The Root Causes of Turmoil in the Middle East
The Middle East, by many, is considered to extend from Turkey to Morocco and much of it is covered by desert sand. The region is important today because underneath some of the desert sand is the world’s largest known source of oil. The countries most closely tied with its turmoil are Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.
Despite the turmoil, the Middle East has a long history that traces many great accomplishments in the fields of science, art, literature, philosophy, and other intelligent ventures. For example, the invention of paper came through the Arabs. Advanced principles of ...view middle of the document...
The Jewish people and their homeland come mainly from the Old Testament, or the Jewish Torah.
The Jews believe that Abraham was chosen to be the father of Israel. According to the Torah, God appeared to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-2 and gave him a command:
“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”
God later comes to Abraham promising that Abraham’s descendants will be God’s Chosen People. God promises to give the people the land of Canaan. In Genesis 17:8, God says,
“And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Genesis 15:1-18 defines this as the land from the River Nile in Egypt to the great river Euphrates, which flows through what is now Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Therefore, Jews believe that God chose them to be a great nation and promised them a land that flowed with milk and honey.
God’s promise of making Abraham the father of a great nation had one major problem; Sarah, his wife, was not able to become pregnant. Sarah convinces Abraham to sleep with her Egyptian maid, Hagar, who become pregnant and gives birth to a son named Ishmael. Because Sarah cannot conceive, Abraham thinks that Ishmael will be his only son. However, God comes to him and explains that Sarah will have a child whose offspring will be God’s Chosen People. God’s promise is fulfilled and Sarah becomes pregnant and Isaac is born. Sarah turns on Hagar due to the reminder of Ishmael being Abraham’s firstborn and entitled to his father’s inheritance. At Sarah’s insistence Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away. Today, Arabs believe they are descendants of Ishmael; therefore, fulfilling God’s promise that he will be the father of a great nation.
The interpretation of God’s Chosen People has brought about great religious strife between the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews believe they are descendants of Abraham and Isaac and the Arabs believe they are the offspring of Abraham and Ishmael. Therefore, they both feel that they are God’s Chosen People, to be a great nation, and live in a land that flows with milk and honey. Jacob, one of Isaac’s sons, wrestles with an angel all night long telling him that he will not let him go until he receives a blessing.
“What is your name?” the angel asks. After Jacob answers, the man tells him, “ your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with me and have prevailed.”
The Jewish people are afterwards referred to as the children of Israel. Israel became one of the future kingdoms, and eventually became the independent state of the Jewish people. The Jews were freed from Egyptian bondage and conquered the Promised Land, where King...