Saturday, February 28, 2009
Eager To Believe
Friday, 20 February 2009
Last night was the second part of the three-part seminar, “Islam: What Every Jew Needs To Know” at Nashville’s Congregation Micah led by Rabbi Rami Shapiro.
So far, during both parts, the Rabbi was so unsure of his knowledge of Islam, he has had a Muslim co-presenter. This time it was none other than Abdelghani Barré who has recently been made director of the Islamic Community Center of Nashville and is a member of several government and private boards dealing with immigration and refugees, including the powerful Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.
Barré was directly involved with the Somali Community center scandal that involved the diversion of funds from a Health and Human Services grant. When asked about that last night he went on at length about the wonderful transparency in this country and how there had been a thorough government investigation, how the person who had made the allegation had been fired and how he was aided in all this by a good friend at the ACLU. The questioner alleged that at least some of those funds found their way to al Qaeda, but Barré just laughed that off, nor am I aware of any public document alleging that specific connection.
Shapiro stated there are two ways to understand a religion. One way was from “inside,” meaning to get your information from a believer and the other was objective, meaning, to look at the texts in their historic context. Unfortunately, Shapiro did not know enough about the Koran or its historic context to challenge Barré who effectively had the floor the entire evening and conducted a very effective dawa session based mostly on questions from the audience. Naturally, his assertions were filled with contradictions, but both Shapiro and much of the audience seemed eager to believe him, to have some hope that Islam is not the irredeemable, mysognist, homophobic and antisemitic creed it proclaims itself to be.
Barré had wide latitude to contradict himself many times. For example, he said all Muslims believe the Koran is the perfect word of God, and there is only one version which governs all aspects of life including human relationships, but then again he claimed, it is all a matter of interpretation. He knew exactly what his audience wanted to hear and he gave it to them bit by bit.
When someone pointed out that all five schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on the interpretation of jihad, and that the later war verses abrogate the earlier Meccan verses, Barré agreed that was true, but then went into a long song and dance about “ignorance” and how poor people with no education were being influenced by the evil Wahhabis and how he is a Sufi and how the Sufis concentrate on the spiritual side of things…this seemed to satisfy the audience. He also used a long and convoluted story about how the drinking of alcohol was first tolerated and eventually prohibited as an example of abrogation.
In another example Barré explained that Muslims must follow the rules of God, not the rules of man, but then went on several times to assert that some things were just self-evidently evil, such as the murder of innocents, being careful never to explain that the Koran defines good and evil and who is innocent and who is not. Of course, just like President Bush, he also quoted verse 5:32, that “whoever takes a life, it is as though he has killed all mankind.”
Here is the full verse 32 (note the exception):
32 For this reason We prescribed
for the Children of Israel that whoever
kills a person, unless it be for
manslaughter or for mischief in the
land, it is as though he had killed all
men. And whoever saves a life, it is
as though he had saved the lives
of all men.a And certainly Our messengers
came to them with clear
arguments, but even after that many
of them commit excesses in the land.
And here are the following two verses:
33 The only punishment of those
who wage war against Allah and His
Messenger and strive to make mischief
in the landa is that they should
be murdered, or crucified, or their
hands and their feet should be cut off
on opposite sides, or they should be
imprisoned.b This shall be a disgrace
for them in this world, and in the
Hereafter they shall have a grievous
34 Except those who repent before
you overpower them;a so know that
Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
To his credit, Rabbi Shapiro quoted verses 5:33-34, but he didn’t know enough to interject it when Barré quoted 5:32 out of context.
Nor did he know enough to challenge Barré’s assertion that all Muslim in-fighting today is caused by nationalism or that Arab cultural practices make up pretty much everything that is wrong with Islam. Barré also made the ridiculous assertion that the reason polygamy began in Islam was so that orphans could be cared for. He also made the claim that Muhammad’s last words were “forgive everybody.” A questioner surmised that, according to the law of abrogation, this should bring the religion full circle and back to the Meccan verses, but there is one problem. Those were not Muhammad’s last words. He said three things, one is forgotten, but the other two were:
“Shall be neither Jew nor Christian left in the Hijaz”
“Keep giving money to the Kafir ambassadors.”
Early in the evening, to gain the confidence of the audience, Barré dropped in a vague story about how he met with some imams somewhere and asserted before them that holocaust denial is a self-evident evil and they (whoever they were) unanimously agreed and that now for the first time holocaust denial is being challenged among Muslim scholars.
Barré conceded that Muslims in Muslim countries would most probably retain their hatred of Jews, but that Muslims here, who have the opportunity to know Jews and become educated as he had, could overcome their ignorance. He dwelt at length on education, so much so, that finally an audience member questioned whether education was the answer since “the man who beheaded Daniel Pearl was a graduate of the London School of Economics.” But that didn’t stop others in the audience from proclaiming their faith that “all religions teach love” or that “our hope lies with the children who can learn to live together,” or even that “as in Zen Buddhism, we all can learn to transcend harsh reality.”
At one point Rabbi Shapiro said to Barré, “so, what I hear you saying is that the later verses are only applicable to Muhammad’s time and are no longer relevant today.” Barré, of course did not say that, but he stood silent and allowed Shapiro, and by extension the rest of the audience, to hear what he wanted to hear.
Rabbi Shapiro even offered to send a delegation of rabbis to the Islamic Center to “continue this wonderful dialogue,” after explaining how he wouldn’t presume to ask the Muslims to come to them.
Barré wrapped up the evening after an audience member asked whether the problem was not “fundamentalists of all religions,” by saying that he didn’t think the problem is “fundamentalism, since Islamic fundamentalism brings you back to the pure religion,” but rather that the problem was “radicalism.” Then he said, "Every religion has its extremists, but let’s be honest, we have the highest percentage.” This one meager expression of truth elicited fawning oohs and ahhs from the audience. They were eager to believe him entirely of course, and many of them, including the Rabbi Shapiro, proud in his ignorance, did.
UPDATE: David Gaubatz of the Mapping Sharia Project was in Nashville the day before this presentation.
On 18 Feb 2009, I visited a Sunni mosque in Nashville, TN. A poem was being distributed at the mosque informing children it is heroic to be a martyr (suicide bomber) and to kill Israelis and their supporters.
Posted on 9:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
20 Feb 2009
How uncritical, how Eager To Believe (as your title puts it) those in the audience appear to have been. No one raised the issue of 5.32 being modifieed by 5.33, and none, in this synagogue, could raise the most obvious questions?
For example, Barre -- by the way, is he a member of the Somali clan that included the warlord and murderer Mohammad Barre? -- mentions, as the reason for polygamy, the need to take care of "orphans." How exactly does that work? What he really means, and someone should have said it, is that Muhammad was a warrior, who engaged in 78 campaigns, who killed men and then seized their women. He did this, for example, with ,a beautfiul Jewish girl, whose husband, brothers, and father -=- inoffensive farmers -- he and his men slaughtered, and then he took her as his sex-slave. The "orphans" of which Barre speaks were those left bereft by Muslim warriors, and usually the women, that is mothers, were left alive to be used as the conquering Muslims, Muhammad taking his share of the loot (Sura 8 is all about such divvying up of the spoils of war).
Did no one in the audience think to ask -- or did Barre strictly control which questions he would anser -- about this? Or mention the word "dhimmi" and ask him, Barre, to define the status of non-Muslims under Muslim rule, over 1350 years, from Spain to the East Indies? Did no one wish to ask him why those who chose to leave Islam faced not only social ostracism, but -- in many Muslim countries -- certain death?
What was wrong with the audience? What do these people think, that all the defectors from Islam, from Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Ali Sina, from Wafa Sultan to Ibn Warraq, are all lying about Islam?
It is not the low cunning of Barre, and the morally preening foolishness of the Rabbi in question, that upset. It is the ignorance and credulity of the crowd, if crowd it was. No one capable of thought? There ought to have been skepticism at every point, and at least a few, who had learned something about Islam, undoing the spiel at every step.
Your report, however, is good. Next time this Barre speaks, make sure he is surreptitiouslly taped, and then a transcription made, so that a point-by-point rebuttal can be ready for distribution to those who next attend one of his Master Classes in Taqiyya.
21 Feb 2009
I am almost certain that Shapiro had asked his congregants to be "courteous" to their muslim speaker. This is the word that is used here by semi-dhimmified Jewish and Christian organisers of "inter-faith" discussions.
Of course, only the "courteous," uninformed, all-religions-are-essentially-the-same gang go along. The knowledgeable - and therefore, potentially "discourteous," but de-cozifiers and stirrers of dissent - are thus discouraged from attending these farcical opportunities for taqqiya-merchants to ply their wares. I know whereof I speak.
Shapiro sounds a dolt. He don't know zilch about mohamedanism. Can't he use google? Can't he look at a few hundred clips from MEMRI? The only cure for this galloping cognitive dissonance is to spend a solid week looking at the horrors of what allah hath wrought.
[Warning! The following comment is from an apologist for the hate for "unbelievers" and the unspeakable acts performed by Mohammed and his cronies on all who doubted, disbelieved, or mocked him. lw]
22 Feb 2009
It's good to see how open-minded and unbiased you are.
Abdelghani is one of the nicest people one could ever meet. He spends almost all of his time helping people from all over the world and of all religions.
This man came to you. He knew full well what type of skepticism and doubts the crowd would have, and he still decided to come. He was trying to defend his religion and yet be courteous to his hosts.
There isn't a hateful bone in his body. If you have problems with Islam as a religion, don't translate that into despising Muslims as people.
I am not a religious person, but I tend to have problems with Christianity. But, that doesn't mean I don't like Christians. It all comes down to the person. And, in this case, you will find no sympathy for your ignorant opinion from people who actually know Abdelghani and what he does for people in need in Nashville.
And, by the way, religion is inherently contradicting. For almost every line in the Torrah or the New Testament, there is another that contradicts it. That's because fallible people just like you, I, and Abdelghani wrote them.
So, get off your high horse. When it comes down to it, none of the Abrahamic religions can say they're pure. It all hinges on how people use or abuse that religion, and by what you have just written, you are abusing both you're own and Abdelghani's based on some prejudicial opinion you have about him as a person. And, I am pretty sure there is something in the Torrah and New Testament about judging your fellow man.
If you had a spine, you'd actually go meet and talk to the man before writing something as ignorant as this.
Salaam, Shalom, Pax
[There are] reports that President Obama will soon publicly name Charles "Chas" W. Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council (NIC). It has been reported by Politico.com that Freeman has been offered the job though no public announcement has been made. (1)
Freeman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992, is president of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC). His statements and writings, as well as the work of the MEPC, are strongly critical of Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance. He regards Israel as a colonial power, whose "occupation" of Arab land "is inherently violence." (2) He blamed terrorist attacks in Britain, Thailand, India and other countries on "the continuing injustices and crimes against humanity in the Holy Land." (3)
As president of MEPC, which publishes the Middle East Policy journal (MEP), Freeman boasted about MEP's publication of the Mearsheimer and Walt article "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," telling an interviewer from the Saudi-US Relations Information Service that "No one else in the United States has dared to publish this article, given the political penalties that the Lobby imposes on those who criticize it. So we continue to do important things that are not done by anybody else, which I think fill some gaps." (4)
MEPC became the center of some controversy when it was named in a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report in 2005 detailing Saudi-funded educational materials that teach an anti-Israel perspective of the Middle East. (5) MEPC co-produced a curriculum, entitled "Arab World Notebook," which an American Jewish Committee report described as "a text that appears largely designed to advance the anti-Israel and propagandistic views of the Notebook's sponsors, the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) and Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR), to an audience of teachers who may not have the resources and knowledge to assess this text critically." (6)
As Gabriel Schoenfeld pointed out today in the Wall Street Journal, Freeman has also spoken about other countries in ways that run counter to American interests:
On the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Mr. Freeman unabashedly sides with the Chinese government, a remarkable position for an appointee of an administration that has pledged to advance the cause of human rights. Mr. Freeman has been a participant in ChinaSec, a confidential Internet discussion group of China specialists. A copy of one of his postings was provided to me by a former member. "The truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities," he wrote there in 2006, "was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud." Moreover, "the Politburo's response to the mob scene at 'Tiananmen' stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action." Indeed, continued Mr. Freeman, "I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be." (7)And the Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted this Freeman remark about Saudi Arabia, which provides significant funding to MEPC:
Participating in a 2002 panel for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Freeman said that "in the case of Saudi Arabia, reform has always come from the top down. It has been the ruling family that has sought to liberalize society and to open it up."
Saudi exiles over the years who have sought democratization might disagree. They have fled in fear for their lives and continue to be harassed in their new homelands. (8)
(1) http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102477154349&e=001e1VMPphcKGADcltgEb3Xgc2bqxc4pyDySOFo2x3tM_9utog1ffGIooHw0nNgFQd1G_tv7sWOPPd5jZ_jZzN3nhy6_Jz0xyJIKx4SYzN3AynfNCXhzBPrRc8nm9O6ZCgrZgDEXDNj_3dX1ptHrujRnGwrRL98GB8_jkHvFJvNMYKaA40ILspjUpBWaqFOk4S8DrGzYMlj5CE=(2) http://www.mepc.org/whats/conf.remarks.pdf
Thursday, February 26, 2009
. . . the answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind. It is but a click away.
click away . . . ...were it not for the Jews
Read the whole thing at
RADARSITE: Hollywood and the Jews: Understanding Hollywood's Historic Left Turn:
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
From: Tom Carew.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:24 PM
To: Professor Paul Eidelberg
Subject: Re: Proportionality
France lost 70,000 civilians in Allied aerial bombardment during its liberation from June, 1944 - about 10,000 more than the UK did from Nazi air-raids - from 1940 to 1945.
3,000 French civilians were lost on D-Day itself - about as many as the Allied Forces lost that day.
These tragic civilian losses—unwanted but unavoidable—are morally and entirely the responsibility of the Nazis whose savage aggression had to be ended, and by the only means available.
A Related Report:
Britain was hailed by the free World for its part in subjugating Germany by its actions on land, sea and in the air. We were not accused of the newly manufactured "crime" of disproportionality, even though RAF Bomber Command and US Air Forces killed in air raids on Germany an estimated 600,000 - mainly civilians - while German bombers killed "only" some 60,000 of our own people.
Two additional comments supplied by Paul Eidelberg
1) In a message honoring the heroes of the Warsaw ghetto, Albert Einstein declared:
“The Germans as an entire people are responsible for the mass murders and must be punished as a people if there is justice in the world and if the consciousness of collective responsibility in the nations is not to perish from the earth entirely. Behind the Nazi party stands the German people, who elected Hitler after he had in his book [Mein Kampf] and in his speeches made his shameful [genocidal] intentions clear beyond the possibility of misunderstanding.”
2) Given its Islamic Covenant—its own Mein Kampf—that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, so the principle of proportionality obliges Israel to destroy Hamas.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Here is what I wrote a while ago:
Yes, I know the BNP and the Green Arrow are not to everyone of our tastes. They are, however, staunchly against the Islamization of the UK. If a choice must be made between letting the Islamization proceed unopposed or recognizing that the BNP and the rest of us anti-jihadists are on the same side, fighting the same battle, would we rather side with those who despise us for being kufar or with those who are the only ones brave enough to stand up to the hordes that want to create the Islamic Isles of Great Britain?
Your comments are invited.
the foregoing from TWO BULLSEYES FROM THE GREEN ARROW!
NOW, we take another look at the BNP and find that we like some of the people there, but as for others . . .
Take a look at Is the BNP Racist?
and peruse the
http://www.bnp-chronicle.com/ in general
Anti-Jew Jabs in the "Comments" at a BNP (British National Party) Site
Machiavelli attributes the greatness of the Roman Republic not only to the excellence of its government, but also to its liberal admission of foreigners to citizenship.
But this policy can endanger a state. Many eastern or oriental people, who never knew republican life and did not care for it, became Roman citizens, and this contributed to Rome’s decline.
This sort of thing is happening in the United States. Liberal immigration laws have enabled millions of Mexicans and Muslims to become American citizens. Many if not most of these citizens, especially Muslims, do not readily assimilate. This prompted the eminent political scientist Samuel Huntington to write a book entitled Who are We?—The Challenges to American National Identity.
The fault is not only liberal immigration laws, such as those that have spawned Eurabia. The decline of American national identity should also be attributed to the multiculturalism or cultural relativism that dominates American universities. This multiculturalism influences the media, the courts and of course politicians. It erodes the moral and intellectual substance of American citizenship, the people’s love of country, their patriotism.
Israel’s ruling elites—politicians and judges, academics and journalists—have been tainted by multiculturalism. Their weak sense of Jewish national identity underlies the government’s policy of “land for peace.” This policy encourages Arab terrorism and the Arabs’ persistent goal of wiping Israel off the map.
Lacking in Israel is not the power but the will to put an end to Arab terrorism. This lack of will is a consequence of the corrosive influence of the cultural relativism that permeates Israel’s liberal, secular universities.
Of course, Israel’s system of multiparty cabinet government is also at fault. An executive branch consisting of five or more rival parties can hardly exercise political decisiveness and stamina, compared to a unitary executive or presidential form of government. However, apart from the dire need of constitutional reform, Israel needs to reform its educational institutions, including the curriculum of its Command and Staff College. These educational institutions produce spiritually vacuous and intellectually inferior politicians and generals.
Lack of political will or determination has been conspicuous in Israel at least since December 1987, that is, since the first intifada broke out, when Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir headed a (rotational) government of national unity with Labor leader Shimon Peres waiting in the wings.
Israel has thus had more than twenty years of feeble government. Three prime ministers—Rabin, Sharon, and Barak—were generals who initiated or implemented the policy of “territory for peace,” a policy that has resulted in 10,000 Jewish casualties since 1993!
Did it require a college education to know that the idea of peace with the PLO, the world’s leading terrorist organization, is symptomatic of either idiocy or insanity? Nevertheless, academics either participated in or supported the Israel-PLO Agreement. Most prominent was the late Hebrew University Professor Yehoshafat Harkabi. Harkabi, a self-professed cultural relativist, served as head of the Command and Staff College. Known as the mentor of Shimon Peres, he advocated a Palestinian state. (So did Hebrew University Professor Shlomo Avineri, who once served as Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)
Let me ask an embarrassing question: Can a cultural relativist—can a multiculturalist or cosmopolitan—have a passionate love of the Jewish people and of the heritage that distinguishes them as Jews? Harkabi dedicated his first book to Jewish and Arabs alike! Shimon Peres, who advocates withdrawal from the Golan Heights, sees nothing wrong with the Jews there living under Syrian rule!
Do these political and intellectual elites have any idea of what preserves a nation and what destroys a nation? Have they never studied history, or Machiavelli Discourses concerning Rome—better yet, Aristotle’s Politics, or the fate of Athens.
I would sooner leave foreign policy in the hands of a person randomly chosen from a telephone directory. In fact, prior to the June 1992 election that brought Rabin to power and which thus led to the disastrous Israel-PLO Agreement, an opinion poll indicated that most Jews opposed negotiation with the PLO, let alone a Palestinian state.
By the way, Rabin was Israel’s first native-born prime minister. Every Israeli should have felt ashamed when Rabin shook the bloodstained hands of Yasser Arafat. Jewish national honor died on that fateful day. But Benjamin Netanyahu also shook Arafat’s hands and is now anxious to hobnob with Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas.
How can Jewish politicians love the Jewish people when they consort with Jew-haters and Jew-killers? Hoe many Jewish politicians exhibit, in word and deed, Jewish pride and a passionate love of the Jewish people?
But can this be expected of Israeli citizens if they are not Jews?
Monday, February 16, 2009
Phase out U.S. military aid to Israel!
Phase out U.S. military aid to Israel (now less than 1.5% of the country’s GDP), as well as American participation in Israel-Arab affairs. Both undermine Israel’s strategic interests as well as Jewish national pride.
--The Eidelberg Plan: A Jewish Solution to the Conflict
Read the entire Eidelberg Plan at
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Keep up to date on the World's Jew-Hatred! Don't ignore it. They did in Germany--in the 1930s. What followed must not be allowed to happen again! What can you do?
Stay aware of what is happening: here, there, all over the World
Ally yourselves with those whose enemies are your enemies
As for now, read and summon up the blood!
Bulletin of Jew Hatred February 13, 2009
Facts without comments-- We Collect the Dots; You Connect Them
These should never be even called "Israelis," because to be an Israeli must be reserved for those who are Jews--who were and are being hounded the world over and need a place where they can take a strong stand against those who are slavering to exterminate them, a la Nazi death-machine production, and make these Jew- murderers pay an intolerable price for their actual or planned Jew-murders. The price the planners and executors Jew-murder must be made to pay must so painful and heart-rending for the would-be exterminators--striking at what they treasure above all else (forget their children--for they will gladly sacrifice these in service of their heinous purpose)--that they and their descendants will in all perpetuity remember and stay their hands from murdering or even harming Jews for just being Jews.
What is this price that must be exacted from the Jew-murderers? Think family, think ideology, think the places sacred to them.
From Israel Commentary comes the following, posted by Jerome S. Kaufman:
An Arab resident of Israel writes:
Lieberman and his party are not a marginal political element such as Meir Kahane’s party, Kach. We are dealing with immense political power that constitutes tangible danger to Israeli Arabs. He hates us and incites against us, and we can see that it’s going very well for him: The more he incites against us, the stronger he gets. That is, we managed to make the Jewish public hate us so much that many are willing to support a racist party. If a party were similarly inciting against Jews overseas, those same Lieberman supporters would probably cry out “anti-Semitism.”
I turn to Arab residents of Israel: This is a moment of truth for us. We are facing grave danger, and don’t say that you weren’t warned. Eighteen Knesset seats for Lieberman is no longer a political game. For us, it’s genuine trouble. We cannot stand by and watch on, as if this does not pertain to us. We must enlist and massively support the moderate parties that will weaken Lieberman.
We constitute 20% of the population in Israel and we have the ability to exert significant influence. We do not have the privilege to stay at home at this time and avoid the political game. If we fail to play it, others shall play it on our backs.
The [Arab] writer is the principal of an elementary school at Kfar Kara (Israel)
Jerome S. Kaufman, who posted this article at Israel Commentary has this to say about his post:
PS I tried to look up Kfar Kara on the Internet and found it confusing. It appears to be primarily a Muslim Arab village within Israel. It is very close to Um El Fahm, a village hot-bed of Arab nationalism within Israel where Left wing Israeli Jews delude themselves into thinking they are getting along well with Israeli Arabs. They have convinced themselves that they are finding common ground with the Arabs - all becoming equal loyal partners of the Israeli nation. Undoubtedly, there are still Israeli Jews that persist in living within this bubble so as not to allow over 100 years of facts to get in the way.
Britain's immigration policy for western Palestine made it an accomplice to Nazi Germany's policy to exterminate the Jews that Britain forced to stay in Europe.
Richard Shulman takes the Washington D.C. Holocaust Museum to task for not sharply and clearly presenting important aspects of Jewish history during and just after the Nazi period. It slides over the injustice done the Jews by the British, who ignored their obligation to support strongly Jewish settlement in the future Jewish homeland. Britain clamped down on Jewish immigration while encouraging Arab influx. "The Museum should have explained that Britain's immigration policy for western Palestine made it an accomplice to Nazi Germany's policy to exterminate the Jews that Britain forced to stay in Europe." The sorry performance of prominent American and Israeli Jews also needs to be aired. What is particularly heinous is that Muslims who softsoap and misinterpret Muslim behavior and intentions are sanctioned as speakers at the Museum and their words are not challenged. As Shulman says, "Punches pulled, truth withheld." READ MORE
Friday, February 13, 2009
Moshe Sharon, a respected Israeli historian of Islam, argues that the fact that the Qur'an singled them [Jews] out as the enemies of the Muslims in many ways institutionalized their inferior status in comparison to the Christians.
"...the hearts of the Muslims are hardened toward the Jews but inclined toward the Christians."
--9th century Muslim writer al-Jahiz
He explained this by the political resistance of the Jews of Medina to Muhammad.
"The Jews were in the last place on the social scale..." in Muslim society
"the name 'Yahudi' [=Jew] acquired on Muslim lips the same odor of hostile scorn for the Jews that the term 'Jew' had in the Western world, more hostile and scornful than that of the epithet 'Nasrani' [= Christian]."[
--Francesco Gabrieli, Italian historian of Islam
Read the whole story at
THE FORGOTTEN OPPRESSION OF JEWS UNDER ISLAM AND IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL by Elliott A. Green
Islam vs Us
Guess Who's Ahead in that Struggle
from Think Israel - January 2009 Issuehttp://www.think-israel.org/index.html#jan09.feature.1
Also reprinted at
Jews and Zionists are generally and deplorably unaware of conditions for Jews in the Land of Israel after the Arab Conquest [634-640 CE]. Many believe that Arab-Muslim rule was benign for the Jews, not merely compared with conditions in Christian lands. Further, many used to believe even a few decades ago that the conflict with the Arabs over the Land of Israel was strictly a matter of competing nationalisms. However, since the relatively unsuccessful 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York by jihad fanatics, the informed public in the West has become more aware of the powerful Muslim religious dimension in Arab politics.
This understanding has been reinforced by the Hamas' rise among Palestinian Arabs. The Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its charter is clearly a Judeophobic document, drawing on medieval Judeophobic Muslim sources. It is not merely anti-Israel. Article 7 of the Hamas charter repeats the medieval Muslim fable about the Jews at the End of Days, which I summarize:
At Judgement Day, the Muslims will fight the Jews who will hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees will cry out: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him.
THIS ARTICLE AIMS TO FIRST SKETCH THE STATUS OF NON-MUSLIMS — CALLED DHIMMIS — in Islamic society, trying to define the nature of Muslim tolerance. Then we will cite an account by a medieval Jew of the Jews' condition in medieval Islamic society. We will also give a famous medieval Jew's opinion comparing the Jews' status in Islam with that in Christendom. Lastly, we will show that within the context of dhimmitude, of dhimmi status, which Jews shared with Christians and other non-Muslims, the Jews were in fact at the bottom of the social barrel, low man on Arab-Islamic society's totem pole, and in Jerusalem as elsewhere.
Books, articles and document collections by Bat Ye'or, Norman Stillman and others, have done much since the early 1970s to demonstrate the nature of the dhimmi status, the dhimma, for the intelligent reading public, and have highlighted the position of the Jews under Islam. In addition, recent decades have seen a broad stream of information about Islam become more available to the general educated public, although Muslim apologetics have flourished as well, perhaps even more so.
Christians, Jews (including Samaritans), and Zoroastrians were subject to the dhimma in Middle Eastern countries, and this status was later extended to Hindus farther east.
Tolerated non-Muslims in lands conquered by Islam — dhimmis — were required to pay tribute, the jizya, either personally or through their religious-ethnic community. The grounds for this in Islamic law are found in the Quran [sura 9:29i]. The jizya can be considered a license to live for another year until the time comes for the next payment. Qur'an 9:29 and 2:61 also require that non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians, People of the Book, are to be "brought low," that is, humiliated.
Islamic society developed and refined these rules of dhimma over the centuries. These regulations stipulated that dhimmis could not bear arms. Their garments must differ from Muslim garments. They had to always show respect and deference for Muslims, such as dismounting from their donkeys when encountering a Muslim on the road. A dhimmi's testimony in court was worth half of a Muslim's testimony. This list is incomplete and, of course, the body of rules varied somewhat with time and place. Further, when Muslim states were weak, not all of the rules could be enforced. For instance, dhimmi mountaineers could often ignore many of the humiliations as long as they stayed away from Muslim cities. It is significant that the dhimmis' status tended to worsen over time as their proportion of the population decreased.
Here's an illustration of one of the dhimma humiliations as viewed by the Danish traveler, Carsten Niebuhr (1761-1762):
In Cairo, no Christian and no Jew can show himself mounted on a horse. They only ride donkeys and must get off as soon as they encounter an Egyptian, even the least important. The Egyptians never go about except on a horse, preceded by an insolent servant who, armed with a big club, warns the man on the donkey to show the obligatory marks of respect for his master, by crying out: "Infidel, get off! . . ."
'Niebuhr visited Egypt almost four decades before Napoleon, which is significant, because the late Edward Said argued that similar reports made after Napoleon's Egyptian expedition were invalid since they were tainted with imperialism.
Moshe Gil found accounts — in the Cairo Geniza documents — of Jews in Jerusalem being squeezed to collect the jizya and other taxes in the pre-Crusades period. Here's one:
. . . and the living man was made a guarantor for the dead, and he who stayed — for the one who ran away; afterwards they had to pay an additional tax. And if you saw who paid all those moneys you would have been startled, and lamented over them and say of them: Could such a large 'onesh [here meaning an irregular punitive tax or exaction] have come from those poor people?
Jacob Barna'i found records of the Jerusalem Jewish community for the late 18th century revealing a startlingly similar situation to that before the Crusades found by Gil. Not only did Jews pay jizya to the Ottoman state but a series of unofficial fees, taxes, exactions and mandatory bribes to local Muslim notables and strong men.
NOW, CONTRARY TO WHAT MANY JEWS AND OTHER PEOPLE HAVE BELIEVED, conditions in Muslim lands were often worse for Jews than in Christendom. At least this was the opinion of the great Jewish philosopher, Maimonides (1135-1204), who fled Spain due to persecution by a fanatical Muslim sect and ended up as a Jewish leader in Egypt and physician to the famous Sultan Saladin. He wrote in his famous Letter to Yemen:
[as punishment] God has hurled us into the midst of this people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us... Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.
Maimonides was in correspondence with far flung Jews, from Europe to India, and knew of the conditions in the various places. Here he means that Islamic society treated Jews worse as a rule than did Christian society. The next question is whether Jewish and Christian dhimmis were equal in their inferiority in Islamic society, and if not, which were in the superior position.
Moshe Sharon, a respected Israeli historian of Islam, argues that the fact that the Qur'an singled them [Jews] out as the enemies of the Muslims in many ways institutionalized their inferior status in comparison to the Christians.
The 9th century Muslim writer al-Jahiz claimed: "...the hearts of the Muslims are hardened toward the Jews but inclined toward the Christians." He pointed out that "in his time the Christians were both socially and economically better off than the Jews." He explained this by the political resistance of the Jews of Medina to Muhammad. Carlo Panella concluded: "The Jews were in the last place on the social scale..." in Muslim society.
The Italian historian of Islam, Francesco Gabrieli, wrote that
"the name 'Yahudi' [=Jew] acquired on Muslim lips the same odor of hostile scorn for the Jews that the term 'Jew' had in the Western world, more hostile and scornful than that of the epithet 'Nasrani' [= Christian]." het 'Nasrani' [= Christian]."
Like al-Jahiz, Gabrieli and Panella explain this by the Muslim memory of the Medina Jews' political resistance to Muhammad.
This Jewish social inferiority is confirmed not only by the medieval Baghdadi Arab al-Jahiz but by a Turk quoted by Bernard Lewis. This 19th century Turk referred to some Greek Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire who regretted the Ottoman equalizing reforms of the mid-19th century. This shows that Ottoman Christians considered their status superior to that of the Jews.
"... whereas in former times, in the Ottoman state, the communities were ranked, with the Muslims first, then the Greeks [Greek Orthodox], then the Armenians, then the Jews, now all of them were put on the same level. Some Greeks objected to this, saying: "The government has put us together with the Jews. We were content with the supremacy of Islam."
A British envoy confirmed this ranking. Dr John Bowring was in Lebanon and Syria — Israel's neighborhood — in the 1830s, shortly before the first of these Ottoman reforms (1839). Muhammad Ali of Egypt, who had wrested rule over the Levant from the Ottoman state at that time, had already introduced greater equality between Muslims and dhimmis in his domains. Bowring noted:
The Mussulmans. . . deeply deplore the loss of that sort of superiority which they all & individually exercised over & against the other sects. . . a Mussulman. . . believes and maintains that a Christian — & still more a Jew — is an inferior being to himself. [emph. added]
And although the Jews' situation did improve somewhat under Muhammad Ali's rule in the Levant, The condition of the Jews forms, perhaps, an exception [to the general improvement of non-Muslims] & cannot be said to have improved comparatively with that of the other Sects
The above quotes and authorities sufficiently demonstrate that in general the Jews were at the bottom of the barrel in Arab-Muslim society. It would logically follow that Jews were also at the bottom of the barrel in Jerusalem under Muslim rule. Nevertheless, this should and can be demonstrated by sources.
Towards the end of Mamluk rule — which lasted from the Mongol withdrawal in 1260 to the Ottoman conquest in 1517 — a monk named Francesco Suriano lived in the Franciscan monastery in Jerusalem for some twenty-five years on and off. For six years he was Custos Terrae Sanctae or Guardian of the Holy Land for his order. That is, he was the highest ranking Western Christian official in the Land of Israel, charged by the pope with overseeing Roman Catholic interests in the Christian holy places and Church affairs in the country, and with helping Catholic pilgrims. He did not like Muslims but he did appreciate how they treated Jews. He described how they treated Jews in Jerusalem as follows:
"I wish you to know how these dogs of Jews are trampled upon, beaten and ill-treated, as they deserve, by every infidel nation, and this is the just decree of God. They live in this country in such subjection that words cannot describe it. . . there in Jerusalem, where they committed the sin for which they are dispersed throughout the world [i.e., the Crucifixion], they are by God more punished and afflicted than in any other part of the world. And over a long time I have witnessed that . . . No infidel [= Muslim] would touch with his hand a Jew lest he be contaminated but when they wish to beat them, they take off their shoes with which they strike them on the mustaches; the greatest wrong and insult to a man is to call him a Jew. And it is a right notable thing that the Moslems do not accept a Jew into their creed unless he first become a Christian. . . And if they were not subsidised by the Jews of Christendom, the Jews who live in Judea would die like dogs of hunger."
The Ottoman Empire seems to have improved the Jews' status in Jerusalem, although this was done against the resistance of local Muslims. Nevertheless, "The Jewish community... paid the jizya at rates somewhat higher than the [Greek] Orthodox."
About 300 years after Suriano, Chateaubriand, the great French writer, found the Jews still on the bottom of the social barrel. He visited Jerusalem in 1806, and later wrote:
Special target of all contempt [i.e., of both Muslims and Christians], they lower their heads without complaint; they suffer all insults without demanding justice; they let themselves be crushed by blows... Penetrate the dwellings of these people, you will find them in frightful poverty...
Nothing can prevent them from turning their gaze towards Zion. When one sees the Jews dispersed throughout the world,... one is probably surprised, but, to be struck by supernatural astonishment, it is necessary to find them in Jerusalem.. . to see these legitimate owners of Judea, slaves and strangers in their own land. One must see them under all oppressions, awaiting a king who is to redeem them. [emph. added]
Yet, not all Christians living in Jerusalem were eager to hate Jews. Neophytos was a Greek Orthodox monk belonging to the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, which governed Orthodox church affairs in Jerusalem. A Cypriot native who lived in Jerusalem for many years, he showed a certain sympathy or pity for the Jews, not excessive to be sure. Neophytos had lived through persecution and threats against his own community during the Greek revolt against the empire, when the Greek Orthodox in Jerusalem paid large sums — including golden religious objects — to the local Muslim-Arab notables in order not to suffer massacre in revenge for the Greek rebellion of the 1820s. Describing Muhammad Ali's relative magnanimity towards the dhimmi communities after he had crushed an Ottoman-backed Muslim revolt against him in Israel (1834), Neophytos remarks that this magnanimity extended even to Jews. Under Ottoman rule, he points out, they dare not even ask permission to repair their synagogues:
"As we are on the question of repairs, we must say something about the Jewish Synagogue. One year ago only, seeing the liberal dispositions of Mehemet Ali Pasha [Muhammad Ali] and Ibrahim Pasha [his son, general, and deputy], they dared to speak about their Synagogue. They asked that their House of Prayer, being in a ruinous condition and in danger of falling in, might be repaired. So, those who did not even dare to change a tile on the roof of the Synagogue at one time, now received a permit and a decree to build." [emph. added] Neophytos' words: "those who did not even dare," imply the inferiority of the Jews even to the Christians. This shows the depth of Jewish degradation in the Jewish holy city of Jerusalem.
The next witness about the Jews' lowly status in the city is none other than Karl Marx, a surprise witness to be sure. In his report in the New York Daily Tribune (15 April 1854) on the origins of the Crimean War, Marx describes conditions in Jerusalem, where religious rivalries focussed on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher served the Powers as pretexts for the war:
"The Mussulmans, forming about a fourth part of the whole, and consisting of Turks, Arabs, and Moors, are, of course, the masters in every respect, as they are in no way affected by the weakness of their Government at Constantinople. . . "Nothing equals the misery and the suffering of the Jews at Jerusalem, inhabiting the most filthy quarter of the town, called hareth-el-yahoud, in the quarter of dirt, between the Zion and the Moriah, where their synagogues are situated — the constant objects of Mussulman oppression and intolerance, insulted by the Greeks, persecuted by the Latins . . . " [emph. added]
Note that Jews were humiliated by the Christians in the city, as well as by Muslims. To be sure, Marx was never in Jerusalem. His report of the date above is almost wholly quoted or paraphrased from a book by the French diplomat and historian, Cesar Famin. Famin may have visited Jerusalem, but if not, he was no doubt very well informed about conditions in the Holy City from fellow French diplomats, foreign ministry records, French churchmen, and travelers. He had been stationed in Yassi (Jassy), Rumania, then part of the Ottoman Empire, where he could get some idea of the status of Jews and Christians in an Islamic state. Famin's book, published in 1853, specified an absolute Jewish majority in Jerusalem's population, and Marx reproduced his population breakdown for the city.
We will stop our examples with Gerardy Santine, a Frenchman who lived in Jerusalem for three years in the 1850s, and with Felix Bovet, a French-speaking Swiss Protestant minister who visited the city in 1858. Santine stressed the sense of fear and intimidation felt by the native Jews.
...the sons of Israel are here the object of the antipathy and disdain of the other communities... obsequious, excessively fearful... They excite rather than disarm the hostile sentiments of the Christians, happy to take revenge, by annoying them [the Jews], for their own voluntary degradation towards the Muslims... the Jews who take shelter under the flags of a European consul, those are almost men."
Bovet wrote that "the Jews are still, to this day, the most miserable part of the population of the Holy City." Bovet quotes a French convert to Islam, who wrote: "the Jerusalem Jew only half lives, scarcely daring to breathe."
We have shown above 1) the state of oppression, humiliation, and economic exploitation, dhimmitude, of Jews and Christians in traditional Arab-Muslim society, 2) the Jews' worse status under Arab-Islam than elsewhere (according to Maimonides), and 3) the Jews' inferior status even to Christian dhimmis in Arab-Muslim society in general and in Jerusalem in particular.
THIS HISTORY IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE HISTORY DOES NOT GO AWAY. When there is a void in general knowledge of history in a situation of national conflict, one's enemies may fill the void with false history, inventing what suits them and their goals and interests. Hence, forgetting history is dangerous.
In this vein, a line stands out here from the anti-Israel tract of Profs. Walt and Mearsheimer, quoted approvingly by a leading British journalist, Max Hastings:
...while there is no question that the Jews were victims in Europe, they were often the victimisers, not the victims, in the Middle East, and their main victims were and continue to be the Palestinians.
These authors moralize. They develop the themes of guilt and innocence. Yet it's hard to be sure which historical period Walt and Mearsheimer are referring to. Is it all of history or the present or some past time? The indefinite, the insinuation, and the evocative rather than the specific or explicit, are features of their prose. In another passage, however, they indicate that the Palestinian Arabs were innocent when Israel became a state.
A third moral justification [for Israel] is the history of Jewish suffering in the Christian West, especially ... the Holocaust... Jews suffered greatly from the despicable legacy of Anti-Semitism and... Israel's creation was an appropriate response to a long record of crimes... But... the creation of Israel involved additional crimes against a largely innocent third party: the Palestinians.
Walt and Mearsheimer disarmingly admit that "the Christian West" made Jews suffer. But they implicitly exculpate the Arab-Muslim East generally — and Palestinian Arabs explicitly â€” of harming Jews throughout history, perhaps insinuating that Jews were not even present in that part of the world till the 20th century. Yet we have shown above that traditional Arab-Muslim society oppressed, exploited, and humiliated Jews, in Israel as elsewhere. Therefore, are the authors justified in calling Palestinian Arabs "largely innocent" towards Jews after they entered the modern world in the mid-19th century?
From this time, the late Ottoman period saw improvement in the status of the dhimmis, largely thanks to intervention by European powers. This was so in Jerusalem more so than many places in the Empire. Nevertheless, World War I brought real fears that Jews in Israel might suffer the fate of the Armenians. In this context, the Balfour Declaration and international approval for its principles brought hope. However, Britain — that had protected Jews in the country in the late Ottoman period — betrayed its Mandate to foster the Jewish National Home, sometimes encouraging Arab pogroms on Jews. This started in 1920 in Jerusalem. It was followed by a series of Arab pogroms in 1921, 1929, 1936-39. The massacre and "ethnic cleansing" of the ancient Hebron community (68 Jews killed, hundreds expelled in August 1929) are remembered with special bitterness by Jews in Israel and abroad. These pogroms took place years before there was a state of Israel.
Likewise, before Israeli independence, Palestinian Arab representatives demanded in 1939 that the British end Jewish immigration into the country. This was on the very eve of the Holocaust when few countries were willing to allow more than token Jewish refugee immigration. The British fundamentally complied with this demand in the 1939 Palestine White Paper, thereby closing off even the internationally designated Jewish National Home to more than a token few Jewish immigrants. Subsequently, Arab nationalists, most notably Haj Amin el-Husseini, the chief Palestinian Arab leader, collaborated in the Holocaust more directly. Husseini was effective in preventing release of thousands of Jewish children and other Jews from the Nazi-fascist domain, having Jews sent instead to Poland, where, in his words, they would be "under active supervision," his euphemism for the death camps.
It is obvious that when the UN General Assembly recommended a "two-state solution," that is, partition (29 November 1947), the Palestinian Arabs were hardly innocent in regard to the Jews. Nor were they innocent afterwards. Arabs under Husseini's leadership attacked and killed Jews throughout the country in response to the UN recommendation. While much has been heard since 1948 about Arab refugees, little has been heard about Jewish refugees in that war. The first refugees in the war who could not return to their homes after it were Jews who fled the Shim'on haTsadiq quarter (in what is now "East Jerusalem") near the end of December 1947. Indeed thousands of Jews throughout the country could not return home after the war. Moreover, Jordan and Egypt forbid Jews to live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. To be sure, Arab refugees eventually outnumbered these Jewish refugees. But Jewish refugees from Arab lands considerably outnumbered Arab refugees from Israel. From nearly a million in 1948, hardly more than a few thousand Jews remain in Arab states today. Arab League states expelled their Jewish populations according to a plan drawn up before the UN partition recommendation. So much for Arab or Palestinian Arab innocence before or after 1948.
Skipping over Arab provocations, wars, and terrorist attacks from the 1950s through the 1980s, we come to what many saw as a new beginning in relations, the 1993 Oslo Accords. Contrary to many expectations, signature of the accords was followed by increased terrorism, suicide bombings, drive by shootings, etc., in a wave of violence starting before Barukh Goldstein killed 29 Arabs in Hebron (February 1994). Handing over to the Palestinian Authority control of Arab West Bank cities in late 1995-early 1996, led to unprecedented slaughter of civilians in Israel. After Netanyahu became prime minister, Arafat lied about Israeli activities alongside the Temple Mount (September 1996), falsely claiming Israeli tunneling under the Mount, thus setting off a four-day miniwar that left scores dead on both sides. Ehud Barak became prime minister after Netanyahu, offering unprecedented concessions to the Palestinian Arab side. Rejecting this offer, Arafat started a wave of terrorism, still going on, that began before Ariel Sharon went up onto the Temple Mount, as if whatever Sharon had done could justify the mass murder bombings or the indoctrination of the Palestinian Authority population, particularly children, in a culture worshiping killing and being killed, imbued with zoological hatred of Jews, itself a violation of international law. Indeed, the deliberate use of children in combat is a war crime. Emblematic of the situation is the increase in lethal rockets fired at Israeli civilian towns and farming communities after the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza (2005) and before the partial blockade imposed when Hamas took over Gaza (2007).
Nevertheless, many today — like Walt, Mearsheimer, and Max Hastings too — wish to claim Arab and Palestinian Arab innocence. Now, the claim of Arab innocence was prominent in the 1940s and 1950s, although then the Palestinian Arabs were not called simply "Palestinians" as today, as if they were a people separate from other Arabs. In those days, the argument explicitly claimed that Arab-Muslim treatment of Jews was regularly benign, thus making Israel's alleged misdeeds in 1948 all the more repugnant. The argument was first used long ago. It was meant to urge particular policies towards Israel and the Arabs. It has always been instrumental, not factual, scientific, or historical. It depends on general public ignorance of the real history, in particular ignorance among Jews and Zionists.
The evidence presented above shows that throughout history, this claim has not only been false but is the very opposite of the truth. This false notion of history, of the relations of Jews and Arabs in Israel over the centuries, is widely held in academia, State Department circles, and the media. The way to dispel the falsehoods is knowledge of history, of the institution of the dhimma, of Jewish history, Arab and Muslim history, particularly the history of Jews in the Land of Israel, in all periods from ancient times through the Middle Ages to early modern times and recent times, up to the latest Qassam rocket that landed on the town of Sderot. Ignorance of history can be considered an obstacle to Israel-Arab peace.
1. Verse numbers vary in some editions.
2. Carsten Niebuhr, Travels through Arabia and Other Countries in the East, vol. I (Edinburgh 1792), pp 81-82, quoted by Yahudiya Masriya [= Bat Ye'or], Les Juifs en Egypte (Geneva: Editions de l'Avenir, 1971), pp 29-30.
3. Moshe Gil, "The Authorities and the Local Population," in The History of Jerusalem: the Early Muslim Period, 638- 1099, editors Joshua Prawer and Haggai Ben-Shammai.(Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi: New York: New York University Press, 1996), p 106. Translation slightly modified by EAG.
4. Jacob Barnai, "The Jerusalem Jewish Community, Ottoman Authorities, and Arab Population in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century," Jewish Political Studies Review 6:3-4 (Fall 1994).
5. Maimonides, "Epistle to Yemen," in David Hartman, ed., Crisis and Leadership: Epistles of Maimonides (tr. A Halkin; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society 1985), p 126.
6. Moshe Sharon, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Jerusalem: Sacks Publishing House 1989), p 89.
7. Quoted in Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton 1984), pp 59-60.
8. Words of Moshe Sharon, op. cit., p 94; also see Carlo Panella, Il 'Complotto Ebraico' — L'antisemitismo islamico da Maometto a Bin Laden (Torino: Lindau 2005), p 89
9. Panella, op. cit, p 31.
10.Quoted in Leon Poliakov, De Mahomet aux Marranes, II (Paris: Calmann-Levy 1961), p 72; and in Panella, op cit, p 157, n. 9.
11. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? (London: Orion House 2002), p 104.
12. Quoted in William R Polk, The Opening of South Lebanon, 1788-1840 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1963), p 138. Other 19th century Western observers noted the same Arab-Muslim Judeophobia, as quoted by Saul S Friedman, Land of Dust (Washington, DC: University Press of America 1982), p 136.
13. Polk, op. cit., p 138.
14. Francesco Suriano, Treatise on the Holy Land (Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1949) [in original: Trattato di Terra Santa e dell'Oriente], pp 101-02. For a scholarly view of the Jews in Jerusalem in the late Mamluk period, when Suriano lived there, see Avraham David in "The Mamluk Period" in Israel: People, Land, State (Avigdor Shinan, ed.: Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben Zvi, 2005).
15. Amnon Cohen, "On the Realities of the Millet System: Jerusalem in the 16th century," in B Braude and B Lewis, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire (New York: Holmes & Meier 1982), p 14.
16. Chateaubriand, Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem (Paris: Juilliard 1964), pp 426-427.
17. Neophytos, Extracts from Annals of Palestine 1821-1841 (Jerusalem, Ariel Publishing House, 1979; compiled by Eli Schiller), p 78. Originally published in Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society, vol. XVIII (1938; tr S N Spyridon).
18. See Marx in Shlomo Avineri, ed., Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernization (New York: Doubleday, 1969), pp 150-151; translated and paraphrased from Cesar Famin, L'Histoire de la rivalite et du protectorat des Eglises chretiennes en Orient (Paris: Firmin Didot freres, 1853). pp 50, 54
19. Re the Jewish population majority, see Famin op. cit., pp 49, 51. Famin's main themes in the book have nothing to do with Jews. He endeavors to prove Roman Catholic primacy over the Christian holy places in Jerusalem as against the Orthodox church, as well as France's right and duty to defend that primacy.
20. Gerardy Santine, Trois ans en Judée (Paris: Hachette 1860), p 189.
21. Felix Bovet, Egypt, Palestine, and Phoenicia (Eng. trans; London: 1872), p 180
22. Ibid., p 181.
23. Quoted by Max Hastings in the London Sunday Times, 2 Sept 2007. We have not dealt with the role of Arabs, particularly the Palestinian Arab leadership, in the Holocaust (Haj Amin el-Husseini, first of all).
24. John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux 2007), p 92. The chief leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the time, Haj Amin el-Husseini, collaborated in the Holocaust. He spent most of the war years in the Nazi-fascist domain. He is not mentioned in the book's index.
25. Elliott A Green, "Arabs and Nazis, Can It Be True?," Midstream (October 1994).
Elliott A. Green is a researcher, writer and translator, living in Jerusalem. His writings have appeared in Midstream [New York], Nativ, the Jerusalem Post [Israel], and other publications. He was assistant editor of Crossroads, a discontinued social sciences quarterly published in Jerusalem.
This article is slightly expanded from the original version, which was published in Midstream magazine (New York, September/October 2008). References for the quotes in this piece are found in the Midstream article.
Of additional interest is a recent article by Mr. Green entitled 'The Myth of Arab Innocence" that appeared December 1, 2008 in History News Network (http://hnn.us/articles/56698.html). It uses much the same material as the article presented about but the emphasis is somewhat different. "The Forgotten Oppression Of Jews Under Islam And In The Land Of Israel" is intended to provide Jews with information on the history of Arabs/Muslim treatment of the Jews throughout the centuries. Mr. Green writes: "'The Myth of Arab Innocence' is aimed at British and American 'historical scholarship' and journalism that for many years, even before WW2, overlooked anything unfavorable — in terms of American/Western values — about the Arabs or done by them. I could point to the Luce mags on the popular journalistic level [Time, Life] and to Professor Polk and others on the 'scholarly' level, although Polk knew better of course."
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Home » Jerusalem Issue Briefs » The Saudi Connection to the Mumbai Massacres: Strategic Implications for Israel
The Saudi Connection to the Mumbai Massacres: Strategic Implications for Israel-->
by Col. (res.) Jonathan Fighel Published February 2009
Vol. 8, No. 21 12 February 2009
The Saudi Connection to the Mumbai Massacres:
Strategic Implications for Israel
Col. (res.) Jonathan Fighel
The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Yet it would be a mistake to see Lashkar only as a local organization with only a local agenda.
Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. Saudi Arabia presents itself as the protector and the spearhead of the defense of Muslims around the world against what they define as the Western cultural attack.
The Saudis are very committed to recruiting, funding, and funneling ideology to embattled Muslim minorities, and use Muslim charities as their tool to implement this policy. The Saudi methodology is to take advantage of a humanitarian crisis to get a foot in the door. Who could be against assisting widows and orphans and setting up schools and clinics? Some of the money is indeed funneled to support terrorism - families of suicide bombers.
The notion of global Islam has also penetrated to Gaza and exists under the umbrella of Hamas, which is enabling a revival of global jihadi organizations there such as Jaish al-Islam and others. This phenomenon is radicalizing the already radicalized society in Gaza.
Hamas could agree to a hudna (calm) for fifty years, but there will be no recognition of Israel or a cessation of the struggle against it. If Hamas was ready to act pragmatically, it would no longer be Hamas. And then the frustrated factions within Hamas would break off and join up with the radical global jihadi organizations in Gaza.
The similarity of the November 2008 attack in Mumbai to the attack on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1975 was striking. At that time, a Palestinian organization based outside the borders of Israel, in a safe haven in Lebanon, had undergone months of specialized training. With a high level of prior intelligence, several very dedicated assault groups attacked a high-value target.
The Mumbai attacks were not a conventional suicide attack. Since 1998, al-Qaeda's hallmark has been suicide attacks, based upon the whole rationale of jihad, sacrifice and martyrdom. But the attacks in Mumbai did not resemble 7/7 in London or the attacks in Madrid or any other al-Qaeda-style attacks.
What Is Lashkar-e-Taiba?
The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Yet it would be a mistake to see Lashkar only as a local organization with only a local agenda.
The creation and flourishing of Lashkar-e-Taiba would not have been possible unless they were supported by three major elements. The first is the ideology of global jihad. The second is funding and support from external sources. And the third is a territorial base which enables them to conduct activities and maintain training camps.
What is Lashkar-e-Taiba and why is it relevant to the Middle East? Lashkar collects funds from Pakistanis and Kashmiris, as well as the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf, in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Its website appears under the name of Jamaat ud Dawa and the group maintains ties to religious and militant groups around the world. The Jamaat ud Dawa website links directly to the Hamas website.
The Saudi Connection
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. Saudi newspapers at the time published calls for jihad to support all Muslim struggles around the world. Kashmir was seen as a place where jihad was taking place, so donations were solicited for the Muslims living there. Allah was said to bless the warriors of this financial jihad.
In August 1999, the Saudi newspaper Al Jazeera reported on a press conference conducted by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-based charity supervised by the government. The group's secretary-general, Maneh al-Johani, praised the role played by Saudi Arabia in providing assistance to Muslims around the world, especially in Kashmir. Johani equated the Kashmir issue with the situation in Kosovo and Palestine, and called on Muslims to help the Kashmiri people.
Radical Wahhabi, Salafi, Saudi Islam sees the world in confrontation, with zones of jihad where Muslim minorities are struggling politically and religiously against other forces. The struggle can be with Israel, Serbia, India, or the Philippines. Saudi Arabia presents itself as the protector and the spearhead of the defense of Muslims around the world against what the former Supreme Religious Authority of Saudi Arabia, the late Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz (Ben Baz), defined as the Western cultural attack.
This is the ideology behind Saudi politics. The Saudis are very committed to recruiting, funding, and funneling ideology to those Muslim minorities, and use Muslim charities as their tool to implement this policy. In September 2000, the Saudi newspaper Al Jazeera reported on an additional press conference by WAMY Secretary-General Johani, who discussed Saudi Arabia's role in providing aid to Kashmir and asked the Islamic countries to play an effective part in saving Kashmir's Muslims. Johani described the Kashmiri people's jihad and noted that they had suffered thousands of casualties. "The Kashmiri people want to protect their Islamic entity and we must help them," he concluded.
Since the end of the war in Afghanistan in 1989, the Saudi contribution to entrenching the phenomenon of global jihad around the world has mushroomed, whether in Chechnya, the Philippines, Kosovo, or the Palestinian territories. Yet for all this, Saudi Arabia is not held accountable.
The Saudi methodology is to take advantage of a humanitarian crisis to get a foot in the door. Who could be against assisting widows and orphans and setting up schools and clinics? It is a methodology that has been duplicated all around the world. Since direct assistance to armed groups is problematic for Saudi Arabia, they use "charities," which are actually organizations that use the social network called the dawa to propagate their ideology through mosques, health clinics, and madrassas, to influence minds and recruit supporters to Wahhabi-style ideology and commitment. Some of the money is indeed funneled to support terrorism - families of suicide bombers.
It is now evident that the so-called Saudi non-governmental charities are closely monitored by the Saudi government. The Saudis have understood that they were under pressure from the West and so they were very willing to sacrifice the Al-Haramain charity. It was banned and dismantled, but other charities were not, like the Islamic Relief Organization (IRO). The Saudi charities just change names and, unfortunately, nothing concrete is being done. There is no all-out campaign to dismantle all those charities.
Training Camps in Pakistan
Lashkar-e-Taiba has created an infrastructure inside Pakistan which is relevant to struggles beyond the boundaries of Kashmir or India. It has created an operational capability in its training camps through the use of highly skilled instructors, veterans of the Afghan war. Some well-known terrorists have passed through those training camps before launching their attacks. The shoe bomber, Richard Reid, was trained in a Lashkar training camp, as was Dhiren Barot, a British subject and a Hindu who converted to Islam, who was the mastermind of a failed gas cylinder bombing plot in London and who also prepared detailed blueprints for al-Qaeda of the buildings in New York's financial district.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is headed by Muhammad Saeed, who plays a key role in the group's operational activities, terrorist training camps, ideology, and in its worldwide activities. Saeed was reportedly arrested in Pakistan in February 2009. Saeed determines where the graduates of the Lashkar camps in Pakistan are sent to fight and in 2005 he personally organized the infiltration of Lashkar militants into Iraq. He was in Saudi Arabia at the time, with the knowledge of the Saudi government (you cannot enter Saudi Arabia without permission). He also arranged for Lashkar operatives to be sent to Europe as fundraising coordinators. So Saudi Arabia again was a launching pad for sending highly-trained mujahidin to the war against the Americans in Iraq. This shows the global nature of Lashkar-e-Taiba. It is not just a provincial organization but one that has a global reach.
Haji Mohammad Ashraf has been Lashkar's chief financier since 2003, expanding the organization and increasing its fundraising activities. Mahmoud Mohammed Ahmad Ba'aziq, a Saudi national, served as the Lashkar leader in Saudi Arabia during the 1980s and 1990s, before Ashraf, and coordinated fundraising activity with non-governmental charities and businessmen in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi regime is aware of the money going to Lashkar in Saudi Arabia for its activities around the world.
Lashkar operations chief Zakir Rehman Lakvi was also reportedly arrested in a Pakistani raid on a Lashkar training camp. He was one of the masterminds of the Mumbai attack and was in constant cellular phone contact with the attackers. Lakvi has been very much involved in military operations in Chechnya, Bosnia, and Iraq.
Lashkar-e-Taiba would not have evolved to the scale they have reached without Saudi assistance. One key Saudi who helped build Lashkar into such an efficient and highly-trained organization is Abdul Aziz Barbaros. Barbaros, whose real name is Abdul Ahman el-Dosfari, fought with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. He was one of the founding members of Lashkar in Kashmir after the end of the Afghan war. He also traveled to Bosnia to assist the al-Qaeda-oriented mujahidin brigades there. During the 1980s and 1990s Barbaros served as a critical link between Lashkar, wealthy and pious Saudi financiers, and Pakistani and Muslim fanatics around the world.
Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin in Gaza routinely delivered speeches addressed to Lashkar-e-Taiba militant rallies in Kashmir and Pakistan. This is an example of the general mindset of radical Islamic solidarity. The Hamas leader in Gaza showed that he cared about what was happening with other Muslim minorities around the world, as they should care about what is happening in Gaza or the West Bank. This is not necessarily directly connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Iraq, this is seen as a struggle against the American "Crusade occupation." This reflects Bin Laden's 1998 declaration of jihad, when he spoke of the Islamic front against the Crusaders and the Jews. So everything is linked and what happened in Mumbai has a wider perspective.
Global Islam Penetrates Gaza
The notion of global Islam has also penetrated to Gaza and to some extent in the West Bank. This phenomenon exists under the umbrella of Hamas, which enables a revival of global jihadi organizations in Gaza such as Jaish al-Islam and others. The emergence of these groups is worrying because they are very much inspired by the global jihadi, Saudi Wahhabi ideology - a strict interpretation of Islam which is being interpreted into political and terrorist activity. What is important in this phenomenon is the radicalization of the already radicalized society in Gaza.
The bottom line is that we are seeing the same pattern of global jihad-oriented groups starting to be active in Gaza. They have carried out some attacks, mostly directed against foreign, Western institutions like the YMCA and the American School. Yet they have played only a marginal role in attacks against Israeli targets.
Hamas in Gaza
I think the situation of Hamas control in Gaza is irreversible. From my reading of Hamas publications in Arabic, it is clear that there is no way back, only ahead, to take control in the West Bank if they become strong enough. Hamas could agree to a hudna (calm) for fifty years, but there will be no recognition of Israel or a cessation of the struggle against it.
If Hamas was ready to act pragmatically, it would no longer be Hamas. It would be something else. And then the frustrated factions within Hamas would break off and join up with the radical global jihadi organizations in Gaza. Those organizations hope to provide a refuge for Hamas radicals who believe that any normalization or pragmatism would be harmful to the Hamas cause.
This is not just my hypothesis. The declarations of Hamas leaders Zahar and Siam have hinted that if Hamas were to lose its real identity, people would shift their loyalties and activities to a more genuine Islamic organization, not a pragmatic, opportunistic, hudna-style one.
Should we talk with Hamas? Is the international community ready to sit down with al-Qaeda? There is no difference. It is a total misrepresentation to say Hamas is like the IRA. There is no political wing of Hamas disconnected from the operational wing. There are no pragmatists to speak to. At the end of the day, those who believe that trying to talk to Hamas is the right way to conduct business here in the Middle East will be in for a big disappointment.
* * *
Col. (res.) Jonathan Fighel is a senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT). He is also a member of the International Academic Counter Terrorism Community (ICTAC) and serves as a consultant and expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice on Hamas trials, as well as to private U.S.-based law firms in cases of prosecuting al-Qaeda terrorism. His expertise also includes the Palestinian Authority, Islamist terror groups (Hamas, PIJ, al-Qaeda), funding, Palestinian terrorism and the Palestinian suicide terrorism phenomenon. This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on his presentation at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs in Jerusalem on December 9, 2008.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009
Israel's Grotesque System of Governance
Reader comment on: Who Won in Israel's Elections?
Submitted by Prof. Paul Eidelberg, Feb 11, 2009 18:41
Thirty-four parties competed in Israel's February 10 election. This appears very democratic. But the truth is, the people of Israel have been effectively disempowered! Here's how.
Israel's government makes the entire country a single electoral district in which a multiplicity of parties compete for Knesset seats via Proportional Representation. This compels citizens to vote for party slates, not individual candidates. Hence, Knesset Members (MKs) are not individually accountable to the voters in regional elections. This enables MKs and the government to ignore public opinion with impunity.
This is exactly what Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and 22 other Likud MKs did in October 2004 when they voted for Labor's policy of unilateral disengagement—a policy rejected by 70% of the public in the January 2003 election. Sharon effectively nullified that election and became Labor's surrogate prime minister!
I have examined the electoral systems of 89 countries classified (rightly or wrongly) as democracies. From a structural perspective, Israel, far from being a democracy, is a hybrid of prime ministerial government and judicial despotism.
No prime minister of any Labor- or Likud- or Kadima-led government has ever been removed from office by a Knesset vote of no confidence. Cabinet ministers know that if they reject a measure submitted by the prime minister, the government will fall, new elections will follow, and they may lose their cabinet posts and perquisites. This makes the prime minister a virtual autocrat.
As for judicial despotism, the Supreme Court's unprecedented dictum that "everything is justiciable" enables a few judges to violate the convictions of the Jewish people and nullify acts of the legislature as well as decisions of the executive affecting national security.
Consider the issue of a Palestinian state. Polls indicate that most Jews oppose a Palestinian state. Nevertheless, how politicians relate to this issue very much depend on whether they have religious convictions concerning Judea and Samaria. Animated by secularism, the Left in general, and Kadima in particular, advocate a Palestinian state. What about the "Right"?
Avigdor Lieberman, head of Israel Beiteinu, has cultivated the reputation of being a rightwinger. He's nothing of the sort. Lieberman joined and propped up the Olmert government, a leftwing government that should have fallen two years ago after the debacle of the Second Lebanon War. Moreover, Lieberman's plan to establish Arab cantons in Judea and Samaria would Arabize Judea and Samaria, Israel's heartland.
What about the reputedly rightwing Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu? Its position with respect to a Palestinian state may be identified with a plan set forth by former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. General Moshe Yaalon, now a Likud MK. Yaalon's plan, outlined in a paper "Israel and the Palestinians: A New Strategy," does not unconditionally oppose a Palestinian state. Rather, he opposes withdrawal from parts of Israel before the Palestinians achieve the economic, political, and judicial infrastructure required to become a responsible state.
The PA, he says, must undergo a democratic metamorphosis. Needed, first, is economic prosperity among of the Palestinians. This is a precondition for cultivating a middle class society, which is typically inclined to moderation, the rule of law, and peace. Then only could Israelis and Palestinians arrive at a peaceful settlement of their conflict.
"Such a settlement," Yaalon admits, "will invariably involve painful concessions." These concessions would surely require Israel's abandonment of much or most of Judea and Samaria. However, "two conditions," he says, "must be met: first, unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state; and second, the establishment of Palestinian self-rule [my emphasis] on a solid economic, political, and security basis."
"Self-rule" is a euphemism for a Palestinian state. Yaalon knows the Palestinians will accept nothing less than statehood, if only because the entire international community is committed to a "two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He admits the road to peace "is still very long. But sometimes the longer road is in truth the shorter one." This approach, he claims, is realistic. Realistic or not, it does not represent the will of a majority of the people.
But is it realistic to believe that economics will trump religion among the Palestinians—especially while Islam is gaining global power? Is it realistic to believe that economic prosperity will transform the Palestinians into bourgeois democrats?
On the other hand, if Yaalon's plan is not a manifestation of secular mysticism, that is, if he has not turned a blind eye to Islam's 1,400-year culture of hate, perhaps his plan is only a tactic, a stalling for time? The question then arises as to whether Israel's system of government is capable sustaining Yaalon's long term plan?
The average duration of an Israeli government is less than two years. Can such a transient government—a government consisting several rival parties—pursue a consistent and resolute national strategy? Hardly. But this means that Israel must replace multiparty cabinet government with a unitary executive or presidential system. Only such a government can, in principle, represent the will of the people of Israel.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened for relevance, substance, and tone, and in some cases edited, before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome, but comments are rejected if scurrilous, off-topic, vulgar, ad hominem, or otherwise viewed as inappropriate.
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Israel's Grotesque System of Governance [827 words]
Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Feb 11, 2009 18:41
Israel Election Pie: Watch Out Canada [78 words]
Edmund Onward James
Feb 11, 2009 18:09
Lieberman is so very right! [66 words]
Feb 11, 2009 18:07
Dr. Pipes, What is the solution to this issue you speak of? [82 words]
Feb 11, 2009 17:38
miasmatic [271 words]
John W. McGinley
Feb 11, 2009 17:31
Not Completely Correct [51 words]
Feb 11, 2009 17:30
The Israeli Moslems have the perfect situation -- life in a US-subsidized Western democracy AND impending reconquest [149 words]
Feb 11, 2009 16:26
Let's agree to hate hate [285 words]
Feb 11, 2009 16:09
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened for relevance, substance, and tone, and in some cases edited, before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome, but comments are rejected if scurrilous, off-topic, vulgar, ad hominem, or otherwise viewed as inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the Guidelines for Comments.
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