The Mystery of Hate

The following article was written by a Israeli journalist....

The Mystery of Hate
by Yair Lapid

Hundreds of years of fighting, six and a half wars, billions of
dollars gone with the wind, tens of thousands of victims, not including
the boy who laid down next to me on the rocky beach of lake Karon in
1982 and we both watched his guts spilling out. The helicopter took him
and until this day I do not know whether he is dead or survived. All
this, and one cannot figure it out.

And its not only what happened but all that did not happen -
hospitals that were never built, universities that were never opened,
roads that were never paved, the three years that were taken from
millions of teenagers for the sake of the army. And despite all the
above, we still do not have the beginning of a clue to the mystery of
where it all started:

Why do they hate us so much?

I am not talking about the Palestinians this time. Their dispute with
us is intimate, focused, and it has a direct effect on their lives.
Without getting into the 'which side is right' question, it is obvious
that they have very personal reasons not to stand our presence here. We
all know that eventually this is how it will be solved: in a personal
way, between them and us, with blood sweat and tears that will stain
the pages of the agreement. Until then, it is a war that could at least
be understood, even if no sane person is willing to accept the means
that are used to run it by.

It is the others. Those I cannot understand. Why does Hassan
Nasralla, along with tens of thousands of his supporters, dedicate his
life, his visible talents, his country's destiny, to fight a country he
has never even seen, people he has never really met and an army that he
has no reason to fight?

Why do children in Iran , who can not even locate Israel on the map
(especially because it is so small), burn its flag in the city center
and offer to commit suicide for its elimination? Why do Egyptian and
Jordanian intellectuals agitate the innocent and helpless against the
peace agreements, even though they know that their failure will push
their countries 20 years back? Why are the Syrians willing to stay a
pathetic and depressed third world country, for the dubious right to
finance terror organizations that will eventually threaten their own
country's existence? Why do they hate us so much in Saudi-Arabia? In
Iraq ? In Sudan ? What have we done to them? How are we even relevant to
their lives? What do they know about us? Why do they hate us so much in
Afghanistan ? They don't have anything to eat there, where do they get
the energy to hate?

This question has so many answers and yet it is a mystery. It is true
that it is a religious matter but even religious people make their
choices. The Koran (along with the Shariaa - the Muslim parallel to the
Jewish Halacha) consists of thousands of laws, why is it that we occupy them so much?

There are so many countries who gave them much better reasons to be
angry. We did not start the crusades, we did not rule them during the
colonial period, we never tried to convert them. The Mongolians, the
Seljuk, the Greeks, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Ottomans, the
British, they all conquered, ruined and plundered the whole region. We
did not even try, so how come we are the enemy?

And if it is identification with their Palestinians brothers then
where are the Saudi Arabian tractors building up the territories that
were evacuated? What happened to the Indonesian delegation building a
school in Gaza strip? Where are the Kuwaiti doctors with their modern
surgical equipment? There are so many ways to love your brothers, why
do they all prefer to help their brothers with hating?

Is it something that we do? Fifteen hundreds years of anti-Semitism
taught us - in the most painful way possible - that there is something
about us that irritates the world. So, we did the thing everyone
wanted: we got up and left. We have established our own tiny little
country, where we can irritate ourselves without interrupting others.
We didn't even ask a lot for it. Israel is spread on a smaller
territory than 1% of the territory of Saudi-Arabia, with no oil, no
minerals, without settling on another existing state's territory. Most
of the cities that were bombed this week were not plundered from
anyone. Nahariya, Afula, and Karmiel did not even exist until we
established them. The other katyusas landed on territories over which
no one ever questioned our right with regards to them. In Haifa there
were Jews already in the 3rd century BC and Tiberias was the place
where the last Sanhedrin sat, so no one can claim we plundered them
from anyone.

However, the hatred continues. As if no other destiny is possible.
Active hatred, poisoned, unstoppable. Last Saturday the president of
Iran , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called again 'to act for the vanishing of
Israel '' as if we were bacteria. We got used to it so much that we
don't even ask why.

Israel does not hope and never did for Iran to vanish. As long as
they wanted, we had diplomatic relations with them. We do not have a
common border with them or even any bad memories. And still, they are
willing to confront the whole western world, to risk a commercial
boycott, to hurt their own quality of life, to crush what's left of
their economy and all that for the right to passionately hate us.

I am trying to remember and cannot: have we ever done something to
them? When? How? Why did he say in his speech that ' Israel is the main
problem of the Muslim world'? more than a billion people living in the
Muslim world, most of them in horrible conditions. They suffer from
hunger, poverty, ignorance, bloodshed that spreads from Kashmir to
Kurdistan, from dying Darfur to injured Bangladesh . How come we are the
main problem? How exactly are we in their way?

I refuse to accept the argument that claims 'that is just the way
they are'. They said it about us so many times that we have learned to
accept this _expression. There must be another reason, some dark secret
that because of it, the citizens of South Lebanon allow to rouse the
quiet border, to kidnap the soldiers of an army that has already
retreated from their territory, to turn their country into a wasteland
exactly at the time they finally escaped twenty years of disasters.

We got used to telling ourselves worn expressions - 'it's the Iranian
influence', or ' Syria is stirring behind the scenes' - but it is just
too easy explanation. Because what about them?

What about their thoughts?
What about their hopes, loves, ambitions and their dreams?
What about their children?
When they send their children to die, does it seem enough for them to say that it was all worth while just because they hate us so much?


  1. Hi!

    I want to recommend a book:

    Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged - By Barry E. Horner.

    My dad just bought it a couple weeks ago... I am reading it, he is too, and it is very interesting. I am not very good at descriptions so I will give the description from the inside of the book:

    "Replacement Theology, sometimes called "supercessionist theology," is the view that the church has replaced or superceded Israel in God's redemptive plan. Author Barry E. Horner shows the prevalence of anti-Judaic teaching from church leaders in the past and present, and argues that it is contrary to the Bible, especially the writings of Paul the apostle.

    Dr. Horner also shows the negative impact anti-Judaism has on the church as well as on Jewish evangelism. He argues that the presense fo Jewish believers in teh church does not adequately fulfill the biblical promises. Rather, God's promise still stnds of a regenrated nation fo Israel in the land under its acknowledged Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. A unifying teaching of Scripture, he says, is a Judeo-centric eschatology."

    We really wanted the book when we saw that it was recommended by Pastor John Macarthur.

    I don't know if you have heard about this but, last spring, Macarthur 'schocked' a bunch of people by his opening message at the Shepherds Conference. The title of the message was: Why every self respecting Calvinist is a Premillenialist.

    Here are some excepts from his message:

    "The Bible calls God “The God of Israel” over 200 times. The God of Israel. There are over 2000 references to Israel in Scripture. Not one of them means anything but Israel. Not one of them, including Romans 9:6 and Galatians 6:16, which are the only two passages that Amillennialists go to, to try to convince us that that cancels out the other 2000. There is no difficulty in interpreting those as simply meaning Jews who were believers, the Israel of God. Israel always means Israel; it never means anything but Israel. Seventy-three New Testament uses of Israel always mean Israel. It should be noted that Jews still exist today. That’s interesting, isn’t it? You ever met a Hittite? How ‘bout an Amorite, a Hivite, or a Jebusite? Anybody know any of those folks? How ‘bout an Agagite? Do you know that the Israeli Immigrant Bureau in the land of Israel requires DNA tests where Jewish ancestry is questioned, and they know what Jewish DNA looks like? Somebody asked John Stott in the European conference, “What was the significance of the existence of Israel today?” and he replied, “It has no biblical significance.” Really? That’s a strange answer. They’re here. They’re here. Seventy percent of Scripture is the story of Israel, and I think that the whole point of the story is to get to the ending. And it doesn’t go up in smoke...

    Another effect of replacement theology is the damage that it does to Jewish evangelism. Here’s a little scenario: You are talking to a Jew. You say, “Jesus is the Messiah.” “Really, where is the kingdom?” “Oh, it’s here!” “Oh, it is? Well, why are we being killed all the time? Why are we being persecuted and why don’t we have the land that was promised to us? And why don’t we--why isn’t the Messiah reigning in Jerusalem, and why isn’t the peace and joy and gladness dominating the world, and why isn’t the desert blooming and…?” “Oh, no, you don’t understand. All that’s not going to happen. You see, the problem is you’re not God’s people any more. We are.” “Oh! I see, but this is the kingdom, and Jews are being killed and hated, and Jerusalem is under siege. This is the kingdom? If this is the kingdom, Jesus is not the Messiah. Can’t be. It’s ludicrous.” No matter how many wonderful Jewish-Christian relationships we try to have with rabbis, this is a huge bone in the throat. Why can’t Jesus be the Messiah? Because this isn’t the kingdom. Unless you can say to a Jew “God will keep every single promise He made to you, and Jesus will fulfill every single promise, and that is why there are still Jews in the world, and that is why you are in the land and God is preparing for a great day of salvation in Israel; and Jesus is your Messiah. But look at Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12:10 and understand that He had to come and die to ratify the New Covenant before He could forgive your sin, and the kingdom is coming. THAT you got a chance to communicate. The rest doesn’t make sense. Now, if you get election right—divine, sovereign, gracious, unconditional, unilateral, irrevocable election--and then you get God right, and you get Israel right, and you get eschatology right, and guess what, men, then you can just open your Bible and preach your heart out of that text and say what it says. How freeing is that? You don’t have to scramble around and find some bizarre interpretation. Get it right and God is glorified. Get it right and Christ is exalted. Get it right and the Holy Spirit is honored. Get it right and Scripture is clear. Get it right and the greatest historical illustration of God’s work in the world is visible. Get it right and the meaning of mystery in the New Testament is maintained. Get it right and normal language is intact and Scripture wasn’t written for mystics. Get it right and the chronology of prophetic literature is intact. Get it right and you shut out imagination from exegesis. Get it right and a historical worldview is complete. Get it right and the practical benefit of eschatology is released on your people. Get it right. The kingdom theology of the eschaton is the only view that honors sovereign, electing grace, honors the truthfulness of God’s promises, honors the teaching of Old Testament prophets, the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament writers; that will allow Christ to be honored as supreme ruler over His creation now temporarily in the hands of Satan; and the earthly millennial kingdom established at Christ’s return is the only and necessary bridge from temporary human history to eternal divine glory. Make your church a second coming church and make your life a second coming life. Al Gore is not in charge of the end of the world, and history will not dribble to an incomprehensible end. And that’s enough for me."

    So when we heard that there was a book out that he recommended, we purchased it, after reading some of it (we aren't finished yet) we thought that the book was probably an inspiration for Macarthur's message. I think that the book came out in October, but Macarthur's recommendation is on it so I think that he read it some time before.

    Sorry that this is so long... just thought that you might be interested.

  2. Sarah, thanks for the book recommendation. The snippet you posted is very intriguing, I will look into it.

  3. Dear Judah and Family,
    The One who loves you is greater than all those who hate you. All those who belong to God also love you. You are precious in His sight.