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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Britain Helps Build Up Arab Nationalism, Urges Arabs to Form an Arab League, Prevents Jewish Escape from the Nazi-fascist Domain

Britain has had a pro-Arab, pro-Muslim policy for a very long time. Copts in Egypt were complaining before World War I that the British overlords of the country favored the Muslim Arabs over the Copts who were the true natives of Egypt, long held [and still held in 2006] in an inferior status to the Arabs/Muslims.

The British occupation army in Israel took over the country in 1917-1918. Their policy, under General Allenby, was to favor the Arabs against the Jews in the country, and to encourage or even to incite Arabs against the Jews. Although Britain had persuaded the San Remo Conference [1920] and the League of Nations [1922] to endorse the Jewish National Home, British officials on the ground in the country had worked to thwart Zionism and Jewish immigration, while encouraging Arab violence against Jews, as at Jerusalem in 1920 and at Jerusalem and Hebron in 1929.

In early 1939, the British government issued a "White Paper for Palestine." A few months earlier --at Munich-- British diplomacy had helped Hitler's Germany take over the Sudetenland, a mountainous borderland of Czechoslovakia which served as an easily defended border zone, on the pretext that it had an ethnic German majority population. By losing the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia was left vulnerable to Nazi German invasion, which was thereby encouraged. Short months after the White Paper, on September 1, 1939, the Nazis and Soviets started the Second World War, of which the Holocaust was a component. The "Palestine White Paper" was of a piece with Britain's policy on the Sudetenland. During WW2, the beneficiaries of both policies, German Nazis and Arab nationalists, became allies.

What did the White Paper give the Arabs? It limited Jewish immigration into the internationally designated Jewish National Home to 15, 000 Jews per year for five years. After that, any further Jewish immigration would be subject to Arab approval. The League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission found Britain in violation of the terms of the Mandate. That did not stop the British. Indeed, not only did Britain close up the Jewish National Home to Jewish immigration when the Jews most needed a home, but the quota of 15,000 per year was never filled, although those were the Holocaust years. The vast British overseas dominions too were virtually closed to Jewish refugees from the Nazis. Further, British and other Allied forces refused to bomb the gas chambers or the railroad tracks leading to the death camps. Thus hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Jews who might otherwise have been saved, fell victim to Nazi German mass murder.

The British did something else in favor of Arab nationalism which has had a portentous impact till this day, not only on the Middle East but on the world. On the level of the Arab world in general, the British pushed the Arabs to found the Arab League. This is the conclusion of Robert Macdonald in his book, The League of Arab States. He writes:
During the early years of World War II. . . the British government determined to gain the support of the Arab leaders in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq by lending its support to some form of regional amalgamation. Foreign Minister Anthony Eden announced the new policy on May 29, 1941, the day after the collapse of [a pro-Nazi Arab war against Britain]. . . in Iraq. As he spoke, Axis forces were at the Egyptian frontier, and Free French forces had yet to move into Vichy-French Syria and Lebanon. [Robert W Macdonald, The League of Arab States (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 1965), p33]
Here is what Anthony Eden said in the speech cited by Macdonald:
This country [the UK] has a long tradition of friendship with the Arabs, a friendship that has been proved by deeds, not words alone. We have countless wellwishers among them, as they have many friends here. Some days ago I said in the House of Commons that His Majesty's Government had great sympathy with Syrian aspirations for independence. I should like to repeat that now. But I would go further. The Arab world has made great strides since the settlement reached at the end of the last war [WW 1], and many Arab thinkers desire for the Arab peoples a greater degree of unity than they now enjoy. In reaching out towards this unity they hope for our support. No such appeal from our friends should go unanswered. It seems to me both natural and right that the cultural and economic ties between the Arab countries and the political ties, too, should be strengthened. His Majesty's Government for their part will give their full support to any scheme that commands general approval.
[Excerpt from a speech by Mr Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at the Mansion House, May 29, 1941; reprinted in Philip W Ireland, ed., The Near East, Problems and Prospects (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942; 2nd prtg. 1945), p 222]
Within a few days, the British were able to move to support the claims of the Lebanese and Syrians against the French that the former League of Nations mandates were null and void and that the two countries should be considered independent. . . When no overt moves toward a realization of the long-cherished [cherished by whom?] dream of unity materialized, Mr Eden repeated his pledge.
[Macdonald, p 34]
Eden and his government appear to have been annoyed that the Arabs themselves had not yet acted for the "amalgamation" that Britain hoped for.
In answer to a parliamentary interlocution on February 24, 1943, he stated that "so far as I am aware no such scheme [for unity], which would command general approval [among Arabs] has yet been worked out." [Macdonald, p 34]
It was not long before Arab politicians got to work to satisfy British expectations.
Nuri as-Sa`id of Iraq came forward [spring 1943] with a plan calling for immediate federation of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan under the sponsorship of the United Nations. . . He also proposed the establishment of an "Arab League," to be. . . open to all other Arab states [besides Iraq and Syria] . . . Nuri's plan . . . circulated to other Arab leaders and made available to British authorities, was limited to political reconstitution of "geographical Syria." . . .
Other Arab leaders by now had taken note of Eden's invitation [to unite]. . . [Macdonald, pp 34-35]

. . . Anthony Eden's 1941 suggestion of an Arab union. . . [p 76]
So the British helped the Arab nationalists against the French and against the Jews. They also helped the German Nazis kill more Jews by making it extremely difficult for Jews to enter the Jewish National Home, thus violating the mandate given to them by the League of Nations to foster development of the Jewish National Home. Note that Nuri as-Sa`id gave a copy of his plan for an Arab League to the British before the plan was fulfilled.

The insistent support that British diplomacy gave to Arab nationalism and pan-Arab unity notwithstanding, the typical "politically correct" hack historians in the West, in the Arab world, and some in Israel too, claim that Israel and Zionism always enjoyed unlimited, unconditional support from Western imperialism. In fact, Britain, France, and the United States showed more support for Arab nationalism than for Zionism and indeed opposed Zionism in practice.
It is also curious that the UK supported pan-Arab unity insistently, whereas not all Arab rulers were eager for it, for their own reasons. Certainly, Britain prodded the Arab states to form the Arab League, and this was needed to overcome Arab leaders' reluctance.
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Coming: The BBC and the Holocaust, Jews in Jerusalem, etc.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Sultan of Morocco's Affection for and Loyalty to His Jewish Subjects

Sultan Mulay Abd ar-Rahman of Morocco [1822-1859] had a dispute with the French consul in Tangier, apparently over the rights of Jewish merchants holding French citizenship. He explained to the French consul just how he perceived the rights of his beloved Jewish subjects in his dominion, the same rights being conferred on non-Moroccan Jews venturing into his domain.

This letter was sent 1841 and is included in Bat Ye'or's book on Eastern Christianity:
The Jews of Our fortunate Country have received guarantees from which they benefit in exchange for their carrying out the conditions imposed by our religious Law on those people who enjoyed its protection: these conditions have been and still are observed by Our coreligionists. If the Jews respect these conditions, Our Law prohibits the spilling of their blood and enjoins the protection of their belongings , but if they break so much as a single condition, {then -BY} Our blessed law permits their blood to be spilt and their belongings to be taken. Our glorious faith only allows them the marks of lowliness and degradation, thus the sole fact that a Jew raises his voice against a Muslim constitutes a violation of the conditions of protection. If in your country they are your equals in all matters, if they are assimilated to you, this is all well and good in your country, but not in Ours. Your status with Us is different from theirs; you are considered as {having the status of-BY} "reconciled," whereas they are the "protected."
Consequently, if one of them ventures into Our fortunate Empire in order to engage in commerce, he must conform to the same obligations as the "protected {peoples-BY}" in Our midst and adopt the same external signs {of discrimination -BY}. He who does not desire to observe these obligations would be wiser to stay in his own country, for we have no need of his commerce, if the latter is to be conducted in circumstances contrary to Our blessed law. . .
Ended the 20th of the holy month of dhu l-Hijja, of the year 1257 [= 1841]. [Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam from Jihad to Dhimmitude (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson, 1996), p389]
The sultan is expressing the general Muslim concept of dhimma, which holds non-Muslims in humiliating subjection --not unlike apartheid (although based on religion, not biological race or skin color)-- from Morocco to Indonesia. Some details of dhimma vary according to time and place, but in principle it is the same everywhere. The sultan makes clear that the "protection" granted to the Jews is very conditional --indeed uncertain-- to be sure. Nevertheless, Islam society and its oppressive ways have long found their loyal defenders in the West, both on the "Left" and the "Right." The Bolsheviks issued a pro-Islamic manifesto in late 1917, not long after the Bolshevik coup d'etat. This manifesto, "An Appeal to the Muslim Toilers of Russa and the East", totally disregarded the Muslim abuses of non-Muslim subjects of Muslim states, such as the Armenian genocide. The Bolshevik pro-Islamic stance has caused us suffering since then.
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Coming: More on the dhimma status in Morocco, Jews in Jerusalem, poems of Zion, BBC, etc.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Barbary Pirates Were Warriors for Islamic Jihad, according to a 19th Century French historian

Islam divides the world into two parts geographically, Dar al-Islam where Islam and Islamic law [the Shari`ah] hold sway, and Dar al-Harb which is ruled by non-Muslims and is perforce in a permanent state of war [harb] with Dar al-Islam, as Muslims see things. Further, Islam sees only two nations in the world, the Nation of Islam, of Muslim believers [mu'iminun] and the nation of unbelievers [kufar], which includes the rest of the human race, no matter what their particular religion or sect or state of unbelief may be. Cesar Famin gave an account of this in 1853, an account relayed by none other than Karl Marx to readers of the New York Tribune [15 April 1854]. Yet, it seems that in the benighted 21st century, much knowledge that mankind possessed in the past has been forgotten due to the dictates of what is "politically correct."
Famin reports that between Islamic states and states of the Dar al-Harb no lasting peace is possible, although there can be truces with those who surrender, make treaties and pay tribute, which is likened to the special taxes paid by non-Muslim subjects of the Muslim state to their governments, jizyah and kharaj. The tribute can be paid "either openly or under other, sweeter names for the sake of the national amour-propre [self-esteem of non-Muslim nations] , names to which the Muslims are quite indifferent: customary gifts, gifts of good manners [or ceremonial or protocol gifts], good friendship offerings."

"This is how the permanent state of hostility of the regencies of Barbary [the Barbary Coast, North Africa], subject to the religion of Muhammad, to the infidel peoples that have not offered tribute, nor had a treaty nor have capitulated, is explained. We used to say that the Algerian or Tripolitan ships [that is, ships from Algiers or Tripoli] were manned by pirates and buccaneers, by filibuster seadogs without faith and without law. But the truth is that these so-called pirate ships were the warships of a power that, obeying the fundamental principle of its religion, considered as enemies all those who had not obtained from it capitulation [surrender] agreements or treaties, since every unbeliever who does not pay tribute is harby; he is an enemy who must be exterminated or reduced to the state of a slave. Therefore, there wasn't any notion of piracy, but the simple consequence of a principle of religion. The great seagoing nations came to understandings, not without pain, with these miserable Barbary regencies in order to put an end to these" . . .[p 9] [depredations]
"It would be in vain that he [a foreign, non-Muslim merchant in a Muslim land involved in a dispute with locals] would invoke the benefit of the peace existing between his sovereign and the chief of the believers. These words of perpetual peace belong to the political language of Europe, and are devoid of meaning for the members of the Prophet's sect. Peace cannot exist between the two nations. There can only be, as we have said, truces between them; and for every good believer, the truce is broken whenever a giaour [infidel] in a Mohammedan land commits one of those thousand infractions of the law that have been invented by ignorance and fanaticism. . . the law of Muhammad mixes together in the nation of infidels all those who do not obey the precepts of the Koran, whether they be called Christians or Magians, Jews or idolators. . . in the eyes of the true believers, there cannot be any distinction possible between these diverse peoples and diverse religions. . . " [p 11]

This is because the strict Muslim sees all unbelievers as belonging to that one nation of unbelievers, as Famin has explained. This is expressed by the Arabic proverb: Kulli kufar millatun wahidun [= All infidels are one nation]. Likewise, all Muslims are one nation [ummah]. So the Muslim in Morocco feels more in common with a Muslim in far off Indonesia than with a Jew whose family has been in Morocco for two thousand years. And the Sunni Muslim Arab in Iraq feels more in common with a Sunni Muslim Pakistani than with the Christian inhabitants of Iraq whose ancestors lived there long before Islam. So, according to strict Islam, there cannot be any "Palestinian people," since those they have been calling "Palestinians" only since the 1960s, are in fact Muslims --overwhelmingly-- who owe more loyalty to fellow Muslims far away than to the Christian minority living near them within the Palestinian Authority zones. Are the wise policy planners of the European Union aware that their dear Hamas considers the Arabs called by the EU "Palestinians" to be part of the Islamic nation?
Why has the understanding that Cesar Famin had in 1853 somehow seemingly disappeared from the minds of nearly all Western politicians, journalists, NGO aid workers, etc??

About the "Barbary regencies," except for the pirate ports in Morocco, they were part of the Ottoman Empire which had formal sovereignty up to the Moroccan border. Morocco was a separate kingdom. See more by and about Cesar Famin by searching the site.
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Coming: Jews in Jerusalem and Galilee, poems of Zion, the BBC Problem, etc.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Slaves from Darfur around 1850, Nothing New Under the Sun

Darfur, the western region of Sudan, inhabited by Black tribes islamized but not arabized, was in the news a good deal about a year or two ago. Massacres and enslavement were going on there and the international community, the UN, the USA, the UK, etc., was much concerned. The situation has not changed in the past year or two, but Darfur is no longer a focus of attention. Yet, what is going on now is not much different from what went on in Darfur 200 years ago, albeit the weapons are more potent. Otherwise, nothing new under the sun.

Monsignor Mislin, well-connected at the Vatican, wrote a 3 vol. book on Christian holy places in the Ottoman Empire around 1851. Writing about his experiences living in the Ottoman Empire, he talks about the slave trade.
". . . while visiting the island of Mytilene, I fell by chance in the midst of a slave market [in the first half of the 19th century]: there were about 350. . . more shipments were being awaited. I questioned these unfortunates; they came from Darfur. . . " They were both girls and boys. [p 104 fn 4; Mgr. Mislin, Les Saints Lieux: Pelerinage a Jerusalem, 3 vols. (2nd ed., Paris: Le Coffre et Cie, 1858; first ed. in 1851)
". . . en visitant l'Ile de Mytilene, je tombai par hasard au milieu d'un marche d'esclaves: Il y en avait 350. . . On attendait d'autres cargaisons encore. J'interrogeai ces malheureux; ils venaient du Darfour . . ."
So Darfur was a source of slaves for the Muslim lands in the 19th century. Today, natives of Darfur are again being taken as slaves by Muslims. The name Dar Fur, by the way, is Arabic for House of Fur, referring to the Fur tribe.

Mgr Mislin at the time of writing was the abbott of the Monastery of St. Mary Deg in Hungary, secret chamberlain of Pope Pius IX, canon of the Cathedral of Grosswardein, member of several academies. His book was endorsed by several Vatican personalities, including Pius IX and Joseph, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the Guardian of the Holy Land and the Holy Sepulcher, etc.
Mytilene is an island off the southwestern coast of Anatolia [Asia Minor], known in ancient times and likewise today as part of modern Greece, as Lesbos, near Samos. The town of Mytilene is capital of the island. When Greece became independent about 1830, Lesbos, then called Mytilene after the town, remained under Ottoman control. Lesbos became part of the modern Greek state in 1913.

The slave trade from Black Africa to Ottoman ports on the Mediterranean went from Black Africa to Fezzan in southern Libya to Benghazi and Tripoli on the coast, as well as through the Sudan of today to Alexandria, as described by Bernard Lewis in his book, Race and Slavery in the Middle East (Oxford: Oxford Univ Press, 1990). Lewis supplies a quote from a "Tunisian traveler who visited Darfur at the beginning of the nineteenth century":
Certain rich people living in the town have installed these blacks [from the neighboring mountains -BL] on their farms to have them reproduce, and. . . every year, sell those of their children that are ready for this. . . some of them. . . own five or six hundred male and female slaves, and merchants come to them at all times, to buy male and female slaves. . ."[p 73]
From these Mediterranean ports, slaves were sold to Ottoman territories in Europe and Asia. They were also brought from East African ports to the Hijaz [western Arabia near Mecca, itself a major slave trading center, conveniently located at the center of Muslim pilgrimage], from where they were sometimes shipped on. If it's any consolation to anyone, the Muslims were equal opportunity enslavers. The Muslim Tartars ruling over the northern shore of the Black Sea, now Ukraine, had long raided for white-skinned slaves in Ukraine, Belarus, southern Russia, and southeastern Poland, also shipping the slaves to Constantinople and other Ottoman slave markets. The slave trade from the northern Black Sea coast dried up after Russia annexed the Crimea in 1783, following several victories over the Tartars and Ottomans. When that source of supply of slaves tapered off, market demand was redirected towards Black Africa. Jeremy Bentham, the famous British philosopher, registered his trip on an Ottoman cargo ship carrying slaves in 1785, in the general vicinity of Mytilene. Lewis writes: "Bentham. . . sailed from Izmir to Istanbul on a Turkish" boat in November 1785. He "noted in his diary":
Our crew consists of 15 men besides the Captain: we have 24 passengers on deck, all Turks; besides 18 young Negresses (slaves) under the hatches. [Lewis, p 59]
Lewis quotes another British traveler in 1834, some fifty years later, who was on Crete, a Greek island that remained in Ottoman hands until the end of the 19th century [see our earlier posts] :
. . . in the principal towns [on Crete] there are slaves in the families of every gentleman. The price of labour is everywhere very high, the difficulty of obtaining labourers in many cases amounting to an absolute impossibility, and the markets of Khania and Megalo-Kastron [Cretan cities] are as regularly furnished with human flesh as they are with bullocks, the supply of both being chiefly drawn from the same place, Benghazi. [quoted in Lewis, p 132 n. 4]
The Swiss traveler JL Burckhardt reported that Darfur was a source of slaves for the Ottoman Empire:
Two years ago, Mohammed Aly Pasha [Muhammad Ali, semi-independent ruler of Egypt, see earlier posts on this blog] caused two hundred young Darfour slaves to be mutilated [castrated], whom he sent as a present to the Grand Signor [the Ottoman sultan]. [Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, London 1819; quoted in Lewis, p 76]
Today again Darfur is in the news on account of massacres and renewed enslavement of the inhabitants, who are mainly Muslims, but not Arabized, still identifying with their original African tribes. Yet the amount of attention given to Darfur events by supposed universalistic "human rights" and "civil rights" agencies is minimal, while most of those press agencies, newspapers, and broadcasters that find so much time to vilify Israel with Arab-invented atrocity hoaxes [Muhammad al-Dura's "killing"; the "Jenin massacre"] have little time for African victims of the Arabs. Sudan is of course a member state of the Arab League, along with Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates [including Dubai], and the Palestinian Authority.
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Coming: the BBC and the Holocaust, Jews in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel before Zionism, poems of Zion, the Barbary pirates as warriors for the Islamic state, etc.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Jews in Mid-Century Jerusalem, circa 1850: A British View -- Part Two

James Finn, British consul in Jerusalem [1845-1862], writes of an incident occurring around Easter-time when Jerusalem was thronged by Christian pilgrims. A Greek pilgrim boy threw a stone at a Jewish boy. The Jewish boy threw a stone back and caused some bleeding on the Greek boy's ankle. The Greek clergy built the incident up into an attempted ritual murder to procure the Christian boy's blood for baking in Passover matsot. The local Ottoman officials discharged the case as "too trivial for notice." Nevertheless, the affair continued:
The Convent Clergy, however, three days afterwards, stirred up the matter afresh, exaggerated the state of the wound inflicted, and engaged to prove to the Pasha from their ancient books that Jews are addicted to the above cannibal practice, either for purposes of necromancy or out of hatred of Christians, on which his Excellency unwisely suffered the charge of assault to be diverted into this different channel, which was one that did not concern him; and he commanded the Jews to answer for themselves on the second day afterwards. In the interval, both Greeks and Armenians went about the streets insulting and menacing the Jews, both men and women, sometimes drawing their hands across the throat, sometimes showing the knives which they generally carry about with them, and, among other instances brought to my notice, was that of a party of six catching hold of the son late Chief Rabbi of London (Herschell) and shaking him, elderly man as he was, by the collar, crying out, "Ah! Jew, have you got the knives ready for our blood?"
On the day of the Seraglio-hearing, the scene in the Mejlis [council] was a most painful one. The Greek ecclesiastical party came down in great force, and read out of Church historians and controversial writings of old time the direct and frequent accusations levelled against the Jews for using Christian blood in Passover ceremonies. The Moslem dignitaries, being appealed to, stated that in their sacred books such charges are to be found indirectly mentioned, and therefore the crime may be inferred as true; it was possible to be true. The Rabbis deputed from the Chief Rabbi, pale and trembling, argued from the Old Testament and all their legal authorities, the utter impossibility of the perpetration of such acts by their people, concluding with an appeal to the Sultan's Firman [decree] of 1841, which declares that thorough search having been made into this matter, both as to Jewish doctrine and practice, the people of Israel were entirely innocent of that crime advanced against them.
On this the Pasha required them to produce the Firman on the second day afterwards, the intervening day being Friday, the Moslem Sabbath. I then arranged with the Pasha that I should be present at the meeting, and early on Saturday went down to the Seraglio; but earlier still His Excellency was happy (he said) to acquaint me that the Firman had been produced, and on his asking the accusers and the Effendis in council if they could venture to fly in the face of that document, they had, with all loyalty, pronounced it impossible; he therefore had disposed of the case by awarding a trifling fine for medical treatment of wounded ankle [I:107-110; quoted in Bat Ye'or, The Dhimmi (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1985), pp 229-231].
Here we see the Greek Orthodox venting their anger and hatred at a target immensely hated and despised by them, yet a safe target, the Jews. After all, a similar attitude and similar attacks against Muslims could have been disastrous for them. Also curious is the attitude of Muslim clerics [Effendis] who tried to back up the Greek Orthodox accusations against the Jews. Nevertheless, the Sultan's Firman prevailed. This was apparently the firman that Moses Montefiore had succeeded in getting the Sultan to issue during the Damascus Affair of 1840, when Damascene Jews were accused of ritual murder, similar charges emerging in other parts of the Ottoman Empire with a substantial Christian population, as at Rhodes and elsewhere.
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Coming: Slaves from Darfur [Sudan] in the mid-19th Century, More on Jews in 19th Century Jerusalem, poems of Zion, the BBC and the Holocaust, etc.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Jews in Jerusalem in Mid-Century [circa 1850], a British View - Part One

The British consul assigned to Jerusalem in 1845, James Finn, was sympathetic to the plight of the local Jews, as well as to the local Arabic-speaking Christians, dhimmis like the Jews. Finn and his wife Elizabeth both wrote accounts of Jerusalem while they were living there [1845-1862] which are invaluable for information on the everyday life of the Holy City in those years.

At that time Britain policy was to protect the local Jews against the tyranny of the Ottoman central government and the local Muslim leadership, unlike today when British policy is fanatically anti-Israel and Judeophobic. The UK founded a hospital in Jerusalem in 1838 which had hardly disguised missionary motivations. The consulate came a year later, the first consul being named Young. British and French influence was strengthened in the Ottoman Empire generally and in Jerusalem in particular after the Crimean War, which France and Britain had fought in order to protect the Ottoman Empire from Russia. The Sultan issued a decree in 1856 [the Hatti Humayun] to increase the rights of dhimmis and relieve them of some of the burdens of the dhimma. However, the Muslim population of the Empire generally resented these alleviations of dhimmitude, which indeed reduced their own prerogatives to exploit, harass, humiliate, and oppress the dhimmis, as members of the superior class of Muslims under Muslim law, previously supreme in the Sultan's empire. Indeed, the status of the Christians in various parts of the Empire became more precarious in the wake of the 1856 decree, due to the often increased and intense Muslim resentment. Curiously, some of the Christians, particularly of the Greek Orthodox Church, with the greater freedom that they now had, increased their hostile acts against Jews. Attacking the Muslims in any way was obviously out of bounds for them, and they would never dare to do that.

Finn was a witness to the stirring events of those times. Here Finn writes about the status and sufferings of the Jews. His accounts accord in basic terms with those of Cesar Famin, Chateaubriand, the Greek monk NeoPhytos, the American writer John Lloyd Stephens, etc:

In times gone by these naive Jews had their full share of suffering from the general tyrannical conduct of the Moslems and, having no resources for maintenance in the Holy Land, they were sustained, though barely, by contributions from synagogues all over the world. This mode of supply being understood by the Moslems, they were subjected to exactions and plunder on its account from generation to generation (individuals among them, however, holding occasionally lucrative offices for a time). This oppression proved one of the causes which have entailed on the community a frightful incubus of debts [to Muslim moneylenders], the payment of interest on which is a heavy charge upon the income derived from abroad.
In Jerusalem their synagogues are four, and all collected under one roof, so that they may pass from each into the others, and they are but meanly furnished [I:103]
Until the English Consulate was established in Jerusalem [1839], there was, of course, no other jurisprudence in the country than that of the old-fashioned corruption and self-will of the Mohammedans, and for many ages but a very few (often none) of the European Jews ventured to make an abode in Palestine [the Land of Israel]. . .

The Egyptian Government [1831-1840], with its rigor and rough-handed justice, afforded much relief to all non-Moslem inhabitants of Jerusalem; and the institution of consulates in the Holy City proved a further blessing to non-Turkish subjects of all religions, but especially to the poor oppressed Israelites [I:105-106]

In 1847 it seemed probably that the Christian pilgrims, instigated by the Greek ecclesiastics, were about to reproduce the horrors enacted at Rhodes and Damascus in 1840 [against the Jews-BY].
A Greek pilgrim boy, in a retired street, had thrown a stone at a poor little Jewish boy, and, strange to say, the latter had the courage to retaliate by throwing one in return, which unfortunately hit its mark, and a bleeding ankle was the consequence. It being the season of the year when Jerusalem is always thronged with pilgrims (March), a tumult soon arose, and the direst vengeance was denounced against all Jews indiscriminately, for having stabbed (as they said) an innocent Christian child, with a knife, in order to get his blood, for mixing in their Passover biscuits [= matsot]. The police came up and both parties were taken down to the Seraglio for judgement; there the case was at once discharged as too trivial for notice.

These excerpts from Finn's account are taken from Bat Ye'or's book The Dhimmi. Notes by her are marked BY.
Note that the four synagogues in one building can now be visited in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. They are now usually called the Four Sefardi Synagogues. There was also an Ashkenazic synagogue in his time which Finn does not mention. This synagogue, Menahem Tsiyon, was built in 1837. It became a wing of what was later called the Hurva synagogue, a splendid structure before being destroyed by the Arab Legion in 1948 during the battle for the Jewish Quarter.

Regrettably, Finn used the name "Palestine" for the country. This was NOT a name used by the Muslims in any form for the country. That means that neither was the form Filastin in use. Filastin had been the official Arab name before the Crusades for only the southern part of the country, which the Romans/Byzantines had called Palaestina Prima, one of the three divisions of "Palaestina." Filastin was in use only before the Crusades, but not used by Mamluk or Ottoman rulers afterwards. The Ottoman Empire did not have a territorial division of any name that followed --even roughly-- the boundaries of what later became the Palestine Mandate in 1920, when the San Remo Conference created the territory of Palestine at the same time as it juridically erected the geographically congruent Jewish National Home. The Arabs/Muslims considered the country to be an indistinct part of Bilad ash-Sham [Syria or Greater Syria]. Nevertheless, the name Palestine was part of the Western historical memory and used by Westerners, along with other names such as Holy Land, Judea, etc. The Roman Empire officially called the Land of Israel "Judea" until suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE, when they changed that name to "Syria Palaestina" as a punishment for the Jews.
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Coming: more from James Finn on Jews in Jerusalem, poems of Zion, etc.

Friday, March 10, 2006

France's Francophony Movement Caters to Arab/Muslim Prejudices

France is concerned with spreading its cultural and political influence around the world. Other powers do the same. The USA has the USInformation Agency with its libraries and cultural activities in many cities outside the US. The UK has the British Council, Italy has the Dante Alighieri Society, Germany has the Goethe Institute, etc. Since France has gone farther with this cultural outreach program/policy than the others, and it is very political, as we shall see, then its attitude towards Jews and Israel is a matter of concern.

France and other members of the French-speaking, pro-French culture movement have set up the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie [secretary-general, Abdou Diouf, a Muslim African]. Although hundreds of thousands of Israelis have French as their mother tongue, and many Israelis without this background respect French culture, this body has refused to let Israel join. There is only one Jewish state, whereas several Arab states belong to this organization, Lebanon, Syria, the North African states, perhaps Egypt. [if I am not mistaken].

Now, the body has political purposes. These were defined by Brigitte Girardin, France's Minister for Cooperation, Development, and Francophony: preventing crises [a good excuse for imperialist intervention], implanting democracy [France pays lip service to democracy in Syria], respect for human rights [Consider Syria, Morocco, Egypt, etc., members of the Francophony club]. But Israel is not a member. Nevertheless, Brigitte Girardin claims: "Francophony is a beautiful response to the clash of civilization. All the religions, all the civilizations, are found in it. It is the very expression of cultural diversity" [LeFigaro, 15 Fevrier 2006; p 6]. But Israel cannot be a member. Judaism and Jewish civilization are not represented in any way.

Brigitte also goes on to disembowel freedom of speech, in favor of Arab/Muslim prejudices:
"[Question by LeFigaro:] What does the cartoons' crisis make you feel?"
[Answer by B. G.:] "Everything is a question of balance. It is necessary to defend freedom of expression, and at the same time not to make provocations."
Apparently, Brigitte does not consider the gross and ugly Arab cartoons of Jews to be a provocation.
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Special Bonus Feature:
Public Opinion Survey on High European Foreign Policy
Panjandrum, Javier Solana.
Here is your opportunity to express your opinion!!

Do You Agree or Disagree?
Javier Solana is the reincarnation of Pierre Laval [prime minister of France's Vichy government]

1- I agree
2- I disagree
3- Not sure
4- I don't believe in reincarnation, but Solana [= el Sol Negro del Siglo Veinte y Uno = the black sun of the 21st century] resembles Laval more closely than anyone since Laval was shot in 1945
5- Solana does not resemble Pierre Laval in the least
6- Solana is only following orders
7- Solana is the legitimate heir of Franco's foreign minister, Alberto Martin Artajo
8- Solana is a figment of the imagination of Zionist neo-Con Likud supporters
9- Chris Patten is the puppeteer pulling Javier Solana's strings
10- None of the above
11- All of the above

You can send in your answers as comments. Enjoy making your choice!!
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Coming: More on Jews in Jerusalem, poems of Zion, the BBC and genocide, etc.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Beauty and Glory of Jerusalem [Jewish and Roman sources]

The ancient Jews were enthralled with the beauty of Jerusalem, their religious and political capital. The Bible is easily accessible, so I shall give quotes from the less accessible Talmud.

Ten measures of beauty descended to the world -- nine were taken by Jerusalem and one by the rest of the world [Talmud, Qiddushin 49b]
עשרה קבין יפי ירדו לעולם, תשעה נטלה ירושלים ואחד כל העולם כולו
Diez medidas de belleza han descendido al mundo -- nueve de ellas tomo Jerusalen, y lo demas fue al resto del mundo
[Spanish translation of the above]
He who has not seen Jerusalem in its glory has never seen a beautiful city [Sukkah 51b]

He who has not seen the Temple in its splendor has never seen a glorious building [Sukkah 51b]

We saw the city at the center of the Land of Jews, situated on a high and exalted mountain. At its top a splendid Sanctuary has been built, and there are three walls, each more than seventy cubits high and appropriately broad and long. It is all built with an outstanding degree of splendor and beauty [Letter of Aristeas, ca. 200 BCE]

Rabbi Nathan says:
There is no love like the love of Torah
There is no wisdom like the wisdom of the Land of Israel
There is no beauty like that of Jerusalem [The Fathers according to Rabbi Nathan]
אין לך יופי כיפיה של ירושלים

Another virtue of Jerusalem is that it unites:
"Jerusalem is built as a city connected together" [Psalms 122:3] -- [this means] the city that unites all Jews in companionship [Jerusalem Talmud, Hagigah, 3:6]

ירושלים הבנויה ככעיר שחוברה לה יחדו --
שמחברת את ישראל זה לזה --

The great Roman scholar Pliny the Elder wrote in his encyclopedic work, The Natural History, of the splendor of Jerusalem in his time:

The rest of Judea [IVDAEA] was divided into ten toparchies . . . Orine, in which was situated Jerusalem, by far the most illustrious city of the East, not merely of Judea
[Natural History, V:70]

Reliqua Iudaea dividitur in toparchias decem . . . Orinem, in qua fuere Hierosolyma, longe clarissima urbium Orientis non Iudaeae modo
Note that Orine was the toparchy comprising the Jerusalem area.
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Coming: More on Jews in Jerusalem, poems of Zion, the European Problem, including the problem of the EU its member states, etc.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Muslim Oppression of Non-Muslims in Jerusalem, the Jews at the bottom of the social ladder, 1853, a contemporary French diplomat's account

Jerusalem in the mid-19th century was firmly under Muslim control, although non-Muslims were the clear majority of the population. Jews alone made up an absolute majority, and the Christians made up about a quarter. Cesar Famin, a French diplomat, historian, and man of letters, described the Holy City in a book published in 1853 [see the previous post].

Famin reports, moreover, that the Jews --despite being a majority of the Holy City's population-- were at the bottom of the social ladder, even below the Christians, who were dhimmis or rayahs like themselves. We will publish a series of relevant quotes from his book in English translation followed by his French original.

"The Muslims, who make up about one-quarter of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, are the masters here in every matter. This population, made up of Turks, Arabs, and Moors, is harsh to the Christians and the Jews, eager for gain, cruel to the weak, intolerant and jealous towards all those who do not share their beliefs."
Les musulmans, qui forment a peu pres le quart des habitants de Jerusalem, sont ici les maitres en toute chose. Cette population, composee de Turcs, d'Arabes, et de Maures, est rude aux chretiens et aux juifs; apres au gain, cruelle avec les faibles, intolerante et jalouse a l'egard de tous ceux qui ne partagent pas ses croyances. [p50]
Karl Marx by the way paraphrased and translated this passage in his own article in the New York Daily Tribune [quoted in earlier posts].

After relating how Ottoman soldiers control entry into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Famin goes on [Part of this passage too is paraphrased by Marx]:
". . . but of all the foreign nations that frequent the holy places subject to the good pleasure of the Muslims, there is none more ill-treated and more subject to extortion than the Jewish nation.
"We have seen above that the Jews form by themselves more than half of the population of the holy city. They inhabit in Jerusalem a quarter named after them (Hareth-el-Yahoud), . . . this quarter. . . is situated near the Sterquiline gate or the Rubbish Gate [now usually called the Dung Gate in English], now called the Mugrabi Gate. Thus, we may say that the expulsion of these former owners of the country is complete."
. . . mais de toutes les nations etrangeres qui frequentent les lieux saints sous le bon plaisir des musulmans il n'en est pas de plus maltraitee et de plus ranconnee que la nation juive.
On a vu plus haut que les juifs forment a eux seuls plus de la moitie de la population de la ville sainte. Ils habitent, a Jerusalem, un quartier auquel on a donne leur nom (Hareth-el-Yahoud), . . . Ce quartier. . . est situe pres de la porte Sterquiline ou des immondices, appelee maintenant porte des Maugrabins. Ainsi on peut dire que l'expulsion de ces anciens maitres du pays est complete. [ p 51-52]
This passage too was translated and paraphrased by Marx. We continue:
"In our times too, many projects for reestablishing the Jewish nation as a political society, and for reintegrating it in the homeland of its ancestors have been conceived and loudly announced; the support of men praiseworthy for their character, influential due to their wealth or their position, has not been lacking for these chimerical attempts which have never been crowned with even the most ephemeral success. To whatever faith one belongs, whatever degree of faith one carries in one's heart, there are however historical facts before which one must bend. The dispersion of the Jewish people has been consommated, and one may say that it will never end"
De nos jours aussi on a concu et annonce fastueusement bien des projets pour reconstituer la nation juive en societe politique, et pour la reintegrer dans la patrie de ses ancetres; l'appui d'hommes recommandables par leur caractere, influents par leur richesses ou leur position, n'a pas manque a ces chimeriques tentatives, qui n'ont jamais ete couronnees meme par le succes le plus ephemere. A quelque croyance qu'on appartienne, quelque degre de foi qu'on porte dans son coeur, il est cependant des faits historiques devant lesquels il faut s'incliner. La dispersion du peuple juif est consommee, et on peut dire qu'elle n'aura jamais de fin [pp 53-54]
Famin is wrong in insinuating that the Jewish exile will never end. Indeed, there may always be a Jewish dispersion, but the population of the Land of Israel is now Jewish in its majority, just as Jerusalem had a Jewish majority in Famin's day.
Famin goes on, offering us more depiction of Jewish suffering in Muslim-dominated Jerusalem that is politically incorrect by today's standards:
"Nothing equals the misery and the sufferings of the Jews of Jerusalem, the constant object of the insults and intolerance of the Mohammedans, insulted by the Greeks, in hostile relations with the Latins. . ."
Rien n'egale la misere et les souffrances des juifs de Jerusalem, objet perpetuel des avanies et de l'intolerance des mahometans, insultes par les Grecs, en hostilite avec les Latins. . . [p 54]
Here too Marx copied from Famin. Speaking of the Jews in Jerusalem, Famin writes:
"While waiting for death, they suffer and pray; they weep over the misfortunes of Zion . . . "
En attendant la mort, ils souffrent et ils prient; ils pleurent sur les malheurs de Sion . . . [p 54]

Somehow, the oft vaunted tolerance of the Muslims towards Jews does not seem to appear in Famin's account. It is clear that the Jews not only suffered as dhimmis, like the Christians, but that they were at the bottom of the social ladder, since the Muslims treated them worse than they treated Christians and since Christians too treated the Jews with a high hand. Henry Laurens of the prestigious College de France, considered the top French expert today on the modern history of the Land of Israel, skipped over this evidence and similar accounts in his deeply flawed, two-volume work, La Question de Palestine, purporting to be an accurate history of the Land of Israel since Napoleon. His book by the way simply overflows with reference notes, but some contemporary evidence does not find its way into the book. Like the New York Times, Laurens prints what fits his argument, which favors Arab nationalism, Islam, and the PLO.

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Coming: more on Jews in Jerusalem, poems of Zion, BBC on the Holocaust, etc.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Jewish Majority in Jerusalem in 1853, wrote Contemporary French Diplomat

Karl Marx reported a Jewish majority in Jerusalem in 1854 in his article in the New York Daily Tribune, April 15, 1854. The article presented the reasons for the Crimean War and its background. Now, Marx was never in Yerushalayim. His source was a book by Cesar Famin, a French diplomat, historian, and man of letters. Marx' information about Jerusalem came from Famin's book on the relations between France and the Ottoman empire since 1507 [according to Famin, the date of the first agreements between France and the Ottoman Empire, called "capitulations"], and about the rivalry between the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches over the Christian holy places in Jerusalem. Marx brought much of Famin's information into his article, sometimes quoting directly at length, sometimes paraphrasing. Famin wrote several books, mainly on history. One book was a history of the Arab invasions of Italy. To be sure, Famin calls the Arabs "Saracens" in the title of this book. The name Saracen comes from the name of a particular Arab tribe familiar to the Byzantines, the Sarakenoi [in French, Sarrasins].

Famin had a very good understanding of the status of the non-Muslim in Muslim society in general and in Ottoman society in particular. He is in basic agreement on this matter with recent authors such as Bat Ye'or, Rafael Israeli, David Bukay, Moshe Sharon, Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, etc. As said, Marx brought this information into his own article, so on this matter Marx is very up to date scientifically speaking, yet, at the same time, Marx's article is very "politically incorrect" by today's "leftist" prejudices.

Here are Famin's numbers for Jerusalem's population in 1853. They are the same as those Marx reported in his article of April 1854. First I will give the English translation of Famin's words, and then his words in the original French:

"The sedentary population of Jerusalem is about 15,500 souls:"
"La population sedentaire de Jerusalem est d'environ 15,500 ames:"
Jews . . . 8,000 . . . Juifs
Muslims . .4,000 . . . Musulmans
Christians 3,490 . . . Chretiens
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. . . . . . . 15,490

This is the place for the name and other data about Famin's book:
L'Histoire de la rivalite et du protectorat des Eglises chretiennes en Orient (Paris: Firmin Didot freres, 1853). The breakdown of Jerusalem's population is on page 49.

Another book by Famin relevant to our topic was on the Arab invasions of Italy, Histoire des Invasions des Sarrasins en Italie du VIIe au XIe siecle (1843). He served in the French legations in Italy, Lisbon, London, and St Petersburg, and as consul in Yassy [sometimes Jassy], then part of the Ottoman Empire, now in Rumania. France under Napoleon III at that time was interested in defending Roman Catholic rights and privileges over the Christian holy places against the Greek Orthodox claims to the same sites, politically backed by Russia. Apparently, the French wanted to elaborate arguments to justify both the Roman Catholic claims and the right of France to represent those claims. For this purpose, they needed to base these arguments on contemporary and historical data as accurate as possible, consonant with serving their political purposes. Expounding the abovementioned themes is the main purpose of Famin's book. It is likely that he was aided in collecting data by other French diplomats, including the consul in Jerusalem.

Bear in mind that Famin mentions two other books; one, by the Prussian consul in Jerusalem, Ernst G. Schultz, of 1845 [Jerusalem, Eine Vorlesung], gives lower numbers for the Jewish population in Jerusalem than does Famin's book published eight years later. The other book is on the Christian holy places (also containing other social and geographic information about the Levant) by Monsignor Mislin [Les Saints Lieux]. This book, its first edition published in 1851, its second in 1857, gives a lower number for the Jewish population in Jerusalem [apparently the same in both editions]. Hence, Famin was well aware of other population figures for Jerusalem when he wrote his own book, and he names the books containing these other numbers. Yet, he consciously chose to present the numbers that he does. This conscious choice indicates a confidence likely based on reliable information obtained by personal inspection on site in Jerusalem and/or through French diplomats and churchmen in the Holy City. Famin shows himself to be a staunch Roman Catholic, so he does not seem to have any motive to falsify data in favor of the Jews, although he did believe that the Jews in Jerusalem were severely oppressed. Prof. Yehoshu`a Ben-Arieh has examined several sets of population counts for the 19th century in his Jerusalem in the 19th Century: The Old City (Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute, 1984). Unfortunately, Ben-Arieh's book does not take acccount of Famin's data of 1853 [repeated by Marx in 1854], nor of Gerardy Santine's estimate, published in 1860, that Jews were "a good half" of the Jerusalem population [Trois ans en Judee (Paris 1860)]. Ben-Arieh concludes that Jewish and non-Jewish [Muslims and Christians together] populations reached parity in Jerusalem in 1870. If he had consulted Famin, Marx and Santine, he might have seen parity as arriving earlier. Here are other links on Jerusalem's 19th century Jewish majority.

Islam and Non-Muslims
As said, Marx not only repeats Famin's population data and quotes from him at length --or paraphrases-- on the status of the Jews and other non-Muslims [called Rayahs by Famin and Marx] in Muslim [particularly Ottoman] society, but presents the Muslim outlook on the world and the non-believers within and without the Islamic domain. We quote below some of what Famin said on these matters, some of which may have have been relayed by Marx:
The law of Muhammad. . . recognizes in the whole world only two nations: the nation of believers and the nation of unbelievers. . . the latter are called rayahs [when they live in the Ottoman Empire as its subjects] . . . The second nation [both inside and outside the Islamic domain] embraces the totality of peoples who do not profess Islam: Christians, Jews, Buddhists . . . [Exactly which non-Muslim religion is of] Little importance! It is the nation of unbelievers. Every unbeliever is harby, which means enemy. . .
Islam has outlawed the nation of unbelievers, and has erected a permanent state of hostility between their country and that of the believers. War was declared against all non-Muslim peoples, from the very foundation of Islam . . .
Every good believer is obliged to go after the infidels, and to treat them as born enemies. Submission to the nation of the believers has for its purpose the obtaining, not of peace, but a simple truce; since peace is not possible except on one condition, that of apostasizing and embracing Islam . . . [pp 7-9]
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Coming: More of Cesar Famin's views on the Jews in 19th century Jerusalem, the BBC and the Holocaust, poems of Zion, etc.