The UAE Peace Accord: Lessons for the Orthodox

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15 Responses

  1. Tal S. Benschar says:

    We should realize that, historically, the attitudes of different groups change over time. In the Middle Ages, the Muslim world was, in general, far more tolerant of Jews and Jewish communities than the Christian world, although there were exceptions on both sides. In the modern world, this reversed itself.

    Now, in the West, we are facing a post-Christian, largely secular world, whereas the Muslim world still remains traditionally religious.

    And, of course, politics is always changing. I have little doubt that the threat of Iran is a big factor in the Arab world’s rethinking of its stance to Israel.

    No reason not to be friendly towards those who are friendly, as long as we maintain the proper boundaries.

  2. lacosta says:

    it is interesting to see comments at rabbi cooper’s article [which ends with a remark that palestians better get on the peace train while it is still doable ]. the tenor of them is that SWC should be paying attention to palestinian human rights and ending apartheid. ultimately , we could have peace with ALL the arab nations , but not at home in ‘palestine’ —because their minimum demand [elimination of jew hegemony on the land ] , would be far beyond the max the jewish state would be willing to surrender….

  3. mb says:

    And God said to Abraham(Cooper), lech lecha, leave your land etc. and go somewhere else, and Abraham(Cooper) did! And look what happened!
    Wonderful education, thanks, much.

  4. dr. bill says:

    In addition to some orthodox “orthodoxies” being reaffirmed, two liberal “orthodoxies” were further discredited. First, (exaggerated) Palestinian rights must be addressed prior to any positive progress on Israel’s acceptance in the Arab world. Second, Trump and his biased, inexperienced, and hopelessly naïve team have no chance of success where the experienced diplomats from “Foggy Bottom” have been singularly unsuccessful.

    • Bob Miller says:

      Actually, many of these experienced diplomats of the State Department wanted no solution Israel could live with and were more sympathetic to the Arabs.

  5. Raymond says:

    I am actually disappointed if it is true that the Evangelical Christians are perfectly happy with the recent peace deal with the United Arab Emirates. Of course any civilized human being wants peace in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world, but it should not come at the price of giving away the Biblical Heartland of Israel. Israel should have annexed Judea & Sumeria decades ago, but from what I understand, not only did they not do so when there was the greatest chance of doing so, namely with the victory of the Six Day War, but they actively encouraged the so-called Palestinians to remain in the region rather than having them flee to neighboring countries as they had expected to do. In any case, the whole equation of Land for Peace is an absurd one, borne from centuries of oppression, putting our people in a position that considers it a victory when those who hate us do not murder us. A equation much more worthy of respect is President Reagan’s notion of Peace through Strength. Let there by peace not based on the unreliable promises of the Arab world written on worthless pieces of paper, but rather because Israel is so strong militarily that their hostile neighbors would not dare to go to war with them.

    And as for what our response should be to Christian Zionists, I am reminded of another expression from President Reagan, namely “Trust, but verify.” Applied to this situation, we Jews have so few friends in the world, that we should cultivate the ones we do have, every chance we get, no matter where that support comes from. And yet, we should never let our guard down, never fully trust the non-Jewish world. In the case of the Evangelicals, their ulterior motivation is often to convert us, and yet I have long maintained that I would rather have a Christian come at me with their New Testament, than a worshiper of Allah come at me with a suicide bomb. Organizations like Jews for Judaism can arm us intellectually to handle any Christian theology thrown at us, while defending ourselves against suicide bombs is a whole lot more difficult and dangerous.

  6. Steve Brizel says:

    We also see that the Arab world is realizing that Israel is an ally against Iran and its goals of hegemony and state exported terror in the Middle East. Don’t be surprised if other long time opponents of Israel also recognize Israel. FWIW, Israel already has IIRC flyover rights in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the Arab countries are clearly far less willing to bankroll the PA or Hamas ( Hezbollah being bankrolled by Iran) or even think of actively supporting their goals let alone even think of militarily support the redentist goals of the PA and Hamas, and their useful idiots around the world who support BDS

  7. Pete Bloss says:

    Thank you, dear friend, for dispelling the myth about evangelicals. We stand with Orthodox Jews and others who support Israel and seek lasting peace between it and its neighbors. For us (most, at least) it has nothing to do with end-of-times scenarios or “conversion” of Jews. None I know espouse such beliefs. Indeed, it is about shared core moral beliefs anchored in G-d given Biblical truths. Sadly main-line Protestantism has lost sight of those truths. We evangelicals have more in common with the Orthodox Jewish community than with main-line Protestant churches. Many of us fought those battles with you regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. We were repulsed by the favoritism shown to Palestinian causes at the expense of the sovereignty and safety of Israel and its citizens. We did not understand and still do not understand the main-line refusal to see Hamas and Hezbollah as the terrorists they are. Eventually, we turned our backs on those denominations, as have you, leaving them to shrink into insignificance, becoming mere reflection of contemporary culture. Leaving them to the consequences of their unfaithfulness to G-d.

    So, as an Evangelical Christian, I am pleased to see the ground-breaking agreement with UAE. It makes the Middle East and the world a better and safer place. I pray that the diplomatic work with Sudan will bear fruit. The more neighbors of Israel that follow suit, the safer the world will be from Iran and its proxies. I have recently seen Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, up close and personal in southern Lebanon while setting up a medical clinic to serve Syrian refugees. There is no way to make peace with Hezbollah. They hate Christians as much as Jews, considering local Christians nothing more than useful idiots. Because of their intransigence, Lebanon is now descending into a failed third world state.

    • If only I had a way to have some of my Orthodox co-religionists meet you and people like you! Especially here in Israel. I wouldn’t have to write articles like this one. (I’ll never forget the time I visited you in Gulfport, Mississippi which of course does not exactly have an Orthodox synagogue, and had to do the morning prayer in your living room….)

    • Raymond says:

      Peter Bloss, I have no idea who you are, but let me just say that you are one incredible human being. Even with the prospect of Evangelical Christians trying to convert us as the price we Jews have to pay for the strong Evangelical Christian support for Israel, they are still my second favorite group of people (second only to traditional Jews), but with you removing even that impediment, well, for whatever my views on these things are worth, I now consider you to be a Righteous Gentile, which is the highest compliment that we Jews can bestow on any given non-Jew. You remind me of John Hagee, a man I have long admired, both for his steadfast support for Israel, as well as for his policy opposing any attempt to convert my Jewish people to his religion. And now I find myself wanting to praise you to the skies, but my words fail me, and so at this point I will simply say, Thank You.

  8. Ori Pomerantz says:

    For people who understand Hebrew, this is commentary by Mordechai Keidar whose life work is investigating the Arab world:

  9. Bob Miller says:

    There are many groups in the world whose ultimate game plans differ significantly from ours. However, when we and some of them are under simultaneous attack by the same enemies, or when we have some common “peacetime” goals, it can pay to work together. We can do this with eyes open, without glossing over our differences.

    Domestically, we see a direct assault on autonomous religious and private education, backed by some ideologically driven governments. That, too, calls for cooperation with others under the same threat. Another such threat is governmental manipulation of COVID-19 concern to shut down religious gatherings even as certain political gatherings and even riots are encouraged.

    • Raymond says:

      I am not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I do think that the whole government shutdown thing is designed to attack our President at his greatest strength, namely our economy, for the purpose of defeating him in November. I have also come to realize that even that would not be enough to satisfy the Radical Left, that their ultimate goal is nothing short of destroying America altogether. So many decades ago when I was introduced by one of my Rabbi teachers to the works of Viktor Frankl, I was warned through Frankl’s books about the very real danger of nihilism. Back then, I was too naive for such an idea to be little more than theoretical to my young mind, nor did I have a clear picture of what he was talking about. Now, all these many decades later, I see his warnings coming to fruition, and it absolutely terrifies me. G-d should have mercy on all of us by seeing to it that the modern day Cyrus remains in our White House.

  10. Shades of Gray says:

    “I’ll never forget the time I visited you in Gulfport, Mississippi which of course does not exactly have an Orthodox synagogue, and had to do the morning prayer in your living room”

    Unless R. Adlerstein visited Mississippi more than once, this would have been during the rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina. See “Rabbi On a Hot Mississippi Roof”(CC, 1/12/06), which is a title that is hard to forget.

    • Pete Bloss says:

      Indeed, it was my great honor to host Yitzchok for his visit in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. He handles a nail gun quite well! We will always be grateful for the support given to our interfaith relief and recovery work. He and SWC helped facilitate and coordinate hundreds of Jewish college student volunteers who helped us in the work of getting roofs back on homes in poor, ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

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