With all the turmoil going on in Egypt and other Muslim countries I am being constantly asked about future hopes for peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. While I hope for peace I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. This is because for many the battle isn’t earthly but cosmic. It is a war between Allah and YHVH and their respective armies of the faithful. There are only two ways to end a cosmic conflict: one God wins and desimates the people of the other God, or people stop allowing themselves to be manipulated by Gods altogether. I can’t see the latter happening, so I take seriously this Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:
“Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jews hide behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him:’ – but the Gharqad tree will not say this, for it is the tree of the Jews.”
This is a good news/bad news Hadith. The bad news is that most Jews will die. This isn't unique to Islam. Some of my Christian friends tell me the same thing: all but 144,000 Jews must die in order for Jesus to return. There is just something about the death of Jews that turns some Gods on. The good news is that there is a tree of the Jews. I had no idea.
It turns out the Gharqad tree is Arabic for the boxthorn, a tree of the nightshade family, of which there are ninety species. I don’t know why this tree loves the Jews, but I am glad it does. All those other trees and stones are antiSemites—damn you, Magnolia tree in my backyard! Curse you Maple tree in my front yard!
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start planting Gharqad trees everywhere. And while you may think me silly, you can at least see why I say there will be no peace in the Middle East. When the future depends on talking trees, you can be certain that the insanity and violence of people and their Gods is too much for what little rationality we have left.
[Case in point: anti-Jewish protests in Tunisia: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142405]