..is this powerful piece by Robert Fulford of The National Post:

robert fulfordThe long history of anti-Semitism in Muslim lands

One of the 2002 Bali bombers, Amrozi bin Nurhasin, on trial in an Indonesian courtroom and headed toward execution, shouted out the message he wanted his crime to convey: “Jews: Remember Khaibar. The army of Muhammad is coming back to defeat you.”

This was his explanation of the murder of 202 people eight years ago. Of those who died, 88 were Australians, 38 Indonesians, 24 British. None were Jews. So what was Amrozi, a Java-born Indonesian, raving about? It’s a question worth considering as we assess the recent arrests for terrorist conspiracy in Ottawa. Islamic terrorists can finds motives in ancient struggles the rest of the world long ago forgot.

Martin Gilbert, the author of some 80 books, including the official biography of Winston Churchill, explains Amrozi’s meaning at the start of his alarming chronicle, In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, published this week.

Amrozi was remembering an event 1,375 years in the past, when Muhammad attacked Jewish farmers living in the oasis community of Khaibar, in what is now Saudi Arabia. More than 600 Jews were killed and the survivors lost all their property and had to pledge half of their future crops to Muhammad.

Today, few Jews know the word Khaibar. But among certain Muslims it has permanent resonance. Khaibar set a precedent, endorsed by the actions of the Prophet. After Khaibar, non-Muslims who were conquered had to give up their property and pay heavy permanent tribute to their Muslim overseers. That form of discrimination lasted for centuries. It was this incident and its aftermath that nourished Amrozi’s homicidal ambition.

Muslims love to recall that Jews once lived in peace among them. Of course, Jews were always second-class citizens, their rights sharply limited. Still, it was sometimes better than settling among Christians. Bernard Lewis, a major authority on Islam, says that Jewish lives under Islam were never as bad as in Christendom at its worst, or as good as in Christendom at its best.

In the 20th century, Arab hostility to Jews took an ugly turn. Some claim that the new state of Israel “caused” the trouble. But well before Israel’s creation in 1948, Arabs were identifying Jews as enemies.

In 1910, in the now-Iranian city of Shiraz, mobs robbed and destroyed 5,000 Jewish homes, with the encouragement of soldiers. In 1922, in Yemen, an old decree permitting the forcible conversion of Jewish orphans to Islam was reintroduced. The government searched towns and villages for children without fathers, so that they could be given Muslim instruction. The children were chained and imprisoned till they agreed to convert. In 1936 in Iraq, under Nazi influence, Jews were limited by quota in the public schools, Hebrew teaching was banned in Jewish schools and Jewish newspapers were shut down.

Anti-Semitism intensified when Israel was created, and grew still worse after Israel won the Six-Day War of 1967. By the 1970s, about 800,000 Jews, perhaps more, had been forcibly exiled from Arab countries, their property seized. According to the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC), they lost property now valued at well over $100-billion.

A majority of these exiles settled in Israel. In the 1950s, the UN recognized them as refugees and compensation was discussed. Later, the Arab states turned the UN against Israel and, by association, against Jewish refugees. In 1975, the General Assembly condemned Zionism as “racism and racial discrimination.” Various political leaders in the West (notably Irwin Cotler, the former justice minister of Canada) have continued to argue for compensation. But after the 1975 resolution, as Gilbert notes, that idea was unlikely to receive any UN support.

The number of Jews displaced by the Arabs in the 20th century roughly equals the number of Palestinians displaced by Israel. But the plight of the Palestinians has received several hundred times as much publicity. One reason is the constant propaganda from Muslim states and their admirers in the West. Another is that many Jews, unlike Palestinians, don’t want to be called refugees.

Gilbert quotes an Iraqi Jew, Eli Timan, living in London: “The difference is that we got on with our life, worked hard and progressed so that today there is not a single Jewish refugee from Arab lands.” Those who suggest that this model be copied elsewhere will of course be condemned as heartless bigots.

Update: Another great Fulford piece: Palestinian refugees frozen in time, addicted to pity

21 thoughts on “Today’s Must Read”

    1. Juvanya, I'm going to assume that you're not aware of CounterPunch's agenda. They are an ultra-extremist umbrella publisher, website, etc. for writers whose work is simply too poor for any proper academic publisher to touch. Keep in mind that academics are an extreme bunch, much moreso than society at large. Consequently, the CounterPunch yahoos are beyond the extreme end of society's extreme views….. so I'd avoid citing extremely extreme people. And yes, they are pretty much brazen anti-Semites. Actually, it is a sad statement that you would have to go to a Nazi or Islamist website to find more obvious and juiced-up Jew-hatred.

      All of this said, they put out academic works that are meant to delegitimize Israel and Jews, so they do make an effort, albeit a weak one in my own opinion, to put on the airs of a genuine academic organization.

  1. Very good though for my debates about Jewish treatment in Islamic lands…

    And also the Khyber and subsequent interpretations are useful for proving that Islam is oppressive to other religions.

      1. Michael Zvi krumbein

        Great idea. I think I might get it when the paperback comes out or there is a cheap used edition. (I almost never buy hard-cover price.)

        Now, as the popular strain among rational people (as oppsoed to most academics) is to switch from downplaying Muslim anti-semitism to show up the Christians, to downplaying Christian anti-semitism to show up the Moslems – does anyone know of an equivalent book on Christianity? I know, any Jewish history – but they don't quite give me what I am looking for.

        1. Now, as the popular strain among rational people (as oppsoed to most academics) is to switch from downplaying Muslim anti-semitism to show up the Christians, to downplaying Christian anti-semitism to show up the Moslems – does anyone know of an equivalent book on Christianity?

          Thy Brother's Blood. I already recommended it here before to Iowa Jim.

          It's been out of print for decades. Get one while you can.

          1. It's Jim from Iowa. There's still something called protocol in this country. Iowa Jim makes me sound like I was some kind of uninformed goober. Now to my real point. Your comments here remind me of the sermon on the mount scene from "Monty Python's Life of Bryan" where Reg is telling his compatriots: "What Jesus fails to realize is that its the meek who are the problem." What you, Shy Guy, fail to see is that its the theists who are the problem, not the atheists, agnostics and skeptics like me. Maybe you could do an intervention and be a guest lecturer at Glenn Beck University for a semester. Setting those folks straight would do the world a huge favor.

            1. Yeh.


              Some theist!

              There were plenty more like him.

              You're short sighted. Most of history until recently involved theism. Only since the advent of Communism (some would say since the French Revolution) has there been a beginning of an opportunity for atheists to strut their stuff. Frankly, it doesn't look any prettier than what the world went through in the past.

              Now run along and play with your Keith Olbermann doll.

              The problem is humanity. Get used to it.

            2. Michael Zvi krumbein

              Strange. I thoguht I was a sceptic. It's the cynics I can't stand; they're too naive.

              As I've said, atheists have killed more people in the 20th century that all of the theists for all of history. A totalitarian country is simply a religious dictatorship, without the limits that religion places on the real ones. Do you know that in the U.S.S.R. there were certain parts of Marx you weren't supposed to talk about, because they were problematic? Sound familar? (Source: Mark Ya. Azbel's book "Refusenik".)

          2. Michael Zvi krumbein

            It's available at Amazon. Can you tell me something of the author? No point in getting seomthing unreliable.

            1. http://www.google.com/search?q=%2B"malcolm+h

              I would describe him as Orde Wingate with a pen. BTW, Hay's 2nd wife was Wingate's mother in law.

              The book was recommended to me by a good friend, who was assigned the book as part of his studies on the history of anti-Semitism when he was in university in the late 70's.

              It is an easy read in its form – not in its content.

          3. Michael Zvi krumbein

            Got one from Amazon; there's lots of good used ones there. You might consider writing a description of the book there; no-one has. Thanks.

            I'll get the one on Islam when the price goes down.

  2. Michael Zvi krumbein

    Actually, there are Jews who consider themselves refugees, who still hold the keys to their former homes. What they won't do is call themselves Arabs.

    1. LMFAO!

      Jim, have you ever seen Kentucky Fried Movie? There's a wonderful scene–I can't find the clip online–where two political pundits are debating. One starts by making all of these very intelligent points and it quickly descends until the second pundit throws up her middle finger and says something like, "well, Bob, you can just sit on this a rotate!" Yup, if you've never seen this movie and don't mind utter insanity, go for it (although it is dated now).

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