Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Calls for a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria - while Arab construction, which far exceeds Jewish development, continues unfettered - are clearly biased and by itself a violation of international law.
Israel, as a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966) is obligated to use "all appropriate means" to promote and protect the right to housing, including the prohibition on forced evictions.
Arabs claim that Jewish settlements "change the status" of the Territories and represent a distortion of the Oslo Accords. This phrase applies to acts that change the political status of the disputed territory - such as outright Israeli annexation or a Palestinian declaration of statehood. Since Jewish settlements are legal, they should be promoted and supported in accordance of the "Mandate for Palestine" - The historical League of Nations document, that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Oslo Accords do not forbid Israeli or Arab settlement activity. Charges that further Jewish settlement activity preempts final negotiations by establishing realities requires reciprocity. If the West Bank and Gaza were de jure part of the British Mandate, and if the Mandate borders [article 25] are the last legal document concerning this territory; and if Jews were forcibly expelled from the West Bank and Gaza in 1948 during a war of aggression aimed at them - then these Territories must be considered disputed Territories, at the least.
The Israeli-Palestinian border dispute is like every other major and minor boundary dispute around the globe. Since the West Bank and Gaza were redeemed in 1967 in a defensive war and are not "Occupied Territories" gained illegally by a bellicose power; and since this fact is recognized in the wording of UN Resolutions 242 and 338 that call for a settlement to institute "secure and recognized borders," calling for a construction freeze on Jewish settlements should, logically, be paralleled by a freeze on Arab construction in the West Bank.
The Oslo II Agreement recognizes de facto the special status and security needs of Jewish communities in the West Bank.
Rather than negotiate a settlement, as agreed to in September 1993, Palestinians elected to break their commitment and to intensify the use of terrorism as a political vehicle in a low-tech war of aggression.
The status issue has been co-opted and warped by the Palestinians in an attempt to curtail Jewish settlement. Neither the 1993 "Oslo I" (the Declaration of Principles) nor the 1995 Oslo II (Interim Agreement) stipulate that the construction of settlements, neighborhoods, houses, roads or other building projects cease.
According to a former policy planning official, the pace of Arab construction is "more than 10 times the number of buildings under construction [in the Territories] than those approved [by the Israeli government] for the [Jewish] settlers." Calls for a freeze on Jewish construction in the Territories - while Arab construction continues unfettered, are discriminatory- all the more so, in light of the fact that Jews were forcibly expelled in 1948.
Most Israelis living in the Territories demonstrated extraordinary self-restraint in recent years.
Palestinian Arabs create the impression that they are at risk from violent Israelis. A close analysis of realities reveals who is really endangered. All Jewish Israeli schools, both in sensitive areas inside Israel and settlements in the Territories, are surrounded by perimeter fences and alarm systems. Public places from restaurants and banks to wedding halls and hospitals, have armed guards at the entrance. This is not the case in Israeli Arab communities or among Palestinian Arabs in the Territories, who are not exposed to terrorist attacks on civilians.
Settlers as a community attempt systematically to avoid conflict.
Settlers travel on bypass roads built by Israel that detour around Arab villages. They ride in bulletproof buses or wear flak jackets on their commute in their cars. More recently, some settlers have surrounded their villages with security fences. Except in rare instances, Jewish settlers, have not taken wholesale retaliation against Palestinian Arab villages, or attempted to establish a balance of terror.
The late Professor Ehud Sprinzak, a fellow at the Counter-Terrorism Institute in Herzliya, an expert on right-wing extremism, published a study entitled Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination. Professor Sprinzak not only stated that in his estimation, Israelis, including settlers, would not resort to armed resistance if ordered by their government to abandon their homes; he said that had other Western nations faced Israel’s external and internal challenges, their streets would have been flooded with blood." This was said before the quantum leap in levels of violence since September 2000. There were 18,787 (!) incidents where Jews were targeted by Palestinian Arab terrorists between September 2000 and May 2003 alone (with and without casualties) on both sides of the Green Line.
Legalities aside, before 1967 there were no Jewish settlements in the West Bank and for the first ten years of so-called occupation there were almost no Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And still there was no peace with the Palestinian Arabs. The notion that Jewish communities pose an obstacle to peace is a red herring designed to blame Israel for lack of progress in the Peace Process and enable Palestinian leadership to continue to reject any form of compromise and reconciliation.
from Myths and Facts.
I hadn't thought of it quite that way!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Petition to: declare the UK’s opposition to the Goldstone Report and to ensure its rejection when a vote is taken in the UN Human Rights Council in March 2010. We believe that the Report was biased against Israel from the announcement of the UN mission’s mandate. This was compounded by its composition, by the selectivity of the incidents it investigated, by the witnesses it interviewed and by its almost complete failure to refer to terrorism and to the defensive context of Israel’s operation in Gaza in January 2009. | Number10.gov.uk
Majed El Shafie, who will...
Majed El Shafie, who will head a delegation of human rights activists, members of parliament from Canada and religious personalities at the Van Leer Institute inJerusalem.
SLIDESHOW: Israel & Region | World
"Hamas digs up the bodies of Christians from Christian burial sites in the Gaza Strip claiming that they pollute the earth," said Reverend Majed El Shafie, President of One Free World International (OFWI), who will head a delegation of human rights activists, members of parliament from Canada and religious personalities.
During their visit to Israel the delegation will hold a conference on human rights and persecuted minorities at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. The conference will provide new statistics on the persecution of minorities in Muslim countries.
Rights groups: Hamas disinters Christians in Gaza | Middle East
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Wow! The scandal just gets juicier and juicier. Now it seems that the Kiwis may have been at it too – tinkering with raw data to make “Global Warming” look scarier than it really is. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That; Ian Wishart)
The alleged villains this time are the climate scientists at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NiWA) – New Zealand’s answer to Britain’s Climate Research Unit. And to judge by this news alert by the Climate Science Coalition of NZ, both institutions share a similarly laissez-faire attitude to scientific accuracy.
Must Read: Here
Saturday, December 05, 2009
By Thomas O. Hecht on December 3, 2009
History has a tendency to repeat itself. In the days of expansionist communist Russia, the country was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet Russian communist leadership was responsible for the murder of at least 20 million of their own people. The peaceful majority was irrelevant.
Prior to that, 80 million Germans were not all confirmed Nazis, but they were irrelevant when Hitler and his murderous minions caused the death of one-third of the Jewish population in the world and brought about WWII.
The so-called German majority was too uninvolved to care. And we are learning today how the ordinary citizens of Germany, Poland and the Ukraine stood silently by while trains and trucks transported Jews to be murdered.
China's huge population was peaceful, but Chinese communists under Mao Tse-tung managed to kill 30 million people in China.
History's lessons, when analyzed, are simple and blunt. Peace loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence, just as the majority of Germans, Russians and Chinese. It is the extremists like Ahmadinejad, the Wahabists in Saudi-Arabia, who dictate policies, set the agenda, and cause the majority to remain silent and to progressively even lose their naturally endowed rights to human freedom and dignity.
Like Nazism, like cruel communism, Islamo-fascism – the extremists – must be defeated not only for the sake of the silent majority in the Islamic world, but also for the sake of our own survival in World War IV, which we are waging today.
President Obama has inherited massive policy challenges, but one of the most challenging will be the existential struggle between societies of freedom and societies of fear – our way of life against those who advocate the Sharia and limit human development.
Hecht goes on to discuss Sharia law, the menace of Iran, the weakness of the West, and the Lessons of History, quoting Churchill.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: November 28, 2009
What should we make of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who apparently killed 13 innocent people at Fort Hood?
Here’s my take: Major Hasan may have been mentally unbalanced — I assume anyone who shoots up innocent people is. But the more you read about his support for Muslim suicide bombers, about how he showed up at a public-health seminar with a PowerPoint presentation titled “Why the War on Terror Is a War on Islam,” and about his contacts with Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni cleric famous for using the Web to support jihadist violence against America — the more it seems that Major Hasan was just another angry jihadist spurred to action by “The Narrative.”
What is scary is that even though he was born, raised and educated in America, The Narrative still got to him.
The Narrative is the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America that have taken hold in the Arab-Muslim world since 9/11. Propagated by jihadist Web sites, mosque preachers, Arab intellectuals, satellite news stations and books — and tacitly endorsed by some Arab regimes — this narrative posits that America has declared war on Islam, as part of a grand “American-Crusader-Zionist conspiracy” to keep Muslims down.
Yes, after two decades in which U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny — in Bosnia, Darfur, Kuwait, Somalia, Lebanon, Kurdistan, post-earthquake Pakistan, post-tsunami Indonesia, Iraq and Afghanistan — a narrative that says America is dedicated to keeping Muslims down is thriving.
Op-Ed Columnist - America vs. The Narrative - NYTimes.com
and interesting companion piece at AIM.org which speaks to the question of the NARRATIVE
By Alan Caruba |
When President Obama delivers a speech on why he is going to send more thousands of U.S. troops and spend more billions on the eight-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, it would be a good idea to better understand why so much of what is reported from the Middle East suffers a great disconnect from the truth.
In 1998, Joris Luyendijk, a Dutch student who studied Arabic at Cairo University for a year, was offered a job as a Middle East correspondent for a Dutch news agency despite having no experience as a reporter. What followed was his real education about the Middle East and the way it is presented to the West by the news media.
His book about that experience, People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East was initially published in the Netherlands in 2006 and has since then been translated and published in Hungary, Italy, Denmark and Germany. In October, an English edition was published by Soft Scull Press, an imprint of Counterpoint, a Berkeley, California publisher.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Blogs: The New Peer-Review Process
By K. Daniel Glover | November 24, 2009
"Climate scientists who believe man is warming the globe have a love-hate relationship with the blogosphere. They love their own blogs but hate that critics also use blogs to bypass the "peer review" process in order to question the science behind global warming theory.
Global warming advocates appreciated the potential power of blogs enough in late 2004 to launch the group blog RealClimate. Inspired by their "frustration with the current state of media reporting on the climate change issue," they saw the blog as a way "to be a little bit more pro-active" in responding to critics."
Monday, November 23, 2009
Looks like the evidence for man-made global warming just might not be there. After the movie (4 mins) read this article on Climategate: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This is very good news.
Ilan Pappe silenced in Munich
Left-wing groups enraged by Germany municipality's decision not to allow anti-Zionist Israeli historian to speak at governmental institution.
Pappe writes to Munich mayor his policy reminiscent of Nazi Germany
The irony is delicious... and Pappe is shocked! shocked! mind you! that "legitimate criticism" (lol) is silenced in Germany! Perhaps Pappe can give his speech in Iran, or Gaza instead. They would happily have him in. This is a thoroughly despicable man!
Monday, November 16, 2009
The Jews who settled the moon
By Janet S. Tiger
The Jews settled the moon in 2053, just about five years after the end of the Islamic Wars of the 40’s, where the Middle East, and Israel, of course, had been obliterated by nuclear weapons.
The two million Jews remaining throughout the rest of the world -less than 100,000 total in all the Islamic countries - banded together and purchased the dark side of the moon, which no other companies or people wished to colonize.
Great transports were arranged via the 62,000 mile space elevator and the Space Shuttle and every Jew on Earth - including anyone who claimed any Jewish heritage whatsoever - left to go to a place where no one could blame them for anything.
The Earth rejoiced - happily rid of all Jews. There were huge parties throughout all of Sweden and the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and North America. (Now known as the Northern Alliance of Islamic States, after the United States was taken over peacefully in the elections of 2040 by a predominantly Muslim Congress and President, who immediately passed amendments making Islam the main religion of the United States and the world.) After the last Jew entered the elevator (a David Goldstein, 62, formerly of New York), the Earth was officially declared Judenrein by Hans Ibn Hitler, a great, great-grandson of Hitler who had been raised in Brazil and hidden by Nazis until this precious moment.
It was not an easy move for the Jews but, in some ways, it was no different from all their moves of previous eras. Some former Israelis (still alive because they were out of Israel when the bombs dropped) claimed that the moon was easier to deal with because there were no Extremist Muslims. Of course, this precipitated a huge argument with some Jews, who felt not having the Radical Muslims nearby was not enough challenge.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Haaretz - Israel News
Those inflicted include Noam Chomsky, Daniel Boyarin, Joel Kovel, Avrum Burg, Ilan Pappe, Steve Quester, Jacqueline Rose, Tony Judt, Naomi Klein, Michael Neumann, Ben Ehrenreich,
and I can think of plenty more. A great read from the Israeli paper that tends to be sick with that a lot.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The fact that Iran is trying to ship arms under the guise of civilian cargo suggests that the pressure exerted by the international community is having an impact...
Israeli Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Dani Ayalon accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chבvez of having turned Venezuela into an "Iranian outpost in the hemisphere. "
"The scope of the Iranian regime does not end in the Middle East. It is global, and also reaches Africa and Latin America, "
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
from the IDF Spokesman's desk:
500 Tons of Weapons for Hezbollah Intercepted by Israeli Navy, 4 Nov 2009
Massive Arms Shipment Intended for Hezbollah Intercepted by Israel Navy
Roughly 500 tons of weapons, rockets, and missiles was uncovered aboard the cargo vessel “Francop” flying an Antiguan flag, which was intercepted and brought to the Ashdod port. The Israel Navy force which intercepted the ship included naval commandos, missile boats, intelligence and explosive experts.
36 shipping containers with 500 tons of weaponry were found on the ship disguised as civilian cargo, and hidden among hundreds of other containers onboard.
Israel Naval and Engineering Corps forces are currently unloading the containers and are sorting through the various types of weaponry found aboard.
The naval commando force boarded the vessel and conducted an initial search. The search was conducted in accordance with the usual search protocols as dictated by International Law.
Following the initial search and after it became clear that the vessel was carrying weapons, the vessel was directed by the Israel Navy to dock at the Israeli Ashdod Naval base for additional searches and a detailed inspection of the hull’s cargo. It should be emphasized that the captain of the ship agreed to the search. The Israel Navy conducted all activity without any force.
The weapons found onboard the ship originate from Iran, and were intended for the Hezbollah terror organization, for use against the State of Israel and its citizens. The weapons uncovered at sea last night constitute a harsh violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1747 and 1701 that strictly forbid Iran from exporting or trading any form of weapons.
This is a well-known Iranian technique, taking advantage of cargo ships flying different flags in order to smuggle containers loaded with large amounts of highly volatile weaponry to terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.
Following the necessary inspections of the boat, it is expected to be released.
The overnight operation was authorized by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense of the State of Israel. Commander of the Israel Navy, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Marom, commanded the operation from a forward command cell. The IDF Chief of the General Staff authorized the operation, after the confirmation of intelligence information gathered by the IDF.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Jewish Nakba: Expulsions, Massacres and Forced Conversions by Ben-Dror YeminiHere's the latest excellent must-read and bookmark essay from Ben-Dror Yemini. Presented in full:
The Jewish Nakba: Expulsions, Massacres and Forced Conversions
Originally was published in Hebrew, in MAARIV
Each year, the Palestinians mark Nakba Day, the catastrophe that befell them with the establishment of the State of Israel. But the Jews in Arab countries also suffered catastrophe and it was many times worse.
By Ben-Dror Yemini (firstname.lastname@example.org)
They say that she was stunningly beautiful. Sol (Suleika) Hatuel was 17 years old when she was beheaded. A Muslim friend claimed that she had succeeded in converting her. When Sol denied the claim, she was accused of renouncing Islam and was condemned to death. Her case reached the sultan.
In order to prevent her death, the community elders tried to persuade her to live as a Muslim. She refused and said, "I was born as a Jew, I will die as a Jew." Her fate was sealed. It happened in 1834. She was from Tangier and was executed in Fez. Many make pilgrimages to her grave. Despite the fact that the incident was immortalized in eyewitness testimony, in a famous painting and in a play, her story has been forgotten. The following article is dedicated to her and to the victims of the Jewish Nakba.
Every year on the 15th of May, the Palestinians - and many others around the world along with them - "celebrate" Nakba Day. For them, this is the day that marks the great catastrophe that befell them as result of the establishment of the State of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs became refugees. Some fled, some were deported. The Nakba grew to such enormous proportions that it is preventing a solution to the dispute.
We must remember that in the 1940s, population exchanges and deportations for the purpose of creating national states were the accepted norm. Tens of millions of people experienced it, but only the Palestinians (and they are not alone in this) have been inflating the myth of the Nakba.
However, there is another Nakba: the Jewish Nakba. During those same years, there was a long line of slaughters, of pogroms, of property confiscation and of deportations against Jews in Islamic countries. This chapter of history has been left in the shadows. The Jewish Nakba was worse than the Palestinian Nakba. The only difference is that the Jews did not turn that Nakba into their founding ethos. To the contrary.
Like tens of millions of other refugees around the world, they preferred to heal the wound. Not to scratch it and not to open it and not to make it bleed even more. The Palestinians, in contrast, preferred bleeding to rehabilitation. And now they are also paying the price.
The industry of lies has intensified the myth of the Nakba and turned it into the ultimate crime. The Nakba has spawned innumerable publications and conferences, to the point of completely distorting the actual historical process. The Deir Yassin massacre has become one of the milestones in the Palestinian Nakba. There is no need to hide what occurred there (even though the issue of the massacre is in dispute). Innocent people were killed.
There were a few other instances of behavior that should be exposed and condemned.
Extermination War against the Jews
A long series of massacres was perpetrated against the Jews in Arab countries. They did not declare war on the countries in which they lived. They were loyal citizens. That did not help them. Their suffering was erased. Their story is never told. The Palestinian narrative has taken over history. There is no need for a Palestinian narrative versus a Zionist narrative. We need to shake off narratives in favor of the truth. And the truth is the number of Jews murdered was greater, their dispossession was greater, and their suffering greater.
A stunning testimonial from those years, which actually comes from the Arab side, sheds light on the issue. In 1936, Alawite notables sent a letter to the French Foreign Minister in which they expressed their concern for the future of the region. They also referred to the Jewish question: "The Jews brought civilization and peace to the Arab Muslims, and they dispersed gold and prosperity over Palestine without damage to anyone or taking anything by force. Despite this, the Muslims declared holy war against them and didn't hesitate to massacre their children and women ... Thus, a black fate awaits the Jews in case the Mandates are cancelled and Muslim Syria united with Muslim Palestine." The interesting thing is that one of the letter's signatories was none other than the great grandfather of Bashar Al Assad, the president of Syria.
We must remember that Nakba Day is the date of the declaration of Israel's independence, May 15th . We must remember what happened just a few hours after that declaration. The Secretary of the Arab League, Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzamaha, announced the declaration of war against Israel: "This war will be a war of annihilation and the story of the slaughter will be told like the campaigns of the Mongols and the Crusaders."
The Mufti, Haj Amin Al Husseini, who was close to Hitler during the Second World War, added his own bit: "I am declaring a holy war. My brother Muslims! Slaughter the Jews! Kill them all!" The mini-Holocaust of the Jews in Arab countries.
Various documents, some of them discovered only in recent years, show that the declaration of war was far broader. It was actually a declaration of war on the Jews.
Research that was conducted, among others, by Prof. Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice of Canada, shows that the Arab League formulated a bill that would place a series of sanctions on the Jews, including confiscation of property, bank accounts and more. The preamble to the bill states that "All Jews will be considered members of the Jewish minority in the State of Palestine." And if the fate of the Jews of Palestine was sealed, the fate of the Jews in Arab countries was clear.
The bill was indeed the background to the sanctions against the Jews in Arab countries - sometimes by way of legislation, as happened in Iraq and later in Egypt, and sometimes by taking those measures without the need for any legislation. According to the industry of lies, the Jews in Arab countries lived peacefully in their environment, under the protection of the government, and it was only because of the Zionist movement and the harm done to the Arabs in Palestine that the Jews began to suffer.
This lie has been repeated innumerable times. Most of the Jews in Arab countries did not undergo the horrors of the Holocaust. But, even before the advent of Zionism, their situation was not any better. There were periods in which the Jews enjoyed relative peace under Muslim rule, but those periods were the exceptions. Throughout Jewish history in Muslim lands there were humiliations, expulsions, pogroms and a systematic deprivation of rights.
Series of Pogroms
We can, of course, start with the conflict between Muhammad and the Jews. Muhammad undertook social reforms, bringing the Arabs out of the Jahaliya period, and borrowed the concept of monotheism - primarily, perhaps, from the Jews. Many motifs from the Jewish religion appear in the Koran, for example, circumcision and the prohibition on eating pork. But Muhammad wanted to convert the Jews, they, of course, refused. The result was a confrontation that ended in the expulsion and slaughter of hundreds.
The Jews, as the "People of the Book," were given the right to live under the protection of Islam and to practice their religion. From time to time, from generation to generation, the conditions underwent changes. In many cases, the Jews lived under the covenant of Khalif Omar.
This covenant enabled them to live as protected people ("Dhimmis"), albeit with inferior status. But many times, under Muslim rule, they were not even allowed a life of inferior status.
The Golden Age: One of the proofs of the coexistence of Jews and Muslims is Jewish prosperity under Muslim rule in Spain and the Golden Age. The reality, however, was different.
It encompassed a series of violence events against the Jews. In 1011 in Cordoba, Spain, under Muslim rule, there were pogroms in which, according to various estimates, from hundreds to thousands were murdered. In 1066 in Granada, Yosef Hanagid was executed, along with between 4,000 and 6,000 other Jews. One of the worst periods of all began in 1148, when the Almohad dynasty came to power (al Muwahhidun), and ruled Spain and North Africa during the 12th and 13th centuries.
Morocco: The country that suffered from the worst series of massacres. In the 8th century whole communities were wiped out by Idris the First. In 1033, in the city of Fez, 6,000 Jews were murdered by a Muslim mob. The rise of the Almohad dynasty caused waves of mass murders. According to testimony from that time, 100,000 Jews were slaughtered in Fez and about 120,000 in Marrakesh (this testimony should be viewed with caution). In 1465, another massacre took place in Fez, which spread to other cities in Morocco.
There were pogroms in Tetuan in 1790 and 1792, in which children were murdered, women were raped and property was looted. Between 1864 and 1880, there were a series of pogroms against the Jews of Marrakesh, in which hundreds were slaughtered. In 1903, there were pogroms in two cities - Taza and Settat, in which over 40 Jews were killed.
In 1907, there was a pogrom in Casablanca in which 30 Jews were killed and many women were raped. In 1912, there was another massacre in Fez in which 60 Jews were killed and about 10,000 were left homeless. In 1948, another series of pogroms began against the Jews which led to the slaughter of 42 in the cities of Oujda and Jrada.
Algeria: A series of massacres occurred in 1805, 1815 and 1830. The situation of the Jews improved with the start of the French conquest in 1830, but that did nor prevent anti-Jewish outbursts in the 1880s. The situation deteriorated again with the rise of the Vichy government. Even before 1934, the country was permeated by Nazi influences, which led to the slaughter of 25 Jews in the city of Constantine. When it achieved independence in 1962, laws were passed against citizenship for anyone who was not a Muslim and their property was effectively confiscated. Most of the Jews left, usually completely penniless, together with the French ("pieds noirs").
Libya: In 1785, hundreds of Jews were murdered by Burza Pasha. Under Nazi influence, harassment of the Jews intensified. Jewish property in Benghazi was plundered, thousands were sent to camps and about 500 Jews were killed. In 1945, at the end of World War II, a program against the Jews began and the number of murdered reached 140. The New York Times reported the horrible scenes of babies and old people who had been beaten to death. In the riots that broke out in 1948, the Jews were more prepared, so only 14 were killed. Following the Six Day War, riots broke out once again and 17 Jews were slaughtered.
Iraq: a massacre occurred in Basra in 1776. The situation of the Jews improved under British rule in 1917, but this improvement ended with Iraq's independence in 1932. German influences increased and reached a peak in 1941 in the pogrom known as Farhud, in which 182 Jews were slaughtered (according to historian Elie Kedourie, 600 people were actually murdered) and thousands of houses were pillaged.
Those were the days of Haj Amin al Husseini, who preached violence against the Jews. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the Iraqi parliament acted according to the Arab League bill and in 1950 and froze the assets of Jews. Sanctions were imposed on those who remained in Iraq. The Farhud massacre and the harassment from 1946 to 1949 to all intents and purposes turned the Iraqi Jews into exiles and refugees. The few thousand who remained in Iraq suffered from harsh edicts. In 1967, 14 Iraqis were sentenced to death on trumped up charges of espionage. Among them were 11 Jews. Radio Iraq invited the masses to the hanging festivities.
Syria: The first blood libel in a Muslim country occurred in 1840, and led to the kidnapping and torture of dozens of Jewish children, sometimes to the point of death, and a pogrom against the Jews. In 1986, the Syrian Minister of Defense, Mustafa Talas, published a book, "The Matzah of Zion," in which he claims that the Jews did, indeed, use the blood of a Christian monk to bake matzah. Same old anti-Semitism, new edition. Other pogroms occurred in Aleppo in 1850 and in 1875, in Damascus in 1848 and in 1890, in Beirut in 1862 and in 1874, and in Dir al Kamar there was another blood libel which also led to a pogrom in 1847. That year, there was a pogrom against the Jews of Jerusalem, which was the result of that blood libel. In 1945, the Jews of Aleppo suffered severe pogroms. 75 Jews were murdered and the community was destroyed. There was a resurgence of the violence in 1947, which turned most of the Syrian Jews into refugees. Those who remained there lived for many years as hostages.
Iran: There was a pogrom against the Jews of Mashhad in 1839. A mob was incited to attack Jews, and slaughtered almost 40. The rest were forced to convert. That is how the Marranos of Mashhad came into being. In 1910, there was a blood libel in Shiraz in which 30 Jews were murdered and all Jewish homes were pillaged.
Yemen: There were fluctuations in relations that ranged between tolerance and inferior subsistence, between harassment and pogroms. The Rambam's Letter to Yemen was sent following a letter he received from the leader of the Yemeni Jews, describing edicts of forced conversion issued against the Jews (1173). There were further waves of apostasy edicts which cannot be detailed here for lack of space.
One of the worst milestones was the Mawza exile. Three years after Imam Al Mahdi took power in 1676, he drove the Jews into one of the most arid districts of Yemen. According to various accounts, 60 - 75% of the Jews died as a result of the exile. Many and varied edicts were imposed on the Jews, differing only in severity. One of the harshest was the Orphans' Edict, which ordered the forced conversion of orphaned children to Islam. In nearby Aden, which was under British rule, pogroms occurred in 1947 which took the lives of 82 Jews. 106 of the 170 shops that were owned by Jews were completely destroyed. Hundreds of houses and all the community's buildings were burned down.
Egypt: As in the other Arab countries, the Jews of Egypt also suffered inferior status for hundreds of years. A significant improvement occurred when Muhammad Ali came to power in 1805. The testimony of French diplomat, Edmond Combes, leaves nothing in doubt: "To the Muslims, no race is more worthy of contempt than the Jewish race." Another diplomat added, "The Muslims do not hate any other religion the way they hate that of the Jews."
Following the blood libel in Damascus, similar libels began to spread in Egypt as well and incited mobs to carry out a series of attacks: in Cairo in 1844, 1890, and in 1901-1902; and Alexandria in 1870, 1882 and in 1901-1907. Similar attacks also occurred in Port Said and in Damanhur.
Later on, there were riots against the Jews at the end of World War II, in 1945, in which 10 were killed and hundreds were injured. In 1947, the Companies Law was passed, which severely damaged Jewish businesses and led to the confiscation of property. In 1948, following the UN resolution on partition, riots began in Cairo and Alexandria. The dead numbered between 80 and 180. Tens of thousands were forced to leave, many fleeing and abandoning their property. The lot of those who remained did not improve. In 1956, a law was passed in Egypt which effectively denied the Jews citizenship, forcing them to leave the country with no property. This was an act of pure expulsion and mass property confiscation.
The above is just a partial list out of a long series of massacres in Muslim countries. It happened before the Zionist endeavor. It continued with the Zionist endeavor. We are talking about a succession of events. Tens of thousands were murdered simply because they were Jewish. So the fairytale of coexistence and blaming Zionism for undermining that coexistence is yet another completely baseless myth.
Before the UN vote on partition in November 1947, Egypt's ambassador to the UN, Heykal Pasha, warned that "The lives of a million Jews in Muslim countries will be in danger if the vote is for partition... if Arab blood is spilled in Palestine, Jewish blood will be spilled elsewhere in the world."
Four days afterwards, the Iraqi foreign minister, Muhammad Fadil al Jamali said that "We will not be able to restrain the masses in the Arab countries, after the harmony in which Jews and Arabs lived together." There was no harmony. There had been a massacre of Jews just a few years earlier. El Jamali lied, of course. The very same Iraqi government had encouraged the harassment of Jews and issued orders to confiscate all Jewish property.
Additionally, the Iraqi leader of the time, Nuri Said, had already presented a plan for expelling the Jews in 1949, even before the hasty - actually forced - exit of the Jews from Iraq. He also explained that "The Jews are a source of trouble in Iraq. They have no place among us. We must get rid of them as best we were able." Said even presented a plan to lead the Jews via Jordan in order to coerce them into passage to Israel. Jordan objected, but the expulsion was implemented anyway. Said even admitted that this entailed a type of population exchange.
So the massacres, the pogroms and the great expulsion of the Jews was a continuation of their suffering under Muslim rule. There have always been Muslims who came out in defense of the Jews. They are also worthy of mention. That were also periods of prosperity, but it appears that most of the Jewish prosperity, as in Egypt in the 1920s and 1930s, in Algeria in the 19th and 20th centuries, in Iraq in the 1920s - was under colonial rule. In most cases, the situation of the Jews was bad before the European invasion and worsened once again with the end of the colonial era.
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Throughout the relations between Jews and Arabs, in Arab countries or in the course of the Zionist enterprise, there was not one case of a pogrom against Muslims of the type committed by the Arabs against the Jews. Even in the worst cases, which must be condemned, such as Deir Yassin, they occurred as part of a military confrontation.
Those are cases that should be condemned, but we need to put things in perspective. The Arabs slaughtered the Jews without any hostilities and without any military excuse, just because they were Jews. And those few Arabs who were killed, were killed as part of a military campaign. Despite this, any injury inflicted on the Arab population resulted in innumerable investigations and references. The worst abuse of all, the abuse of Jews by Arabs, was erased and forgotten.
Let's return to Deir Yassin, the ultimate symbol of the Nakba. We have called it an indecent act and we will repeat that. But we must note that it was preceded by a series of murderous terrorist attacks against the civilian population. Waves of incidents, which to all intents and purposes were actual pogroms, by an incited mob that attacked the civilian population. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered - women, children and the elderly. The Palestinians even murdered their own people. In the great Arab Revolt in the 1930s, 400 Jews and 5,000 Arabs were killed, most of them at the hands of their brethren.
The months before Deir Yassin were the worst of all. 39 workers were murdered at the Haifa refineries, 50 Jews were killed by car bombs in Jerusalem, and on and on. In total, in the four months between the vote on partition and the declaration of establishment of the State of Israel, 815 Jews were murdered, most of them before the Deir Yassin incident (on April 9, 1948), some afterward (the slaughter of the Hadassah hospital convoy, 79 killed, April 13, 1948). Most were civilians. Most died in massacres and terrorist attacks. And that is the real background. Far more murdered Jews. But they have all been forgotten. They should be mentioned. That is the Jewish Nakba, whose victims, in Israel and around the world, are mentioned less and less.
The Palestinians paid the price
Close to a million Jews lived in Arab countries at the time of the establishment of the State of Israel. Just a few live there today. Most left because they suffered from pogroms and the threat to their lives. It was a crueler expulsion than the one suffered by the Arabs of Palestine, who paid the price for the declarations of war and annihilation made by their leaders. Even the Jewish property that was confiscated or abandoned as a result of the expulsion is more valuable than the Arab property that remained in Israel.
Various investigators have tried to estimate the value of the confiscated Jewish property following the forced departure of the Jews from Arab countries, compared with the Arab property left in Israel following the forced departure of the Arabs. Economist Sidney Zabludoff, an international expert in the field, estimates that the value of the Arab property is $3.9 billion, compared with the value of the Jewish property which is $6 billion (at 2007 values).
So even in this area, the Palestinians' claims are refuted. They dragged the Arab countries into war. They paid the price. And they are the ones who caused the Jews to pay an even higher price. Both in property and in blood.
This article is not intended to cultivate the Jewish Nakba, and it by no means includes all the cases of pogroms, property confiscations, forced conversions and other harassment. The purpose is precisely the opposite. When they understand, in the Arab world in general, and the Palestinians in particular, that suffering, expulsion, loss of property, the cost in lives, is not the monopoly of one side, they may, perhaps, have the sense to understand that this past is a matter for history lessons. Because if we start to perform a political accounting, they have an overdraft. The Jewish Nakba was far greater. The suffering was enormous. But it is the suffering of many nations, Jews and Arabs among them, who went through the experience as part of the creation of new nation states.
It is therefore worth presenting the story of the Jewish Nakba. Not for the purpose of increasing the hostility, but for the purpose of presenting the truth, and for the purpose of reconciliation between the nations. Inshallah.
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