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Friday, March 31, 2006

The Forgotten Palestine

It's always interesting when I read Pro-Palestinians and Palestinians' blogs about their rage regarding Israeli "occupation" of their home-land. Of course, to make their case even stronger, they go the route of groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and discuss Israel's occupation of all of "historical Palestine", which rightly belongs to the Palestinians. I have even encountered one Palestinian who stated that Palestinians have been living in Palestine for centuries before any Jews were there, and any history to the contrary is false. Therefore, his grand-father has the right to return, along with all Palestinian refugees, back to his old home and kick whoever lives there now out. Of course, there's no point in attempting to reason with a person like this since anything you say that contradicts his version of events will be called lies and fake and incorrect history. In essence, though, what these kinds of people are trying to do are vamp up their case for why the Jews are so evil and colonialist, and that all the Palestinians want is to get their ancient homes back. So, they shape history to conform to this way of thinking, and throw other facts aside in the hopes that there aren't thay many people out there who know the whole history. In fact, most Palestinians and Pro-Palestinians who make these kinds of claims don't know the real history themselves. Only the propaganda that they're bombarded with in school, in the streets, on the loud speakers, on their websites, etc. So, when I was confronted with this history alterator, something came to me. Something that shows the true anti-semetism in all of these arguments.

You see the maps in Palestinians' text books. You see the maps on the crest of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. You even the grafitti of the maps spray painted on Palestinians streets. What do you see? You see what they call the Palestinian state. Of course, you've noticed that the Palestinian state covers all of Israel; not the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Why? I've been told it's because that's the "hisorical state of Palestine" as belonging to the Palestinian people before there were any Jews. The only problem is that isn't the state of Palestine. Many Palestinians claim that their grand-parents and great-grand parents and so on were living in Palestine under Ottoman and British rule before any Jews came back. In essense, they claim that there were no Jews in Palestine before the Europeans came at the end of the 19th century. For the sake of argument, I'm not going to go into that. There's no point. The interesting part of the whole equation is that Palestine as they map it out in their text-books and in their terrorist groups isn't what Palestine was in the times they're trying to prove that it belonged to their ancestors.

At the very least, let's discuss the most recent map of Palestine before the 1947 Partition. When the British Mandate of Palestine came into effect in 1920, what is now Jordan was part of Palestine. In fact, when the Balfour Declaration was made, the Jews were supposed to get parts of the East Bank, all the way east to Amman. Why aren't the Palestinians screaming and fighting for their "homeland" of all of Palestine to be given back? Why aren't groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, etc committing terrorist attacks against Jordan to get that land back? Why aren't the Palestinian refugees and even the Palestinians who became Jordanian citizens, who are treated like second class citizens, fighting the Jordanian Heshimite Kingdom to allow a full right of return and the creation of the rightful Palestinian state? They don't even include it on their maps of Palestine. Why not? Now, if the answer were to be that "Well, there weren't any Palestinians living in that land". Then, I'd have to say that your claim that your Palestinian ancestors occupied Palestine before the Jews tried coming back is a farse.

Next, we go back a bit further to the start of when many Palestinians make their claims that the land was lived in by them before the Jews. Thus, making their claim to Palestine more legitimate than the Jews is the Ottoman Empire. First of all, The Ottomans referred to the whole region as Syria. The are of Palestine was divided into 3 different sections; the furthest southern section stretching south into the Sinai desert. That's the simple explanation, but it leads to an even more pressing discussion. Throughout the time in which Palestinians claim that they have a higher precedent of claim to the land of Palestine; the one which they study in their text books and put on their crests is not what Palestine looked like in the times they claim. Confused? Basically, they are using the borders drawn by the reall colonialists, the British to make their claim of the "historical state of Palestine". The borders they use to claim their state; the one with no Israel in site, are the borders drawn by the British when they changed the Mandate in 1923. This was after drawing up Trans-Jordan for the Heshemites.

It's just the most interesting phenomenan that the Palestinians claim that their historical Palestinian state is the one drawn up a little over 80 years ago, and they only make claims to the land on which Israel sits on now. So, the bottom line is this: Either, the Palestinians have a legitimate claim, as they say, to all of Palestine in which they must declare Jihad against Jordan and Egypt, perhaps even Syria and Lebanon, in order to gain all of their land back. Or, all they want is the land Israel currently sits on. Therefore, making their soul goal merely to wipe the Jews from the region and complete the Pan-Arab region. You decide.

The map of Palestine as printed by the PA. Notice that even-though it shades the West Bank and Jordan, there are no mention of any Jewish cities, and there is no Israel. Notice especially that these are the borders as created by the British and the UN, not the ones of "histoical Palestine".
This is a map of the Eastern Roman Empire. Notice that Palestine is written there, but what are its borders?
This is the Ottoman Empire. Again, play close attention to the borders of Palestine. Can't fine them? That's because the entire region is referred to as Syria. I wonder if that's the reason that Arab leaders in British Mandate Palestine said that they don't and have never wanted an independent Palestinian Arab state. They were simply part of "Greater Syria". Hmmm....
Notice how far down Palestine goes. But, be careful you don't fall down the rabbit hole...
The British Mandate.
Another look at it
(Map sources: Palestine Facts & PASSIA)

24 Comments:

At 8:59 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

I almost totally agree with what you wrote.
People believe in the facts that do suit their own convictions.
When events do not suit peoples convictions they are disregarded or deemed to be false.
When it comes to palestinian antisemitsm..,in the respect we do not agree completely.

Antisemitism , at least Christian antisemitism is not rational.

People do not like the jews .

The hate towards the jews does have its roots in religion and it is not rational.

When it comes to palestiniaans their dislike of the Israelis is more understandable and in a way more rational. After all there is a low level war going on between the palestinians and Israel.

When it comes to arguing in message boards..,as you know, I had my share.

Some people really love to argue. For some it does relief the stress. For most people on the contrary.., to be sucked into endless arguments..., it is not something one might call a positive experience.
For me it was an awfull experience indeed.
I did stop enjoying to write about israel.., in portuguese ( And I am portuguese).
I was so blasted by the fellows that I stop enjoying writting my ideas in my mother tounge since in a way.., it does remind me the endless arguments I was dragged into.
Some arguments lasted for 18 hours non stop.

 
At 4:17 AM, Blogger alpha said...

I can't wait for the day aliens come to this planet and say "get off my land" "god gave it to me 20000 years ago"

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Ah, here we go again. The endless throwing back and forth of "maps", "ancient history", "religious references" etc etc, to try and prove points that are irrelevant. Going back in time is not a soluttion: prior to 1776 there was no American People, does that mean all Americans should go back to their ancestral homelands, mainly in Europe? I don't think so.

The reality is that Israel exists and is here to stay. The reality is also that the Palestinians exist and won't just magically dissapear for the convenience of Israel. These people will also have to be housed.

Irrational, extremist elements exist on both sides but extremists aren't the majority mainstream. Rather than endlessly looking backward in time, it's actually time to look forward, toward a solution, not mutual destruction.

As regards solitarioh2005's experience, I have had a similar experience with a blogger ("Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong") who took exception to my blog and started blogspamming it. This is the first time in my three years of blogging that someone, out of sheer spite, has tried to take my blog down. So, you see, it happens on both sides... Blogging is supposed to be a purely "verbal", non-violent, non-aggressive activity but some still manage to try and damage someone else whom they disagree with. Very sad...

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

gert, I don't think you read my post very thoroughly. My point was not to say my argument for the land is better than theirs. I don't believe I made any sort of references to that. What I was trying to point out is the simple fact that what the PA and their school text book maps and the terrorist organization refer to as "historical Palestine" is what was constructed a mere 80 years ago and that it is very interesting that their "ancient land" only encompasses what Israel sits on; not what was every considered Palestine. Get the point now?

It is not the extremist elements when it is the official statement put out by the government and what they print in their school text books and teach to children. You argument that it only encompasses extremist elements if extremely weak when their is a lot of evidence to the contrary.

I can see that you're just venting your anger about certain elements on your blog, but please don't take it out on me, and make generalizations simply because one person is hounding you. There is nowhere in the article that has anything to do with the refugee problem or mutual destruction or trying to put anything down. If you like, please re-read the article a little more carefully. Your opinions are always welcome, but if they have nothing to do with anything I wrote, please vent that anger else-where.
-OC

 
At 1:22 AM, Blogger Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong said...

Come and check out my collection of Rachel Corrie jokes. http://whypalestiniansgetitwrong.blogspot.com/2006/04/rachel-corrie-jokes-come-and-get-em-i_01.html

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Olah:

Your point about how

"historical Palestine [...] what was constructed a mere 80 years ago

merely underlines my point about endless referring to dim and distant pasts to justify what's going on today. It happens on both sides. It's not too hard to find Israeli blogs that will justify a Greater Israel stretching well into Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, based on "ancient history". On those lines the UK (just one mere example) should take back half the world, including Eire.

One American blogger, "for once and for all" "proved demonstrably" "using ancient historical data" and "ancient cartography" that Palesine and Palestinians have never existed! And so on, and so on, ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

BTW, I didn't come here in anger as you assert. I found you blog in Blogger Search.

WPUGIT:

How can you stoop so low as to make such silly and decidedly unfunny jokes about the death of this woman? Seems to me you're trying to attract a little limelight on the back of one individual's quite horrible death... That's rather in bad taste.

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

When it comes to Rachel you might enjoy to read my post.

Click here to see Rachel Post

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

gert, (from the Husband)
Purhaps I will try to explain.
It seems that the palestinian fight over palestine, is the same area that France and Britian Decided it should be in the 1923 Sieks Picko (SP?)Ageement when they took the area over frok the Ottomans after WWI.
What we here are saying is that it's a little wierd, why are tey only fighting for this area, and not for the Entire land, (jordan, parts of syria, Lebenon ETC.).
Unlike them the Israeli argument is settled on compremise. The original plan was to include areas up to the Litani river, parts of Syria (there are actually lands bought by the JNF that are in Syria), and the Mountain range in Jordan. The question is, if Israel would have been that size would the palestinians, demand only the Area of palestine or would they want everything that is part of Israel?

Here is a good example:
http://www.geographicus.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=G/PROD/Palestine-spruneri-1850
go to that link and take a look at what is included in palestine back then. there are some MAJOR changes from then to today's map, yet the palestinians only seem to want the area that ISrael is in. I have never heard anyone ask Jordan, Syria or Lebenon to give up parts of thier land "back" to the Palestinians.
Concluding this, what I am trying to say is that what was once the region called palestine, changed many time in the past few Cent. and therefor Historic Palestine is a meaningless term.

Bottom line, If Israel can learn to give up parts of it's land in order for there to be peace the palestinians can do the same. They should learn to control the Areas they have (Gaza, for example) before going and demanding more.

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Click here to see the videos


2 interesting videos.
One from 8 december 1947.
News annoucing Arabs declaring holly war on the palestinian Jews. And palestinian troops can be seen marching.

The other video is from 2001.
People comemorating 9/11.

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Yeah, I've seen them. What do they tell you?

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

mmmhh.
They tell me my windows media player still working.., since if it did not i would not be able to watch the clips.

(Just kiding ).
(QUOTE)

"The vast areas of the U.S. never contained more than one or two million Indians. The inhabitants fought the white settlers not out of fear that they might be expropriated, but simply because there has never been an indigenous inhabitant anywhere or at any time who has ever accepted the settlement of others in his country. Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs.


/.../

They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie.

/../

Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement.".

Who wrote that ?

Jabotinsky in 1929.

http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm

From this point of view the clips did not tell much. In other words : They just confirmed what jabotinsky had written in 1929.
The palestinians resisted foreign settlement.
Anyway the 47 clip is a good proof that the thesis that violence exists because of the ocupation.., is not true.
Back in 47 the violence started because of the partition.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

That's not true, either, because there was violence and massacres committed against the Jews before 1947. E.g., the Hevron massacre of 1929. How do you explain that violence? I know it's very hard to understand how violence against Jews simply for being Jews is hard to understand for non-Jews. But, unfortunately, it can be that simple and that horrible.
-OC

 
At 7:58 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

mmhh.., I do not agree totally.
The jabotinsky article was written exactly in 29 and he did not say that the arabs resist the jews because they were jews.
The article does say the Arabs resist the jews because they were seen as foreigners.
The arabs resist jewish emigration.

" “Just that is what the Zionists want, and what the Arabs do not want. In this way the Jews will, little by little, become a majority and, ipso facto, a Jewish state will be formed and the fate of the Arab minority will depend on the goodwill of the Jews. But was it not the Jews themselves who told us how ‘ pleasant’ being a minority was? No misunderstanding exists. Zionists desire one thing – freedom of immigration – and it is Jewish immigration that we do not want.”

The logic employed by this editor is so simple and clear that it should be learned by heart and be an essential part of our notion of the Arab question. It is of no importance whether we quote Herzl or Herbert Samuel to justify our activities. Colonization itself has its own explanation, integral and inescapable, and understood by every Arab and every Jew with his wits about him. Colonization can have only one goal. For the Palestinian Arabs this goal is inadmissible. This is in the nature of things.".

(End of quote)

In that respect arab palestinians are not antisemite.

They do not dislike the jews because they are jews.
They dislike the jews because they do not want a state they see as foreign.

The Angolans also did not like the portuguese there not because they were anti portuguese but because they see portuguese as foreigners.

Same with the kurds or chechens.

The european antisemitism is diferent.

In portugal there are no jews but people dislike jews .

The arab does not like the jew because is seen a foreigner who stole land.

The European Christian does not like the jew because the jew killed christ.

Even if the jews had never setled in palestine the european would still hate the jews.

(And actually he did. The proof is the holocaust).

When it comes to understand antisemitism.., I am in a very good position.
As Arafat would say.., not to forget that I had to flee the portuguese board in wich I posted because of anti semitism.

The first time I found antisemitism was back in 2003 when a fellow said :
" I will keep an eye on you JEW ".

" you better go to jerusalem and knock your head on the wall , as your jewish friends do. Maybe your ideas will get clearer ".

" You either are a jew or a complete fool ".

These are only some of the few things ppl told me .
I had a crash course on antisemitism.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Sol, this might have to be one of those cases where we will agree to disagree. If you read the history of the Jews by the Arabs pre-1947 and pre-state being considered, you will that violence against partition was not the only reason behind the Palestinians' aggression. I believe it is a motive of religion, not of foreign invasion. The Palestinian Arabs and Muslims have persecuted and badly treated the "infidels" of their country and provinces. The Christians are being persecuted in Gaza. The Druze were terribly persecuted by the Muslims. Look at the history of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. We people of other religions interfere with the Muslims' goals of reconstituting the Pan-Arab region that they once conquered a couple of millenia ago. They want it back. Israel greatly interferes with that goal, and we being Jews is even worse. Watch some episodes from MEMRITV.org or pmw.org. We are called pigs and descendants of monkeys. The Muslims congregants are told that it is their Muslim duty to kill us. This is religiously and ideologically motivated. Why else would Iran be aiming to destroy us now? See what I'm saying?
-OC

 
At 2:48 AM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

yes. ( I guess I understood).
I might be wrong...;
As far as I can see the root of the european antisemitism is in the new testament. According to new testament the jews killed christ.
That is the real root of the european antisemitism.
The problem is the Jew.
If you look at nazi german propaganda ( The jew suss, by example ),the jew had specifically the role of the bad fellow.
( For my surprise (since religious people were supposed to be peace loving fellows ) I found a couple of catholics that were VERY antisemitic. From my point of view antisemitism is a kind of subproduct of certain catholicism , christianism.
Muslim anti jewism has a diferent origin.
Recently some arab anti jewism.., has borrow some classical antisemitic elements from the old anti semitism.
I feel sleepy, lol.
I am going to rest a bit.As you wrote the muslims treat badly others( in general) and not specifically the jews.
When it comes to classical anti semitism no such thing happens.
Nowadays the Catholics in portugal are not fanatic.
But when it comes to the jews.., Wow.
Things get sour.
That is the classical antisemitism.
In a way antisemitism is a christian disease.

In other cases a certain grade of judeo phobia might happen., but the phenomenon is diferent.

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Did you know that the Elders of the Protocol of Zion is among the most popular selling books in the Muslim world? Like, I said, the Muslims aren't fond of any other religion, but they save an especially vicious place in their hearts for the evil Jews.
-OC

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Yes.., but a delegation of jews visited Iran.
" A delegation of of Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish Rabbis visited the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 2006, where they met with clerics, Imams, and Government Officials".

This would have been unthinkable for the Nazism.
Classic antisionism was the result of of the original sin , the murder of christ.
During the crusades , the christian crusaders burned the jews in Sinagoges because of the sin.
It was 1000 years ago.
The holocaust was 60 years ago.
The cause of both the burning of jews and the gas extermination were the same - The murder of Christ.

When it comes to Islam..,traditionally Islam is more benign.

Things did get sour after the setlement of jews in palestine and the creation of israel but the cause of judeophobia is not exactly the same cause of antisemetism.

The cause of the Judeo phobia in Germany during hitler time was that original sin wich was the murder of Christ.


The Islam more recent judeo phobia is caused by the events in palestine.

Some prejudice might have existed prior to the setlement of the jews in palestine in the 19 centyry but I think that Islam was traditionally more benign than chrisianity when it comes to the jews.


The causes of christian judeo phobia and Islam judeo phobia are diferent and therefore one should not use the same name for both

 
At 2:09 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

and look at what I found:

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/iran.html

IRAN: Life of Jews Living in Iran

Iran remains home to Jewish enclave.

By Barbara Demick

TEHRAN - The Jewish women in the back rows of the synagogue wear long garments in the traditional Iranian style, but instead of chadors, their heads are covered with cheerful, flowered scarves. The boys in their skullcaps, with Hebrew prayer books tucked under their arms, scamper down the aisles to grab the best spots near the lush, turquoise Persian carpet of the altar. This is Friday night, Shabbat - Iranian style, and the synagogue in an affluent neighborhood of North Tehran is filled to capacity with more than 400 worshipers.

It is one of the many paradoxes of the Islamic Republic of Iran that this most virulent anti-Israeli country supports by far the largest Jewish population of any Muslim country.

While Jewish communities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria have all but vanished, Iran is home to 25,000 - some here say 35,000 - Jews. The Jewish population is less than half the number that lived here before the Islamic revolution of 1979. But the Jews have tried to compensate for their diminishing numbers by adopting a new religious fervor.

''The funny thing is that before the Islamic revolution, you would see maybe 20 old men in the synagogue,'' whispers Nahit Eliyason, 48, as she climbs over four other women to find one of the few vacant seats. ''Now the place is full. You can barely find a seat.'' Parvis Yashaya, a film producer who heads Tehran's Jewish community, adds: ''We are smaller, but we are stronger in some ways.''

Tehran has 11 functioning synagogues, many of them with Hebrew schools. It has two kosher restaurants, and a Jewish hospital, an old-age home and a cemetery. There is a Jewish representative in the Iranian parliament. There is a Jewish library with 20,000 titles, its reading room decorated with a photograph of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Khomeini protection

Iran's Jewish community is confronted by contradictions. Many of the prayers uttered in synagogue, for instance, refer to the desire to see Jerusalem again. Yet there is no postal service or telephone contact with Israel, and any Iranian who dares travel to Israel faces imprisonment and passport confiscation. ''We are Jews, not Zionists. We are a religious community, not a political one,'' Yashaya said.

Before the revolution, Jews were well-represented among Iran's business elite, holding key posts in the oil industry, banking and law, as well as in the traditional bazaar. The wave of anti-Israeli sentiment that swept Iran during the revolution, as well as large-scale confiscations of private wealth, sent thousands of the more affluent Jews fleeing to the United States or Israel. Those remaining lived in fear of pogroms, or massacres.

But Khomeini met with the Jewish community upon his return from exile in Paris and issued a ''fatwa'' decreeing that the Jews were to be protected. Similar edicts also protect Iran's tiny Christian minority.

(That would have been unthinkable in Nazi Germany. )

Just as it radically transformed Muslim society, the revolution changed the Jews. Families that had been secular in the 1970s started keeping kosher and strictly observing rules against driving on Shabbat. They stopped going to restaurants, cafes and cinemas - many such establishments were closed down - and the synagogue perforce became the focal point of their social lives.



Jewish school in Shiraz

Iranian Jews say they socialize far less with Muslims now than before the revolution. As a whole, they occupy their own separate space within the rigid confines of the Islamic republic, a protected yet precarious niche.

Jewish women, like Muslim women, are required by law to keep their heads covered, although most eschew the chador for a simple scarf. But Jews, unlike Muslims, can keep small flasks of home-brewed wine or arrack to drink within the privacy of their homes - in theory, for religious purposes. Some Hebrew schools are coed, and men and women dance with each other at weddings, practices strictly forbidden for Muslims.

''Sometimes I think they are kinder to the Jews than they are to themselves. ... If we are gathered in a house, and the family is having a ceremony with wine or the music is playing too loud, if they find out we are Jews, they don't bother us so much,'' Eliyason said.

''Everywhere in the world there are people who don't like Jews. In England, they draw swastikas on Jewish graves. I don't think that Iran is more dangerous for Jews than other places.''

Some problems exist

Testimony from Jews who have left Iran suggests more serious problems than those cited by Jews inside the country. In written testimony to a congressional subcommittee in February 1996, an Iranian Jew complained of being imprisoned for two years on trumped-up charges of spying for Israel. He also said his arrest was preceded by harassment at work and pressure to convert to Islam. Inside Iran, Jews say that they frequently receive alarmed telephone calls and letters from relatives in the United States concerned about their well-being, but that they themselves do not feel physically endangered. Their major complaint is the inability to visit family in Israel, and what they say is inadequate funding for Hebrew schools, which are administered by the Iranian Ministry of Education.

Although many Jews hold jobs in government ministries or within state-owned firms, they say they are unlikely to rise to top positions. In addition, Iran's strict Islamic law, or ''sharia,'' contains many discriminatory provisions toward non-Muslims.

Jews 'part of Iran'

Still, Jewish leaders say their community has far stronger roots in Iran than other Middle East Jewish communities, which were virtually eradicated by massive immigration to Israel in the 1940s and 1950s. Esther, the biblical Jewish queen who saved her people from persecution in the fifth century B.C., is reputed to be buried in Hamadan, in western Iran. The grave of the Old Testament prophet Daniel lies in southwestern Iran.

''We are different from the Jews of the diaspora. You see the name 'Persia' in the Old Testament almost as often as the name 'Israel.' The Iranian Jews are very much part of Iran,'' said Gad Naim, 60, who runs the old-age home in Tehran. Iranian Jews trace their history to the reign of Persia's King Cyrus. As the Bible tells it, Cyrus conquered Babylonia in 539 B.C., liberated the Jews from captivity, and raised funds for the rebuilding of their destroyed temple in Jerusalem. The return of the Jews to Jerusalem at that time was accompanied by a large migration to the lands that were then Persia, and now Iran.

In Esfahan, an Iranian city fabled for its intricate Persian tile work, the first Persian Jews were settled under the reign of Cyrus. The ancient city was once known as Dar-Al-Yahud (''House of the Jews'' in Farsi), and as late as the 19th century it was the home of 100,000 Jews, according to Elias Haronian, head of Esfahan's Jewish community.

Today, the city is a repository of Jewish lore. It has a cemetery with Jewish graves 2,000 years old, stunning synagogues and Jewish mausoleums with tiles to rival those of the mosques - but a population of only 1,500 Jews.

What happened to the Jews?

Some converted centuries ago. Indeed, in Muslim villages surrounding Esfahan, a distinctive Jewish dialect of Farsi is spoken, and Muslims still follow certain Jewish rituals, such as lighting candles on Fridays. Others left for Tehran, or for California or New York. Some went to Israel.

''It is not that life is so difficult for us, but a minority is a minority... We are like a glass of water in the sea,'' Haronian said. Haronian, a petroleum engineer, worries less about persecution than about the faltering Iranian economy, the lack of job opportunities for his four children, and the shortage of suitable Jewish spouses. ''There are very few Jewish boys here. There are so few of us,'' said his 17-year-old daughter, Shirin. At Esfahan's Hebrew school, students confided that they are deeply torn between a love of their homeland and a desire to escape from the stifling isolation of Iran.

The decision to stay or go may rest largely on Mohammad Khatami, a relatively progressive cleric who won a landslide election May 23 as the next president of Iran. Although he is virulently anti-Israel in his public comments, Khatami was considered sympathetic to the Jews during his term as Iran's minister of culture and Islamic guidance. He paid a campaign visit to a social club for Jewish women in Tehran. ''We expect more freedom, an easier life, not just for Jews, for everybody,'' said Farangis Hassidim, an administrator of Tehran's Jewish hospital.

Not everyone in the Jewish community favors liberalization of Iranian society. Arizel Levihim, 20, a prospective Hebrew teacher, said Judaism has fared better within the confines of Iran's strictly religious society. ''I believe it is good for women to keep their head covered. I think it is good to restrict relations between boys and girls,'' Levihim said. ''I agree with the ideals of the Islamic republic. These are Jewish values too."

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Sol, if you want to believe that the Nazis were worse for the Jews than the Muslim countries, that's fine and perfectly legitimate. No Muslim country has systematically exterminated 6 million Jews, but that, in no way excuses their behavior. The members of the Neturei Karta who visited Iran went for the specific reason and accepted for the specific reason of delegitimizng the State of Israel. Of course, Iran could excuse the fact that they were Jews. Here were these stereotypical Jews coming in and agreeing with the Iranian government that Israel should be wiped off the face of the eart. What great PR for the Iranian government and mullahs to spread their cause. I would also like to tell you that these minute minority are not considered Jews in my eyes, and according to many laws of Judaism. When you come out and wish the death of fellow Jews and make a Desecration of The Name (G-d), you are liable to be excommunicated. I've seen the interview of these people. And, don't think that these guys wouldn't have been killed had they done something wrong while in Iran. And, let me tell you something. If, in the propaganda stage of Hitler's plans, if any Jews would have come forward agreeing with his plans for driving all Jews out of Europe, he sure as hell would have had them on the platform with him. Don't fool ideology of destruction with magnanomism.

Next, the other article you quoted is purely a puff piece. Remember the simple fact. Iran and every other Muslim/Arab country have no free press. The government controls everything that goes out. To think that they did not have some influence or control over what the author wrote or what the people did is completely denying the fact that it's all controlled by the mullahs and the gvernment. It was actually recently found out that Iran had the last Jewish synagogue destroyed, and are building a mosque in its place. That synagogue was reputed to be thousands of years old.

Another example of the fluffness of the article is the fact that the author does not really delve into the reason the thousands of years old flourishing Jewish community that once existed in Iran is gone. Iran, among the other Muslim country, persecuted and forcibly expelled thousands upon thousands of their Jews after Israel was created in 1948 and subsequently after each war Israel won. To think that there is no duress under which the Jewish people are quoted is ridiculous. The last quote is ripe with those hints. No Jew would say that it's a positive thing to live under Islamic rule considering how you are treated as a non-Muslim and. Under Islamic rule, you are treated as a second class citizen. There are certain jobs you can't have. Your business is subject to be confiscated at any time, and you must pay dhimmi and other second class citizen taxes. To think that this man isn't speaking because there's a proverbial gun to his head is to ignore all the facts surrounding the bigger picture. To say that "some problems exist" is the understatement of the millenium.

Finally, please do not exagerate Hitler's dependence of Christianity as his reasons for anti-semetism because it's just not true. The Passion may have inspired him, to a small extent, but Hitler shunned religion in general. Deautchland was above anything else, even G-d. The Jews were inferior because they were Jews. They were controlling the economy, stealing all the jobs from the true Germans. They were not Aryans and made of impure and inferior blood. All problems in Germany stemmed from the Jewish invasion. This has nothing to do with "killing Christ". This has to do with pure hatred for the Jews as Jews. And, anti-semetism based on religious faith is even more potent and more dangerous. Because, it has no logic and no rational, so it's that much more deadly. Hitler and his National Socialism had reasons based on logic. Albeit, deformed and incorrect logic. He tried to use science to prove the Jews' inferiority. If that's proved wrong, people can just walk away from it. But, when you have your chief cleric stating that Allah has commanded you to hate and kill the Jews because they're infidels and pigs and the descendents of monkeys, it becomes attached to your religious faith. If you don't believe the sheik's words then you must be a bad Muslim. If you believe and aim to carry out the sheik's goals must mean I'm a good Muslim. Allah said this murder and rage and hatred is OK.

Anti-semetism is anti-semetism. Islamic anti-semetism and the core of Christian anti-semetism are exactly the same. For thousands of yeard, the Christians were persecuting and killing the Jews not because of some trupped up inferiority or logic but because they killed Jesus. It's taken thousands of years before the Chrisitians came out and said we don't believe that anymore, and we're sorry. That anti-semetism has evolved into what Hitler crafted it to be. We're inferior, money grubbing, trying to take over the world, etc. Islamic anti-semetism is a combination of the two. It is rooted in religion, yet it has taken on the aspect that the Protocols of The Elders of Zion is true, and that Hitler was right all along about the Jews. This evolution and combination of the two types of anti-semetism is far worse. So, in a sense, you're right. I can't compare Christian anti-semetism to Islamic anti-semetism, because Islamic anti-semetism is far worse.
-OC

 
At 8:33 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

we do not agree in that respect.
Eventually it can turn to be a lot worse but now it is not.

" Would you describe yourself as an apocalyptic person?

"Benni MORRIS: The whole Zionist project is apocalyptic. It exists within hostile surroundings and in a certain sense its existence is unreasonable. It wasn't reasonable for it to succeed in 1881 and it wasn't reasonable for it to succeed in 1948 and it's not reasonable that it will succeed now. Nevertheless, it has come this far. In a certain way it is miraculous. I live the events of 1948, and 1948 projects itself on what could happen here. Yes, I think of Armageddon. It's possible. Within the next 20 years there could be an atomic war here."

(End of quote)
In case an atomic war does take place and Israel get flatenned Muslim Antisemitism was worse than NAZI antisemitism but not far worse.

In the holocaust 6 million died.

To compare holocaust events to today events not good from my point of view.

" This new anti-Semitism´s tactic in Europe is the systematic and heartless banalization of the Holocaust. The opinion makers, the intellectuals, from Nobel Prize winner José Saramago to the average journalist, don't think twice about accusing Israeli leaders of genocide or Hilter-like practices or of comparing Auschwitz and the prisons in Iraq. Such wording brings the Holocaust down to the level of just "another killing" and not one of human history's worst atrocities. Doing this, frees guilty consciences without addressing its underlying problems. Everyone is free to forget. ".
To banalize is to erase.

Ramalah = Auschwitz, Israel=NAZI , IDF = SS...;

There is a banalization and one day the holocaust will be just another human right violation.

Banalization not good but even jews banalize the holocaust memory.
I remember Netaniahu comparing Hamas to the NAZIS ( if my memory does not fail).

I think it is not right since it cheaps the tragedy of millions.

Did you saw my warsaw guetho tread ?

http://www.chatarea.com/MdioOriente.m2947340

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Right now I was wondering..; How polish jews made alya ?
No polish jews made Alya.
Why not ? Because of the final Solution. Jews ceased to exist.
The system was made to exterminate them ( Actually the camps were called extermination camps).
The only thing worse was an all out nuclear attack on Israel that killed all Israelis.
The best book I have read about the holocaust was Surviving Auschwitz wich actually it was a bad title since what the book shows ( and its message ) is that no one survives auschwitz.
the author many years later killed himself.
In a way he did not survive.
Surviving Auschwitz. Primo Levy.

 
At 10:51 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

(Just a break : If I talk that much in english..., just imagine in portuguese.
In a period of 18 months I posted 5 thousand posts with all sort of stuffs trying to counter the dominant ideas. Ultimately I drop out of the board and I stop posting messages about the palestinian israely conflict in Portuguese).
If the english speaking fellows make my life too dificult , I guess I will learn Russian so that I will be able to post and argue in Russian.

(Just kidding ).

 
At 12:54 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

sol, I love having you comment here. Unlike some other blogs we know, they shall remain nameless, I don't like just having comments that are sounding boards to my ideas and opinions. I like being able to have discussions and arguments with people. It pumps the blood. It's good for you. I enjoy it. I hope you do too.
-OC

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

thank you.
I am somewhat stubborn when it comes to defend my ideas. I keep thinking in the stuff for hours...; Eventually that does happen because I live alne so I keep thinking about the same subject over and over again.

I read an interesting article about antisemitism.

(Published today in the Herald Tribune.
In a way the author also does define antisemitism as a Christian disease . ( Thought in the end he does write that muslins can caught the disease also).


The thread of anti-Semitism
The Boston Globe

TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 2006
BOSTON Is criticism of the state of Israel anti-Semitic? What is striking about this question is how it clings to discussion, like an impossible loose thread.

Most observers, including defenders of Israel, answer in the negative, acknowledging that authentic concern for the plight of Palestinians under harsh occupation motivates much of the criticism. Objections to the land-grabbing character of the separation barrier, to intrusive settlement blocs, to unilateralism that eschews negotiations - all of this reasonably informs arguments made against Israeli government positions (by Jews as well as non-Jews).

But recent developments, including European critiques of Zionism as mere colonialism, American talk of a "lobby" that carries echoes of "cabal" (a word derived from kabbalah), and the return among Arabs of rhetoric calling for the outright elimination of Israel, suggest that contempt for Jews and the Jewish state can involve more than meets the eye.

Disputes enumerated above are just part of the story. Hostility to the very presence of Jews in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean goes deep into the unconscious of Western civilization. One way to understand this is to review the history of a Christian theology that required the exile of Jews from the Holy Land precisely as a proof of religious claims.

In his "City of God," completed in about the year 427, St. Augustine argued that because Jews, as custodians of what Christians designated the "Old Testament," are living witnesses to the ancient promises that are fulfilled in Jesus, they should be "scattered" from what he called "their own land," to give such witness throughout the Christian world. It seems no coincidence that in 429 the Roman emperor, a Christian, abolished the patriarchate of Israel, ending Jewish sovereignty in Palestine until 1948.

The Augustinian principle of witness-scattering evolved into an understanding of Jewish exile as a proper punishment for Jewish rejection of Christian claims. It was only when a Muslim army took control of Jerusalem in 638 that Jews were permitted to return to the city of their temple. When Crusaders laid siege to Jerusalem in 1099, they attacked Jews and Muslims both. Jewish presence in the holy city was an affront. Meanwhile, Jews throughout the Diaspora constructed an imagined homeland, always looking toward "next year in Jerusalem."

In the late 19th century, coinciding with the rise of Zionism, some Christian evangelicals began to think positively about a Jewish return to the Holy Land, but only as a prelude to an End Time conversion. Mainstream Christianity remained infected with hostility to any notion of Jewish homecoming. When Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist World Congress, asked Pope Pius X to support his program in 1904, the pope replied that he could never sanction it. "If you come to Palestine and settle your people there, we will be ready with churches and priests to baptize all of you."

Vatican reserve toward the State of Israel was overcome only in 1994, with Pope John Paul II's formal diplomatic recognition. His journey to Jerusalem in 2000 was very different from Pope Paul VI's insultingly brief pilgrimage to the Via Dolorosa in 1964. John Paul II's visit, lasting several days, was expressly an honoring of Jews at home in Israel, a culminating repudiation of the Christian theology that depended on Jewish exile. The establishment of the Jewish state was a triumph for Christians, too.

Remarkable as was John Paul II's achievement, what astounds is how overdue it was. Antagonism toward Jewish presence in Palestine dominated the Western imagination for 1,500 years. So it should be no surprise that contemporary suspicion of that presence, even when attached to reasonable objections to Israeli policies, shows itself with a visceral edge.

Now the dark energy of this tradition has been efficiently tapped by many Muslims, even though its underlying theology is irrelevant to Islam. Any appropriation, including by Palestinians, of what has proved across centuries to be perhaps the most lethal impulse to which humans have ever succumbed must be roundly condemned.

Anti-Semitism, with its racial overtones, is a modern phenomenon. Contempt for Jews and Judaism is ancient. Such impossible threads weave invisibly through attempts to reckon with Israel's dilemma, forming a rope that trips up the well-intentioned and the unaware, even as others use it, as so often before, to fashion a noose.

(James Carroll's column appears regularly in The Boston Globe.

BOSTON Is criticism of the state of Israel anti-Semitic? What is striking about this question is how it clings to discussion, like an impossible loose thread.

Most observers, including defenders of Israel, answer in the negative, acknowledging that authentic concern for the plight of Palestinians under harsh occupation motivates much of the criticism. Objections to the land-grabbing character of the separation barrier, to intrusive settlement blocs, to unilateralism that eschews negotiations - all of this reasonably informs arguments made against Israeli government positions (by Jews as well as non-Jews).

But recent developments, including European critiques of Zionism as mere colonialism, American talk of a "lobby" that carries echoes of "cabal" (a word derived from kabbalah), and the return among Arabs of rhetoric calling for the outright elimination of Israel, suggest that contempt for Jews and the Jewish state can involve more than meets the eye.

Disputes enumerated above are just part of the story. Hostility to the very presence of Jews in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean goes deep into the unconscious of Western civilization. One way to understand this is to review the history of a Christian theology that required the exile of Jews from the Holy Land precisely as a proof of religious claims.

In his "City of God," completed in about the year 427, St. Augustine argued that because Jews, as custodians of what Christians designated the "Old Testament," are living witnesses to the ancient promises that are fulfilled in Jesus, they should be "scattered" from what he called "their own land," to give such witness throughout the Christian world. It seems no coincidence that in 429 the Roman emperor, a Christian, abolished the patriarchate of Israel, ending Jewish sovereignty in Palestine until 1948.

The Augustinian principle of witness-scattering evolved into an understanding of Jewish exile as a proper punishment for Jewish rejection of Christian claims. It was only when a Muslim army took control of Jerusalem in 638 that Jews were permitted to return to the city of their temple. When Crusaders laid siege to Jerusalem in 1099, they attacked Jews and Muslims both. Jewish presence in the holy city was an affront. Meanwhile, Jews throughout the Diaspora constructed an imagined homeland, always looking toward "next year in Jerusalem."

In the late 19th century, coinciding with the rise of Zionism, some Christian evangelicals began to think positively about a Jewish return to the Holy Land, but only as a prelude to an End Time conversion. Mainstream Christianity remained infected with hostility to any notion of Jewish homecoming. When Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist World Congress, asked Pope Pius X to support his program in 1904, the pope replied that he could never sanction it. "If you come to Palestine and settle your people there, we will be ready with churches and priests to baptize all of you."

Vatican reserve toward the State of Israel was overcome only in 1994, with Pope John Paul II's formal diplomatic recognition. His journey to Jerusalem in 2000 was very different from Pope Paul VI's insultingly brief pilgrimage to the Via Dolorosa in 1964. John Paul II's visit, lasting several days, was expressly an honoring of Jews at home in Israel, a culminating repudiation of the Christian theology that depended on Jewish exile. The establishment of the Jewish state was a triumph for Christians, too.

Remarkable as was John Paul II's achievement, what astounds is how overdue it was. Antagonism toward Jewish presence in Palestine dominated the Western imagination for 1,500 years. So it should be no surprise that contemporary suspicion of that presence, even when attached to reasonable objections to Israeli policies, shows itself with a visceral edge.

Now the dark energy of this tradition has been efficiently tapped by many Muslims, even though its underlying theology is irrelevant to Islam. Any appropriation, including by Palestinians, of what has proved across centuries to be perhaps the most lethal impulse to which humans have ever succumbed must be roundly condemned.

Anti-Semitism, with its racial overtones, is a modern phenomenon. Contempt for Jews and Judaism is ancient. Such impossible threads weave invisibly through attempts to reckon with Israel's dilemma, forming a rope that trips up the well-intentioned and the unaware, even as others use it, as so often before, to fashion a noose.

 

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