Friday, May 29, 2015

IS ISRAEL A WICKED STATE? OR ARE ARAB LEADERS OBTUSE AND FEAR COMPROMISE? Part 5 In A Series

Be Sure to Read the Previous 4 Posts Before You Tackle This 5th and Final Post in the Series

                 WHAT CAN WE CONCLUDE AT THE END OF THIS SERIES?    

 

 1) . OBVIOUSLY BY NOW, UNFORTUNATELY THIS:            

Despite repeated efforts by the British between 1936 and 1948, then in t948-49 by the UN, and later by American mediators in the 1990s into the 2000 decade --- and for that matter, by the Jewish and later Israeli leadership from 1936 through 2008 --- the leaders of the  Palestinian and Arab High Authority (later changed in 1945 to the Arab League) have all refused to compromise on a two-state solution that is acceptable to the Israelis, despite repeated offers by the Israelis right down to 2008.  Which offers were regarded as fair and unbiased by foreign mediators: first the British from 1937 to 1948, then the UN in 1947 and 1948, and we Americans in 2000.

Why these constant rejections, even with outside well-know mediators? 

Simply said, the Palestinian leadership has been rejectionist from the start.  According to Bennie Morris (see his interview below in the L.A. Times) --- Morris the premier revisionist historian in Israel who tried to look at the 1948 war both from Israeli and Arab viewpoints  --- President Abbas himself has turned out to be no different from Yasser Arafat or the former Nazi-friendly Mufti of Jerusalem and head of the Palestinians and the Arab League, Haj Amin al-Husseini.  All three of these leaders of the Palestinians over the last 78 years --- back to the British-led Peel Commission --- share the intransigent belief that ALL of current Israel and the non-Israeli territories belong to the Arabs and will eventually re-emerge one day as a strictly unified Arab-run state.

Query: how is this radically sweeping change supposed to occur? 

Well, for Husseini and Arafat, the eventual remake of Arab rule within Israel will apparently be due to war, including Jewish war-weariness and fears of unending attacks --- with, as a result, all the Jews will either be killed or forced out of Israeli territory except for a token handful left to live in the Arab-dominated Israeli state.  Or, most likely for Abbas's hopes nowadays, the downfall of Israel will occur when the Jewish residents find themselves radically overwhelmed in number by both Arab-refugee returns and extremely high birth-rates within the Arab population. 

The turn-around into an Arab-led state, to clarify, will supposedly happen once the Arabs vote into power an Arab government and, sooner or later then, Arab control over the fading Israeli army.  Would the Jews then start a civil war with the Arab majority? Hard to know what Abbas or other would-be Palestinian leaders expect on this score.  If many of them believe a civil war would erupt, wouldn't the Arabs in the surrounding Middle East Levant and in Egypt --- 30 to 40 times more numerous then the Jews --- defeat and maybe kill off most of them and expel the others.  

Someday anyway.  And maybe, so Abbas might believe (along with others), in just 10 or 15 years. 

All that, of course, is pure speculation. 

But consider this scenario: suppose, as all Palestinian leaders have stressed up to now  --- namely, that no peace treaty with Israel would be accepted by them unless it met four unyielding demands.  Suppose too that the Israelis --- under enormous pressure from Europe and possibly threats of a nuclear war out of Iran (or by its proxies in Hezbollah and Hamas) --- decided  to risk conceding on these demands, hopeful that it the result would be peace, recognition by all the Arab countries, and a solid two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What have these demands been in the past?

  •  Full and exclusive Arab control of East Jerusalem.
  •  Withdrawal of Israeli-held Palestinian areas on the West Bank back to the 1967 borders --- a retreat that would leave Israel with a very narrow corridor of protection from Syrian and Hezbollah attacks in the north.
  • Dismantling of all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, even those directly contiguous to Jerusalem. 
  • Unimpeded ability of all Arab refugees, or their descendents, who fled from their home areas in the 1948 war that the Arabs created, during which 6 Arab states invaded the new Israeli state in an effort to destroy

What then?

Enter Demographics 

  •  In 1949-1950, there were only about 550,000 Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, with another 159,100 Arabs in Israel --- a total Palestinian Arab population of about 715,000. 
  • Since then, in 2014, the Arab population in Israel had grown to nearly 2,000,000 (around 93% Muslim or about 20% of the total Israeli population) . . . a real increase due to birth-rates only of 13-fold.  Meanwhile, in 2014, the  population of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and in Gaza add up to about 4.4 million in that year --- a total increase of Arabs since the British-Mandate over Palestine ended in 1948 by another 13 fold.  All due overwhelmingly to high birth-rates.
  • For that matter, the total Arab population in 22 countries was about 70 million in 1950.  Today, it is almost 450 million --- an increase of about 6.5-fold in 65 years. And again, totally due to a very high birth-rate. (The birth rate between 1945 and 1975 was 2.5 per woman.  From 1975 to just recently, the Arab birth rate increased to 2.7 per woman.)

     Source:    http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-main-factors/

 By contrast,

  •  Israel's Jewish population in 1949-50 was just a tick above 1 million people.   
  • Since then, in 2014, the Israeli Jewish population had grown to 6.1 million--- about a 6-fold increase. 
  • Note carefully though.  Most of that growth came from Jews living in Arab countries and Iran who, after the Israeli war with Palestinian fighters and 6 Arab invading countries in 1948, had to run for their lives to avoid being massacred by eruptive Arab attacks everywhere.   Then, starting in the 1980s and into the next two decades, about another 1 million Jews fled from the former Soviet Union to Israel. 
  • In short, most of the Jewish population growth has been due to immigration.  The worldwide population of Jews is about 15 million today, with about 6.1 million in Israel and about 6 million in the USA (about 2.0% of the total American population.). Another 1.2 million Jews live in all of Europe (including Russia) --- about 1/7th of 1.0% of the total 750 million European population.  The rest of the Jews live mainly in Argentina and the overseas English-speaking countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa).     

2). DISASTROUS PALESTINIAN FOREIGN POLICY INTO THE 1990's. 

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 09:43 AM PST

Monday, May 11, 2015

IS ISRAEL A WICKED STATE? ARE ARAB LEADERS OBTUSE AND FEAR COMPROMISE Part 4 of a Series

                            Be Sure To Read the First 3 Posts Before Reading This One

So Where Are We After Looking At 3 Arab Refusals To Accept British and Israeli Offers of a Realistic  2-State Solution on Palestine in 1937, 1939, and 1947-48?

We're Right Here: the 1967 attacks on Israeli by Egyptians, Jordanians, and Syrians and the Six Day War

In June 1967, the megalomanical Pan-Arab dictator of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, ordered the UN Peace Maker Units out of the Sinai Desert --- put there by the UN after the 1956 war between Egypt and Israel, France, and Britain.  He added that his country and all the other Arabs would never be at peace with Israel; insisted that war was still on; and moved to blockade the Israeli ports on the Red Sea.  The Israelis retaliated with an air attack on Egyptian military airports, invaded the Sinai Peninsula, crossed the Suez Canal, and threatened to move to the outskirts of Cairo, all the while fighting the invasion on the eastern side of Israel by Jordan and Syria.  Once again, the Arab militaries were quickly and totally stopped and half-destroyed.

What followed?

Just this: After the 1967 victory over the Egyptians, Jordanians, and Syrians, the Israeli government offered to withdraw to the earlier boundaries, with some limited changes for security reasons (the 1967 UN resolution on the Israeli occupations of the West Bank and Gaza allowed for this), and the Arab League's members meeting in Khartoum Sudan, in September that year, issued a resolution that contained in the third paragraph their views of compromise: "NO peace with Israel; NO recognition of Israel; NO negotiations to Israel."  Source

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khartoum_Resolution

Sidebar Clarification:

In November 1967 the UN Security Council  unanimously adopted Resolution 242 that set out two major principles to guide all future negotiations for a "just and lasting peace in the Middle East:"

"Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

"(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

"(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." 

The Israeli government accepted the guiding principles for a just and lasting peace and offered "to seek agreement with each Arab State on all matters included in that resolution." That was in May 1968.  In October the same year, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by Yasser Arafat, totally rejected the resolution.  (In September 1993 the PLO, still headed by Arafat (an incorrigible terrorist leader) accepted Resolution 242 and 338 as part of the Oslo Agreement on basic principles to guide the Israeli and Palestinian negotiations on a two-state solution. By now you know the result: despite several years of israeli-Palestinian discussions, mediated by the USA, Arafat refused the generous offer put forward by the American mediators --- accepted by the Israelis ---much to President Clinton's astonishment) 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_242 

 

  

 

 

 

 


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Posted by gordongordomr @ 09:51 AM PST

Friday, May 8, 2015

IS ISRAEL A WICKED STATE? ARE ARAB LEADERS OBTUSE AND FEAR COMPROMISE Part 3 of a Series

Be Sure To Read the First Two Parts of This Series Before This One

         WHAT FOLLOWS HERE IN THIS 3RD PART of THIS BUGGY SERIES

Arab Refusals To Compromise and Recognize An Independent Jewish Israeli State

 For 78 years now (back to 1937 as you'll see), there has been an unchangeable and total repetitive refusal both by the Palestinian leaders and Arab League dictators to accept any compromise that would realistically partition the Israeli and Arab areas into a functioning and peaceful two-state solution.  Instead, they have rejected any reasonable compromise-partition at all in either of two ways:

 1) They have sneered and rejected any compromise that would create an independent Israeli state, however small it would be --- just as they have tried to destroy the Israeli state when it was created in 1948 and since then as well.  More to the point, but briefly for the time being, the Arab rejections encompass these compromise offers accepted by the Jewish side:

 First in 1937 under British rule of Palestine (the rule created by the League-of-Nations in 1922) that would have partitioned Palestine into a small independent Israeli corridor-state and a larger Arab independent state.

 Then in another British offer in 1939 that reneged on any Jewish state and promised to create a totally Arab-run control of all of Palestine in 10 years --- the offer astonishingly rejected by the Arab side, unwilling to wait a decade to achieve all its aims.

 Then --- even more important --- in 1947-48 when  the UN created an independent Israeli state, followed by a civil war in British Mandate Palestine and then the invasion of the new Israeli state in by 6 Arab states;

 Then again in 1967 when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan invaded Israel in an attempt to destroy the state;

 Then again the aftermath of the 1967 Israeli victory in that 6-day war, when a few weeks later the Israeli government offered to withdraw back to the previous borders with the West Bank and Gaza Arab areas in return for peace and recognition by the Arab League.  The League members, 22 of them, replied with the infamous three-no's: No negotiations with Israeli, no peace, no recognition.

 Then again in 1973 when Syria and Jordan invaded Israel.

 Note that two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan --- which ruled Gaza and the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 in that order --- never allowed any Palestinian nationalism to occur that threatened their hold on those two areas.  Since 1979, Egypt recognized Israel as a state and established diplomatic relations.  The Egyptian leader Muhammad Anwar El Sadat flew to Jerusalem, and he and Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace-treaty that President Carter helped bring about. 

Two years later, Sadat was killed by jihadi extremists for making peace with Israel.  In effect, Egypt's governments starting with Sadat recognized Israel, but never the Egyptian people (95% of the Egyptian masses were found in the Pew global org 2010 survey to be seriously anti-Semitic.   Source:         http://www.pewglobal.org/2008/09/17/chapter-1-views-of-religious-groups/    For a lower estimate (75% Egyptians found to be anti-Semitic in 2014 by the ADL):                     http://global100.adl.org/#map/meast  That's a big drop, no? --- though still very high. 

   2) In negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinian Authority since the Mid-1990s to arrive at a peace-treaty and create a Two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian and Arab-League leader have imposed four unrealistic demands that the Israelis must accept:

 This is the case whether the offers were negotiated between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority with the help of American mediators or were directly offered by Israel to the Palestinian leadership of President  Mahmoud Abbas without American help.  The same is true of the unilateral offer of peace by the Arab League in 2002 and again in 2007 to the Israelis.  Specifically, the Arab-side's rejection of a realistic compromise leading to peace and two-state solution requires that Israel accept 3 demands that Israel has been overwhelmingly likely to refuse doing.  Namely:

  •  Full and exclusive Arab control of East Jerusalem
  •  Withdrawal of Israeli-held Palestinian areas on the West Bank back to the 1967 borders --- a retreat that would leave Israel with a very narrow corridor of protection from Syrian and Hezbollah attacks in the north.                                                                                                                 

  On its own, remember, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in mid- 2005, followed in early 2006 by the Hamas terrorist movement being elected to run Gaza itself --- and followed farther by setting up a jihadi-dictatorship over Gaza that destroyed the Palestinian Authority's presence in the area in bloody gun battles.  Since which time, the jihadi terrorists have simultaneously imposed rigid Sharia law on the reluctant Palestinians that covers all aspects of human life --- not just religious observations. And additionally started two self-destructive wars with the Israelis

  •  Unimpeded ability of all Arab refugees, or their descendents, who fled from their home areas in the 1948 war that the Arabs created, during which 6 Arab states invaded the new Israeli state in an effort to destroy it.  (Figures of the numbers of Jews and Arabs in Palestine and the number of Arab refugees and why they fled will be found later in this buggy part-3. Along with counter Israeli-offers on the refugee problem.)

    By Contrast, Israeli Peace Offers, Especially Since 2000 Have Done the Following:

  •  offered on its side to withdraw from about  95% to 97% of the Palestinian West Bank (with this 3-5% annexation compensated by negotiating with the new Palestinian state to take control of an equal amount of Israeli territory to be negotiated further;)
  • offered to let Palestinian leaders to have joint control of East Jerusalem  and to let the Palestinian government of the new state relocate to Jerusalem;
  • offered by negotiations to connect Gaza and the West Bank by strictly Palestinian control of the highway link with no Israeli influence as long as peace prevailed;

  • offered to dismantle all Jewish settlements in the West Bank except those immediately contiguous to Jerusalem;

  • offered $30 billion to the Arab refugees who either fled during the 1948 war because they were threatened by Israeli advances or because they were enticed to flee by Arab propaganda and believed they would soon return to their homes when Israeli was defeated by the invading Arab armies. 

Note, in passing for the time being,  that the number of Palestinian refugees who fled their homes in the 1948 war between Israel and the Arab armies of several nearby Arab countries was found by the UN inspectors after the war to number 726,00, though whether they were forced out or enticed by Arab media or fled out of fear is controversial and will be dealt with later here. 

The number of Jews fleeing enraged Arab countries and Iran numbered 800,000 in 1948.  WIthin two years, 90% of them had fled while unable to take any of their property away and with any money usually stolen by Arab and Persian authorities. There was still tens of thousands living in Egypt, traditionally more hospitable to the Jews (Tunisia too), but they fled in the 1956 war between the Egyptian dictatorship and France, Britain, and Israel.  Essentially, the number of refugees on both sides --- Palestinians who fled Israeli territory or military advances and Jews who fled Arab countries and Iran more or less evened on.)

  • offered, finally, to withdraw eventually all its military presence in the West Bank to or toward the 1967 borders except for the Golan Heights --- something that had to be negotiated between the Israeli and Syrian government. ( Otherwise, Israel in the far north would have only 7 miles between a Syrian presence on the Golan Height again and the Mediterranean sea.)

                                    What Follows Now

The rest of the buggy analysis will seek to underpin these claims with specific data, along with a deeper probing since 1937 of Arab refusal  of all compromise-efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict peacefully, leading to peace and a realistic two-state solution.  

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 04:11 PM PST

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IS ISRAEL A WICKED STATE? ARE ARAB LEADERS OBTUSE AND FEAR COMPROMISE Part 2 of a Series

 

    Be Sure To Read Part 1 In This Series Before You Read Part 2 Here 

 

                                       INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS

It's one thing to criticize Israeli policies, another --- very different --- to try to destroy the legitimacy of a UN created state some 67 years ago.  Which seems to be the aim of most of its severe critics --- not all critics, mind you --- worldwide.  As you'll see in a second or two. 

                                  CRUCIAL PROVISO AT THE START HERE:

Legitimate Criticism vs. Jew-Hatred

As you read this posted buggy commentary, be sure to keep a key point in mind: Israel is a solid democracy, where political parties of the right, center, and left dish out their political attacks under strict judicial monitoring by the Israeli Supreme Court . . . plus a shared need across almost the entire wide political spectrum to settle these policy-differences by non-violent compromises at the end of the day.  Exactly as in the USA if you want a comparison.

These days, as in the past, the parties and media on the left and left-center verbally attack the existing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with unending  vigor, and with no efforts by the government to censor them or their media outlets.  The same rebounding verbal attacks in the media or the Knesset (Parliament) occur on the political right when a Labour Party or other left-wing party coalitions are in power. 

For that matter, the same is true of Arab members of the Knesset elected by their party of preference:  United Arab List – Ta'al and Balad.  Israeli is a country of strong judicial law.  Twice, Israeli governments have tried since 2000 or so to ban this small party-group on the grounds they refuse to recognize the Israel as a Jewish state, and twice the Israeli Supreme Court unanimously overturned the ban.  The notion that any Arab state anywhere would let a judicial court overrule one of its dictator's key decisions is totally risible. 

Come to that, a Muslim Druze politician, Majalli Wahabi ,became the acting President when the existing President was abroad in February 2007.  (The Druze, a tough mountain people who live in Israel, Lebanon,  Syria, and parts of Jordan, are conscripted into the Israeli army as are Jewish men and women --- with more and more Christian Arabs volunteering now as recruits, including Arab women as officers.

Sidebar: To Clarify with Another Example:

In April 2002 --- a period when roughly a thousand of terrorist attacks were attempted or set off in Israel --- the government sent in a commando force to the city of Jenin on the West Bank, where Israeli intelligence (with a member on the ground in Jenin) discovered a large group of terrorists holed up in a camp site with civilians present.  The commando force used every restraint it could to kill the terrorists with little harm to the civilian population.  At the end of the battle four days after it started, the a senior Palestinian official told CNN that there were at least 500 Palestinians killed in the terrorist hideout-camp. 

On the fifth day, the Palestinian Authority Secretary told the UPI (United Press International) that the number killed was in the thousands . . . with, to top it off, the Secretary " hinting, along with other Palestinian figures, that Israel had snatched bodies, buried Palestinians in mass graves and under the rubble of ruined buildings, and otherwise conducted [itself] on a scale compatible with genocide."

Not surprisingly, the gullible European media, increasingly anti-Israel, reported these horrendous figures in every country they hailed from.  The Israelis --- the New Nazis (according to lots of Arab  propaganda) --- had practiced "genocide".  Yep, genocide just as the Palestinian Secretary said it was.  Then, too, a Swedish UN representative who entered the camp said it looked like a catastrophe, reminding him of the bombings and attacks by Nazi forces in WWII on Leningrad  --- which he had apparently witnessed at times as a citizen of a neutral country.  Strikingly, in contrast, two experienced American reporters  (one from the Los Angeles Times, the other from the NYT) said it didn't seem to be anything but a small battle. No catastrophe, let alone any genocide --- and not noticeably many Palestinian corpses to see.

At about the same time, note quickly, Arab members of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to have the IDF commandos stop removing any bodies from the camp.  The High Court did exactly that, even though the IDF head said that they were removing dead bodies and burying them to prevent diseases from spreading in the Camp. 

In the end, the number of dead Palestinians wasn't thousands, wasn't even remotely 500.  It totaled in the UN report only 52 dead victims, 38 of which had been gunmen terrorists. (Just before the Israeli attack on the terrorist holdout, Israeli loud speakers warned the civilians to flee the camp.  Apparently, some didn't or were made hostages by the Palestinian terrorists.  By the same token, the UN report showed that there were 23 Israeli commandos killed in the 11 day battle.  In short, the Israeli-hating European media --- never mind some radical left-wing media in the US --- reported that the propagandist Palestinian exaggerations were accurate, a real calamity of grisly immorality.  By contrast, the battle-experienced American reporters had been accurate.  It was a small battle, with casualties on both side ---and a million miles away from a genocide.      

sources:  On the battle of Jenin, go here:    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jenin   On the large number of terrorist attacks on Israeli by Palestinian terrorists in the early part of the 2000 first decade, go  here.       http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/terrisraelsum.html                                                                   

                         The Key Point Again of These Introductory Comments? 

Just This:

There is nothing wrong with people --- whether Israelis or not --- criticizing Israeli governments or their policies, especially if they use the same standards they would use in their own solid liberal democracies.

The big exception then?  You guessed it!   The exception are Anti-Semites who can be found in large-numbers all over Europe and to a much lesser extent in the USA. 

Appallingly worse, but predictably so, are the media all over the Arab world and in Iran.  The reportage in these Muslim countries is crammed with preposterous hate-filled delusional idiocies regarding Israel.   What is no less markedly illegitimate as well is the openly expressed hatred of Israel by Iranian governments and their toadies in the Middle East have openly said they would like to exterminate the Israeli people --- no, not just the existing regime as the no less toady sycophants in Europe and even the USA have claimed.  (For the Iranian assaults on Israel's right to exist, click here. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/03/Iranian-View-of-Israel/387085/

What concrete evidence? 

Then consider these clearly clamorous cries from Iranians and Arab groups it supports for killing all the Jews worldwide (which somehow never seem to get into the European media, except at times in Britain).

Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)

Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)

Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.’” (2005)

Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)

Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: “We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time while arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases.” (2011)

Khamenei: “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” (2012)

Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)

Nasrallah: “The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world.” (2013)

Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: “The day will come when the Islamic people in the region willdestroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base.” (2013)

Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guard: “The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction." (2013)

Khamenei: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” (2014)

Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: "We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat." (2014)

Salami: "Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth." (2014)

Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: "The issue of Israel's destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader [Khamenei] on the issue of destroying the Zionists. The region will not be quiet so long as Israel exists in it ..." (2014)

Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: "The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime ... We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region's geopolitics." (2015)

 

 

[ continue ]

Posted by gordongordomr @ 12:05 PM PST

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

IS ISRAEL A WICKED OR ARE ARAB LEADERS OBTUSE AND FEAR COMPROMISE Part 1

 

 

IS ISRAEL A WICKED OR ARE ARAB LEADERS OBTUSE AND FEAR COMPROMISE

                                    INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS

It's one thing to criticize Israeli policies, another --- very different --- to try to destroy the legitimacy of a UN created state some 67 years ago.  Which seems to be the aim of most of its severe critics --- not all critics, mind you --- worldwide.  As you'll see in a second or two. 

 

                                     CRUCIAL PROVISO AT THE START HERE:

Legitimate Criticism vs. Jew-Hatred

As you read this posted buggy commentary, be sure to keep a key point in mind: Israel is a solid democracy, where political parties of the right, center, and left dish out their political attacks under strict judicial monitoring by the Israeli Supreme Court . . . plus a shared need across almost the entire wide political spectrum to settle these policy-differences by non-violent compromises at the end of the day.  Exactly as in the USA if you want a comparison.

These days, as in the past, the parties and media on the left and left-center verbally attack the existing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with unending  vigor, and with no efforts by the government to censor them or their media outlets.  The same rebounding verbal attacks in the media or the Knesset (Parliament) occur on the political right when a Labour Party or other left-wing party coalitions are in power. 

For that matter, the same is true of Arab members of the Knesset elected by their party of preference:  United Arab List – Ta'al and Balad.  Israeli is a country of strong judicial law.  Twice, Israeli governments have tried since 2000 or so to ban this small party-group on the grounds they refuse to recognize the Israel as a Jewish state, and twice the Israeli Supreme Court unanimously overturned the ban.  The notion that any Arab state anywhere would let a judicial court overrule one of its dictator's key decisions is totally risible. 

Come to that, a Muslim Druze politician, Majalli Wahabi ,became the acting President when the existing President was abroad in February 2007.  (The Druze, a tough mountain people who live in Israel, Lebanon,  Syria, and parts of Jordan, are conscripted into the Israeli army as are Jewish men and women --- with more and more Christian Arabs volunteering now as recruits, including Arab women as officers.

Sidebar: To Clarify with Another Example:

In April 2002 --- a period when roughly a thousand of terrorist attacks were attempted or set off in Israel --- the government sent in a commando force to the city of Jenin on the West Bank, where Israeli intelligence (with a member on the ground in Jenin) discovered a large group of terrorists holed up in a camp site with civilians present.  The commando force used every restraint it could to kill the terrorists with little harm to the civilian population.  At the end of the battle four days after it started, the a senior Palestinian official told CNN that there were at least 500 Palestinians killed in the terrorist hideout-camp. 

On the fifth day, the Palestinian Authority Secretary told the UPI (United Press International) that the number killed was in the thousands . . . with, to top it off, the Secretary " hinting, along with other Palestinian figures, that Israel had snatched bodies, buried Palestinians in mass graves and under the rubble of ruined buildings, and otherwise conducted [itself] on a scale compatible with genocide."

Not surprisingly, the gullible European media, increasingly anti-Israel, reported these horrendous figures in every country they hailed from.  The Israelis --- the New Nazis (according to lots of Arab  propaganda) --- had practiced "genocide".  Yep, genocide just as the Palestinian Secretary said it was.  Then, too, a Swedish UN representative who entered the camp said it looked like a catastrophe, reminding him of the bombings and attacks by Nazi forces in WWII on Leningrad  --- which he had apparently witnessed at times as a citizen of a neutral country.  Strikingly, in contrast, two experienced American reporters  (one from the Los Angeles Times, the other from the NYT) said it didn't seem to be anything but a small battle. No catastrophe, let alone any genocide --- and not noticeably many Palestinian corpses to see.

At about the same time, note quickly, Arab members of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to have the IDF commandos stop removing any bodies from the camp.  The High Court did exactly that, even though the IDF head said that they were removing dead bodies and burying them to prevent diseases from spreading in the Camp. 

In the end, the number of dead Palestinians wasn't thousands, wasn't even remotely 500.  It totaled in the UN report only 52 dead victims, 38 of which had been gunmen terrorists. (Just before the Israeli attack on the terrorist holdout, Israeli loud speakers warned the civilians to flee the camp.  Apparently, some didn't or were made hostages by the Palestinian terrorists.  By the same token, the UN report showed that there were 23 Israeli commandos killed in the 11 day battle.  In short, the Israeli-hating European media --- never mind some radical left-wing media in the US --- reported that the propagandist Palestinian exaggerations were accurate, a real calamity of grisly immorality.  By contrast, the battle-experienced American reporters had been accurate.  It was a small battle, with casualties on both side ---and a million miles away from a genocide.      

sources:  On the battle of Jenin, click here.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jenin   On the large number of terrorist attacks on Israeli by Palestinian terrorists in the early part of the 2000 first decade, click here.       http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/terrisraelsum.html                                                                   

                         The Key Point Again of These Introductory Comments? 

Just This:

There is nothing wrong with people --- whether Israelis or not --- criticizing Israeli governments or their policies, especially if they use the same standards they would use in their own solid liberal democracies.

The big exception then?  You guessed it!   The exception are Anti-Semites who can be found in large-numbers all over Europe and to a much lesser extent in the USA. 

Appallingly worse, but predictably so, are the media all over the Arab world and in Iran. 

 

     

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 05:30 PM PST

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jews, Their Languages, Their Diasporas, and Anti-Semitism For 3000 Years: Part 6

       Be Sure to Read The First 5 Posts in the Series Before This One

              AND SO WHERE ARE WE AFTER 5 LONG POSTS?

Prof bug's hope is that you will have finished this 6-part series better informed about Jews' lives, individually and in communities, during and in:

1) The Middle Ages (roughly 500 to 1500) and how Europeans interacted with them.

 Remember ---with the total expulsion of Spain's Jewish population (the largest in Europe until 1492 by far, both in the Muslim and Christian realms) --- Jews were only a tiny minority everywhere in Europe from that year on. (Poland was an exception here, with about 10% of their population Jewish in 1900, at which time the Poles were part of Czarist Russia. ) Even in Nazi Germany, Jews were only 0.6% of the total population.

2) Prof bug also hopes that, in the first 5 posts, you learned a lot about Jewish life and the ongoing shifts in Jewish religion and languages from roughly 1500 B.C.E. to the use of Yiddish and Ladino in Medieval Europe, along with the native languages they had to learn to speak, read, and write --- and farther shifts down to the recreation of (a Modern) Hebrew in Israel today. That long time span of shifting language-uses adds up, of course, to roughly 35 centuries.

The roles and treatment of Jews in their captive Diasporas over 17 centuries ---from the middle of the 2nd Century C.E. on when the Roman Empire destroyed Jerusalem, killed off tens of thousands or more Jews, and sent the rest into Exile or slavery --- were also explained, hopefully with good results. There were, of course, several Diasporas of the Israeli Jews starting with the Egyptians, then the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, then the Greeks, and then the Romans.

From the 11th century C.E.in Europe until the 1900s, several more Diasporas were imposed on the Jews by forceful exiling them from one country after another . . . including, of course, the large emigration of Jews out of Czarist Russia from the 1880s to WWI, during which the Czarist regime purposely encouraged a series of bloody massacres of Jews in a variety of Pogroms, with elite Cossack horsemen leading the enraged Jew-hating masses who were sometimes led by Orthodox priests.

3) As for diverse Semitic peoples, remember, the terms Semite and Semitic originally refer to linguistic usage in the Middle East among different tribal and larger groups speaking a wide family of similar but disparate languages. (Like Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian for centuries, all part of a family of Romance Languages, Latin in origin along with the impact of outside Germanic tribes such as Vandals and Visigoths in Spain or Franks in France. ) Only the Jews still use the language and even certain religious customs of those ancient times, with the other Semitic-language users shaking off their ancient usage and adapting quickly to Islam and Arabic once they were conquered by the Arab militaries in the 7th century C.E.

4) Later, the term Semite --- created by European linguistic scholars and some historians in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as strictly a linguistic term---was applied to European Jew-baiting or Jew-haters and Jew mass-killer pogroms in the form of Anti-Semitism, and that is the meaning that prevails ever since that term was coined by a Jew-hating German (Wilhelm Marr) in 1879. in the last half of the 19th century.

No, he wasn't referring to the coined word as something bad, never mind evil.   Judenhass(Jew-Hatred) was the term openly used in German-speaking countries for decades by 1879.  From Marr's viewpoint, the spread of Jew-Hatred --- which he wanted, along with more and more German-speakers in Germany, Austria, parts of Switzerland, and in the Austrian empire (as a second language) --- required a "scientific" sounding replacement.  Anti-Semitism was his replacement.  The term caught on quickly.

In 2005, the US government produced a report in which it said that Anti-Semitism meant  "hatred toward Jews-individually and as a group-that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity" No, not just dislike of Jews. 

5) Like more and more Germans, Marr --- along with other journalists, agitators, professors, and members of political parties---argued that "pure Aryan"Germans needed to join forces and reduce or destroy what he and other Anti-Semites regarded as out-of-control Jewish influence in all forms of German life: in universities, schools, the professions, trade unions, the media, retail stores and other businesses they created as entrepreneurs. Not to forget their support for Liberal and Socialist political parties . . . Jewish left-wing socialists divided after the Russian Revolution in 1918-1919 into Social Democrats and Communism, like a lot of native German-followers of each in the Weimar Republic of the 1920s).

All this viciously bigoted hysterics in Germany, recall, when Jews were 0.6% of the 60 million German population the year Hitler took power in 1933. 

No less important in understanding just how hysterical and delusive this Anti-Semitism was in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, consider that in the early 1800s only a handful of the numerous German states legally recognized that their small Jewish populations were entitled to full civil rights.  It wasn't until the 1850s that most German states followed suit, and a handful still held out to the 1870s to prevent Jews from accessing their universities. The 1870s, recall, was-the decade when the frenzied Jew-hating Marr and his numerous imitators were overwrought with fear that the emancipated Jews --- admitted freely to most Germany universities only recently for two or three generations ---were set to dominate and control traditional German cultural and intellectual life and "pervert" it for their clannish and conspiratorial ends.

Helping to prove something else:

  • Jews, going back thousands of years, were widely hated or feared almost everywhere they lived even when they were small minorities because of their high-achieving intellectual, financial, and professional accomplishments . . . unless, of course --- as was the case in Europe from 1095 to the end of the 18th century --- they were legally ghettoized and denied access to high-quality universities 
  • The one exception was in the Muslim Golden Age in southern Spain from the 8th century on.  By 1095, though --- the year of the First Crusade --- the Golden Age was being destroyed by invasions of Moorish-ruled  Spain of fanatical jihadi Berbers (the proto- ISIS fanatics of today) who quickly came to rule in all the Muslim kingdoms in that country and impose dark-age Sharia law in every aspect of life.
  • Speaking about university-admissions, remember: starting in the 1920s, all the Ivy-League universities --- Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the others --- set quotas on Jewish admission.  Until then, the more Jews who were admitted to these elites universities, the more WASP students were outperformed . . . something regarded in the ultra-bigoted Interwar period (1919-1941 for the USA) as intolerable, beyond belief.  Must be due to some sly trickery, no? 

The bigotry in the USA's elite universities went on for 3 to 4 decades, only for the Ivy-Leaguers to find that it was a disaster for admitting most of the most promising students and for hiring the best Ph.D. professors.  In those 3 to 4 decades, apparently WASP students and professors in large numbers were happy that  didn't want to have to compete against the "Hebes"  Click here for a fast-moving account of the quota-system.  Here too.

6) By 19oo, most of Central and Eastern Europe was rampant with Jew-haters. Rampant throughout, to be more specific, in the entire Czarist Regime and its conquered western provinces like Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states, Georgia, and so on --- and rampant too in Hungary, Austria, and Germany.  In Western Europe, the most Anti-Semitism flourished in France and the Iberian Peninsula (where scarcely any Jews had lived since 1492's expulsions).  

From 1900 on, if anything stands out in the 20th century,  it's how rapidly anti-Semitism galloped forward, enticing bursting numbers of both the still poorly educated European masses and the educated elites . . . the latter, for the first time in their 1000 years history, increasingly faced with prominent high-performing Jews suddenly emerging in all areas of public life, with very few banks under their control, but with more and more Jews entering the professoriat, the prestigious professions, and so on.

Sidebar Clarification 

   Ghettos, Yes or No ---and Careful! Don't Outperform the Native Peoples

As we just noted a second or two ago, Jews had been legally confined to ghettos for over 8 centuries   --- with a few rich ones allowed to live outside the ghettos with enough bribe-money slipped to the ruling class   ---  until the Napoleonic conquests in France and the rest of West Europe, with Germany, Austria, and other Central and Eastern Europe not implementing full civil rights for Jews until the middle or late decades of the 19th century.  (In Czarist Russia, never!)  Living in ghettos, understand, Jews couldn't practice any  of the professions legally or even enter European universities. 

And so . . . as Jew-hatred spread throughout Central and East Europe, along with especially France and Spain (back to 1492) in West Europe, the hate-mongering Anti-Semitic whiners would drone on with bellyacher chants of something like this: Why oh Why! couldn't the Jews slither back into their ghettos.  Or, as in the past, be booted out of their countries.  Or --- for some agitators and charismatic big-shot demagogues like Hitler --- just be killed outright.   All of them!  For Hitler of course, total extermination was the only way to save the so-called Master-Race Aryans.

Which, of course, was what the Holocaust was supposed to do. 

The Holocaust and Its Consequences

In 1941, Hitlerian Germany, with lots of help from its butcher-boy imitators and admirers elsewhere in Europe, set out to exterminate the Jews once and for all.  Not able to kill off all the Jews with guns, besides wasting precious ammunition, the grisly scheme was improved in 1942 with death-camp usage of poison gas and huge ovens to dispose of the bodies . . . but not before all the gold teeth and other goodies for money were extracted.  Much of that money ended up in Swiss banks.  By the end of WWII in Europe (May 1945), the Holocaust was more or less completed by the Nazis and their fervent followers in Eastern and Central Europe at the war's end. 

All the countries in East Europe --- whether independent or Soviet Union satellites --- participated in the genocide's ghastly killings.  There was one exception: Bulgaria, a German ally, that stopped cooperating with the Nazi efforts to deport all Jews to the Death-Camps in Poland when its government learned about the Jews' fate.  The country was able to save almost all of its 50,000 Jewish community. 

And, recall from an earlier buggy post, that Hitler was overwhelmingly right when he publicly proclaimed at the start of WWII that --- whether Nazi Germany and its allies won or lost the war (caused, he emphasized, entirely by the Jews who ruled Britain, the USA, and the Soviet Union) --- Germany and all of Europe would be Juden-Frei (free of Jews). 

In 1939, to clarify, the year WWII started, there were 9.3 million Jews in Europe (which had a total of about 500 million inhabitants everywhere).  In 2015, as Anti-Semitism begins to spread openly again in Europe, there are 1.2 million Jews left in a total European population of around 750 million.  Or about 1/5th of 1.0% of the total. For an informative if grisly article on how the Death-Camps operated,  click here.

And West European Help for Nazi Genocide? 

It thrived in many countries too. 

Start with the Nazi-collaborating French Vichy-government --- which even tried to become Hitler's partner as a great power (he said no!).  And then consider the puppet collaborating government in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands all actively rounded up Jews and sent them to the Nazi death-camps in Poland . . . though, to their great credit, tens of thousands of decent risk-taking French, Dutch, and Belgian  citizens sought to hide as many Jews as they could. 

By contrast, Franco's semi-Fascist Spain and the dictatorial government in Portugal --- both countries neutral --- refused Nazi requests to hand over their small Jewish populations.  And, to repeat, neutral Sweden protected its small Jewish population and took in about 15,000 Danish Jews fleeing the occupying Nazis.  Note that two Nazi-allies, Finland and Bulgaria, also protected their small Jewish citizenry.  And Italy?

Under Mussolini, the pioneer originator of totalitarian Fascist regimes, Italian Jews were generally safe until Mussolini caved in under German pressure and let his Fascist forces gather and send Jews to the death-camps.  

And the USA

Obviously, our country (along with Britain and the Soviet Union) became and remained a powerful anti-Nazi enemy.  In effect, though,  --- with American Anti-Semitism as its height in WWII and for years afterwards --- our government refused to take in Jewish refugees on the run, both before and during it. 

  •  One reason: FDR, our President, was worried that widespread Anti-Semitism would hurt his chances of re-election in 1940 if (a year before our entry in WWII) if he lifted tight restrictions on all immigration. 
  • Another reason: the WASP-led State Department, full of Anti-Semites (with, it's true, a handful of members who wanted to help Jewish refugees)  opposed taking more than a small number of refugees until 1944.  The head of the State Department's immigration policies even watered down or concealed information sent to it from our Ambassadors abroad about the genocide that, in turn, in its form, would reach FDR's and his small circle of his closest advisors  . . . some of them Jews. 
  • In January 1944, finally, President Roosevelt --- pushed by Eleanor, his very hard-working charitable wife and by Jewish groups with hard evidence of the genocide --- agreed to lift the quota -limits on Jewish immigration and seek ways to help rescue Jewish refugees and get them passage to the USA. Almost all Jews, of course, if still alive, were in death-camps by then.  FDR also ordered that the Jew-loathing members in the State Department be replaced or left with petty positions. (An easy-to-read source  on all this is found here )

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 06:47 PM PST

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jews, Their Languages, Their Diasporas, and Anti-Semitism For 3000 Years: Part 5

       Be Sure To Read the First Four Parts of This Series Before This Part

                JEWS, THE MIDDLE AGES, AND ANTI-SEMITISM (1095-2015)

 Jewish Expulsions As a Game of Musical Chairs

When things went wrong for the Medieval European masses --- not to forget all the Emperors, Kings, Princes, and Knights who had run up large debts to Jewish lenders --- slaughterhouse death-to-the-Jews riots  (AKA, Pogroms) were not the only way to pander to the enraged masses, while of course saving the rich and powerful debtors from having to pay back their debts.  Another way was just plain expulsions.  And as bad luck had it, expulsions of Jewish communities soared by the 14th century -- almost everywhere. 

Consider the record.  Jews were forced out of England in 1290, in France in 1392, and out of large parts of Germany, Italy, and the Balkan peninsula between 1350 and 1450 --- not to forget from fully Christianized Spain in 1492 and Portugal a few years later.  So where to go for the kicked-out Jews?  In the Reformation period, from the 1520s and half way into the 17th century, Calvinist-Protestant Holland was a refuge for some Jews.  Calvinists, unlike Lutherans, identified with the Jewish Bible and saw their new religion as Jewish in origin. 

Luther, by contrast,  went entirely kooky-ape about Jews when they wouldn't convert to his new religion and urged the rulers everywhere in Protestant lands  to  burn all the synagogues and kill off all the Jews in their regions.  

Click here for authoritative excerpts from his book entitled The Jews and Their Lies.

Sidebar Clarification: Here's one of Luther's outrageous, Nazi-like pleas to his Lutheran followers:

"My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire...Second, that all their books-- their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible-- be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted...Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country...Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it...The rulers must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs."

Unfortunately,·4 centuries later, ·"the mad-dog Jews" metaphor of Luther's was taken seriously by most of the inhabitants of ·Germany and lots and lots of other countries in Europe during WWII.

 

Second Sidebar Stuff: Jews Alone Could Legally Lend Money With Interests On Loans

Roman Catholicism, by two official councils in 345 C.E. and later in 789 C.E. along with several later councils in the Middle Ages, declared it was strictly sinful to lend money with interest --- the practice dubbed as evil usury.  Efforts by Catholics to maneuver around these Church declaration could lead the lenders to be punished as heretics and subject even to death.  The stupidity of these stone-age restrictions held back economic innovations and growth for centuries.  Only in the late 18th and 19th centuries were some of these restrictions officially eased, but not all of them.

Oddly, the same view of charging interest on loans as sinful usury was repeated in three of the four most prominent and influence of Protestant leaders in the Reformation period.  Luther, Melanchthon, and Zwingli.  The fourth, John Calvin, understood economics better, and he allowed certain kinds of interest as legitimate and his successors --- as capitalism broke through all sorts of barriers in the 17th and 18th centuries --- did the same, along with Lutherans and other Protestant sects. 

Jews, however, were allowed by the Catholic and later Protestant religions to lend with interest to anyone.  And that's how and why many Jews throughout Christian (and Islamic) history turned to financial lending and helped economic development.  At the same time, powerful Kings, Princes, and Aristocrats would borrow excessively to finance their spending surges and then --- unable to pay back the loans --- would join average borrowers in denouncing Jews as money-grubbing usurers who should either be imprisoned, killed, or expelled from the kingdoms and principalities they lived in.

And hence the stereotype of Jews, rampant in Christianity (and Islam later on), as greedy money-mad peoples and excessively powerful in the business world.  

Third Sidebar Stuff: Jump Ahead To The 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries in Europe

In the early democratizing countries in the 18th and 19th centuries --- a little earlier after the English Civil Wars of the first half of the 17th century --- the treatment of the small Jewish communities became increasingly liberal: meaning, Britain, Scandinavia, and Netherlands. In France, despite its acceptance of Jews as citizens starting in the 19th century, anti-Semitism bounded ahead and became rife in much of the country from the Dreyfus affair in the 1890s right down and through the Vichy Nazi-collaborating French government in WWII. Italy was far more generous to the small prominent Jewish population right down to WWII. As for Iberia, Central and East Europe, the hatred of Jews was more and more frightening by and after WWI. (More about this later.}

WHICH COUNTRIES INVITED THE EXPELLED JEWS TO SETTLE THERE?

Jews in the Muslim World

The largest expulsions, remember from previous posts, where imposed on the biggest Jewish presence in Europe: Spain (and tiny Portugal).  That was in 1492, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella   --- the Queen as fanatic a Catholic of Dark-Age beliefs as ISIS death-cult types are in Islam ---offered two choices for Jews: convert to Catholicism (and come under the scrutinizing control of the Spanish Inquisition) or skedaddle as fast as you can out of our Kingdom.  With, of course, little or none of their possessions, almost all of which were stolen by Spaniards at all levels of life and status. 

Enter the Ottoman Empire (Ruling from the Ruins of the 1000-year Byzantine Empire in Istanbul, Turkey)

The countries that invited the Iberian Jews or at least let them enter and settle were those controlled by the vast Ottoman Empire's ruling Caliphate. Caliphs, people who were regarded as the  successor to Mohammed, were both the  religious and political leaders of all Islam.  Their leaders urged openly as many Sephardic Spanish- and other South-European Ladino-speaking Jews as they could entice to settle in their domains . . .  with a double-urge that the Jews specifically settle in the Empire's most backward countries in those days.  Those countries in the huge Ottoman Empire?   Not Egypt and the Mediterranean coastal Arabs.  No, the backward countries were the the conquered Slavic countries in much of Southern and Eastern Europe

In large numbers, the Sephardic Jewish refugees jumped at the offer. 

Why This Impressive Ottoman generosity?

Generally, in much of Islam everywhere, Jews were treated better than in Middle and Late Medieval Europe and for that matter in much of Early-Modern Europe from the 16th century on until way into the late 18th and early 20th centuries.  (The exceptions here, remember, were Britain, Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries, plus Italy until the Mussolini dictator caved in to Nazi pressures in WWII and began sending the small, highly regard Jewish community to the Death-Camps)

Though the Ottoman Caliphs weren't democratic at any time in their vast Empire, they were generally enlightened in not seeking to force Islam on the conquered Slavic and other Christian kingdoms they ruled over in Europe.  It was, of course, not just out of generosity, but self-survival of the Empire.  To force Islam on Christian countries would spark large-scale rebellions. 

The same sort of self-interest informed the Caliphs to invite the Jews to settle in their Empire, and especially, to repeat, in the poor backward countries in East and Southern Europe (the Balkans). 

How so?

To Put This Plain and Simple: 

Jews ---from the Ottoman Caliphs viewpoints --- were seen as people with a Midas-touch who would markedly help develop their entire European colonies become richer and happier, with the Christian subjects increasingly grateful for Ottoman rule over them.  In turn, the Caliphates would gain more tax money and more warriors from among the Slavic, Greek, and  Magyar (Hungarians)  peoples . . . the result of which would enrich the Empire's elites and make it more powerful than ever. 

Another reason rears itself here.  The Ottoman Muslims --- Turkish-Mongol people (mixed together) --- were themselves largely uninterested in entering business enterprises or professional occupations like banking or medicine or scientific work.  They saw themselves as great warriors.  Business and the professions were for others.  The Arabs in the 15th and 16th centuries had lost some of their once impressive skills in those activities, but they were still better at it in the Mediterranean Levant and in Egypt than were the European Christian peoples that the Ottomans dominated.   

And so, thanks to the alleged Jewish settlers' Golden-Touch --- which was supposed to occur like magic --- developing swiftly the economies and efficiency of work in the  Balkans, Greece, and much of East Europe as far north as Hungary would make the Ottoman's European colonies more and more grateful to  Ottoman rule.

Ottoman Decline All the Same

Over the next few centuries --- even when the Ottoman Empire fell far behind the West European countries and began repeated military attacks and slaughter on rebel Greeks and Bulgarians and other European-ruled Ottoman countries in the 19th century --- the Turks never  blamed he Jews or tormented them.  This benign treatment all the more striking, considering that the more Christian countries rebelled against Ottoman rule --- starting with the Greeks in the 1820s ---all the way through the late 19th century, the more alarmed and vicious the Turks treated the rebels. 

As for the Arab countries in the Middle East, they were all ruled by the Ottomans until their rebellious-war in WWI, by which time the British in the last two years heavily supported and encouraged the defeat of their Turkish enemy that sided with Germany and the Austrian Empire. 

Source: a very good survey of Jewish life in the Ottoman Empire can be found here (click) 

                                                                    

                                          JEWS IN MODERN EUROPE                           

Query: Did life get better for Jews In the Late Enlightenment 1939 and WWII? 

Click to continue:

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 04:57 PM PST

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jews, Their Languages, Their Diasporas, and Anti-Semitism For 3000 Years: Part 4

                                               Part 4 of a 5-Part Series.

                             Be Sure to Read the First Three Parts Before This One

        WHY SO MUCH ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE FOR 900 YEARS SINCE 1095 C.E.

1) CRUSADERS AS HAPPY KILLERS:

Keeping in mind what we've said in the earlier 3rd post about Jews and Jew-baiters and Jew-haters --- the Jews expulsions from Iberia in the 1490s, the Jewish-Conversos, the steamrolling take-to-the-stake Spanish Inquisition, and the fanatical dark-age Islam of the Berbers who conquered the Arab Kingdoms of Southern Spain (1086-1284 (and, you'll see, killed off the glittering Golden Age of Moorish Spain) --- yes, keeping all this in mind, shift your attention now and ponder the much wider and longer history of European Jew-baiting, Jew-expulsions, and gory mass-massacres of Jewish communities, AKA Pogroms. 

Our start is the year 1095 and the next 8 centuries or so . . . right to and through the Holocaust in WWII Europe.

Why 1095 C.E. As the Starting Point of Today's Cogitations? 

That date, you see, was the year of the First Crusade aimed ostensibly at freeing the Holy Land under Muslim control (courtesy of Muslim conquests of the Byzantine Empire's rule in the Levant 450 years earlier) and --- more telling for our purposes --- leaving overworked prof bug with the need to explain the Crusaders' various aims and motives and how they affected the small Jewish communities in both Europe and the Holy Land itself.  A trio of those aims and motives rear up instantly here

  • Religious Fervor
  • Quests for fantasized riches awaiting the Crusaders
  • And the desire of murderous Knights eager to slay the Infidels.

 The latter motive --- or gore-galore --- needs to be carefully explained. 

Over the four centuries by 1095, a continuously growing number of carefully trained, tournament-honed aristocratic Knights --- all well-armored and excellent horsemen and sword-wielders [with weapons practices requiring the use of two-handed sword, mace, battle axe, dagger, and lances] --- lived as did all Europeans in the Middle Ages: to wit, in especially violent surroundings.  Yes, very violent. Meaning, mainly, constant wars with one another's kingdoms and principalities or with foreign countries (think of the 100 years war between France and Britain) or with Viking raiders or Muslim conquerors or between different family clans or among brothers and other kin over who should take control of dead daddies' castle and money.  Or maybe, just for the hell of it, attacks on neighboring villages or the neighbors next-door, or hobgoblin witches and lots of physical and sexual assaults on one another. 

Even the monasteries were full of weapons-carrying priests who had to fight off murderous groups of invading thugs and rivals.  And, as a capper, travel by anyone without armed guards was almost always dangerous. 

Sidebar Point:

An excellent analysis of the rampant violence, fear, and superstition in Medieval Europe can be found here

Enter the Pope's Special Motive

For the Knights, tournaments were nifty ways to test their skills in mock-battle, but --- to put it bluntly --- only blood-soaked battles were what the Knights really lived for.  Otherwise, why train and train all your life and sharpen your skills in order to joust around in some silly Tournament and maybe a moment or two's fun hacking off  your opponents' arm or leg?  I mean, where was glory in that? 

Glory for the fun-to -kill Knights and their ragtag followers could only be held in one way: join the endemic violence that existed almost everywhere.  And in the process, of course, add to it.

So when Pope Urban II ordered in 1095 that all good Catholics should sign up for a Crusade to free the Holy Land from its ghastly pagan-infidels, he had in mind, you need to grasp, more than just religious aims.  Along with much of the Catholic hierarchy by then, he was growing increasingly alarmed at the slaughterhouse butchery at work in European life.  It wasn't getting better, it was getting worse.  And so . . . well, with you get down to it, what could be the best way to limit the soaring blood-spilling in Catholic Europe than direct it unto others? 

You guessed it --- order a Crusade!  With glory galore and salvation on earth and in heaven for the followers of Christ, whether alive to return home or dead in combat against the infidels and so soar upward to eternal bliss . . .  with a guaranteed entry into heaven, so the priesthood said,  no matter what their sins had been on earth.

Sidebar Stuff

Note that there's an excellent film, despite taking some dramatic liberties of the historical record, of the fall of Christian-held Jerusalem in 1187.  It's called Kingdom of Jerusalem --- directed by one of the greatest directors of all time, Ridley Scott, and with a remarkable cast, script, and actors, not to forget strikingly absorbing battle scenes and the conflicts for rule among the Christian leaders.  The film came out in 2005.  The DVD is particularly useful in the second disk because of Scott's and others efforts to explain what was historically going on and their struggles to capture it all.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 09:49 PM PST

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Jews, Their Languages, Their Diasporas, and Anti-Semitism For 3000 Years: Part 3

              

               Be Sure to Read the First Two Parts Before Tackling This One

         WHAT LANGUAGES DID THE JEWS SPEAK IN THE DISASPORA

         TWO LANGUAGES BESIDES THE ONES THEIR NON-JEWISH NEIGHBORS USED

Start With Yiddish Once More (Repeated from Part 2 of This Series)

Yiddish was strictly spoken By Ashkenazi Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, and not by Sephardic Jews (Jews from Spain and Portugal who expelled them in the 1490s.

Sidebar Clarification: 

Until the 1490s, Spain had by far the largest Jewish community in all of Europe.  The Portuguese, nice compassionate Catholics who confessed weekly and hoped for salvation, came up with a more ingenious scheme than the manic Catholic zealots  in Spain for Jewish-expulsion.  To wit: if their small Jewish community wouldn't convert, the parents and other elders could leave peacefully, only pronto ---but, an added hitch, their children would have to remain in Portugal and be raised as good kindhearted Catholics under rigid Church-control.  Naturally, the parents could remain in Portugal by choice, but they would be instantly killed if they didn't convert.

Ever wonder why there were never any Protestants alive in Spain or Portugal during or after the Reformation in the 16th and early 17th centuries.  Guess! (More will follow later about the ways Jews were treated in both Catholic and Muslim Iberia for 700 years until the start of the 16th century --- and later in Spanish-controlled Mexico and New Mexico, with the Spanish Inquisition happy to follow Converso-Catholics and, if found to be Crypto-Jews, even more happy to literally put-the- nail deep into them.) 

Yiddish, recall from the previous buggy post, was developed and spread quickly among the Jews in the Balkans, the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, and Czarist Russia. Its origins seem to go back to the 10th or 11th centuries, by which time the small communities of Jews who engaged in long-land exports and imports needed to have a common language.  At base a German derivation, the language drew about 3/4 of its vocabulary from various German dialects. The rest of Yiddish words were taken from the Hebrew bible and local European areas where Ashkenazi lived.

Note finally that Yiddish, like any language --- say, Chinese or Arabic --- can be converted in writing into any other language with a large vocabulary. Hence Yiddish could be written in Europe in Hebrew or in the Roman Alphabet or Slavic native languages where Jews lived. The Holocaust brought an end to the use of Yiddish in Central and Eastern Europe, and for those still living in fairly large numbers in Russia ---but nowhere else in the former Soviet regime, where they were all essentially murdered --- it had already disappeared in the Communist era and nailed dead with the large emigration out of post-Soviet Russia to Israel, the USA, and in much smaller numbers elsewhere.

                                      ENTER LADINO

SEPHARDIC  JEWS

What, then, did Sephardic Jews who lived originally in Iberia or other South Europe countries speak as a common language? It's called Ladino, a hybrid of medieval Spanish combined with Hebrew words.

The language probably arose earlier than Yiddish . . . what with most Jews in Europe living in Spain until 1492 in either the Christian or Muslim areas. 

By that year, if you included the small population of Portugal --- only 10 million inhabitants now (with Spain about 40 million now) --- there were about 350,000 Jews living in the whole Iberian Peninsula until their expulsion or forced conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1492.  So why did Ladino arise?  It originated in Iberia and spread elsewhere because of the long-distance exports and imports by Jewish merchants of goods and money throughout Southern Europe as well as in North Africa and the Middle East.  Ladino was also used in daily business by Jews across the Muslim-Christian divide and among different regional Arab and Spanish dialects.

Generally speaking, until 1492 --- when the Christian conquistadors destroyed the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia and the fanatical Catholic team of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella became the rulers of Spain --- Jews were treated more or less decently in both the Christian and Muslim areas.  It wasn't always peachy-nice, you understand, even in the more tolerant Muslim areas.  Thus in 1066, a huge Muslim mob stormed the Royal Palace where they killed the Jewish vizier  --- an Arab term for any high-level adviser to the rulers --- and moved on to the Jewish quarters and killed about 4000 Jews. 

It was a sign of the change in Mooorish Spain as the Berbers ---fierce tribal nomads who clung to a hard-core puritanical Islam --- prepared in Morocco and Tunisia to invade Arab Spain and take control of it. (More on this later.)

JEWISH ACHIEVEMENTS IN CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM IBERIA

In both Christian and Muslim kingdoms, Jews played a large role as doctors, merchants, farmers, financiers, craftsmen, tax-collectors, scholars,and high-level advisers to the ruling Kings and other big-shots.  Yes, from time to time, there were street riots and ghastly pogroms  --- more so  and more destruction in the Christian kingdoms starting in the 14th century --- but for the most part the Arch-Bishops and both Muslim and Christian rulers tried to protect them (out of their own self-interest.)  Yes, self-interest. 

 The Jews, you see, were considered by the rulers in both Moorish and Christian kingdoms as too valuable to let them be slaughtered by jealous mobs and some fanatical clerics in both religions.  After all, who would replace the dead Jewish-achievers? 

Good replacements, to be blunt, would have been frequently hard.  Unlike the vast majority of Christian males in Iberia and the rest of Europe, most of them illiterate way into the modern age, all Jewish boys were formally educated in Spain and elsewhere . . . just as they had been in their homeland country (ancient Israel) for a dozen centuries  and in the rest of the Middle East until the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and killed off most of the Jews in Judea.  That was, recall, in the mid-2nd Century C.E.   Forced into the Diaspora, the surviving Jews scattered themselves around the Middle East and North Africa as well as in Iberia and elsewhere in Europe.  But they also had their Torah, the Jewish Bible, and Jewish males were obligated to learn how to read it.  Hence the formal education for Jewish boys that started when they were 6 years old. 

The majority of Jewish males remained better educated compared to both Christians and Muslims until the late 19th century in Northern Europe and way into the 20th century in Southern Europe.  Despite the great intellectual work of Muslim scholars and scientists in the Early and High Middle Ages (roughly down to 1300-1400 C.E.), there weren't that many well-educated Muslims and so the same comparisons between Jews and Christians applied to the Muslims.  Note here that Jewish boys everywhere in Europe during the Roman Empire rule and through the Middle Ages into the Modern Era were also supposed to learn not just Hebrew for reading, but also two other languages: in Spain, of course, Spanish and also Ladino. (And education for Jewish girls and women in the Middle Ages?  Click here for a very readable account (search, once on that web-site, for Education.)

     

                    JIHADI BERBERS END SPAIN'S GOLDEN AGE

THE DECLINE OF ISLAM'S GLITTERING CIVILIZATION IN IBERA

All the admirable scientific, philosophical, and mathematical achievements in Muslim Iberia and parts of the Middle East (especially around Baghdad) began to erode in Iberia starting in the 11th century.  The reason?  Two waves of Berber militaries out of North Africa invaded Arab-ruled Southern Iberia. The second wave was in the 13th century. Berbers, like Bedouins in the Arabian Peninsula, are tribal nomads in origin who lived in the desert areas of their countries. Once converted to Islam, they practiced a zealous hyper-controlling form of Sharia Law.  They were scattered all over North Africa, from Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean, and they were fierce deadly warriors. (As for Baghdad, its glittering city and intellectual life were destroyed in 1258 by fiendish Mongol nomads out of Mongolia and elsewhere. (More later)

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jews, Their Languages, Their Diasporas, and Anti-Semitism For 3000 Years: Part 2

              THE MULTI-LINGUISTIC USES OF THE JEWS SINCE 1500 B.C.E.

                  Be Sure To Read the First Installment Before This One

 HEBREW USAGE

From roughly 1500 to 600 B.C.E. --- that initial date more or less accepted by most (not all) scholars as the start of the Jewish religion and people --- the dominant language for those 900 years --- was Hebrew, one of the original Semitic languages, only for it to decline in daily usage except among the aristocratic elite Priesthood after about 500 B.C.E.  It was Aramaic that became the dominant vernacular language spoken by most Jews in that ancient land. Aramaic itself was the closest to Hebrew in the Semitic-family of languages. What caused the change in language-usage? 

Most likely the Babylonian Exile in 597, when the Chaldeans (Babylonians) conquered Jerusalem and deported the elite Jews to their own homeland (roughly Syria and Iraq these days): elite, here, meaning at that date not just the Priesthood, but the Jewish professionals, top bureaucrats, skilled craftsmen, military leaders, and the wealthy.  Soon afterward, the poorer, less educated Jews who remained in Judah (as it was called) were overwhelmed by famine and eventually limitless despair . . . or so most historians of ancient Judaism argue, but not all of them.  In the upshot, most of them disappeared leaving only a few thousands in the Jewish homeland. 

AND THE JEWS WHO STAYED IN BABYLONIAN EXILE?

For the most part, they were treated decently by the Babylonians (Chaldeans) while they tried to explain to themselves what had happened to cause their downfall and exile.  Their joint understanding that emerged fairly soon: the Jewish people --- who had been exiled two centuries or so earlier by Assyrians as well --- had drifted away from their covenant with Yahweh and their moral obligations to him.  So they set out to reinvigorate Judaism, insisting that the Jewish people must carefully follow Mosaic laws and cultural practices. 

Similarly, the intellectuals and priest should finish the writings in the age-old Torah (Bible) and, according to hand-me-down information, did finish it in exile.Eventually, rescue from the Babylonian exile did emerge.  In 539 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great, the Persian Emperor, sent his powerful military to conquer all of Mesopotamia in 539, after which he freed the Jews in captivity to return to their homeland                    

                   IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF ALL THIS:

START WITH THE CONQUESTS OF ANCIENT ISRAEL AND ITS EXILES  

Cyrus the Great, who freed the Jews in Babylonian captivity, was followed by other Emperors of the mighty Persian Empire, with its conquests of most of the Saudi Peninsula and Egypt.  It was in Greece that the Persians they failed to expand their empire.  For nearly a half-century, the Greeks and Persians fought off-and-on warfare (492-449 B.C.E.), and not once did the Persians prevail. Eventually, most of the Persian Empire was conquered by Alexander and his Greek military.  That was in the late 4th century B.C.E. 

The Greek empire extended from Greece and Egypt into India in Alexander's reign.  After he died (356 born-322 B.C.E. dead), the empire splintered into three parts, each ruled by Greek generals.  Essentially, it became a large geographical area of diverse city-states, based on the Greek model, with one exception: the Seleucid Empire, established in Syria and the rest of the Levant by one of Alexander's commanders.  Based in what is now Syria, the new Greek empire  extended its powers and Hellenizing influences northward and southward into Egypt and eventually across Persia and into India.  It also controlled Judea. 

It was there that the Maccabean family began the Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid's empire's efforts to force the Jews to follow Greek law and worship Greek gods.  That was in the 160's B.C.E.  Eventually the Jews regained control of their area and began to conquer surrounding pagan areas.  

GREEKS, JEWS, AND MUTUAL INCOMPREHENSION

What did remain of Greek influence all over the Mediterranean region and the Middle East was the Greek language and culture: architecture, art, science, philosophy, and athletics. 

The educated elites all over the Near and Far Middle East, including Egypt, were amazed at Greek achievements and tried to imitate them in their own city-states.  Greek itself as a language spread among all the educated peoples in those huge regions.  Even educated Romans were also enamored of Greek culture.

There was one exception to all this: the Jews in ancient Israel. 

Their vision of the universe and their religious Monolithic God and his Mosaic laws brought them into growing conflict with their Greek rulers and for that matter Greek-speaking masses all over the Meditteranean world. The Greeks, you see, had never confronted such a people. 

In particular, Jews rejected polytheism, rejected homosexual relations, criticized Greek emphasis on the body and athletics, and found Greek education and philosophy largely at odds with the Jews' own intellectual, spiritual, moral, and legal beliefs and laws.  The Greek conquerors were astounded.  Not only had they never before met a people who were monotheistic, but who emphasized that all existence in the world and its continuation was created and underpinned by an infinite, invisible, all-powerful, all-caring God. 

To the far more scientific, philosophical Greeks, proud of their intellectual and artistic heritage, the existence of such a perfect Being who created humans in his own image --- and who would eventually provide peace in the world and salvation for all good people at some unclear future point --- was not just strange, but totally incomprehensible. For the Greeks, their numerous gods were created by humans in their image and they comingled all the time, even sexually.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 02:35 PM PST