In Response to Timothy Furnish's "Anti-Semitism in Islam: Israel Didn't Start the Fire"

News Abroad

Mr. Slavin is an adjunct at Emory University.

HNN is a valuable resource and provocative opinion pieces that it publishes are useful in classes and discussion groups I teach or facilitate. However, by repeatedly running articles by someone as tendentious as Timothy Furnish, HNN legitimates his position and at the same time advertises his book. This is unfair. The time and effort required to refute his observations precludes a response from anyone who is knowledgeable enough to counter his seemingly well-documented arguments. The puerile remarks dumped in the "Comments" string in response to his recent column (and his own puerile responses) are a case in point. Few people read them, and what can be gleaned from them is slim pickings. Furnish's other contributions to HNN gave me a similar impression to this essay. Using his detailed acquaintance with Islam he imposes an interpretation that does violence to the larger historical context and that promotes and rests on assumptions rooted in the "clash of civilizations" world view.

Furnish's argument about the "deep roots" of Muslim anti-semitism (a rhetorical absurdity, Furnish admits in his first footnote, unless we are talking about "self-hating Arabs") ignores the entire history of dhimmi status, protection for "people of the book" (although they were subject to additional taxes). And while he turns to the dajjal in medieval Islamic mytho-history and eschatology, he ignores a wealth of sources from Sufi and falaysuf traditions that allow for and encourage many paths to knowledge of the divine. The distortions in Furnish's perspective are compounded by his use of contemporary or post-1948 interpretations of haditha and then attributing these recent perspectives to the original sources.

The specific incident of the massacre of 700 men of the Qurayzah clan occurred in the midst of the Battle of the Trench 627 CE in which the Meccan pagans had besieged Medina and the Qurayzah, within the walls of Medina, sided with the Meccans and their allied pagan clans within Medina and in the surrounding area. The conflict with the three Jewish Arab clans, the Qaynuqah, the Nadir, and the Qurayzah, was in part no doubt based on the competition with a new revelation of monotheism. Nevertheless it was primarily a political and military struggle with those clans allied with the Meccan pagans in which the survival of the Muslim ummah or community was at stake.

Furnish asserts that the standard interpretation of historians of this incident is common knowledge and conventional wisdom. This assertion is doubtful since it conflates public opinion, news commentators, and politicians with the consensus of those who have done some reading, teaching, and writing in the field. Karen Armstrong certainly represents that informed consensus, but to say informed views such as hers hold sway over US or British or European public opinion ignores the widespread acceptance of propaganda promoting Muslim fanaticism. About the massacre of the Qurayzah, Armstrong writes in Islam: A Short History (Modern Library/ Random House, NY: 2000, 2002 p. 21) "Th[is] struggle did not indicate any hostility towards Jews in general, but only towards the three rebel tribes. The Quran continued to revere Jewish prophets and to urge Muslims to respect the People of the Book. Smaller Jewish groups continued to live in Medina, and later Jews, like Christians, enjoyed full religious liberty in the Islamic empires [i.e. the medieval caliphates]. Anti-semitism is a Christian vice. Hatred of the Jews became marked in the Muslim world only after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent loss of Arab Palestine. It is significant that Muslims were compelled to import anti-Jewish myths from Europe, and translate into Arabic such virulently anti-semitic texts as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, because they had no such traditions of their own."

Armstrong concludes by saying that nowadays the passages of the Quran referring to the struggle with the three Jewish "tribes" (clans would be a more accurate term) are used to justify anti-Jewish prejudices that are conflated with anti-Zionism. But what Furnish takes as common knowledge, or the dominant discourse, is far from it. Repeatedly the print and electronic media express the idea that fanaticism and "ancient tribal conflicts" are the source of the problems of the Middle East, and these are really the dominant views of a considerable portion of the US public. The Sunni vs. Shi'a conflicts in Iraq (only a segment of the multiple dimensions of what has happened to Iraqi society under the US occupation) are now being attributed to old "tribal" animosities, and are extrapolated into a world view, the "clash of civilizations." My own research traces the immediate ancestry of the clash of civilizations viewpoint to a trans-Atlantic counter-Enlightenment of the 1920s which nakedly described the future of humankind as race war. (I have looked at the writings of Lothrop Stoddard, Madison Grant, Henri Massis, Maurice Muret, Pierre Taittinger, Charles Josey. The first four were translated into French and English respectively and exercised influence over a broad spectrum of conservative to liberal opinion in France and the US.) These white, European supremacists used the term race whereas today's cultural essentialists have discarded the tarnished word in favor of "civilizations." But in my view the race war theorists are the intellectual forbears of Samuel Huntington, Timothy Furnish, or Daniel Pipes, who modifies the clash as one of civilization versus "ideological.barbarians" while ignoring that political Islam is as much a product of US proxy wars against the Soviet Union as an indigenous movement--but a challenge to Pipes' views require another essay.

It would be reasonable to compare the treatment of Jews in the Islamic world from 622 CE to 1948 CE with Christendom's treatment of the Jews, since Jewish settlement was concentrated in these two regions. There is no comparison in the Muslim world to the frequent expulsions, confiscations of Jewish property and wealth, confinement to ghettos, progroms and mass murders of Jews that besmirch European history. It was Catholic Spain which in 1492 expelled all Jews who refused to convert. They escaped to Islamic North Africa for the most part, although many also settled in Portugal and the Low Countries. Modern anti-semitism has its ideological roots in the poisonous writings of 19th century European public intellectuals such as Gobineau, Edouard Drumont, just to name its French purveyors, and anti-Jewish parties emerged in Vienna, Germany, along with terrorist groups such as the "Black Hundreds" in Russia. The 20th century opened in the wake of the Dreyfus Affair in France and mass emigration of Jews from the Pale of Settlement to escape the Tsarist Empire, and European anti-Jewish violence culminated in the Holocaust, in which tens of thousands of European anti-semites helped round up Jews for the Nazi extermination camps (see Theodore Hamerow's "The Hidden Holocaust" in Commentary [1978] as well as numerous other accounts from Raoul Hilberg et al).

Ignorance about Islam abounds in academic circles, not to mention the general public, and it behooves HNN to provide equal time and space in its forum for rebuttal of these seemingly (because they are footnoted) scholarly estimations of Furnish and others who are trying to prove the "clash of civilizations" world view. Historians who do world history, not to mention history of the Islamic world, have repeatedly demolished these notions only to have them rise up because there is powerful ideological aid and comfort and an important political stake in maintaining them (as was the case for anti-Judaism in 19th and 20th century Europe). If any analogy applies to "clash of civilizations" thinking, it is anti-Darwinism or refusal to accept human sources of global climate crisis. I am not asking that you stop publishing this stuff, but only to provide for a responsible rebuttal that addresses the specific arguments raised.

If you are interested in an article that I found thoughtful about anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim anti-semitisms, see Maleiha Malik's "Muslims are now getting the same treatment Jews had a century ago" (Guardian).


Mr. Slavin’s “critique” of my article says more about him than about me, frankly. Nowhere do I mention the “clash of civilizations,” with which he seems obsessed. I simply use Islamic and Arabic sources and demonstrate that strife between Muslims and Jews did not begin in 1948. Mr. Slavin may not like that, but it hardly qualifies as “puerile.”

I’d be happy to talk about dhimmis, which Slavin whitewashes to mean only that “they were subject to additional taxes.” Well, that plus not being able to build new churches or synagoues; being forced to wear distinctive clothing; being prevented from certain jobs; being prevented from marrying Muslims; etc. If one were to take Slavin’s approach in discussing the oppression of black Americans prior to the 1960s one could say that they were subject to additional (poll) taxes and leave it at that. True, but not exactly an accurate portrayal of the second-class citizenship involved.

Slavin can, again, whitewash the slaughter and dissolution of the Banu Qurayzah, but facts are stubborn things, and the historical fact—again, related in the ISLAMIC sources—is that an entire Jewish tribe was liquidated.

Slavin’s ignorance comes to the fore by admitting that he relies on Karen Armstrong, a “scholar” who cannot even use Arabic sources. And Slavin is just flat-out wrong in several of his historical assertions, most notably that “hatred of Jews became marked in the Islamic world only after the creation of the state of Israel….” This is what happens when a European specialist wades into a field of which he is largely ignorant. The al-Muwahhids, who ruled the Maghrib and much of Iberia for over a century (1130-1269 CE), forcibly converted Jews to Islam (and, coincidentally, killed members of any Catholic religious order whom they could get their hands on). Slavin’s slavish devotion to this myth of Islamic tolerance is laughable. Perhaps if he read some Arabic Muslim sources, rather than the likes of Armstrong or the litany of 20th century Europeans he mentions, he’d know a bit more about Islamic history. As it is, he simply repeats outmoded argument from secondary sources and makes himself appear silly in the process.

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omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Two points about this latest stampede by the HERD:
1-Their conscious refusal to countenance , understand and accept the difference between MOSLEM and ISLAMIST ( NOT Islam) and their respective political implications.
(The parallel would be Jew and Zionist.)
Their collective rejection of the important difference that exists is due to their assigned roles as supporters and cheerleaders in the campaign to demonize and denigrate every thing Arab and /or Moslem, irrespective.(Understandable and true to form).

2-With their, equally collective, unanimous condemnation of progressive Arab, secular, nationalism ( that they call Arab secular Naziism) and recalling their equally herdish steadfast anti Islam/Moslem/Islamist postions they ALL come out against any possible resolution of the conflict that would recognize the inalienable and basic human rights of ALL Palestinian Arabs to return to their native land, repossess their legitimate properties and attain full enfranchisement in their homeland !
Or, in other words, more of the same racist/confessional ie Zionist future for Palestine; a historically foredoomed proposition and a recipe for endless conflict.

However my call for a deZionized Palestine was never addressed to them.(Their reaction was totally predictable and true to their form.)
It was, will always be, addressed to the anti racist and to the believers in the equality of all men; two domains wherein they do not qualify and refuse to qualify.
Post Note:
I note, with pleasure, that Prof Eckstein took refuge in the general reaction to avoid meeting my latest assertion of his sick imagination that is leading him into de facto, pathological, hallucination when he claims that:
"In # 107342 above, Omar makes it clear he's willing to allow some Jews to live in the region he calls Palestine--as long as they are dhimmis with no political or military power,".
The poor man is thrashing around hiding behind "the serious people on this blog ", which is only the herd, and hoping that the general reader will NOT notice his groundless claims and baseless assertions!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
What you should understand is that, irrespective of any other thing, the PRIME ENEMY of the Arabs and the Moslem world is Zionism and its racist, aggressive offspring Israel.
Israel by colonizing Palestine and dislocating, dispossessing, subjugating and disfranchising its indigenous Arab population, both Moslems and Christians, and supplanting them with aliens gathered and admitted according to pure RACIST criteria is the Prime Enemy and will remain so untill Palestine is deZionized.

That is the issue and this IS the mortal enemy: Zionist Israel!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman and Mr Simon
I would NOT care less what you and the rest of the herd believe.
If you fail to understand the meaning, and the implications, of:
" dislocating, dispossessing, disfranchising and subjugating indigenous Palestinian Arabs in their homeland and supplanting them with ALIENS" that is your problem and that is truly blind and dumb.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

ALL the terms are self explanatory particularly for those who live in others' homes and till others'land obtained through colonialist conquest and deny their rightful ligitimate owners their RIGHT of RETURN to their homeland and the repossession of their legal properties.

As to the world I would describe its stand as :
-partly, luke warm support of the usurping nation state ( the West+ Japan)coupled with a serious reappraisal of their past pro Israel and pro Zionism policies.
-partly luke warm but increasing support of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their liberation movement (South America and all anti American imperialism and anti Zionist nations.)
-Indifference with a propensity to side with the victor of the day (India and China)
-Total, implacable and deepening enmity and opposition to the Zionist colonialist project of Palestine (The Arab and Moslem Worlds).

Another way to look at it is:
-Siding with the Zionist colonialist project:all right wing,reactionary and pro imperialism forces ie the neoconservatives all over the world.
-Siding against a Zionist Israel all anti imperialism forces of the world ie all progressive forces.

So I would NOT worry about the world !

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

No such exchange was ever agreed nor took place .

Jews that migrated from Arab countries did so freely and willingly .
No Deir Yassin like massacres were ever perpetrated to induce them to move.

They are, however, allowed to return if they choose to ; some Morroccon Jews did .

The Palestinians Arabs insist on returning to their own homeland and regaining their own properties in their native land.

What you refer to Prof is a FORCED exchange PROPOSED by Israel and rejected by the Palestinians although you falsely and deceptively word it in a manner to imply that such an exchange was agreed or implemented.
Another of your many "inventions".

However the good point is that, unlike Simon, you admit that Israelis:
"live in others' homes and till others'land obtained through colonialist conquest and deny their rightful legitimate owners their RIGHT of RETURN to their homeland and the repossession of their legal properties."

That is the crux of the matter: usurpation of the land and denial of
Palestinians'basic inalienable human rights.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
What I want is JUSTICE and recognition and implementation of the Palestinians' basic inalienable human and national rights in their own homeland .

I would rather it could be achieved peacefully through the deZionization of Palestine .
However if that turns to be impossible it would have to be a war imposed by the Zionist aggressor and colonialist usurper's refusal to recognize the Palestinians' inalienable rights in their homeland!.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Re: Arab secular Naziism (#107561)
by N. Friedman on March 24, 2007 at 10:12 AM
Mr Friedman
Your elaborate reply to my post warrants a point by point rejoinder which will follow.
You claim that:

Friedman 1:
"Starting in the 1940's and continuing into the 1950's, Jews in Arab lands were mostly expelled, massacred and dispossessed of their property, largely in revenge. That is a fact, whether or not you recognize it. In the scheme of things, what was done to these Jews was far, far worse than what Jews did to Arabs. All possessions were taken and people were forced to move up to a thousand miles, in some cases, from their homes. Consider, Omar, Jews in Arab lands were mostly (a) not Zionists and (b) entirely unrelated to the conflict in what is now Israel. That, frankly, is as low as it gets."

Your above statement is a collection of LIES and FABRICATIONS.and is NOT a fact..
Obviously it is your reply to my : “Deir Yassin like massacres” statement as the main cause for Palestinians distancing themselves from the immediate theaters of the 1948 war. But none exists in spite of your false general allegations.
It is a fact that anti Jewish feelings in Arab countries were provoked by Zionist forced migration into Palestine and by the crimes committed by Zionist gangs. such as the Ergun in pre 48 Palestine. However Jews remained substantially unmolested in Arab countries
These anti Jews feelings were naturally heightened during and post 1948 as was the unfortunate general Jewish desire to join the then nascent state of Israel and the majority did willingly and in full possession of their movable fortunes as with the Shikurells and Shamlas of Egypt.
The properties of the departing mega rich among them were nationalized, as were similar properties of rich Egyptians during the latter stage of Nasser’s socialist nationalizations program.
Some of their assets were “Frozen” as belonging to enemy elements

Individual private possessions of Jews , homes, shops, workshops etc were neither “nationalized” nor “frozen”.
The fact is that your statement “Starting in the 1940's and continuing into the 1950's, Jews in Arab lands were mostly expelled, massacred and dispossessed of their property, largely in revenge” is a complete fabrication.
Had it been any thing but a fabrication it would have had memorable name(s) as such things are normally apt to have; for example: Deir Yassin
If any thing Jews desiring, and welcomed, to stay in Arab countries were provoked and coerced into migration by Israeli executed acts of terrorism against Jews as was conclusively demonstrated by the “Lavon” affair.

Friedman 2:
"Justice requires recognition of the rights of all involved. Justice does not mean recognition of only Arab rights. That includes the Jews who were expelled from Arab lands, which includes far more people than those Arabs expelled and far more property stolen."

NO Jews were expelled from Arab lands.
The many who did leave, did so willingly and of their own accord or as a result of Israeli acts of terror committed against Jews by Israeli agents intent on forcing them to leave and join the ,then, new born state of Israel.
However JUSTICE implies equality and I, among many, unreservedly welcome Arab Jews to return to their native Arab homelands and to repossess their legitimate properties.
(Many Moroccan Jews did exactly that.)
What you are advocating is a FORCED exchange of people and properties. That is NOT JUSTICE; that is an attempt at an IMPOSED resolution of this aspect of the conflict that TOTALLY ignores the individual will and desire of people to return to their native land and to repossess their own legitimate properties including their homes and lands

Friedman 3(a):
"Justice also means that what occurred 59 years ago concerned a different generation. Those born in the next generations have no claim by any moral standard. They are due nothing. That goes for both sides in the dispute.

To the extent that you claim rights for the children and the grandchildren of those who lost homes, you are merely talking politics and/or religion. People have no inalienable connection with a piece of land, especially if they were not born or do not live on it. That, after all, is your complaint about Israelis who migrated to what is now Israel - which, lest you forget, is a basic moral right. So, this works both ways."

Your concept of Justice is conveniently “tailored” to suit your bogus claim.and has no relation to that noble concept and goal.
However it is TRULY AMAZING that you boldly state:
” Justice also means that what occurred 59 years ago concerned a different generation. Those born in the next generations have no claim by any moral standard. They are due nothing. That goes for both sides in the dispute”
if we recall that Zionism , your cherished doctrine, claimed a right of return for people whose alleged relation to Palestine dated to MORE than TEN centuries ago and, simultaneously deny that same right to those whose claim is less than ONE century old.
Your and yours boldness at perverting and distorting the most basic of universal values no longer surprises me.
It would be, will be, an eye opener for the uninitiated about your intrinsic nature and character.
It is your culture I guess and your upbringing and is, substantially, the “moral” basis of the pernicious and racist Zionist creed!.

Friedman 3(b):
"My point: you can speak the language of humanity, in which case you have to accept Israel and realize that people were displaced all around or you can speak the language of politics and religion, in which case you are talking war. You may say that things could be straightened out by Israel destroying itself in favor of a "Dezionized" state - i.e. an Arab Muslim state under the HAMAS -, but that is the traditional language of Islam, as in an invitation issued prior to conquest. And, that is exactly what you are saying."

The language of humanity stipulates that JUSTICE be done and that basic inalienable human rights be upheld.
It is perverted Justice, the type you advocate, that allows politics to overrule and subordinate inalienable human rights to the demands of politics.
South Africa HAD to abandon the Apartheid system of racial discrimination and is presently a nation for its entire people although many states, including Israel, were for a “political” resolution of its ,then ,
“existential” problem as a white
dominated state.
So will Israel, sooner or latter, have to abandon its colonialist project and deZionize.
The Palestiniuan/Zionist conflict is essentially a question of native, indigenous,Palestinian Arab resistance to Zionist aggression and the Zionist colonialist project; i.e. it is a popular liberation movement against a racist colonist.
Your and yours attempt to portray it as an Islam/West confrontation is an effort to deceive the West into making your racist, aggressive “cause” his, the West’s.
The more progressive elements of the West, the soon to be majority, are gradually realizing the falsehood of this claim and its inherent deceptive nature.
You will soon be left only with your natural allies the neoconservatives.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

The incorrigible Prof Eckstein is back, no not "back", "is strictly adhering" to his intrinsic lying nature, would be more accurate.
He claims:
"He (Omar) says he is a typical Arab, a typical Muslim. I fear that this is all too true."

Whenever, where ever did I say that???

That is why I NEVER take your word for anything Prof!

Now do NOT come back with a new LIE; that I disown my people or my religion.
Just tell us when, where, did I "say" that.

I do NOT recall I ever claimed that.
So: Only "When" and "Where"? OK!!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

You are back to LYING when you claim:

"Omar changes the subject. He changes the subject to the hugely minor point of whether he has ever claimed to be a typical Arab. Even if I were wrong on this"

Prof you can not claim that you have NOT seen my post #107575 of the 24th at 6.31 PM (post A),which "addressed the subject", when responding to my post #107578 of the same date at 6.55 PM (Post B) when you claim that I "changed" the subject!

Post A predates post B by 6.55-6.31=24 minutes , is much " bulkier " in size and falls immediately after Post B ( at the time this is being written.)

So your allegation that I changed the subject is another LIE in your record of many LIES.

I also note that you confess that you LIED when you fail to meet my challenge of "when" and "where" I "said" that ( that you deceptively transform into "claim" which makes it a compounded LIE)by trying to minimze the importance of your LIE when you deem it"the hugely minor point "!

But Prof a LIE is a LIE whether minor or major , did not they teach you that?

That I "changed the subject" is ANOTHER proven LIE.

All the pity for your poor students...Prof!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

“Re: Clarke doesn't count Irish or Italians or etc., only Jews, anyone wonders why? (#107317)
by N. Friedman on March 18, 2007 at 9:36 PM:
“Whatever Omar's believes in his heart, I think you have correctly set forth why Israel is rejected by most Arabs"

Mr Friedman still pretends that he sill ignores why “Israel is Rejected” by the overwhelming majority of Arabs and Moslems.
In their desperate search for an interpretation for this ever deepening phenomenon; an interpretation that would backfire on the Arab/Moslem world and marshal the support of the Judeo/Christian West the herd, echoing international Zionism and Neoconservatsm, has fallen on Islam as their favourite interpretation
They have ranged far and wide finding, and developing, clues where none existed, except, of course the duty of relentless Jihad against alien aggression, invaders and usurpers (i.e. Israel in Palestine and aggression and invaders i.e. the USA in Afghanistan and Iraq).
Their search has led them into history, psychology, anthropology archeology and whatever sounds “erudite” and convincing to the predisposed bias saturated, particularly post 9/11, gallery of Arab and Islam haters in the West .
They have searched and looked into every conceivable, “convincing,” interpretation EXCEPT into the plain self assertive fact that ISRAEL, as an alien racist imperialistic implant, that dislocated, dispossessed, disfranchised and subjugated the indigenous people whose country it has colonized WAS BOUND TO BE REJECTED AND FIERCELY RESISTED by which ever people and country it has targeted for its racist, imperialistic and colonialist ambitions.
I contend that Israel would have been rejected and resisted, for what it is, as adamantly has it been implanted in Australia, Europe, South America or, for that matter, the USA!
That is ISARAEL would have been rejected and resisted irrespective of location religion, colour, culture etc wherever in the whole world it could have been implanted!
However Back to Mr. Friedman’s “innocent” bewilderment:”Why Israel is Rejected”:
AS far as we, Arabs and Moslems, are concerned ISRAEL IS REJECTED FOR WHAT IT IS !
So the real Question IS:
WHAT IS ISRAEL ?? and here IS the ANSWER:
In the year 1948 a new state, presumably the successor to a Jewish state/nation which collapsed some2500 years earlier, came into being in the center of the Middle East and at the heart of the Arab nation.
The establishment of Israel, in that particular location, the alleged land of Israel, as a homeland for the Jews from all over the world was the fulfillment of a long held plan of the Zionist movement and of the Western Powers. For a majority of Jews, and some Christians influenced by the Zionist movement, it was the realization of a long held dream; the return of the Jews to the supposed land of Israel. For the imperialist Western Powers it was the founding of an advanced and permanent Western military/economic/cultural outpost in the region.
The supposed land of Israel was variously defined, to allow for future expansionist plans, to include all of historical Palestine by one Zionist faction, to also include Trans Jordan by another and to extend from the Euphrates, in the East, to the Nile, in the West, by a third faction. It is note worthy that up to this date (the year 2005 A.D.) Israel still does not have an official delineation of its borders.
Israel was established in Palestine with total disregard to the existence of an indigenous population, the Palestinians, against their violent and relentless political, and sporadically armed, opposition. The Palestinians, who since the Islamic conquest of Palestine in the first third of the seventh century had been fully Arabized , were predominantly Moslem and Christian Arabs in the nationalist/ cultural sense .The establishment of Israel in Palestine was equally met by the unanimous opposition and rejection of the rest of the Arab and Moslem worlds.
The establishment of this alien nation/state of Israel was made possible, primarily, by the Zionist/British mandate collusion through a policy of forced radical demographic alteration of Palestine.
When Britain occupied ,then obtained from the League of Nations in 1922 the mandate to administer Palestine, the Palestinian Arabs , both Moslem and Christians, made up 80% (Eighty Percent ) of the population , the Jews , mostly of Arab and Oriental descent, 10% (Ten Percent) ;the balance of 10% being Armenians, Chercassian , Russians, Italians etc When the mandate was terminated , and due to the British policy of admitting into Palestine Jewish immigrants and colonizers of different origins but mainly of East European provenance (always against the unanimous opposition of the Palestinians Arabs) Jews formed approximately one third of the total population of Palestine .
The nature of the conflict that accompanied the British policy of admitting Jews into Palestine, between the Palestinian Arabs on one side and the British/Zionist coalition on the other , and the objectives of that policy were abundantly clear to both the West and to the Zionist movement :
” David Ben-Gurion, eminently a realist, recognized its nature. In internal discussion, he noted that 'in our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us,' but he urged, 'let us not ignore the truth among ourselves.' The truth was that 'politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside'..”. Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle."
This crucial radical demographic transformation of Palestine, and the assumed political rights emanating from it for the Jewish minority, was the result of a concerted Western effort implemented by Britain and financed, mainly, by American donors. Throughout it was met by ceaseless Palestinian opposition and the adamant refusal of Britain to allow the Palestinian people the ability to exercise the RIGHT OF SELF DERTERMINATIN, since as noted in the KING- CRANE report to President Wilson (1919):
"If [the] principle [of self-determination] is to rule, and so the wishes of Palestine's population are to be decisive as to what is to be done with Palestine, then it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine - nearly nine-tenths of the whole - are emphatically against the entire Zionist program.. To subject a people so minded to unlimited Jewish immigration, and to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle just quoted...No British officers, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist program could be carried out except by force of arms. The officers generally thought that a force of not less than fifty thousand soldiers would be required even to initiate the program. That of itself is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist program...The initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a 'right' to Palestine based on occupation of two thousand years ago, can barely be seriously considered." Quoted in "The Israel-Arab Reader" ed. Laquer and Rubin.

In 1947 the UN General Assembly adopted a plan, always against Palestinian and Arab opposition , to “partition “ Palestine into a Jewish State and a Palestinian State allocating the former some 52% and the later some 48% of the area of Palestine.
Palestinian and Arab opposition to and rejection of the “partition “plan was based on the historically undeniable fact that the new demographic composition , and the resulting cultural /nationalist identity of a considerable Jewish minority , on which its alleged right to a state was based , was achieved against the will of the people of Palestine by a foreign power with no legal power to affect this demographic distortion ,. Or as best summed up by the British historian Professor Arnold Toynbee “… he who does not own gave he who does not deserve.”
Arab and Palestinian efforts to prevent, by armed force, the establishment of this Jewish state in Palestine failed and the 1948 conflict ended with the establishment of Israel .The armed conflict ended in 1949 with the Jewish “state” in control of some 72 % of Palestine and massive Palestinian/Arab population movements, some voluntary some forced , that resulted in what became some 7500000 displaced Palestinians refugees.
These refugees were, and still are, denied by the state of Israel the RIGHT of RETURN to their homeland and the right to exercise their birthrights in what became the state of Israel.
Soon after Israel declared its independence it enacted “The( Israeli)Law Of Return” by which any Jew , of whatever extraction or nationality and no matter how long or where he and his forefathers has been living for the last 2000 years (approx.),was entitled, by the mere fact that he was Jewish or of Jewish origin, to relocate in Palestine and become a full citizen in the state of Israel; while always denying Palestinian refugees the “Right of Return “ to their homeland to exercise their birthrights.

In 1967 a new war erupted between Israel and Jordan ,Syria and Egypt resulting in Israeli conquest and occupation of the rest of Palestine ( presently known as Gaza and the West Bank ),the Syrian Golan heights and the Egyptian Sinai peninsula ,all still under Israeli occupation except for Sinai.
So in addition to the cardinal point that the establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine led to the DISLOCATION, DISPOSSESSION and DISFRANCHUISEMENT of the Palestinian people , an integral component of the Arab nation, from and in his homeland it led to the deARABIZATION of its heartland, Palestine!

THE MEANING OF ISRAEL: As such and because of the HOW, WHERE, WHY this nation/state was planted in Palestine, Israel came to mean, to the overwhelming majority of Palestinians and Arabs, the following:
- An illegal and illegitimate alien body (state/nation), imposed by a foreign hostile power on their land, the establishment of which led to the forced dislocation, dispossession and disfranchisement of the Palestinian people and the total denial of their birthrights as the rightful owners and dwellers of the land of Palestine
. -A racist/confessional discriminatory nation/state that grants, and withholds, basic inalienable human and civil rights depending on the religious affiliation of the person(s) under consideration.
-The body that achieved the forced alteration of the cultural/nationalist identity of the land of Palestine.
-The latest , successful ,attempt by the WEST to plant an alien body in the heart of the Arab/Moslem world ; a new campaign in and a sequel to the failed Crusades in the incessant effort by the West to deArabize and deIslamize ( often called Westernize ) the Middle East , and the Holy Land in particular, by forcing Judeo /Christian culture on the region through the imposition of an alien culture by an alien people .
-An outpost of Western imperialism designed to dominate the region politically and economically and exploit its resources to the benefit of the imperialist powers and their regional representative (Israel).
-An advanced military base from which to preempt and frustrate any Arab effort to attain a sovereign political will and implement a truly independent policy.
-An ever-present expansionist power out to grab more Arab lands, depending on who is in power in Israel of the adherents of the three definitions of the land of Israel.
-A hostile physical bulwark between the Eastern (Al Mashreq ) and the Western (Al Maghreb) wings of the Arab nation and a major obstacle to the physical continuity of Arab lands.
That, in short, is ISRAEL to an overwhelming majority of Arabs and Moslems.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

The outpouring of virulent opposition, often verging on personal and academic vituperation, to Slavin's scholarly and mild critique of the Furnish/Pipes approach to Islam and the Arab/Moslem world displayed above shows more than that "they" are NOT willing to read anything else but that approach.

Had it been restricted to "their" unwillingness it would be perfectly understandable and rationally acceptable as another tool of the ongoing war.

But in "their" violent "rebuttals" lurks their hardly concealed apprehension that "others" will read it as it should be read: soberly and objectively.
That is without the Fox news mentality and the Rupert Murdoch and AIPAC brain washing campaign effect.

It is that they DO NOT WANT others to read anything but the outpourings of "their" third grade hacks whose entrusted task is to demonize Islam and whose notoriety springs from their incessant massaging of inborn, historical?, prejudices and their constant pandering to the basest instincts of a gallery always on the look out for a "pet hate" and a "preferred/favourite enemy"!

Objectively that, "their" anti Islam obsession, would hardly affect Islam where it really matters i.e. within the Moslem World.
It could, though, affect the West's perception of a major human community with whom it is in the West's best interests to have cordial, prejudice and bias free relations.

"Their" repeated and multifaceted campaign to make the enemies of their colonialist and racist project in Palestine the enemies of the West and vice versa serves only "their " colonialist project to the grave detriment of the West's and the Arab/Moslem world's best interests in mutual understanding and acceptance.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

A Question Mr Green;
Did "dhimmis" have to pay "Zakat" and "usher" taxes as Moslems had to?

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

This, your question, Mr Furnish has nothing to do with my post; so I will ignore it.
It is, sory to say, a cheap "demonstation", a public display (muscle flexing?), of your presumed "erudition".
To know is one thing to understand what you know in a wider historical context is another thing.
Tid bits of knowledge DO NOT a scholar make.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

The point, Mr Clarke, IS:
The deZionization of Palestine does NOT necessarily involve "that four million or whatever it is Jewish Israelis are going to all emigrate somewhere ."
Only those unwilling to co live with the indigenous Palestinian Arab people, the rightful owners of the land for the past15 centuries, may choose to emigrate; that would be their decision.
IT DOES, however involve AND stipulate, that the dislocated should be allowed to return to their native land, homes and other and birthrights, that the dispossessed should be able regain, repossess, their legitimate properties and that the disfranchised shall be fully enfranchised in their homeland!
Q-Why indeed is common sense borne out of common JUSTICE and the implementation of basic human rights be denied?
A-To accommodate a colonialist project?
Unacceptable by any standard.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

They (Zionists echoed by the herd) have ( in their search for a reason WHY ISRAEL IS REJECTED) searched and looked into every conceivable, “convincing,” interpretation EXCEPT into the plain self assertive, self evident fact that ISRAEL, as an alien racist imperialistic implant, that dislocated, dispossessed, disfranchised and subjugated the indigenous people whose country it has colonized
by which ever people and country it has targeted for its racist, imperialistic and colonialist ambitions.

I contend that Israel would have been rejected and resisted, for what it is, as adamantly has it been implanted in Australia, Europe, South America or, for that matter, the USA!
That is ISARAEL would have been rejected and resisted irrespective of location religion, colour, culture etc wherever in the whole world it could have been implanted!"

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
1- I note your oblique answer that "Dhimmis" did NOT pay other taxes that Moslems did.
Had your answer been :"NO, "dhimmis" did NOT pay Zakat and Usher" would that have hurt irrevocably your cause, task?, or diminished your standing within the herd?

2- Your all encompassing claim that:
"the jizya and land tax collected from non-Muslims were not used in relationship to or for the benefit of the dhimmi. Instead, the money was used to support Muslims."
is inherently void in that it assumes that you have an insight as to how and where all taxes collected by the Moslem state were used.
DO you have a substantiated knowledge about that?

If you do kindly tell "How" and "where" (citing references of course) or admit the vacuity of your claim.
3- Since you pretend expert knowledge of Moslem's past taxation laws and a detailed knowledge of the ways of dispursement of same ( I do NOT) would you care to state at whose request "jizya" was first imposed and in lieu of what?

Or would that diminish further your standing within the choral herd?

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

The following is extracted from:
Prejudice and Prevarication
From: "Jewish History, Jewish Religion:
The Weight of Three Thousand Years"
by Professor Israel Shahak

"The Deception Continues
Modern scholars of Judaism have not only continued the deception, but have actually improved upon the old rabbinical methods, both in impudence and in mendacity. I omit here the various histories of antisemitism, as unworthy of serious consideration, and shall give just three particular examples and one general example of the more modern 'scholarly' deceptions.
In 1962, a part of the Maimonidean Code referred to above, the so-called Book of Knowledge, which contains the most basic rules of Jewish faith and practice, was published in Jerusalem in a bilingual edition, with the English translation facing the Hebrew text.20 The latter has been restored to its original purity, and the command to exterminate Jewish infidels appears in it in full: 'It is a duty to exterminate them with one's own hands.' In the English translation this is somewhat softened to: 'It is a duty to take active measures to destroy them.' But then the Hebrew text goes on to specify the prime examples of 'infidels' who must be exterminated: 'Such as Jesus of Nazareth and his pupils, and Tzadoq and Baitos 21 and their pupils, may the name of the wicked rot'. Not one 'word of this appears in the English text on the facing page (78a). And, even more significant, in spite of the wide circulation of this book among scholars in the English-speaking countries, not one of them has, as far as I know, protested against this glaring deception.
The second example comes from the USA, again from an English translation of a book by Maimonides. Apart from his work on the codification of the Talmud, he was also a philosopher and his Guide to the Perplexed is justly considered to be the greatest work of Jewish religious philosophy and is widely read and used even today. Unfortunately, in addition to his attitude towards non-Jews generally and Christians in particular, Maimonides was also an anti-Black racist. Towards the end of the Guide, in a crucial chapter (book III, chapter 51) he discusses how various sections of humanity can attain the supreme religious value, the true worship of God. Among those who are incapable of even approaching this are:

"Some of the Turks [i.e., the Mongol race] and the nomads in the North, and the Blacks and the nomads in the South, and those who resemble them in our climates. And their nature is like the nature of mute animals, and according to my opinion they are not on the level of human beings, and their level among existing things is below that of a man and above that of a monkey, because they have the image and the resemblance of a man more than a monkey does."

Now, what does one do with such a passage in a most important and necessary work of Judaism? Face the truth and its consequences? God forbid! Admit (as so many Christian scholars, for example, have done in similar circumstances) that a very important Jewish authority held also rabid anti-Black views, and by this admission make an attempt at self-education in real humanity? Perish the thought. I can almost imagine Jewish scholars in the USA consulting among themselves, 'What is to be done?' - for the book had to be translated, due to the decline in the knowledge of Hebrew among American Jews. Whether by consultation or by individual inspiration, a happy solution' was found: in the popular American translation of the Guide by one Friedlander, first published as far back as 1925 and since then reprinted in many editions, including several in paperback, the Hebrew word Kushi,,:, which means Blacks, was simply transliterated and appears as 'Kushites', a word which means nothing to those who have no knowledge of Hebrew, or to whom an obliging rabbi will not give an oral explanation.22 During all these years, not a word has been said to point out the initial deception or the social facts underlying its continuation - and this throughout the excitement of Martin Luther King's campaigns, which were supported by so many rabbis, not to mention other Jewish figures, some of whom must have been aware of the anti-Black racist attitude which forms part of their Jewish heritage.23
Surely one is driven to the hypothesis that quite a few of Martin Luther King's rabbinical supporters were either anti-Black racists who supported him for tactical reasons of 'Jewish interest' (wishing to win Black support for American Jewry and for Israel's policies) or were accomplished hypocrites, to the point of schizophrenia, capable of passing very rapidly from a hidden enjoyment of rabid racism to a proclaimed attachment to an anti-racist struggle - and back - and back again.
The third example comes from a work which has far less serious scholarly intent - but is all the more popular for that: The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten. This light-hearted work - first published in the USA in 1968, and reprinted in many editions, including several times as a Penguin paperback - is a kind of glossary of Yiddish words often used by Jews or even non-Jews in English-speaking countries. For each entry, in addition to a detailed definition and more or less amusing anecdotes illustrating its use, there is also an etymology stating (quite accurately, on the whole) the language from which the word came into Yiddish and its meaning in that language. The entry Shaygets - whose main meaning is 'a Gentile boy or young man - is an exception: there the etymology cryptically states 'Hebrew Origin', without giving the form or meaning of the original Hebrew word. However, under the entry Shiksa - the feminine form of Shaygets - the author does give the original Hebrew word, sheqetz (or, in his transliteration, sheques) and defines its Hebrew meaning as 'blemish'. This is a bare-faced lie, as every speaker of Hebrew knows. The Megiddo Modern Hebrew-English Dictionary, published in Israel, correctly defines shegetz as follows: 'unclean animal; loathsome creature, abomination (colloquial - pronounced shaygets) wretch, unruly youngster; Gentile youngster'.
My final, more general example is, if possible, even more shocking than the others. It concerns the attitude of the Hassidic movement towards non-Jews. Hassidism - a continuation (and debasement!) of Jewish mysticism - is still a living movement, with hundreds of thousands of active adherents who are fanatically devoted to their 'holy rabbis', some of whom have acquired a very considerable political influence in Israel, among the leaders of most parties and even more so in the higher echelons of the army.
What, then, are the views of this movement concerning non-Jews? As an example, let us take the famous Hatanya, fundamental book of the Habbad movement, one of the most important branches of Hassidism. According to this book, all non-Jews are totally satanic creatures 'in whom there is absolutely nothing good'. Even a non-Jewish embryo is qualitatively different from a Jewish one. The very existence of a non-Jew is 'non-essential', whereas all of creation was created solely for the sake of the Jews.
This book is circulated in countless editions, and its ideas are further propagated in the numerous 'discourses' of the present hereditary Fuhrer of Habbad, the so-called Lubavitcher rabbi, M.M. Schneurssohn, who leads this powerful world-wide organization from his New York headquarters. In Israel these ideas are widely disseminated among the public at large, in the schools and in the army. (According to the testimony of Shulamit Aloni, Member of the Knesset, this Habbad propaganda was particularly stepped up before Israel's invasion of Lebanon in March 1978, in order to induce military doctors and nurses to withhold medical help from 'Gentile wounded'. This Nazi-like advice did not refer specifically to Arabs or Palestinians, but simply to 'Gentiles', goyim.) A former Israeli President, Shazar, was an ardent adherent of Habbad, and many top Israeli and American politicians - headed by Prime Minister Begin - publicly courted and supported it. This, in spite of the considerable unpopularity of the Lubavitcher rabbi - in Israel he is widely criticized because he refuses to come to the Holy Land even for a visit and keeps himself in New York for obscure messianic reasons, while in New York his anti-Black attitude is notorious.
The fact that, despite these pragmatic difficulties, Habbad can be publicly supported by so many top political figures owes much to the thoroughly disingenuous and misleading treatment by almost all scholars who have written about the Hassidic movement and its Habbad branch. This applies particularly to all who have written or are writing about it in English. They suppress the glaring evidence of the old Hassidic texts as well as the latter-day political implications that follow from them, which stare in the face of even a casual reader of the Israeli Hebrew press, in whose pages the Lubavitcher rabbi and other Hassidic leaders constantly publish the most rabid bloodthirsty statements and exhortations against all Arabs.
A chief deceiver in this case, and a good example of the power of the deception, was Martin Buber. His numerous works eulogizing the whole Hassidic movement (including Habbad) never so much as hint at the real doctrines of Hassidism concerning non-Jews. The crime of deception is all the greater in view of the fact that Buber's eulogies of Hassidism were first published in German during the period of the rise of German nationalism and the accession of Nazism to power. But while ostensibly opposing Nazism, Buber glorified a movement holding and actually teaching doctrines about non-Jews not unlike the Nazi doctrines about Jews. One could of course argue that the Hassidic Jews of seventy or fifty years ago were the victims, and a 'white lie' favoring a victim is excusable. But the consequences of deception are incalculable. Buber's works were translated into Hebrew, were made a powerful element of the Hebrew education in Israel, have greatly increased the power of the blood-thirsty Hassidic leaders, and have thus been an important factor in the rise of Israeli chauvinism and hate of all non-Jews. If we think about the many human beings who died of their wounds because Israeli army nurses, incited by Hassidic propaganda, refused to tend them, then a heavy onus for their blood lies on the head of Martin Buber.
I must mention here that in his adulation of Hassidism Buber far surpassed other Jewish scholars, particularly those writing in Hebrew (or, formerly, in Yiddish) or even in European languages but purely for a Jewish audience. In questions of internal Jewish interest, there had once been a great deal of justified criticism of the Hassidic movement. Their mysogynism (much more extreme than that common to all Jewish Orthodoxy), their indulgence in alcohol, their fanatical cult of their hereditary 'holy rabbis' who extorted money from them, the numerous superstitions peculiar to them - these and many other negative traits were critically commented upon. But Buber's sentimental and deceitful romantization has won the day, especially in the USA and Israel, because it was in tune with the totalitarian admiration of anything 'genuinely Jewish' and because certain 'left' Jewish circles in which Buber had a particularly great influence have adopted this position.
Nor was Buber alone in his attitude, although in my opinion he was by far the worst in the evil he propagated and the influence he has left behind him. There was the very influential sociologist and biblical scholar, Yehezkiel Kaufman, an advocate of genocide on the model of the Book of Joshua, the idealist philosopher Hugo Shmuel Bergman, who as far back as 1914-15 advocated the expulsion of all Palestinians to Iraq, and many others. All were outwardly 'dovish', but employed formulas which could be manipulated in the most extreme anti-Arab sense, all had tendencies to that religious mysticism which encourages the propagation of deceptions, and all seemed to be gentle persons who, even when advocating expulsion, racism and genocide, seemed incapable of hurting a fly - and just for this reason the effect of their deceptions was the greater.
It is against the glorification of inhumanity, proclaimed not only by the rabbis but by those who are supposed to be the greatest and certainly the most influential scholars of Judaism, that we have to struggle; and it is against those modern successors of the false prophets and dishonest priests that we have to repeat even in the face of an almost unanimous opinion within Israel and among the majority of Jews in countries such as the USA, Lucretius' warning against surrendering one's judgement to the declamations of religious leaders: Tantuii: religio potuit suadere malorum - 'To such heights of evil are men driven by religion.' Religion is not always (as Marx said) the opium of the people, but it can often be so, and when it is used in this sense by prevaricating and misrepresenting its true nature, the scholars and intellectuals who perform this task take on the character of opium smugglers.
But we can derive from this analysis another, more general conclusion about the most effective and horrific means of compulsion to do evil, to cheat and to deceive and, while keeping one's hands quite clean of violence, to corrupt whole peoples and drive them to oppression and murder. (For there can no longer be any doubt that the most horrifying acts of oppression in the West Bank are motivated by Jewish religious fanaticism.) Most people seem to assume that the worst totalitarianism employs physical coercion, and would refer to the imagery of Orwell's 1984 for a model illustrating such a regime. But it seems to me that this common view is greatly mistaken, and that the intuition of Isaac Asimov, in whose science fiction the worst oppression is always internalized, is the more true to the dangers of human nature. Unlike Stalin's tame scholars, the rabbis - and even more so the scholars attacked here, and with them the whole mob of equally silent middlebrows such as writers, journalists, public figures, who lie and deceive more than them - are not facing the danger of death or concentration camp, but only social pressure; they lie out of patriotism because they believe that it is their duty to lie for what they conceive to be the Jewish interest. They are patriotic liars, and it is the same patriotism which reduces them to silence when confronted with the discrimination and oppression of the Palestinians.
In the present case we are also faced with another group loyalty, but one which comes from outside the group, and which is sometimes even more mischievous. Very many non-Jews (including Christian clergy and religious laymen, as well as some marxists from all marxist groups) hold the curious opinion that one way to 'atone' for the persecution of Jews is not to speak out against evil perpetrated by Jews but to participate in 'white lies' about them. The crude accusation of 'antisemitism' (or, in the case of Jews, 'self-hate') against anybody who protests at the discrimination of Palestinians or who points out any fact about the Jewish religion or the Jewish past which conflicts with the 'approved version' comes with greater hostility and force from non-Jewish 'friends of the Jews' than from Jews. It is the existence and great influence of this group in all western countries, and particularly in the USA (as well as the other English-speaking countries) which has allowed the rabbis and scholars of Judaism to propagate their lies not only without opposition but with considerable help.
In fact, many professed 'anti-stalinists' have merely substituted another idol for their worship, and tend to support Jewish racism and fanaticism with even greater ardor and dishonesty than were found among the most devoted stalinists in the past. Although this phenomenon of blind and stalinistic support for any evil, so long as it is 'Jewish', is particularly strong from 1945, when the truth about the extermination of European Jewry became known, it is a mistake to suppose that it began only then. On the contrary, it dates very far back, particularly in social-democratic circles. One of Marx's early friends, Moses Hess, widely known and respected as one of the first socialists in Germany, subsequently revealed himself as an extreme Jewish racist, whose views about the 'pure Jewish race' published in 1858 were not unlike comparable bilge about the 'pure Aryan race'. But the German socialists, who struggled against German racism, remained silent about their Jewish racism.
In 1944, during the actual struggle against Hitler, the British Labor Party approved a plan for the expulsion of Palestinians from Palestine, which was similar to Hitler's early plans (up to about 1941) for the Jews. This plan was approved under the pressure of Jewish members of the party's leadership, many of whom have displayed a stronger 'kith and kin' attitude to every Israeli policy than the Conservative 'kith and kin' supporters of Ian Smith ever did. But stalinistic taboos on the left are stronger in Britain than on the right, and there is virtually no discussion even when the Labor Party supports Begin's government.
In the USA a similar situation prevails, and again the American liberals are the worst.
This is not the place to explore all the political consequences of this situation, but we must face reality: in our struggle against the racism and fanaticism of the Jewish religion, our greatest enemies will be not only the Jewish racists (and users of racism) but also those non-Jews who in other areas are known - falsely in my opinion - as 'progressives'. jewhis2.htm"

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kovachev
Coming from you, Mr Kovachev, it is a worthless comment reflecting a closed mind.That is:
More Kovashaving from the same original source of hot air and...!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
Considering that you have failed, for obvious reasons, to address item 3 of my post, namely:
"3- Since you pretend expert knowledge of Moslem's past taxation laws and a detailed knowledge of the ways of dispursement of same** ( I do NOT) would you care to state at whose request "jizya" was first imposed and in lieu of what?
Or would that diminish further your standing within the choral herd?"

I will provide the answer:
Jizya was first imposed on non Moslems at the request of Archbishop Sifronious? of Jerusalem post its conquest by Islam under Omar Ibn Al Khatab ,6th cAD, in lieu of military service.
A system not unknown of payment instead of military service in many countries and untill recently.
I ,for one, believe that for the time , some 1400 years ago, it was a very good and "progressive" system with few parallels in other nations' history if any at all.

Nevertheless I believe that for now, modern times, it is neither correct nor desirable to have it should an Islamist state arise.
It would be in conflict with, a negation of, the fundamental overriding principle of equality between all citizens , nationals, of a nation/state irrespective of their confessional affiliation.

The point of equality between all citizens in an Islamist, as distinct from a Moslem, state has been heavily debated recently.

All progressive Islamist thinkers, to the best of my knowledge, do uphold this principle of equality unreservedly .

A crucial point of contention was the upper most position of Khalifa, or Amir Al Mueminin (head of state).

The contention arose from the historical precedent ( I am not sure about the "text" here) that his post would involve both temporal and spiritual/religious powers , the latter of which could NOT be, possibly and evidently, invested in a non Moslem in an islamist state.

This point was resolved by these same progressive Islamist thinkers by advocating the seperation of temporal and religious authority of the head of state (there is something like that now in the Iranian model) ; a progressive step by any standard.
(Fahmi Houeidi and Al Awa were at the forefront of this effort.)

-Will any of that change your, and the herd's, approach to the question of Islam ?
-Of course NOT for none of you was ever out to inquire ; your mission was, will always be, as devout Zionists to denigrate and demonize Islam .

-Why do I bother to answer, sometimes, your querries?

-Definely NOT for your benefit but, hopefully, for the benefit of those who really want to know.

(This has nothing to do with your rediculous, absurd and uncalled for effort at preaching the obvious to a Moslem whose creed has Moslems and "people of the Book" versus Jew and Goyim (Goy) wherein, in the latter's administration of Justice, even the death sentence, is a matter of what you are; a Jew or a Goyim!!
Do read Professor Shahak , do not oppose him without reading him!
Ultimately Professor Shahak could be your (plural) salvation.)
**As implied by your totally unsubstantiated and all encompassing statement that:"the jizya and land tax collected from non-Muslims were not used in relationship to or for the benefit of the dhimmi. Instead, the money was used to support Muslims."

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Thank you Mr Proyect for an extremely interesting document.
Hope to read more from you.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Is it NOT childishly inane to assume that a valid point is made simply by calling somebody "comrade"??

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

"and Omar ignorantly repeated, such as Jewish doctors refusing to help non-Jews (which Omar and Shahak asserted, based on a completely and provably ficticious incident"

Wherever did I ASSERT that Prof?
More of the same fabrications and putting words in other peoples' mouths.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

In case yoiu have failed, or intended, NOT to see that I repost it here for your benefit Prof:

"Another FAILED Attempt at...by the Professor! (#107073)
by omar ibrahim baker on March 13, 2007 at 12:15 PM
Another failed attempt by the , wonder of wonders, Professor ??Eckstein.
Having earlier tried to insinuate that I gave HNN a wrong email address only to be rebutted by HNN and in his long record of fabrications he had the following to say:

"Re: Instability and Israeli Expansionism! (#106862)
by art eckstein on March 10, 2007 at 9:31 AM
Then why, Omar, did you make up the one about the israeli "massacre" of 250 captured Egyptian troops in 1967, something you gleefully put out last week in a very prominent place--and which turned out to be FALSE information which you purveyed to everyone here?

[ Reply ] [ Return to Comments ]

Re: Instability and Israeli Expansionism! (#106997)
by omar ibrahim baker on March 12, 2007 at 1:49 PM
I made up nothing Eckstein.
I simply reposted articles by the Israeli newspapers "Haaretz" and "The Jerusalem Post"; if I recall correctly their names.

What is IT that I made up??

Failure to point out what I made up is indicative of a try at making up something for lack of any thing of substance to say.
NOT unusual!")

[ Reply ] [ Return to Comments ]"

Up to this minute the Professor has failed to "point out" what I ,presumably, "made up" about the subject.
Conclusions to be drawn by others over, inter alia, what has become of academic titles!
No apology is expected or demanded considering!"

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Prof Eckstein;
"You trumpeted it" although is far from meaning the same thing as "posted it" is way, way off "Made up".
To "post" or "repost" naming the source, as I did, simply means that; while " make up" means:to create (Oxford Dic.) to invent, to fabricate , to develop a LIE as you should know Prof.

Wow...even your English, supposedly your mother tongue, is blurred by your blind devotion to the racist, aggressive cause...no wonder it has blinded you to greater issues Prof!

Do you teach your students that "to Post" or " to repost" ( while specifying the source)means "To make up"!??
More is the pity for them and the U of M!
Your riposte holds NO water Prof..it simply drives you deeper into the lurch!
An apology is due but is neither demanded nor expected considering ....!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Prof Eckstein
1-Good to see you admit your er...ways, Prof!
Is that the third or fourth time?
2-I can not locate my post re Hillali, could you point it out for all to see exactly what I posted ...considering your record you will understand that I can NOT take your word for it..Prof
3-It is too early to say that the alleged Israeli cold blooded murder of Egyptian POWs is "factually false".
Egypt has requested an official Israeli report on the subject.
Now whether the assasinated POWs were Egyptian soldiers or Palestinian commandos fighting with the Egyptian army is immaterial.
The thing to look out for is whether they were assasinated in cold blood after surrendering.
That is the material issue.
I will keep you posted about the subject to the best of my knowledge.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
The Eckstein virus, of putting words in other people's mouths, seems to have infected you!

The only refernce I made to a Christian archbishop in my post is the following:
"Jizya was first imposed on non Moslems at the request of Archbishop Sifronious? of Jerusalem post its conquest by Islam under Omar Ibn Al Khatab ,6th cAD, in lieu of military service"

How did that transmute into your allegation:

"Your statement that the money was collected by a Jerusalem Archbishop may be true but your history is not. Collecting money hardly means the money was collected for the benefit of the Jewish community. It also does not mean that the money went to Christians. What it means is that the Archbishop was providing a service to the conquering group that was occupying the country"
Well ..well:

1-Request DOES NOT mean collect.I presume you can tell the difference!

2-Wherever did I claim that: " Collecting money hardly means the money was collected for the benefit of the Jewish community."

Or for that matter that:

3-"It also does not mean that the money went to Christians."
Your unmistakable conscious implication being that I claimed either 2 or 3 above.

Did I ?Where? When?

Had such a claim of: " colleting money for the benefit of either the Jews or the Christians" ever be made it would be absurd and totally irreconcilable with the Moslem principle that all levied taxes should be spent for the benefit of the WHOLE community of Moslems, Christians , Jews etc.

You are imagining things and putting words in my mouth ( and others') then charging to rebut them; Don Quixote like, so to speak.
Not very clever.
Not honest at all.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

I truly fail to follow your convoluted (=coiled; twisted/Oxford Dic)mind!

You claim:
"and you(Omar) assured us that Hilali was being removed, and your source was the Arabic press, which you touted as accurate"
my very words, as quoted by YOU,Prof, are:

"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts in Ausralia under intense pressure from his fellow Australian Moslems who could no longer put up with this deranged cleric."

Does "assured us"="According to today's Arabic newspapers "??

It takes a sick mind to assert that!

1-To "assure" means "tell positively or confidently" (Oxford Dic.)!
How do you deem that as equivalent to " according to today's Arabic newspapers" is truly beyond me !

2- Wherever did I "touted (Arabic newspapers ) as accurate" as you claim??

3-I never wrote that Hillali "is out", as you claim I did in your post title.
My statement was:"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts ..."

Mind you "is resigning" DOES NOT mean "resigned".

Another set of fabrications by a convol...

Prof ; for the nth time you are on record as a fabricator and a twister of meanings in your effort to put words in my mouth.

No amount of your "assurances" to the contrary will change that!

An apology is due from you Prof but is neither wanted nor expected considering the source!
( a-Your conscious implicit attempt to portray me as a suporter of Hilali is belied for all to see by my description of the man as a "deranged cleric"
b-Do NOT worry about my "search skills; what you have to worry about is your own reading and comprehension skills! )

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Pro Eckstein.
For completeness I repost and add something to our latest exchange which is becoming, with your incessant attempts at putting words in my mouth, tiresome and certainly abusive of HNN priviliges to post.

Stick to my words and do not try childish, unbecoming of a Professor , tricks.

Re: OMAR writes: al-Hilali is out! FALSE/Calling Prof Eckstein(n)! (#107202)
by omar ibrahim baker on March 15, 2007 at 11:26 PM
I truly fail to follow your convoluted (=coiled; twisted/Oxford Dic)mind!

You claim:
"and you(Omar) assured us that Hilali was being removed, and your source was the Arabic press, which you touted as accurate"
my very words, as quoted by YOU,Prof, are:

"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts in Ausralia under intense pressure from his fellow Australian Moslems who could no longer put up with this deranged cleric."

Does "assured us"="According to today's Arabic newspapers "??

It takes a sick mind to assert that!

1-To "assure" means "tell positively or confidently" (Oxford Dic.)!
How do you deem that as equivalent to " according to today's Arabic newspapers" is truly beyond me !

2- Wherever did I "touted (Arabic newspapers ) as accurate" as you claim??

3-I never wrote that Hillali "is out", as you claim I did in your post title.
My statement was:"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts ..."

Mind you "is resigning" DOES NOT mean "resigned".

Another set of fabrications by a convol...

Prof ; for the nth time you are on record as a fabricator and a twister of meanings in your effort to put words in my mouth.

No amount of your "assurances" to the contrary will change that!

An apology is due from you Prof but is neither wanted nor expected considering the source!
( a-Your conscious implicit attempt to portray me as a suporter of Hilali is belied for all to see by my description of the man as a "deranged cleric"
b-Do NOT worry about my "search skills; what you have to worry about is your own reading and comprehension skills! )
(End of Repost)
Additional comment:
Had "Hilali is Out" been in the title of my post, as you claim,the real meaning WAS in the TEXT, which overrides title,namely:"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts ...."

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Additional comment:
Had "Hilali is Out" been in the title of my post, as you claim,the real meaning WAS in the TEXT, which overrides title,namely:"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts ...."(#107209)

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

I neither deny nor confirm that "Hillali is OUT" was in the title to my post of several months ? back; it could have been, I simply do not remember !(And will NOT take your word for it.)
Any way I have noted that earlier in my post # 107209 as an:
"Additional comment:
Had "Hilali is Out" been in the title of my post, as you claim,the real meaning WAS in the TEXT, which overrides title,namely:"According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts ...."

The relevant part of the text of the post was specific.:
"...is resigning his posts "...the title could have been hasty but the text was specific and normally, to my knowledge, a TEXT over rides, supercedes a title by being more specific and detailed.
Enough of that nonsense Prof; any of your poor students could be reading you here!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

One thing should be readily admitted: that the un...Professor Eckstein has a very fecund imagination!
He does NOT only consciously puts words in other peoples' mouths to serve his stands but goes to the extent of formulating whole positions for them.
The latest figment of his inventive capacities is to claim (post#107388) that:

"In # 107342 above, Omar makes it clear he's willing to allow some Jews to live in the region he calls Palestine--as long as they are dhimmis with no political or military power,"

It is usleless to challenge the un...Professor to substantiate his fictious claim.(At best, as he often did in the past, he will apologize and confess the errors of his comprehension.)

It is equally useless, with him in particular, to deny categorically such a claim.

What could, however, be of use, also to the general reader NOT the Professor, is to refer him to the on the record posts of Omar on the subject of Israel/ the DeZionization of Palestine in which ,with all the clarity at his command he,Omar, advocated a deZionized Palestine with equal rights and obligations for all of its inhabitants.

With this Professor we have a case of imagination running amock up to verging on hallucination.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
All Arab states including,now, Lebanon have a Moslem majority of inhabitants..a fact recognized by their constitutions which deem them as Moslem countries (Excluding Lebanon)...in the sense that the majority of their inhabitants are Moslem ...so what??
That is A FACT.
None of them ,except, Saudi Arabia pretends to be an Islamist,as distinct from Moslem, state in the sense that SHARIA is its sole constitutional framework.
Some will ,in my estimate, take that step in the foreseeable future. That possibility has markedly increasd with the decline, verging on demise, of the progressive, socislist Arab nationalist oulook ,represented and furthered by Nasser and the Baath party, and with the ongoing energized Zionist/Neocon campaign/challenge .

Granted that in a state run according to conventional Sharia non Moslems will be dealt with differently and in that sense could be termed "inferiors"!
Which is one reson why I, for one among many, do NOT advocate nor support the goal of an Islamist state!
BUT, obviously, a deZionized Palestine, that can only rise with the consensus of the majority of Palestinians and Israelis, will have to be a secular state par excellence with equal rights and obligations for ALL its citizens otherwise it will never see daylight.

It certainly will HAVE NOT to discriminate on religious grounds ,ie on Racist/confessional basis, as Israel DOES now re the RIGHT of RETURN!

It, a deZionized Palestine, is a long haul but is the only hope for a truly permanent peace in the region.
The alternatives, the way we are heading now, with a Zionized Palestine ie present day Zionist Israel and , future and propable,Islamist Arab state(s) are horrendous for all.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

What both you guys see is what you WANT to see, not what is really there.

I never called anybody on HNN a "fascist." I was tempted to a few times, but not as any exaggeration of Likudnik. Israeli hardliners are cowards, the fascists were not (among about a couple of dozen other differences). Read Walter Lacquer for "evidence" of this, Mr. Friedman. Look up his academic degrees and career if you need evidence that not everyone you think is a historian has credentials comparable to his.

The crazy-quilt fractured Israeli Knesset and its larger constituency boil to two major political movements.
Until recently they were called Labor and Likud. (Try www.google.com or take a sedative if the "labelling" and "lack of evidence" in the prior sentence is so mind-boggling to you as to otherwise require another half dozen ludicrously erroneous speculation-based adhominen posts.)

You guys toe the Likud line as if you were true believers yourselves, and thereby pretend / unwittingly think you are defending Israel (mainly) and America (secondarily) against Jihadism , instead of just buttressing the counterproductive extremists who use such purported defending (and use you two too) for their own anti-Israel and anti-American purposes. What I am saying is no "Jewish conspiracy" but the more intelligent half of the "Jewish community" is well aware of it.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


The article is weak, I agree. But not as weak as Furnish's many rude and absurdly one-sided rants in past months. Slavin isn't jumping in here thirty or forty times to wage insult-based yelling contests with posters to his own article, for example. Your outpourings here are not much focused on either Slavin or Furnish, so quit griping about mine not being.

LAQUEUR is now past his prime, but he was good while in it. As for him "seeming" to endorse Yeor, see above re seeing what you want to see (rather than digging down for the facts with an open mind).

QUILT not GUILT. Q as in quit, not G as in griping. I have never heard anyone deny that Israeli politics is very splintered. I did say quilt, even if you read something else or Freudianingly slipped.

I believe that you do not CONSCIOUSLY follow any Israeli party's line. But there is one faction in Israel which defends the land-grabbing settlements tooth and nail (on those rare occasions when pretending they don't exist doesn't work) and this faction does so to the point of making up all kinds of crap about how the territory conquered in 1967 really wasn't conquered etc. Other factions in Israel shy away from such doublespeaking BS. In your hundreds of past HNN posts on Israel and Palestinians on HNN, you have almost always been a mouthpiece for one Israeli viewpoint, not all the viewpoints, no matter how deep in denial you remain about this.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You guys are laughably off-base. Israelis who criticize their own prime minister are not anti-Semitic. Neither am I for criticizing ingrained and incessant one-sided portrayals of a many-sided foreign country.

Eckstein tries to fish for Anti-Semitism by planting an asinine misattribution, and then claims aha! when I point out how full of beans he is. Typical of a serial missattributer.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

"I asked Mr. Clarke (I believe last week) if he counts any other group beside Jews (in lobbying, government, etc."

I think we have an English-comprehension problem here. Such a question was never asked in any kind of an intelligible way.

(Not that asking it, using proper English would make it fair or relevant.)

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. F., Since you are not an Israeli (or at least not publicly acknowledged as such), may I take it that you will henceforth refrain from commenting about "Israel or its politicians" and thereby
being at "at best, an officious intermeddler"? If not, pray offer a more convoluted defense of your hypocrisy.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Thanks for the recitations, Mr. Baker.

But what is the point?

Do you really think that four million or whatever it is Jewish Israelis are going to all emigrate somewhere else, just because you and/or "an overwhelming majority of Arabs and Moslems" demand them to do so? Has there ever been an example in the history of the world, of a country voluntarily extinguishing itself in response to outside pressure?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Your deliberately obfuscatory use of the word "jewish conspiracy" was NOT a direct quote from me. What have you got against being truthful?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You Eckstein, do not have English comprehension problems an excuse

WHERE -IN WHICH POST- did I EVER "propose" a Jewish conspiracy?

For at least the fifth time over the past 8 or 9 months, a discussion thread has bogged down because a professor who is all over that discussion thread (the ONLY professor who is all over dozens of such threads on this site, week after week) can't stop lying. What is the point of all this juvenile trickery?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Your incessant childish lies are too much for me, Eckstein.

Contrary to your repeated and deliberated fables, the comment of mine which you have reproduced says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about lobbies, conspiracies or double loyalties.

You and your less witty buddies here are mouthpieces for the Israeli hardliners, the ones who kill 1000 Lebanese to NOT get two captured soldiers back, the ones whose brutality violates every principle of Judaism and American democracy, among other pillars of western civilization, the ones want to live and die in concete fortresses in the West Bank, walled off from common sense and from elemental morality. The ones who would be terrorists if they had been born on the Palestinian side of the bulldozed houses and decimated olive groves.
That is all I am saying, and all I ever said.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Okay 30-40 was too high.

Here are the counts of posts by the author on his own last 4 articles:

12-18-06 "Ignorance May Be Bliss" 18 posts

12-04-06 01 "What Should We Make of Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad’s “Letter to the Noble Americans” 10 posts

9-18-06 "Was the Pope Wrong?" 33 posts

8-14-06 " "Islamic Fascism": Well, It’s Half Right" 11 posts

Most authors comment ZERO times on their own articles.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. K is hard-core, and adds a mere pinch of humor and irony to flavor his sharp rebukes, but he is at least honest about his positions.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I have had my disagreements with Mr. Green, but I think he has a valid point here. It is not my point, however. My observation is that you can't "reenfranchise" the Palestinians in Israel proper without disenfrachising (dispossessing) many Israelis who were not born during the 1947-48 dispossessing.

It's a non-starter. At least for our lifetimes. Germany is not going to get East Prussia back. The Sassanids are not due for restoration in Iran. The Iriquois do not expect to reacquire full title to New York State. A lesser wrong following an earlier greater wrong still does not make a right.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I hereby await the first definitive and forthright statement -of several thousand collectively to-date (Friedman + Eckstein + Kovachev + Simon)- condemning the West Bank settlements that have been already unequivocably condemned by the the overwhelming majority of the civilized world, including a majority of the majority of the world's Jews who are part of that civilized world, for decades. After being repeatedly subjected litmus tests by Eckstein, numerous times over past months, it is high time now that he take a taste of his own medicine. The prescription could as well apply to others, though I don't forsee any other takers.

I expect Simon's stubborness and Friedman's scarcely curable denial will prevent them from being able to credibly claim a non-Likudnik position on the West Bank occupation fortresses. Or on the security wall, that should and could have been built many years ago, but for the need of "mainstream" Israeli politicians to pander to Israeli fanatics in those settlements, in order to prop up their fragile (that word will not be mistaken by Friedman for "guilty") Knesset coalitions.

Nonetheless, I entertain the remote possibility of being proved wrong (as opposed to hearing the 999th Kindergarden playground accusation of being wrong) by such a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the Israeli functional equivalent of Palestinian terrorism, by any member of what the often misled Mr. Baker, in this particular instance would be correct in calling the "herd."

Meanwhile, Kovachev, as Simon notes, is a straightforward -rather than a closet- West Bank occupation forever hardliner.

But, Eckstein, if he can ever discover honesty, might admit that the settlements are an abhorrent, wholly unnecessary and unjustified, deliberate tactic for sabotaging possibilities for lasting and secure peace. At least I will allow for the possibility of such a miracle. E.g., instead of the more probable outcome of the last set of posts being just another tiresome installment of lying as a way of life.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

A "bargaining chip" that is never bargained with is a buffalo chip. Another herd product.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

When MY Congress acts like a collective lapdog in blind support of idiotic foreign blunders such as last summer's cowardly and stupidly counterproductive slaughter in Lebanon, I have EVERY RIGHT to speak up and I WILL whenever I feel like it.

The problem is a herd-like Warsaw Ghetto fatalistic circle-the-wagons Israel-right-or-wrong mentality, and it pervades this website and you are the most prolificly uttering, if not the most indoctrinated or committed exemplar of it, Mr. Friedman.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. F.,

I am not a fan of this guy


but I think he is on the right track with the above-quoted passage.
I recall reading similar opinions 25 years ago in spades during the Lebanon refugee camp horrors, etc. It is nothing new at all. It is very weirdly almost never talked about on HNN, however.

Anyway, maybe you can shut up about high school debate team "evidence" for a moment at least, and attack me on some other basis for a change.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

A mistake that has condemned a whole country to decades of violence and instability, is more than a mistake.

But, I accept your differentiation from pure Likud-dom.

Your points 2 and 3 are ludicrous.
Your vast army of two unrepentant Likudnik dupes hardly proves your sophmoric misattributing attempts to paint me as some kind of Elders of Zionist. Go ahead, now lie for the next six months about how Clark "publicly acknowledged that he believes in the Protocols."

You know what your incessant misattributting trickery and deceit reminds me of?

Holocaust denialists. They play the same sort of running-around-in-circles and twisting peoples'-words games. They HAVE pull some kind of such stuntery, because their whole mission in life is total mythmaking and otherwise collapses like a house of cards. What's your excuse?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Watch how he is NOT even able to call the settlements a mistake like you just did.

He still can't even decide that Bush's Iraq invasion was a mistake. Maybe it's not "Israel right or wrong." Maybe it's just, "my head in the sand forever" on any possibile deviation from "Israel right or wrong."

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

It's time to cease puffing around the bush with your incessant exhaust emissions of irrelevant and deceitful insults, Mr. Simon.

The issue here is actually rather simple.

I think that Israel and the Palestinians are BOTH FAR from blameless for the current mess they share. Others have contributed to that mess as well as of course, but those two are front and center.

On the rare occasions when you stop your motor-mouth insults long enough to say something about history or current events here on HNN you equivocate and waffle like John Kerry on a bad hair day, to avoid having to say that it isn't all the Palestinians fault.

Blow away the smoke of endless 4 tits for one tat insults, and that's basically all that's left on any page where the topic relates even slightly to Israel, Islam or the Mideast.

In your slightly different ways, you and your three hardline apologist herdsmen here are all irrevocably one-sided when it comes to the Mideast. Omar is always 100% wrong and you are always 100% right.

I would put the percentages closer to 50% on each side. Baker is probably further off from common sense, most of the time, but is much further from ultimate-insult-mania as well.

For me, it's shades of gray. For you, E,K,and F and OB, it's black and white 99% of the time.

THAT is the difference.

The rest of your ranting about me is obfuscation, ego-driven haggling, and purposeless rhetorical overkill.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

No, I don't mean to say that, and haven't. But I do mean that rocks should not be thrown in glass houses. Any rocks thrown by any glass house dweller.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Eckstein, If you don't have a comment on Mr. Baker's tangent, haven't you got anything better to do than throw stones inside a glass house? "Dreadfully wrong" and "going on with denials" could as well describe your Likudik cheerleading squad on HNN or in any of thousands of other unmoderated yelling match outlets, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Isn't there a paper to proof or an AIPAC convention to attend? The author of the article here is also taking more than a few pot shots (at Mr. Furnish) which, however, is akin to the pot calling the Hell's Kitchen black.

art eckstein - 3/25/2007

Thanks, Elliot. Everyone should read what Meron says. He's got lots of evidence; I say this on the basis of the 1995 article, which I read.

Will OMAR bother to read any of the material and references we have presented which back up our position, or will he continue to reiterate his lies on this subject? It seems to me that it is beyond his thought-world to respond to FACTS--he doesn't use them, and he is impervious to them when the other side does use them. His response to proof that he is lying is to reiterate his lie louder (in capital letters). We see this in his exchange with Mr. Friedman, above. It is a pre-empirical mindset, speaking out of a combination of profound ignorance, seething hatred, and a comfortable feeling of victimization which is undeserved but which absolves him of all responsibility to act like an adult, either on this blog or anywhere else.

art eckstein - 3/25/2007

1. Omar, the post you refer to simply reiterates the lie you previously posted,--"Your above statement [you are talking to Friedman] is a collection of LIES and FABRICATIONS.and is NOT a fact"-- with no important evidence presented that you are correct. Nor does this reiterated lie on your part respond in any way to any part of the vast evidence I presented that your foul lie--"Jews that migrated from Arab countries did so freely and willingly .
No Deir Yassin like massacres were ever perpetrated to induce them to move"--WAS a lie. Mr. Friedman has already made this point strongly, in the post just above (107595). Either respond to our demand for specific evidence, and respond to OUR specific evidence, or admit you spoke out of bottomless ignorance and bias.

Omar, to reiterate a lie with no real evidence that the lie is correct is NOT to "respond" to the specific evidence that the statement IS a lie. Period. Honestly, Omar, I think you do not understand this point of logic.

2. Then you shifted the topic to the hugely minor point of whether you present yourself as a typical Arab and Muslim, as I said you did. I think the evidence--specific evidence I cite--shows that you in fact do. That in the posts I cite you do not literally say "I am a typical Arab", while in those same posts you present yourself repeatedly as the spokesman for the entire Arab nation ("we as a nation are not..., we will never, we can survive...") is simply a distinction without a difference. This, too, is a point of logic which you apparently do not understand. The reality is that I have proved my point here too, with specific evidence.

N. Friedman - 3/25/2007


You deny that Jews were subject to pogroms that led people to leave. The facts I know of support that fact. Jews were massacred and that led other Jews to flee. The facts support that fact. Jews in Arab lands were persecuted and that led them to flee. The facts support that fact. The property of Jews who fled was typically stolen by Arab governments. The facts I know of support that fact.

Provide documentation for your position. Your position is, so far as I am aware, contradicted by the detailed material reprinted by Professor Eckstein and by information I am aware of.

Omar, the claim I make for Israelis has nothing to do with an historical claim. My claim is simple. Oppressed people have a moral right to find refuge wherever it is available. Refuge was available in what is now Israel. As a result, land was purchased from it owners. A fight ensued regarding the governance of the land in which Jews legitimately sought to create a state on land that was held, at the time, by Britain. The Arab side chose to start a war because they would not govern in all part of the land and, as a result of the war, they were dispossessed, largely due to their own intransigence and military impotence but also to the military fortitude of the Jewish side in standing its ground.

As for the rest of what you write, it is rather hard to follow because it is largely unrelated to the facts.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/25/2007

Art, Ya`akov Meron has a lengthy article on that same subject in the book: The Forgotten Millions, ed. by Malka Hillel Shulevitz (London 1999). The same book has an article by Malka Shulevitz and Raphael Israeli on population exchanges throughout the 20th century. It also has helpful articles on the dhimma by Bat Ye'or, Walid Phares, and Mordecai Nisan. My review of the book is here:

art eckstein - 3/25/2007

The case on this point is already closed, but I can't resist this other example where Omar presents himself as a self-proclaimed spokesman for all Arabs:

Re: Friedman’s Response to Omar’s BASIC FACTS (#99890)
by omar ibrahim baker on October 21, 2006 at 12:49 PM:

"1- We will never, ever accept a Zionist Israel in our midst, in Palestine; that would be tantamount to accepting to live with a malignant cancer.
2-We can survive any thing, including A-bombs, much more than yours can."

Poor Omar. Undone by facts. Again.

But remember folks, this is a minor minor point. The MAJOR point is Omar's grotesque lie, proclaimed confidently to me and REPEATED to Mr. Friedman, about what things happened to the Jews of Arab lands after 1948, to wit

"Jews that migrated from Arab countries did so freely and willingly. .
No Deir Yassin like massacres were ever perpetrated to induce them to move."

by omar ibrahim baker on March 24, 2007 at 2:30 AM.

Perhaps next Omar will seek to sell us suckers the Brooklyn Bridge.

art eckstein - 3/24/2007

Eliot (and everyone else), another good discussion, on a high scholarly level, is:

Why Jews Fled the Arab Countries
by Ya'akov Meron
Middle East Quarterly
September 1995

Much information, dozens of footnotes to primary sources and quotations from all sides of the conflict. It's a very useful compendium of something Omar doesn't understand--namely, FACTS.

art eckstein - 3/24/2007

Yes, Elliot, thanks-- I have indeed presented a detailed historical conspectus, drawn from a study by Jewish refugees from Egypt, and I hope everyone does read it (it is at entry #107562, from this morning, up above on this thread). Many important facts are there--including the dozen massacres of Jews larger than Deir Yassin. The one in Baghdad in 1941, for instance, led by the Palestinian leader el Hajj Amin el-Housseini, which killed between 200 and 600 innocent Jewish civilians.

But don't count on Omar reading the list I have presented. Actual historical facts are beyond Omar's thought-world. This is why he serves a useful purpose here--to reveal to all of us the bottomless ignorance and vile hatreds that dishonor the Arab and Muslim world today.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/24/2007

Art et al., did you notice how Omar has changed his argument without acknowledging the change. First he he ascribed Arab anti-Israel violence to Arabs being displaced during Israel's War of Independence, a war begun by the Arabs of course, just as Muslims in India started the war there in 1947. Now, Omar goes back to "pre 48," in order to respond to our charges that persecuation of Jews in Arabs lands was going on before 1948.
"It is a fact that anti Jewish feelings in Arab countries were provoked by Zionist forced migration into Palestine and by the crimes committed by Zionist gangs. such as the Ergun in pre 48 Palestine."
But the fact is that the persecutions of Jews go back to early Islam. Indeed, Arab auxiliary troops fought alongside the Roman imperialists in the war against the Jews in 65-73 CE [Tacitus, The Histories, 5:1]. So what's Omar's excuse for Arab massacres of the Jewish tribes in Medina?

I suggest that Omar would do well to carefully study the very informative list of anti-Jewish violent incidents against Jews in Arab lands, drawn up by the Jewish historical society of Jews from Egypt, etc., which Art Eckstein presented. Maybe it's time for the Arabs to try to understand the Other, that is, in the case of the Arabs, to understand the Jew.

art eckstein - 3/24/2007

1. Omar doesn't deal with the detailed and specific facts I have presented.

2. Not being able to deal with my main point--indeed, as we see above, he simply reiterates his lies to Mr. Friedman despite the detailed evidence I presented, which he clearly did not read--Omar changes the subject. He changes the subject to the hugely minor point of whether he has ever claimed to be a typical Arab. Even if I were wrong on this, that's hardly as important as the grotesque major lie about history he perpetrated and CONTINUES to perpetrate in his Iatest reply to Mr. Friedman, in the face of the detailed evidence of incidents I have described, to which he does not deign to respond. But the fact is that Omar often uses "we" when referring to the Arab world, and I doubt that anyone who has read his posts over time would argue that Omar doesn't often present himself as the spokesmen for positions held by most Arabs.

Here's an example:

Re: Omar, what about al manar? (#95282)
by omar ibrahim baker on August 12, 2006 at 12:59 PM
We as a nation and a culture are NOT anti Semite. Although you, among many others , seem to have a vested political and financial interest in making and spreading this allegation.

This is Omar speaking as the spokesman, simply and unashamedly, for the entire Arab nation and culture. Case closed, Omar. Now deal with the facts that I have presented on what happened to Jews in Arab lands between 1948 and 1960.

art eckstein - 3/24/2007

Omar serves some useful purposes on this blog. The most important is demonstrating repeatedly the sheer narrowness and profound depth of ignorance of important historical events in whatever putrid propaganda passes for "education" in Arab countries today. This is why I return once more to his amazing statement:

"Jews that migrated from Arab countries did so freely and willingly. No Deir Yassin like massacres were ever perpetrated to induce them to move."

In my own thread #107562 above, I cite a dozen massacres perpetrated on Jews in Arab lands each of which was far worse than Deir Yassin, plus Arab govt policies of persecution of Jews, expulsion of Jews, and total appropriation of their property (which some Arab and Muslim now owns, uses and enjoys, Omar). Again, the number of the Jewish dispossessed is about 900,000: that is, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND people higher than the Palestinian exodus, but these people are invisible to Omar, and they always will be. They do not fit his hate-filled self-pitying victimization thought-world, so they will never be acknowledged--as we see in the amazing self-confidence with which he perpetrates above one of the most astounding lies ever put onto HNN.

I doubt that Omar will bother to read the specific factual listing of massacres, persecutions, etc, which I have myself listed, the detailed refutation of his grotesque lie, nor, frankly, is it important that he himself do so. What is important is that he demonstrates to us once more the profound intellectual link between almost total ignorance of real history and his vicious hatred. He says he is a typical Arab, a typical Muslim. I fear that this is all too true.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/24/2007

Umar is unfortunately seriously defective in historical knowledge, no doubt he has been subject to much too much propaganda from his own side and his side's sycophants' elsewhere in the world.
Even his own Qur'an says that the Holy Land was divinely assigned to the Jews and they will return to it. Yes, I know that other verses in the Qur'an contradict what I call the Zionist verses. Nevertheless, Umar ought to be aware that his own tradition is aware of the Jewish precedence in the Land of Israel [or Jews' Land, as it is called in some places in the Qur'an, besides Holy Land in 5:20-22]. Calling Israel "colonialist" is a Judeophobic injustice invented by psychological warfare experts.

Now, as to the claim that Jews in Arab lands did not suffer massacres [he refers to Deir Yassin which published Arab research {at Bir Zeit U} now denies was a massacre of innocents]. On the Jewish holiday of Shavu`ot in 1941, an Arab mob in Baghdad made a pogrom called the "Farhud" on the Jews of the city. Elie Kedourie put the number murdered at 600. Hayim Cohen said it was only 179 or 180. Anyhow, this was seven years before the rebirth of Israel. According to a subsequent Iraqi govt investigation, the pogrom was due to pro-Nazi incitement by Haj Amin el-Husseini. Further, there were Nazi-inspired Arab pogroms in Libya against Jews during the German occupation, BEFORE THE REBIRTH OF ISRAEL. Likewise, pogroms took place in various Arab towns and cities after WW2 before Israel's rebirth, such as in Aden, Tripoli, etc. Crowning this whole ugly record is the well-documented collaboration of Haj Amin el-Husseini --the chief palestinian Arab leader-- in the Holocaust, such as urging the Eastern European satellite states to send Jewish children to Poland where they would be --in his words-- "under active supervision." This is a fact usually omitted by mainstream "leftist" accounts of Arab-Jewish relations. For more info, I recommend:

Now, when you have learned the extent of Arab murder of Jews and collaboration in murder of Jews BEFORE the Holocaust, then come back and tell us why Israel is in a moral debt to the Arabs.

art eckstein - 3/24/2007

Omar now writes as follows:

"Jews that migrated from Arab countries did so freely and willingly No Deir Yassin like massacres were ever perpetrated to induce them to move."

Omar has written many ignorant things on this blog. But the above statement has to rank as one of the most ignorant he has ever written.

Here are some FACTS, Omar--including multiple Deir Yassin-type massacres, only larger in scale. No doubt since the source is actually a publication of Jews who were forced to flee from Egypt you will respond by calling it all lies. Well, that’s one way—your habitual way--of dealing with inconvenient truths. But here are specific facts for all to see.

History Of Jews In Arab Countries:
Before and after 1948

Copyright © 1999-2000. Historical Society of Jews From Egypt

Syria Egypt Iraq Algeria Yemen Morocco Tunisia Libya


The last Jews who wanted to leave Syria departed with the chief rabbi in October 1994. Prior to 1947, there were some 30,000 Jews made up of three distinct communities, each with its own traditions: the Kurdish-speaking Jews of Kamishli, the Jews of Aleppo with roots in Spain, and the original eastern Jews of Damascus, called Must'arab. Today only a tiny remnant of these communities remains.

Following Syrian independence from France in 1946, attacks against Jews and their property increased, culminating in the pogroms of 1947, which left all shops and synagogues in Aleppo in ruins. Thousands of Jews fled the country, and their homes and property were taken over by the local Muslims.

For the next decades, Syrian Jews were, in effect, hostages of a hostile regime. They could leave Syria only on the condition that they leave members of their family behind. Thus the community lived under siege, constantly under fearful surveillance of the secret police. This much was allowed due to an international effort to secure the human rights of the Jews, the changing world order, and the Syrian need for Western support; so the conditions of the Jews improved somewhat.


Jews have lived in Egypt since Biblical times, and the conditions of the community have constantly fluctuated with the political situation of the land.

In 1897 there were more than 25,000 Jews in Egypt, concentrated in Cairo and Alexandria. In 1937 the population reached a peak of 63,500.

Friedman wrote in "The Myth of Arab Tolerance", "One Caliph, Al-Hakem of the Fatimids devised particularly insidious humiliations for the Jews in his attempt to perform what he deemed his role as "Redeemer of Mankind". First the Jews were forced to wear miniature golden calf images around their necks, as though they still worshipped the golden calf, but the Jews refused to convert. Next they wore bells, and after that six pound wooden blocks were hung around their necks. In fury at his failure, the Caliph had the Cairo Jewish quarter destroyed, along with it's Jewish residence, in".

In 1945, with the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the cultivation of anti-Western and anti-Jewish sentiment, riots erupted. In the violence, 10 Jews were killed, 350 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were burned down. The establishment of the State of Israel led to still further anti-Jewish feeling: Between June and November 1948, bombs set off in the Jewish Quarter killed more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200. 2,000 Jews were arrested and many had their property confiscated.

Rioting over the next few months resulted in many more Jewish deaths. Between June and November 1948, bombs set off in the Jewish Quarter killed more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200.

Jews In 1956: The Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext for expelling almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscating their property.

Approximately 1,000 more Jews were sent to prisons and detention camps. On November 23, 1956, a proclamation signed by the Minister of Religious Affairs, and read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt, declared that "all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state," and promised that they would be soon expelled.

Thousands of Jews were ordered to leave the country. They were allowed to take only one suitcase and a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations "donating" their property to the Egyptian government. Foreign observers reported that members of Jewish families were taken hostage, apparently to insure that those forced to leave did not speak out against the Egyptian government. AP, (November 26 and 29th 1956; New York World Telegram).

In 1979, the Egyptian Jewish community became the first in the Arab world to establish official contact with Israel. Israel now has an embassy in Cairo and a consulate general in Alexandria. At present, the few remaining Jews are free to practice Judaism without any restrictions or harassment. Shaar Hashamayim is the only functioning synagogue in Cairo. Of the many synagogues in Alexandria only the Eliahu Hanabi is open for worship.

By 1957 it had fallen to 15,000. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, there was a renewed wave of persecution, and the community dropped to 2,500. By the 1970s, after the remaining Jews were given permission to leave the country, the community dwindled to a few families. Jewish rights were finally restored in 1979 after President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Accords with Israel. Only then was the community allowed to establish ties with Israel and with world Jewry. The majority of Jews reside in Cairo, but there are still a handful in Alexandria. In addition there are about 15 Karaites in the community. Nearly all the Jews are elderly, and the community is on the verge of extinction.

The Iraqi Jews took pride in their distinguished Jewish community, with it's history of scholarship and dignity. Jews had prospered in what was then Babylonia for 1200 years before the Muslim conquest in AD 634; it was not until the 9th century that Dhimmi laws such as the yellow patch, heavy head tax, and residence restriction were enforced. Capricious and extreme oppression under some Arab caliphs and Momlukes brought taxation amounting to expropriation in AD 1000, and 1333 the persecution culminated in pillage and destruction of the Bagdad Sanctuary. In 1776, there was a slaughter of Jews at Bosra, and in bitterness of anti-Jewish measures taken by Turkish Muslim rulers in the 18th century caused many Jews to flee. The Iraqi Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world and has a great history of learning and scholarship. Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, was born in Ur of the Chaldees, in southern Iraq, around 2,000 B.C.

The community traces its history back to 6th century A.D, when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judea and sent most of the population into exile in Babylonia.

The community also maintained strong ties with the Land of Israel and, with the aid of rabbis from Israel, succeeded in establishing many prominent rabbinical academies. By the 3rd century, Babylonia became the center of Jewish scholarship, as is attested to by the community's most influential creation, the Babylonian Talmud. Under Muslim rule, beginning in the 7th century, the situation of the community fluctuated. Many Jews held high positions in government or prospered in commerce and trade. At the same time, Jews were subjected to special taxes, restrictions on their professional activity, and anti-Jewish incitement among the masses. Under British rule, which began in 1917, Jews fared well economically, and many were elected to government posts. This traditionally observant community was also allowed to found Zionist organizations and to pursue Hebrew studies.

All of this progress ended when Iraq gained independence in 1932. In June 1941, the Mufti-inspired, pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali sparked rioting and a pogrom in Baghdad. Armed Iraqi mobs, with the complicity of the police and the army, murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000.

Although emigration was prohibited, many Jews made their way to Israel during this period with the aid of an underground movement. In 1950 the Iraqi parliament finally legalized emigration to Israel, and between May 1950 and August 1951, the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government succeeded in airlifting approximately 110,000 Jews to Israel in Operations Ezra and Nehemiah. This figure includes 18,000 Kurdish Jews, who have many distinct traditions. Thus a community that had reached a peak of 150,000 in 1947 dwindled to a mere 6,000 after 1951.

Additional outbreaks of anti-Jewish rioting occurred between 1946-49. After the establishment of Israel in 1948, Zionism became a capital crime.


In 1950, Iraqi Jews were permitted to leave the country within a year provided they forfeited their citizenship. A year later, however, the property of Jews who emigrated was frozen and economic restrictions were placed on Jews who chose to remain in the country. From 1949 to 1951, 104,000 Jews were evacuated from Iraq in Operations Ezra and Nehemiah; another 20,000 were smuggled out through Iran. In 1952, Iraq's government barred Jews from emigrating and publicly hanged two Jews after falsely charging them with hurling a bomb at the Baghdad office of the U.S. Information Agency.

With the rise of competing Ba'ath factions in 1963, additional restrictions were placed on the remaining Iraqi Jews. The sale of property was forbidden and all Jews were forced to carry yellow identity cards. After the Six-Day War, more repressive measures were imposed: Jewish property was expropriated; Jewish bank accounts were frozen; Jews were dismissed from public posts; businesses were shut; trading permits were cancelled; telephones were disconnected. Jews were placed under house arrest for long periods of time or restricted to the cities.

Persecution was at its worst at the end of 1968. Scores were jailed upon the discovery of a local "spy ring" composed of Jewish businessmen. Fourteen men-eleven of them Jews-were sentenced to death in staged trials and hanged in the public squares of Baghdad; others died of torture. On January 27, 1969, Baghdad Radio called upon Iraqis to "come and enjoy the feast." Some 500,000 men, women and children paraded and danced past the scaffolds where the bodies of the hanged Jews swung; the mob rhythmically chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to all traitors." This display brought a world-wide public outcry that Radio Baghdad dismissed by declaring: "We hanged spies, but the Jews crucified Christ." (Judith Miller and Laurie Mylroie, Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, p. 34).

Jews remained under constant surveillance by the Iraqi government. Max Sawadayee, in "All Waiting to be Hanged" writes a testimony of an Iraqi Jew (who later escaped): "The dehumanization of the Jewish personality resulting from continuous humiliation and torment...have dragged us down to the lowest level of our physical and mental faculties, and deprived us of the power to recover.".

In response to international pressure, the Baghdad government quietly allowed most of the remaining Jews to emigrate in the early 1970's, even while leaving other restrictions in force. Most of Iraq's remaining Jews are now too old to leave. They have been pressured by the government to turn over title, without compensation, to more than $200 million worth of Jewish community property. (New York Times, February 18, 1973).

Only one synagogue continues to function in Iraq, "a crumbling buff-colored building tucked away in an alleyway" in Baghdad. According to the synagogue's administrator, "there are few children to be bar-mitzvahed, or couples to be married. Jews can practice their religion but are not allowed to hold jobs in state enterprises or join the army." (New York Times Magazine, February 3, 1985).

In 1991, prior to the Gulf War, the State Department said "there is no recent evidence of overt persecution of Jews, but the regime restricts travel, (particularly to Israel) and contacts with Jewish groups abroad.".

Persecutions continued, especially after the Six-Day War in 1967, when many of the remaining 3,000 Jews were arrested and dismissed from their jobs.

Finally in Iraq all the Jews were forced to leave between 1948 and 1952 and leave everything behind. Jews were publicly hanged in the center of Baghdad with enthusiastic mobs as audiences.

The Jews were persecuted throughout the centuries in all the Arabic speaking countries. One time, Baghdad was one-fifth Jewish and other communities had first been established 2,500 years ago. Today, approximately 61 Jews are left in Baghdad and another 200 or so are in Kurdish areas in the north. Only one synagogue remains in Bataween, - once Baghdad's main Jewish neighborhood.-

The rabbi died in 1996 and none of the remaining Jews can perform the liturgy and only a couple know Hebrew. (Associated Press, March 28, 1998).


Jewish settlement in present-day Algeria can be traced back to the first centuries of the Common Era. In the 14th century, with the deterioration of conditions in Spain, many Spanish Jews moved to Algeria. Among them were a number of outstanding scholars, including the Ribash and the Rashbatz.

After the French occupation of the country in 1830, Jews gradually adopted French culture and were granted French citizenship.

On the eve of the civil war that gripped the country in the late 1950s, there were some 130,000 Jews in Algeria, approximately 30,000 of whom lived in the capital. Nearly all Algerian Jews fled the country shortly after it gained independence from France in 1962. Most of the remaining Jews live in Algiers, but there are individual Jews in Oran and Blida. A single synagogue functions in Algiers, although there is no resident rabbi. All other synagogues have been taken over for use as mosques.

In 1934, a Nazi-incited pogrom in Constantine left 25 Jews dead and scores injured. After being granted independence in 1962, the Algerian government harassed the Jewish community and deprived Jews of their principle economic rights. As a result, almost 130,000 Algerian Jews immigrated to France. Since 1948, 25,681 Algerian Jews have emigrated to Israel.


In Yemen from the seventh century on the Jewish populations suffered the severest possible interpretation of the Charter of Omar. For about 4 centuries, the Jews suffered under the fierce fanatical edict of the most intolerant Islamic sects. The Yemen Epistle by Rambam in which he commiserated with Yemen's Jewry and besought them to keep the faith, and in 1724 fanatical rulers ordered synagogues destroyed, and Jewish public prayers were forbidden. The Jews were exiled, many died from starvation and the survivors were ordered to settle in Mausa, but later, this order was annulled by a decree in 1781 due to the need of their skilled craftsmen. Jacob Sappir a Jerusalem writer describes Yemeni Jews in Yemen in 1886: "The Arab natives have always considered the Jew unclean, but his blood for them was not considered unclean. They lay claims to all his belongings, and if he is unwilling, they employ force...The Jews live outside the town in dark dwellings like prison cells or caves out of
fear...for the least offense, he is sentenced to outrageous fines, which he is quite unable to pay. In case of non-payment, he is put in chains and cruelly beaten every day. Before the punishment is inflicted, the Cadi[judge] addresses him in gentle tones and urges him to change his faith and obtain a share of all the glory of this world and of the world beyond. His refusal is again regarded as penal obstinacy. On the other hand, it is not open to the Jew to prosecute a Muslim, as the Muslim by right of law can dispose of the life and the property of the Jew, and it is only to be regarded as an act of magnanimity if the Jews are allowed to live. The Jew is not admissible as a witness, nor has his oath any validity.".

Danish-German explorer Garsten Neibuhr visited Yemen in 1762 described Jewish life in Yemen: "By day they work in their shops in San'a, but by night they must withdraw to their isolated dwellings, shortly before my arrival, 12 of the 14 synagogues of the Jews were torn down, and all their beautiful houses wrecked".

The Jews did not improve until the establishment of the French Protectorate in 1912, when they were given equality and religious autonomy. However, during World War II, when France was ruled by the anti-Semitic Vichy government, King Muhammed V prevented the deportation of Jews from Morocco. In 1922, the government of Yemen reintroduced an ancient Islamic law that decreed that Jewish orphans under age 12 were to be forcibly converted to Islam.

In 1947, after the partition vote, Muslim rioters, joined by the local police force, engaged in a bloody pogrom in Aden that killed 82 Jews and destroyed hundreds of Jewish homes. Aden's Jewish community was economically paralyzed, as most of the Jewish stores and businesses were destroyed. Early in 1948, looting occurred after six Jews were falsely accused of the ritual murder of two Arab girls. (Howard Sachar, A History of Israel). By 1948 there were some 270,000 Jews in Morocco. In an atmosphere of uncertainty and grinding poverty, many Jews elected to leave for Israel, France, the United States, and Canada.

Finally, nearly 50,000 traditionally religious Yemeni Jews, who had never seen a plane, were airlifted to Israel in 1949 and in 1950 in Operation "Magic Carpet.". Since the Book of Isaiah promised, "They shall mount up with wings, as eagles". The Jewish community bordered "The Eagles" contentedly; to the pilots consternation some of them lit a bon fire aboard, to cook their food.


The Jewish community of present-day Morocco dates back more than 2,000 years. There were Jews living there, before it became a Roman province. in 1032 AD, 6000 Jews were murdered. Indeed the greatest persecution by the Arabs towards the Jews was in Fez, Morocco, nothing was worse than the slaughter of 120,000 Jews in 1146 and before that In 1160 Maimonides in his Epistle concerning apostasy writes his fellow Jews: "Now we are asked to render the active homage to heathenism but only to recite an empty formula which the Moslems themselves knew we utter insincerely in order to circumvent the bigot ... indeed, any Jew who, after uttering the Muslim formula, wishes to observe the whole 613 precepts in the privacy of his home, may do so without hindrance. Nevertheless, if, even under circumstances, a Jew surrenders his life for the sanctification of the name of God before men, he has done nobly and his reward is great before the Lord. But if a man asked me, "shall I be slain or utter the formula of Islam?" I answer, "utter the formula and live ... "". In 1391 a wave of Jewish refugees expelled from Spain brought new life to the community, as did new arrivals from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1497. From 1438, the Jews of Fez were forced to live in special quarters called mellahs, a name derived from the Arabic word for salt because the Jews in Morocco were forced to carry out the job of salting the heads of executed prisoners prior to their public display. Chouraqui sums it up when he wrote: "such restriction and humiliation as to exceed anything in Europe". Charles de Foucauld in 1883 who was not generally sympathetic to Jews writes of the Jews: "They are the most unfortunate of men, every Jew belongs body and soul to his seigneur, the sid[Arab master]". Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in "an offensive manner." The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.


In June 1948, bloody riots in Oujda and Djerada killed 44 Jews and wounded scores more. That same year, an unofficial economic boycott was instigated against Moroccan Jews.

In 1956, Morocco declared its independence, and Jewish emigration to Israel was suspended. In 1963, emigration resumed, allowing more than 100,000 Moroccan Jews to reach Israel. In 1965, Moroccan writer Said Ghallab described the attitude of his fellow Muslims toward their Jewish neighbors: The worst insult that a Moroccan could possibly offer was to treat someone as a Jew....My childhood friends have remained anti-Jewish. They hide their virulent anti-Semitism by contending that the State of Israel was the creature of Western imperialism....A whole Hitlerite myth is being cultivated among the populace. The massacres of the Jews by Hitler are exalted ecstatically. It is even credited that Hitler is not dead, but alive and well, and his arrival is awaited to deliver the Arabs from Israel. (Said Ghallab, "Les Juifs sont en enfer," in Les Temps Modernes, (April 1965), pp. 2247-2251. ).


The first documented evidence of Jews in this area dates back to 200 A.D and demonstrates the existence of a community in Latin Carthage under Roman rule. Latin Carthage contained a significant Jewish presence, and
several sages mentioned in the Talmud lived in this area from the 2nd to the 4th centuries. During the Byzantine period, the condition of the community took a turn for the worse. An edict issued by Justinian in 535 excluded Jews from public office, prohibited Jewish practice, and resulted in the transformation of synagogues into churches. Many fled to the Berber communities in the mountains and in the desert.

After the Arab conquest of Tunisia in the 7th century, Jews lived under satisfactory conditions, despite discriminatory measures such as a poll tax. From 7th century Arab conquest down through the Almahdiyeen
atrocities, Tunisia fared little better than its neighbors. The complete expulsion of Jews from Kairouan near Tunis occurred after years of hardship, in the 13th century when Kairouan was anointed as a holy city of Islam. ~ In the 16th century, the "hated and despised" Jews of Tunis were periodically attacked by violence and they were subjected to "vehement anti-Jewish policy" during the various political struggles of the period. In 1869 Muslims butchered many Jews in the defenseless ghetto.

Conditions worsened during the Spanish invasions of 1535-1574, resulting in the flight of Jews from the coastal areas. The situation of the community improved once more under Ottoman rule. During this period, the community also split due to strong cultural differences between the Touransa (native Tunisians) and the Grana (those adhering to Spanish or Italian customs). Improvements in the condition of the community occurred during the reign of Ahmed Bey, which began in 1837. He and his successors implemented liberal legislation, and a large number of Jews rose to positions of political power during this reign. Under French rule, Jews were gradually emancipated. However, beginning in November 1940, when the country was ruled by the Vichy authorities, Jews were subject to anti-Semitic laws. From November 1942 until May 1943, the country was occupied by German forces. During that time, the condition of the Jews deteriorated further, and many were deported to labor camps and had their property seized. Jews suffered once more in 1956, when the country achieved independence. The rabbinical tribunal was abolished in 1957, and a year later, Jewish community councils were dissolved. In addition, the Jewish quarter of Tunis was destroyed by the government. Anti-Jewish rioting followed the outbreak of the Six-Day War; Muslims burned down the Great Synagogue of Tunis. While the community was compensated for the damage, these events increased the steady stream of emigration.


The Jewish community of Libya traces its origin back to the 3rd century B.C Under Roman rule, where Jews prospered.

In 73 A.D, a zealot from Israel, Jonathan the Weaver, incited the poor of the community in Cyrene to revolt. The Romans reacted with swift vengeance, murdering him and his followers and executing other wealthy Jews in the community. This revolt foreshadowed that of 115 A.D, which broke out not only in Cyrene, but in Egypt and Cyprus as well. In 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews. With the Italian occupation of Libya in 1911, the situation remained good and the Jews made great strides in education. At that time, there were about 21,000 Jews in the country, the majority in Tripoli. In the late 1930s, Fascist anti-Jewish laws were gradually enforced, and Jews were subject to terrible repression. Still, by 1941, the Jews accounted for a quarter of the population of Tripoli and maintained 44 synagogues. In 1942 the Germans occupied the Jewish quarter of Benghazi, plundered shops, and deported more than 2,000 Jews across the desert, where more than one-fifth
of them perished. Many Jews from Tripoli were also sent to forced labor camps. Conditions did not greatly improve following the liberation. During the British occupation, there was a series of pogroms, the worst of which, in 1945, resulted in the deaths of more than 100 Jews in Tripoli and other towns and the destruction of five synagogues. The establishment of the State of Israel, led many Jews to leave the country. A savage pogrom occurred in Tripoli on November 5, 1945 where more than 140 Jews were massacred and almost every synagogue looted. (Howard Sachar, A History of Israel). In June 1948, rioters murdered another 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes. Thousands of Jews fled the country after Libya was granted independence and membership in the Arab League in 1951. (Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times). After the Six-Day War, the Jewish population of 7,000 was again subjected to pogroms in which 18 were killed, and many more injured, sparking a near-total exodus that left fewer than 100 Jews in Libya. When Col. Qaddafi came to power in 1969, all Jewish property was confiscated and all debts to Jews cancelled. Today, no Jews are believed to live in Libya. Although emigration was illegal, more than 3,000 Jews succeeded to leave to Israel. When the British legalized emigration in 1949, more than 30,000 Jews fled Libya. At the time of Colonel Qaddafi's coup in 1969, some 500 Jews remained in Libya. Qaddafi subsequently confiscated all Jewish property and cancelled all debts owed to Jews. By 1974 there were no more than 20 Jews, and it is believed that the Jewish presence has passed out of existence.

N. Friedman - 3/24/2007


1. Starting in the 1940's and continuing into the 1950's, Jews in Arab lands were mostly expelled, massacred and dispossessed of their property, largely in revenge. That is a fact, whether or not you recognize it. In the scheme of things, what was done to these Jews was far, far worse than what Jews did to Arabs. All possessions were taken and people were forced to move up to a thousand miles, in some cases, from their homes. Consider, Omar, Jews in Arab lands were mostly (a) not Zionists and (b) entirely unrelated to the conflict in what is now Israel. That, frankly, is as low as it gets.

2. Justice requires recognition of the rights of all involved. Justice does not mean recognition of only Arab rights. That includes the Jews who were expelled from Arab lands, which includes far more people than those Arabs expelled and far more property stolen.

3. Justice also means that what occurred 59 years ago concerned a different generation. Those born in the next generations have no claim by any moral standard. They are due nothing. That goes for both sides in the dispute.

To the extent that you claim rights for the children and the grandchildren of those who lost homes, you are merely talking politics and/or religion. People have no inalienable connection with a piece of land, especially if they were not born or do not live on it. That, after all, is your complaint about Israelis who migrated to what is now Israel - which, lest you forget, is a basic moral right. So, this works both ways.

My point: you can speak the language of humanity, in which case you have to accept Israel and realize that people were displaced all around or you can speak the language of politics and religion, in which case you are talking war. You may say that things could be straightened out by Israel destroying itself in favor of a "Dezionized" state - i.e. an Arab Muslim state under the HAMAS -, but that is the traditional language of Islam, as in an invitation issued prior to conquest. And, that is exactly what you are saying.

art eckstein - 3/24/2007

Omar writes:

"ALL the terms are self explanatory particularly for those who live in others' homes and till others'land obtained through colonialist conquest and deny their rightful ligitimate owners their RIGHT of RETURN to their homeland and the repossession of their legal properties."

Omar, do you mean--those who live in the homes of the 900,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands in 1948-1960 (that's TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND more Jews dispossessed than Arab Palestinians were dispossesed) and till others' lands and deny them the right to regain them (DITTO)?

In the property exchanges of 1948-1960, in other words, the Arabs came out way ahead. If the Arab private citizens and states that profitted from this expropriation refuse to share those spoils of dispossessed Jews with their Palestinian brethren, that is the Arabs' fault, not the Jews' fault.

N. Friedman - 3/23/2007

Mr. Simon,

This is an outstanding post about which I wholeheartedly agree.

N. Friedman - 3/23/2007


Again, you are talking nonsense. What you want is war. War is stupid and for dults.

E. Simon - 3/23/2007

Dumb and blind as we collectivized non-individuals may be, a greater share of the world - and a constantly increasing share of it, at that - is more concerned with preventing the hateful, illiberal and undemocratic elements espoused by Nazi-inspired, Islamism-advocating, terrorism-coddling sentiments and movements than could care about the revolution of reversing history by obsessing on the "dislocating, dispossessing, disfranchising and subjugating (of) indigenous Palestinian Arabs", as if these buzzwords - that 'Umar doesn't even define - could be addressed in a practical and legally precedented away.

The entire world is a herd, 'Umar, except for the thinkers and the Majnoonun. Keep pissing it off and you might get caught under the stampede.

E. Simon - 3/23/2007

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I meant to say "are inferior to or less important than" in the second sentence.

E. Simon - 3/23/2007

You might cite any number and kind of grievances in your littany of charges and accusations against Israel and Zionism. But the simple fact of the matter is that you think Jewish/Israeli interests are inferior to Muslim/Arab interests. And that is why the conflict continues. And because the Jews understand this, and because they understand the true nature of their primary interests better than you do in the descriptions with which you consistently libel them, they will continue to win.

E. Simon - 3/23/2007

'Umar might equally be responded to by taking note of the fact that Nazi-inspired, Islamism-advocating, terrorism-coddling Arab sentiments and movements, which deny the nationhood of other Mid-East peoples, are the mortal enemy of Jewish Israelis - and indeed they are. And that obvious acknowledgement might also get us nowhere. But at least it is more accurate, descriptive and helpful than the severely limited dialogue accomplished by resorting to political buzzwords such as "PRIME ENEMY", "dispossessing", "subjugating", "disfranchising", "indigenous", "deZionized", and "supplanting", which mean nothing other than as a cat-call to a revolution, which 'Umar does not seem to understand, is a purely sectarian one.

N. Friedman - 3/23/2007


Now, that is the dumbest thing you have written. You have, however, correctly characterized the view of many non-thinking Arabs.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/23/2007

Omar, no less a personage than pro-Arab scribbler Eric Rouleau of LeMonde, wrote that the Ba`ath party was founded under Nazi inspiration [in New Left Review, circa 1967]. Sami al-Jundi, one of the founders, wrote of how he and his friends studied Nazi writings.

The Nazi ties of Nasser and Sadat are notorious. In regard to Sadat, pet of Time magazine and the State Dept, I suggest Sadat's early book Revolt on the Nile [also in French: Revolte sur le Nil]. He is very frank about his Nazi sympathies and pro-Nazi activies. Like spying for Rommel's army. Some German spies sent to serve as liaison with the Egyptian "Free Officers" were caught together with some of the "Free Officers," including Sadat himself, if I rightly recall. In the book cited above, Sadat blames Egyptian Jews for the capture of the German spies and their Arab contacts. He goes on to say that if the plot had succeeded, then the Germans might have won the war. So, if Sadat is right, then we have to credit some Egyptian Jews for the failure of the whole Nazi war effort.

It seems that `Umar La Habibna is still promoting the foul Ba`athist-Nasserite movements as a hopeful alternative for the Middle East.

art eckstein - 3/22/2007

Too bad, Omar--the serious people on this blog agree with me, not with you, nor does anyone say I have miscategorized your position.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/22/2007

NF, thanks for your kind evaluation of the post.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/22/2007

NF, thanks for your kind evaluation of the post.

N. Friedman - 3/22/2007


This is one of your best posts. I hope that Omar engages as his posts to which you now respond, among his many other posts, are the most interesting things from him.

To Omar,

I would answer your position this way.

I shall, for purposes of this post, take your words as being your earnest sentiment. And, I shall ignore your invective against Jewish nationalism.

One problem I have is that there is no precedent to look at by which it could even be said that non-Muslims are treated as well by any Muslim Arab states as Israel treats it Muslim Arab citizens. In fact, there is no Muslim Arab state which treats even its Muslim Arabs as well as Israel treats its Muslim Arab citizens. That is true, whatever discrimination exists in Israel.

But, let us say, for argument's sake, that Israel does worse for it Muslim Arab citizens than any Muslim Arab country does for its non-Muslim subjects, that still does not mean that there is a credible expectation of equality, if the experience of non-Muslim in Arab Muslim states is examined. That is, one needs to examine what sort of society the Arab Muslim side would likely create if it had its way.

Since Jews have all been driven out of Arab Muslim lands, the only analogy to look at is the treatment of Christians in Arab Muslim lands. If one looks at how Muslim Arabs treat Christians in Muslim Arab lands, that suggests that there is no future for Christian Arabs in Arab Muslim lands. See A Christian Exodus from the Arab World, Der Spiegel, January 10, 2007. And, the same is true in Arab Muslim lands ruled by the HAMAS. See See Palestinian Christians Look Back on a Year of Troubles, The New York Times, March 11, 2007. It is rather difficult to imagine that Jews would fair better than Christians under Muslim Arab rule.

The closest to equality for Christians is in Lebanon. But, in Lebanon, government position is assigned by religious confession. That, of itself, means government resulting not by majority rule but as a settlement to violence - violence which threatens again and again to irrupt over and over again. And, as is well known, Christians are fleeing Lebanon with the growth of the Islamic population. Such has been going on for a very long time. That, again, suggests that Israeli Jews would not fair well in a state of the type you propose. In fact, far from it.

So, what you ask, even assuming that it sounds interesting in the abstract, has to be measured against its practicality. And, that practicality does not mean happiness under your proposed formula.

Assuming, then, that Israeli rule is even worse than Arab Muslim rule, that still does not point to a single state. Rather, given the region's history, what is needed is partition and cooperation. Neither seems very likely. And, if anything, your proposal would, no matter how well intentioned, make things worse, creating a true civil war in which the casualties would not be in the thousands but in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/22/2007

Al-mamlaka al-maghribiya dawla islamiya-- that's the beginning of the Moroccan constitution, its very first line -- "The Maghribi [= Western OR Moroccan] kingdom is an Islamic state." This demonstrates the importance that independent Morocco gives to Islam. Now, if you insist, you can claim that shari`ah is not the ONLY source of law in the various Arab states other than Saudi Arabia. Not the only source, OK, but various laws in the 20-odd Arab League member states do discriminate against non-Muslims in law. [Syria, if I am not mistaken, went so far as to discriminate against Muslim non-Arabs, for instance, by forbidding marriage between them and Syrian citizens without special permission]. Further, actual practice in the various Arab states with a native non-Muslim population, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, etc. goes beyond the official state laws in the direction of Shari`ah. This discriminatory treatment ranges from mass murder in southern Sudan, starting in 1956 [after Sudan's independence], to severe persecution and discrimination in Egypt of the Copt natives. The Copts are an estimated 10 to 15% of the population, but they are discriminated against in the civil service, especially on the upper levels. In the govt, Butros-Ghali never became foreign minister. He was always the "acting" foreign minister. How come??? Now, I don't want to recite the list of horrors inflicted on the Copts in Egypt or the foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. But how can anyone justify, on the basis of facts that you agree with, at least partially, that either Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Sudan should have any say on what world bodies and international organizations decide about Israel??

I remind you further that in traditional Arab/Muslim society, the Jews were always at the bottom of the totem pole. That goes for the Land of Israel too, where there is abundant evidence and testimony for the status of Jews as oppressed even worse than the Christian dhimmi peoples [indeed, also by local and foreign Christians]. As to "secular," Arab nationalism of the Nasserite or Ba`ath variety, you do recall that both Nasserites and Ba`athists began as admirers of the Nazis?? And that they all honored Haj Amin el-Husseini [al-Husayni], British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, a collaborator in the Holocaust?? Yet you hold up Nasser and the Ba`ath as examplars. Of what? The aspiration to a Secular Arab Naziism? What do Jews owe to those who libel and slander them night and day? To those who honor the chief Arab Nazi collaborator [Husseini]? To those whose schools, mosques, mass media, repeat European Nazi lies combined with traditional Muslim Judeophobia [such as the fable of the talking rocks and trees that say: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him]. Then we are afflicted by the lies of Western politicians, like the contemptible Carter, who are in the pay of super-rich Arabs. One of Carter's lies [not the only one] is that Israel is an "apartheid" state. I just came back from a Jerusalem shopping mall where there were plenty of Arabs, spending money, trying on clothing, sitting at cafes, etc. Yet Carter called Israel an apartheid state.

Now, there has never been an Arab state with equal rights for Jews --and trying to sell us the mirage of such a state is outrageous.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/22/2007

Omar, all Arab states but Lebanon are Muslim states by their constitutions. How does that jibe with "equal rights" for all?

You do recall that Muslim shari`ah law makes the non-Muslim inferior to the Muslim.

N. Friedman - 3/20/2007

I gather that he may not have had a classical education.

E. Simon - 3/20/2007

Given that there's a well-known historical reference to it, he might not get so thrown off, but then again, we all know he hates to read and even the similar phrase tu quoque caused him some problems.

Tim R. Furnish - 3/20/2007

Mr. Green,
Methinks you give Omar too much credit. I seriously doubt he knows Ottoman.

N. Friedman - 3/20/2007


Clarke is not a reader, at least if the views of the writer are not known, beforehand, to agree with his views. So, do not waste the recommendation. I have been trying that for years now, only to have him rebuff those he disagrees with as worthless.

No doubt the redoubtable Nonnie Darwish will fail to meet Clarke's "standards." After all, he rejects Benny Morris, Bat Ye'or, Martin Gilbert, Richard L. Rubinstein, etc., etc. They make the mistake of not holding Clarke's opinions - opinions that are no doubt the products of having read, oh, oh, oh, my: I cannot recall what.

N. Friedman - 3/20/2007

Mr. Kovachev,

You have said nothing at all that remotely offends me. I was merely setting out my views. You, among the posters on this website, are one of the better ones. And unlike your first-name sake Clarke, I allow for a variety of opinions.

art eckstein - 3/20/2007

Clarke should read Nonnie Darwish's account of growing up in Gaza in the 1950s--the anti-semitism preached in schools and mosques, the constant calls to destroy (pre-1967) Israel. She should know--her father was an Egyptian colonel who established the first terrorist organization to go into (pre-1967) Israel from Gaza--the Fedayeen. She's horrified about what she grew up with now. But the point is that this vile propaganda and hatred to which Nonnie Darwish was subjected, and which she indicates inspired many others, existed PRE-1967, PRE-WEST-BANK SETTLEMENTS. Nothing has really changed.

As I said, I personally view the West Bank settlements as a mistake. But they were never the cause of the annihilationist Arab/Muslim impulse, or the sewer of vile antisemitism, as Clarke implies, for that impulse long pre-dated the settlements, was CONSTANTLY a part of the education and propaganda of Gaza in the 1950s, and Nonnie Darwish is a very vivid witness of it.

Sorry to bother you with more FACTS, Mr. Clarke.

N. Friedman - 3/20/2007

Mr. Simon,

You mean I should not say, Et tu Brute?

art eckstein - 3/20/2007

E. Simon, I think you hit the nail on the head.

Peter Kovachev - 3/20/2007

Mr. Friedman,

No criticism whatsover was directed at you, and especially at how you define your place within the Jewish world. As zealous as I may appear at times (imagine that), I actually root for a pluralistic Jewish community.

In re-reading my post, though, I realize how you might have felt included in my criticism. I apologize if that's the impression I left. Alas, I didn't have you in mind at all when I bitched, rather the imagined targets of my bile were some of the major Jewish organizations which kow-towed to Israel's Foreign Affairs flunkies and effectively killed any opposition to or even discussion of the Gaza give-away by telling people not to butt-in unless they live in Israel. I felt that this argument was selective and very wrong.

Apart from a firm belief in a multi-faceted Jewish community, I also wouldn't criticise your attitudes and choices because I'm not Jewish...at least not yet, although we're past the half-way mark in our studies and are looking at another year before the snip and the dip. Toronto's Orthodox beth din is the toughest in the world. We do plan to make aliyah in a few years from now and my family and a bunch of friends from my shul are thinking of going as a group. Both Omar and Peter Clarke would be pleased to know that I'm aiming to be a gun-toting "settler" somewhere on a lovely hill in Yudah or Shomron. All part and parcel of the varied, pluralistic and multifaceted Jewish communinity model; the principle of "it takes all kinds," I guess.

E. Simon - 3/20/2007

So in other words, for you it's about assigning blame and fault - facts be damned - and when any one who disagrees with you injects facts into the discussion to clarify your errors, they are just declaring tribal allegiances. And it's no longer about what Israel does and the historical or political significance of what it does, but whether what it does is being condemned in proportion to the parameters you've assigned to the discussion. This little shift of yours clarifies... well, not much about anything other than how personally you take an objective discussion.

See Pete, I'd be glad to be proved wrong 50% of the time, but since you need facts to do so, that isn't going to happen. Just toeing Peter's line of saying: "The State of Israel and The Palestinian National Authority both do bad things, and therefore we cannot have any discussions that do anything other than underscore that premise alone" - that is NOT an objective, intelligent, open-ended discussion. It's a political project. It certainly doesn't reveal any historical interpretations that could be useful in resolving the conflict. You've taken a goal and used it to replace whatever intelligent observations could be used to further that goal. And if not waffling means forcing a stand when it's more appropriate to openly, deliberately explore an issue, then it's no wonder why factual assertions leave you so incensed. First observe, then think, then defend your conclusions. You seem to advocate and assume others also embrace a backward approach that starts with and emphasizes taking a stand before actually considering anything objective having to do with that stand. I think that's a pretty stupid way to do things, but hey, don't worry about it - you're not responsible for my opinions. Just for your misinterpretations of them. Once you assume responsibility for my opinions, then you can use whatever backward thought-processing methodologies you want for arriving at them.

It must get frustrating always trying to control a discussion.

Oh, and sorry about the verbosity. Sometimes I forget what an easily confused man I'm debating. You leave lots of not very well-thought out issues littered about in your posts that it's more effort than it's worth to neatly select which of them to come up with a clean rejoinder to.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/20/2007

Peter, in your words:
"A mistake that has condemned a whole country to decades of violence and instability. . . ."
This statement implies, Peter, that the post-Six Day settlements are THE cause. But how could those settlements have caused a war that occurred BEFORE they were established? Indeed, the Arabs persecuted Jews long before the Six Day War and long before the Zionist movement, as Prof Furnish was trying to explain. How do you explain, Peter, the rather notorious hadith in fable form that, at the end of days, the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them. And the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees will cry out: O Muslim! A Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him, etc. This hadith in fable form goes back to the Middle Ages. Was it inspired by the settlements?

N. Friedman - 3/20/2007


I do not call the settlements a mistake without regard to circumstances; only in some circumstances.

I say this because not all of the land was ever to be ceded and that has been the case, as intended by UN 242, from the beginning. Note the UN debates on the matter, which show such to have been intended by the drafters as the explicit basis for the resolution.

So, I distinguish between land in the Arab bulge and other land. Such, I might add, was also Barak's position and President Clinton's position and was part and parcel of what was discussed in December 2000 and at Taba. Such was also accepted in principle by Arafat in exchange for land to be ceded by Israel from Israel proper.

On the other hand, I do not support settling people on land to be ceded. And, that includes most of the captured territories - about 97%, after subtracting land to be ceded from Israel proper. Is that clear enough for you?

If, however, land is not to be ceded, there is nothing wrong with settling on it.

N. Friedman - 3/20/2007


I do not think that Omar established that term on this site. I think he picked it up from someone else or merely and slightly altered someone else's very similar term. However, your remark is an interesting one.

art eckstein - 3/20/2007

The problem is, Mr. Clarke, that Omar IS in fact often factually wrong (and very usually--let's say--"incomplete"). What is worse, is his refusal to acknowledge this, or to take into account powerful counter-arguments or the real facts, or to apologize for misleading the blog.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/20/2007

Perhaps I am reading too much into Omar's use of the term "herd" to describe his pro-Israel opponents. However, a word often used by Arabs/Muslims/Turks to describe the dhimmi populations was ra`ayah which can mean herd. Is that why `Umar calls his non-Muslim adversaries in debate "herd"? Is his use of "herd" atavistic or simply ahead of its time?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/20/2007

Peter, do you really mean to say that Arab hostility to Israel is all because of the post-Six Day War settlements across the 1949 armistice line? That if it were not for the settlements, the Arabs would have been delighted to make peace with Israel? Yet, you do see, don't you, that the Arabs can hardly live at peace with each other, as in Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, or with non-Arabs or non-Muslims as in southern Sudan? Is it all due to those "evil" settlers in their concrete bunkers? Why did Arabs massacre 68 Jews in Hebron in 1929? The Hebron community had existed for more three thousand years [some claim it was interrupted by the Crusader invasion of 1099 and only resumed after the Crusader defeat of 1187]. Were the Hebron Jews, ghettoized for centuries, living on Arab land in concrete bunkers?

E. Simon - 3/20/2007

He's not here to be productive. He's here because he has a political position that's too narrow-minded for his country to take seriously, one that he's too narrow-minded to make an effective case for - if one even existed - so he comes here to make himself feel that he can hold his own by cudgeling his voice against scholars and people who can actually hold their own in a debate.

He does it for his own self-aggrandizement.

E. Simon - 3/20/2007

"Watch how he is NOT even able to call the settlements a mistake like you just did."

Then why did your lumpy thinking lead you to so consistently lump their two positions together?

Go to bed, Peter.

E. Simon - 3/20/2007

I have yet to hear Peter identify the "Likud" position here that every one of his "Likudnik dupes" debate opponents ostensibly supports.

But I am sure that wasn't the point. It was just done to falsely call names and out of his own desperation for not having a fact or a factually-supportable idea to attach to his pseudonym.

E. Simon - 3/20/2007

Whenever you get ready to know what you're talking about, we will listen to your view on what is the proper course of action for Israel to take.

Until then, speak up as much as you want. The increased volume and undifferentiated sounds let everyone know that the distortion was unintentional on your part - just more rip-roaring, loud, warm emoting.

Nice touch on using "Warsaw Ghetto" as a pejorative, too. Calling your debate opponents the equivalent of "Dumb, Paranoid Holocaust Survivors" really shows everyone here that your problem is a pretty severe one. Wish there was a classier way for you to illustrate and advertise your problem, but that wouldn't be the Pseudo-Clarkian way.

art eckstein - 3/20/2007

In any case, you must stop your childish and empty accusations and write more clearly if many of us are indeed misinterpreting you. THAT would be productive.

art eckstein - 3/20/2007

Nobody's twisting your words, Clarke. If you do NOT mean what the clear implications of your words ARE,--and it's not just ME who is "misinterpreting" you--then the problem is that you don't know how to write clearly.

Of course the other possibility is that all of us are NOT "misinterpreting" what you mean...

art eckstein - 3/20/2007

Friedman's position is not "Israel right or wrong."


E. Simon - 3/20/2007

Good thing that "straw man" isn't a Latin phrase or it would have confused Peter to hear you describe his use of it. This way he can just ignore it and leave that part of the thread uncluttered.

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

More platitudes as substitute for thought, from whom else - Peter. I can understand that the facts and ideas expressed were too difficult for you to comprehend. "Bargains" can't be made until the bargaining begins, for everyone else who is unafraid to grasp such difficult and subtle concepts.

Oh, and Chief Calumniator Clarke, your B.S. non-rebuttal doesn't make your case for how the post to which you tried to respond described a "Likud" position. So thanks for showing us how easy it was for you to illustrate, yourself, that you couldn't back up what you said.

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

Also, Clarke lies again. I never said Peter Kovachev was MORE straightforward. Kovachev has a DIFFERENT view. But Clarke just funnels Kovachev's view into a bin labelled "the hardline view I (PCK) understand" and funnels everyone else's views that don't conform to his weird and uninformed SINGLE alternative, into the PKC brain-bin labelled "a deceptive cover for the hardline view that I (PKC) understand". What a nut. Facts that distinguish points of view into more than the only two he can apparently hold in his head (the one he thinks he supports and all others that he misunderstands as thoroughly as his own, and falsely mentally lumps into what he imagines to be some sort of anti-Peter coalition) really do confuse him.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007

Mr. Kovachev,

My attachment to Israel is not religious. It is that of a secular Jew who is defending, as an outsider, a just cause, Jewish nationalism. I am indifferent to the idea of living in Israel, preferring my life in America. And, my politics are friendly to America.

I am indifferent to whether Israel retains or cedes land. I do not have to live with the results nor do I intend to do so. I think Israel has difficult choices and that the world should bug off forcing itself on Israel in order to assuage Arab terrorism and secure lucrative oil and construction contracts.

I do not see you as meddling. I see you as a person who might live in Israel. That gives you rights, assuming you were to move to Israel, that I do not have and Clarke, who has no imaginable reason to care about internal Israeli politics, does not have.

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

Why "condemn" the settlements, Captain Zion? The basic idea is that they are "bargaining chips" that will allow some land to be exchanged (Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, Western Samaria) in order for the vast majority of the West Bank - and perhaps even some land from Israel proper - to be ceded for the purpose of a Palestinian state. This is a MAINSTREAM ISRAELI (i.e. NOT LIKUD) position (except about the part of ceding land from Israel proper. The Likud probably even opposes a Palestinian state, but your ignorance on that, as on so many other things is, of course, of no moment - you will still use the label cause it's all you have, and wait for others to call you on it). And this has nothing to do with permanently settling - i.e. with the objective of ANNEXING - the ENTIRE West Bank, as I explained. No one with a brain expects that Israel will unilaterally "evacuate" the West Bank, as it did Gaza, given the relative size and security concerns, issues over final borders INCLUDING Jerusalem, etc.

Question: Does Peter "K." Clarke even believe that Israel will unilaterally "evacuate" the entire West Bank, en masse, without the P.A. taking its fingers out of its ears long enough to help negotiate the basis for doing so? I highly doubt it. But IF HE DOES, LET HIM CLARIFY THAT THAT IS OR IS NOT HIS POSITION. So until then what is the point of taking out every settlement east of the Green Line? Only the PKC Trigrammaton himself would seem to know. Or maybe not. I sure hope that with so many fewer facts in his head about the issue, he likes being goaded in the same accusatory manner that he dishes out.

But in your usual factless, polemical way, I see an emotional appeal to taking a strong (and strongly ignorant) stance - one that is ENTIRELY contingent on the FALLACY OF THE FALSE DICHOTOMY - one that allows you to throw kindergarten labels such as uncivilized and dishonest - is more important to you than actually understanding the facts that are at everyone else's abundant disposal.

I also await a clarification of your incoherent blathering on the "proper" bien-pensant position to take on the security barrier - so that we may all fall in line with the pseudonymous prophet-politician Clarke's revelation on that matter - once he reveals what it is. Who cares which faction supported it one year as opposed to two years later? What's the difference, it's been in construction for longer already and not controversial in Israel, but I am sure you will find a way to make ANY CURRENT stance on it sound controversial enough to rail against, in your emotional, slimy, innuendo-laden, unclear and factually unsupportable way. But then again, we are just sheep to you, remember. Or to the Likud. Or to whomever is less coherent at the moment - oh yeah, that would be you. Your Arguments from Providence obviate the need for anything else.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


If only you came forward and made honest arguments. It would improve the atmosphere here dramatically.

art eckstein - 3/19/2007

1. Well, I see I've got your goat, Peter, but the fact is that I've already made it clear (not only several times before this article but again just above on this thread) that I don't support the West Bank settlements, and think they were a mistake. Therefore, you are wrong to call me a "Likudnik", since the Likud Party DOES support the settlements. Therefore, for you to keep saying this is indeed just straw-man and slander. Don't know why you keep doing it. Give it up.

2. I've said nothing dishonest in the least about you. The problem is evidently that you can't see what you are writing, or its implications, or how it looks to other people, or how other people reasonably interpret it-- after all, Peter, it's NOT just me! If it WERE just me, perhaps you could call me crazy, but since Friedman and Simon have AGREED with me on what you seem to be saying, it's obvious that the problem does not lie with me but with you. If we are interpreting you reasonably but incorrectly, then be more careful.

3. And in addition you continue to avoid our calls for facts--facts which everyone else (Friedman, Simon and I daresay even myself) has brought to the table, but which you do not. All you bring is moral posturing and false accusations. Yes, even Omar is more substantial.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


In this case, it is you who do not misunderstand. Omar speaks as the typical Arab.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


Laqueur's work is still first rate. I have read his recent book on Antisemitism. It is a fine work.

As for Laqueur's views, read this, from a recent interview. It is pure Bat Ye'or:

Dieter Farwick: The demographic development is tightly interwoven with a phenomenon that is often referred to as the “sneaking ‘Islamization’ of Europe.” There are catchwords, such as: Ghetto, parallel or even anti-society.
What are the risks and dangers of this development? Is “Euro-Islam” the best course of action?

Walter Laqueur: Again, most politicians closed their eyes. If they had visited schools and kindergarten in the big cities they would have been aware of the trend but politicians were too busy. Certain regions of Europe will have Muslim majorities from the Ruhr region to the west, the big cities of Holland, Belgium sand Northern France—certainly as far as the younger age groups are concerned .It may be true even with regard to a city like Malmö in Sweden. To talk about integration in these circumstances is pointless .Why should the new majority make an effort to be integrated.? The situation in Britain is different, about half of the new immigrants are not Muslim.
Euro Islam”--I do not see it, or better I see it only as as transitional stage.. There is a process of assimilation and secularization in the Muslim communities. Muslim women in Europe will be emancipated. But I fear the young generation is attracted more by the negative aspects of Western civilization than by European values. In any case this may take several decades.

Your explanation of my views about Israel are crude and stupid. Land grabbing is the sort of comment made by a person who has never read a history book. It is meaningless nonsense. Israel conquered the land. In history, conquered land is usually settled. That a country is willing to cede the land conquered in a war is rare. It is certainly not a land grab. It is nearly the opposite. The only land Israel seems intent on keeping is land that might help prevent an invasion - i.e. in the Arab bulge. Such land was not offered by any Israeli politician, Likud or Labor or even further left.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


We are hardliners so that Peter has a straw man to attack. The problem for Peter is that he has nothing other than the straw man attack. Even Omar does better.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


You say that principles of Judaism were violated in the war in Iraq, a war which philosopher Michael Walzer says was a morally justified war. I, frankly, do not think that any moral principle was violated, Jewish or otherwise by the war.

However, since you claim knowledge about Jewish ethic, prove your point. Please cite me authoritative justification for your position. I await to learn your Talmudic expertise. If you cannot do so, then I suggest you not say things you know nothing about.

In any event, I think that your comment is crudely bigoted and unbecoming of you.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


I do not deny the right to comment about or criticize Israel. But, I understand the difference between being an officious intermeddler and making legitimate comment. You do not.

If you want to post, cite your facts and be prepared to back them up. Otherwise, expect me to dump on you.

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007

Mr. Simon,

Maybe. I, however, would not waste too much time on his problems. They are for his therapist.

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

And don't forget, Mr. Friedman - PKC's behavior patterns regarding the defensive charges against others might be operating at a subconscious level - they probably are, given the lack of thought that characterizes his posts, which we keep keep having to point out.

art eckstein - 3/19/2007

In # 107342 above, Omar makes it clear he's willing to allow some Jews to live in the region he calls Palestine--as long as they are dhimmis with no political or military power, as they were for the previous 1500 years but not before. This confirms my understanding of the Muslim view of the proper moral order of the world, and hence why the existence of Israel creates so much religious rage. The rejection has nothing to do with any especially heinous Israeli treatment of human rights, but has its origin in religious rage.

After all, if Omar were concerned with human rights per se, he'd be concerned about Darfur, with its 1,000,000 dead, or he'd be concerned about the 34,000 innocent Muslim dead in Iraq last year, every single one of them killed as an act of worship of Allah, instead of downplaying this dreadful figure as he has done with his reference to a normal civil war like the one in 1861-1865 in the U.S., or he'd even make some sympathetic noises about the fact that the Muslims expelled 200,000 more Jews from their lands in 1948-1960 than the numbers in the Palestinian exodus in 1948, and have never offered to return THEIR property (and believe me, somebody TOOK that property, Omar,and has it and is using it RIGHT NOW).

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

Well, then again, I am being humorous in my label of him. I don't think he is actually trying to be a religious prophet or leader, he just acts like one - (at least insofar as religious figures appeal to and deal in an epistemological framework that is not concerned with factual challenges). And without the following, that is. And without the magnanimity or spiritual gravitas either.

art eckstein - 3/19/2007

Exactly so, E. Simon. None of us advocates the position Peter claims we do, and this is not a matter of guessing about is or subtle implications from what we've written. We've each stated our positions on the West Bank. None of the usual group here is a hard-liner. If it's as hard for Peter to understand that fact as it is for him to understand other facts, perhaps that's why he comes forth with so few facts.

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

Having just read the post below, it's possible that Mr. Kovechev's positions on the conflict might relate in part to a will to see the entire West Bank settled and annexed by Israel. But no one else is arguing that. Certainly no one with whom he has taken false issue. And certainly no one who has identified themselves as Jewish or Israeli. Funny that.

E. Simon - 3/19/2007

This is all true, Art, but don't forget the following:

1. Support among Israelis for last summer's war in Lebanon went way beyond "hardliners".

2. No one here is taking any position on the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to placate some ostensible desire (ostensible to... well, only to Peter K. Clarke, that is) to further "concete fortresses in the West Bank".

3. Every time the trigrammaton PKC brings a fact into the dialogue he says something completely contrary to the reality of what can be shown regarding that fact in reality. Given the number of people now commenting here in front of whom he only digs himself in deeper and deeper, I can see why he prefers to remain vague and polemical, except when bringing accusations against others, that is. When he does that he's very clear. That's the easy part, apparently. Making accusations that are accurate still eludes him.

art eckstein - 3/19/2007

Well, Peter, many people besides myself read the posting the way I read it. I therefore suggest that you think about the implications of what you write, and if you don't mean double loyalty ("Israel mainly, America second"...), or Jewish conspiracies ("What I'm saying is no 'Jewish conspiracy" BUT...", a phrase that comes after your comment, as I remember it, about the Jewish lobby having a death grip on the throat of Congress, a comment which led to a furor in itself) --then, if you don't mean what you're writing, you need to be more careful about what you write.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/19/2007

Let's consider time spans. From Hadrian's change of the country's official name to "Syria Palaestina" in 135 CE [when, moreover, Jews were excluded from the Aelia Capitolina polis, that is, the Jerusalem area] until 1897 when Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress is a span of 1762 years. This is certainly less than the 2,000 years often believed to have been the length of Jewish exile before Zionism.

Moreover, Jews were the majority in Jerusalem by 1853, that is, 44 years before the Zionist Congress, a few years before Herzl was even born. Further, about 610 CE the Jews in the Land allied with the Persians in taking the Land out of Byzantine control, and the Jews controlled Jerusalem for a few years, not long before the Arab conquest [638 for Jerusalem itself]. Further, Jews were a substantial part of the population of Israel, despite Arab/Muslim oppression, persecution, exploitation, up to 1099 when the Crusaders conquered the country. Jews as well as Muslims fought the Crusaders, as at Haifa.

Muslim oppression over the centuries led many Jews to leave the country, which some Muslims continued to recognize as the Jews' land. One such was Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, great-uncle of Walid, who held high posts in the Ottoman govt. But before Omar repeats his mantra of "racist-colonialist Zionism" once again, he ought to recognize the historical fact that Jews were oppressed dhimmis in the various Muslim empires.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/19/2007

I see your point Peter.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/19/2007

It is outrageous to claim, as Omar, does that Arabs are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. There is simply too much documentation in documents and archeological remains verifying that the Jews were the predominant nation in the country that Rome called Provincia IVDAEA [= Judea] up until suppressing the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE [when Hadrian changed the name to "Syria Palaestina"]. The documents are not only Jewish but are Greek, Latin, Egyptian, Assyrian, etc., even Arabic. The Qur'an, as I said above, recognizes the Holy Land as a Jewish country in a half dozen verses or more. The Arab conquerors established an exploitative, oppressive, humiliating regime in the Land after their conquest [640 CE], although this did not happen all at once. The situation worsened towards the end of the `Umayyad period and more so in the `Abbasid period. This led many Jews to abandon the soil [since dhimmi farmers were taxed by both jizya and kharaj] and move to cities, or to leave the Islamic domain [Dar ul-Islam] altogether. The Crusaders massacred most of the Jews in the country after their conquest in 1099 [according to historian Moshe Gil]. Muslim Arabs were not clearly a majority in the country until after the Crusades in the Mamluk period. Nevertheless, there have always been Jews living in the country --despite Arab oppression-- and Jews in the Diaspora always kept up contact with the Jews in Israel, despite the difficulties which increased in the Mamluk period, not merely due to Mamluk policies but due to policies of the Popes in the West. Papal policy told the Italian maritime states to stop transporting Jews to Israel. Part of the papal motive was revenge for Jews obtaining control of certain buildings outside the Zion Gate which the Franciscans [in charge of Roman Catholic interests in the Christian holy places] claimed were the site of the Last Supper. Jews claimed these buildings as the site of the tombs of the House of David.
Be that as it may, it seems that in this instance of controlling these buildings, Muslim Mamluk authorities had favored the Jews over the Franciscans.

In short, Jews have always lived in the Land throughout the Muslim periods before and after the Crusades, in which periods they were subject to oppression as dhimmis. Further, in many ways the dhimma resembles apartheid, although it is based on religion to be sure, not on skin color or biological race. Moreover, Jews in the Diaspora, whether in Muslim or Christian lands, kept up contact with Jews in Israel and some Jews made pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Hebron, etc., when that was possible, and also sent funds to help the Jewish communities in the Land. Finally, as of 1853, if not earlier, Jews were the absolute majority in Jerusalem, while the country was still firmly under Sunni Muslim Ottoman rule.

Joseph Mutik - 3/19/2007

Quote: http://hnn.us/comments/106947.html
"Re: open secrets (#106947)
by Joseph Mutik on March 11, 2007 at 7:29 PM
Mr. Clarke,
You are incorrigible, AIPAC didn't duck the opensecrets.org, you only have to dig a little more because the level of spending of AIPAC is lown in comparison to the real enemies of the USA. I am around the baby boomer age. I don't know your age but judging by your postings you seem quite brainwashed and hateful towards the Jews. Can you show me any place, here on hnn.us, where you counted non Jews in government positions or in public (or even private) businesses or organizations. Are the Jews, you count, incompetent?

[ Reply ] [ Return to Comments ]

Re: open secrets (#106960)
by Peter K. Clarke on March 12, 2007 at 5:53 AM
I don't what what the hell you are talking about, Mr. M. Do you?"
Mr. Clarke please let me know if you still have any "comprehension" problems?

Peter Kovachev - 3/19/2007

Mr. Friedman,

I must count myself as one of the "meddlers" you criticise, and would like to offer a defence.

First, in a purely theoretical world, nations determine their choices without interference. In the real world, especially where Israel is concerned, this is not the case. Aligned against Israel is a whole host of powerful meddlers, ranging from virtually all tyranical governments, to the UN, the EU, the NGOs and liberal establishments in the media, education and culture. These meddlers lavish billions on the enemies of the Jewish state outside AND inside Israel. Even where Israel's staunch friends are concerned, the level of meddling in Israeli policy is, I'm sure you'll admit, incredibly high. The disastrous "land for peace" formula and the Oslo debacle come to mind.

Secondly, for Diaspora Jews Israel is their second home to which they have rights and obligations enshrined not only in Israeli law, but in the Torah. Israel asks for their moral, political and financial support and doing so it cannot reasonably expect this support to be limited to sending money and to obediently backing any government or any policy of the day. There are many political parties and religious and social groups in Israel and propose that the diaspora only back those who are in power would be to propose an end to Israeli democracy.

Thirdly, to many pro-Israel non-Jews as well, Israel is a nation of "special interest." While it's the Evangelical movement, or the "relious Right," as some call it, which is the most prominent, polls and political dynamics show that there is a considerable mass of secular non-Jews who are Israel-friendly as well. As an example, here, in Canada, the liberal establishment was recently shocked out of its socks when our current Prime Minister voiced his minority government's firm support for Israel. It went into convulsions when, contrary to what the establishment led itself to believe, the Canadian public was not only tolerant of this departure from playing at "honest broker" and "peace-maker," it squarely backed the new Prime Minister. As a consequence, other parties have been scrambling to show that they too are friends of Israel. The secene, I asure you, was quite comical.

Finally, on a philosphical and ethical level, we are all entitled to make judgments and decisions, to have preferences and to promote our choices. Where I'm concerned, as I can't speak for others, supporting traditional Zionists, political "hawks," or Jewish pioneers in the Yesha (i.e., the "settlers") is no more an act of meddling than keeping silent and letting others determine the course of history. Because so many of us refused to "meddle" while Israel was in a muddle, the West almost impercpetibly aproppriated and became comfortable with the the propaganda of the jihadists, fascists, Stalinists and pan-Arabists. Because we kept out of the debate we empowered bureacratic elites in Israel and hostile actors abroad. We shrugged at the land-for peace formula, we accepted the artificial creation of "Palestinians," we hailed the fictional two-state solution, we empowered the PLO (and armed it), we accepted the fiction of "Palestinian territories" and today, after waking up, we are scrambling to beg for Israel's right to exist. It's thanks to a revival of "meddling," where Diaspora Jews and non-Jews in the West feel free to criticise not only the policies of their own countries, but that of Israeli governments, that the decades-long slide into "post-Zionism" in Israel and the Diaspora has been arrested and may even be reversed. Just a thought.

art eckstein - 3/19/2007

never give up - West Bank settlements or bust (#107272)
by Peter K. Clarke on March 17, 2007 at 6:49 PM

"You guys toe the Likud line as if you were true believers yourselves, and thereby pretend / unwittingly think you are defending Israel (mainly) and America (secondarily) against Jihadism , instead of just buttressing the counterproductive extremists who use such purported defending (and use you two too) for their own anti-Israel and anti-American purposes. What I am saying is no "Jewish conspiracy" but the more intelligent half of the "Jewish community" is well aware of it."

Everybody but you, Clarke, sees this as classic anti-semitic tropes of double loyalty, combined with--though there's a cover-your-butt overt denial--an accusation of Jewish conspiracy: "What I am saying is no 'Jewish conspiracy' BUT THE MORE INTELLIGENT HALF OF THE 'JEWISH COMMUNITY' IS WELL AWARE OF IT."

Now, perhaps you need to explain what "it" was. But since I am not the only person who read this as I did, the fault lies in you. Anytime someone writes, "I'm not saying there's a 'Jewish conspiracy' BUT...", you know that what really counts is what follows the "BUT".
On this blog, your assertion comes combined with your attacks on the 'Jewish lobby" as having a grip on the throat of Congress, combined with an incomprehension when other bloggers point out the parallel that other interests groups lobby as well.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/19/2007

Omar, your own Qur'an reports [sura 5:20-22] that Allah assigned the Holy Land to the Jews. What's your complaint? The Arabs are usurpers of the Land. The Arabs oppressed, exploited and humiliated the Jewish population of the Land, driving many to emigrate. Nevertheless, the major reduction of Jewish population in the Land was caused by Western European Crusaders after their conquest in 1099. Maybe you should thank the Crusaders for making the Land judenrein for your sake.
However, Jews kept on trying to return to their land, and by 1853 Jews were an absolute majority of the population of Jerusalem [Cesar Famin, French historian and diplomat in L'Histoire de la rivalite et du protectorat des Eglises chretiennes en Orient].
As for the British role, as I just said, Jews were the majority in Jerusalem 65 years before the British conquest while the Sunni Muslim Ottoman empire ruled the city. Jews were always living in the Land of Israel, and Jews came in before the British conquest. The Arabs in 1917 did not recognize such a place as "palestine." They considered the country part of Syria. As late as 1946, Arab expert witnesses testifying before the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry denied that there was such a place as "palestine" in all history, it was all Syria. Further, in practice, the British usually violated their commitment to foster the Jewish National Home under the League of Nations mandate.
If Chomsky says otherwise, then he is lying. We know that mendacity is one of chomsky's faults in any case.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/19/2007

Not only did Bernard Lewis make this point back in the early sixties, as I recall, in The Middle East and the West, but Ahmed Ben-Bella, former president/dictator of Algeria, no less, once a darling of the Parisian Left and the whole Tiers-mondiste movement, once said something on the order of:
It's either Israel or Islam, either them [Jews/Israelis] or us [Arabs/Muslims]. So the paranoia evoked by Israel's victories --the victory of those who were supposed to be the humblest, most abject subjects of the Islamic empire-- leads a Muslim/Arab politician to argue that if We [Arabs/Muslims] cannot beat the Jews, then we're finished.

If someone can supply a published source for the exact quote, I'd appreciate it.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 3/19/2007

History is being reconstructed often today regarding the Middle East and anit-semitism, yet it only needs going into the Protestant Bible to find verification regarding past antisemitism in the Middle East.

Example would be this area when Jewish people on occassion would suffer defeat and capture, only later to be not only released, but with necessary materials to bebuild their homes, walls and Temple. During political wars when religion is used these things apparently happen.

With all such reconstructioning of history, Iran of today is another interesting site. There are more lies than Carter has pills (an old saying) going around about Iranian hatred for Jews, yet surprisingly it is found there are over 35,000 religious Jews and 250,000 Christians who still live in Iran, even under the (terrible enemy) Ayatollah Khomeini who for a fact guaranteed both peoples sanctuary and security.

Now if you were from Lebanon today, my guess is you would want Iran as a neighbor, I wonder how that will be re-written?

N. Friedman - 3/19/2007


I think you have made a very strong argument for your position.

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

And to denounce the vast SOVIET sales and gifts of weapons to Syria, a hideous dictatorship? Or Soviet sales and gifts of weapons to Mengistu's genocidal Ethiopia?

As for Hitler worship, Mein Kampf is the best-selling book in the Middle East TODAY, other than the Koran. Where's your outrage about THAT, comrade Proyect?

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

N.F., this is what I mean when I say that for Omar the creation of Israel and its victories are "the crime of the century" (his terms), when on a secular plane, it obviously is nothing compared to far fouler events which have injured far huger numbers of people, and when its human rights violations are tiny compared to what goes on in Muslim states all the time, let alone a truly monstrous situation like Sudan.

In such thinking, Israel is "the crime of the century" because it has upset the Muslim moral order of the world. As you say, I'm not claiming this as my own insight; Bernard Lewis has been pointing this out, and I was just explaining how Omar fits the pattern Lewis has described. Indeed, perhaps we should go farther: the very existence of Israel puts into question the existence of Allah. Why is this? Because Allah guarantees victory and rule over THIS world (as well as paradise in the next) to his Believers. So, then, how could Allah have allowed these Jews to win so many victories, to accomplish so much at (allegedly) Muslim expense, to have created a prosperous society out of nothing, with no natural resources--as compared to the humiliating failure of the Muslims to do the same with much greater natural resources? Israel thus represents a standing humiliation to the Muslims--and more. For either Allah (horrors!) has betrayed his own promises of victory and rule to the Believers, or (horrors!) He does not exist at all and they have been fools following the vision of a madman for 1400 years. Thus Israel's existence may well, in such thinking (now, it may not be Omar's thinking, but I think this is certainly widespread)--Israel may well represent an existential threat to Islam itself, and only the destruction of Israel can restore the Muslim moral order of the world--and faith in Allah's Promises, and in Allah Himself.

When such primitive Dark Age religious views are combined with sophisticated western intellectual anti-colonial rhetoric, providing the real impetus behind all that left-wing rhetoric of anti-colonialism, with which it is screened and behind which it hides, you get a very potent brew.

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007

Mr. Simon,

You have given him way too much credit. He is just another poster who wants to impress without doing homework.

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007


Whatever Omar's believes in his heart, I think you have correctly set forth why Israel is rejected by most Arabs.

I might also note Professor Lewis' view that, in Arab Islamic thinking, Jews are supposed to be hapless and contemptible. Yet, such people have repeatedly defeated the best that can be thrown at Israel.

On his view, such fact affects the humiliation of Arab Muslims and their apparent military impotence - a fact that goes very hard on people who believe in their own superiority and dominant place among the world's nations.

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007


When you criticize Israel or its politicians, you do so as a person who is not directly affected. When an Israeli does so, he has a stake in the issue. That is a humongous difference.

Why? Because, you do not have to live with the consequences of your opinions. So, you are, at best, an officious intermeddler. At worst, you are mendacious.

E. Simon - 3/18/2007

Oh, I have noticed this about him for a long, long time. Especially the ideas in your third paragraph, which describe these observations in a very interesting way.

But as for giving him too much credit, I know that by recognizing his self-declared identity as a prophet, I might be going too far. But at least doing so gives him the opporunity to understand that his prophecies and revelations will be accompanied by the burden of the absolute religious truth with which he appears to impart unto them. And once his prophetic, fact-bereft manifestoes are revealed to be wrong or false, then he can reap the same fate as that which befell the fundamentalist empires of every other false prophet and religious wacko throughout history.

E. Simon - 3/18/2007

And Clarke should also take notice of the fact that Israelis who have favorable opinions of America or defend her actions are not "disloyal to", or "working against the interests of" Israel.

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

It certainly was, Clarke.

And since I'm NOT the only one who sees anti-semitism in your statements (which I have quoted) implying dual loyalty, as well as in your simultaneous proposing and denying a Jewish conspiracy (CYA), I think you need to realize that the problem here is coming from you, not me.

I know that's difficult for you. That's because facts are difficult for you. You offer so few of them.

Tim R. Furnish - 3/18/2007

Good to see you can still rub those two IQ digits together, but as usual you produce heat but no light.
How's that for "rude?" And your math is no better than your logic or knowledge of history, if you think I've been on here 30 or 40 times.
Like I said to Baker, can you refute the Muslim bio of Muhammad which I cited, or the hadiths? If not, crawl back to your cave and shut up.

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

Repeating that I misattribute things to you when I start off each discussion with a direct quotation will not make that accusation true.

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

Yes, indeed, Mr. Green. When the Islamofascist government of the Sudan, killed millions of Christians and animists in the south of the country between ca. 1960 and 2000, and when it has killed a million Muslims in the west of the country since 2002, NO ONE remonstrates bitterly at the UN, no westerners take to the streets by the millions in protest. On the contrary, this murderous government is one of the ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (!!!!!!).

This is why, when the U.N. makes bitter statements condemning Israel, or when bien-pensant intellectuals do, one has to realize that "human rights" per se is not the issue, and has little to do with these actons. No. That is merely a cover for actions aimed at delegitimizing Israel, actions of pure and simple hypocrisy. Because the same people simply DO NOT CARE about INFINITELY WORSE violations. What they DO care about is... if JEWS do it.

Thus Omar in talking about Israel has taken up leftist human rights rhetoric for his purely political purposes. If Omar REALLY cared about human rights per se, he'd care 34 or 200 times more for the 34,000 Muslim civilians intentionally killed by Muslims in Iraq last year, or 1,000 times more for the 1,000,000 Muslim civilians intentionally killed by Muslims in the Sudan since 2002, than he does for the 1,000 Muslims civilians killed in Lebanon last summer. They were killed, of course, in part by accident of war, in part because his Hezbollah friends insisted on using them as human shields while Hezbollah intentionally rocketed civilian targets in Israel.

But of course--Omar does NOT protest 34 times or 1,000 times more strongly against the savage human rights violations in Iraq or the Sudan. He does not really care much about them, because they do not upset the Muslim moral order of the world--whereas Israeli military violence, however, small in scale compared to Iraq or the Sudan, does do so. Those are the ideological-religious reasons I have posited for his behavior above.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/18/2007

Art E, what you say makes sense to me. Actually, Bernard Lewis made basically the same point years ago, applying it to both the Turkish reaction to the penetration of Greek troops [with Allied permission] into Anatolia in 1920-22, as well as to the Arab reaction to the rise of Israel [BL, in The Middle East and the West].

Now, we have a similar problem with some Judeophobic Westerners, especially certain northern Europeans. They cast all sorts of moralistic arguments against Israel, while saying nothing about the Sudan massacres that went on in the southen Sudan from 1956 --off an on-- till two or three years ago when some sort of peace accord was signed. Millions were killed in the Sudan. Now, by overlooking the mass murder in southern Sudan over the years, the "international community" proved that it either couldn't care less for Blacks [despite the sugary sweet "human rights" hypocrisy] or couldn't care less for Jews, or doesn't care about either group. In that case, it would mean that the Arabs might conceivably be considered tools.


art eckstein - 3/18/2007

As I remember it, Omar characterized the intentionally-murdered 34,000 Muslim civilian dead at the hands of Muslim terrorists in Iraq last year, as a combination of "resistance" AND as the normal run of a normal civil war, comparing it to the U.S. Civil war. (Where, at Gettysburg, for instance, there were very few civilian deaths, and all of them were accidental.) In any case, my point is that Omar defended, downplayed, and minimized this Muslim violence--and let us not forget Darfur!-- which hugely drawfs in scale anything the Israelis have committed. Hence--Omar is NOT greatly worried about violations of human rights per se; it is only when such violations are committed by Israelis that he self-righteously trots out the human rights argument. I have suggested just above why this is not so much, or not only, hypocrisy, but is based on a religious belief about the correct moral order of the world in terms of the relative acceptability of Muslim-on-non-believer violence (and the relative acceptability of Muslim-on-Muslim violence) vs. the moral unacceptablility of non-believer-on Muslim violence.

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

N.F., we agree on most of what you've written above: you lay out what is close to my own general position but in a more nuanced fashion. Since this is definitely not the "Likud position", Clarke now has no empirical basis to keep throwing that lie around.

I agree too that Israel, whatever its faults and mistakes (faults and mistakes primarily arising from having to live in a barbaric and violent neighborhood where security issues must be paramount), neither the pre1967 Israel, nor even the West Bank, is "the crime of the century".

That phrase derives from Omar and only serves to demonstrate Omar's intellectually impoverished and profoundly ignorant perspective. I believe that for him what makes Israel "the crime of the century" is NOT any violation of civil rights or human rights per se (he defended the murder of 34,000 Muslims by Muslim terrorists in Iraq last year--each grotesque murder an act of worship--as "resistance"). No, what enrages Omar is that Isralis are dhimmis who have dared to assert themselves against the umma, the body of Islam, thereby overturning the normal moral order of the world. That is: the normal moral order of the world in which the umma is superior to the dar al-harb and has the unique right to assert itself against dhimmis and non-believers, but not vice versa. That is: it is a crime for a dhimmi or a non-believer to commit violence against a Muslim even if the non-believers are simply and only SHOOTING BACK. And THAT issue, not the scale of population displacement (after all, far more Jews were displaced from Arab lands in 1948-1956 than Palestinians were displaced from the Israeli part of the Mandate)--THAT is why Omar believes that Israel is "the crime of the century." It contravenes the Muslim moral order of the world, per se.

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007


Strike: "By contrast and in principle, building villages on land not to be ceded is loony."


By contrast and in principle, building villages on land to be ceded is loony.

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007


I do not favor building villages and settling people on land that Israel considered ceding. On the other hand, such is not the crime of the century.

As for land that Israel will not cede - e.g. under Clinton's December 2000 formula or the formula at Taba - for security reasons or otherwise, if Israel is going to keep the land, I have no moral objection, at least in theory, to the building of villages and settlement of people therein.

That is not to say that there might not be issues with Palestinian Arabs who would raise legitimate objections which need to be considered so that their rights would be protected. Such no doubt exist. And, such raises real issues, both moral and practical.

Of course, large numbers of Palestinian Arabs have themselves built homes and villages where there were, pre-1948, Jewish homes and villages. In such circumstances, the issue of Israel reclaiming the land comes into play and the issues become very difficult to sort out.

In any event, my point is only that people - including Israelis - ought, absent cogent reasons, have the right to build homes wherever they like, anywhere on Earth. Clearly, there are cogent reasons that may arise (e.g. the individual(s) who own the land in question, etc.) by which building of villages would not be proper. But, in principle, building villages on land not to be ceded is ok. By contrast and in principle, building villages on land not to be ceded is loony.

Joseph Mutik - 3/18/2007

In the USA accusing Jews of "dual loyalty" is the essence of anti-Jewish hate. I asked Mr. Clarke (I believe last week) if he counts any other group beside Jews (in lobbying, government, etc.) and his answer was something like "I don't know what are you talking about". It's an old and well known "open secret" the Irish Americans funded the terror campaigns of the IRA, but the"blame the Jews" tactic is used to cover up for it. I heard Marisa Tomei (Oscar winning American actress, born in Brooklyn, NY) saying, in one of the nightly talk shows (I don't remember if it was Letterman or Leno), that she has an Italian passport beside the U.S. one. I also have an Israeli passport beside the U.S. one. What's the difference?
In the view of Jew haters, like Mr. Clarke, in the USA is normal for the citizens to express their links to the country of ancestry unless they are Jews and what is normal for others is considered "dual loyalty" for Jews. Why?

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007

Mr. Simon,

You give Clarke far more credit than he has likely given thought to the matter.

The issue to address with Clarke is that he is unwilling to address the issues other than by means of labeling who is who. That, of course, may serve a useful purpose, maybe in 50 years time, to tell who asserted what points.

The problem with Clarke is that he refuses to get down into the trenches in order, just perhaps, to make a cogent argument based on facts and events. Hence, the labels and insults.

I doubt that he, notwithstanding the occasional nastiness of his prose, hates Jews or Israel or even holds a firm political position. I think he simply does not have the facts to back up any position. So, he resorts to name calling and what, in some circles, is fashionable rhetoric as a substitute for facts and argument. It makes him sound brilliant to the naive and, perhaps, even to himself. And that benefit is gained without his having actually to pick up a book and learn something.

As I have said to him repeatedly, he should pick up a book and learn something so that he might argue whatever point of view he likes.

E. Simon - 3/18/2007

Clarke wants it both ways. He wants to employ anti-Semitic tropes while denying that he is anti-Semitic. He thinks he can do this by claiming some sort of mindlessly nativist, pro-American patriotism as a good reason for doing so. But this is retarded. Anti-semites, (and almost any other group throughout history that has directed scorn at scapegoated groups), have almost always claimed to have been coddling these sentiments in a defense of their own mindlessly unexamined patriotisms. I think Clarke, on some primordial level that he loves to wallow in, understands this , and hence he pre-emptively throws around the deflecting counter-charge of being pro-Likud at others, nevermind the fact that it is without basis and betrayingly projects a mindset that he thinks others are as prone to as he obviously is.

art eckstein - 3/18/2007

Clarke writes as follows:

"You guys toe the Likud line as if you were true believers yourselves, and thereby pretend / unwittingly think you are defending Israel (mainly) and America (secondarily) against Jihadism , instead of just buttressing the counterproductive extremists who use such purported defending (and use you two too) for their own anti-Israel and anti-American purposes. What I am saying is no "Jewish conspiracy" but the more intelligent half of the "Jewish community" is well aware of it."

1. Neither N.F. nor myself "toe the Likud line". I'm not sure what Clarke means, exactly (a common phenomenon in his unclear writing), but if he means (a) we never criticize Israel that is simply empirically false, and if he means (b) I support the existance or expansion of the West Bank settlements, that is also simply empirically false. Both points have been made abundantly clear on numerous occasions. Clarke, however, belongs to the 'Omar School' that repeated assertions of falsehoods will make them true, or anyway make good distracting accusations to use against others in a debate when you have no specific facts.

2. Note that we are accused of wanting to defend Israel first and the U.S. second. This is the classic anti-semitic accusation of "dual loyalty." Clarke has made that anti-semitic implication several times before on this blog. How long is he going to be allowed to get away with it? It is disgusting. My father fought with the Fifth Marine Division on Iwo Jima (26th Regt, at Motoyama Airfield #2).

3. In the last sentence, Clarke,--if I understand his incoherent English-- both denies there is a Jewish conspiracy ("there is no Jewish conspiracy, BUT..."), and then asserts there is one ("the intelligent half of the Jewish community knows it.").Classic anti-semitism.

4. One of the people here has pointed out that anti-semitism in all its classic tropes has migrated in the past few years from its old home on the Right to a new and even more frightening and disgraceful home on the Left. Clarke is an example of it.

E. Simon - 3/18/2007

The silence stems from his apparent belief that Jewish/Israeli criticism of the wrongs of the Arab or Islamic world just plays into the hands ("purposes") of the latter - an idiotic assertion if ever I've heard one. Jews should only criticize ISRAEL, The Great Purveyor of Arguments by Assertion implies, or else they - by default of His lack of logical reasoning - have somehow proven themselves blind pro-Likud partisans incapable of it - the ultimate Pseudo-Clarkian sin.

We await Clarke Almighty's instructions clarifying exactly WHAT the "Likud line" is, let alone an actual, substantive criticism of how anyone here is toeing it, but that will have to wait until such time as our Great Patriotic Master (the "real American") has figured out what he is talking about. But he is usually too good to look the things up that he needs to account for, and hence that time has not yet arrived.

But we have faith that Prophet Pseudo-Clarke will clarify these things when His higher source has let him know that the time is right to do so. Certainly His higher source wouldn't withhold a way to allow for the incorporation of historical facts into His Revelation indefinitely.

N. Friedman - 3/18/2007


You write: I never called anybody on HNN a "fascist." I was tempted to a few times, but not as any exaggeration of Likudnik. Israeli hardliners are cowards, the fascists were not (among about a couple of dozen other differences). Read Walter Lacquer for "evidence" of this, Mr. Friedman. Look up his academic degrees and career if you need evidence that not everyone you think is a historian has credentials comparable to his.

There is no historian named Walter Lacquer.

There is an historian - a very fine one, whom I have read and cited to on this website - named Walter Laqueur. I do not need to look him up. I have read a number of his books. Given what you have said, I doubt you have read any.

And, by the way, Laqueur is of the group of historians who seem to agree - like Martin Gilbert, Bernard Lewis and Niall Ferguson - more or less, generally speaking, with the Bat Ye'or thesis regarding Europe. Note Laqueur's review of Bruce Bawer's book While Europe Slept. Bawer is also in her school of thought but he is an analyst and reporter, not an historian. And note Laqueur's numerous comments about the integration of Muslims in Europe. So much for your thesis.

Now, to more generally answer you...

Credentials are not the measure of an historian or any other scholar or thinker or scientist or lawyer or anybody else. The work product produced is the only measure. Credentials are important to small minded pedants.

The fact is that the writers I cite to have written important works. Ms. Ye'or has been recognized as a scholar since her early appearance in Europe - honored for her scholarship by, for example, the British government (by Sir Harold Wilson himself) as far back as the 1960's - and she has produced important books. One could only know about her scholarship by reading some of her books and seeing their caliber.

Again, to me: work product, not credentials, is the only measure of scholarship that matters. Labels are for small minded pedants.

As for other writers I cited to. I judge by the work product. That goes for Benny Morris, although he is a professor of history. I have, you will note, criticized Morris based on some of what Ephraim Karsh has written.

I judge by the work product. That goes for Sir Martin Gilbert, who was knighted for his work as an historian and dubbed Winston Churchill's official biographer. The same for Richard L. Rubinstein. The same for Ephraim Karsh.

The measure even of your buddy Juan Cole - the man who has his own special translation of Ahmadinejad's speech about wiping Israel off the map - stands and falls on what he produces, not on his credentials.

Here is a puzzler for you. What credentials did Thucydides have?

Now, you call the Israel Likud cowards. Some surely are, if you are speaking the usual definition of the word rather taking a measure of their political position.

If you are speaking to their political position, I do not know if cowardice is an appropriate term. I am not sure that a tiny country the size of Israel is cowardly or foolish to consider ceding land to bitter enemies. I think that is not an easy call except for bigots and mendacious meddlers.

And, contrary to what you believe, I do not follow any Israeli political party's line. My position - as I have stated before - is that how the Israelis propose to solve their problems with Palestinian Arabs is not my concern. I do not have to live with the consequences. As a person who believes that Israel is a decent country but in a very tough situation, I can imagine Israel legitimately and morally taking any of a number of positions, none being beyond question the best approach to solving the country's problems.

Hence, when the Israeli government wanted to cede land, as Rabin proposed, I was perfectly fine with the idea. When Netanyahu agreed in principle to cede even more land, I was perfectly fine with it. When Barak proposed to cede even more land, I was perfectly fine with it. I was fine also when Sharon decided to defend Israel against its enemies. I was fine when Sharon actually ceded land. That, to me, is not my concern. It is Israel's concern. Who am I to tell a small country what to do?

On the other hand, I have no use for people who are brave for other people by telling them what to do. In this case, Israel's outside critics who do not have to live with the consequences of whatever Israel does have no business demanding that Israel be brave by ceding land to enemies - if ceding land is actually the brave thing to do -. Maybe it is. Maybe, it is foolish.

Most of these "brave" critics are mendacious meddlers and/or bigots. They have no stake in the outcome. They are merely interfering in a dispute about which they have only passing familiarity and regarding which the destruction of one or the other side would mean exactly nothing.

Since you never actually state an opinion other than to make accusations - totally unfounded - that Art and I only repeat the Likud line, it is difficult to know exactly where you stand. I gather, however, that your understanding of the matter does not include having studied the dispute with any care. I know this because people who study things with care do not spend time, as you do, labeling people. Instead, they address their arguments.

You write: "crazy-quilt fractured Israeli Knesset".

That is the talk of a mendacious meddler. So far as I can tell, Israel's Knesset has its problems. Being crazy and guilt fractured is not one of them.

It might help that you consider, Peter, something closer to the reality that Israel is a tiny country surrounded by enemies of far greater population and infinitely more wealth; and Israel is largely isolated, politically speaking. The probability for the country's long term survival of the country is quite small. That, frankly, colors the perception of both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. And that even leaves out the fact that the Islamic revival posits Israel's destruction as being part and parcel of Islam.

Returning to this webpage, what is supposed to be in issue is Professor Furnish's articles. Having read Professor Furnish's book, I can tell you, from first hand knowledge, that he is a fine scholar. By contrast, Professor Slavin has not demonstrated any knowledge about the topic regarding which Professor Furnish writes. I have not seen you post one of your posts about the lack of caliber of this article. Yet, it is really a weak article. Why the silence?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/18/2007

Joe, Clarke is over the top on this one. Think of "the fascists were not" cowards! How about the Nazis when they were slaughtering Jewish women and children? Over the top!!!

Joseph Mutik - 3/17/2007

Clarke writes:
"Israeli hardliners are cowards, the fascists were not"

Israeli (or Zionist) replaces the Jew in the modern anti-Jewish parlance.
A nation so stubborn, as the Jews, that survived for 2000 years against all odds can't be a nation of cowards.
Normal for hater as you are, Mr. Clarke to use the old line, which I see passed from the extreme right to the extreme left in our days.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/17/2007

as I understand, the British agent H St-John Philby aided the Saud family, temporal allies of the Wahhabi family and sect [named after an Abdul-Wahhab who lived more than 200 years ago] to conquer the Hijaz from the Hashemites. The Sauds had long controlled the Nejd in central Arabia. With Philby's help they conquered the Hijaz from the Hashemites. In 1932 --or about then-- the Sauds, led by `Abdul-`Aziz ibn Saud, called Ibn Saud by the American press, renamed the kingdom of Hijaz and Nejd, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after themselves. Hijaz is northwestern Arabia, grosso modo.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/17/2007

Joseph, you miss the billions in subsidies for Saudi Arabia's royal family [which, starting from the Nejd took over the Hijas in ca. 1925, thus creating the not so ancient kingdom of SA, with British help] which have come from the US Treasury through the Foreign Tax Credit falsely applied to royalties on oil. [see John Blair, Control of Oil; James Ridgway, New Energy, etc.].

About the first area in the country where people were driven out of their homes in Israel's War of Independence and could not return after the war, see my article at:
These first homeless refugees of that war were Jews.

N. Friedman - 3/17/2007

What You See Is What You Get. WYSIWYG!!!

art eckstein - 3/17/2007

I don't know that acronym, N.F. I guess the Jewish Conspiracy has failed once again.

N. Friedman - 3/17/2007


Without addressing anything you say, he is a paradigm. You can learn more about his group's interests and goals from him than from a more sophisticated dissembler. WYSIWYG!!!

art eckstein - 3/17/2007

Nevertheless, N. F., as bad intellectually as Clarke is, Omar--while he has his uses to this blog in terms of revealing to us the twisted nature of certain Muslim ways of thinking--is a very disturbing figure. Omar is a primitive who uses the most obvious deceitful style of argument, and as well as outright misinformation (and he's either cynically aware of the logical invaldity of his argumentation, which would be bad, or he is unaware of their invalidity, which would be worse). And he certainly cannot be allowed to deny his own actions when he has misinformed the people on this blog about what he himself has posted. See my discussion with him above regarding his "al-Hilali is OUT!" posting.

N. Friedman - 3/17/2007


There is substantial benefit from understanding the pattern of thinking of people from other cultures. I think we agree about that.

By contrast, those who scream fascist rather than employ reasoned and factual arguments may do so for a variety of reasons: intellectual laziness, insecurity, insufficient knowledge of a topic, prejudice and political fashion, to name some.

I note that our buddy Peter takes the matter a step further by attacking scholars he does not like. He attacks those like Bat Ye'or - yet he has never read her books -. He attacked your colleague Benny Morris - allegedly a believer in ethnic cleansing but, in reality, an historian who noted the better of available choices for those Jews faced with a war of annihilation back in 1948. He attacked Ephraim Karsh, another fine scholar. Peter does not think he is an historian. The same for Richard L. Rubinstein.

Now, when Peter attacks a scholar, he comes forward with no evidence. They are merely branded off limits for decent company. I find his approach appalling.

Joseph Mutik - 3/17/2007

Busy with the "tit for tat" kind of conversation, employed here, people forget real history and forget to check facts.
I one is interested in a balanced presentation of facts, please check:
"Deir Yassin: The Conflict as Mass Psychosis" http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000350.htm

the site: http://www.mideastweb.org/ presents a "all sides view of the conflicts", for anyone interested in FACTS, but who knows if there are any clients for facts here on hnn.us, where the anti-Jewish (called Zionism by Jew haters) site is represented by a an about 7:1 (to 10:1) rate of articles against the Jews.
The "blame the Jews" agenda is a very broad one. Yes the Jews committed crimes too, it was a war after all and we all know that wars are very bad for one's health or in scientific terms in wars something (I cant write here) happens. First of all not one word about killing of Jewish civilians and prisoners as revenge. In addition while blaming the Jews we forget the Ribbentrop/Molotov pact, the killing of thousands of Polish officers, in 1940, by the conquering Soviet army. We also forget My lay, the killing of more the 20000 Palestinians (most of them civilians) in November 1970 at the order of king Hussein of Jordan . The list is very long but the idea is: talk as much as possible about a few Jewish mistakes and the rest is Forgotten history.
And last but not least talk about the lousy $2.8 billion/year USA gives Israel and which is in fact a subsidy for the American arms industry and the people will forget about the real money going to safeguard European, Japanese or S.Korean security (we are talking about many tenth of billions each)
Go figure?

John Charles Crocker - 3/16/2007

His source printed a claim that later turned out to be incorrect. This was not proof of anything other than a newspaper making a prediction that did not pan out and him believing that prediction. You are better off sticking to the point at hand than bringing in this distraction, unless you are just trying to press buttons.

art eckstein - 3/16/2007

Dear N.F.,

Clarke's retorts are, as you say, intellectually empty. And he DOES use "Likudnik" as a way of saying fascist--youre right about that. And he does label those who disagree with him and who have facts to back up their opinions--when he has none--he does instinctively label such people as the equivalent of "fascists" because that's the only response he can think of.

Omar is at least interesting, as you say--if one includes "appalling" within the term interesting. But he's also totally irresponsible in his arguments, as one can see for instance from his posts above about his previous post entitled "Al-Hilali is OUT!" (No, Omar, this deranged cleric is STILL spiritual head of 300,000 Australian Muslims--FIVE MONTHS after you assured us, "Al-Hilali is OUT!"). Now, it's one thing to tout false information to this blog. But it's quite another to continue to deny having done it, as Omar does above.

N. Friedman - 3/16/2007


Omar, whatever else you may say, is at least interesting. Clarke, by contrast, knows nothing and is unwilling even to consider other people's comments other than to throw what epithets and insults.

I agree with you that you post responsibly. Whether or not you are always correct, you post based on what people say and what the facts show. Clarke, by contrast, would prefer to label people. A current fashion, which he has picked up, is to call people Likudniks - as if that added anything to a conversation. I think that he uses the word as a code name for fascist.

The reality here is that the fascistic side blames Israel, blames Jews and blames the West. While the West, including Israel, has its share of sins, existing is not one of them. And, the real accusations are, at this point, about existence, not events - which is perhaps why Clarke works by labels.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/16/2007

Instead of accusing me of lying ("I won't take your word for it") WHY DON"T YOU CHECK AND SEE WHAT YOU WROTE, OMAR? I've given you the DATE, the TIME and the log-in NUMBER of your entry.

"Al-Hilali is OUT!" That's the title.

Note the capitalization of OUT and the exclamation point. And you end the entry with "this is good news." NOW you claim not to have been touting this as the truth. You simply continue to humiliate yourself.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/16/2007

Omar, are you actually denying that "Al-Hilali is OUT!" was the title of your post? Are you saying that is merely my "claim"?

Amazing. This gets better and better.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/16/2007

I provide facts; people like Clarke and Omar just think that amounts to "Hell's Kitchen".

I show that Omar is a consistent purveyor of false information on this blog--not a general statement such as Clarke satisfies himself with, with no back-up--but on the basis of specific named incidents (including their dates, if you look at the thread above). Moreover, it is instructive to us all to see Omar twist and squirm as he tries to deny what he previously wrote, as in "Al-Hilalai is OUT!" No, he isn't.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/16/2007

Omar it WAS the title of your post; and you ended by saying "this was good news". Too bad it was false.

Omar started this thread by touting another poor source: Shahak. He refuses to see WHY Shahak is a poor source, though this has been patiently pointed out to to him. I remarked that this wasn't the first or second time he'd made statements that were misleading to the blog, and his assurances to us that "Hilali is OUT!" was false, though he vouched for them on the basis of his Arab sources which were false.

John Charles Crocker - 3/16/2007

What is the point of this thread?

art eckstein - 3/16/2007

Note the exclamation point. Note that "out" is CAPITALIZED.

Omar touted this information from Arabic sources as true. It wasn't. Now he compounds his humiliation by denying that he did it.

art eckstein - 3/16/2007

Here is the title of Omar's post of Oct. 31, 2006:

AL Hilaly is OUT! (#100676)
by omar ibrahim baker on October 31, 2006 at 9:15 AM

He can't lie about this. He was touting this as true. Now he lies and twists and squirms about the false information he gave us.

art eckstein - 3/15/2007

1. Omar, YOU wrote the TITLE for your new and separate thread on Hilali, no one else, and what was the TITLE you wrote? 'HIlali is out!". You were indeed vouching for the information you were giving us, touting it as accurate, assuring us it was true: "Hilali is out!" And it was not true.

Oh--I guess you must have forgotten that YOU wrote the title that said "Hilali is out!" Even though I quoted it.

You have never once proven that I have distorted anything you have said. Repeating your lies on this over and over doesn't make it true--anymore than "forgetting" you wrote the title for the thread as "Hilali is out!" means that you didn't write what you in fact wrote.

N. Friedman - 3/15/2007


You are correct that you did not quite state what you quote me for above.

However, I did, I think, address the exact point you raised, when I quoted Bat Ye'or's explanation of the origins of the dhimmi system. Such explanation refuted your above noted point.

I also believed, evidently incorrectly, that your point addressed the money issue because you had previously contended that the jizya benefited the dhimmi. Since you now claim that I am misinterpreting your above quoted comment, I stand corrected. It was an honest mistake.

I lastly point back to Bat Ye'or authoritative statement regarding the origin of dhimmi system. It entirely refutes what you assert, assuming I understand you correctly.

Again, she writes:

The elimination of the Medina Jews between 624 and 627 enriched the umma. The property of the Banu Nadhir formed the Prophet's share of the war-treasure, while the booty taken from the other tribes was apportioned between the Muslim warriors, the Prophet receiving a fifth. In 628, benefitting from a nonaggression treaty (Hudaybiya) with the Meccans, Muhammad went on to besiege the oasis of Khaybar, 140 kilometers away, cultivated by Jewish peasants. They surrendered after a siege lasting one and a half months. According to Muslim jurisconsults some centuries later, the agreement (dhimma) made between Muhammad and the Jews of Khaybar formed the basis of the dhimmi status. The Prophet allowed the Jews to farm their lands, but only as tenants; he demanded delivery of half their harvest and reserved the right to drive them out when he wished. On these conditions, he granted his dhimma, that is to say, his protection for their lives and safety. Similar pacts were concluded in the same year with Jews living in other oases, Fadak and Wadi'l-Qura (628), Mu'ta (629), as well as with nomadic or sedentary Christianized tribes. These tribes preserved their religion on payment of a tribute (jizya), the symbol of their submission. In exchange, Muhammad undertook to respect their religion and to protect them from Bedouin razzias. Each community could keep its own religious jurisdiction. The dhimma of Khaybar inspired the treaties which the Arab conquerors subsequently granted to the indigenous inhabitants of lands outside Arabia. Later treaties concluded with the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were modeled on the letters of protection which Muhammad sent from Tabuk in 630 to the Jewish and Christian populations of Makna (north of the Hijaz, on the gulf of Eilat) and in south Palestine: Eilat,Jarba, and Adhruh.

Source: The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

And NOW you can apologize for implying I'm a liar, with this:

2-I can not locate my post re Hillali, could you point it out for all to see exactly what I posted ...considering your record you will understand that I can NOT take your word for it..Prof

The ONLY person proven inaccurate time after time on this blog is YOU, Omar. That you could not locate your post on Hilali also reveals your "research skills", I'd say.

I'm waiting for you to apologize. Or, you can humiliate yourself further and not apologize.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

And this was in the context of denying the extremism of Muslims in the West. Well, al-Hilali ISN"T out, Omar. and though you see him as a "deranged cleric", that means that a deranged cleric remains as the spiritual head of 300,00 Australian Muslims. They haven't gotten rid of him.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

Here it is, Omar. Next time, don't be so quick to call me a liar, something you've never proven, and look instead in the mirror:

AL Hilaly is OUT! (#100676)
by omar ibrahim baker on October 31, 2006 at 9:15 AM
According to today's Arabic newspapers Hilaly is resigning his posts in Ausralia under intense pressure from his fellow Australian Moslems who could no longer put up with this deranged cleric.
Good news for and by Moslems all over the world!

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

1 and 3. At the same time as you say I admit I was wrong for saying you made up the atrocity sotry instead of merely trumpeting what SOME ELSE made up (an unimportant distinction), NOW in your latest post you ARE making it up yourself: the documentary film-maker who is the source says it was armed Palestinian commandos not unarmed Egyptian POWS. By definition, that's not murder, and he castigated the Egyptian press. I posted the entire story. NOW you personally repeat the slander.

2. We had a long discussion of Hilaly some months ago. It was in the context of sharia laow and Muslim cultural imperialism. There must've been 50 posts on Hilali, and since you participated you obviously remember this. Yours was just about the last post, and you assured us that Hilali was being removed, and your source was the Arabic press, which you touted as accurate. In short: I'm not doing your homework for you. Are you denying you posted this false report?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/15/2007

Speaking of the role of dhimmi religious leadership, Karl Marx discusses this in his article in the New York Daily Tribune of 15 April 1854. Most of the factual basis for this discussion was found by Marx in Cesar Famin's book of 1853: L'Histoire de la Rivalite et du Protectorat des Eglises chretiennes en Orient [1853]. Marx shows that this religious leadership, particularly of the Greek Orthodox Church, was an arm of tax collection for the Ottoman Empire. No doubt it was less humiliating for the Greek Orthodox population in the empire to pay their own religious hierarchy rather than paying the Muslims directly. In any event, the taxes were heavy, not to say severe.

N. Friedman - 3/15/2007


The requirement for the jizya, whatever you may think, appears directly in the Koran, the specific language reading: "Fight against them who do not follow the religion of truth until they pay tribute by right of subjection, and they be reduced low," and the pertinent history of the matter is, notwithstanding what you think, as follows:

The elimination of the Medina Jews between 624 and 627 enriched the umma. The property of the Banu Nadhir formed the Prophet's share of the war-treasure, while the booty taken from the other tribes was apportioned between the Muslim warriors, the Prophet receiving a fifth. In 628, benefitting from a nonaggression treaty (Hudaybiya) with the Meccans, Muhammad went on to besiege the oasis of Khaybar, 140 kilometers away, cultivated by Jewish peasants. They surrendered after a siege lasting one and a half months. According to Muslim jurisconsults some centuries later, the agreement (dhimma) made between Muhammad and the Jews of Khaybar formed the basis of the dhimmi status. The Prophet allowed the Jews to farm their lands, but only as tenants; he demanded delivery of half their harvest and reserved the right to drive them out when he wished. On these conditions, he granted his dhimma, that is to say, his protection for their lives and safety. Similar pacts were concluded in the same year with Jews living in other oases, Fadak and Wadi'l-Qura (628), Mu'ta (629), as well as with nomadic or sedentary Christianized tribes. These tribes preserved their religion on payment of a tribute (jizya), the symbol of their submission. In exchange, Muhammad undertook to respect their religion and to protect them from Bedouin razzias. Each community could keep its own religious jurisdiction. The dhimma of Khaybar inspired the treaties which the Arab conquerors subsequently granted to the indigenous inhabitants of lands outside Arabia. Later treaties concluded with the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were modeled on the letters of protection which Muhammad sent from Tabuk in 630 to the Jewish and Christian populations of Makna (north of the Hijaz, on the gulf of Eilat) and in south Palestine: Eilat,Jarba, and Adhruh.

Source: The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam.

Your statement that the money was collected by a Jerusalem Archbishop may be true but your history is not. Collecting money hardly means the money was collected for the benefit of the Jewish community. It also does not mean that the money went to Christians. What it means is that the Archbishop was providing a service to the conquering group that was occupying the country.

Further, upon conquering portions of the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim conquerors retained, in part, the legal and political institutions of the Byzantine Empire. Jews were severely discriminated against in that Empire. The Muslim conquerors melded the restrictions applied by the Byzantine Empire against Jews and applied them to dhimmi more generally. These additional requirements found their way into the shari'a and, accordingly, became a model for dhimma pacts.

Notwithstanding what you write, I did not make a moral judgment about Islam in ancient times. My comment is about those Muslims today who retain the view of their own superiority to the extent that they hold others in contempt. Holding others in contempt is a trait applicable to all mankind. And, finding support for that contempt in religious dogma - which the evidence shows that most Islamists do - makes it all the easier to hold others in contempt.

And, that is not unique to Muslims in general but, of the religious groups in the world today, those who practice Islam appear most anxious to re-assert the superiority of their faith and to force it onto others and to hold them in contempt. That is my view.

As for your statements about Judaism, whether or not Mr. Shahak were correct - and, as I noted, he is not -, they do not make my comments about Islamic history any more or less true. They are, in logic, considered to be a tu quoque fallacy - or, in simple English, a red herring. For your benefit, let us assume that Jews are devils and that Judaism is devil worship. Even if that is true, it does not alter or tell me a thing about what Muslims have ever believed.

As for your statement that forcing dhimmi to pay protection money was a good thing, I would ask you this: good for whom? Obviously, the person receiving the money. However, the money was not used to benefit the dhimmi. It was used to benefit Muslims. That is a fact.

As for my expertise, none of us - you included - is an expert. You clearly are no expert on the history. By contrast, Bat Ye'or is an expert. So is Bernard Lewis. The history of the creation of the dhimmi is well described in the historical records. Bat Ye'or's above explanation is not remotely controversial.

N. Friedman - 3/15/2007


The requirement for the jizya, whatever you may think, appears directly in the Koran, the specific language reading: "Fight against them who do not follow the religion of truth until they pay tribute by right of subjection, and they be reduced low," and the pertinent history of the matter is, notwithstanding what you think, as follows:

The elimination of the Medina Jews between 624 and 627 enriched the umma. The property of the Banu Nadhir formed the Prophet's share of the war-treasure, while the booty taken from the other tribes was apportioned between the Muslim warriors, the Prophet receiving a fifth. In 628, benefitting from a nonaggression treaty (Hudaybiya) with the Meccans, Muhammad went on to besiege the oasis of Khaybar, 140 kilometers away, cultivated by Jewish peasants. They surrendered after a siege lasting one and a half months. According to Muslim jurisconsults some centuries later, the agreement (dhimma) made between Muhammad and the Jews of Khaybar formed the basis of the dhimmi status. The Prophet allowed the Jews to farm their lands, but only as tenants; he demanded delivery of half their harvest and reserved the right to drive them out when he wished. On these conditions, he granted his dhimma, that is to say, his protection for their lives and safety. Similar pacts were concluded in the same year with Jews living in other oases, Fadak and Wadi'l-Qura (628), Mu'ta (629), as well as with nomadic or sedentary Christianized tribes. These tribes preserved their religion on payment of a tribute (jizya), the symbol of their submission. In exchange, Muhammad undertook to respect their religion and to protect them from Bedouin razzias. Each community could keep its own religious jurisdiction. The dhimma of Khaybar inspired the treaties which the Arab conquerors subsequently granted to the indigenous inhabitants of lands outside Arabia. Later treaties concluded with the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were modeled on the letters of protection which Muhammad sent from Tabuk in 630 to the Jewish and Christian populations of Makna (north of the Hijaz, on the gulf of Eilat) and in south Palestine: Eilat,Jarba, and Adhruh.

Source: The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam.

Your statement that the money was collected by a Jerusalem Archbishop may be true but your history is not. Collecting money hardly means the money was collected for the benefit of the Jewish community. It also does not mean that the money went to Christians. What it means is that the Archbishop was providing a service to the conquering group that was occupying the country.

Further, upon conquering portions of the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim conquerors retained, in part, the legal and political institutions of the Byzantine Empire. Jews were severely discriminated against in that Empire. The Muslim conquerors melded the restrictions applied by the Byzantine Empire against Jews and applied them to dhimmi more generally. These additional requirements found their way into the shari'a and, accordingly, became a model for dhimma pacts.

Notwithstanding what you write, I did not make a moral judgment about Islam in ancient times. My comment is about those Muslims today who retain the view of their own superiority to the extent that they hold others in contempt. Holding others in contempt is a trait applicable to all mankind. And, finding support for that contempt in religious dogma - which the evidence shows that most Islamists do - makes it all the easier to hold others in contempt.

And, that is not unique to Muslims in general but, of the religious groups in the world today, those who practice Islam appear most anxious to re-assert the superiority of their faith and to force it onto others and to hold them in contempt. That is my view.

As for your statements about Judaism, whether or not Mr. Shahak were correct - and, as I noted, he is not -, they do not make my comments about Islamic history any more or less true. They are, in logic, considered to be a tu quoque fallacy - or, in simple English, a red herring. For your benefit, let us assume that Jews are devils and that Judaism is devil worship. Even if that is true, it does not alter or tell me a thing about what Muslims have ever believed.

As for your statement that forcing dhimmi to pay protection money was a good thing, I would ask you this: good for whom? Obviously, the person receiving the money. However, the money was not used to benefit the dhimmi. It was used to benefit Muslims. That is a fact.

As for my expertise, none of us - you included - is an expert. You clearly are no expert on the history. By contrast, Bat Ye'or is an expert. So is Bernard Lewis. The history of the creation of the dhimmi is well described in the historical records. Bat Ye'or's above explanation is not remotely controversial.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/15/2007

NF, Dadrian's presentation of the dhimma issue [zimmet in Turkish] is excellent. I of course agree with you and Dadrian. So I was disappointed a few weeks ago when I was in Paris and heard a lecture by another Armenian historian, Raymond Kevorkian [editor of Revue Armenienne des Questions Contemporaines]. Kevorkian argued that the ideological-sociological source of the Armenian genocide was in the nationalism of the Young Turks. He did not agree that Islam was a factor, when I asked him about it, insisting that Turkish nationalism of the Young Turk variety was "laic" [= secular]. Then I asked whether it was possible to separate "le fait religieux" from "le fait laic". Here he relented and allowed that it was not always possible. I think we can approach this question sociologically and demonstrate that even the ostensibly secular nationalism of the Young Turks, the Committee of Unity and Progress [the Ittihad] (progress no less!!), was saturated with Islamic thinking and concepts. However, without going into the bother of a complex sociological-ideological analysis, Dadrian provides evidence to clinch the issue very clearly and simply. He mentions [in your quote] that the organ of the Ittihad party explicitly stated its adherence to ethnic Turkish superiority, as the Turks had been superior earlier on account of being Muslims.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

Admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told a U.S. military tribunal he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, the Pentagon revealed today. "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in Karachi Pakistan," said a Pentagon transcript

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

And WHEN are you going to apologize, Omar, for FALSELY assuring us back in November that the mad mullah of Sydney, Sheikh "women are uncovered meat" al-Hilali, was going to lose his position as Mufti of Australia and spiritual leader of Australia's 300,000 Muslims because of Muslim upset with his outrageous statements? This has not happened, HAS IT? NO.

A. M. Eckstein - 3/15/2007

All right, Omar--YOU didn't make it up. Someone ELSE made it up and all YOU did was trumpet it loudly in starting a separate thread about it and you still refuse to apologize for spreading something here--and NOT for the first time!!--that was factually false.

Joseph Mutik - 3/15/2007

The Israeli hospitals are the only place where the Palestinians can get elective surgery and serious medical care for chronic illnesses. All the rest is cheap propaganda and HATE.
On the Palestinian side all an Israeli sick or wounded can get is lynching.

art eckstein - 3/15/2007

Omar, did you READ the post I posted two weeks ago showing that you were wrong about the alleged massacre of Israeli POWs--you trumpeted it, Omar, trumpeted it in a new and seaprate thread you started about "Unrolling Israeli atrocities revealed" (a title such as that)--and you were wrong, you purveyed to this blog FALSE INFORMATION. Ultimately, you were citing an Israeli documentary filmmaker for this story, who said he'd been misquoted by reporters and that his documentary showed just the OPPOSITE of what you claimed--that the 250 killed in 1967 were armed Palestinian commandos, not unarmed Egyptian POWS. And you have never apologized for trumpeting this false story.

Just like you never have apologized for trumpeting on this site the false story (drawn from your Islamofascist sources rather than Israeli leftwing sources) that the repulsive mullah al-Halili was going to step down from being Mufti of Australia. That wasn't true either--and yet, somehow, Omar, you simply go on, without apology.

One major point of the Shahak posting you posted was about Jewish unwilligness to help non-Jews: by "law". THAT is why everyone agreed that when I posted the story about the Israeli hospital helping Palestinians wounded in their civil fighting, you (and Shahak) were destroyed.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/15/2007

unfortunately, the wonders of data processing confused the title of the previous post, which has to do with the jizya and kharaj

Elliott Aron Green - 3/15/2007

to Omar and NF,
the grounds for the jizya are found in Qur'an, Sura 9:29 [verse numbers vary in some editions]. To paraphrase this verse, Muslims are commanded to fight the unbelieving Peoples of the Book [Jews & Christians] until they are humbled and pay tribute.

Jerusalem was conquered in the year 638 CE, that is, in the seventh century [not the sixth, as Omar has it]. Supposedly, Sophronios, patriarch of Jerusalem, made a pact --the Pact of Omar-- with the Muslims that provided a set of conditions or rules for the legal existence of the Peoples of the Book [ahl al-kitab] in Muslim-ruled lands. Reliable historians assert that the Pact of Omar was made much later, perhaps in the time of Omar II. In any case, the Pact of Omar [the original body of rules for the dhimmis] was not a generous or sweetly protective set of commandments and prohibitions for the People of the Book, the dhimmis. It was harsh, humiliating, exploitative, oppressive. For the information of Omar & Mr Slavin, "...the submission to the victor was concretized by payment of the capitation tax (jiziyyah), according to the Quranic admonition '...Fight them until they pay the tributo one by one, humiliated' [9:29]... the estate tax (kharaj) on land... the Islamic state considered the tax [kharaj-EAG] a further sign of subjection of the non-Muslims, given that the believers were exempt from it." [Roberta Aluffi Beck-Peccoz, Univ of Turin in Dizionario dell'Islam, Milano 2005]. As to `Umar II, an `Umayyad caliph ruling from 717-720, he "introduced a tax reform meant to reduce the differences between the Arabs, long-standing Muslims, and the mawali, the new, non-Arab converts." [Anna Baldinetti, Univ of Perugia, in Dizionario dell'Islam]. So in early Islam, non-Arab Muslims paid more taxes than Arab Muslims. As a whole, the rules of dhimma were meant to demonstrate the inferiority of the dhimmi, inter alia, they were forbidden to bear arms, marry Muslim women; had to wear identifying clothing or signs on their clothes, and the blood price for a dhimmi was lower than that for a Muslim. Moreover, the dhimmi's testimony in court was worth less than a Muslim's testimony, etc.
Aluffi Beck-Peccoz asserts that, "Especially in the first centuries [of Islam] the situation of the dhimmis was good," however, time passed and the situation changed. "The conditions of life of the dhimmis worsened when they were transformed into minorities. Then, practices were adopted in their regard, such as segregation in their own quarters, that were not stipulated in Muslim law itself." [RA B-P, in Dizionario dell'Islam]. I suggest that Omar and Slavin put this info into their narghilas --and smoke it.

N. Friedman - 3/15/2007


I believe that I responded carefully and temperately. My view, however, is that Jeffrey's position is not supported by the evidence. It is, rather, a gross distortion of the facts.

N. Friedman - 3/14/2007


Why bother with Louis other than to note that what he writes is off point? He is obviously unwilling to address the topic on this page.

art eckstein - 3/14/2007

In case you haven't followed Omar's pathetic dependence on Shahak, Mr. Green, two weeks ago I and Mr. Friedman, working on separate tracks showed that Shahak was (to be polite) dreadfully wrong on crucial issues which he raised and Omar ignorantly repeated, such as Jewish doctors refusing to help non-Jews (which Omar and Shahak asserted, based on a completely and provably ficticious incident, as I showed, and which was also undermined by, e.g., Israeli doctors' care of Palestinian wounded when they fight each other over who hates Israel more).

So that's yet ANOTHER reason why Shahak shouldn't be used as a source. Omar knows this, just as he knows that Shahak wasn't a historian but a chemist; he was humiliated on these points two weeks ago. He just goes on with his denials and turns to Shahak again in his usual pre-empirical way.

N. Friedman - 3/14/2007


On point 1, I said that the tax paid by dhimmi varied from time to time. At some times, it was oppressive. At other times, less so. It was, however, a different tax than Muslim paid. And, the relation of the amount paid was not a constant. So, at times, Muslims paid a lot less tax and at other times not as much less.

On point 2, I stand by my statement that non-Muslims had to collect there own money for community support and that the jizya and land taxes were intended for the support of Muslims. Support of dhimmi was not provided for from the jizya or land tax. If you want sources, my recollection is that Bat Ye'or documents the point in her book The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam. But, I believe other scholars have also documented the point I make.

On point 3, I do not claim to be an expert. I claim, however, to be very well read on Islam and on Islamic history. However, I am not an authority on the topic, as is Bat Ye'or, Bernard Lewis, Patricia Crone and many, many others.

I note, lastly, Omar, that one has to ask why one would force people of a different group to pay a special tax and to pay it under circumstances to make them feel humbled. Were a tax being collected for the general benefit, there would be no need for a jizya.

In the US, at one time there were separate bathrooms for white and blacks. That was not a sign of equal treatment. In fact, the very purpose of the separation was humiliating and the purpose was, most likely, to humiliate. And, the bathrooms were not of equal caliber.

The problem, Omar, is that the jizya is also such a relic of ancient times when the dominant group saw no problem defining its superiority over others. A trouble for Islam is that these and other relics of antiquity have not yet been wholly rejected by the devout, as they have been in most other ancient faiths. They still define how many of the devout view others.

art eckstein - 3/14/2007

Furnish wins (big surprise) against Omar.

The closest Omar dares to come to even trying to answer Furnish's pointed question of 1:51 p.m. above is to mumble about "historical context." (at 2:02 p.m.) I guess that means (though Omar doesn't want to say this out loud apparently) that Omar admits that, these atrocities occurred as Furnish says they occurred, but he can think up excuses for Mohammed's savagery here, if he is forced to admit the historicity of these events, but actually he's worried to state those excuses explicitly, for fear of looking bad to dhimmis and being made a laughing stock again or appearing to be a hypocrite again.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/14/2007

Comrade Louis, did you know that in that same period of time, Menahem Begin was called a Communist in both the British and American press?

Now, I note the distinguished names on the letter. I do not believe agree that Begin was a fascist anymore than you are. Jabotinsky was the mentor of Begin and he taught democracy, although he was opposed to Communism. As to Hannah Arendt, her past was rather checkered. Consider her affair with Heidegger who was proud to become a Nazi. I also note the name Zellig Harris. He was a linguist at the Univ of Pennsylvania. Some old-timers claim that Harris originated the linguistic theories that one Noam Chomsky now takes credit for.

To conclude, the letter is genuine as far as I know, but it is partisan and untruthful. Anyhow, since the original issue of this thread, this discussion, was supposed to be the age-old roots of Islamic Judeophobia [as expounded by Prof Furnish], I don't see the point in presenting this letter here.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/14/2007

Letters to the New York Times
December 4, 1948

New Palestine Party
Visit of Menachem Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed


Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the Freedom Party (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

The public avowals of Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

Attack on Arab Village

A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants -- 240 men, women, and children -- and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin.

The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.

Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.

Discrepancies Seen

The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a 'Leader State' is the goal.

In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.

The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.


Isidore Abramowitz, Hannah Arendt, Abraham Brick, Rabbi Jessurun Cardozo, Albert Einstein, Herman Eisen, M.D., Hayim Fineman, M. Gallen, M.D., H.H. Harris, Zelig S. Harris, Sidney Hook, Fred Karush, Bruria Kaufman, Irma L. Lindheim, Nachman Maisel, Symour Melman, Myer D. Mendelson, M.D., Harry M. Orlinsky, Samuel Pitlick, Fritz Rohrlich, Louis P. Rocker, Ruth Sager, Itzhak Sankowsky, I.J. Schoenberg, Samuel Shuman, M. Znger, Irma Wolpe, Stefan Wolpe

New York, Dec. 2, 1948

Peter Kovachev - 3/14/2007

Ah, once again, your incisive response and overwhelming volume of information demolishes my arguments, Omar. Consider me vanquished and humiliated and move on.

Peter Kovachev - 3/14/2007


It's always a hoot when you try to sound incisive and scholarly and all that. Usually, as in this case again, you have no idea what you are talking about, but make a lot of noise to make it sound like you do. Remember, sophistry requires levels of knowledge, mental agility and sophistication, all (or any) of which you've yet to surprise us with.

Mr. Friedman's answer is not oblique and he didn't claim expertise in a field to which you, by implication, seem to do. If that's the case, I'm sure you're familiar with Islamic sources on the question of taxation of dhimmis. In that case I invite you to "review" your no doubt formidable sources on the jazyia. As a memory-refresher, let me suggest a browse through your Hadith, especially the Al Muwata by Malik, the Suna Abu Daoud, Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Musleem.

Also, I'm sure you are familiar with some of the famous Islamic jurists and their commentaries on the yazia, such as Al Zamakshari, Abu Yusuf, Al Mawardi and numerous others. Just in case you are in a desert or someplace where you cannot easily access your library, these sources essentially discuss the rational and details of imposing intentionally onerous taxes on non-Muslims to make their lives a living hell.

Happy reading. From your loyal friend and ardent admirer, Abu Kova-shaving.

Peter Kovachev - 3/14/2007

Mr. Green,

I suspect that Slavin's "critique" was posted by HNN largely due to his academic status and whining, rather than his expertise or relevance. Stripped of these, his contribution is no better in quality than Comrade Louis' or Imam Omar's. Deconstructing him or his forum friends brings to mind the adage about wrestling with pigs; the pig and the wrester both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/14/2007

Comrade Louis, when are we going to hear you complain about USA and French and British weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf Emirates which most assuredly do not respect human rights, not even declaratively? These Arab states do not even make a pretense of respecting human rights, except for the rather hypocritical Cairo Declaration of Human Rights under Islam. This Cairo Declaration contradicts the International Declaration of Human Rights accepted by the UN many years ago.

By the way, when Israel sold weapons to El Salvador in 1975 [according to your post], the prime minister of Israel was one Yits'haq Rabin.

Comrade Louis, when can we expect you to denounce US, UK, and French imperialist weapons sales to Saudi Arabia?

Peter Kovachev - 3/14/2007

Mr. Ewener,

First, let's say we try to ground this debate, as it's tether appears to have become rather long?

I'm sure you'll agree that Prof. Furnish's article was NOT a comparative study on who treated Jews worse, Christians or Muslims. I would argue that it is a solid and well-backed demolition of the lie that antisemitism is foreign to Islam and that it emerged (or imported). His sources...which have yet to be successfully challenged by anyone...and history itself, as we understand history, clearly show that he is opn very solid ground. As for Slavin’s “critique” of Furnish’s original article, it’s so incompetent, irrelevant and blatantly political, that it’s not worth debating further…something which, in fact, not even his ideological supporters seem interested in doing.

The mostly unrelated debate about where and with whom Jews were better off is an entirely different matter, one that’s not easily settled, and one that's been adulterated with too much politics and too little analysis.

Your own argument, which admittedly made me chuckle, is hardly a paragon of intellectual honesty to which you appeal. To wit, your “every indication of history” and “Islam in general was far more tolerant of religious minorities than Christendom.” You cannot even provide a general source of all these “indications” and while you may be able to at least stand on your feet while debating treatment of Jews, your reference to “religious minorities” indicates your level of ignorance regarding this topic, something Mr. Friedman quickly demonstrated.

Be it as it may, so what? It’s also my (admittedly unproved and open to re-examination) guess that Jews probably enjoyed more instances and longer periods of tolerance in the Islamic world than in Europe...but only marginally so. That guess is based not on the passionate arguments or historical data (which is scattered, partial and inconclusive), but on the premise that wealthier, commerce-based societies tend to be too busy managing their success to engage in impractical campaigns of oppression. And the Islamic caliphates and principalities were, for the most part, commerce-based, highly bureaucratized and wealthier than the European kingdoms and baronies. But even that assumption of mine falls on its face when we consider the fact that some of the best times Jews had in Europe were in places with primitive, non-cash economies and under autocratic and pristine bureaucracies. Evidently, there are no simple formulae.

What I do reject is the notion that Jews enjoyed much better treatment, or as current propaganda would have it, an incomparable Golden Age, under Islam, in contrast to unmitigated misery under an oppressive Christendom. Anyone even minimally acquainted with Jewish history should recognize this as utterly false and naive. As I mentioned before, there were many fairly long "golden ages" in Christian Europe as well, virtually in every country where Jews resided, and at the same time many periods of savage persecution under Islam. No, there are no comparative studies of this, mostly because the historical record is too choppy to make this a profitable endeavor and because the comparatively few documents and examples are hardly evidence. And no, I’m not about to engage in a comaparative study as I’m not a professional historian. But I do note that all you seem to be able to add to the debate is your passionate conviction that things just *had* to be better for Jews under Islam.

If you're interested in the origins of your conviction, I suggest that it derives from two sources: Secular Jewish, and some non-Jewish, historians of the 19th century as the first, and European state-directed academic and political campaigns of the 1970s as the second. In the first instance, secular, nationalistic or socialist Jewish and non-Jewish historians of the 19th century were in a state of open rebellion against the obscurantism of a weakening Church. If you’ve been interested in the development of European historiography, you will know that part of the new historians' focus was on peoples' histories, nations and previously ignored cultures and civilization. Not to mention their tendency to make understandable and justifiable …but not always objective… digs at Christian or traditional historiography. The second source is clearly political. European academia responded to explicit directives by the EU to re-write the history of Islam and West’s interaction with it. This was related to political accommodations reached in a series of agreements with oil producing Arab states. Surely you’ve heard of these and surely you’ve read the official aims.

So, before preaching intellectual honesty, it would help if you and others here actually took a little bit of time to acquaint yourselves with at least an outline of the historical periods and the cultures we are dealing with. Following this, an honest appraisal of the politics behind the debate would be quite important too. The trouble is that without facts, intellectual honesty is just wishful thinking at best and regurgitated propaganda at its worst.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/14/2007

Prof Shahak was a professor of chemistry, not history or comparative religion. Further, he was a Communist. That alone should place a question mark over whatever he wrote on social issues.
Did Maimonides think Judaism a better religion than others? No doubt. Was he hostile to Islam? Yes. But just as some contemporary commentators explain Arab-Muslim violence as a reaction to Western and Israeli aggression, why not, by the same token, attribute Maimonides' harsh attitude toward Islam to his own personal suffering at Muslim hands?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/14/2007

Jeffrey, Yes, indeed, Christian treatment of Jews over the centuries was very bad. But I am not sure that "every indication" demonstrates that Jews were treated better under Islam than under Christendom. I think that you're going out on a very long limb there with very insufficient information. Bear in mind that Muslim toleration came at a monetary price, the jizya and Kharaj taxes, which had to be paid every year, otherwise a dhimmi's life was forfeit. Then there were all sorts of irregular taxes, forced bribes, exactions, fees, etc., beyond the requirements of Shari`ah law, but which the inferior social status of the dhimmi made him susceptible to.

These extra, non-shari`ah payments were collected at various times and places. For instance, in 18th century Jerusalem, Jews had to pay a fee to certain Muslim strong men for permission to take their dead out of the Old City for burial in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives [see Jacob Barnai]. In the pre-Crusades period too Jews in Jerusalem had to pay various exactions beyond the jizya to Muslim officials [see Moshe Gil, "The Jewish Community" in Joshua Prawer & Haggai Ben-Shammai, eds., The Book of Jerusalem: The Early Muslim Period (Jerusalem: Ben Zvi 1996)]. One Jerusalem Jew wrote to a friend in Egypt, "They eat us alive," referring to all these exactions. Another Jew wrote,"Their throats are like open graves," waiting for money (a paraphrase of Psalms 5:10). "The sons of Kedar [Muslim officials] in Jerusalem... harass a great deal," he complained. The translations are, by the way, my own from the Hebrew original of Moshe Gil's article.

Now, Jeffrey, for your information, none other than Karl Marx wrote that Muslims were NOT tolerant, indeed, specifically intolerant of Jews in mid-19th century Jerusalem: The Jews are "the constant objects of Mussulman oppression and intolerance, insulted by the Greeks, persecuted by the Latins..." [Karl Marx, in New York Daily Tribune, 15 April 1854; repr. in Shlomo Avineri, ed., Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernization (New York 1969)p 151]. Marx's words here were, to be sure, paraphrased from a book by the French historian and diplomat, Cesar Famin, L'Histoire du protectorat et de la rivalite des Eglises chretiennes en Orient [Paris 1853]. Marx in his article also shows an absolute Jewish majority in the population of Jerusalem at that time. In this too he follows Famin, using the same numbers for the various ethnic-religious communities in the city. Hence, Famin attests to a Jewish majority in the city by 1853.

Now, I must tell Jeffrey that he has erred in his account of Maimonides. Some of his assumptions are not correct and some of his interpretations are dubious. When Maimonides left Spain, he was still a child traveling with his family, and thus it was not up to him to decide where to go. When he was in Egypt he was a recognized Jewish scholar and physician and was made the official leader of the Jewish community under Fatimid and Ayyubid rule. Hence, he was not subject to the everyday humiliations that affected the average Jew, the Jew in the street, as it were. Your remark is inappropriate when you state: "The question is not Maimonides's tolerance of Muslims, but their tolerance of him." He was not in position to "tolerate" the Muslims. He was the non-Muslim subject of a Muslim state, albeit a privileged one. He did not control Saladin's army of mamluks. But he was in a position to know what was going on as to the situation of Jews in the Fatimid-Ayyubid domain, as well as in other Muslim states and in Christian Europe, by virtue of his status as official head of the Jewish community. It is known that he corresponded with Jews in Christendom, as well as, for example, Jews in Yemen. I have quoted from his Epistle to Yemen [published in English], written in response to an account by Yemenite Jews of the persecution that they were suffering at that time.
Further, you, Jeffrey, write without justification: "Certainly it was via Islam that" Maimonides' "philosophical writings came into Western Europe." How so "via Islam"? He was in regular correspondence with Jews in Europe. His manuscripts were transported by Jews. His works in Judeo-Arabic were translated into Hebrew by members of the Ibn Tibbon family who lived in Montpellier in southern France. From Hebrew some of his works were translated into Latin, some coming to the notice of Thomas Aquinas who quotes from him respectfully, calling him "Rabbi Moyses." On the other hand, I am not aware that he was quoted by any Muslim writers of Aquinas' stature. No doubt Saladin's court respected Maimonides as a physician, but were they interested in his philosophy or his Jewish writings like the Mishna Torah? Yosef Tobi, the historian, has written that Muslim intellectuals very seldom showed interest in Jewish writings, not even the Bible.
Lastly, back to the main issue and the bearing on it of Maimonides' observations and opinions. Was he in a position to know what was going on in both Christendom and Islam and therefore to compare their treatment of Jews in both? Yes. Was he "a mean-spirited, ungrateful, anti-Muslim bigot," as Jeffrey asks? The very question is offensive. Was he "ungrateful"? Ungrateful for what? For the Muslim oppression, pecuniary exploitation and humiliation of Jews? Whatever you may think, with your limited information and pro-Islamic prejudices, induced most likely by deficiencies in your education and by a pro-Islamic climate in the media and academia, it does NOT seem "a perfectly reasonable interpretation of the evidence" to conclude that Maimonides was "a mean-spirited, ungrateful, anti-Muslim bigot." On the main issue, don't forget that Muslims were commanded to humiliate dhimmis by Muslim law going back to the Quran [Sura 9:29]. This humiliation was an everyday matter. So I cannot accept your quick and easy conclusion that Islam treated Jews better than did Christendom. The matter is obviously complex and a definitive answer would require much research, study, and informed interpretation. I suggest that you yourself could begin study of the matter with Bat Yeor's books and with Majid Khadduri's book on the Law of War and Peace in Islam, which also has implications for the dhimmi status. Khadduri, albeit his professorship in an American university, was an Arab nationalist and loyal Muslim.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/14/2007

In the latter half of the 1970s, when the U.S. cut off aid due to concerns about human rights violations, El Salvador obtained 80 percent of its weapons from Israel. In 1975, Israel sold El Salvador 18 refurbished Dassault Ouragan aircraft, some of the first jets introduced into the region. Other Israeli arms sales to El Salvador included helicopters, Arava STOL aircraft, Galil Rifles, Uzi sub-machine guns, and a central computer system installed in 1978 that monitored and kept records of utilities usage, telephone calls and places of employment. In 1979 Israel’s honorary consul to San Salvador, Ernesto Liebes, was kidnapped and killed by guerrillas in retaliation for his involvement in these military sales. The South African ambassador was also kidnapped that November by guerrillas who demanded a severance of all government ties with Israel and South Africa, as well as recognition of the PLO.

The Israeli military also provided significant training to Salvadoran soldiers and paramilitaries, including the notorious Salvadoran secret police (ANSESAL). Notable graduates of the Israeli training include Maj. Roberto D’Aubuisson, founder of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), and Col. Sigifredo Ochoa Perez. Both have been implicated in the activities of right-wing death squads, including the 1980 assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero.

Full: http://www.wrmea.com/archives/April_2006/0604042.html

In 1980, El Salvador's archbishop, Oscar Romero, made the mistake of taking President Carter's human rights rhetoric seriously. He wrote Carter, begging him to stop military support for El Salvador's murderous rulers. Carter ignored Romero, but the people who ran El Salvador didn't. Shortly after he sent the letter, Romero was shot through the heart while saying mass.

Romero's assassination was ordered by Roberto D'Aubuisson (daw-bwee-SAWN), nicknamed Blowtorch Bob for his favorite instrument of torture. A big admirer of Adolf Hitler, D'Aubuisson once said, "You Germans were very intelligent. You realized that the Jews were responsible for the spread of Communism and you began to kill them." D'Aubuisson has passed on, but his ARENA party, supported by the US, still rules El Salvador.

D'Aubuisson was a big wheel in the World Anti-Communist League. Organized in 1961, WACL serves as a worldwide umbrella organization for extreme-right militants. Among its members are expatriate Nazis, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist Afrikaners, Latin American death squad leaders and a number of US congressmen and "former" CIA agents.

Full: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA%20Hits/ElSalvador_CIAHits.html

William J. Haywood - 3/13/2007


Don't worry, there are people out here who appreciate the careful and temperate approach.

N. Friedman - 3/13/2007


What you write is a gross distortion of the record.

The remarkable history of Islamic treatment of dhimmi is confined, in large measure, to its treatment, from time to time - but not most of the time -, of Jews.

But, Jews were a very, very tiny group among those non-Muslims under Islamic rule. The treatment of Christians was a very different matter. That, frankly, is why Christianity largely disappeared from what are now Muslim lands but which, at one time, were basically Christian lands.

Christianity was, by a thousand little cuts including massacres, discrimination, oppression and suppression, essentially extinguished, with only tiny remnant communities surviving. Recall, however, that Christians, at one point, were the vast, vast majority of people in North Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf states, Asia Minor - and everywhere else in the region except Iran, where the religion of Zoroastrianism met the same fate as Christianity, near extinction. You can be sure that none of that was the result of descent treatment.

Moreover, the depravity of the treatment of Hindus under Muslim rule outstrips, by far - if super historian Will Durant and KS Lai are correct - even the poor treatment of Jews in Europe under Christian rule. Lai reports that as many as 80 million Hindus were massacred under Islamic rule. This, you will note doubt realize, was due to the fact that Hinduism was not, for many, many centuries, considered a permitted religion under Islam.

So, if you were not of the permitted religions, you were subject to the sword - e.g. 80 million Hindus. If you were a Christian, you were, more often than not, considered a potential fifth column and mistreated to the point that the only escape, assuming one survived, was conversion to Islam. If you were a Jew, you might have been thought to be useful to an Islamic empire from time to time.

Which is to say, what you write is a gross distortion of the record.

N. Friedman - 3/13/2007


No one denies that some Jews thrived in Andalusia or elsewhere. And, there were great cultural achievements during some years under Islamic rule in Andalusia.

However, Andalusia is one small place and kind treatment elsewhere was sporadic; and, further, the treatment of Jews was known to be a little less kindly, even in Andalusia, than is alleged in your report.

For example, historian Benny Morris notes that "[i]n 1066, nearly three thousand Jews were massacred in Grenada, Spain." Somehow, such people probably did not very much appreciate the great virtues of Islamic rule. I should add that such massacre was far from unique.

I agree that Islamic rule was not always an unmitigated horror for people of the permitted religions. No one claims that - unless we are talking about the conquest of India and the 80 million Hindus slaughtered, Hinduism not, for many, many centuries be treated as a permitted religion and, hence, all the slaughter.

What is claimed is that Islamic rule was not a paradise and that, depending on the time and place, the treatment was better or worse under Islamic rule than at the same given time in certain places in Christian Europe.

One other point. Professor Furnish presents evidence from important religious sources of Muslim hatred and/or contempt for Jews. Such sources are, in fact, not made up. They are an important part of the Muslim heritage, just as the nasty statements about Jews in Christian theology, based on Christian holy books are not made up and played a substantial role in the treatment of Jews under Christian rule. Professor Furnish has, in other words, set forth facts and they have had considerable impact in history.

In this regard, it is no secret that there was substantial contempt shown for Jews in Islamic lands - sometimes bordering on hatred and sometimes breaking out into violence. It is also no secret that Jews were not always treated remotely well in Christian lands. In the case of Islam, which is the subject here, some of the mistreatment, contempt and hatred has its origins in the Muslim holy texts and in the events surrounding Mohammed's life. That is well shown by the historical record, whatever glowing reports that you may read.

I cannot imagine why you seek to whitewash Muslim history.

N. Friedman - 3/13/2007


This comment is entirely unrelated to the topic at hand.

It is irrelevancy to the topic at hand.

N. Friedman - 3/13/2007


The tax rates were not equivalent although at different times, the differences varied.

Not noted by you but something that is rather important, the jizya and land tax collected from non-Muslims were not used in relationship to or for the benefit of the dhimmi. Instead, the money was used to support Muslims.

Moreover, dhimmi were, for the reason that they did not benefit from the taxes collected by Muslims, forced to tax themselves - a further tax - for their own needs. So, even if the taxes paid into the Muslim treasury were the same, dhimmi still paid more money and did not receive the benefit of the money collected by the Muslim authorities.

So, your comparison, while it sounds interesting, does not actually get to the heart of the matter. In any event, as we say in the US, separate but equal is inherently unequal.

Jeffery Ewener - 3/13/2007

Mr. Kovachev: In all intellectual honesty, that is exactly the point here -- every indication of history suggests that Jews were in fact treated much better, over very long periods of time, under Islamic rulers than under Christian ones, and that Islam in general was far more tolerant of religious minorities than Christendom.

I would suggest that if you want to undermine this point, a list of examples of Islamic persecution of Jews would not be a profitable way to go. There will inevitably be a far greater number of corresponding crimes committed under Christendom.

At the same time, the examples of Christian tolerance you refer to were few and far between, while in Islam there were great swathes of history marked by a tolerance that -- to any intellectually honest student of European history -- seem astounding for the time.

I look forward to reading your comparative study.

Mr. Green: The question is not Maimonides's tolerance of Muslims, but their tolerance of him.

As I mentioned, the man had to flee Spain ahead of an invasion of particularly intolerant Muslim rulers. If he felt Islam was "the worst persecutor", why did he flee all the way across the Mediterranean to Cairo, instead of just across the fronteir into Christian-held Spain (a fronteir that in El Cid people hop over back & forth all the time), or jump ship in good-old Christian Italy? Just because the man is a genius doesn't mean he can't be a mean-spirited, ungrateful, anti-Muslim bigot. I don't know that he was, mind you, but it seems a perfectly reasonable interpretation of the evidence.

The historical record seems to indicate that both John and Maimonides were acclaimed for their wisdom and intellectual powers by Muslims, as well as by their own faith communities. Certainly it was via Islam that the latter's philosophical writings came into Western Europe and contributed to the advance of scholastic logic and philosophy there. So Muslims must have respected him and his work far beyond Cairo.

To both of you: The issue is not an absolute one, but a comparative one -- not was medieval Islam saintly & angelic, not in which society would Europeans of today rather live, not which religion was closer to God or more civilized or had better sex -- but simply, was medieval Islam more tolerant of religious minorities than medieval Christendom. And Islam, or anybody else, would have to go a long ways to out-progrom Christendom. The Christian treatment of the Jews is a unbleachable stain on the record of a people who believe -- rightly, in my opinion & my faith -- that God is Love.

And let's not forget that the Mongols are well-known for their religious tolerance -- evidently it was a virtue that could accompany some breathtaking vices.

E. Simon - 3/13/2007

Actually, they worked perfectly. Omar chimed in, as usual, to provide - among a littany of other things - accusations charging a lack of adequete scholarship on the part of Professor Furnish over any theological understanding of the texts in question. Professor Furnish then asked Omar for his interpretation. His response, or lack thereof, shows how unlikely it is that he knew what he was talking about, certainly not enough to show that he could charge Professor Furnish with not knowing what HE was talking about. There was nothing "cheap" about it.

Unless, that is, you were referring to Omar's baseless - or "cheap" - claims.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

Omar and Louis, if the West is as hostile to the Arabs and/or Muslims in general as you think, then why does the European Union give the Palestnian Authority about 450 Million euro per year [since 1994]? Why does the USA give money, not to mention some military training, to the palestinian authority and its armed forces [mainly Fatah members]? Why is the USA trying to get Israel to give up territory to the palestinian authority? Why is the USA now negotiating with Syria? Why did NATO, including the USA, go to war with Serbia in order to protect Muslims in Bosnia and Kossovo? It seems that you, Omar, don't know who your friends are. How about Jimmy Carter, ex-president of the USA? Is he or is he not a friend of the Arabs and Arab nationalism? Maybe Carter has been bought by wealthy Persian Gulf states in the Union of Arab Emirates, but a bought and paid for friend can be a good friend for all that. Anyhow, why was Pres. Bush willing to let Dubai control port operations in the United States? Why is it notorious outside Louis and Omar's heads that the Bush family has long had a special friendship with Saudi Arabia and its overpaid royal family?

Tim R. Furnish - 3/13/2007

Mr. Young,
Does the pot calling the kettle black mean anything to you?
Mr. Nelson,
Yes, I'm proud of my work in the U.S. Army. So what you consider an insult I consider a badge of honor.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

Juan, the career of Garaudy is bizarre indeed. Carlos the Jackal is another example of this very bizarre phenomenon. He was not only a terrorist for the Popular Front [PFLP] but a personal friend of Francois Genoud, a leading Swiss Nazi before WW 2, and later an Abwehr agent.
See link:
The weird thinking or insanity so common today on what is called "the Left" is amazing. I mentioned on another post the manifesto by Stalin's Commisariat of Nationalities, "Appeal to the Muslim Toilers of Russia and the East." This Appeal fits what you were talking about as to Stalin's cynicism about "class struggle" and nationalism. Anything to get "the masses" into movement.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

Juan, somehow Proyect forgets that the Communist Soviet Union was openly allied with Nazi Germany from 1939 to 1941. In that period Izvestya wrote that "Nazi ideology is a matter of taste" [fall of 1939]. Also, the Soviet and German foreign ministers declared a joint "struggle for peace" after they had both invaded Poland while the fires of invasion were still burning there [fall of 1939]. Despite Nasser's pro-Nazi statements, as late as 1964, his United Arab Republic was receiving generous Soviet aid. Maybe Comrade Proyect would like to explain to us how he intends to repent for Communism's Nazi collaborationist past.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/13/2007

I see that Furnish has a background as a military interrogator. Perfect.

Charles S Young - 3/13/2007

Omar, you'll find that Dr. Furnish quickly ends discussion if his off the subject cheap shots don't work.

Tim R. Furnish - 3/13/2007

And so your answer is that you have no idea.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/13/2007

Jews and Arabs: The Cultural Heritage
by Nissim Rejwan

Though encounters between Jews and Arabs date back to pre-Islamic times, and inter-cultural relations between the two date back to those early days, it was only in the Middle Ages that the encounter between Jews and Moslem Arabs took place, which was to produce the most interesting, fruitful and durable results. In Spain, where they had lived for centuries, the lot of the Jews had been an unhappy one; the Christian Visigoth kings were harsh and merciless. When the Moslems came to the Iberian Peninsula early in the eighth century, they brought the Jews of Spain not only relief from their oppressors but in the words of Isodore Epstein "also encouraged among them a culture which in riches and depth is comparable to the best produced by any people at any time."

The majority of the Jewish people at that time lived under Arab rule, and it was at this point that began the long and brilliant period of Arab-Jewish symbiosis a period which can be said to have been the most flourishing in Jewish history, and whose significance for the Jews and for Judaism to this day cannot be exaggerated.

During the four centuries in which they ruled Spain, the cultural, artistic and commercial activities of the Arab invaders made that country the most enlightened in Europe. Historians speak with awe about Cordova, the capital of the Umayyad caliphate, which became a magnificent seat of culture, with its lakes and parks, glittering palaces and mosques.

The court attracted and patronized poets and philosophers, men of letters and scientists. The Jews responded wholeheartedly, eagerly contributing their talents and drawing inspiration to revive their own language and culture. Thus the flickering light of Jewish culture in the east was rekindled in the west and when the great centre of Babylon finally crumbled, Jewish cultural hegemony passed on to the Jews of Moslem Spain, to be maintained and nurtured there for half a millennium.

Eliyahu Ashtor, author of the three-volume history, "The Jews of Moslem Spain," notes that in the 11th century, scholars who were steeped in Jewish lore and familiar with all areas of Jewish literature lived in every community on the Iberian Peninsula.

Works produced by Jewish writers, Ashtor states, demonstrate to what a large degree Jewish intellectuals were rooted in Arabic culture. "The profound influence of Arabic literature is conspicuous in the ennobled type of Jew found in many of their works, who is both loyal to the heritage of his forebears and permeated with the general culture."

In other fields, the degree of interaction and mutual influence was even greater. "Within the area of the exact sciences," Ashtor writes, "the contact between Jewish and Arabic scholars developed into collaboration." Treatises by Jewish scholars on the natural sciences all derived from the classical works of the Arabs.

full: http://tinyurl.com/2kk7bs

Tim R. Furnish - 3/13/2007

Mr. Baker,
Pray tell, which part of the Ibn Ishaq's "Sira" of Muhammad is false? Did Ibn Ishaq simply make up the account of the prophet of Islam ordering the liquidation of the Banu Qurayzah? Likewise, which of the Hadiths which describe the Dajjal's followers as Jewish are contrived?
We await your scholarly exegesis of these two issues.

Juan Antonio Hervada-Giménez - 3/13/2007

I just made a mistake in the link to nazi literature of Radio Islam. Here is it:


Juan Antonio Hervada-Giménez - 3/13/2007

The convergence between our twilight Left and Islamism is a very interesting phenomenon that dates back to the thirties, when the Third International was hunting for levers to enhance the “consciousness of the masses”, above all where the development of the “means of production” hadn’t yet generated an industrial working class objectively waiting for a messianic revolutionary avant-garde to lead it to revolution. Stalin found that nationalism and/or religion weren’t only respectively a bourgeois tool or the opium of the people; in some places they could be potent catalysts in the fabrication process of canon fodder. His memorable essay on nationalities remains a monument to cynicism and (political) realism.
When they couldn’t mobilize the people for the class struggle, they tried their hand with patriotism and “true” religion.
In the post-Berlin Wall era, Roger Garaudy, a Marxist theoretician and member of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party for many years was a seminal force in the convergence between Islamism and the Radical Left. He converted to Islam in the 80s, became a cold-blooded opportunistic negationist and spear-headed the modern anti-Israel (and anti-Jewish) movement in France. He eventually teamed with a Moroccan, a former officer in exile for some sort of anti-monarchist plot, and founded Radio Islam, based in Sweden, which still exists; its web site http://www.radioislam.net/ offer an eclectic choice of Islamic and national-socialist literature in ten languages (http://www.radioislam.net/historia/hitler/index.htm)
The repossession by the Left of Carl Schmitt, the most important political thinker of national socialism –see Empire by Toni Negri and Hardt- has an essential corner stone in what could be called “intellectual jihadism” in Europe. Ponder this essay by S Parvez Manzoor: http://www.algonet.se/~pmanzoor/CarlSchmitt.htm

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/13/2007

The Guardian
February 7, 2006

Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria

During the second world war the future South African prime minister John Vorster was interned as a Nazi sympathiser. Three decades later he was being feted in Jerusalem. In the second part of his remarkable special report, Chris McGreal investigates the clandestine alliance between Israel and the apartheid regime, cemented with the ultimate gift of friendship - A-bomb technology

Tuesday February 7, 2006
The Guardian

Several years ago in Johannesburg I met a Jewish woman whose mother and sister were murdered in Auschwitz. After their deaths, she was forced into a gas chamber, but by some miracle that bout of killing was called off. Vera Reitzer survived the extermination camp, married soon after the war and moved to South Africa.

Reitzer joined the apartheid Nationalist party (NP) in the early 1950s, at about the time that the new prime minister, DF Malan, was introducing legislation reminiscent of Hitler's Nuremberg laws against Jews: the population registration act that classified South Africans according to race, legislation that forbade sex and marriage across the colour line and laws barring black people from many jobs.


Israelis claim that they are the chosen people, the elect of God, and find a biblical justification for their racism and Zionist exclusivity," says Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa's intelligence minister and Jewish co-author of a petition that was circulated amongst South African Jewry protesting at the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

"This is just like the Afrikaners of apartheid South Africa, who also had the biblical notion that the land was their God-given right. Like the Zionists who claimed that Palestine in the 1940s was 'a land without people for a people without land', so the Afrikaner settlers spread the myth that there were no black people in South Africa when they first settled in the 17th century. They conquered by force of arms and terror and the provocation of a series of bloody colonial wars of conquest."

full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1704037,00.html

Juan Antonio Hervada-Giménez - 3/13/2007

A classic fallacy is to counter an argument by distracting the attention twards the refutation of something that wasn't implied in the argument.

Mr. Nelson doesn't refute the well known facts of the historical connection between national-socialism and the Arab nationalism (has he read the documents of the Baas party? is he aware of the Nasser regime ideological tenets?)

Mr Nelson says that there were fascist / national-socialist Jews. I would be tempted to say that he's mixing a historically relevant fact which had a profound and long-lasting effect on geo-political events (the alliance between Arab nationalism and Naziism) and an anecdote -the existence of fascist and/or nazi tendencies in some Jew political groups- that only sounds aesthetically gruesome because of ex-post events (WW II and the Holocaust)

The fallacy is particularly disgusting when one takes into account the present-day's implications, when the self-styled Iranian president organizes international symposiums to deny the Holocaust or a Toni Negri, full of anti-Empire fervor- recast Gramsci's positions in Carl Schmitt's mould.

National-socialism is back (was it ever absent?) in the Islamic political formulation and the new-new radical Left... and the so-called "pro-Palestinian" academic sect.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

Peter, Marxism is really in a pretty sad state today. It doesn't seem to have any major intellects on its side anymore. Yet there are many "leftists," whatever that may mean. Both the Marxists and the non-Marxist "leftists" seem to be holding on to an alliance with radical Islam. How do we explain that? Is it because Islamism is the only "revolutionary" game in town? Carlos the Jackal seemed to think that. See link:

What's interesting to me is that as far back as late 1917, not long after the Bolshevik putsch in Russia, Stalin's Commisariat of Nationalities issued a manifesto called "Appeal to the Muslim Toilers of Russia and the East" or some such title. This was a pro-pan-Islamic document. It recognized the national rights of Muslim peoples [i.e., Turks] as superior to the rights of non-Muslim peoples [i.e., Armenians]. It disregarded the class struggle or failed to apply it to Muslim states, etc. I don't have an explanation for this manifesto, only speculation.
But it does in turn foreshadow the whole bizarre support of Marxists and Western "liberals" and "Social Democrats" for Muslim jihad campaigns over the 20th and 21st centuries. Bear in mind that it disregards the class struggle or does not apply it to Muslim society. This document ought to be better known, for it explains a lot. It has been translated by J Bunyan & HH Fisher, by J C Hurewitz, and [partially] by Serge Zenkovsky. If you translate Russian, a proper study and translation of this manifesto, with commentary, antecedents, analysis, etc., could be a great project. The document really ought to be better known because it can, I think, shed a lot of light on Communist support for Islam in the 20th century, and thereby it might explain a lot of modern Middle Eastern history. Please don't tell Louis that Stalin didn't apply the class struggle to Islamic states and empires.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

"a few rhetorical tricks"
"to make the mad, bloodthirsty jihad terrorists respectable"

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

Further, the dhimmis had to pay a yearly fee, the jizya, in order not to be put to the sword. The hardships of paying the jizya and kharaj --as well as irregular exactions-- explain much of the conversion to Islam.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

Mr Ewener, If I am not mistaken, the Protocols were translated into Arabic before Israel's War of Independence in 1948, indeed before WW2. As I pointed out in another post above, it was precisely Maimonides, Saladin's physician, who wrote that the nation of Ishmael [=Arabs/Muslims] were the worst persecutors of Jews. Then, you write that Maimonides' writings were "acclaimed." By whom? By fellow Jews or by Muslims?

As to John of Damascus serving as an administrator for the Umayyads, firstly, Syria had been rather recently conquered by the Arabs in his time. Secondly, the Arabs needed educated administrative personnel among the conquered peoples, since the Arabs at that time had few literate educated men among their own. Further, you might check out what John wrote about the Arab-Muslims. Did he praise them? Or, like Maimonides, did he deplore them and their rule, despite serving them? I think he deplored them in one of his writings on heresy, if I am not mistaken. At that early stage, he seems to have considered Islam a Christian heresy, if I recall rightly.
Anyhow, do you remember that when the Germans conquered France in 1940, they used native Frenchmen to administer the country for them? You might learn something about the early period after the Arab conquests by reading Bat Yeor, by looking through some of the journals devoted to Byzantine history, or by reading Joseph Schumpeter's study of Arab imperialism, part of his book Imperialism.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/13/2007

David may not be up so much on grown-up history, but he has a rhetorical few tricks. Note how he used the words "responsible" and "puerile" and "thoughtful." He calls Prof. Furnish "puerile" and insinuates that his article is not "responsible" [also insinuating that hnn is not responsible for publishing Furnish], whereas he himself becomes by insinuation a mature, respectable, if not stodgy, bourgeois wearing a starched collar and a gray suit with matching vest. And to top his insinuations off with a thin crust of heavy British suet pudding, he tells of a "thoughtful" article that his respectable bourgeois self found in --of all places-- the Guardian. The Guardian was once considered the voice of the respectable industrial bourgeoisie of Manchester --in another century. Now, it's interesting how some try to justify the mad, bloodthirsty jihad terrorists respectable by expounding the traditional tolerance [?] of their ROP and through a few semantic touches.

Jason B Keuter - 3/13/2007

The dhimmi canard is bull: the protection of the people of the book was not an act of religious tolerance - it simply prohibited putting Jews and Christians to the sword. They remained within Islamic societies in a second class status that does not comport with the fairy tale of tolerant liberalism spun by Islamist apologists. This fairy tale then allows the left to pretend that it was 19th and 20th century Western Imperialists who introduced religious intolerance to the Middle East, a completely nonsensical lie. The Islamic Middle East was even more profoundly anti-semitic than anti-Christian because Jews had no powerful patron to protect them in Muslim lands. The virulence of present anti-semitism is the cry of abusive cowards who lost their whipping post.

Bob Martin - 3/13/2007


Peter Kovachev - 3/13/2007


Louis is a Stalinist has-been, good only for a few chuckles and cheap shot or two, although that's getting to feel like shooting fish in a barrel.

The latest article he copied and pasted here brought a tear to my eyes...yes, watching anyone scrounge for scraps in dustbins is a sad sight. It appears in Al Jazeera's English edition, which he lists, but also in Pravda.ru and a few squeegee-kid-class publications. An Islamist front, a rabidly antisemitic neo-fascist tabloid and a bunch of ageing-student rags. This tells us all we need to know about the sorry state of Marxism today. Cozying up to Islamists and fascists has got to be the ideological equivalent of cleaning urinals and selling tissue paper for small change in a public toilet. Sad...and stinky.

Speaking of Louis' great discovery, I have a copy somewhere of a USSR government publication from the early 1970s describing the "massive exodus" from Israel and predicting its imminent downfall.

I'm a fan of Rambam's as well. His Epistle to the Martyrs is also a helpful reminder. Aside from that, his biography was one escape from the excesses of the Religion of Peace after another. Not the kind of literature Louis would enjoy though; not enough about class struggles. I personally enjoy the bit about the Madman...it's a good thing literacy is what it is in the Muslim world, eitherwise they'd be going apes over that one.

N. Friedman - 3/12/2007


This page is about Islam, not about Israel. Yours is a major abuse of this site. And, it is not for lack of comment about Israel on HNN. Perhaps, rather than polluting this particular page with totally irrelevant garbage, you might post your anti-Israel garbage on this page, since your garbage would be more pertinent there.

As for your view about massacres, you are mistaken. The number of massacres committed under Muslim rule is very large, including numerous massacres and pogroms against Jews. Not the least of them - and this is according to historian Benny Morris -, "In 1066, nearly three thousand Jews were massacred in Grenada, Spain."

I suppose such facts can be ignored in your view that Islam offered Jews only peace and happiness. And, by the way, that is one of numerous massacres.

And again: Islam offered only peace and happiness for Hindus - except for the 80 million of them who were massacred!!! As super historian Will Durant notes, the massacre of the Hindus by the Muslim invaders is likely the worst in all recorded history.

Louis N Proyect - 3/12/2007

Jews who leave Israel for good
By Lawrence Smallman

Every Jewish immigrant that enters Israel is unwittingly taking part in a continual referendum on its chances of survival. But many of those who enter Israel also choose to leave it.

Half of those who emigrated in 2003 from the US went back.

For many of them, involvement in actively subjugating Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Territories and the pressure of living the Zionist ideology every day is just too much.

Igor Dzhadan describes his situation simply. He emigrated to Israel in 1990 but returned home in 2001, blaming what he called the country's "sectarian nature".

"I feel more comfortable in Russia. My life prospects wouldn't be worse than in Israel. I didn't like it. I'm used to operating in an open society where people don't ask you to what community you belong."

Dzhadan was twice required to serve in areas of heavy resistance in Bethlehem and Hebron. "I had to wait during operations to see whether there would be any wounded that I would have to treat... I saw dead bodies."

Boruch Gorin, head of the public relations department at the Russian Federation of Jewish Communities, finds similar sentiments among many of the tens of thousands of Russian Jews that continue to head home.

Dangerous place

Thousands complained of the pressure of living like a Zionist ideologue rather than as a human being. "Living in Israel is an ideology," he says.

full: http://english.aljazeera.net/English/archive/archive?ArchiveId=5706

Peter Kovachev - 3/12/2007

Are you saying that Slavin's irrelevant and entirely untrue argument ...a red herring fallacy, to give it a proper classification... is his best point? Perhaps; the man is hopelessly out of his element here, so it's probably the best he can do.

Nevertheless, you seem to be unaware, or you pretend to be unaware of the frequency with which Jews...and all other non-Muslim peoples...were robbed, persecuted, oppressed and murdered with regular in the Islamic world. Just read though some of the posts here and you'll get a starting point for your own research on the topic.

It's hard to say whether things were worse for Jews in Christendom than under Islam, I haven't come across a comparative study, but if you were intellectually honest, you would admit that this is not the point here.

As for pointing out examples of good times under Muslim rulers, there were plenty of instances where Jews were welcomed and lived in peace and prosperity in Europe for fairly long periods of time as well. Invitations, free lands and city districts, favourable charters and even custom-built castles. Why life under Islam got better "press" by recent historians is a bit of a puzzle, but timing and politics have more to do with it than straight forward history.

The bottom line is that neither Slavin's nor your arguments have anything to do with history as we know it, but with a cunfused mish-mash of Marxist, Islamists and neo-fascist political advocacy masquerading as humanitarianism or "palestinianism." In that pseudo-narrative, the Jews are greedy Western colonizers of a foreign land and oppresors of peaceful indigenous people who had to reluctantly learn from the Satanic West how to hate Jews as a matter of self-preservation. Why anyone still believes such crude antisemitic propaganda is the biggest mystery of all.

Jeffery Ewener - 3/12/2007

Mr. Slavin's best point is that when, in the wake of the conquest of Palestine and foundation of the Israeli state, a market arose in Muslim countries for anti-semitic tracts like the Protocols, they had to import them from Europe. They had none of their own. Even a glance at the history of Islam, along with a dash of imagination comparing its society with that of Europe, shows that despite various examples of intolerance and violence from time to time, nothing like the anti-Jewish ideology of Europe obtained in Islamic civilization. Consider ...

St. John of Damascus was one of the last great Fathers of the Church in the patristic period, writing on logic, the history of Christian theology, and against the iconoclasts. He lived his whole life in Damascus, from 676 to 749, when it was the capital of the Umaayad Islamic dynasty. The caliph recognized his quality, and appointed him as his Chief Councillor, a position his (Christian) father had also held.

If someone can cite -- or even imagine -- a case where a Muslim achieved any office of similar eminence in the court of a Pope or Holy Roman Emperor, I'd love to hear it.

Maimonides, who admittedly was forced to flee Cordoba after the city was conquered by an intolerant regime, ended up personal physician to Saladin's vizier in Egypt, where his rabinnical and philosophical writings were acclaimed for their genius. Again, can anyone even imagine a Cardinal or Christian prince trusting a Jew enough to be his personal physician?

The difference between the instances of violence and bigotry one finds in here and there in the history of Islam and the sustained and bloody hostility toward any religious variation, and particularly Judaism, that blights the whole history of Christianity, is not just one of degree but of nature. Christianity has much to learn from Islam in many areas.

Peter Kovachev - 3/12/2007

Mr. Slavin,

Having relatives and friends who acquired real doctorates and a few who teach in universities, I must confess being at loss with how you managed to get yours or how you seemingly forgot everything you were supposed to learn even as an undergrad.

No, seriously, I'm not just being a wag, I'm honestly puzzled by how you got where you are. Getting that PhD typically requires a fairly good command of logic and superior research skills, not to mention intellectual integrity. Judging just by your unprofessional and quite juvenile attack on Prof. Furnish, none of these are your forte, or to be brutally frank, you don't even appear broadly aquainted with such.

Practically everyone here, starting with Professor Furnish down to us humble plebes in the pits, tore your "critique" to shreds with little effort. Most of us seemed to have quite a bit of fun doing so too. In case you are bewildered as to why and how this happened, I would suggest to you that relying on cranks, ignorance of the subject and ramblings on unrelated issues would be the most obvious causes.

Not a good move trying to clobber Prof. Furnish with your doctrinaire "informed consensus" in this forum. He is obviously not frightened by the PC establishment in academia, and we're not your adoring (or captive) students or ideological sycophants quaking before your crude elitism. If you can't make a courteous, honest and coherent argument, best to stick to what you appear to be adequate in, namely glorified movie reviews and gobledeygook on social privilege and class.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Peter, you could extend this list much longer, yet Comrade Louis, like a broken record, will keep on reciting his mantra. But you're right to offer him some facts, although he might not find them palatable. I quoted the Jewish philosopher Maimonides who lived in Cairo on another post on this thread. Perhaps Louis could look for it. Maimonides wrote [Epistle to Yemen] that --I paraphrase-- the Ishmaelites [= Arabs/Muslims] were the worst persecutors and humiliators of the Jews. Maimonides lived from 1135 to 1204. So the modern state of Israel had nothing to do with what he said. Not even Herzl or Jabotinsky forced him to say those unkind things about Arab Islam. Maybe someday Louis will fix his victrola or buy a CD player.

Peter Kovachev - 3/12/2007

A very, very good point, Mr. Landes. Layers of political gobledeygook, invented "Palestinians," false allegations of imagined Jewish colonialism, etc., all obscure what should be the glaringly obvious, that any independence from dhimmitude, such as shown by Lebanon and Israel, lathers up the Muslim world into a homicidal fury.

While continuation of atavistic barbarism and imperialism in Islam may be accepted as the norm...as per historic and current evidence...the blindness and abject cowardice by the world's supposedly all-powerful democracies is a mystery.

Peter Kovachev - 3/12/2007

Mr. Young,

"When defeat is inevitable, it is wisest to yield." (Quintilian)

And I would add, to get one's mind off beavers.

Peter Kovachev - 3/12/2007


You are wasting time conjuring up lurid Stalinist scenarios and dreaming-up Holocaust II. There are actually no Israelis in your building...the mind plays convincing tricks sometimes. Your reality is that it's five o'clock at the Josip Dzhugashvili Home for Expired Cranks, hence time for the meds before embarking on the slow shuffle towards the dining hall.

Peter Kovachev - 3/12/2007

Prescient visions of the upcoming Zionist Entity occured even before these, and pre-emptive anti-Zionist self-defense acts by the adherents of the Religion of Peace and Tolerance include:

Grenada, December 1066 - crucifiction of the Jewish vizier frollowed by a massacre of the entire Jewish community (approx. 5,000 slaughtered).

Wave of massacres of Jews in Morocco in the 8th century under Idris I.

Massacres and decimation of entire Jewish communities by the Almohades in the 12th century.

Numerous forced conversions and pogroms in Yemen, Morocco and Baghdad between the 13th and 18th centuries

Frequent, organized, massive and state-decreed destructions of synagogues in what are now Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Morocco and Yemen between the 11th and 18th centuries.

Massacres in Libya under Ali Burzi Pasha in 1785; in Algiers in 1805, 1815 and 1830, and in Marrakesh between 1864 and 1880.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/12/2007

But it is still correct that Muslim enmity is generally connected with 1948. All of the incidents enumerated by Grant involved the Palestinian people who resented the colonial administration denying their national aspirations. Indeed, the Jewish people could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by coming to the USA to begin with. It was the racism of the American empire that kept them out. The racist ruling class of this country was all too happy to help the Zionists carve out a state in the Middle East that could keep Jews and Muslims at each other's throats. Eventually Zionism will collapse because of its internal contradictions. Young secular Jews have no motivation to die in another nationalistic adventure like the invasion of Lebanon. They much prefer playing video games or hanging out. Eventually they'll find their way to the USA--nearly 10 percent of my building consists of people who had the good sense to flee Israel. Down the road it will be nothing but ultra-Zionists from Brooklyn in a fight to the finish with Hezbollah and a much tougher Palestinian guerrilla movement. After they lose, they too will join the secular Jews who have already fled. All in all, it will be repeat of Algeria and the colonizers who went home to France.

Chris Grant - 3/12/2007

[quote]Hatred of the Jews became marked in the Muslim world only after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent loss of Arab Palestine[/quote]

Ah, so that explains the Arab riots and massacres of:
1920 Palestine riots
1921 Jaffa riots
1929 Palestine riots
1929 Hebron massacre
1936–1939 Arab revolt
1947 Jerusalem riots

Clearly, they were prescient enough to foresee the creation of the Jewish state and arrange several "practice riots & slaughters" decades in advance so they'd be ready for 1948.

Joseph Mutik - 3/12/2007

Sorry, I am a "wandering Jew" and I translated

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/12/2007

It was a reply to Hervada-Giminez's post about the Muslims supporting Hitler. The rightwing Zionists were no slouches in this area as well. And after the Nazis were defeated, Israel had no problem sending weapons to apartheid South Africa, a miserable racist state whose ruling party backed Adolph Hitler.

N. Friedman - 3/12/2007


The issue for Islam concerns their treatment of Christians more than Jews. And, it involves Islam's treatment of pagan and quasi-pagan religions such as Hinduism. So, framing the issue as one of Antisemitism is rather misleading since the issue of Islam's treatment of non-Muslims is group dependent.

As for ideology, Professor Furnish is exactly correct about what Islam's source documents say. And, such material has influenced the Muslim view of Jews over the ages.

And, depending on the exact era involved, Islam's treatment of Jews was better or worse than Christian Europe's was. For example, the Fatimids treated Jews fairly well, according to historian Ephraim Karsh. But, Jews were not treated well in Arabia, where they were massacred and expelled. They were subject to severe restrictions under both Arab and Ottoman law, although the severity of the restrictions depended on the exact period in time. As late as the beginning of the 19th Century, Jews in the Ottoman Empire were still required to dress differently than Muslims and could not give testimony against a Muslim and could not defend when attacked by a Muslim, etc., etc.

Turning to the picture of Islam's treatment of others more generally...

In India, for example, the massacre of Hindus actually far exceeds even the Nazi massacres. So, if you want a straightforward answer to your question about Muslim tolerance and intolerance, it all depends on what group you are looking at and when. But note: according to super historian Will Durant, the massacre of Hindus is likely the worst recorded in all history. All told, according to historian KS Lai, as many as 80 million Hindus were slaughtered by Muslim invaders.

Charles S Young - 3/12/2007

A rabbit and a beaver are walking past Hoover dam. The beaver says, "no, I didn't build it, but it's based on an idea of mine."

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Reading Mr Slavin's essay again, I note that I did not pay enough attention to his rather shallow knowledge of the "ideological roots" of "modern anti-semitism." According to the findings of my research, Kant, Hegel, and Voltaire were instrumental in developing "modern antisemitism," a form of Judeophobia that does not explicitly refer to Christian dogmas. Nevertheless, even "modern antisemitism" goes back to medieval Christian theologians who believed that Jews were incapable of reason, since they rejected Christian dogmas that Christian theologians and philosophers believed that they had proven by reason. Perhaps some forms of "modern antisemitism" go back to the heretic Church Father, Marcion. Indeed, it is widely accepted that Kant, Voltaire and Hegel were Judeophobic to some extent or other.
Yet Slavin writes:
Modern anti-semitism has its ideological roots in the poisonous writings of 19th century European public intellectuals such as Gobineau, Edouard Drumont, just to name its French purveyors...
Gobineau and Drumont lived long after Kant, Voltaire and Hegel. In fact, Gobineau was not especially Judeophobic, albeit he did write a racial theory, which was based, curiously enough, on the racial theory of an earlier writer, a socialist named Victor Courtet [see Jean Boissel, Victor Courtet, premier theoricien de la hierarchie des races (Paris: PUF 1972]. Moreover, in looking at the development of Hitler's Judeophobia, its roots in Germany would seem to be more significant than its French roots.

I recently published an article in Hebrew on the origins of modern Judeophobia. Here is an English summary:

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Maimonides, the Jewish philosopher who was born in Spain under Muslim rule in 1135 [d. 1204], expressed an opinion in answer to your question. In his work, Epistle to Yemen [Iggeret Teyman], he wrote:
". . . God has exiled us among this fanatic nation which is so clever in increasing our sufferings, persecutes us with its hatred, and oppresses us more than any other. . .
The nation of Ishmael, which harms us and decrees laws against us . . . as never any people did which rose up against Israel, harms us, humiliates us, and hates us so much as they [Ishmael] do." Maimonides' Epistle to Yemen has been translated [by S Halkin?] and published in English. Of course, that may simply be Maimonides' subjective opinion, but it does come from a Jew who lived under Muslim rule in Spain, Morocco, and Egypt. Maybe if he had lived in a Christian state his view would have been different but he did receive correspondence at his home in Cairo from Jews in Christian lands. So perhaps he was able to compare. Note, by the way, that Maimonides does NOT call himself a "Jewish Arab," he believed that the Arabs-Muslims [Ishmael] were a separate nation.

As to the Holocaust, it was perpetrated by a Western, European, traditionally Christian country. However, Arab nationalist and Muslim leaders did collaborate with the Nazis and in the Holocaust in particular. Most prominent among Arab Nazi collaborators/Holocaust collaborators/ was Haj Amin el-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem appointed by the British, who spent most of WW2 in the Nazi-fascist domain, inter alia, urging the Germans and Nazi satellite states, to kill more Jews faster, including children. He urged Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc. to send Jewish children to Poland where they would be under "active supervision," as he put it in one letter. So the Nazi Holocaust was also an Arab nationalist/pan-Islamic Holocaust.

Next, we can consider the effect on Hitler's thinking of the Armenian genocide, perpetrated by the Ottoman empire with German and Austro-Hungarian help while he served in the German army. Would that help to answer your question?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Can Mr Proyect explain what his post has to do with the issue of whether or not Islamic Judeophobia is rooted in early Islam or is rather the reaction of Muslims to the rise of the State of Israel?

Charles S Young - 3/12/2007

It was a simple and straightforward question.

Is Islam's record of antisemitism worse than Europe's?

Tim R. Furnish - 3/12/2007

Mr. (Dr.?) Young,
What leads you to think I'm "bewildered" at reactions to my writings? Actually, by now, they're rather boringly the same.
If by "special vitriol for Islam" you mean letting the Islamic sources speak for themselves, then I suppose I'm guilty as charged.
And pray tell me where in the article in question do you ascertain any downplaying of the Holocaust or an assertion of Christian tolerance? Actually, come to think of it, what does bewilder me is readers who see things in my writing(s) that are not there.

Charles S Young - 3/12/2007

Presumably, the Holocaust does not lead Dr. Furnish to ridicule a laughable myth of Christian tolerance. But curiously, he does have special vitriol for Islam.

It would be easier to understand Timothy Furnish's position if he would spell out how Islamic antisemitism stacks up against the European variety.

Dr. Furnish, are you saying that antisemitism in Islam surpasses the Holocaust?

It is confusing because at the beginning of his reply, he states "strife between Muslims and Jews did not begin in 1948," which is a simple, very limited, and uncontroversial claim. But his views -- and especially his evidence -- display mission creep when he seems to consider antisemitism in Islam as inherently worse than in Christiandom. This impression is given by statements such as "devotion to this myth of Islamic tolerance is laughable."

Using his facility in Arabic, Dr. Furnish has been diligent in finding examples of attacks on Jews from the 12th century. That's all well and good, but why wouldn't the Holocaust of the 1940s demonstrate that European antisemitism is even more intractable and vicious? It is one thing to find early examples of antisemitism, quite another to suggest that Islam is uniquely virulent in its views. If Dr. Furnish would think more about comparative history, it might solve his bewilderment at the strong reactions to his writing.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/12/2007

Early in 1932, Norman Bentwich, the former Attorney-General of Palestine, and a Zionist, was honoured by the Hebrew University with a chair in International Law and Peace. As he started his inauguration lecture, shouts suddenly came out of the audience: “Go talk peace to the Mufti, not to us.” He began again, but this time he was bombarded with a shower of stink bombs and leaflets announcing that the Revisionist students were opposed to both him and his topic, and the hall had to be cleared by the police. [1] At the very time that Hitler’s brownshirts were breaking up meetings, it was inevitable that Jerusalem’s Jewish public should see the brownshirted Betarim as their own Nazis. By 1926, Abba Achimeir had already written about the necessity of murdering their opponents, and when the students came up for trial, their barrister, a prominent Revisionist, cheerfully took on their characterisation of Jewish Nazism.

Yes, we Revisionists have a great admiration for Hitler. Hitler has saved Germany. Otherwise it would have perished within four years. And if he had given up his anti-Semitism we would go with him. [2]

Certainly many of the Revisionist ranks throughout the world originally looked upon the Nazis as akin to themselves: nationalists and Fascists. In 1931 their American magazine, the Betar Monthly, had openly declared their contempt for those who called them Nazis.

When provincial leaders of the left-wing of petty Zionism like Berl Locker call us Revisionists and Betarim – Hitlerites, we are not at all disturbed ... the Lockers and their friends aim to create in Palestine a colony of Moscow with an Arab instead of a Jewish majority, with a red flag instead of the White and Blue, with the Internationale instead of the Hatikvah ... If Herzl was a Fascist and Hitlerite, if a Jewish majority on both sides of the Jordan, if a Jewish State in Palestine which will solve the economic, political, and cultural problems of the Jewish nation be Hitlerism, then we are Hitlerites. [3]

full: http://www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/ch11.htm

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

The facts that Mr Hervada-Gimenez points to are well-documented and well-established. What mystifies me is how Mr Slavin could be unaware of them.

On Arab-Nazi collaboration see L Hirszowicz, The Third Reich and the Arab East, Joseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer, etc. Also my modest piece at: http://www.think-israel.org/green.nazis.html

with additional bibliography. My piece was first published in a different version in Midstream October 1994.

As to medieval Spain, we might mention the Spanish-Arab philosopher and ideologue, Ibn Hazm. This personality is somewhat more obscure than Haj Amin el-Husseini, so I can forgive Slavin for not knowing about him. It's time for Slavin to do prolonged quiet study of authorities other than Karen Armstrong, as well as study of sources like the Quran and Hadith. After this study, he may be ready to discuss these issues.

Juan Antonio Hervada-Giménez - 3/12/2007

Anti-Jewish attitudes were very alive well before 1948.

The Third Reich had several Muslim SS divisions, recruited mainly in the Balkans and the some of the Soviet republics. There were also a sizable number of Islamic volunters from the Middle East, the most notorious the Mufti of Jerusalem, who managed Radio Berlin's boradcasts in Arabic.

It is also well documented the well rooted Nazi network throughout the Arab world.

While today's militant Islamic scholars here in Europe tend to ascribe anti-Jewish sentiment in the Middle East prior to WWII to a reaction against the early Zionist settlers in the region, a glance to serious historical accounts of medieval Spain reflects a reality far from the myth of Islamic tolerance.

Juan Antonio Hervada

Joseph Mutik - 3/12/2007

The opening paragraph of Mr. Slavin cheap propaganda article contains the following:
"by repeatedly running articles by someone as tendentious as Timothy Furnish, HNN legitimates his position and at the same time advertises his book. This is unfair."
I know that mathematics isn't a strong part of the school curriculum in the U.S. (that's the reason USA imports so many Chinese and Indians to do the math and science) but I believe that the results of a google search are easy enough to understand.
A search made today on:
1) "Mark A. LeVine" site:hnn.us returns about 20600 entries.
2) "Judith Apter Klinghoffer" site:hnn.us returns about 360 entries.
3) "Timothy Furnish" site:hnn.us returns about 69 entries.
1) Mark A. LeVine is an ideologue making a living out of spreading hate.
2) Judith Apter Klinghoffer is supposed to represent the pro Israel balancing act in HNN articles and blog entries.
3) Timothy Furnish looks to me as a very knowledgeable history professional but I am not a historian and as a Jew I may be biased.
So let the numbers alone to show which "position" "HNN legitimates". Can we say that "This is unfair."?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Don't know how the wrong title got onto my previous post above.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Slavin seems to feel that those who hold his rosey-colored view of Islam are harassed in the public sphere. That's odd since it was none other than President Bush who described Islam as a religion of peace. Such mass media organs as Time and New York Times have long propounded a pro-Arab [vis-a-vis Israel], pro-Islamic view of the world, so I don't understand what he is referring to when he accuses the media of being hostile to Islam. In the case of Time magazine, the pro-Arab, anti-Israel sentiments go back to the founder, Henry R Luce. In the academic world too, apologists for the Arabs like Edward Said [the late e.s.], John Esposito, and others, have long enjoyed cozy, well-endowed berths in major American universities. Now, since Slavin places himself in the same camp as Esposito, whose mentor was one Prof Ismail al-Faruqi of Temple Univ, I would like to supply an anecdote of my experience with Faruqi. I went to a lecture of Faruqi's at Temple shortly after about a dozen Jews had been hung in Bagdad for allegedly spying for Israel [ca. 1969]. I asked Faruqi about these hangings and their tie to Muslim Judeophobia. He replied: "If we had wanted to kill you, we could have done it in the time of Muhammad." Somehow, Faruqi's words did not reassure me of the sympathetic attitude of Muslims towards Jews in the present or past.

As to the piece in the Guardian drawing a parallel between Euro attitudes towards Jews 100 years ago and attitudes toward Muslims today.
1-- Muslims in Europe and elsewhere today are major spreaders of Judeophobic hatred and agitprop.
2-- Muslims in UK and France have been responsible for most attacks on Jews in those countries in recent years.
3-- Whereas European Judeophobes 100 years ago considered Jews alien to Europe, Orientals, Asiatics, etc., today's Euro Judeophobes label Jews alien to the Middle East. This is simply a geographic transposition of the alien nature of the Jews so that descendants of Euro Judeophobes of 100 years ago can continue to hate the same people eventhough the Jews' geographic location has changed.
4-- European Judeophobes use alleged Israeli crimes against Arabs as a justification or pretext for contemporary Judeophobia. Indeed, some Europeans seek to exculpate themselves or their nations of guilt for Judeophobia or the Holocaust in particular by citing alleged Israeli abuses of Arabs, alleged Israeli Nazi-like treatment of Arabs, etc. For instance, a German bishop recently visited the Yad vaShem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah, as part of a bishops delegation. He claimed that Ramallah --a place bursting with weapons and genocidal intentions towards Jews-- was equivalent to the Warsaw Ghetto. By equating Jews with Nazis, the bishop meant to exculpate the Germans, even the Nazis themselves, and to justify continued Judeophobia on his own part.

Anyhow, it was nice of Slavin to contextualize the massacre of the Jewish tribes of Medina in a big picture. The Muslims just hadda do it to preserve their religion, Slavin seems to be saying. Anyhow, Slavin slips in, those tribes weren't really tribes and not really Jews either, because they were "Jewish Arab clans."
That's very original.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/12/2007

Dr Furnish is obviously right in his perception of deep historical roots of Muslim Judeophobia going back to the origins of Islam. Perhaps Slavin could explain the widely known hadith: At the end of days, the Muslims fight the Jews and some Jews hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees call out, "O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him." Perhaps Slavin or Karen Armstrong believes that this fable expresses a protective Muslim attitude toward Jews.
If Slavin thinks that dhimmi status meant no more than paying extra taxes, then he has very much to learn. But staying with the issue of taxes, Slavin should read up on Moshe Gil's findings in the Cairo Geniza documents on how taxes were collected and how the Jews perceived the burden and method of collection. See, inter alia, his article on "The Jewish Community" in Joshua Prawer & Haggai Ben-Shammai, eds., The Book of Jerusalem: The Early Muslim Period, 638-1099 [1996]. See the footnotes as well as main text.

It was no less a Jewish leader than Maimonides who wrote [in Epistle to Yemen], I paraphrase: No nation has oppressed us [Jews] as much as the Ishmaelites.
While on this topic, I recommend Carlo Panella's book "Il 'Complotto Ebraico'" [Torino 2005] for a recent and extensive treatment. I also recommend Bat Yeor and Moshe Sharon's books. It would be too tedious to list all those who refute Slavin's naivete and exceed Karen Armstrong in scholarship. As for Slavin, must he really call others "puerile"?

Richard Landes - 3/12/2007

Surely HNN could have gotten someone more serious to write the critique of Furnish. Slavin's comments underline just how shallow and weak the politically correct position.

Slavin's comments are just a rehash of the standard apologia for Islam (citing Karen Armstrong?!?) including the translation of "Dhimmi" as "protected people" without mentioning what they're protected from -- death by Muslims for not having the right faith -- nor the consequences of refusing the built-in humiliations of the Dhimmi system.

Indeed, rather than go in the direction of ancient battles between Islam and the Jews as Furnish does, I think the most obvious pre-1948 element of Muslim anti-Semitism today is this Dhimmi system. When the Jews declared independence in 1948, they defied their assigned status as inferiors, subject peoples. The violence of the Muslim reaction -- to want to exterminate the offending Dhimmi -- is part and parcel of Islamic attitudes from the beginning. The humiliation of having subject rebel has burned itself into the consciousness of the Arabs in the last 60 years, and their increasingly violent and paranoid behavior suggests that they cannot adjust to a modern world in which other religions have the right to independence.

The pathetic thing is that supposedly "progressive" people like Slavin and Armstrong, rather than cheer the subalterns achieving indepedence, step in to defend the imperial aggressors from any criticism. As a result, they strengthen the worst tendencies of the Arab and Muslim world -- their sense of grievance at victimization and their sense of innocence. With this kind of "friend," how will they ever develop the real tolerance that permits them to live at peace with neighbors.

N. Friedman - 3/11/2007

Professor Slavin,

Furnish's position is far closer to the evidence than yours.

While Antisemitic activity was different in Islam than in Christiandom, the evidence clearly shows that such existed. Among others, super historian Walter Laqueur documents such in his book The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism: From Ancient Times to Present Day. My suggest is that Professor Slavin begin reading the book at page 191, which is chapter Ten: "Antisemitism and the Muslim World." He might also find the topic discussed in earlier chapters but in less detail.

Now, it is true that historian Bernard Lewis indicates that Antisemitism in the Western sense is relatively new in the Arab regions, there are definite sources of the disease in the Muslim history. It was just different. But, the sources do, as Professor Furnish note, include the massacre of the Banu Qurayzah. And, that massacre, since it goes back to the religion's origins, sets forth the tone for the Islamic view of Jews. That, frankly, is a fact.

And, to note: Christians were treated, over all, far, far worse than Jews under Islam. Jews, unlike Christians, often served a function for Muslim empires so, while Jews were viewed as being contemptible (Lewis' term), that did not always prevent them from having some privileges. Christians, by contrast, were seen as a fifth column so the dhimmi rules tended to be more often and more strictly enforced against Christians.

On the other hand, Professor Slavin is simply wrong regarding the life of the dhimmi, over all. So that he might learn a more realistic picture, he ought consider, in addition to the evidence provided by Professor Furnish, the view set forth by well known expert on the Armenian genocide Vahakn Dadrian. What follows comes from Chapter 1 of Dadrian's renowned book, The History of the Armenian Genocide (pages 3 - 5):

As a first step toward a full analysis of the nationality conflicts, it is necessary to examine Islam as a major determinant in the genesis and escalation of these conflicts. The precepts and infallible dogmas of Islam, as interpreted and applied within the framework of a theocratic Ottoman state organization, encompassing a congeries of non-Islamic nationalities, proved to be enduring sources of division in the relationship between the dominant Muslims and the latter. In many ways that conflict was a replica and an extension of conflicts plaguing the relationship of the various nationalities in the Balkans with the Turks who, as conquerors, played the role of overlords towards these subjects over a long period of time. In this sense, it may be observed that Islam not only functioned as a source of unending nationality conflicts both in the Balkans and Turkish Armenia, but it also functioned as a nexus of the correlative Eastern and Armenian questions, through the explosion of which the issues of creed and religious affiliation for decades were catapulted into the forefront of international conflicts.

Although Islam is a religious creed, it is also a way of life for its followers, transcending the boundaries of faith to permeate the social and political fabric of a nation. Islam's bent for divisiveness, exclusivity, and superiority, which overwhelms its nominal tolerance of other religions, is therefore vital to an understanding of a Muslim-dominated, multi-ethnic system such as Ottoman Turkey.

The Islamic character of Ottoman theocracy was a fundamental factor in the Ottoman state's legal organization. The Sultan, who exercised supreme political power, also carried the title of Khalif (meaning Successor to Mohammed, and a vicar of supreme authority) and thereby served as the supreme protector of Islam. Thus, the Sultan-Khalif was entrusted with the duty of protecting the canon law of Islam, called the Şeriat, meaning revelation (of the laws of God as articulated by the prophet Mohammed). The Şeriat comprised not only religious precepts, but a fixed and infallible doctrine of a juridical and political nature whose prescriptions and proscriptions were restricted to the territorial jurisdiction of the State.

The Islamic doctrines embraced by the Ottoman state circumscribed the status of non-Muslims within its jurisdiction. The Ottoman system was not merely a theocracy but a subjugative political organization based on the principle of fixed superordination and subordination governing the legal relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and entailing social and political disabilities for the latter. [footnote omitted]. The Koran, the centerpiece of the Şeriat, embodies some 260 verses, most of them uttered by Mohammed in Mecca, enjoining the faithful to wage cihad, holy war, against the "disbelievers," e.g., those who do not profess the "true faith" (hakk din), and to "massacre" (kital) them. [footnote omitted]. Moreover, the verse "Let there be no coercion in religion" [footnote omitted] is superseded and thus cancelled (mensuh) by Mohammed's command to "wage war against the unbelievers and be severe unto them." [footnote omitted]. The verse that has specific relevance for the religious determination of the legal and political status of non-Muslims whose lands have been conquered by the invading Islamic warriors has this command: "Fight against them who do not follow the religion of truth until they pay tribute [ciziye] by right of subjection, and they be reduced low." [footnote omitted]. This stipulation is the fundamental prerequisite to ending warfare and introducing terms of clemency.

The Ottoman Empire's Islamic doctrines and traditions, reinforced by the martial institutions of the State, resulted in the emergence of principles of common law which held sway throughout the history of the Ottoman socio-political system. The Sultan-Khalif's newly incorporated non-Muslim subjects were required to enter into a quasi-legal contract, the Akdi Zimmet, whereby the ruler guaranteed the "safeguard" (ismet) of their persons, their civil and religious liberties, and, conditionally, their properties, in exchange for the payment of poll and land taxes, and acquiescence to a set of social and legal disabilities. These contracts marked the initiation of a customary law in the Ottoman system that regulated the unequal relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. Ottoman common law thus created the status of "tolerated infidels [relegated to] a caste inferior to that of their fellow Moslem subjects." [footnote omitted]. The Turkish scholar N. Berkes further pointed out that the intractability of this status was a condition of the Şeriat, which "could not admit of [non-Muslim] equality in matters over which it ruled. [Even the subsequent secular laws based on] the concept of the Kanun (law) did not imply legal equality among Muslims and non-Muslims." [footnote omitted].

This principle of Ottoman common law created a political dichotomy of superordinate and subordinate status. The Muslims, belonging to the umma, the politically organized community of believers, were entitled to remain the nation of overlords. Non-Muslims were relegated to the status of tolerated infidels. These twin categories helped perpetuate the divisions between the two religious communities, thereby embedding conflict into the societal structure. Moreover, the split transcended the political power struggle occurring in Ottoman Turkey during this time period. Even when the Young Turk Ittihadists succeeded Sultan Abdul Hamit into power in 1908, they reaffirmed the principle of the ruling nation (milleti hâkime). While promising liberty, justice, and equality for all Ottoman subjects, they vowed to preserve the superordinate-subordinate dichotomy. That vow was publicly proclaimed through Tanin, the quasi-official publication of the Ittihad party. Hüseyn Cahid, its editor, declared in an editorial that irrespective of the final outcome of the nationality conflict in Turkey, "the Turkish nation is and will remain the ruling nation." [footnote omitted]

I noted the omission of footnotes in brackets.

I think that Dadrian has the matter just about right. Non-Muslims were "a caste inferior to that of their fellow Moslem subjects." That, not the mere imposition of a poll tax, was the reality. What we had was something somewhat closer in character to apartheid South Africa than to the Andalusian myth you are peddling.

Whitewashing history, Professor Slavin, poorly serves your readers. Whether Professor Furnish occasionally becomes annoyed with some impertinent readers who have never picked up a book about Islam or its history, he, in fact, knows his history.