Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Parameters of the Discussion

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

dhimmitudeMost westerners - left, right, and center - think of the never-ending conflict between Israel and the "Palestinians" as one between a country with one of the most prestigious and effective armed forces in the world versus a small and hapless, but plucky, indigenous population.

What we need to do is change the parameters of the discussion.

So long as people put the discussion within the context of a large military power versus a small indigenous population, we can never possibly win the argument. So long as the Arabs within the Land of Israel are seen as "Davids" with slingshots and the Jews of the Middle East are perceived as a "Goliath" then western sympathies will always go to feisty little David.

Thankfully, unlike the Palestinian Narrative of Perpetual Victim-hood, we actually have history and demographic reality on our side in terms of the discussion from an ethical standpoint.



History: the Jew as Dhimmi

The first thing that pro-Israel / pro-Jewish advocates need to do is put the conflict within historical context. An old pro-Israel acquaintance of mine used to say "history did not begin in 1967." 

That is, in order to understand the Long Arab War Against the Jews, we need to place it within the long history of Jewish people living under Arab and Muslim imperial rule from the seventh-century until the demise of the Ottoman Empire with the conclusion of World War I.

From the time of Muhammad, until Islam ran head-first into modernity and the twentieth-century, the Jews of the Middle East were second and third-class non-citizens under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule. However bad African-Americans had it in the United States under the vile rules of Jim Crow, it was never worse than Jewish people had it as dhimmis and what we call "dhimmitude" lasted one heck of a lot longer.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) could ride donkeys but horses were forbidden.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) were forbidden from building housing for themselves taller than Muslim housing.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) had no rights of self-defense.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) had no recourse to courts of law.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) had to pay protection money to keep their families safe from violence.

And this is one of my favorites, in certain times and places under Arab-Muslim imperial rule Jews were not even allowed to go outside during rainstorms lest their Jewish filth run into the street and infect their pure Muslim neighbors.

The point, however, is that just as we would never discuss African-American history without reference to both Jim Crow and slavery, so we must not discuss the Long Arab War against the Jews without reference to thirteen-centuries of Arab and Muslim oppression against all non-Muslims in the Middle East, including Christians and Jews.

This is not merely a political tactic. It is a matter of framing the conversation within something that resembles an historical context. The historical context is vital because without it the conflict is incomprehensible outside of the prominent western notion of mindless Jewish malice toward Arabs, presumably as unjust payback for the Shoah.


Demographic Reality: the Scope of the Conflict

Westerners think that this is a fight between big, strong, mean Israel against the innocent, thumb-sucking "indigenous Palestinians" over land.

It isn't.

What the struggle actually is is an ongoing attempt by the Arab peoples to force Jews back into dhimmitude out of a Koranic religious imperative. 

This is a struggle not between Jews and "Palestinians" but between Jews and Arabs because of Arab-Muslim religious reasons. It is due to al-Sharia. If Israel were a 23rd Arab-Muslim country it would, indeed, be hailed the world over as a "light unto the nations."

The reason that the Arab peoples generally despise Israel has nothing to do with Jewish treatment of Arabs and Muslims within Israel. Arabs and Muslims within Israel are treated better than are Arabs and Muslims throughout the entire Middle East. The reason that Arabs and Muslims despise Israel is not due to Israeli behavior. They hate Israel because it is Jewish, a nation of infidels, who dare to hold land that was once part of the Umma.

And not just any infidels, but the very worst of the infidels, we children of orangutans and swine.

But the fact of the matter is that there are somewhere around 300 to 400 million Arabs within the Middle East. They outnumber the Jews by a factor of 60 to 70 to 1 and, for the most part, want those Jews either dead or gone.

This is not a war between a Jewish Goliath and a Palestinian David, as left-wing anti-Semitic anti-Zionists would have you believe.

This is a war against the Jews of the Middle East by the much larger and highly aggressive Arab and Muslim population in that part of the world. As far as Hamas and Hezbollah are concerned this is explicitly an Arab war of Jewish extermination.

But the demographics in the region are not with the Jews, not by a long-shot.

The Jews of the Middle East have been forced to create Fortress Israel, because the Arabs would not have it any other way. It is easy for the Arabs. Given the fact that they so outnumber the Jews it only takes a small percentage of their resources to put terrible pressure on the small Jewish population in the Middle East so that those Jews are forced to militarize.

And, needless to say, the local Arabs, the Palestinian-Arabs, are nothing but cannon fodder as far as their brothers and sisters throughout the rest of the region are concerned.

The Jews of Israel want peace more than anyone, because they are under constant threat and harassment in every single venue imaginable, from international sports to academia to the UN, the EU, and a continuing wave of little Arab kids with hand-axes.

Those of us who wish to stand up for the Jews of the Middle East, the Jews of Israel, need to frame the conversation in a manner that comports with history and the actual demographics of the fight.

We need to place our end of the conversation within an expanded context that includes centuries of Jewish history under Arab and Muslim imperial rule and that appreciates the actual geographic scope of the war against the Jews in the Middle East.

11 comments:

  1. It is good that you have brought up the comparison of African-American slavery with Jews under Muslim rule and how the oppression latter endured lasted much much longer.

    Being of Mizrahi background, the notion that Jews somehow had it good under Muslim rule (even when compared with Christendom) is something I consider to be outright offensive, since no morally decent person would dare to say that African-Americans had it good under Slavery.

    Then there those Jews whose delusionally ignorant and dismissively Euro-Centric (yet Islamophilic) view of Jewish history under Muslim rule is at times little different to how the Boondock's own Uncle Ruckus views African-American Slavery*.

    Until recently Jewish history under Muslim rule was little more then a footnote mainly about how good Jews had it under the so-called "Muslim Golden Ages* of Peace and Coexistence" (and implying Jews are ungrateful to reject such "hospitality"), plus other nonsense typically followed by the implicit suggestion that the Jews (or Non-Muslims / West, etc depending on the audience) accept tolerant Muslim rule in order to prevent a clash of civilizations or something to that effect.

    *) Golden Age myth - http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/how-golden-was-golden-age-of-spain.html
    *) Uncle Ruckus view of Slavery - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrZZQzyhp7g

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    1. I am of Mizrahi Heritage too, and I really do not like being called an Arab Jew.

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    2. Same here (along with the blanket term Sephardi...), only those with a colonized view of their own identity would accept such an offensive term given the Arabs themselves never viewed us as such until recently with the motivation being to deny our unique history as an indigenous pre-Islamic people.

      We need a suitable (albeit less obvious) term to emphasize we predate the Arab occupation of the region such as pre-Arab Jew, Judean or perhaps even Aramaic Jew (for those Mizrahi Jews whose families spoke Aramaic / Judeo-Aramaic).

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    3. I like "Judean."

      That says it all.

      The biggest myth that we have to fight is that any bit of Israel is actually Arab and Muslim land.

      It isn't.

      Sar Shalom, btw, makes a terrific point when he suggests that we need to associate - at least in the US, if not the West, more generally - the movement for Jewish self-determination with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

      He's right. It is a civil rights issue.

      I am glad that you guys are Mizrahim because I always want alternative viewpoints and voices around this joint.

      I want Democrats and Republicans.

      Liberals and conservatives.

      Jews and non-Jews.

      Ashkenazim and Mizrahim.

      I am 100 percent Ashkenazi with all four grandparents hailing from the Ukraine.

      In fact, my father's side of the family is from the little town of Medzhybizh, which is the birthplace of the Chasid movement and the eighteenth-century home of Baal Shem Tov.

      My grandparents got out of there not too long before the Nazis came strolling through.

      They put the people to road building and when that job was done they put the Jews to ditch digging and when that job was done they lined up the Jews and shot them dead and then buried in the ditches that they were forced to dig.

      Meanwhile my father was a kid running around Brooklyn before they sent him to the central Pacific to fight the Japanese.

      He had me late in life, but were it not for Truman he could very easily have died on the beaches of Japan.

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    4. My paternal side resided in a European protectorate and like other Jews who moved there fared considerately better then under Muslim rule, eventually they managed to make their way to pre-state Israel by ship a few years before the White Paper at the cost of losing various valuables (though one cannot put a price on life).

      Unfortunately was unable to find out any direct accounts of my paternal grandparents experiences before they moved to pre-state Israel since they passed away before anyone could enquire, though am still trying to find out more.

      Another aspect that would be worth bringing up relating to my own family's experience is how European colonialism largely emancipated Jews and other non-Muslims from the laws of Dhimmitube, tying it to Western Abolitionism as well as citing the fact that the Arabs are unrepentant anti-abolitionists that even today still unofficially engage in slavery (excluding Isis, Boko Haram and other islamic terror groups).

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  2. I fully agree about the need to insert the history of dhimmitude into the discussion. However the full 13 centuries of it might not be necessary to make the point. It might be sufficient to cover the transitional period from when the Pact of Umar held strict sway until Jews enjoyed unfettered dignity.

    The transition began in the 1830s when the Sultan asked for European help against Egypt in order to hold on to Palestine. Due to good old European imperialism, this aid was conditioned on ending the Pact of Umar. The Christians, feeling confident of European protection, took advantage of this new freedom while the Jews continued to accept the old restrictions. Then, decades later, the successive waves of Zionist aliyah came in and the Jews began to think that they no longer needed to accept the Pact. When the Jews started to act as equals is when the enmity began.

    A final note: instead of calling the Muslim reaction to Jews asserting equality, why not compare their doing so to white supremacist reactions to blacks asserting equality? One, doing so would remove the argument that you're holding their observance of the five pillars against them. More importantly, doing so would turn the argument of supporting today's Civil Rights struggle into a reason to support Israel.

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    1. A mistake in the start of the last paragraph. It should read, "Instead of calling the Muslim reaction to Jews asserting equality 'Koranic'..."

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  3. I progressives were really concerned about things like "occupation", and "ethnic cleansing", we would at least once in while hear them protest Armenia. We don't, and they aren't. They are Nazis, and their "concern" is only to fool ignorant acceptance craving lefty Jews.

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  4. I fully agree about the need to insert the history of dhimmitude into the discussion. However the full 13 centuries of it might not be necessary to make the point. It might be sufficient to cover the transitional period from when the Pact of Umar held strict sway until Jews enjoyed unfettered dignity.

    The transition began in the 1830s when the Sultan asked for European help against Egypt in order to hold on to Palestine. Due to good old European imperialism, this aid was conditioned on ending the Pact of Umar. The Christians, feeling confident of European protection, took advantage of this new freedom while the Jews continued to accept the old restrictions. Then, decades later, the successive waves of Zionist aliyah came in and the Jews began to think that they no longer needed to accept the Pact. When the Jews started to act as equals is when the enmity began.

    A final note: instead of calling the Muslim reaction to Jews asserting equality, why not compare their doing so to white supremacist reactions to blacks asserting equality? One, doing so would remove the argument that you're holding their observance of the five pillars against them. More importantly, doing so would turn the argument of supporting today's Civil Rights struggle into a reason to support Israel.

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    1. What makes anyone think that leftists would be necessarily or inherently opposed to the concept of slavery? Would Stalinists, Maoists or worse object or would they candy coat it as a necessary evil along the road to 'freedom'. Every revolutionary movement predicated on the lie that while 'things' are dark and bloody now, by those very same revolutionaries, that eventually everything will be wonderful. So what if the Arab Muslims that they love persecute and have persecuted Jews for more a thousand years. What do you think their response would be?......."bbbbut American slavery, civil rights, women's issues......right wing Christians blah blah blah."

      Trust me, the American left is no more than a year or two from propagating the notion that maybe, just maybe the wrong side lost WW2. These are the people you want to poke at with 'dhimmitude'? They're proud of it.

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  5. Considering that Tim Kaine has a long and storied history of supporting Hamas and was one of the 8 senators who voted to bar Bibi from speaking to Congress I believe 'dialog' is a waste of time. These people and all their followers fit neatly into the bucket of Jew haters.

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