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Leap of Faith: Chapters 3-4 August 31, 2006

Posted by Han in Leap of Faith by Queen Noor, Uncategorized.

We are discussing thoughts through chapters 3-4 here. Check out the comments below.



1. Ashleigh - August 31, 2006

As readers we need to be cautious in accepting the Middle East history presented in this book as fact without careful examination. Instead, we need to remember it’s one woman’s perspective on Middle East conflict. A perspective that is clearly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. She continually paints Palestinians as innocent victims of Israeli violence and deception. It seems that any details that would present Palestinians in a negative light are ommitted.

First, here’s a link to some “Forgotten Facts of the Arab-Israel Conflict.” I found this incredibly interesting.

Also worth noting is on page 62 of chapter 4 where Queen Noor discusses Deir Yassin. I’d like to offer another “version” of the events. Here’s a portion of the article, “Lying about Deir Yassin–Israel-bashers commemorate the massacre that never happened,” which was posted on Free Republic.

Deir Yassin was a not-at-all innocent Arab village sitting near the only road into Jerusalem in 1948. In the previous December, the UN had voted to partition what was left of Madatory Palestine into two states, one a Jewish state and the other an Arab state to be named Palestine, of approximately equal sizes. The Jews of Israel accepted the plan, while the Arab states and the Palestinian Arab leadership rejected it. Had they accepted it, a Palestinian state would have arisen peacefully in 1948.

In response to the UN resolution, Arabs launched attacks against Jews everywhere in the country and in particular placed the city of Jerusalem under siege. The Jewish population of Jerusalem was quite literally starving. The only road into the city passed through the area of Deir Yassin, and the Arab militiamen in the town were stopping all convoys from passing through.

Since Israel had yet to be formally proclaimed, the only Jews doing the fighting were members of three poorly-armed militias. The main one was the Hagana, commanded by David Ben Gurion and the socialist Zionist party. There were two smaller ones operating independently under the command of the dissident “revisionist Zionist” movement, the Etsel and the Lehi.

Poorly-trained irregulars of the two latter militias were ordered to attack Deir Yassin to relieve the siege. They did so in ferocious hand-to-hand fighting, in which some Deir Yassin villagers were killed. The Bash-Israel lobby has always maintained that the villagers were “massacred” in cold blood, despite a distinct lack of evidence.

Those who participated in the battle claim the villagers were killed when the Jewish militiamen fired into homes from which fire was directed at them. The village was successfully taken and the siege of Jerusalem was lifted. Large numbers of Jewish militiamen had been killed in the house-to-house battle for the village. Approximately 100 Arabs in the village died, a number that was later greatly inflated by anti-Jewish propagandists to 250.

You’ll also note that in this article that the author discusses how Palestinians didn’t acept the UN plan and attacked Israel, something that Queen Noor does not mention. Instead, she continually points to the Palestinians as being cooperative and the Israelis as aggressive and unaccepting.

2. bethany3boys - September 1, 2006

Thanks Ashleigh for these links. So helpful in looking at the whole picture. This book has been an interesting read to see what they really think. I found it ironic on page 75 when it talked about how the “King wept bitterly over the loss of Jerusalem, the holy city his grandfather had fought for and saved for Arabs and Muslims.” I was thinking ummm the Jews were in Jerusalem WAY before any Arabs or Muslims occupied it. So if anything they were just taking back what was taken from them. I guess in reality this all goes back to the Issac and Ishmel thing right. History is so interesting to me. Now that I am an adult I really wish I had paid attention more in High School.

3. Jaree - September 1, 2006

Isn’t it interesting to get such a different perspective? Where does the reality really lie? Makes me want to do a lot more research

4. bethany3boys - September 1, 2006

Jaree and Ashleigh that is exactly why I think it is good sometimes to read things that are a different perspective or go against what you believe is true it forces you to research and figure out for yourself what you believe. It makes you really think about why you believe things and to really KNOW why. It can give you a compassion where there might not have been one before or at least a different perspective.

It is interesting this last week I was in San Diego and went to a church there and the message was on basically how there is evil in the world…due to Satan and how there will be until Christ’s return. And so we have wars and awful things that happen because he is constantly trying to bring destruction. The pastor encouraged us to yes stand up for what is morally right of course, but that our main focus should not be on the evil or wars that are going on visibly, but what is unseen. That there is a greater war going on than anything we will witness on earth. He made a point of saying that yes, as Christians we should stand for what is morally right but we shouldn’t put ourselves behind a political stand or side in such a way that we alienate ourselves from the very people we are trying to reach. We should look at the bigger picture. We are all human and on both sides evil can be done. The only thing we should completely stand behind is the Gospel. I don’t know I thought this was a very timely thing to hear. I know especially with all that is going on in our world today it is easy to take sides and become really upset about what people say and do but I think it is a good reminder to keep things in perspective. To love even our enemies or those that don’t believe what we do. All that to say I do think truth is important and fighting for what is morally right is important but so is loving others. I am reading this book with a new perspective. I think it is good to read why they believe what they believe and what they think is truth. I think it is good to put a face/life on someone from a different faith and country. If anything is reminds me that there are humans on both sides. People that are angry and hurt on both sides. It makes me more compassionate. It makes me long for the day when there will be no more wars and evil.

Sorry to start with such a heavy book. 🙂

5. Ashleigh - September 1, 2006

Yes, interesting timing of that message, Bethany!

It’s so true — “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Galations 5:12).

6. bethany3boys - September 4, 2006

Mark Lauterbach on a Gospel Driven Life just listed an interesting book…on his coffe table. Might be an interesting read in light of this book. I am trying to sort through all of this conflict. It is really confusing yet really interesting too. Here is the link to the book


I talked to Mark and he said the above book is very biased and he thinks Ben-Ami is trying to vindicate himself. But he did say that it opens up those years in a powerful way. He said he didn’t know of many other books written by Jews on their statehood but to check the library on Israeli war for independence or a biography on Menachem Begin or David Ben Gurion.

7. Nicole Baird - September 5, 2006

Thanks for the info Ashlee! I haven’t read it, but am eagar to. As I was reading her history account I was thinking the same thing, “I wonder what the other side of this story is?” However, I was also glad for the Arab side to the story, and certainly can understand more of why there is so much conflict over there. And hatred. The Arabs feel their rightful land was “snatched” from them and given to Israel. No wonder there is so much hatred. It was also interesting to realize that these nations are still in their infancy, even though they have been populated in the region for so long.

8. Nicole Baird - September 5, 2006

Sorry Ashleigh, I spelled your name wrong!

9. Ashleigh - September 7, 2006

Nicole, no problem! 🙂

10. Karen - September 7, 2006

There is a lot of intersting history here that I find fascinating. I remember clearly the time of the Shah and of Tehran and the scholars and their dissent during the 70’s. It is interesting to note a disdainful air to their views of the Shah being communist in his reformist ideals. Here in the west we would agree w/ the assessment of the Shi’ites.

11. anneswanson3 - September 8, 2006

Asleigh, thanks for the links, very helpful. I am finding her story very intersting, and more about when she grew up because I was not alive during those years. My major in college was history but I know more about China and Japan as I focused my studies there. I did take quite a few classes concerning the Middle East but they were more pertaining to today rather than the history and I always want to learn more about the past of those areas.

12. Bethany3boys - September 8, 2006

Here is the family quote I was talking about in chapters 1-2 that made me think the way I did in reflecting on her describing her family in those chapters versus the Jordanian Families in chapter 4.

Page 51

“Jordanian famlies are very close, and I envied them that. Their households seemed so different from my own family’s and , indeed, from many of the families I knew in the West. Arab culture stresses interdependence. In Jordan, children my age, both sons and daughters, did not go off to live on their own but stayed home until they married, so they always had each other for company, supervision, and security.”

I thought it was interesting how this appealed to her…a very independent woman. But the idea of a family like this was appealing to her. It is also interesting in light of how many Christian families in (at least our church) feel the same way now here in the West…although we also have the “failure to launch” syndrome too. HEE HEE. I don’t know what I personally think about this. I went to college…and didn’t live with my mom and dad then although right after I graduated I moved back in. I feel like I grew up in a very close family but I am also grateful for the chance to spread my wings a little before I got married. But I can see how it would be very appealing to her in light of her background. Although I also see how her background prepared her for what she became and without it she wouldn’t be the same person.

13. michellelynn - September 11, 2006

Thanks for the links. I’d love it if you continue to share future articles/links that show other points of view. I am weak in both my historical and current knowledge of this part of the world so I want to be careful to challenge what I am reading v. believe it as fact.

14. Ashleigh - September 11, 2006

Michelle, honestly, I’m also weak in my historical and current knowledge of that part of the world. But fortunately, Ted’s not. I think he may spend too much time learning and keeping up on what’s going on in the Middle East. I know he reads up on it daily. So as I’m reading this book, I keep going to him with questions on stuff she says and then he finds the info for me on the web. That’s Ted for you. 🙂

15. Seta - September 17, 2006

Ok, I was a little slow in getting started but I have the book now and have made it several chapters in just a few nights. The most interesting thing for me so far has been hearing the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict from the Arab perspective. And it is clear that it is not a completely unbiased perspective either. On page 62, when she is describing the Deir Yassin events – she refers to the Israeli attackers as “gangs” massacring innocent Palestinian villagers. It is also interesting for me to hear the history of the current arab/israeli conflicts from the early 1900s. I have heard bits and pieces but it put everything in a little bit more context. I also enjoyed the part about Lawrence of Arabia and hearing the arab view of his activities (how his camel tripped and he was unconsious during the actual victory).

I was curious if anyone had any insight on one of her comments – on page 99 she says “Jews, Muslims, and Christians had lived peacefully in the Middle East and indeed Palestine for centuries. It was not until the rise of Zionism and the creation of Israel that animosties took root.” Is that really true? I wonder how the Jews were living peacefully there if they didn’t have a country?

16. Ashleigh - September 17, 2006

Here’s a really interesting link that includes history on the region known as Palestine (http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ae6bb8441ed.htm). Here are a few bullet points:

Turns out the name “Palestine” does not come from the Palestinians. Instead it was given to the region (Judea/Israel) by the Romans who conquered the area in the first century AD. The Arabs who are now known as Palestinians didn’t become so until after an Arab-Muslim Caliph conquered the region and made it part of the Arab-Muslim Empire in 638 AD. The Arabs then adopted the name the Romans had given the area. This started 1300 years of
Muslim presence in this region.
What is now the country of Jordan was originally part of Judea/Israel. It didn’t become
Jordan until the 1920s when the British created Trans-Jordan.

Also, Seta, the quote you commented on also caught my attention when I was reading. I think this is a hard statement to believe considering how many wars Muhammed himself waged during his life. He launched at least 80. After his death, wars were then waged by his caliphs (or successors).

17. Ashleigh - September 17, 2006

Opps…my html didn’t work so there are no bullet points. Sorry for how messy the post looks.

18. bethany3boys - September 18, 2006

Seta and Ashleigh. Doesn’t it say in the bible that both Ishamel (Arab nations) and Issac (Jewish nation) would be in battle from that point on. So I agree just looking back…doesn’t ever seem like there has been peace over there between those two people groups.

Seta the Lawrence of Arabia thing made me laugh too…who knows the truth but I can totally see somthing like that happening and a guy make up this big old story. HEE HEE

One more question I am still kind of unclear about…Palestinians are Arabs right???

19. Ashleigh - September 19, 2006

In reading this book and all the conflict that’s going on in the Middle East, it makes me think about Sarah and Abraham. How the result of their impatient in waiting for God to fulfill His promise of a son and taking the matter into their own hands is affecting us today. I don’t think any of my decisions will be that long-lasting, yet it does cause me to remember how important it is to be willing to wait on the Lord and not try to fulfill His promises in my own strength.

Oh, Bethany, yes what are referred to today as Palestinians are Arabs.

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