Roseanne Barr, Historian?
Barr justified her questionable conduct by saying, “I thought that Hitler in drag making 'Jew' cookies was a very accurate way of depicting the whole German Gestalt. Also, I hate Hitler, because he thought that artists should be censored.”
Her bizarre behavior should not surprise anyone who reads her blog. On December 30, 2008 she wrote “Israel is a NAZI state.” On December 11, 2006 she claimed that “it is the Sephardic Jew who has lived in peace for thousands of years with his Arab neighbors,” and he is underrepresented in the government of Israel. “Not one Sephardic Jew was killed by Hitler, because he considered them to be 'real Jews' and the German Jew as a bastard German.”
Barr is wrong on a number of counts. Hitler murdered many Sephardic Jews in the Balkans, in North Africa, Cyprus, Rhodes, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and in Greece. She also perpetuates the myth that Sephardic Jews lived in harmony with the Arabs before the Ashkenazi Jews began immigrating to Palestine in 1882.
In Once Upon A Country, Sari Nusseibeh, president of the Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, wrote “Around the end of the nineteenth century, most of the Jews in the city were either East European ultra-religious Jews, or Arabic speakers who had lived with the Arabs for centuries and felt themselves to be a part of Arab culture, language and life.”
Historian Yosef Gorny notes that reliable reports from the pre-first Aliyah (1882) period told of Jewish merchants and peddlers being harassed when conducting business in Muslim villages, and of Jews being verbally and physically abused by Arab traders. Arab policemen attacked Jews on the streets of Jerusalem even where the foreign consuls lived, and arrested them on false charges.
In his memoirs from the beginning of the First Aliyah (1903), Eliezer Ben Yehudah, who revived the Hebrew language, wrote, “One thing I have already noted for myself, and that is that the Muslim Arabs…hated them [the Jews], perhaps less than they hate other non-Muslims, yet despise them, as they despise no other creatures…in the world.”
Hillel Jaffe, a physician and a pioneer from the First Aliyah, wrote in his memoirs that the relations between the Jews and Arabs of Tiberias were normally good, but that the Arabs displayed “contempt for the Jews and are tempted to believe that all Jews are weak and lack courage.”
James Finn, British Consul in Jerusalem from 1846 to 1863, wrote in his diary Stirring Times, that local Muslims required Jews to pay taxes to pray at their holy sites. For the privilege of praying at the Western Wall Jews had to provide a yearly payment to the Effendi, whose house was next to the Wall; the villagers of Siloam were paid a stipend to prevent the vandalizing the graves on the slopes of the Mount of Olives; the Ta’amra Arabs were bribed so they would not damage Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem; and Sheikh Abu Gosh received money each year for “not molesting” travelers on the road to Jaffa, even though he received a significant sum yearly from the Turkish government as “Warden of the road.”
The Jews faced continuous assaults by Arab Christian and Muslim authorities making life unbearable for them observes historian Arie Morgenstern. In 1834, when Arab farm workers revolted against the regime of Muhammad Ali, Jews were attacked in the major cities. In Safed, they stole Jewish property, destroyed homes, and defiled synagogues. Some Jews were raped, beaten and murdered.
Gorny found that traditional enmity between Islam and Judaism took on a different character in Palestine when the Ashkenazi Jews from Europe arrived in larger numbers. Arabs ridiculed them because of their dress and strange ways.
More than ten years after the re-settlement began, Haim Hissin wrote in his journal: “Like every new colony, Hadera is not yet at peace with its neighbors and from time to time minor squabbles break out.” Hissin saw this conflict as the continuation of traditional Muslim harassment of Jews, instead of a national resistance movement against Jewish settlement that it really was.
The idea that Arabs lived in Palestine in harmony with the Jews is nothing more than a fabrication. As Bat Ye’or, Andrew Bostom and Yehudit Barsky have shown, the ultimate goal of the Arabs is to destroy Western culture and civilization and replace it with their own “civilization of dhimmitude,” where non-Muslims will be forced to become a “protected” minority subordinating themselves to restrictive and degrading Islamic law to avoid death or enslavement. For 1,300 years, this jihad political force has subjugated and even eliminated major areas of Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and other religious civilizations in Europe, Asia and Africa. Non-Muslims converted, disappeared or were rendered incapable of further development.
comments powered by Disqus
Elliott Aron Green - 8/26/2009
Alex, Barr's ignorance and prejudices are widespread in the media, indeed they are commonplace in the academic world, the Washington think tanks, and most regrettably, in the State Dept and White House, as some remarks by former secretary of state Rice and in Pres. Obama's Cairo speech make clear.
My article here on HNN may be of interest to you. I gave there several cases of oppression/humiliation/persecution of Jews in Jerusalem, in the Land of Israel, and in the Arab-Muslim world generally.
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- History Camp "unconference" returns for the second year in Boston
- History Department at Connecticut College deplores Facebook post on Palestinians
- Historians join other scholars in protesting Georgia's anti-gay legislation
- Homeland Security historian builds winning case against Salvadoran leader who oversaw crimes
- What Howard Zinn taught the students of Spelman College