a medical one for lack of proper supplies, medicine, and personnel. Korol’s shot at showing Israel’s humane side is catastrophic. How has Tel Aviv been falsely judged? If anything, it has been spared the punishment it deserves and has always managed to evade responsibility for its actions.
Suppression of the truth/False Narratives
Next, Korol goes on to talk about how the Israelis’ crimes against humanity are not really crimes, that they are fabricated by international bodies. But is killing more than 2,000 people in a 50 day war on the Gaza Strip acceptable? Then, she accuses the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of inventing a false narrative by “calling Israel an “occupying power” and giving Arabic names to the Temple Mount and Western Wall….” Only it is an occupying power so there is no untruth in that, only a statement of the obvious.
“Other UN condemnations include Israel’s blockade against Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel’s control over her historic landmarks, the Tomb of the Patriarch and Rachel’s Tomb, which the UN is renaming and usurping for Palestinians. The UN calls for stopping Israel’s historic excavations, which continues to yield evidence of Jewish history, while never denouncing Palestinians’ continuous destruction of archaeological artifacts beneath the Al Aqsa mosque compound. Destroying Israel’s history is the Machiavellian strategy of Jihad,” Korol states.
But who is destroying whose history? Aren’t the Israelis the ones who are threatening the basis of the al-Aqsa mosque in search for a temple that may not even be there? Aren’t they the ones who claim that Palestinians did not exist before 1948? Aren’t they the ones who are erasing parts of history to maintain that they inhabited the land before others? To claim their right over it?
Denying Israel’s existence?
Apparently, labelling Palestine as Palestine on the world map is a hostile act against the Israeli regime. Since when does an occupying power have the right to be named on a map? Since this is what the Israeli regime is, then removing it from maps is only logical to the ones who do not believe that it is a legitimate state. Why this has negatively been interpreted as Jihad is beyond comprehension because it puts the Israeli regime as the sole target of the concept.
“To collaborate with Jihadists is to become one,” the article concludes in a bid to pit all who contribute to the above “pillars” of jihad, according to Korol, as the enemies of Tel Aviv.
If this is true, and if the term is taken as it is being used nowadays in the media, then the Israeli regime is also a jihadist regime. Aiding the ISIS expansion bid in Syria, refraining from striking militant positions in the Golan Heights, even treating al-Nusra Front militants in Israeli hospitals are considered to be friendly gestures to these self-proclaimed jihadists.
The way Korol puts it, Islam is a religion whose sole purpose is to conspire against the Israelis and everyone who speaks up against it is considered to be the devil’s advocate. However, beyond this absurd endeavour to define— or rather purposefully misdefine the concept of Jihad— is another Zionist trying to twist the truth about the reality of the Israeli regime.