For anyone who has trouble picking sides in the ongoing Middle East Conflict, let's step back from the conflict itself and look at some facts about the two sides. What do the two sides do with their relative resources? (From the Zionist Youngster):
Whatever wealth they have is the result of their good fortune (of having oil under their ground) and not of their efforts. Israel, poor in such natural resources, prospers by the brains and the sweat of its people ... This setting up of industry, science and culture by the Zionists predates the independence of Israel by decades, whereas the invented nation calling themselves “Palestinians” have been engaged in nothing but internecine warfare (of the violent kind), the setting up of terrorist training camps, and the maintenance of a poisonous education system ever since gaining land of their own in 1993.Yes, but let's look a bit more at the difference. In 2002, the United Nations Development Program released its report on development in the 22 states of the Arab World. Get a load of these statistics:
Such is the difference between Israel and its enemies ...
- No Arab country spends more than 0.2 percent of its gross national product on scientific research, and most of that money goes toward salaries. By contrast, the United States spends more than 10 times that amount.
- No more than 10,000 books were translated into Arabic over the entire past millennium, equivalent to the number translated into Spanish each year.
- Only 370 industrial patents were issued to people in Arab countries between 1980 and 2000. In South Korea during that same period, 16,000 industrial patents were issued.
Is the answer, then, that Jews are smart, and Arabs are stupid? No, the answer lies in Islamic ideology vs. Jewish ideology. Arabs are predominantly Muslim. Islam teaches that the Koran is the final word of Allah, and that all circumstances are Insh'allah (as Allah wills it). And, what's more Allah is beyond his creation and totally incomprehensible.
Judaism, and Christianity by extension, teaches that humans particpate in God's creation in every way, from helping to write the Word of God (The Bible) to maintaining the garden, to naming the animals. And, God is not incomprehensible to man. Instead, man was created in God's Image. Therefore, just as God is rational and creative, we are to be rational and creative.
In the world of Islam, it is blasphemy to think this way. And, that is why Muslims invent almost nothing, and produce little wealth with all the revenue from their oil. Well, they did invent the Buzzing Prayer Rug. So, let's give Allah credit where credit is due.
So, even if you have trouble disentangling the politics of the Middle East Conflict, which side would you rather have win? Which side would you rather see increase its influence in this world?
Also see: Observations on Arabs. Isaac Schrodinger also has some important links on this subject.