‘The earth is round!’ trumpets Donald Trump. ‘How dare he claim the earth is round! Everyone respects the status quo that the earth is flat!’ Pope Francis shoots back. Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem write to Trump advising the US to continue recognising the present international status that the earth is flat.
‘Mr Trump! The flat earth position is a red line for Muslims,’ Turkish President Recep Erdogan retorts on television. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman phones Trump and tells him that to claim the earth is round is ‘a flagrant provocation of Muslims all over the world’.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman tweets to say that the status of the earth as flat or round ‘can only be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution’. UK Prime Minister Theresa May says the Israelis and Palestinians should divide the earth between them – then Israel can say its half of the earth is round, while the Palestinians can maintain that their half is flat.
Is truth to be decided by the tyranny of the majority? Since there are 1.2billion Muslims voting for planet Flat Earth and 13million Jews rooting for a Round Earth we know who will win the tug-of-war. Since there is only one Jewish state and 57 Muslim states constituting the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, there must be a global consensus that the earth is flat. Any departure from this orthodoxy is heresy. Trump the heretic must be burnt at the stake (along with tyres, cars, buildings and anything else rioters can find).
My TCW colleague, Karen Harradine, has debunked the myth of the so-called peace process receiving a setback from Trump’s blindingly obvious and historically factual recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.
Of course, the Palestinians are incandescent. Trump has called their bluff and blackmail. Of course, Leftists are apoplectic. Trump has exposed their deep-rooted Jew-hatred. Of course, Pope Francis is frothing at the mouth. The Vatican did not formally recognise Israel until 1993, but Francis rushed to recognise the Palestinian state in 2015.
The refusal to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes predominantly from Muslims who have nothing to do with the ‘peace process’ or the ‘two-state solution’. The majority of Muslims insist that the earth is flat despite 3,000 years of history. This is why President Erdogan is holding the world to ransom by threatening international mayhem. This explains the chorus of hostility from countries dominated by the ‘religion of peace’ ranging from Indonesia and Malaysia to Algeria and Egypt.
This is religion, not politics. Our secular Western media simply doesn’t understand the Eastern religious mindset. Political diplomacy can never even begin to resolve theological controversies. Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims because Islam has superseded Judaism. End of discussion.
I have delivered academic lectures (once under armed guard in Tel Aviv) on the roots of Islamic anti-Semitism. The Medinan sections of the Koran and the Hadith are simmering with Jew-hatred. While Christian, Jew and secular biblical scholars have reached a near-consensus on understanding the alleged anti-Semitism in the gospels as intra-faith rather than inter-faith polemic (Jesus was a Jew and his early followers were all Jews), there is no such resolution on the treatment of Jews in Islamic texts. It is in this light that the post-Christian West needs to consider Islamic opposition to Jerusalem and Israel.
The Hebrew Bible mentions Jerusalem more than 660 times. There are around 150 occurrences of Jerusalem in the New Testament. Israel’s history has everything to do with Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for more than 3,000 years. The Jerusalem Temple is God’s dwelling place on earth. For Jews, it is the centre of the universe. Jesus is crucified in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit descends on the apostles at Pentecost in Jerusalem. Jesus, Paul, Peter and John pray in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Koran does not name Jerusalem even once!
So how do Muslims claim exclusive ownership over Jerusalem (and Israel)?
In AD 638, the Muslims captured Jerusalem. In AD 690, they built an octagonal building topped by a dome on the site which became known as the Dome of the Rock. In AD 715, the Umayyads built the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the ‘furthest mosque’, corresponding to the story of Muhammad’s miraculous night journey.
It is the Temple Mount that is at the heart of the conflict. The Arabic term bayt al-maqdis (‘house of the holy’) has three meanings: first, the Jewish Temple and its successor, the Temple Mount (al-aram al-sharīf) with the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque; second, the city of Jerusalem; third, the Holy Land as a whole. Yasser Arafat titled his terrorist war launched in September 2000 the ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’ after the mosque in Jerusalem.
In later theological development, the Temple Mount is said to have been the destination of Muhammad’s ‘night journey’ and the scene of his ascension into heaven. Muslim theologians, however, disagree as to whether Muhammad prayed in the sanctuary. Had he done so, it would have been incumbent on Muslims also to visit Jerusalem when on pilgrimage to Mecca.
Islam is supersessionist – it succeeds and supersedes Judaism (and Christianity). It understands itself to be the true Judaism and hence dates its Muslim origins back to Adam. The Jerusalem Temple is, in effect, a mosque. In classical Islam, all conquered land becomes the sacralised property of the Muslim community for ever. Even when subsequently lost to non-Muslims, these areas remain holy to Islam and must be restored to the rightful rule of the Muslims by ‘defensive’ jihad.
Read Article 11 of the Hamas Charter! ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it . . .’ Article 11 discusses whether such land can be partitioned and quotes Caliph Umar who replied emphatically in the negative.
With such a theological position it is impossible to achieve a permanent peace solution. Further, Islam has no concept of a peace treaty with non-Muslims. It has only the concept of a truce that allows Muslims to re-gather their strength before achieving a final military victory.
This is based on Muhammad’s truce of Hudaibiya with the pagan Quraish tribe who controlled Mecca. Muhammad dispensed with the ‘treaty’ a year later when he had become strong enough to take Mecca by force. This is so widely known in the Islamic world that when Yasser Arafat signed the peace accord with Israel, he silenced Muslim criticism by saying ‘Well, brothers, let’s just say this is Hudaibiya.’ Similarly, in late 2008 Hamas felt quite at liberty simply to dispense with the ‘truce’ it had earlier agreed with Israel.
The monumental irony is that the post-Christian West, wallowing in its own rejection of religious belief, has swallowed the Islamic pill of pious fiction and fabricated history in the name of fake peace, fake consensus and a fake status quo. The so-called scientific West now believes the world is flat because Muslims are insisting that the world is flat.
With Trump’s morality, truth and principle have trumped fiction, politics and religion. Trump will live on in Jewish history as one of the most courageous goyim (Gentiles) to recognise Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. I join in praying Psalm 137 with my Jewish brethren: ‘If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!’