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Jews and Arabs; Whose Land? part # 2

Before Nation-States 

Before the creation of nation-states in the Middle East, prior to 1919, there were only villages and tribes. And Palestine was just a fantasy invented by Arabs who would not accept non-Muslim ownership of `the Land'. 

Fabricating History 

"Toward the end of the First World War, and increasingly after the war, it became common knowledge and part of the popular literature of the age that in the defeat of the Turks a specific and notable part was played by the Arab revolt and that its leaders had enjoyed the indispensable cooperation and advice of a brilliant young British officer named Thomas Edward Lawrence - "Lawrence of Arabia". This revolt, according to the account, began in Arabia, displacing the Turks, spread over into Syria, and reached a climax in the capture of Damascus. In the end, so the story ran, the promises to the Arabs were broken. The Arabs based their later vociferous propaganda--and their claim to vast additions of territory, including Palestine--on this account." Samuel Katz, "Battle-Ground.." 73 to last edition in 85 - page 47 

"The major part of this story of the revolt was a fabrication, largely created in Lawrence's imagination. It grew and grew and was not exposed for many years. It suited the makers of British policy at the time so well that Lawrence, who was a yarn-spinner of quite extraordinary proportions, was able to impose himself, and to be imposed, on the British public and on the world, as one of the great heroes and as one of the most brilliant brains of the First World War. Lawrence's monumental book on the subject, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (of which "Revolt in the Desert" was an abridged popular edition), was published and publicized and widely accepted as authentic history. In fact, it was largely a work of fiction. On the basis of this fiction, however, the British government was able to initiate and pursue its predominant policy in the Middle East and fight for it in the international arena. Directed at first primarily against France, much of its momentum and later fury was concentrated against the Jewish restoration in Palestine. It was the Lawrence fiction that for many years provided the main propaganda ammunition for the Arabs." [Samuel Katz] 

"The Lawrence legend was finally demolished in 1955 in a remarkable `biographical enquiry' by the British writer Richard Aldington. His findings on the political and military facts were based on an exhaustive study of all the available sources, especially Lawrence's own copious writings and those he inspired and encouraged. (Lawrence loved to write and kept a journal of everything which contradicted his assertions in his autobiography) They have been amplified and deepened by the research since made possible by the release of secret British documents of the period. It has consequently become fashionable in Britain today to write with contempt and denigration of Lawrence and to speculate in psychoanalytical overtones on the reasons for his aberrations." [Samuel Katz - page 48] 

British acknowledgement of the myths have also exposed the great betrayal of the Jews by the British. Arabs did little to revolt and overthrow the Turks but instead were active partners with the Turks in the war against the allies just as they were also supporters of the Nazis during WWII. 

"The Arab Revolt had obviously failed as a major or even a significant enterprise. Outside of Hussein's own area of Arabia, it had not attracted any significant assistance from Arabs. In spite of efforts at persuasion by Faisal and Lawrence, the tribes of Syria had refused to join the war effort. No Arab had risen even in the rear of the advancing British troops in southern Palestine. The Hejaz regular force was numerically insignificant, and the Bedouin tribesmen, traditionally well versed in the primitive techniques of looting forays, could contribute nothing to Allenby's offensive through Palestine and Syria. The discussion on the future of the area thus threatened to remain a dialogue between Britain and France, who had reached agreement earlier on the division of spoils." [Samuel Katz - page 49] 

The British also failed in it's effort to do away with French control of part of the area and British Cabinet Minister, Lord Milner, described it such: "to diddle the French out of Syria." The view was this could be accomplished only if there was a plausible Arab claim to Syria and environs which was a goal of the British - to at least make that case. The Arab inspired revolt had intended to "raise the flag in towns from which the Turks had already been driven by the British" [Samuels] -- and the plan which the British implemented was: 

"Wherever the British Army captured a town or reduced a fortress which was to be given to the Arabs it would halt until the Arabs could enter, and the capture would be credited to them." Muhammed Kurd Alli, "Khitab el Sham" Vol III (Damascus 1925) as quoted in Elie Kedourie, "England and the Middle East" (London, 1956), p 21 

Transjordan carved out of Palestine 

In Damascus the plan failed and the British and Australians captured Damascus and the surrender was to them, not the Arabs. There was an uprising against the British when they attempted to install Faisal as the new ruler there and the British had to apply considerable force and Faisal Hussein was nevertheless installed as head of Syria from which he was later overthrown by the French. 

"Although the Sykes-Picot Agreement was modified considerably in practice, it established a framework for the mandate system which was imposed in the years following the war. Near the end of 1918, the Hashemite Emir Faisal set up an independent government in Damascus. However, his demand at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference for independence throughout the Arab world was met with rejection from the colonial powers. In 1920 and for a brief duration, Faisal assumed the throne of Syria and his elder brother Abdullah was offered the crown of Iraq by the Iraqi representatives. However, the British government ignored the will of the Iraqi people. Shortly afterward, the newly-founded League of Nations awarded Britain the mandates over Transjordan, Palestine and Iraq. France was given the mandate over Syria and Lebanon, but had to take Damascus by force, removing King Faisal from the throne to which he had been elected by the General Syrian Congress in 1920." --- http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/ 

"King Faisal I, meanwhile, assumed the throne of the Kingdom of Iraq in the same year. The Hashemite family ruled Iraq until King Faisals grandson King Faisal II and his immediate family were all murdered in a bloody coup by Nasserist sympathizers led by Colonel Abdel Karim Qassem on July 14, 1958. The Hashemites suffered another major blow in 
1925, when King Ali bin al-Hussein, the eldest brother of Abdullah and Faisal, lost the throne of the Kingdom of the Hijaz to Abdel Aziz bin Saud of Najd. The loss, which was brought about by a partnership between Ibn Saud and followers of the Wahhabi movement, led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and brought to an end over one thousand years of Hashemite rule in Mecca." [ibid] 

Eretz Israel 

"Eretz Israel" was first mentioned during the reign of king Saul for the Jewish kingdom. Other labels also existed. This land of Hebrews was called "Eretz Ha-ivrim" ("The land of the Hebrews) and "Eretz Bnei Israel ("Land of the Children of Israel"). It has also been called the "Land of Canaan" and sometimes it has been called "The Land." The land, which is NOW Israel, also projected different borders. 

Hebrews suffered under the Muslim yoke. Other minorities, including the Christians were also oppressed. 

"Christian minorities in the Islamic realm (Dar al-Islam) suffered interminably over the centuries: Maronites in Lebanon. Assyrians in Iraq. Copts in Egypt, with a special though particular mention of Armenians in the lands conquered by Turks and transformed it to Turkey. The Christian percentage of populations, historically majorities in such countries as Egypt and Syria, dropped markedly and numbered about 12 per cent in Egypt and just 10 per cent in Syria in the 1990s." See Richard Tapper (ed), "Some Minorities in the Middle East" - University of London (92) - and quoted by Mordechai Nisan in "The Forgotten Millions" (ed) Malka Hillel Shulewitz (2000) Continuim Press 

"The proportion of Christians throughout the Middle East has reached a historical low of just 2 per cent. A long record of discrimination in education and administration, and a recent trend of fundamentalist violence against the vulnerable Copts, has evoked an atmosphere of Christian fear. Wanton murders of Copts, for instance, as in a church in Upper Egypt in February 1997, and Muslim call to impose jizya 
(tribute) payment on the Christians, serves notice that survival by introversion or emigration to the West may be the only remaining practical alternatives when a decent and secure communal life at home is seemingly no longer possible." [The Forgotten Millions] "Another religious minority in the Islamic-dominated Middle East is the small Bahai community, which detached itself from the Muslim nation during the nineteenth century. In Iran this minority has been victimized, while in Israel, its international center, it has found solace." ["The Forgotten Millions" - Nisan] 

Jews were subjected to extreme anti-Jewish measures especially since the Jews rejected Mohammed. And with the establishment of Israel, this served as a provocation for removing the Jewish presence from Muslim countries and supporting violence against Jews in Israel. 

Jerusalem was not Arab But Medina was Jewish 

It is perhaps ironic that Medina, the second most important Islamic city, which was supposedly a "pure Arab" city was not and it was first settled by Jewish tribes. 

"The city of Medina, some 280 miles north of Mecca, had originally been settled by Jewish tribes from the north, especially the Anu Nadir and Banu Quraiza. The comparative richness of the town attracted an infiltration of _pagan_ Arabs who came at first as clients of the Jews and ultimately succeeded in dominating them. Medina, or, as it was known before Oslam, Yathrib, had no form of stable government at all. The town was torn by the feuds of rival Arab tribes of Aus and Kharaj, with the Jews maintaining an uneasy balance of power. The latter, engaged mainly in agriculture and handicrafts,wer economically and culturally superior to the Arabs, and were consequently disliked...as soon as the Arabs had attained unity through the agency of Muhammad they attacked and ultimately eliminated the Jews." Bernard Lewis, "Arabs in History", page 40 

"At the dawn of Islam the Jews dominated the economic life of the Hijaz [Arabia]. They held all t he best land..; at Medina they must have formed at least half the population. There was also a Jewish settlement to the north of the Gulf of Aqaba...What is important is to note that the Jews of the Hijaz made many proselytes [or converts] among the Arab tribesman." Historian Alfred Guillaume, "Islam", Penguin Books, 1954, page 10-11 

There is more irony here: Jews were refugees each time they were vanguished from Judea. They settled everywhere in Hijaz [Arabia], but for them to settle in Judea is objectionable to the world community. Jews were prosperous and successful refugees. They were not relegated by themselves or others to refugee camps. They integrated into other communities and cities and formed their own. They remained a people even in dispersion. It wasn't until after Islam had to compete with the Jews for the hearts and minds of nomadic Arabs did the Jews become a persecuted people. Jewish prosperity was challenging to the Arabs and as Peters points out in "From Time Immemorial" (2002 edition - page 143): 

"when the Muslims took up arms they treated the Jews with much greater severity than the Christians, who, until the end of the purely Arab Caliphate, were not badly treated." (Source: Guillaume) "One of the reasons for `this discrimination' against the Jews is what Guillaume called `the Qur'an's scornful works' regarding the Jews. The Jews' development of land and culture was a prime source of booty in the Arabian desert peninsula. Beginning at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam -- from the expulsions, depredations, extortion, forced conversions or muder of Jewish Arabians settled in Medina to the mass slaughter of Jews at Khaibar--the precedent was established among Arab-Muslims to expropriate that which belonged to the Jews. Relations between the Prophet Muhammad and the Jews were `never ... easy'..." [Peters] 

The Jews irritated Muhammad. They refused to convert (to follow him) and they were prosperous. Eliminating them was a necessity. Muhammad was uneducated and a bandit. His entire philosophy was based on appropriation and oppression. These were exactly the characteristics which would appeal to other nomadic tribes, many of whom survived off the booty and spoils of raids and banditry. 

Slaughtering the Jews 

Muhammad and his successors slaughtered Jews. An edict from Abu Bakr and Omar I, Prophet Muhammad's successors was: 

Two religions may not dwell together.." 

"...the entire community of Jewish settlements throughout northern Arabia was systematically slaughtered." [Peters] "The late Israeli historian and former president, Itzhak Ben-Zvi, judged the `inhuman atrocities' of the Arabian communities as unparalleled since then..." [Peters] 

This wholesale extermination of Jews can be compared to the genocidal Holocaust. The intent was to eliminate the Jews and share in the spoils; to steal their property and land. 

"The complete extermination of the two Arabian-Jewish tribes, the Nadhir and the Kainuka' by the mass massacre of their men, women and children, was a tragedy for which no parallel can be found in Jewish history until our own day...." Itzhak Ben-Zvi, "The Exiled and the Redeemed" (Philadelpha, 1961) p 144 

And it says in the Koran: 

"...some you slew and others you took captive. He [Allah] made you masters of their [the Jews] land, their houses and their goods, and of yet another land [Khaibar] on which you had never set foot before. Truly, Allah has power over all things." Koran, Surah 33, v 26-32 

Hank Roth


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