New York Post

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 1948

The Unholy War Backfires

A Girded Israel Upsets Professors of
Koran in Their Misguided Jiddah


The war against the present Jewish community in Palestine is not an Arab holy war. It is, instead, unholy, and up to now the Israelis have been the victors and the Arabs the defeated.

The Arabs could not believe that this could be; so they tried again, and in the 10 days following the end of the four-week truce they lost Nazareth, the capital of western Galilee, and Lydda with its airport, Ramleh and the plain that stretches from it toward Jerusalem, in central Palestine.

The Egyptian army encircled at Ashdod was annihilated. This is a rout. An unholy war it has been and a good rout it was.

In a dispatch to The New York Times of July 26, Clifton Daniel writes on the basis of military reports from the Middle East: “The Arabs . . . suffered . . . a substantial military defeat in the war in Palestine . . . The Arab military failure . . . is particularly astonishing in view of the fact that contingents of the regular armies of five sovereign states participated in the fighting.”

These Arab states have a population 40 times greater than the Israeli population of Palestine.

An unholy war it has been, but a holy war for the Israelis who, as in the days of Moses, are called by history to the supreme task of surviving in a hostile world.

* * *

Soon after the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine, the Arab religious university at Cairo, el-Azzar, resolved to proclaim a holy war against the Jewish community in Palestine. On the day the British surrendered their mandate, seven Arab countries declared war against the State of Israel.

However, the professors at the Theological University forgot one thing: the content of most of the chapters of the Koran. And a holy war (jiddah) must be proclaimed in the name of the Koran.

The Koran is sacred to all Moslems. Whatever is written here is held to be true. It does not matter that Joshua son of Nun is confused with Jesus son of Mary and that Mary is identified as Mariam sister of Moses; that Korach is made into Kroesus, and Haman is there the vizier of the Pharaoh of the Exodus. What is important is the spirit of the Koran and its intent, not the confusion of details.

A major number of the chapters of the Koran deal with the story of Moses and the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. No other persons are mentioned nearly so frequently in the Koran as Moses and his adversary, the Pharaoh.

* * *

“Pharaoh and his people” (says the Koran)–“verily they are a people who act abominably.”

“And we wished to be gracious to those who were weakened in the earth, and to make them the models, and to make them the heirs; and to establish for them in the earth; and to show Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts what they had to beware of from them.”

“Pharaoh and his people were and abominable nation, and when they had annoyed us we took vengeance on them, and we drowned them all together, and we made them a precedent and an example to those after them.”

“But we saved the Children of Israel from shameful woe!—from Pharaoh, verily, he was haughty, one of the extravagant! And we did choose them above the worlds.”

“And we did give Moses to guidance; and we made the Children of Israel to inherit the Book, as a guidance and a reminder to those endowed with minds.”

“Moses said to his people: O my people! enter the Holy Land which God has prescribed for you; and be not thrust back.”

“And we said to the children of Israel: Dwell ye in the land; and when the promise of the hereafter comes to pass, we will bring you in a mixed crowd.”

* * *

The promise of the hereafter has come to pass. Farouk, King of Egypt, today sits on the throne of the ancient Pharaohs. His is a second-rate kingdom, not as it was in the days of the Pharaohs. But he imitates the Pharaohs of the past. We advise him to order the professors at el-Azzar to mark for him with a red pencil all the passages in the Koran that relate the story of the Pharaoh who opposed the Israelis going to Palestine to build there a state. Almost every page in the sacred book will be crimson flecked.