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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What They Don't Want You to Know about Kossovo

When the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Balkans, the native, non-Muslim subject peoples of the Empire were exploited, oppressed, and humiliated by law in the status of dhimmis. This history has largely been forgotten in recent years, at least in major newspapers and electronic information outlets, as well as in the foreign ministries of major states and among the staff of international organizations. Instead of the Ottoman Empire --a Muslim state-- ruling over and oppressing the non-Muslim subject peoples for four centuries, a newer narrative has taken hold --aided by Edward Said's distortions and lies. The new narrative or paradigm holds that the Balkan non-Muslim native peoples, especially Serbs, have oppressed and committed atrocities against the Muslims. The time when Muslim massacres of Bulgarians were featured in Western press reports passed long ago. The new Western narrative is a pro-Muslim one, especially regarding Muslim peoples and groups formed out of fractions of native peoples converted to Islam under Ottoman religious-based oppression. Such peoples are the Bosnian Muslims and the Albanian Muslims of Kossovo and Macedonia [some Albanians are not Muslim]. The new narrative reverses the traditional reality of severe repression by Muslims and replaces it with Serbian [or other Balkan non-Muslim] oppression of Bosnian Muslims and Kossovo Muslim Albanians. The United States and NATO countries went so far as to go to war to defend Bosnian and Kossovo Muslims against Serbs, whereas the Muslim armed bands and armies were easily as murderous as the Serbs, if not more so, and it is likely that as many or more Serbs were driven out of their homes in the Yugoslav wars [that is, were ethnically cleansed] as were non-Serbs.

The non-Serbs also included Croats [a Christian people]. The Croat nationalists --ideologically descended from the pro-Nazi Ustashis of World War 2-- were allied with the Bosnian Muslims at the beginning of the Bosnian war. Some 200,000 ethnic Serbs were driven out of the Krajna [Kraina] region of Croatia during the Bosnian war, not to mention other areas of Bosnia and Croatia. This elicited little outcry from the bien-pensant do-gooders of the time [the mid-1990s]. Curiously, the Croatian military strategy for driving the Serbs out of Krajna was elaborated by retired American generals, who seem to have received approval from their government for going to work for Neo-Ustashi Croatia [as reported in Time magazine].

In any event, the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s were marked by vast displays of love for peace and justice on the part of Western states. In the process of all this humanitarian effusion, the real history of the Balkans, Yugoslavia in particular, was turned upside down. The humiliated, degraded status of Serbs, Bulgars and Macedonians [sometimes considered Bulgars themselves] under Muslim Ottoman rule was forgotten, although Croatian Ustashi massacres of Serbs and Jews during World War 2 did get some slight attention in what is often nowadays called the MSM. Furthermore, with the collaboration of the Croatian government in Zagreb, jihadist Muslim fanatics from around the world were allowed to fly into the Zagreb airport and come to Bosnia to join the struggle. Various sorts of smugglers too were allowed to set up shop in the former Yugoslav states. Old Yugoslavia became a free transit zone for drug smugglers, white slavers [that is, smugglers of women for prostitution purposes], etc.

One hundred years ago, men of conscience in Europe --and these were really men of conscience, not like today's fakers and phoneys-- wrote of the Bulgarian and Armenian massacres, the Kishinev pogrom against Jews [1903] and the oppression of Serbs in Kossovo by Muslims, both the Ottoman government and local Albanian Muslims. Such a man of conscience was Victor Berard who wrote Pro-Macedonia [1904] and Serbie [1915]. Berard also wrote important works about the Phoenician influence on Homer's epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, and on classical Greek culture. Among other things he pointed out the similarity and proximity of ancient Phoenician to the ancient Hebrew language, both derived from Canaanite. He used Hebrew letters to show the similarity of many Greek words to Canaanite/Phoenician/Hebrew words and concepts. He also believed that many place names on the coasts around the Mediterranean derived from names given by Phoenician sailors because of the maritime conditions in such localities. For instance, the name Monaco in southern France, he believed, derived from menuhhoh מנוחה meaning rest, a restful harbor for sailors. Cape Amorgo in the Greek isles, he wrote, came from margo`a מרגוע which means tranquillity or restfulness, another tranquil harbor for sailors.

In Pro-Macedonia, Berard wrote that Sultan Abdul-Hamid, who also bore the title Caliph [khalif ul-Islam] was
pursuing the systematic massacres of Slavs [p 19]
Furthermore, in
Macedonia . . . abominable things were making this province another Armenia [V Berard, Pro-Macedonia (Paris 1904), p iii].
In La Serbie, Berard gave an account of Serbian history, including information specifically about the situation of Serbs in Kossovo.
The peasant was furthermore molested, despoiled [of his goods], beaten and often killed by the Muslim chiefs. . . The Albanian lords, especially the beys of the plain of Kossovo, used methods, one of which was celebrated under the name of Tuch-Parassi, the coins of the tooth.
Each springtime and each autumn, the Albanian bey came to set up camp with his band in one of the villages of Kossovo. They had a joyful time, emptying the granary [grain silo], the [storage] cellar and the barnyard [of its animals]. [p 19]
[V. Berard, La Serbie: La Serbie et son histoire, les victoires serbes, le peuple serbe -- avant-propos de M. Mil. R. Vesnitch, ministre de Serbie a Paris (Paris: Armand Colin 1915).
If the history of Serbia, Kossovo, and Macedonia can be so distorted and falsified --turned upside down-- why not the history of Israel and the Jews, particularly the history of Arab-Jewish relations? In fact, that is what is being done -- by the same forces that falsify history in the Balkans.

It is forgotten that in traditional Arab-Muslim society, the Jews were at the bottom of the social totem pole, lawfully oppressed, exploited, and humiliated by the Muslim state and Muslim individuals. Indeed, at times, the Christians, who also suffered from the dhimmi status, let out their frustrations on the Jews. That is forgotten, as is the fact that the first to be driven out of their homes in the Land of Israel in the 20th century were Jews, in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1920, in Hebron and in Jerusalem neighborhoods within and without the Old City in 1929, in Jerusalem again in 1936-38, not to forget Jaffa at an earlier stage. In the Israeli War of Independence, the first people to be driven out of their homes were Jews in south Tel Aviv and several Jerusalem neighborhoods in December 1947 and January 1948. This fact is forgotten against the constant, widely broadcast and highly amplified Arab complaints of Arab loss of homes later in the war. Furthermore, claims are made on the Arab behalf --by Arabs and Western non-Arabs-- that Arabs are the indigenous people of the Land, that the Canaanites were Arabs, etc. The fact that Arab auxiliary troops and Arabs in the Roman legions served Rome in quelling Jewish revolts in the Province of Judea in 70 CE and 132-135 CE is forgotten, although it is mentioned in Roman histories [see Tacitus, The Histories, V:1]. So rewriting history is a trade practiced by major "news" organizations, the media, the MSM, or whatever we should call them. Jimmy Carter's mendacious diatribe about "apartheid" in Israel is part of this drive to falsify history and smear Israel, as are the Baker-Hamilton report and the Walt-Mearsheimer paper.
[on the dhimmi status in the Land of Israel in particular, see previous posts. Search for "dhimmi."]
- - - - - - - - -
Coming: more on Jewish history in Jerusalem, peace follies, falsifications of history, etc.


  • You have to be careful when you say: "The fact that Arab auxiliary troops and Arabs in the Roman legions served Rome in quelling Jewish revolts in the Province of Judea in 70 CE and 132-135 CE is forgotten, although it is mentioned in Roman histories [see Tactitus, The Histories, V:1]."

    Not all people called Arabs in history belong to the same genealogical or linguistic groups.

    When Josephus and Tacitus speak of Arabs, they mean the Nabateans who lived next to Judea and Decapolis in Arabia Petraea. The name 'Arabs' in Greco-Roman times refered to natives of Arabia, regardless of their origins and languages. In fact, at that time in Arabia there were two different Semitic linguistic groups: Yemenite or South Arabian, and North Arabian. The Yemenites were formed of tribes like Saba or Sheba of the Torah. The Northern Arabians were formed of many tribes, each having its own dialect. The Yemenites who left us thousands of inscriptions (gathered at this site http://csai.humnet.unipi.it), did not identify as Arabs although they were considered as Arabs by Greeks and Romans because they lived in Arabia.

    The Nabateans were originally a Northern Arabian tribe, whose name is Nabatu. When they migrated to Edom, Moab and the Negev. They adopted the dominant Aramaic language and they gradually abandoned their original Arabian idiom. From the extant Aramaic and some Aramaic-Arabic inscriptions left by the Nabateans, there is no evidence that they ever identified as Arabs.

    The Nabateans are different from the Muslim Arabs of Muhammad. The latter divide themselves into different groups like: Qahtan, Ma'ad, Iyad, Quza'ah etc. Because the Nabatean adopted Aramaic and because they were in contact with the ancestors of the Muslim Arabs, the name 'Nabatean' (in Arabic 'Nabati') started referring to the Aramaic language. Next, among those same Arabs, the term 'Nabateans' (Anbat) started referring to all speakers of Aramaic and to all natives of Greater Syria and Mesopotamia.

    Add to this the fact, that when the Nabateans helped the Romans against the Jews, they were acting as auxiliaries and allies of the Romans. There were not motivated by the ideology of Muslim Arabs and their quality of life was different from them (you can visit all those Nabatean monuments and cities of the Negev).

    By Anonymous Heraclius, at 2:47 PM  

  • Heraclius,
    I am interested in what you wrote about the ancient Arabs. First of all, I quote Tacitus' remark about Arab auxiliaries in Titus' army. Further, some of my early posts back in 2005 discussed the ancient Arabs. I point out how ancient Arabs --I accept that they spoke several dialects but I would say of the same language-- conquered ancient Edom pushing the Edomites [later called Idumaeans] into southern Judah. I also talk about ancient geographical names in Transjordan, now pronounced in an Arabic accent not all that different from the ancient Hebrew/Moabite pronunciation, i.e., Dibon = Diban, Heshbon = Hisban, etc. I am aware of the linguistic differences between northern and southern ancient Arabia. You probably know that the very word Arab comes from the Arabic word `arab meaning desert, wilderness [in Hebrew `araba]. So they are the desert people. I would point out that the name Arab appears in the book of Nehemiah, that is, Geshem the Arab. Archeology has found mention of a Gashmu the Arab.
    Greek and/or Latin writings mention "the Nabatean Arabs." So they were considered Arabs. Now, as far as I know, they spoke Arabic while using Aramaic as a written language. You might want to look up the theory of Luxenberg about the Qur'an and its Aramaic origins. I would be interested if you could let me know your sources in distinguishing among various groups/peoples/tribes in Arabia. What other peoples lived there beside northern and southern Arabians.
    By the way, the tribe of Amalek [`Amaleq] was Arab, also mentioned by Sir Richard Burton in his 19th century account of travels in Arabia.
    As to the Saba=Sheba identity, I agree. However, I believe that the Biblical Sheba was the city of Saba in Nubia [= ancient Kush= ancient Ethiopia], a city later called Meroe [a known location on the Nile]. This is in Josephus' Antiquities as is the description of the queen who visited Solomon as "the woman who ruled Egypt and Ethiopia." Hence, the Queen of Sheba belonged to an Ethiopian dynasty ruling Egypt and Ethiopia.
    I thank you for your thoughtful & knowledgeable response and would like to know about your sources in regard to the early Arabs.

    By Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, at 11:35 PM  

  • "You probably know that the very word Arab comes from the Arabic word `arab meaning desert, wilderness [in Hebrew `araba]."

    Indeed, the Ebglish words 'Arab' and 'Arabia' come from the Greek Araps and Arabia. The Greek words are derived from a Semitic origin. The ending -ia in Arabia gives the impression that Arabia is derived from Arab, but as you said Arab is derived from Arabic. I found many forms for the Semitic original of 'Arabia': 'Arab, 'Arb, 'Araba and 'Arba. The problem is that it is not clear to which Semitic language (Aramaic, Hebrew-Canaanite, Akkadian or Arabic) these name belong besides that its meaning is not clear although seeing from the Septuagint translations of the names 'Araba or 'Arabah Moab as 'desert', this could be a logical meaning.

    So Arabs are the people of 'Araba or 'Arba, but as it is evident this is just a geographical identity non-related to language or tribal affiliation. Besides, in this arid land there was both nomads and sedentaries.

    I suspect the fact that this word was used by Judeans, Israelites and Arameans in the Iron Age to refer to the southern regions, like Moab, Edom and Sinai, and beyond to Arabia. Hence, we have the name Araboth of Moab. But that is just a hypothesis.

    In any case, it seems that the Edomites of southern Judea were included in the Achaemenid satrapy of Arabia (Arabaya in Persian inscriptions). This is the impression we get from the book of Nehemiah who doesn't mention them as the southern neighbours of Judaea but mentions Gashmu the Arab although the Edomites existed in southern Judaea in this period as proven by Ostraca from that region (cf. Andre Lemaire, Nouvelle inscriptions arameennes d'Idumee au musee d'Israel (1996)). This means that the Edomites were considered Arabs although they spoke Canaanite as it is known.

    "Greek and/or Latin writings mention "the Nabatean Arabs." So they were considered Arabs."

    Because they lived in Arabia they were considered Arabs. They spoke an Arabian dialect originally but later they abandonned it for Aramaic and for Greek in big cities. The people of Nessana, a village of the Negev, used the Greek language even after the Islamic invasion as demonstrated by many Greek papyri found there (the whole Nessana Greek papyri are published in the papyri database of the Perseus digital library, cf. Harris Dunscombe Colt, Excavations at Nessana, 1950).

    "By the way, the tribe of Amalek [`Amaleq] was Arab, also mentioned by Sir Richard Burton in his 19th century account of travels in Arabia."

    The problem of Amaleq is that it is usually associated with North-Arabian-speakers but Genesis 35:12 is clear that Amaleq was Edomite (Amaleq son of Elifaz son of Esau). However, it don't wonder why it was associated with the later Arabs and that is because Amaleq lived in Arabia or 'Arabah.

    "I would be interested if you could let me know your sources in distinguishing among various groups/peoples/tribes in Arabia. What other peoples lived there beside northern and southern Arabians."

    The Bible is a primary source in which one has to discern different layers of writing.

    For sources from the Assyrian and Babylonian period, cf. Israel Eph'al, The ancient Arabs (1982).

    The latest study on them is: Jan Retso, Arabs in antiquity: their history from the Assyrians to the Umayyads, 2002. The bibliography at the end contains most of the antique sources. However, the thesis posed by the author is wrong and is disproven by many of the sources he uses.

    By Anonymous Heraclius, at 12:51 AM  

  • www.macedonia-history.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Historian, at 4:21 AM  

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