Reader comments

On Opinion: Mideast peace quest worth the effort


Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

"The indignity and bitterness that come with military occupation"

Germany and Japan faced the same problem after World War II. But, they signed peace treaties to end the war. After a period of time, the Allied forces withdrew, and then helped to rebuild those countries. Now they are economic powerhouses and thriving members of the world community, and have been for many decades.

But, the Arabs have always refused to sign a peace treaty to end any of the 6 wars they have waged against Israel. So, the military occupation and the bitterness continue.

But, that is looking at the situation through the colored lens of a Western mind. In the Islamic Middle East, wars sometimes last for centuries. In the West, a war is ended with a peace treaty after a few years, and then it is considered to be over.

In the Middle East, a hudna (also known as a hudaibiyya or khudaibiya, after Muhammad's Treaty of Hudaibiyya) is sometimes signed, but that does not mean that the war is over, it is just a temporary lull in the fighting. But - the term "hudna" does not appear in the Qur’an at all!

The Treaty of Hudaibiyya is often referred to by radical Muslims, but it is certainly not correct or mainstream thought, according to many Muslims.

The following was clipped from: 'The Concept of Hudna (Truce) in Islamic Sources', by Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies at al-Quds University:

"The Hudaybiyya Treaty allowed Muhammad and the Muslims to strengthen their ranks without needing to worry about a confrontation with the Quraysh tribe. After only two years (630 CE) the Muslims annulled the agreement and conquered Mecca. This agreement has since been exploited more than once by radical Muslim organizations that seek to justify the annulment of agreements signed with those characterized as "enemies"."

But, it's not as clear cut as that. The Qur’an also states the following:
"And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He, even He, is the Hearer, the Knower."
(Qur’an, 8:61)

There are many passages in the Qur'an that make it very clear that a treaty, or a promise made to someone, Muslim or not, be adhered to. A complete list of them would make this comment rather lengthy.

The entire text by Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway is available here:

So, peace in the Middle East is certainly possible, but it will not happen as long as extremists who are mistrustful of those of a different religion or ethnicity are in positions of power. One example that is not really that extreme comes to mind, President Mahmoud Abbas of the PA, whose term ended on January 15, 2009. But he hasn't let that stop him from continuing to act as President. Elections have not been held since his term expired.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 10 months ago

You state Ron, :"In the Islamic Middle East, wars sometimes last for centuries." Can you name just one of them? There isn't one. Muslims are only obligated to fight another person, village or country if and ONLY IF: they are oppresed, threatened with death or property taken from them, or harm to their families. AND if the oppressor ceases to oppress, they must also cease in war. In all the cases listed here, Israel has done to the Palestinians. They have oppressed them, not allowed them free access to their homes, farmland or markets. They have killed millions by claiming they are terrorists, killed the suspect (without trial) bulldozed the family home and took the land for their own use leaving the family homeless and without any kind of sustenance. What are they to do? I suggest you look at facts and not Israeli talking points. This has gone on long enough and can be solved very easily: agree to end the building of settlements, remove Israelis from all occupied post 67 war territory, allow Palestine free trade and open boarders with her neighbors and run your own country. Stay out of what is left of Palestinian lands.

When the Muslims "conquered" Mecca at the end of Muhammad's life, there was no battle, no bloodshed, not one person was injured or hurt as 10,000 Muslims walked into Mecca back to their homes.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

1) "They have killed millions"

That is an amazing feat, considering the fact that there were originally only 711,000 Palestinian refugees in the first place. Sort of like the loaves and fishes spoken of in the New Testament, I suppose.

2)""wars sometimes last for centuries." Can you name just one of them?"

The Sunni - Shi-ite split. The historic background of the Sunni–Shia split lies in the schism that occurred when the Islamic prophet Muhammad died in the year 632, leading to a dispute over succession to Muhammad as a caliph of the Islamic community spread across various parts of the world which led to the Battle of Siffin. The dispute intensified greatly after the Battle of Karbala, in which Hussein ibn Ali and his household were killed by the ruling Umayyad Caliph Yazid I, and the outcry for his revenge divided the early Islamic community."

I believe that spans centuries. And it's only one example.

The Sunnis and Shi-ites still have problems after about 1,400 years. And the Alawites have problems with the other sects of Islam. They compose about 11% of the population of Syria, and Bashar al-Assad and his tribe are Alawites. There seems to be something going on in Syria. But no one seems to be very worried about that, because Israel is always front and center stage.

3) (Left the Palestinians) "without any kind of sustenance".

The Palestinians are the largest recipient of foreign aid in the world by far, by a factor of many times. They are hardly without sustenance! And, a lot of the foreign aid money has disappeared under the care of the PA and Suha Arafat, who is living in splendor today.

4) Palestine has never been a country in all of history. Did you know that?

Maybe the Arabs should have surrendered after one of the 6 wars, and reached a mutually acceptable agreement after 6 wars. The world is still waiting.

5) "killed millions by claiming they are terrorists"

You don't seem to realize how large of a number one million (1,000,000) is, or what has been going on in recent history. If your statement was true, the Palestinian conflict would be long over, because there would be so few Palestinians left.

6) Why isn't Jordan ever called upon to withdraw from 77% of Palestine? Only Israel,,,

7) I will agree with you on this: it is a very good idea to stay out of Palestinian lands. Get Jordan the hell out of there!

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

8) "When the Muslims "conquered" Mecca at the end of Muhammad's life, there was no battle, no bloodshed, not one person was injured or hurt as 10,000 Muslims walked into Mecca back to their homes."


9) "remove Israelis from all occupied post 67 war territory"

It isn't war territory since Palestine was never a country in the first place. And, do I hear a call for ethnic cleansing? (Yes!) They can't become citizens? (No!) Maybe Europe, Israel, and the United States should do that.

Qur’an (47.4) "So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish."

Using hyperbole in an effort to promote your agenda will never work as a method of argument against a reasonably well educated and well read individual that reads publications from many countries.

Plus, it does help to do a bit of research to verify facts before and during your posting.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 10 months ago

You know, you can take part of a chapter or line and make it say whatever you want. Ron Holswrath does this every time he quotes from the Quran or other places. Ask yourself "there more to this verse?" "Has he left our verses before and after that are important to the understanding of this verse?" "Is he being disingenuous in his discussion citing only that which supports his point of view?" The answers to that are all "yes". Here God lays out the rules of engagement with an enemy who is trying to kill Muslims. He says clearly that if you meet them in regular battle (regular battle means open warfare, not guerilla or other types of tactics). In the beginning of Islam, the tribe from which Muhammad came were pagans worshipping 360 gods and goddesses. When Muhamman received the message, he spoke against paganism and asked them to become believers in one God. They refused.

Then Muhammad moved his followers to Medina, a city 350 miles from Mecca for the purpose of protecting them. He made a pact with the several tribes there for the safety of his followers and only one tribe broke that pact. They helped the pagans against Muhammad and since the pact was made with them Muhammad didn't know what to do, so God sent down that verse as rules for dealing with those who fight against him. Kill them where ever you find them but if they desist, then YOU desist and stop fighting. Do not take slaves as this was the beginning of the end of slavery on that continent. There is much more to this than what Mr. Holswrath cared to write - misleading you by the meaning. But if you want a true opinion of Islamic texts or beliefs, ask a Muslim not a non-Muslim. There is much more to what is in heaven and earth, Ron, than what is dreampt of in your philosophy.

You must also know there was never an Israel either. Israel was the name of Jacob and his sons were the children of Israel. They dispersed to the diaspora and were never to find themselves again. The Israelis are European Jews who wanted to force a homeland upon a people somewhere for crimes against them and others during WWII. More non-Jews died in WWII than Jews but you never hear about that. Who else died? Gypsies, Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians, bohemies who were not part of the Aryan Race. Turks, Africans and so on. Read your true history not the Israeli talking points.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

Well, where to start on that one? I'll just ask a couple questions.

1) What country was King Solomon a king of, if there was no Israel?

2) And, Mr. Abdu OmarWrath, why do you always spell my name Holswrath?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

There will never be peace in the Middle East or any other part of the world until people begin to understand each other a bit more, trust one another, reduce prejudices, and come to mutually acceptable agreements on various things. We are all human beings, and we share ever so much more than our differences.

Nitpicking about things that happened decades or centuries ago is not at all productive. We were all born with our eyes in the front of our heads, instead of the back, so that we can see where we're going instead of where we were at in the past.

The world is a big place, and there is room for all of us.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

"There is much more to what is in heaven and earth, Ron, than what is dreampt (sic) of in your philosophy."

I wrote a short story in 1997, 'The Ride', which outlines my philosophy. It talks about different realities, of which I am sure there are many.

One woman who is considered to be very intelligent read it, and stated that she couldn't understand it at all. Of course she couldn't, because the only education she has is a Master's Degree in Philosophy, and that's not nearly enough.

And, a professor (PhD in Chemistry) at Washburn University read it, and understood it a bit better. His comment was: "What it is, is a dissertation on the nature of reality."

'The Ride' has a claim to fame, though. A few years after I wrote it, physicists and astronomers discovered that dark matter and dark energy were discovered to exist. Only 4 to 6% of everything that exists is composed of atoms and molecules! We know nothing of what dark matter and dark energy is, and we cannot interact with them in any way.

It's too bad they didn't read 'The Ride', because it maybe would have helped them to discover the existence of dark matter and dark energy a bit sooner. I discussed them at some length, and described exactly where I believe they are, before they were discovered to exist.

But 'The Ride' also postulates something else - time is quantized. Only time will tell if that postulation is correct, and that may take 100 years or more.

You would need to have studied quite a few different subjects, of which quantum physics and religion are only two, in order to understand the story. It is totally allegorical. And, there is no possible way it can be understood with only one reading.

That's sort of where I'm at philosophically. But don't worry if you can't understand it. Very few people can. And, it's only 12 pages long.

If anyone would like to read it, click on my highlighted name, and you'll see my email address. Please put 'The Ride' in the subject line, because I get a whole lot of emails at that address. And please pass it on if you want, I have placed it in the public domain.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

'Palestinians seek work in Israel as crisis deepens'

"It's a dream to get a permit and work in Israel," said Kayed Ashkar, 45, who is unemployed and a frequent visitor to the Israeli Civil Administration office. "I used to work there. I used to earn enough money for my family," said the former waiter, whose wife's modest salary in a local wedding hall supports their five children.

Israeli authorities have granted an additional 10,000 permits this year to work in Israel, raising the total number to 40,000. It's still well below the peak level of 200,000 in the 1990s, but the most since a violent Palestinian uprising erupted in late 2000. The uprising was characterized by suicide bombings and other attacks carried out by West Bank Palestinians, prompting Israel to revoke most permits.

An additional 25,000 Palestinians work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, underscoring their dependence on the Israeli economy. The Palestinians as a rule harshly oppose the existence of the settlements on land they claim for their state.

Clipped from a source that I almost never read:

If Israel kills millions of them as another poster has claimed, I sure do wonder why so many of them want to go there to work.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

These are very brief excerpts from 'National Post', a publication from Canada:

'Alex Ryvchin: Ignoring the real bloodshed in Syria by focusing on Israel'

"Syria continues to descend into madness. Statistics released last week by The Syrian Network for Human Rights show that since the commencement of anti-government protests, 30,000 Syrians have been murdered, and a further 28,000 people have disappeared. The Syrian human rights organization Sawasya estimates the figure to be even higher. It has been reported that more than 100,000 refugees have fled the conflict, with most said to be sheltering in Turkey."

"In sharp contrast to its inaction on Syria, Oxfam can always be relied upon to direct overwhelming energy and resources to pummelling Syria’s democratic neighbour, Israel."

Clipped from:

It's always good to read international publications, because then you are then much more able to sort truth from fiction.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 10 months ago

Hmm, like to pontificate, Ron? (however you spell your name)

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

I like to be complete, concise, use proper grammar, spell words correctly, and make meaningful points. That cannot be done with only a brief synopsis that presents only one viewpoint that lacks any balance.

Since I've had so much education and have read so much, I suppose my comments would sound lengthy to someone that likes to read and write only brief and unsourced claims. Plus, my typing speed is rather rapid, and so I don't take much time to write them.

I'm from a very well educated family, and I try to live up to my heritage.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.