Mass media, the UN, certain posters on this Board, and certain former officials of France, among others, would have people believe that the Arabs were thrust into a bellicose role towards the world by Israeli aggression and intransigence. This school of thought blames Muslim-generated strife throughout the world on the "sense of hopelessness" engendered by Israel. This is not close to being true.
Early on, the Hebrews differntiated themselves from their neighbors by being more civilized. G-d stopped child sacrifice among the Jews, leading Abraham to the edge of killing his son, Isaac and then pulling back. The lesson learned by the Hebrews is that we don't do that, even though the surrounding tribes did. One wonders if the "surrounding tribes" have changed much, given their proclivity to send impressionable children as walking bombs onto Israeli buses and into jammed public facilities. And don't forget 911 either in this regard.
An even more striking ancient parellel is found in this story, concerning the Phillistines' wanton and purposeless clogging of water wells drilled by Abraham (link):
Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave these wells the same names his father had given themWhen Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown, because the LORD blessed him. The man became wealthy. His influence continued to grow until he became very prominent. He had so many sheep and cattle and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. So the Philistines took dirt and filled up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.
Then Abimelech (king of the Philistines) said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere, for you have become much more powerful than we are.” So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley.
One wonders, in a desert environment, why the Phillistines ruined the wells rather than using them. Then, plowing planes into buildings never made much sense.Some people enjoyed destruction for its own sake then, and still do.
During the pre-Muslim era, the wanton and vicious habits of the desert people of the area from Egypt through Saudi Arabia is well known, and memorialized in the oral history contained in the Bible. The stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, of the binding of Isaac (by negative implication the ritual child sacrifice among neighboring peoples), the purposeless plugging with sand of water wells dug by Abraham and Isaac are but some examples. The wickedness and idolatry prevalant in these areas, along with sexual perversion and violence, existed well before Islam and the fault for them must be laid at the door, not of Islam, but of local "cultures".
Islam's extremely violent start is also well known. Their virtually unhindered spread from the Mecca area to the Atlantic and to the borders of modern India occurred largely at the point of a sword. There were, during those early years, some constructive developments. In many areas, intellectually, they were ahead of Europe, then in the "Dark Ages". They were more tolerant of Jews and Christians than Christians were of Jews and Muslims. At least "dhimmitude" allowed survival, under conditions of degradation and financial servitude.
Their predatory habits on the trade of other peoples is also well-known. One of the great impetuses for the development of shipping was the need to avoid travel through mortally dangerous Muslim lands en route to the Far East. Later, the Barbary Coast pirates and pirates off modern-day Somalia, all Musims, made theft from Europeans (and eventually Americans) and the "white slave" trade an art form. Then as now, it took the Americans to crack down rather than pay tribute.
Since then, the Barbary Coast Pirates have morphed into OPEC (all of the money benefits the rulers, not the people), the UN, and disaster-milking. Remeber those pitiful faces on ads for charities after the Indonesia tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake? How much rebuilding do you think has really happened? Then as now, there are producers, and there are extorters and takers. After the Holocaust, an undisputed atrocity, its victims picked themselves up, and are now valuable contributors to the world wherever they live.
Did (do) they have cause to be "angry" with the butchers that killed 6,000,000 of them? Where are their suicide bombers? Where are the Americans attacking bazaars in Araby after September 11? Where's the anger of the non-Muslim world against Muslims? Instead of anger, you see the Michael Moores of the world prattling about "negotiations". And while the Arab world is aflame and Qadafi firing anti-aircraft guns at his own people, U.N. resolutions (barely vetoed by the U.S.) seeking to delegitimize Israel.
Amazing, the world hasn't changed. And territorial concessions and self-endangerment are expected only of the West.