The Arab Muslim MK boycott of US Vice President Pence’s speech in the Knesset on Monday as well as their opposition to his visit to Israel are both more a result of a religious objection than a political one, according to Dr. Mordechai Kedar, senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University.
Over the weekend, Head of the Joint (Arab) List and Member of Knesset, Ayman Odeh, announced on Saturday night, his decision to boycott Pence’s speech, along with the rest of the Arab MKs in his faction. Tweeting in Hebrew, Odeh called Pence, who is an evangelical Christian, “a dangerous man with a messianic vision that includes the destruction of the entire region.”
Although Odeh and many of the 1.8 million Arab citizens of Israel take issue politically with the Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Dr. Kedar stressed that Odeh’s primary objection to Pence’s speech and visit is a religious one.
“Islam came to the world to replace Judaism and Christianity,” Dr. Kedar told Breaking Israel News. “Their whole objection to the existence of the State of Israel stems from the religious problem which Israel creates by its mere existence.”
Dr. Kedar maintains that Muslims are obligated, according to their faith, to reconquer any territory previously controlled by Islam, which would include the land of Israel.
“From a territorial point of view, Israel is a problem,” Dr. Kedar explained. “That’s why Muslims don’t accept any archeology that proves that Judaism or Christianity [has a historic basis] in the country.”
“Muslims are mandated to spread Islam all over the world and believe that any influence in the Middle East other than Islam is null and void,” he added.
Kedar added that Odeh also takes issue with evangelical Christianity’s support for the revival of Judaism in the land of Israel and thus objects to the “combination of revivalist Christianity with revivalist Judaism.”
“This is something Islam cannot accept,” he continued. “Both Zionism and Evangelism are viewed as a danger to the mere existence of Islam.”
Therefore, according to Dr. Kedar, Islam can never accept any recognition of the legitimacy of Israel and Jerusalem as the Jewish people’s capital.
“Christians recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews and recognizing Israel’s legitimacy is against Islamic views,” he stressed. “To Muslims, this is totally unacceptable.”
Dr. Kedar added that by its most basic principles in the Quran, does not and will never accept other religions.
“As Jews and Christians, we think that everybody thinks like us,” he noted. “Judaism and Christianity have little objection with other religions, but that’s not the situation in Islam, which is obsessed with other religions all the time, and constantly talking about infidels.”
“Both Christianity and Judaism are null and void, together, against Islam.”