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COVID-19: Echoes from the Middle East and Abraham’s Last Testament

By Abuchi Obiora

There was no sentiments in the spread of COVID-19 in the world. The queen of terror was everywhere. It touched all the nooks and crannies of the world to a lesser or greater degree.

Though effectively controlled in the Middle East by the oil Sheiks, no region of the world is an exception in the cross-country tour of COVID-19

While the rest of the world is struggling with COVID-19 pandemic, the struggle between the ancient countries in the same Middle East, namely, Israel and Palestine, seem not to have heeded to the lockdown order which most countries of the world imposed on their activities to curve the spread of COVID-19

A recent report showed that about 85% of Palestine land has been annexed by Israel who is moving fast to lay hands on the remaining 15% of the remaining Palestine land.

Much as it is difficult to comment on the long-drawn battle between the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of his younger brother Isaac, there can only be one version of the truth and this version resides within the perspective of one love and equal right of existence amongst one humanity.

My opinion is that nobody possesses a better right of existence on earth than another person, and this forms the basis for my analysis here. To add to this, the earth and its expansive land mass is large enough to accommodate everybody.

Israel and Palestine must sit down without supervision or interference by America or anybody for whatever reason, to re-appropriate their common patrimony. This will make them live in peace as brothers thereafter.

The rightist descendants of the Red Indians and the capitalist Jews in diaspora should allow peace to reign in that region.

I understand that there are so many Jews still living in Palestine and other Arab countries, most especially in Afghanistan, whose distant parents had long adopted the Islamic religion and culture as their way of life. They had migrated long before the descendants of their brothers discovered that they will fight over their father’s land.

Truth is that you cannot induce the eye to cry and expect not to see tears, much the same way that you cannot link up the throat without going through the mouth, the ear or the nose. Blood is still thicker than water. Why should the world allow these two brothers to waste themselves and their resources?

Israel should not insist on re-accessing all of her so-called ancestral land claimed by the descendants of Isaac to have been given to Isaac by God through Abraham.

The Holy Bible which recorded that Ishmael was bequeathed a vast area of unfertile ( now fertile with crude oil resource) land as Ishmaels own birthright.

The battle may have been more gruesome if the land was still to remain unfertile till now, so, God has in his infinite mercy and sense of balance, partly solve the problem in the Middle East.

Secondly emerging civilizations have always shifted the boundaries of human empires away from what thy used to be, by way of enlarging them or shrinking them. This is why I believe that any interpretation of the words of God (irrespective of whatever the source of the interpretation of the words of God may come from) which contradicts any of the accepted characters of God that include, justice and equity, must be seen to be humanly-influenced by both an ulterior motive and pecuniary interest.

Thirdly, most of the autonomous and indigenous people of Africa who hitherto enjoyed their peace had their lives disrupted and their shores re-mapped, re-defined, and re-appropriated by the Portuguese explorers who claimed they came to ‘discover’ people who were already existing and living peacefully in well-organized, communal societies. 

Christian missionaries, and lately colonial masters partook in the scramble for Africa, a continent that has seen more destruction and pillage than any other continent in the world. 

The wanton destruction and transfer of the ancient technology founded in Egypt, the cradle of world civilization, by Western Europe, is the gravest injustice that ever happened on earth. Now, both Egypt and the rest of the countries of Africa are trailing behind Western Europe in both the Sciences and the Arts.

Africans still remember the 19th century balkanization of her land by Western Europe and America in the Berlin Conference which they organized in 1864 and 1865, without the consent of Africa and Africans.

Ironically, and most incidentally in the spirit of injustice, and inequality amongst the races of humankind, most of these European countries and America who partook in the scramble for Africa are supporting Israel in her expansionism

A gentleman of English nobility reputed for his wisdom and wise counsels in his works, Sir William Wordsmith wrote that “sympathy without the power of relieving leaves the person who feels it more wretched than the object that sues for pity.”

Though they sulk  secretly and feel so badly about the travails of their Palestinian brothers, Saudi Arabians and other Arab countries who have been sucked-in to the moving train of western capitalism and should therefore abide by the fundamental code of capitalist conduct which is not to be your brother’s keeper when your hands are tied and there is nothing there for you, hang on the ring side, watching a one-sided duel whose referee and umpire,  the United Nations, seem not to be interested in ending, in spite of public opinion to the contrary. 

In his book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”, John Perkins, a one-time National Security Agent in the USA, and later an executive of an engineering firm whose function was to lure countries to accept substantial but ill-packaged and sinister loans from US under the guise of economic assistance, suggested that ‘corporatocracy’ and greed are the driving forces behind establishing the United States of America as a global economic empire.

He said that the so-called multi-lateral and unilateral loans which countries accept from the world bank, the IMF, the USAID, et al., are all packaged in such ways that they become irredeemable, forcing the debtor countries to acquiesce to political pressure from the United States, and maintain the type of suspicious calm which the Arab countries especially Saudi Arabia have maintained in the face of grave injustice to Palestine.

Though the same US still controls OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) through surrogate leaders of that organization, the Arab nations through their common crude oil resource, must unite to loosen the grip of America from its shores, especially from Palestine.     

I have not forgotten that Hagar, the mother of Ishmael was a young, beautiful African maiden who was obedient to both her madam and her madam’s master to the point of accepting to bear a son for them when Sarah was barren and Abraham had already attained 86years of age. This success from Hagar opened up the womb of Sarah as she begot Isaac fourteen years later.

The birth of Isaac in the family invoked a long standing and still sustaining Jewish caste system which forbids first sons of a Jew, born by a Gentile, to inherit his father. Do not forget that till date, and to ostensibly avoid relationships with outcasts and to disinherit children not born of Jewish mothers, Jews marry within themselves including their cousins.  

Ishmael and her mother Hagar were exiled. This is equivalent to the ‘osu’ caste system in traditional Igbo culture.In Nigeria today, the ‘osu’ caste system is seen as injustice and is outlawed. 

Historically as well as ancestrally, Africans are therefore closer to the descendants of a man born of an Egyptian mother. What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander,

Though I do not support terrorism in any guise, I think that it is natural for any people to secure their land and protect and defend themselves.

I also believe that as Israel achieved success in her quest for self-assertion in 1948, the existence of an autonomous, stable, peaceful and prosperous state of Palestine is an imperative. This is the only way to ease the tension in Middle East. 

A measuring scale does not cease to oscillate until the two sides are equitably balanced. We all know why there is no peace in the Middle East. If it was not Palestine, it could have been anybody else. This is why I respect Yassar Arafat, the great leader of Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO, who put his entire life on the line to lay a solid foundation for the liberation of his people.

Giving Palestinians the opportunity to exist in a land called their own will calm the sprained nerves in the Middle East.

The world should look away from applying political solutions which protect political cleavages and subdue self-serving international diplomacy so that it can concentrate on transparently settling a quarrel between two estranged brothers.

Let us practice love which is the primary message of the Holy Bible which, by the way, gave Israel the impetus to claim what Palestinians believe is their land. 

I understand that there were several pillages and destruction of Israel beginning from the earlier conquests of that country during the first, second and third exilic periods.

The Jews severally were scattered in these and more recent conquests including massive destruction by the Nazi campaign against them led by Adolf Hitler. Yet, I think we must move forward in the spirit of peace and mutual co-existence and not of war and vendetta.

What is happening between Israel and the Arab nations is typical of the situation when a man either dies intestate or his Last Testament (WILL) has been manipulated. But Abraham did not die intestate. 

The only thing we can authoritatively say today, taking cognizance of human weaknesses including lies, selfishness and deceit, is that the canonized part of the Holy Bible containing sixty six books inside some of which the Last Testament of Abraham is published was articulated and written by about 40 authors over a period of more than 1,500 years. These authors comprised 39 Jews and one Gentile, the physician disciple, Luke, who was not a direct descendant of Ishmael.

The questions are: who was (were) the executor(s) of Abraham’s Will? How was Abraham’s Will executed?

These questions reveal a unique perspective in the long-drawn battle over the inheritance of the Patriarch Abraham.

But I must hasten to add here that the same bias and sentiment for the preference of Isaac over Ishmael in the Holy Bible is severally repeated against the descendants of Isaac in the Glorious Qur’an which was translated from God by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) who was human, and other Arabs (also human beings) where “people of the book” (whosoever they are!), and a race of people are reported to be “worse than swine”. This phrase though, has consistently been defended, re-presented, and re-interpreted by consecutive modern Islamic scholars to mean different things. 

These Islamic scholars like all human beings, including everybody involved in the interpretation and Execution of the Last Testament of Abraham, to use the words of Vedic Literature, the Upanishad, are challenged with the four defects descriptive of ‘conditioned souls’. ‘Conditioned souls’ are souls using human bodies, unlike the Angels, the ‘Unconditioned souls’, who use the spirit body. These four defects are:

  1. The cheating propensity 
  2. The tendency to make mistakes.
  3. Imperfect senses
  4. The tendency to be under illusion.

This international community must take cognizance of this unique perspective and be very careful in dealing with the fight of two brothers which had entered the sacred books long before we were born.

I wish all my Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world a Happy Eid Mubarak after a successful observance of the Holy month of Ramadan.

ABUCHI OBIORA can be reached through abuchiobiora@gmail.com

May 25, 2020.

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