A Conversation with a Muslim Zionist

Since 2017, Noor Dahri, a Pakistan-born British scholar of Islamic theology and counterterrorism, has considered himself a Zionist. He recently was the subject of some controversy in his native lands because of a visit to Israel. In an interview by Steve Postal, he speaks about evolving Muslim attitudes toward the Jewish state:

I believe the Muslim community in England is even more extreme than it is in Pakistan. In 2017, when I first adopted the ideology of Zionism, I received threats from within England’s Muslim community. However, when I visited Israel recently, I did not receive any such threat, which was surprising. I believe that the Abraham Accords have changed many minds. Many Muslims in England sent me best wishes and congratulations on my visit to Israel, and some of them even booked flights to visit Israel for the very first time. I believe this is a victory of Zionism and Israel, the Jewish state.

The Abraham Accords gave a breath of life to us Muslim Zionists, as it gave us an opportunity to support Israel and the Jewish people openly. Before, I was conducting my advocacy from unknown places, hiding in different cities in England. Those who supported me secretly before now openly support me. Pakistanis who once dreamed of visiting Israel are now actually visiting the country and promoting a positive image of Israel. Soon Saudi Arabia will join the Abraham Accords, God willing.

Pakistan has had behind the scenes political and military ties with Israel for decades. Pakistani prime ministers like Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharraf, and Imran Khan have sent official delegations to Israel to normalize relations, and these are well documented. Pakistan is close to establishing overt diplomatic ties with Israel. However, such a move must be carefully coordinated, as Pakistan faces a high risk of an Islamist uprising as Pakistan just emerged from a twenty-year bloody war against the Islamists. If Saudi Arabia joins the Abraham Accords, this would give Pakistan sufficient cover to join as well.

Read more at American Spectator

More about: Abraham Accords, Jewish-Muslim Relations, Pakistan

 

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict