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Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict: What the Headlines Haven't Told You [Paperback]

By Michael Rydelnik (Author)
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Item description for Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict: What the Headlines Haven't Told You by Michael Rydelnik...

"Enough blood and tears. Enough!" So declared the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin when he and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993. It seemed peace had finally come to a trouble land...but today, the treaty like hundreds of Israeliis and Palestinians are dead. What happened and how did it all go wrong? Michael Rydelnik, professor of JEwish Studies at Moody Bible Institute, goes beyond the media images for an in-depth, biblically grounded look at the "crisis that never ends"--the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs. This book explores such questions as: Will the violence ever stop? Who really has a right to the land? How did it and start and where whill it all end?

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Moody Publishers
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.73 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2004
Publisher   MOODY PRESS BOOKS #13
ISBN  0802426409  
ISBN13  9780802426406  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael Rydelnik

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Michael Rydelnik is professor of Jewish Studies in the World Missions and Evangelism department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He holds degrees from Moody (diploma), Azusa Pacific University (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (D.Miss.) and also contributed to "The Apologetics Study Bible."

Michael Rydelnik was born in 1957.

Michael Rydelnik has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Daylight Bible Studies
  2. New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > International > Relations
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict: What the Headlines Haven't Told You?

Disappointingly Slanted and Biased   Aug 7, 2006
Having seen the recent headlines regarding the conflict in the Middle East, I was looking for a book that would help me better understand the perspective of both sides and justification for each's actions. This book fell far short of the mark, becoming quickly clear that the book was highly biased in support of Israel. The book felt more like propaganda than literature. I don't know the basis of the conflict. I just want to understand both sides of the conflict, and that is why I bought and read the book. However, the book quickly builds to an assumption that all Arab's and Arab Government entities in the Middle East are "Terrorist" in nature intent on killing Jews, but gives no explaination as to WHY they would want to kill Jews? I am sure that both sides have some reasonable basis for their claims, but this book only tells the Jewish side of the story from a Jewish Studies Professor whose partents are Holocaust Survivors. I was very disappointed in a book that implied objectivity, but seemed to only tell one side of the story.
An excellent introduction to the Arab-Israeli conflict  Feb 11, 2005
I think this book is a fine introduction to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It does address one aspect that many people overlook, namely the significance of Israel to many Western Christians. The book does supply some counterarguments from Arab Christians.

Rydelnik quite properly identifies Arab antijudaism as a major cause of the conflict rather than an effect of it. And he gives examples of Arab propaganda that show how serious this problem is.

It seems to me that the author is quite accurate in describing the history of this quarrel. However, I did find a statement he makes that's incorrect: he says that Winston Churchill named Haj Amin el-Husseini as mufti of Jerusalem, but I think the one who appointed the mufti was actually Herbert Samuel.

The most interesting parts of the book are the chapters on Israeli and Arab claims to Israel. Rydelnik breaks these claims down into the following categories: religious, historical, political, economic, and human rights. He gives arguments and rebuttals for both sides for each of these categories.

I find the religious claims untenable for either side. And I think the arguments ignore the fact that the land is the site of Temples of Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Aphrodite, and many other Goddesses and Gods.

I also think the historical claims are invalid for both sides. No one would hand Hungary over to the Welsh today just because some Welsh people may have lived there long ago. But I do think that what Rydelnik calls "memory of the land" does explain why many Jews wanted to purchase land in the Levant and live there. In addition, there's more to it than mere memory: Jerusalem was the active capital of the Jewish people when Modern Zionism began in the late 1870s, and it already had a Jewish majority (perhaps the only Asian city to have one). In short, I think this argument at best shows good faith on the part of most Jewish purchasers of land.

Part of the historical argument is that both sides were displaced from the land and have a right to return to it. I think this is nonsense as well. The Jews who owned the land 2000 years ago are long dead. So are almost all the Arabs who owned it 60 years ago (Arab children in 1948 were not owners, their parents or grandparents were). The Jews and Arabs who left the land did not pay property taxes on it. They did not develop it. Their heirs never owned that land. Nor is it even clear just who their heirs are.

Next come the political arguments. I reject claims that the Balfour Declaration gives Jews a right to visit the Levant, settle there, or own property there. But the League of Nations really did give Jews that right. On the other hand, it did not give Jews the right to their own state. And as near as I can tell, no nation has ever been given a right to exist, anywhere. Nations exist, that is all there is to it. Israel exists because the British White Paper of 1939 made it necessary if Jewish rights to life, liberty, and property were to be preserved. When Israel became a state, it replaced a colonial British mandate, just as Ghana replaced Gold Coast. It did not replace an Arab state. Furthermore, individual Jews bought Levantine land legally, and at high prices. They have a right to keep that land if laws are to be worth anything. That is not a political argument but a legal one, and I think it is decisive.

Some Arabs say that those who want to destroy Israel have a Right of self-determination and a Right of return. I find this absurd, just as I would find it absurd for Arabs to declare a Right to destroy the United States and "return" to it to expel the present inhabitants. So I dismiss most of the political arguments. However, I do recognize the fact that Israel does exist now. And that it would be a horrible and arbitrary crime and a horrible precedent to destroy it.

The next category of arguments is economic. The author dwells on the improvements Israelis have made to the land, and the improvements in the economy. I think this is a valid argument. If people are to bid for property, the high bidders will win it. If those who are making the most effective use of the land actually have it, they may well be the highest potential bidders. That would make it counterproductive to award the land to others.

The final arguments are about human rights. I think human rights are a good idea in themselves. Israel has promoted them, while Israel's Arab opponents have attacked Israel mainly to oppose human rights (at least to oppose human rights for Asian Jews). And I think it is relevant that the existence of Israel supports human rights and is thus a benefit for everybody. Rydelnik lets the Arab counterarguments speak for themselves. These include claims that Jews are lying about the severity of the genocide in Europe in World War Two, and that the Arabs are totally innocent bystanders who are paying a price for the fact that Jews fared poorly in Europe in that war. Such claims are very weak and amount to no more than taunts.

I recommend this book, even for those who share neither my religious views nor the religious views of the author.
Excellent resource for understanding a complicated issue.  Oct 4, 2004
Dr. Rydelnik has done an excellent job of synthesizing his study of history and the Bible to bring clarity to an often-unclear issue. This book gives the reader a good grasp on the history, development, and current state of the the land of Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians. It also provides us with an invaluable, clear presentation of what the Bible has to say on the issues of who can claim ownership of the land, and of Israel and the Arab states in prophecy. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like a better understanding of the Middle East conflict, beyond what the headlines tell you.
This Book is Awesome!  Aug 30, 2004
Dr. Rydelnik has an incredible grasp of the facts related to the middle east... Yes, he is Jewish but his writing is historically accurate and simply lays out the history for your review. Read this book and you'll understand this complicated conflict. Thanks Dr. Rydelnik!

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