February 21, 2007
here have always been Jews who are faithful to YHWH  (a spiritual life with G_d at its heart) and there have always been Jews who are faithful to the wonderful kingdom (a material life with sex, money and power at its heart). The people who kept returning to The Promised Land, after each exile, to re-establish the wonderful kingdom and rebuild the Temple were and still are the Jews who were most committed to the dream of the wonderful kingdom. The others didn't bother to return because they had lives serving YHWH established elsewhere. The committed always make the most noise and they are the only ones anyone hears about. The others who were faithful to YHWH have lived in peace with their neighbours from Iran to Morocco for thousands of years. Nobody has ever heard about them. The wonderful kingdom ceased to exist after the Babylonian captivity  (about 2600 years ago). Before that, the wonderful kingdom had been terminated by the Assyrian captivity , and then it was re-established. After Babylon, the wonderful kingdom was always a province in someone else's empire: the Persians , Alexander  and then his successors (diadochi), the Seleucids , the Parthian Empire , and the Roman Empire . It was not actually the wonderful kingdom during the time of Jesus; it was a province of Rome. Herod was a puppet of Rome. His principal job was to keep his people in line. The Romans let him be king. They let him build stuff, including the 2nd Temple. About 70 years after the leaders of the Jews in this Roman province crucified Jesus, the Romans had had enough of the Maccabees , the revolts, and other shenanigans that had been going on. The Romans razed the Temple and disbursed the inhabitants. Jews call this the "Diaspora" ignoring the Jews who had been living away from the Holy Land for centuries. One might conclude that YHWH had had enough of the wonderful kingdom too. But YHWH may have stayed Roman hands, preventing them from doing what they had done to Carthage . Some Jews in the Holy Land became Christians. Five hundred years later, some of them became Muslims . Some Jews in the Holy Land did not convert: they remained faithful to YHWH as Jews. The Holy Land, itself, was fairly peaceful until the Crusaders  began invading 500 years after Islam had arrived. The last Crusaders left the Holy Land after the Mongols  had been defeated by the Mamluks . The destruction of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire  came with WW I. Then, with the British and the Americans in control (that's us!), evil times befell the region as it was dismembered and looted for oil throughout the 20th century.
The people who want to re-establish the wonderful kingdom and rebuild the Temple today have been calling themselves "Zionists" since the late 19th century. They are the spiritual descendants of the people who returned from Assyria and Babylon long ago. (The choice between YHWH and the wonderful kingdom is familiar to Christians as The Temptation of Christ . Do we rule under Satan, or do we serve God? Do we serve in Heaven or do we rule in Hell? That is the choice.)
The modern attempt to re-establish the wonderful kingdom began in 1878  with the first Rothschild  colonies. Progress to beat the Palestinians  into submission and take their land has been slow and bloody (129 years, so far) even with the help of the new Rome, otherwise known as Great Britain and the U.S.A. Can we assume that YHWH has not been helping the Zionists or the British and the Americans? Could it be that YHWH is not too pleased? What has happened since 1900 to the ancient Jewish communities in Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Iran?
We do not know how things will turn out. YHWH works in mysterious ways, His wonders to achieve.
P.S.: False impressions are easy to create. So I always try to anticipate them and avoid that. Muslims as a group are people, not saints. Along with the Crusades and the Mongol invasion of the Islamic world, at various times the Caliphate  invaded and occupied Spain, southern France, the Balkans, and got as far as the gates of Vienna. Until they were displaced by the British Empire , the Moguls  ruled India.
Lord Acton  summed up the sweep of history with these few words: Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.
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