In Sam Harris’ book “The End of Faith”, the author blames religion as the propagator of “the most prolific source of violence in our history”. As the world watches the horrendous war against Israel unfold, the question comes to mind of how the religious extremists, on both sides, to include the Iranian mullahs backing Palestinian Islamic Jihad, have led the Middle East to this moment.
Israeli fanatic and religious settlers expanding their takeover of Palestinian lands on the West bank, and Islamic terrorist extremists in Gaza, along with their instigators in Iran, retaliating for Israeli occupation since 1967, has brought us 10/7. This vicious circle of religious violence is not only merciless, but unstoppable because every peace effort to bring the Israelis and the Arabs together has failed by every U.S. President for decades.
Today, we are all witnesses to the zero-sum of that culmination.
Until both parties [Israeli settlers and Palestinian fighters] tame their extreme expectations to accept moderate views of their fate and history, this keg of powder will remain dry and exposed.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Many historians would tell you that this inflection point dates back to the birth of Islam as it fought Christianity and Judaism. Theirs is a clash of cultures, first and foremost. But civilizations have proven to tame religious wars in times of need. Witness the Northern Ireland Peace initiative with Britain, which has been in effect since 1998.
Israel has struck peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and was about to strike one with Saudi Arabia. But all efforts to strike peace with the Palestinians, the Israelis rule over in the West Bank, have failed. Why? Because the religious extremists are the ones to decide peace. And on both sides, neither wants a peace because it is incumbent upon giving up disputed lands.
The settlers believe Israeli ancient living space encompasses all the West bank to include Jerusalem, and the Palestinians believe Israel occupies the lands they call theirs. Until one party tame their extreme expectations to accept moderate views of their fate and history, this keg of powder will remain dry and exposed.
When will the West assemble the same kind of coalition it assembled for Ukraine to dismantle the Iranian regime of terror?
IRAN IS THE SOURCE
More importantly, with regard to extremism, is the very dangerous existence of the Islamic regime in Iran. Over and over again, Iran has been central to starting wars in the region. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has, through threats of violence, completely taken over the country. In Yemen, Iran armed the Houthis to start a civil war. And in Iraq, Iran is playing a central spoiler role by weaponizing its own militias to sow chaos and violence.
Not to mention Syria, where the Mullahs cemented Assad’s rule of violence, which included gassing his own people.
Whenever violence and destruction erupt, Iran has its fingers in that dough. Appeasing Iran is a fool’s errand.
Maybe then, and only then, all parties in the region, outside the fanatic Israeli settlers and the Islamic terrorists, would realize that religious extremism is the cause of all sources of violence.
Perhaps then, we may have peace in the Middle East, just as the British and the Irish had.