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Emet m'Tsiyon

Sunday, July 31, 2005

An AMERICAN Among JEWS in HEBRON, 1836 - Part 8

This is the eighth and last instalment of passages from John Lloyd Stephens' book on his travels in the Levant in 1836, in which he gives an account of his stay in Hebron with Jews in their ghetto in David's first capital.

"I had nothing now to detain me in Hebron; my mules and a kervash provided by the governor were waiting for me, and I bade farewell to my Jewish friends. I could not offer the old rabbi with money for his hospitality, and would have satisfied my conscience by a compliment to the servants; but the son of the good old man, himself more than sixty, told Paul that they would all feel hurt if I urged it. I did not urge it; and the thought passed rapidly through my mind that while yesterday the children of the desert [the Arabs] would have stripped me of my last farthing, today a Jew would not take from me a para [small Ottoman silver coin]. I passed through the dark and narrow lanes of the Jewish Quarter, the inhabitants being all arranged before their houses; and all along, even from the lips of maidens, a farewell salutation fell upon my ears. They did not know what I had done or what I proposed to do; but they knew that I intended a kindness to a father of their tribe, and they thanked me as if that kindness were already done. With the last of their kind greetings still lingering on my ears, I emerged from the Jewish Quarter, and it was with a warm feeling of thankfulness I felt, that if yesterday I had an Arab's curse, today I had a Jewish blessing."

Notes: When Stephens writes of "a kindness to a father of their tribe," he is referring to bringing a letter from the rabbi, originally from Venice and a Venetian subject, to the Venetian consul in Beirut. The letter requested a new passport since his previous one had been lost.

One of the points made throughout the eight parts of Stephens' account is that conditions improved for the Jews of Hebron during the period of rule of Muhammud Ali of Egypt. However, many things were still very wrong. The oppression was alleviated. It did not go away. Indeed, Muhammud Ali's government persecuted the Jews of Damascus (the Damascus Affair) in 1840 on the false charge of murdering a priest to use his blood for baking matsoh. In this persecution, the pasha governing Damascus was encouraged by European consuls in the city, French, British and Austrian. Eventually, the Austrian consul, an Italian, came around to helping the Jews, whereas the French consul took direct part in torturing the Damascene Jews. In Hebron, conditions for Jews improved again later in the 19th century as the Ottoman Empire was under pressure of the European powers to liberalize the conditions of non-Muslims [dhimmis]. Yet, it was precisely under a European power, Britain, that the Arabs massacred Jews in Hebron in extremely cruel fashion, with tacit British encouragement, in 1929. And the British saw to it that the Jewish population was removed from Hebron. Apparently, the British did not want Jews too close to the Jewish holy place there, the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

It is no secret that our age is a time of immense lies, of huge rewriting of history, that is, of falsification. In particular, there is a political interest in lying about Jewish-Arab relations, and about Jewish-Arab relations in the Land of Israel especially, as well as about Jewish history in Israel before Zionism. We hope that John Lloyd Stephens' account can enlighten some benighted minds.

PLO/"Palestinian Authority" Spokesman Lies Again

UPDATING 5-13-2010 see at bottom

Bismarck said all men in the Balkans who tuck
their shirts into their trousers are crooks. The
shirts of the peasants, of course, hang outside.
At any rate, when I found Hamid Bey --next to
Kemal, perhaps the most powerful man in the
Angora government-- in his Stamboul office
where he . . . [draws] a large salary as
administrator of the Imperial Ottoman Bank, a
French capitalized concern-- his shirt was tucked
in, for he was dressed in a gray business suit.
Ernest Hemingway, Toronto Daily Star, 9 October 1922
[in By-line: Ernest Hemingway (ed. Wm. White: New York 1968), p 44]

Spokesmen for the PLO and the "Palestinian Authority" are gifted liars. When they don't lie it's an occasion for wonder. When their lie is brought to light in a Western publication by a fellow Arab, then that is a remarkable event.

Magdi Allam is an Egyptian who left his native land and migrated to Italy where he found fame and fortune. He is now an editor at Corriere della Sera, the most prestigious large circulation daily in Italy. Corriere occupies a position in Italy somewhat like that of the New York Times in the USA. But that analogy may be unfair to Corriere, since comparing Corriere to the NYTimes is something like comparing a skyscraper to an outhouse [OK, maybe not to an outhouse but to a factory for breast implants or false teeth].

Anyhow, Allam is now one of the editors at Corriere and was invited as a journalist and Middle East specialist to one of those panel discussions oh so frequent in Europe, this one on the topic of Italy and the Arab-Israeli conflict held at the convent of St Francis at Assisi [1 March 2004]. Sitting next to Allam on one side was Gian Arturo Ferrari, CEO of the Einaudi publishing house. On the other was Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, director of an outfit operating in Jerusalem near the now closed "Orient House" with the impressive name of "Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs," which usually goes by its shorter moniker, the acronym PASSIA. This outfit was close to the late Faisal Husseini and cooperates with the PLO/PA leadership, while actually having little to do with any scholarly study of world affairs.

Allam writes of Abdul Hadi:
A cultured person, politically minded and active, who knows the West well and has traveled throughout the world. Besides, he is very secular, a lover of good wine and a connoisseur of feminine beauty.
At a certain point, Abdul Hadi surprised us with this statement: "What do I think about kamikazes? I myself might blow myself up from one moment to the next." Ferrari and I listened dumbfounded. Abdul Hadi spoke with the frankness and vigor of someone who wanted to appear as convincing as possible. "Recently, a young university graduate, the father of two children, blew himself up in Israel in order to avenge the killing of his dearest friend. He did everything alone. He did not belong to any group, religious or political."
Abdul Hadi, who considers himself an enlightened leader of Palestinian civil society, is a strenuous advocate of the reactive thesis of terrorism [that is, that terrorism is a reaction to some perceived wrong]. In his opinion, the day when Israel withdraws from the occupied territory [sic!], allowing the birth of a Palestinian state [neither a "Palestinian state" nor a "Palestinian people" ever existed in history, nor was there ever an Arab state with its capital in the Land of Israel], the terrorism will cease. In his speech, he never mentioned the word 'terrorism." Because in his opinion, that is not the problem. Nevertheless, he specifically, as a scholar whose calling is objectivity, ought to know that the suicide attacks of Hamas and Jihad [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] began in October 1993, not long after the historic handshake at the White House between Rabin and Arafat. With the declared objective of causing failure of the peace process based on coexistence between Israel and the Palestinian state. Putting in practice an avowedly aggressive strategy, inspired by the harmful rejection of Israel's right to exist. And still today, suicide terrorism --of which Arafat became a co-chieftain in order to safeguard his power threatened by the Islamic extremists of Hamas-- is the principal obstacle to resumption of the negotiating process. All attempts made to renew the thread of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians are regularly sabotaged by suicide terrorist attacks.
Abdul Hadi is right, however, when, through his shocking testimony, he implies that Islamic 'martyrdom' has been transformed into an ideology of its own. That, even though it makes reference to religion, it counts among its practitioners secular persons as well. It is a fact that today the Palestinian kamikazes are both Islamic and secularist, both men and women, both youth and adults, both married people and singles, with or without children. The kamikaze has become the symbol of the highest degree of struggle, inspired by the radical rejection of the Other, the emblem of the so-called clash of religions or civilizations.
[Magdi Allam, Kamikaze Made in Europe: Riuscira l'Occidente a Sconfiggere i Terroristi Islamici? (Milano: Mondadori, 2004), pp 71-73]
Here are key lines in the original Italian of Allam, including those given in boldface in English:
Io stesso potrei farmi esplodere ...
Abdul Hadi parla con la schietezza e il vigore di chi vuol apparire il piu possibile convincente ...
... proprio lui, studioso con la vocazione all'obiettivita, dovrebbe sapere che gli attentati suicidi di Hamas e della Jihad iniziarono nell'ottobre di 1993, all'indomani della storica stretta di mano alla Casa Bianca tra Rabin e Arafat.

We agree with Allam that murdering others while killing oneself --'martyrdom' in Islamist lingo-- has become an ideology, or rather a cult of its own. But Allam hints --so we infer-- that Abdul Hadi has less serious intention of sacrificing his life for the cause than of becoming a Paris fashion designer or an understudy at London's Old Vic. Allam hints at this by writing: "Abdul Hadi spoke with the frankness and vigor of someone who wanted to appear as convincing as possible." In other words, Allam is saying that Abdul Hadi "wanted to appear." Allam seems to be on to the melodramatic theatrics that Abdul Hadi affects and is subtly conveying the truth to us. It seems he sees through some of the "fighting oppression and occupation" mystique. Indeed, Abdul Hadi has been trained in rhetorical techniques needed for mass persuasion, psychological warfare, attacking a belief structure, changing one's morality, etc. But first, who is he? As we answer that, we continue considering the first of Abdul Hadi's three lies, the one that Allam hints at or insinuates. Then, we can discuss the lie that Allam explicitly points to and the third lie that both accept.

Abdul Hadi comes from an old, wealthy and influential Muslim Arab family in Nablus [Sh'khem] and its surroundings. One of his relatives, Ruhi Abdul Hadi, served the Ottoman Empire as a diplomat, later the British Empire as a senior administrator in the Land of Israel, and lastly, the Kingdom of Jordan as a minister. Another relative, Awni Bey Abdul Hadi, was an Arab leader and associate of Nazi collaborator and Holocaust advocate Amin el-Husseini in the 1930s and 1940s. In our generation, this ilk gets the middle class and the poor to do their noble Islamic dying for them. Other such families are the Husseinis, Khalidis, Nashashibis, Nuseibehs, etc. When did you last hear of one of them dying as a terrorist? When did you ever hear of one of them eagerly making his entry into Paradise through the sacrifice of his life in this world? Indeed, the cause has paid off precisely in this world for Abdul Hadi and his ilk with well paid jobs, political influence, international social acceptance, other assorted fruits of Western patronage, etc.

Further, members of these leading families work closely with Western agents and representatives, who finance all sorts of political, psychological warfare, and disinformation enterprises aimed at the foreign press and "human rights" and "peace activists," as well as cultural projects aimed at the educated Arab upper crust, at tourists, and at the large international community established in Jerusalem, most of whom oppose the Jewish presence in the ancient Jewish capital in favor of Arab nationalism. The Agency for International Development of the USA is one of those foreign agencies. Abdul Hadi's outfit, among other things, is the venue for courses in persuasive public speaking, funded directly or indirectly, by US AID and other Western donors (including the EU). David Bedein of Israel Media Resource has reported that PASSIA gets US AID funding and has as guest instructors expert BBC mind-benders, like Luce Doucette, etc. PASSIA is part of a whole array of Western-funded political and psychological warfare outfits operating in the Land of Israel, especially in Jerusalem, mostly founded years before Oslo and the subsequent establishment of the "Palestinian Authority" (according to the Oslo agreements), but these institutions work together --with each other and with the PA. In fact PASSIA is one of the PA's voices for communicating its propaganda line to the outside world, especially the West, and its themes are tailored to impress the Western public. While the PA governs parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza abandoned by Israeli forces, and is longingly viewed by international Judeophobes as the seed of a future Arab state in the Land of Israel to be called "Palestine," and incites the PA's population to mass murder of Jews, outfits like PASSIA provide a civilized, humane façade for the PA/PLO's horrors (against both Jews and fellow Arabs). PASSIA and its sister bodies provide a constant stream of lies, of what Stalin's gang called agitprop, to the outside world, the non-Arab, non-Muslim world and to international organizations, like the UN. Bear in mind that at the time of the Oslo accords and the White House handshake, the Israeli people were lulled by the lack of mention of an Arab state in most Israeli media noise about the accords. Israelis were told in so many words that Arafat and his gang would be satisfied with only "Gaza and Jericho." That almost all land over the 1949 armistice lines was to be soon handed over to the "Palestinian Authority" was also concealed from the public. To return to PASSIA, it not only serves as a channel for disinformation in favor of an Arab state to arise first over the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line), but for a state replacing all of Israel in a later phase. That is, the goal is to destroy Israel altogether. For this purpose, PASSIA trains and coaches propaganda and psywar operatives who are regularly seen on BBC, CNN, Sky, France 2, etc. PASSIA is a kind of factory for liars. Liars in the mold of Hanan Ashrawi, Michael Tarazi, Diana Butu in English, or Leila Shahid in French. Nevertheless, PASSIA is Western-funded and enjoys the benefits of Western expertise in psywar. What is surprising is how crude, simplistic and easily demonstrated to be false the propaganda claims made by the pro-PLO/PA mouthpieces often are.

Back to Abdul Hadi. He utters three lies. One Allam hints at, that is, that Abdul Hadi hypocritically has no real intention of killing himself. The second lie Allam frankly points out, that is, Abdul Hadi's claim that suicide terrorism is caused by "occupation," whereas when it began in October 1993, PM Rabin had agreed not long before to give up almost all territory over the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line) to PLO/"Palestinian Authority" rule. In fact, almost all Arabs living over the Green Line were under PA rule when Arafat started the Temple Mount war in late September 2000. The third lie, on which both Abdul Hadi and Allam agree, is that Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were somehow "occupied territory."

As to the second lie, the one that Allam explicitly points out, Rabin had basically agreed in the Oslo Accord to give up almost all of the so-called "West Bank" [parts of the historic Jewish homeland]. Details remained to be worked out, but euphoria in Israel was strong, and the PLO only had to sit tight, prove themselves capable of being peaceful for a few months, and then the Western and other powers plus a poorly informed, brainwashed Israeli public opinion, subject to constant deceitful haranguing from their own state media in favor of "peace" [Israel Radio's slogan at that time, the months after Oslo and the White House handshake, was: We are talking peace! (m'dabrim shalom)] would have pushed Israel, that is, the government of that time made up of Rabin, Peres, Beilin, and other fanatic "peaceniks," to give the PLO everything promised at Oslo plus almost anything else they asked for, especially if it belonged to another Jew and not to Rabin, Peres, & Co. or their friends personally. Allam seems to be saying that if the Hamas and Islamic Jihad merely wanted Israel to go back to the pre-1967 (1949) armistice lines, all they had to do was let diplomacy do its work. But Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah apparently wanted something else, something more than mere Israeli retreat to the 1949 lines (called "the end of occupation"). In any event, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Fatah intensified their terrorism after Oslo, and even more so after the White House handshake. Thus, what happened was the exact opposite of the usual simplistic and deceitful forecasts so common in the newspapers, on TV and radio, and in the mouths of diplomats in regard to the Arab response to Israeli concessions. These facts seem to have been in Allam's mind. He is saying that Israel had already agreed to end "the occupation" when suicide bombings began in October 1993. Therefore, the suicide bombings had another purpose. Moreover, they seem to have delayed Israeli retreat from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

By the way, one of the evil results of Oslo was that the PLO now controlled mass communications operating within the Land of Israel. The big lies could now be spread more effectively than ever before, and not only in Arabic. The radio and TV agitation for mass murder of Jews now came not only from Damascus or Beirut or Baghdad or Cairo, but from Ramallah and Gaza city. The broadcasts reached not only throughout Judea, Samaria, and Gaza but Israeli Arab citizens as well. Curiously, the EU and the USA are not interested in preventing the PLO (and "Palestinian Authority's") mass murder incitement over the PA mass media and press and in the mosques controlled by the PA. Mass murder is what the peacemongers brought us. But PASSIA's main function was not lying on the Arab home front but to the world.

Now, let's get back to Abdul Hadi's third lie. He and Allam agree that there is "occupied territory" held unjustly by Israel. Yet Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are all historic parts of the ancient Jewish homeland, which was called Judea (IUDAEA) by Greeks and Romans. The Romans changed the name of Provincia Iudaea to Provincia Syria Palaestina in 135 CE as part of an attempt to wipe out Jewish nationhood after the Bar Kokhba Revolt [see blog items below]. After the Arab conquest, Jews in Israel were oppressed as dhimmis [see earlier blog items].The international community agreed to restore all of the Land of Israel as the Jewish National Home at the San Remo Conference of 1920 and at the League of Nations in 1922. This status was not revoked by the UN General Assembly Partition resolution of 1947 which was merely a recommendation as are all General Assembly resolutions on political matters. The charge of "Israeli occupation" is another big lie.

Finally, how can Israel make peace with liars and hypocrites of the ilk of Abdul Hadi and Arafat or of Abu Mazen or any of the PLO/PA gang? Their psychological warfare, including their big and small lies, is meant to never allow peace nor any reasonable territorial settlement. They mean to finally destroy Israel. Furthermore, since Western powers finance the PLO/PA, then they too share a burden of guilt for the Arabs' actions against peace. Western patronage of the Arab wealthy and leadership class, as represented by PASSIA, goes back to the British mandate period, when the Arab and British elites got together for cozy socializing at the Jerusalem salon of Katy Antonius, widow of George Antonius and mistress of British General Sir Evelyn Barker who delighted in hanging Jews. As long as the West continues to patronize the likes of PASSIA, peace between Arabs and Israel is unlikely.
The eighth and last installment of John Lloyd Stephens' account of his experiences in Hebron while staying with the Jews there in 1836, will follow in a couple of days.
- - - - - - - - - - -
UPDATING 5-13-2010 The link above about PASSIA funding seems out of service. Here is another [here]. Journalists working for the British-govt run BBC & the US govt-run NPR advise PASSIA and serve as lecturers for it [here]

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Part 7 of John Lloyd Stephens' account of his stay with Jews in Hebron:

"A more interesting business followed with the old rabbi, probably induced by what had just passed between the Christian [a Copt, the only Christian living in Hebron] and myself. He told me that he had lately had occasion to regret exceedingly the loss of a paper which would now be of great use to him; that he was a Jew of Venice (I can vouch for it that he was no Shylock), and thirty years before had left his native city and come to Hebron with a regular passport; that for many years a European passport was no protection, and, indeed, it had been rather an object with him to lay aside the European character, and identify himself with the Asiatics; that, in consequence, he had been careless of his passport, and had lost it; but that now, since the conquest of Mohammed Ali and the government of Ibrahim Pasha, a European passport was respected, and saved its holder and his family from Turkish impositions. He mourned bitterly over his loss, not, as he said, for himself, for his days were almost ended, and the storms of life could not break over his head more heavily than they had already done; but he mourned for his children and grandchildren..."
[Stephens, p 322]

One more installment of the Stephens account of Hebron
Coming soon -- a PLO/PA suit-wearing liar exposed by another Arab

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


John Lloyd Stephens visited Hebron in 1836 and was lodged with local Jews by decision of the governor. Returning to New York, he wrote an account of his travels which was favorably reviewed by no less a literary lion than Edgar Allan Poe. This is Part 6 of Stephens' account of Hebron:

"I had spent a long evening with my Jewish friends. The old rabbi talked to me of their prospects and condition, and told me how he had left his country in Europe many years before, and come with his wife and children to lay their bones in the Holy Land. He was now eighty years old; and for thirty years, he said, he had lived with the sword suspended over his head; had been reviled, buffeted, and spit upon; and, though sometimes enjoying a respite from persecution, he never knew at what moment the bloodhounds might not be let loose upon him; that, since the country had been wrested from the sultan by the Pasha of Egypt [=Muhammud Ali], they had been comparatively safe and tranquil; though some idea may be formed of this comparative security from the fact that during the revolution two years before [1834], when Ibrahim Pasha [son and general of Muhammud Ali], after having been pent up several months in Jerusalem, burst out like a roaring lion, the first place upon which his wrath descended was the unhappy Hebron; and while their guilty brethren [the fellow Arabs of Ibrahim's troops, who had revolted] were sometimes spared, the unhappy Jews, never offending but always suffering, received the full weight of Arab vengeance. Their houses were ransacked and plundered; their gold and silver, and all things valuable, carried away; and their wives and daughters violated before their eyes by a brutal soldiery." [pp 320-321; see Part I for more data on book]

NOTES: Before Muhammud Ali, who was under European influence and was considered a "modernizer," took over the country, the situation of the Jews was much worse than during Stephens' visit, when Muhammud Ali was in charge. The oppression, humiliation, and exploitation of Jews under the previous system of loose Ottoman central control had been much worse. Anti-Jewish abuses were perpetrated not only by Ottoman officials but by local notables, strong men, thugs, etc. On this kind of situation in Jerusalem of the late 18th century, see Elliott A Green's article citing an earlier scholarly work by Jacob Barnai cited in an earlier blog entry on this site. The Jews continued to live in a ghetto under Muhammud Ali. Paradoxically, perhaps, the minions of this same Muhammud Ali persecuted Jews in Damascus in 1840 in connection with a blood libel, and the local governor there was influenced by the French, British, and Austrian consuls to persecute the Jews, with the French consul being the most adamant and taking personal part in torturing Jews.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Part 5 of John Lloyd Stephens account of his stay with Jews in Hebron in 1836
pp 319-320 in his book cited in Part One

"Hebron . . . is now a small Arab town . . . The present inhabitants are the wildest, most lawless, and desperate people in the Holy Land. . . In the last desperate revolution against Mohammed Ali [in 1834] , they were foremost in the strife, the first to draw the sword, and the last to return it to its scabbard. A petty Turk now wields the scepter of the son of Jesse [that is, now governs Hebron as did David son of Jesse] and a small remnant of a despised and persecuted people [the Jews] still hover round the graves of their fathers [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all buried in Hebron]; and though degraded and trampled under foot, from the very dust in which they lie [the Jews] are still looking to the restoration of their temporal kingdom.
"Accompanied by my Jewish friends, I visited the few spots [in Hebron] which tradition marks as connected with scenes of Bible history. Passing through the bazars at the extreme end, and descending a few steps, we entered a vault containing a large monument, intended in memory of Abner, the greatest captain of his age, the favored and for a long time trusted officer of David, who, as the Jews told me, was killed in battle near Hebron, and his body brought here and buried. The great mosque [the Tomb of the Patriarchs made into a mosque], the walls of which, the Jews say, are built with the ruins of the temple of Solomon, according to the belief of the Mussulmans and the better authority of the Jews, covers the site of the Cave of Machpelah, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite; and within its sacred precincts are the supposed tombs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The doors were guarded with jealous care by the bigoted Mussulmans; and when with my Jewish companion, I stopped for a moment to look up at the long marble staircase leading to the tomb of Abraham, a Turk came out from the bazars, and, with furious gesticulations, gathered a crowd around us; and a Jew and a Christian were driven with contempt from the sepulchre of the patriarch whom they both revered. A special firman [decree] from the pasha, or perhaps a large bribe to the governor, might have procured me a private admission; but death or the Koran would have been the penalty required by the bigoted people of Hebron."

Here Stephens describes the prohibition on non-Muslims going into the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a ban in effect since Sultan Baybars circa 1260. He stresses the belligerent, aggressive, and warlike character of the local Arabs, demonstrated especially in the revolt against Muhammud Ali of Egypt in 1834. He also stresses the bigotry and religious-ethnic fanaticism of the local Arab-Muslims.
Stephens uses the word "Turk" in the loose sense used at that time to refer to Muslims generally. Like Marx in the blog items below, he uses the word "Mussulman" instead of Muslim.
Stephens mentions a link between the Temple and the Tomb. Jewish archeologists and historians today agree on a connection between the Second Temple and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, regrettably turned into a mosque after the Arab conquest. Both grand structures were built by King Herod. Indeed, there are certain resemblances between the way the stones were cut, their size, and the general design of the walls of both the Tomb and the Second Temple, on those parts of the Second Temple still visible today. In fact, much of the western wall and southern wall of the Second Temple, plus the broad, grand steps leading up to the southern wall are visible now, some parts having been uncovered in excavations since 1967, some parts of the western wall now visible in the tunnel running along the western wall which has been open in part to visitors since about 1990. When Jerusalem mayor Olmert opened a second entrance to the tunnel in 1996, Arafat used this as a pretext to start a mini-war in which about a hundred people were killed, mostly Arabs, but he did make political gains out of that war, although he had used a lie to start it, lying that the tunnel went under the Temple Mount. As said, the tunnel runs alongside the western wall.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Part 4 of John Lloyd Stephens' account of his welcoming by Jews in Hebron in 1836 is given here instead of the blog about a PLO liar unmasked, which is in preparation and will be uploaded in the next couple of days
Part 4 of John Lloyd Stephens in Hebron

"... my Jewish friends conducted me around their miserable quarter. They had few lions to show me, but they took me to their synagogue, in which an old white-bearded Israelite was teaching some prattling children to read the laws of Moses in the language of their fathers; and when the sun was setting in the west and the Muezzin from the top of the minaret was calling the sons of the faithful to evening prayers, the old rabbi and myself, a Jew and a Christian, were sitting on the roof of the little synagogue, looking out as by stealth upon the sacred mosque [Note: the Cave of Machpelah (= Tomb of the Patriarchs) which the Muslims made into a mosque] containing the hallowed ashes of their [the Israelites'] patriarch fathers. The Turk guards entered the door, and the Jew and the Christian are not permitted to enter; and the old rabbi was pointing to the different parts of the mosque, where, as he told me, under tombs adorned with carpets of silk and gold, rested the mortal remains of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

NOTES: Abraham's purchase of the Cave of Machpelah is described in the Book of Genesis. He bought it to bury his wife Sarah. All the patriarchs and matriarchs of Israel (but for Rachel) are believed buried there, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah. However, Jacob's other wife, Rachel, is buried not in Hebron but on the edge of Bethlehem, where her tomb has been under siege by PLO/PA terrorists and PA police (often the same persons) over the past five years; at least one Israeli soldier has been killed at that tomb.
Arabs claim descent from Abraham through his son Ishmael. Abraham [in Arabic, Ibrahim] is considered to have been a Friend of God, hence the Arabs call the city al-Khalil [= the friend]. Curiously, the very name Hebron contains the root consonants --HBR-- of the Hebrew word for friend, haber. The Tomb of the Patriarchs is called by Muslims the Mosque of Abraham [al-Masjid al-Ibrahimi]. In line with the usual Muslim practice of confiscating and appropriating the holy places of other religions, such as Ayodhya in India, they took over the tomb of the Israelite patriarchs after conquering Israel from the Byzantine empire (ca. 638). For a long period, the Tomb was open to Jews and Christians as well as Muslims. However, in the late Crusader period, the Mamluk ruler, Baybars, shut the Tomb off to Jews and Christians (circa 1261). Jews were only allowed to go up to the seventh step ascending towards the entrance of the Tomb.
Jews lived in Hebron continuously at least from the late Crusader period --if not continuously from Biblical times-- until 1929, when 68 Jews were massacred in Hebron by an Arab mob incited by Haj Amin el-Husseini [al-Husayni]. The mob, the massacre, and the incitement were tolerated by the British rulers of the country at the time [see books by Pierre van Paassen, Albert Londres, etc.]. After the massacre British forces showed up to remove the Jews from the city, for their own good of course. The British refused to provide protection for the Jewish population in Hebron.
When John Lloyd Stephens visited Hebron in 1836, the ban on Jewish entry into the Tomb of their forefathers was in effect, and moreover, the Jews were confined to living in a small ghetto surrounded by a wall. They were subject to regular humiliations as mandated by Muslim law for dhimmis and mentioned in a previous blog item in quotes from Karl Marx, including one passage regarding the situation of the Jews in Jerusalem. During the local uprising against Muhammud Ali of Egypt in 1834 [described in an earlier blog item], the Jews in Hebron were attacked by both sides. Several were killed and their property plundered.
This was Part 4 of eight parts of John Lloyd Stephens' account of his visit to Hebron in 1836. Others will follow.
We expect to soon upload a blog item on a PLO/Palestinian Authority liar shown up by a fellow Arab.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Part 3 of John Lloyd Stephens' account of his experiences in Hebron

"I had seen enough of the desert, and of the wild spirit of freedom which men talk of without knowing, to make me cling more fondly than ever even to the lowest grade of civilization; and I could have sat down that night, provided it was under a roof, with the fiercest Mussulman as in a family circle. Judge, then, of my satisfaction at being welcomed from the desert by the friendly and hospitable Israelites. Returned once more to the occupation of our busy, money-making life, floating again upon the stream of business, and carried away by the cares and anxieties which agitate every portion of our stirring community, it is refreshing to turn to the few brief moments when far other thoughts occupied my mind; and my speculating, scheming friends and fellow-citizens would have smiled to see me that night, with a Syrian dress and long beard, sitting cross-legged on a divan, with the chief rabbi of the Jews at Hebron, and half the synagogue around us, talking of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as of old and mutual friends."

Part 4 coming soon
-- Next post, interrupting the John Lloyd Stephens' series [8 parts in toto], will be a PLO/PA spokesman exposed as a liar -- by a FELLOW ARAB!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

An American among Jews in Hebron, part 2

This is the second part:
"If I had my choice, these were the very persons I would have selected for my first aquaintances in the Holy Land. The descendants of Israel were fit persons to welcome a stranger to the ancient city of their fathers; and if they had been then sitting under the shadow of the throne of David, they could not have given me a warmer reception. It may be that, standing in the same relation to the Turks, alike the victims of persecution and contempt, they forgot the great cause which had torn us apart and made us a separate people, and felt only a sympathy for the object of mutual opression. But, whatever was the cause, I shall never forget the kindness with which, as a stranger and Christian, I was received by the Jews in the capital of their ancient kingdom; and I look to my reception here and by the monks of Mount Sinai as among the few bright spots in my long and dreary pilgrimage through the desert."
Note: The third part of this will be coming soon.


The first direct contact between the Jews of Hebron and what became the United States ofAmerica occurred a few years before the American Revolution when Rabbi Hayim Karigal of Hebron arrived in North America on a fund-raising mission to help the poor Jews in Hebron. He met various prominent personalities, Jewish and non-Jewish, including Ezra Stiles who later became the president of Yale University. Stiles and Karigal had a number of discussions on the Bible and other religious topics.
About sixty years later an American came to Hebron.

John Lloyd Stephens was an American writer who traveled in the Levant in the 19th century, in 1836, while Muhammud Ali, ruler of Egypt was also in control of Syria and Israel. Two years before, in 1834, the Muslims living on the mountain ridge between Hebron and Sh'khem had risen up against Muhammud Ali, because he was drafting their sons for the army, which was an innovation in Muslim society where regular soldiers were usually slaves [including janissaries], nomadic or militarized tribes, etc. Encouraged by the Ottoman Empire which Muhammud Ali had driven out of Israel and Syria, and by local notables close to the Ottomans, and led by local Muslim notables, the Arabs rose up and, incidentally, made pogroms against Jews in Jerusalem, and afterwards against Christians there. Muhammud Ali's suppression of the rebels was also cruel and his soldiers too attacked Jews, as in Hebron.

Stephens arrived in Hebron in 1836 after crossing the desert from Egypt with a hired Bedouin escort. In Hebron, he was lodged by the authorities with the local Jews. Here is Part One of his account.

"I followed the janissary [government soldier], who conducted me around outside the walls and through the burying ground. . . to a distant and separate quarter of the city. I had no idea where he was taking me; but I had not advanced a horse's length in the narrow streets before their peculiar costume and physiognomies told me that I was among the unhappy remnant of a fallen people, the persecuted and despised Israelites. They were removed [at a distance] from the Turkish [i.e., Muslim] quarter, as if the slightest contact with this once-favored people would contaminate the bigoted follower of the Prophet [Muhammud]. The governor, in the haughty spirit of a Turk, probably thought that the house of a Jew was a fit place for the repose of a Christian; and, following the janissary through a low range of narrow, dark, and filthy lanes, mountings [risings], and turnings, of which it is impossible to give any idea, with the whole Jewish population turning out to review us, and the sheik and all his attendants [who had escorted Stephens across the desert] with their long swords clattering at my heels, I was conducted to the house of the chief Rabbi of Hebron." [p 312]

John Lloyd Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea, and the Holy Land
(reprint: Norman, OK: Oklahoma University Press, 1970)

to be continued

Monday, July 04, 2005

JOSEPH'S TOMB in Sh'khem & The PA's Big Lie Method

UPDATED References -- See at End
Note: This is a reposting of an earlier post that was partly lost inadvertently.

The war ongoing against Israel for nearly five years has two preliminary purposes:
1 -- to slaughter as many Israeli Jews as possible and terrify the survivors in Israel into leaving.
2 -- to influence Western and world public opinion in general against Israel and the Jews.
These goals, if achieved, will ultimately leave Israel shorn of territory necessary for her defense [territory that is historically Jewish territory] and/or leave the surviving Jews in the Diaspora, which means fundamentally defenseless, meanwhile justifying the hatred and murder of Jews. Thus Diaspora Jews would be prey to genocidal attacks.
These two goals are Nazi in essence.

Hence, the immediate goals of the present war are not merely successfully perpetrating acts of mass murder. They are political/psychological. Psychological warfare and propaganda are prime components of the present war. Since Western govts [including the EU] and mass communications media and institutions [including "non-governmental organizations" = NGOs] take part in this war by funding Arab terrorism, by making propaganda and psy war for the Arabs, etc., by defending the Arab murderers in international political bodies [such as the UN], etc., then the Arabs are not the only enemies. Much of the West are silent partners (or not so silent) in this war.

Lies about history, modern, medieval, and ancient, are part of the psy war. Some of the big lies at the start of this war in 2000 were 1) failure to identify the Temple Mount as the site of the ancient Israelite/Jewish temples, calling it only by its Arab/Muslim name; 2) the alleged killing of young Muhammud al-Dura by Israeli soldiers [it is not even certain that he is dead]; and 3) claiming that the war began with Sharon going up onto the Temple Mount, whereas a few weeks before Jews were stabbed by Arabs in Jerusalem's Neveh Ya`aqov neighborhood and an Israeli soldier, David Biri, was killed by a bomb exploded before Sharon went up on the Mount and the second fatality of the war was another Israeli soldier killed on a "joint patrol" by his PA comrade and "partner in peace" on Friday morning; 4) falsely representing Joseph's Tomb in Sh'khem ("Nablus") as the tomb of a Muslim shaykh.
Since the al-Dura affair has already been clarified by several French and other journalists and Israeli researchers, and since the Temple Mount's history is fairly well known, we will focus on Joseph's Tomb. When and how the war began is an issue needing separate treatment.

The Book of Joshua (24:32) recounts that when the conquering Israelite tribes entered Canaan, they buried Joseph, whose bones had been dug up in Egypt (according to his request, Genesis 50:25), in Sh'khem on a plot of land purchased by Jacob. This city was destroyed in Second Temple Times and a new city was built near Sh'khem by Emperor Vespasian in the year 72 CE, called NeaPolis (New City in Greek). The Greek name is pronounced Nablus by Arabs. Archeologists have identified the site of ancient Sh’khem as east of the old city of Nablus. The Tomb of Joseph is located in that area today and is now surrounded by newer parts of the city which has spread around it. Of course, it is difficult to know whether Joseph son of Jacob is buried precisely there. However, there are written records of pilgrimage to Joseph’s Tomb in Sh’khem going back to the Bordeaux Pilgrim of 333 CE. This Christian Gaul wrote:
Civitas Neapoli . . . Inde ad pede montis ipsius locus est, cui nomen est Sechim . . . Ibi positum est monumentum, ubi positus est Ioseph . . . (Enchiridion Locorum Santorum, Donatus Baldi; Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1982).
In other words, at NeaPolis, at the foot of the mountain is Sh’khem where a tombstone marks where Joseph is buried. Hence, the Bordeaux Pilgrim describes the geographic location of the tomb to the east of the Nablus Old City near the ruins of Sh’khem ( which have been located by archeologists). Hence, the site has been known as a focus of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians, and Samaritans since at least 333, three hundred years before the Arab-Muslim conquest of Israel. And the site eventually attracted Muslim pilgrims too since Joseph is a personage revered in the Qur’an.
The site came into prominence in the news after bloody incidents there in October 2000, during the period of the Jewish high holidays, when Arafat’s incited mobs attacked the tomb. Under the grotesque Oslo Accords, an Israeli army unit was to guard the tomb and a religious school located there. The mob did not merely throw stones. Many of the mob were armed with firearms, pistols and rifles, which they shot over the wall of the tomb compound while holding their weapons above their heads, not being able to see what or whom they were hitting inside. One soldier was hit but could have been easily healed by proper and timely medical treatment. However, PM Barak was still playing the “peace process” game with Arafat and his other partners in peace of the PLO/PA. He asked those who had incited the mob to allow medical care to reach the wounded man, who happened to be a Druze, not a Jew. Arafat’s men in Nablus did not cooperate. After a few hours, when it became clear that there would not be cooperation, the Israeli army sent a poorly conceived military mission to bring aid to the wounded Madhat Yusuf and other soldiers. Without proper instructions on defending themselves from the armed PA police and other attackers, several men in the rescue mission were killed. By the time a properly organized, equipped, and instructed mission arrived, it was too late for Madhat Yusuf (yes, the name is symbolic). After the losses suffered, Barak withdrew all troops from Joseph’s Tomb, a clear victory for Arafat’s terrorism. The retreat was followed not only by looting of the tomb and destruction of Jewish religious objects left behind, but by filmed and broadcast efforts to wreck the very building, using hammers and other tools to destroy the stone walls, separating stone from stone.
Hence, in order perhaps to mitigate the bad publicity from the acts of wrecking, looting, and desecration, and propound the usual PLO/Palestinian Authority propaganda themes, the PA’s psychological warfare apparatus chose to falsify the history of the site in order to make it seem as if any Jewish connection to the Tomb was not authentic, and by extension and innuendo, that the whole Jewish connection to the Land of Israel (called “Palestine” by them only in recent decades) is not authentic. And the PA’s lie of the tomb being that of a Muslim shaykh was taken up rather eagerly it seems by Western press agencies and media.

One might ask whether the Arab mob’s filmed efforts to physically wreck the Tomb did not prove that the site was not holy to the Arab-Muslims of Nablus. Apparently this question was not asked A French TV panel discussion not long after this incident was the scene of the PA’s claim (the site is "the tomb of a Muslim shaykh named Yusuf") being relayed by a young woman “researcher” for the program. Yoav Toker, a correspondent in France for Israeli TV was flabbergasted by the claim and did not know how to answer it. Although the Bordeaux Pilgrim came from France (while it was still called Gaul), the “researcher” seems not to have known of him. Indeed, there is a long series of Jewish and Christian testimonies about pilgrimage to Joseph’s Tomb since the Bordeaux Pilgrim in 333.

Writing in fact about twenty years before this pilgrim, Eusebios (Eusebius), the Church Father writing in Greek, had recorded:
Sikima . . . A city of Jacob, now a desert. The place is pointed out in the suburbs of Neapolis, where also Joseph’s grave remains and is shown… (Onomasticon, 150; translation – G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville)
Now both Eusebios and his translator into Latin, Jerome, lived in the Land of Israel. Jerome wrote his version of Eusebios’ book about 380 CE:
Sychem . . . which in Latin and Greek is called Sicima, a city of Jacob, now deserted. The place is pointed out in the suburbs of Neapolis near Joseph’s Tomb (Onomasticon, 151; translation – Freeman-Grenville)
Here is Jerome’s Latin version:
Sychem . . . quae Latine et Graece Sicima vocata est, civitas Iacob nunc deserta, ostenditur autem locus in suburbanis Neaspoleos iuxta sepulcrum Iosef (Onomasticon, 151)
Eusebios and Jerome’s accounts indicate that the ruins of Sh’khem were still easily visible in the 4th century, and that they were shown to visitors.

Later, among the Jewish accounts of the site, is one by a French Jew named Eshtori haParhi, who was expelled from France about 1300 and went to live in Israel. His famous book, Kaftor uFerah also locates the site of Joseph’s Tomb to the east of Nablus.
Hence, there is fairly plentiful documentation of the site as a focus of pilgrimage--Jewish, Samaritan, Christian, and Muslim— for 1700 years. Yet, it was not found by the “researcher” for French TV in 2000, nor was it known by a correspondent for the French official press agency, Agence France Presse, early this year, 2005. An AFP dispatch of 3 March 2005 states about Joseph’s Tomb at Sh’khem (Nablus):
“It was a place of pilgrimage for some religious Jews who believe that the Patriarch Joseph is bured there, which is challenged by many historians, for whom it is the tomb of a Muslim religious figure.”
"C'était un lieu de pèlerinage pour nombre de juifs religieux qui croient que le patriarche Joseph y a été enterré, ce que contestent de nombreux historiens, pour qui il s'agit du tombeau d'un religieux musulman."
Note that Jews are portrayed as delusional, insinuated to be falsely believing that today’s Joseph’s Tomb has any antiquity as a Jewish holy site. Further, neither the AFP correspondent nor the TV researcher cited the name of any reputable historian who agrees with that claim, most likely supplied to the journalists by PA spokesmen who are ordinarily deceitful and unreliable on any matter of ancient, medieval, or modern history, as well as on current events. The documents over a period of 1700 years do not support the "Shaykh Yusuf" claim. The known, existing accounts, even those by authors coming from France, were not cited by the AFP or by the TV researcher.
HaParhi came to live in Tiberias sometime around 1300 and wrote what we may call a travel guide for Jewish sites in the Land of Israel. He wrote about this holy place:
“. . . And Sh’khem is found between two mountains, Har Grizim and Har `Eibal. And it is in my opinion the Arab village called Balata, not the city to the west. . . called Nablus… because [the tomb of] Joseph the Righteous is to the north of Balata about fifty cubits, and it is in the field that Jacob bought . . . and it is facing Sh’khem – and Nablus is far away…” (Eshtori haParhi, Kaftor uFerah).
By the way, Balata was named after a grove of plane trees once found in the area, platani in Latin.
To sum up, we have a holy place that has been documented as a place of pilgrimage for 1700 years, especially by Jews and Christians, although Muslims visited it too and it has been of particular importance to Samaritans, since they trace their lineage back to Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, and Sh’khem was in the tribal estate of Manasseh. An article in the Jerusalem Post stated that the structure over the tomb, partly wrecked after the Israeli withdrawal, was built by Samaritans about 400 years ago.Yet Western press agencies and TV media accept the lies supplied to them by the PLO/Palestinian Authority, whether out of malice or sheer ignorance. As in the case of the alleged “Jenin massacre.” Here, the local Arab mob's effort to wreck the tomb did not lead everyone to the logical conclusion. In either case, one must assume that many Western journalists, including editors in the home offices, are eager to receive and spread Arab (PLO/PA) lies that besmirch the Jews and Israel. Consequently, not only are Arab spokesmen unreliable but much of the Western press who are all too willing to be fed with the PLO/PA’s lies.

UPDATING -More Info on Joseph's Tomb & Its Destruction by the Arab Mob [both articles with Photos]
"Holy Targets: Joseph's Tomb Is Just the Latest," Biblical Archaeology Review (January-February 2001), pp 19-22.
Sharon Waxman, "They Knew Not Joseph," Jerusalem Post, 24 November 2000.
JTA Report on Arab-Muslim vandalism at Joseph's Tomb. Report dated 4-23-2009. The Arabs are demonstrating to whom the Tomb really belongs.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

A British General in the Service of Arab Nationalism

One of the big disputes nowadays concerning the history of Israel's War of Independence is whether Israel fought alone without "imperialist" aid, whether the "imperialists" sided with the Arabs or with Israel, and whether the British fought for the Arab side.
The very question shows a desire to rewrite history, since in the 1947-49 period, when the War of Independence was going on, it was obvious that the British sided with the Arabs and in a very direct way. British troops, tanks, and aircraft took direct part in fighting against Jewish forces in Jaffa, in Jerusalem, and in the air over the Sinai desert. So much for British forces.
Then there were the British weapons supplied to the Egyptian army.
Then, last but not least, was the Arab Legion of Transjordan, an Arab army which was under the command of a British officer, General John Bagot Glubb, known as Glubb Pasha. Further, many British officers served in the Arab Legion, although there were Arab officers as well.

Here is how Glubb Pasha was described in the British Who's Who (1963 edition):
Glubb, Lieut.-General Sir John Bagot, K.C.B., C.R. 1956; C.M.G. 1946; D.S.O. 1941; O.B.E. 1925; M.C.; Chief of General Staff, the Arab Legion, Amman, Jordan, 1939-56; b. 16 April 1897; s. of late Major-General Sir F.M. Glubb, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O.; m. 1938 . . . To Iraq as lieut. RE, 1920; resigned commision, 1926, and became adminstrative inspector, Iraq govt.; transferred Transjordan, 1930; Officer Commanding Desert Area (Colonial Service), 1932; Officer Commanding Arab Legion, Transjordan, 1939. Publications: Story of the Arab Legion, 1948, A Soldier With the Arabs, 1957; Britain and the Arabs, 1959; War in the Desert, 1960. Club: East India and Sports.
Now, if somebody can read this description and then say that Glubb was not a British imperialist, then he may as well say that Arafat was an astronaut.
By the way, some of the acronyms could confirm our conclusion if spelled out:
KCB - Knight Commander of the Bath
CMG - Companion of St. Michael and St. George
OBE - Officer, Order of the British Empire
Note that Glubb was honored with the CMG in 1946, while he was commander of the Arab Legion, reputed to have been the most effective Arab fighting force in Israel's War of Independence.

The so-called "new historians" who deny that the British Empire took part in Israel's War of Independence on the Arab side should do some research into what British officials were saying in the period 1945-1958. Maybe they should read Glubb's own books and see what he says.

post script - Peter Mansfield is not a "new historian." He is probably rather old in age and has been scribbling for many years. His so-called history of the Middle East came out years ago. But he explicitly claimed even then that "Western powers" were helping Israel take Arab land, or something like that. This is one of those lies that began long ago and now has been taken up by certain Israeli "new historians." Maybe it's no accident that Mansfield is British or that Israeli "new historian" Avi Shlaim works at a British varsity. Maybe the "new historians" are working according to a repertoire of themes drawn up by Brit public opinion shapers. In any case, how do they explain Glubb Pasha as the most successful Arab forces commander in Israel's War of Independence?
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Coming soon: John Lloyd Stephens on oppression of Jews in Hebron in the 1830s.

The book Israel: Land, People, State, edited by Avigdor Shinan, is available until the end of July at Book Week prices at the Yad Ben Zvi -- I believe the special Book Week price is 83 sheqels. This is a large format beautifully illustrated "coffee table" book in appearance. Yet it contains the best available exposition of the history of the Land of Israel from Joshua's time until today. It features chapters by major scholars such as Avraham Grossman, Oded Irshai, Avraham David, Yaron ben Naeh, Kaniel, etc., writing on historical periods of which is the public is usually poorly informed: particularly the Byzantine, Early Muslim, Crusader, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods. It covers the situation of the Jewish population in each period, as well as the general history of the time.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Owen Lattimore on Britain, the Arabs, and Israel

Owen Lattimore was a significant American scholar on Asia in the 1940s. He was also, the truth be told, rather notorious for alleged Communist sympathies. Nevertheless, he published in mainstream American publications, like the Atlantic Monthly. Further, he was one of the most knowledgeable Americans about Asia and its various social problems in that period.

His book, The Situation in Asia (1949) describes the relation between Britain and various Arab countries, as well as the British attitude towards Israel. His comments offer an explanation for Britain's anti-Israel policy which lasts to this very day. Whatever the validity of his explanation may be, it is indeed curious that Communists and "leftists" today overlook his explanation and any similar explanation for British policy toward Israel, and almost always minimize or forego what the Marxists used to call "class analysis" for explaining the Arab-Israeli situation. "Marxists" today and other "leftists" often support Muslim jihad and view the Arab-Israeli conflict in terms of Arab nationalism, alleged Western hostility toward Islam, and the nationalism of the supposed "Palestinian people."

Here are some of Lattimore's comments:
The Near East used to be comfortably managed by a system of British alliances with Arab monarchs and chiefs. Today, that fabric of alliances has been ripped across by the rise of Israel. The fact that Israel is so tiny, and yet has been able to throw the Arab world into such disorder, is a warning that new kinds of power are coming into play that cannot be measured by old standards. [p4]
Israel, though its political philosophy is closer to that of the British Labour Government than to that of any other government in the world, is repelled by the morose anti-Semitism of Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and by the British policy of supporting Arab princes who represent arbitrary privilege, subjection of the people to a hereditary aristocracy, and every form of social abuse that, in Britain itself, the Labour Government is pledged to abolish. pp 89-90
Israel's presence in Asia ... is revolutionary... [Israelis asked Arab] workers to join their labor unions with equal rights, as has happened in Haifa where the Israelis have extended their labor rights to Arabs. p213
It is absolutely impossible to prevent this kind of contact from being revolutionary in its effects. As an obvious example, the poor Arab who once could not think of social promotion except in the form of becoming a richer Arab, but still not a modern man, now cannot escape the realization that in many ways it is better to be a modern man than a rich Arab. He realized this, of course, in a fairy-tale way when he admired the marvelous possessions of the British effendi whom he occasionally saw. But there is no practical pathway to be traveled from ragged Arab to British effendi. Living side by side with the Israeli, however, he sees both the desirable and the practicable. Then comes the revolutionary jump: it is not the Israeli who prevents him from living as a modern man, but the Arab ruler. [pp 213-214]
The British Labour Party took power from Churchill's Conservative Party at the end of World War 2. They ran on a pro-Zionist platform. Yet, when they took power they embraced an anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish policy, trying to prevent Jewish survivors of the Holocaust from reaching the Land of Israel, then under British control.
Lattimore suggests reasons why British policy-makers hated and still hate Israel. Were they valid then? Yes, at least in part. Are they still valid today? Probably to a large extent. In any case, the understanding of the history of British policy in the Middle East and that policy's purposes are much confused today. Likewise, the understanding of Britain's role in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Owen Lattimore, The Situation in Asia (Boston: Little, Brown, 1949).
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We are aware of problems with the blog entry on Joseph's Tomb in Sh'khem and will try to fix them.
We look forward to posting accounts by 19th century travelers about Israel, and intergroup relations there, Muslim-Christian, Muslim-Jewish, Christian-Jewish.