By Mitchell Bard
What makes negotiations with Iran, ISIS, Hamas or any other Islamist group impossible is that their leaders believe they are acting according to the immutable word of God. America, Israel, other Muslims with whom they disagree, cannot do anything to satisfy them except «submit» (the Arabic word «Islam» means «submission»). As Egyptian cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qub said in a televised sermon in 2009, «If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. The Jews are infidels not because I say so but because Allah does… They aren’t our enemies because they occupy Palestine; they would be our enemies even if they had not occupied anything.»
Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups do not conceal their intentions. The Hamas covenant explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction and does not distinguish between Israelis and Jews:
Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious… It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine… It is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders…
The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: «The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him'»…. There is no solution for the Palestine question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. Palestine is an Islamic land.
Regrettably, this is why «solving the conflict with the Palestinians,» or even recognizing a Palestinian State, will not bring peace and tranquility to the Middle East.
The radical Islamic focus on Israel serves as an easy rallying point for the masses in the Middle East and Europe; however, the goal of jihad for many Muslims extends beyond eliminating or subjugating Israeli Jews. According to caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, any land previously occupied by Muslims cannot be surrendered. No single Arab regime — or number of regimes acting together — has the right to break this trust and give up any of this land, whether in Israel or Spain (Al-Andalus). Reconquering the lands is considered a solemn religious duty, but the obligation does not stop there; as an ISIS recruiter told Der Spiegel, the Koran says that one should kill or expel unbelievers wherever one finds them.
The Islamists are in no hurry to fulfill their goals. An Arab adage says, «A man who gains his revenge after 40 years is acting in haste.» Ahmed Yousef, political adviser to then Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, said it all in the title of his book, «The End of the Jewish State: Just a Matter of Time.»
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Muslim extremists trust that time is on their side, in part because they are on the threshold of acquiring nuclear weapons. Once Iran and other Muslim countries likely to follow its example have this capability, they will have the military means to blackmail their oil-rich neighbors, destroy Israel, and threaten Europe. Perhaps then the West will realize it is in a religious war.