Q. I have a question regarding Ishmael and Issac. Are the moslems descendants of Ishmael? And for what reason do they hate the descendants of Issac? I was talking to my father about it but I did not know the reason they hate the descendants of Issac except for the fact the devil hates them.
A. It’s a complicated issue, and religious as well as racial. Some Arabs are descendants of Ishmael and some are not, but nearly all are Moslem. For instance, Iranians and Syrians are not descended from Ishmael, but are often referred to as Arabs by westerners.
The real battle is between Judaism and Islam, not Israelis and Arabs as the media would have you believe. It began when the Jews rejected Mohammad’s invitation to embrace Islam about 1400 years ago. Today this hatred against Jews comes from the fact that their existence in that land violates a promise by Mohammad that any land conquered in the name of Islam would never be regained by its earlier occupants. That’s the real reason why no efforts at forming two independent states, one Jewish and one Palestinian, will ever succeed. Israel cannot be permitted to dwell on land that was once claimed in the name of Islam.
As for Isaac and Ishmael, there is a minority view among Arabs that as Abraham’s oldest son, Ishmael should have inherited the promised land, not Isaac. You don’t hear about that very much, though, partly because it admits that the Jews had a prior claim. Like I said, it’s a complicated issue.