The Myth of Arab Innocence





Mr. Green is a writer, researcher, and translator living in Jerusalem. His work has previously appeared in Midstream [New York], Nativ and the Jerusalem Post [Israel], and other publications. He was assistant editor of Crossroads, a discontinued social sciences quarterly published in Jerusalem. References for the quotes in this piece are found in his article in Midstream (September-October 2008).

The myth of Arab innocence throughout history --particularly concerning Jews-- has long haunted British and American writing about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Professors Walt and Mearsheimer put it as follows in their anti-Israel tract:

...in the Christian West... Jews suffered greatly from the despicable legacy of Anti-Semitism... But ... the creation of Israel involved additional crimes against a largely innocent third party: the Palestinians.

This article seeks to disprove that false claim and demonstrate instead the systemic, juridical oppression, exploitation, and humiliation of non-Muslims --including Jews--in Islamic society. Further, whereas it used to be commonly believed that Islam was benign toward Jews, the article shows that Jews were at the bottom of the social barrel in the Islamic domain generally--although conditions varied with time and place. Moreover, this was true in Jerusalem specifically. Indeed, the famous Jewish philosopher Maimonides believed that Jews were worse treated under Islam than in Christendom. He was in a position to compare conditions in both zones because he conducted correspondence with Jews in far flung places.

In the empires resulting from the Arab and Muslim conquests, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians--and later, Hindus and others-- were subjects far inferior in law to Muslims as a class. Tolerated non-Muslims, called dhimmis, were required to pay annual tribute, jizya, for the privilege of living another year. This is grounded in Qur'an 9:29 and remains part of Islamic law to this day, although formally abolished in the Ottoman Empire in 1855. Islamic law still views dhimmis as an occupied population to be "brought low" (9:29 & 2:61). The rules of dhimmi status, dhimma, also provide that dhimmis should not bear arms, that their garments must differ from Muslim garments, that they show deference to Muslims, such as dismounting when encountering a Muslim on the road. Since a horse is a noble animal, a dhimmi must not ride one. Further, a dhimmi's testimony in court is worth half of a Muslim's, etc.

The Danish traveler, Karsten Niebuhr, visiting Egypt in 1761-1762, described dhimmis dismounting in humiliation from donkeys when encountering horse-mounted Muslims on the street. Niebuhr visited Egypt four decades before Napoleon, which is significant because Edward Said argued that similar reports made after Napoleon's Egyptian expedition were invalid since tainted with imperialism.

Moshe Gil found in the Cairo Genizah, a medieval archive of Jewish writings, accounts of impoverishment and suffering caused to Jews in Israel by collection of the jizya and other taxes:

...if you saw who paid all those moneys you would have been astonished and lamented over them and say of them: Could such a large `onesh [=punitive tax, exaction] have come from those poor people?

Jacob Barna'i examined ledgers of the Jerusalem Jewish community in the late eighteenth century. He found a situation strikingly similar to that found by Gil for the pre-Crusades period. Besides jizya, Jews paid unofficial taxes, fees, exactions, mandatory bribes, etc. The rapacious were not only Ottoman officials but local Muslim notables and strong men. Of course, Christian dhimmis too could be oppressed this way. Jews differed by being low man on the Islamic totem pole. Israeli historian Moshe Sharon argues:

...the fact that the Qur'an singled them [Jews] out as the enemies of the Muslims... institutionalized their inferior status in comparison to the Christians.

The Arab writer Al-Jahiz explained this by the political resistance of the Jews in Medina to Muhammad. The Hamas takes inspiration for its Judeophobia from early Islam, citing the hadith fable about Judgment Day in its charter (Article 7):

...the Muslims will fight the Jews who will hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees will cry out: O Muslim! A Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him...

Francesco Gabrieli, the Italian historian of Islam, wrote:

...the name "Yahudi" [=Jew] acquired on Muslim lips the same odor of hostile scorn for the Jews that the term "Jew" had in the Western world, more hostile and scornful than that of the epithet "Nasrani" [=Christian].

This judgment is supported by a British envoy sent to the Levant in the 1830s. John Bowring reported Muslim resentment of improved treatment for dhimmis there by their ruler Muhammad Ali of Egypt:

The Mussulmans deeply deplore the loss of that sort of superiority which they all & individually exercised over ... the other sects... a Mussulman... believes ... that a Christian --and still more a Jew-- is an inferior being to himself.

This pecking order was confirmed by a nineteenth century Turk objecting to equalizing measures in the Ottoman Empire (quoted by Bernard Lewis):

... whereas in former times... the communities were ranked... the Muslims first, then the Greeks, then the Armenians, then the Jews, now all... were... on the same level. Some Greeks objected... saying: "The government has put us together with the Jews. We were content with the supremacy of Islam."

The above quotes demonstrate that the Jews were generally at the bottom of Arab-Muslim society. It thus stands to reason that this was true of Jerusalem too. Yet this should and can be demonstrated by sources.

In the late Mamluk period (ca. 1500), the chief Roman Catholic official in Jerusalem, Francesco Suriano, hated Muslims, but appreciated how they treated Jews:

I wish you to know how these dogs of Jews are trampled upon, beaten, and ill-treated, as they deserve... They live in this country in such subjection that words cannot describe it... in Jerusalem where they committed the sin for which they are dispersed throughout the world [the crucifixion-EAG], they are by God more punished and afflicted than in any other part of the world. And over a long time I have witnessed that.

Some 300 years later, in Ottoman Jerusalem, the French writer Chateaubriand found the Jews still on the bottom. A Greek monk, Neophytos, described the situation until the 1830s. Illustrating Muhammad Ali of Egypt's magnanimity toward dhimmis, he writes that it extended even to Jews. They formerly "did not even dare to change a tile on" their synagogue roof, yet "now received a permit to build."

Next comes a surprise witness, none other than Karl Marx:

Nothing equals the misery and suffering of the Jews at Jerusalem... the constant objects of Mussulman oppression and intolerance, insulted by the Greeks, persecuted by the Latins." [New York Tribune, 15 April 1854]

To be sure, Marx was never in Jerusalem. But his report in Horace Greeley's Tribune is mainly taken from a book by the French diplomat and historian, Cesar Famin, who served in the Ottoman Empire and had access to French diplomats, churchmen, and foreign ministry records.

If these accounts seem tedious, let’s skip over the late Ottoman period, when conditions for dhimmis generally improved, to British rule when Arab pogroms against Jews resumed, with British acquiescence or encouragement. The 1929 massacre and "ethnic cleansing" of the ancient Hebron community (68 Jews murdered, hundreds removed) left special bitterness among Jews in Israel and abroad.

This was followed by participation of the chief Palestinian Arab leader, the British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, in the Holocaust from his base in Berlin. To be sure, the Allies did not prosecute him at Nuremberg for genocide collaboration, although Yugoslavia wanted him tried for war crimes by his followers there.

The Walt-Mearsheimer view of Arabs generally and Palestinian Arabs specifically as "largely innocent" is blatantly false. Further, there is no longer an excuse for ignorance on the matters covered above. There are document collections covering Jews under Islam by Norman Stillman, Bat Ye'or, and Andrew Bostom, plus abundant books and articles. Moreover, there are works on Arab nationalist Nazi collaboration, Husseini's particularly, by Hirszowicz, Schechtman, Carpi, El-Peleg, etc. Yet the myth seems so deeply rooted among the press, academics, and State Department circles, that it is unlikely to dissipate any time soon if ever.



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N. Friedman - 12/14/2008

Omar,

My substantiation consists of your statements showing support in the principles asserted by the Islamists. They reject, on principle, human rights in favor of the rights granted by their version of Islamic law.


N. Friedman - 12/14/2008

Well, Omar, your article has no bearing at all on the discussion you raised.


art eckstein - 12/14/2008

1. Contrary to Omar's assertions above, we certainly do have facts about Omar's attitudes about human rights--e.g., he is a supporter of a total-sharia state, and he is obsessed with Jews, Jews, Jews.
2. Add Omar's knowing use of a tainted and untrustworthy source to launch on this thread a crude antisemitic attack on Jewish doctors.
a. This attack has been shown to be a lie in every possible way.
b. Omar's response is to claim that justifiably harsh criticism of his use of a tainted source to launch an antisemitic attack equals "censorship" of his ideas.
c. This is illuminating about Omar, too.
3. Nevertheless, we have asked for more facts from Omar concerning his positions on human rights; we were wiling to hear him out. Omar has now twice refused to give us more, on the grounds that we were "unworthy."
4. So be it--that is his choice. But in view of Omar's refusal to give us more, it is legitimate to extrapolate from the facts about him that we do have. The resulting picture on human rights is not pretty.
5. Friedman has set out the evidentiary and intellectual issues clearly and well in his posting on Dec. 13 at 9:29 a.m., #130086, four postings above this one. Omar protests this is unfair.
6. Readers: Draw your own conclusions about Omar's childishness or sleazy evasiveness.


Nevertheless, this entire exchange has been of use, in that Omar has been absolutely crushed for his employment of a tainted source in order to launch a crude anti-semitic attack on Jewish doctors. This was his worst intellectual performance to date, a shameful and humiliating performance indeed. And...illuminating.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/14/2008

The "custodian" of "human rights" is happy ...having failed and his mentor, hitherto at least, to "extract" from me a declaration of my principles re "human rights"!
He fails to understand that both of them are unworthy of being addressed as the proper venue to ask for and receive such a declaration!
To humour them would amount to an admission, though indirect but a recognition never the less, of their worth....which would be a mockery of all decent human values and objective standards.

The "custodian" admits that he can not substantiate his accusations but goes on, undeterred by his own admission, to hurl more of the same.
As a "trained historian" he abides by the abject rule : in the absence of facts revert to your own biases and mine your own prejudices and extrapolate to your sick and malicious heart's content!
That is the substance of the man and the "trained historian" who presumes a right to question others!


art eckstein - 12/13/2008

Here we have another example either of Omar's lunacy or bad faith:

1. On the ONE hand, Omar directly REFUSES in the above posting to condemn a wide variety of horrible Muslim terrorist acts, on the grounds that our challenge-- "You haven't condemned them before; here's your chance!"--is merely a cheap shot.

2. On the OTHER hand, Omar--having EXPLICITLY TURNED DOWN the opportunity to state his positions on human rights--then triumphantly challenges Friedman to substantiate the idea that Omar shows utter contempt for the human rights of all people other than Palestinian Arabs!

Well, I agree it's hard to "substantiate" Omar's positions on human rights with direct evidence, since he explicitly refuses to give it.

But in such a situation, where Omar does refuse to reveal his positions on human rights, he cannot then fault anyone for extrapolating about his positions on human rights from his KNOWN positions elsewhere, e.g., in favor of a total-application-of-sharia state, or his total obsession with Jews, Jews, Jews.

Again, Omar--this is simple.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

Mr Friedman
I am NOT here for posturing, as some seem to be, nor am I under any obligation to give you or any other person/body a run down of where I stand.
That is why I will simply ignore your cheap call:” Well, you have the chance now to condemn these acts or to stand silent.”

My only obligation is to my conscience and to my sense of what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is amoral , what is aggression, as for Zionism, Israel and USA imperialism and what is legitimate self defense as for Palestinian and Iraqi resistance!

My positions are NOT "skewed" for the simple reason that I rarely broach any other issues here at HNN ; not out of "utter contempt" as you claim but out of time constraints.
That the Palestinian question then the Iraq conquest is nearly all that I post on is a fact due to the primacy of both issues with me and the fact that both issues deserve all the time they demand and that I can afford.

Your claim that I:"...show utter contempt for the human rights of all people other than Palestinian Arabs." is a deliberate conscious fabrication .....it is the product of your wishful thinking .
It is another hugely erroneous, but definitely sick , extrapolation and a deliberate misinterpretation of my words and attitudes.

I challenge you to substantiate it.

However if you have in mind my repeated use of the term "colons" for Zionist/Jewish "colons" in Palestine that would be a non starter because I do NOT believe "colons", all colons irrespective of "race", religion, colour etc have any rights in the colonies they emigrated to AGAINST the will and the express opposition of the indigenous peoples of the countries to which they emigrated be they French as in Algeria, Dutch as in Indonesia, Moslem/ Arab as in Iberia or Jewish as in Palestine etc etc.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

Mr Friedman
Must be my mistake for I am NOT aware of the article you mention re Homosexuals which evidently has no bearing on Back to Basics.
Go to Haaretz and search for "Khirbet....".That is how I reached the article/review that I refer to of an important novel about post 1948.
Sorry for any inconvinience I caused you and others.


N. Friedman - 12/13/2008

Omar,

You write: "How do you know whether I DID or DID NOT condemn the recent crime in India??"

Well, you have the chance now to condemn these acts or to stand silent. Which is it?

You write: "How, or what, do you know where I stand re other human rights issues??"

So, where do you stand on these matters generally speaking?

You write: "Do I have to give you a Postion paper on where I stand ??"

No. We think your views on human rights are entirely ad hoc - i.e. your stated positions are believed merely to suit your allegations against Israel. By contrast, human rights have universal import which means that Jews and Christians and Buddhists and Hindus must, by definition, have the same rights as Muslims.

You write: The plain fact that I am both an Arab and a Moslem urged you on further inane extrapolations ; all borne out of a deliberate, sick and malicious misconception of both.
That is how a "trained historian " reacts only when blinded by his pernicious and vile doctrine: trust your biases and charge on in the absence of facts!
Bravo!!
I pity you students!


No. The issue for me and, most likely, for Professor Eckstein is that you show utter contempt for the human rights of all people other than Palestinian Arabs. Your positions are so entirely skewed toward one group that, again and again, you take positions on questions that can apply only to Palestinian Arabs and Muslims more generally, as if the rights of Palestinian Arabs were, of themselves, the same of human rights.


art eckstein - 12/13/2008

Omar, of course I can only go by what you post here on HNN. But I have a rational data-base from which to work:

1. Here on HNN you never put the Israel-Palestinian conflict into any larger context, and when others present you with larger contexts, and other conflicts, you shrug them off or deny them or ignore them. It's always the Jews, the Jews, the Jews.

2. You have indicated from the first that you are a supporter of al-Qaeda's goals (a world-wide Caliphate and "shouria-state"), though not necessarily a supporter of their tactics. This statement in support of a theocratic state run by sharia (and, to be sure, shouria) was made by you in September 2006 in direct response to the question of whether you supported the goals of al-Qaeda. Why should I not draw deductions from that?

3. As for your racism, I cite you the following, from your posting of Oct. 19, 2007:

"Reading Furnish, Friedman, Eckstein Pipes and the rest of the Jewish herd..."

That you instinctively thought that Timothy Furnish was part of "the Jewish herd" tells everyone all they need to know about you.


N. Friedman - 12/13/2008

Omar,

Your URL goes to a page with no content other than links to other stories and ads. One of the links is to a joint condemnation by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clerics regarding a parade by or for homosexuals. Such condemnation, in my view, is shameful but it does represent the position of one branch of Judaism and many branches of Christianity. So far as I know, it represents the position of all or, at least, all important branches of Islam.

I repeat Professor Eckstein's point. Where is there condemnation by rabbis of medical treatment for non-Jews? Such does not exist because the position of all branches of Judaism requires treatment of all that are sick.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

Eckstein
Both your pre and the post, this one, post add up to unsubstantiated accusations to wiggle out of your apt parallel.
How do you know whether I DID or DID NOT condemn the recent crime in India??
How, or what, do you know where I stand re other human rights issues??
Do I have to give you a Postion paper on where I stand ??
The plain fact that I am both an Arab and a Moslem urged you on further inane extrapolations ; all borne out of a deliberate, sick and malicious misconception of both.
That is how a "trained historian " reacts only when blinded by his pernicious and vile doctrine: trust your biases and charge on in the absence of facts!
Bravo!!
I pity you students!


art eckstein - 12/13/2008

The only thing I see on this link is Orthodox rabbis protesting gay rights (joined by Muslim and Christian clerics).

Thanks for the link, Omar--because this only serves to PROVE my point that if Shahak were correct, and treating non-Jews was "forbidden" (as you put it), there'd be hundreds of Orthodox rabbis out in the streets condemning and protesting it.

But they are not there. And the REASON they are not there is simple: because Shahak is hideously wrong (or else a liar).

SO--yes, Omar, every time you use tainted and untrustworthy source such as Shahak,you can expect devastating criticism.

And try to remember, now: devastating criticism for using a tainted and untrustworthy source does NOT equal "censorship".




art eckstein - 12/13/2008

And, Omar, if you were REALLY concerned about racism, like the racism you falsely claim about Israel, then you need to look in the mirror hard and confront the hideous racist statements of the Indian Mujahideen, who intentionally killed dozens of Hindus in September (over 80) and then proclaimed that "Hindu blood is the cheapest in the world." The IM cited Koranic verses to support this sentiment.

But that would require you to consider the terrible flaws in your own culture, rather than blaming someone else for everything. It is terrible to the non-Muslim world if the IM is correct about Islam's preachings. But even if the IM are incorrect, they got the idea that Islam sanctions the wholesale slaughter of Hindus from Muslim religious teachers (for instance, the Deobandi mullahs,eh?), and they have struck explicitly in the name of Allah.

But frankly, I think you are incapable of self-examination on the topic of the racism expressed (and carried out in reality) by the iM.

As for "parallels": if and when the Israelis kill dozens of Palestinians simply BECAUSE they are Palestinians and for no other reason, or on the grounds that God sanctions mass murder of unbelievers--THEN there will be a parallel with the ideology of IM (or the LET killers in Kashmir and Mumbai). But you will have to wait a long time to see Jewish behavior like that, Omar.

Meanwhile, I suspect, you will prefer tocontinue making false accusations vs. the Jews, rather than look at the vile hatred pouring from parts of your own culture.


art eckstein - 12/13/2008

No--I'm simply pointing out your hypocrisy. These things I listed are parallel in SCALE to 1948, not in intent-- they are crimes committed by Muslim terrorists in the name of God. Yet you have never had a comment on them.

I am not saying that 1948 was a crime--on the contrary: Between 1880 and 1948, Jewish refugees with an ancestral tie to the area of the Mandate and on the basis of a continual Jewish presence there bought land from willing Arab sellers. Then in 1948 Arabs engaged in a genocidal attack against them and were defeated by Jewish refugees defending themselves. Nor was 1948 a war on the Jewish side in the name of Jehovah; it was a nationalist war waged by secularists.

If you were as humanitarian as you claim, Omar, so concerned with "justice" or "racism" as you claim, you would be as concerned about these tragedies I listed above as you are about the Nakbah. But you are obsessed with the "humilation" inflicted on Arabs in the Nahkba by Jews, that is what stokes your anger so ferociously on this one subject. Muslim crimes against non-believers? Who cares? Muslim defeats at the hands of non-believers? Outrageous crimes against God!


art eckstein - 12/13/2008

No, Omar--it is my comment on your being so intellectually primitive as not to understand the difference between the justified criticism of employing a tainted and untrustworthy source, and "censorship."


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

None of that means any thing...South Africa had, at one time, as much "international" recognition and a firm alliance with Israel!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

Eckstein
I like your "duh"...that, for you, is eloquent!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=khirbet&;itemNo=1040218


omar ibrahim baker - 12/13/2008

By using alleged "Moslem" criminal acts of terror in India and Lebanon as justification for the Zionist crime in Palestine Eckstein concedes that such a crime was committed by Zionist Jews on Palestine.
It is finally getting into his head!Good!
That IS progress!


A. M. Eckstein - 12/12/2008

Justified harsh criticism from others for employing an untrustworthy and tainted source is NOT the same as censorship, Omar!

duh


A. M. Eckstein - 12/12/2008

Omar,

300,000 Hindus have fled from the Muslim terror in Kashmir. These are people who have lived in the region for hundreds of years. This in itself is half the size of the Nakbah, and it's all happened in the last five years.

Where is Omar's outrage?

Again, 600,000 Christians have fled Lebanon, impelled by the terroristic rise of Muslim Hezbollah. 60,000 Christians have fled in the last two years alone. These are people wh hado lived the region for 2,000 years. This number is itself approximately the same as the Nakbah.

Where is Omar's outrage?

Again, after the recent bombings in Bangalore and Ahmedabab, the Indian Mujahedeen, who claimed responsibility for the bombings, which killed dozens, issued a statement that says Hindu blood is "the cheapest of all mankind" and which contains Quranic justifications for killing insolent non-believers.

Where is Omar's concern about "racism" on this front?

Answer: Omar is not concerned about "justice" or "racism" in a general sense, though he likes to use "justice" and "racism" as a cover when talking about the specific example of the Jews (a) buying a lot of land from voluntary Arab sellers in 1880-1948, and then (b) daring to inflict militarily defeats on genocidal Arab attempts to wipe them all out.

How unforgiveable on their part!!


N. Friedman - 12/12/2008

Omar,

In fact, your question appeared to be directed specifically to Professor Eckstein. Read back to #130055, which reads:

Eckstein
"Would , will you, try to make the mere mentioning of Shahak's name and his oeuvre a punishable offense by LAW?"


If, in fact, your question was directed to me - notwithstanding the fact that it appears to be addressed to Professor Eckstein, the answer is I have no interest in censoring people for holding vile positions or for saying vile things and I have no interest in censoring their writings or thoughts either. I do not believe in blasphemy and I am not religious. My view is that the advancing the goal of acquiring knowledge is best done out in the open, even where it involves hearing the occasional view of bigots. That includes even reading nonsense and hateful material of the kind you post.


N. Friedman - 12/12/2008

Omar,

Your URL goes to a non-page.


N. Friedman - 12/12/2008

Omar,

If what you say is true, the world community validated the event by (a) making the Palestine Mandate part of the UN Charter and (b) granting Israel admission into the UN. Hence, your claim is that the civilized world is vile.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008

Eckstein
If you think the question was addressed to you ...you must be halucinating.
Of course NOT ; however should you refer to the context from which it was abstracted, note the " ", you might, just might, understand it!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008


The following link, from Haaretz newspaper, has an extremely interesting article on Israel; past and present:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=transfer&;itemNo=1040218


A. M. Eckstein - 12/12/2008

Not the issue, and a silly question since I have no law-making powers. Or perhaps your point is some sort of anti-semitic remark about Jews and the Law.

The issue, as I have said repeatedly, is quite simple:

Omar, if you employ a tainted and untrustworthy source for something you say, and it is your only source for what you say, and you refuse to look farther, and you KNOW it is an untrustworthy source because it has been proven to you, and your response to a massive amount of counter-evidence is simply to REPEAT the same garbage as if it had value, THEN indeed you are going to be heavily and rightly criticized and made to look foolish every time.

EVERY time.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008

Eckstein
"Would , will you, try to make the mere mentioning of Shahak's name and his oeuvre a punishable offense by LAW?"


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008

Mr Friedman
Apart from many things you dish out without any substantiation:
a-Shahak's views being made public ONLY after leaving the HU,
b-the absence of Anti Semitism in Hindu and Bhudist milieus C did they have a perceptible presence in these milieus??)
and
c-the influence of Islam on the propagation of anti Semitism etc

Apart from that you make a queer point:
"If and when Jews take up Jihad or Crusades, then you might have something to say."

Are you OR are you NOT aware that Zionist Jews, note the Zionist epith,supported by a majority of world Jewry undertook one of the vilest missions in modern (note modern versus mediveal etc) history:
to establish a racist nation/state on a foreign inhabitaed land through a colonialist conquest that aimed at the dislocation, dispossessation and subjugation of an indigenous people in his own homeland and supplanting him with aliens selected according to a clear, declared and unmitigated RACIST criterion, "being Jewish!"
By any sane moral standard that is a hyper VILE mission!


A. M. Eckstein - 12/12/2008

As Is said, this is very simple.

1. Omar, in historical discussion you cannot use a tainted and untrustworthy source--which we have proven Shahak is. To use a tainted source is intellectually unacceptable in historical discussion and debate. You especially cannot use a tainted and untrustworthy source as your ONLY source of information, and refuse to look further--which is what you do with Shahak.

2. Further, Omar, you cannot KNOWINGLY use a tainted and untrustworthy source on this site--which you do with Shahak--without expecting to be spanked, and spanked hard by actual scholars and historians.

3. So, yes, Omar--every time you mention Shahak from now on, you are going to be called on it, and spanked hard. He is a tainted and untrustworthy source.



N. Friedman - 12/12/2008

Omar,

The issue with Shahak is that his scholarship on Judaism is poor. Hence, he is not a valuable source. He has been, in the past, been caught making things up.

On his view, rabbis ought to be jumping up and down that it is wrong to treat non-Jews for their injuries, especially when the injured is a barbarian Palestinian Arab terrorist. On the teaching of rabbis, the opposite is the case. So, should I take Shahak's view as correct or should I take what rabbis actually say and do as being correct?

Repeating Mr. Shahak's position does not mean he is correct. Finding a consensus of rabbis who agree with Shahak would support his position. Thus far, I have only seen that you know how to copy the same garbage over and over. How about some support for your position.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008

Eckstein
I note that you have ignored, or is it that you have failed to comprehend?, my post ;so I repost the pertinent pats:
"Now, interestingly, we have a new phenomenon: the abusive ,knee jerk and far from rational reaction to the mentioning of the name of a distinguished Jewish scholar.

Would , will you, try to make the mere mentioning of Shahak's name and his oeuvre a punishable offense by LAW?

The way you have been humoured I would NOT be surprised if you attempt that!
Overall I believe that what we are witnessing here is a postive development in that Zionism will revert to any means to silence the opposition to what is being progressively unveiled of its vile ,racist and retrogressive nature.
That IS a POSITIVE development"


N. Friedman - 12/12/2008

Omar,

You write: 1-Your question:"What does the fact, if it really is a fact, that Shahak was a popular professor of chemistry have to do with whether his assertions about the Jewish religion are accurate? "
is senseless, irrelevant and totally off the point ; and you know it.



Well, no. My point was not senseless, irrelevant or off the point. So, I know no such thing. Perhaps, if what you claim is true, he was a terrific chemist and a terrific chemistry teacher. That adds nothing to his credibility on any other topic. Nor does his popularity as a chemistry professor.

And, you write: The question I raised, that you try to avoid by feigning incomprehension IS:
How do you RECONCILE your contention of “equating being influenced by, admiring and supportive of Professor Shahak to “Anti Semitism”."
AND /WITH
the fact that Professor Shahak was elected "most popular Professor" at the Hebrew University ??
( no mention was made to chemistry that you bring in a new attempt to obfuscate.)


I do not know if there are any facts to reconcile.

Shahak is known for writing about Judaism in 1994, long after he stopped teaching chemistry in 1990.

Consider, perhaps your favorite professor kept his hateful opinions to himself so that his students did not know he was so hateful. Perhaps, his views evolved. Perhaps, any number of a thousand things.

The point here is that there is nothing to reconcile since there are no facts that place views at odds. Rather, we have sequential events. He published his hateful account long after he ceased being a professor of chemistry.


You write: 2-Returning to the actual topic that you and side kick marginalized by failing to respond to my questions /remarks namely;
2.1-why is "anti Semitism" a universal phenomena?


It is not a universal phenomenon. It is something with a long history in certain parts of the world and no history at all in other parts of the world. You come - or at least claim to come - from a part of the world and from a tradition where Jews have always been hated by Muslims.

You write: 2.2-given that "anti Semitism" is an old and universal phenomena practically encompassing all mankind the ranking of who was more and who was less intolerant of Jews is a pertinent historical fact.

In India, hatred of Jews was and remains a phenomenon among only one group: MUSLIMS. Hindus have no history of Antisemitism. So, I take it that Antisemitism is a function of Islamic teaching, going back, for example, to the hadiths regarding the various tribes of Jews who made their home Yathrib and regarding the effort of one Jewish woman to poison Mohammad (for killing her family) and the hadiths that teach that Jews killed all of the Muslim prophets, etc., etc.

Hinduism does not have similar sacred accounts or teachings and its civilization, notwithstanding contact by Hindus with Jews over the course of more than a thousand years, have not hated Jews for being Jews. And, Jews have a long history of living in peace in Hindu areas of India.

Your contention, if I understand it, is that Jews are hated for good reason. My contention is that disputes between Jews and other peoples are exascerbated by the eternalizing of hateful religious material, such as the noted hadiths and such as the religious stories in the Christian scriptures, which place Jews at the foundation of Christianity - Jews refusing to convert to Christianity, thus not seeing what Christians believe to be the light (and akin to the refusal to convert to Islam notwithstanding Mohammad's overtures to Jews to convert).

In the case of Hinduism, Jews play no role. In the case of Buddhism, Jews play no role. In these religious traditions - which account for a large percentage of humanity -, Jews have no history of being hated for being Jews.

In any event, if people are hated for how their religion pictures those of other religions, your religion would be universally detested. After all, why should those who believe in a concept such as Jihad be loved? It is a hateful teaching. Why should people who, when in power, segregate people on the basis of religion, requiring "infidel" to pay a special tax (as a concession to end Jihad against them, as noted in the Qur'an), refusing the testimony of "infidels" in court if offered against a Muslim, requiring non-Muslims to move to the side of the road when a Muslim appears on the road, etc., etc. None of these religious laws is very lovable.

Yet, you harp on a teaching that, if it ever was a teaching among Jews, has not been so for at least a millennium. If and when Jews take up Jihad or Crusades, then you might have something to say. Other than that, I explain Antisemitism by Muslims to what they are taught, not to what has occurred.


art eckstein - 12/12/2008

Omar, this is very simple.

1. Friedman and I have proven Shahak HIDEOUSLY WRONG on a major contention of his.

2. Shahak is SO wrong here, and so EASILY PROVEN wrong, that he cannot be considered by anyone with a brain to be "honest and objective", let alone "courageous". On the contrary: Shahak has been proven here to be a dishonest, hideously biased and cowardly propagandist.

3. In short, SHAHAK is in reality a TOTALLY UNTRUSTWORTHY SOURCE.

4. And, Omar, this now brings us to YOU.

5. You were shown last year how untrustworthy Shahak is, and now on this thread you have been shown again how untrustworthy Shahak is, on the same issue, but this time even more totally. Yet you continue to use Shahak because he fits your dishonest anti-semitic propaganda.

6. Previously, your behavior of using Shahak simply showed your ignorance. Now it shows your fundamental intellectual dishonesty.

7. On the thread above, you have been asked again and again, asked repeatedly, to provide EVIDENCE for Shahak's contention that Israeli Jewish doctors do not treat non-Jews, or, alternatively, that what you call "Jewish law" (rather, as Friedman stresses, the consensus of rabbis) forbids the treatment of non-Jews. Despite repeated challenges to provide EVIDENCE for your accusations (and Shahak's accusations). you DID NOT.

8. The REASON you did not provide that evidence is because you CANNOT provide that evidence. The REASON you cannot provide that evidence is because Shahak engaged in a vicious LIE.

9. Friedman and I have shown that Israeli Jewish doctors, even Orthodox ones, not only treat non-Jews without a second thought, but they even treat BARBARIC Muslim terrorists as a matter of course, and this includes Orthodox Jewish doctors treating BARBARIC Muslim terrorists even on the Sabbath. And meanwhile no rabbis, not even ultra-Orthodox rabbis, object. And why don't they object? Because such humanitarianism is not--despite Shahak and you--"against Jewish law."

10. Now, then: if you depend on a demonstrably terribly untrustworthy source such as Shahak for discussions here on HNN, then yes--you can be certain of being spanked hard every time you mention him. That is because this a site where ACTUAL historians and scholars post.

11. So either stop employing this proven terribly untrustworthy source Shahak or--yes-- be prepared to be made a fool of and totally humiliated by others here every time you mention him.


Case closed


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008

Mr Friedman
I neither assumed nor contended any thing I, only and SOLELY, quoted a distinguished Jewish scholar noted for his erudition, objectivity, honesty and courage; the late honourable Israel Shahak.

Your and side kick's response to Shahak's contentions were, by any criterion, sub standard and far from convincing ie ultimately worthless and were dealt with as such!

Now, interestingly, we have a new phenomenon: the abusive ,knee jerk and far from rational reaction to the mentioning of the name of a distinguished Jewish scholar.

Would , will you, try to make the mere mentioning of Shahak's name and his oeuvre a punishable offense by LAW?

The way you have been humoured I would NOT be surprised if you attempt that!
Overall I believe that what we are witnessing here is a postive development in that Zionism will revert to any means to silence the opposition to what is being progressively unveiled of its vile ,racist and retrogressive nature.
That IS a POSITIVE development!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/12/2008

Mr Friedman
1-Your question:"What does the fact, if it really is a fact, that Shahak was a popular professor of chemistry have to do with whether his assertions about the Jewish religion are accurate? "
is senseless, irrelevant and totally off the point ; and you know it.
You plan to wiggle out by feigning/pretending non comprehension.
It is an attempt to sideline the point I raised several times.
The question I raised, that you try to avoid by feigning incomprehension IS:
How do you RECONCILE your contention of “equating being influenced by, admiring and supportive of Professor Shahak to “Anti Semitism”."
AND /WITH
the fact that Professor Shahak was elected "most popular Professor" at the Hebrew University ??
( no mention was made to chemistry that you bring in a new attempt to obfuscate.)

2-Returning to the actual topic that you and side kick marginalized by failing to respond to my questions /remarks namely;
2.1-why is "anti Semitism" a universal phenomena?
2.2-given that "anti Semitism" is an old and universal phenomena practically encompassing all mankind the ranking of who was more and who was less intolerant of Jews is a pertinent historical fact.

NOW Mr Friedman you have TWO questions to address:
1-How do you RECONCILE etc etc ???
AND
2-How do you EXPLAIN the fact of the old universal phenomena that “Anti Semitism “ etc etc???
It could NOT be made plainer!!


N. Friedman - 12/11/2008

Omar,

You write: "Once again it is, on the surface, the question of the ability, or rather the inability in this particular case, to distinguish between "NOT ALLOWED" on the one hand and what is actually "DONE" on the other."

You have confused Judaism with Islam. In Islam, the Shari'a is fixed and infallible doctrine, both relating to its juridical and political aspects. That is not the case for Judaism. This is because, unlike Islam, the Bible is not considered the uncreated word of God. Rather, man is part of creating the world. The Jewish term in issue is Tikkun Olam - "heal the world."

So, whatever may, at one time, have been Jewish doctrine regarding the medical treatment of non-Jewish, that doctrine has evolved, just as Jewish law has evolved in other areas. A good example would be the law of marriage, where, at one time, Judaism's law was akin to Islam's position, with a man having the right to marry multiple wives. That primitive practice was abandoned many, many centuries ago.

So, in answer to your comment above quoted, your position is a non-starter because it assumes a conception of religion at variance with what Judaism teaches. Again, the issue is to learn the consensus among rabbis.

Again, in Judaism, what is allowed is what the consensus of rabbis hold and that consensus changes over time. And, again, the consensus of rabbis hold that a Jewish doctor MUST treat a non-Jewish patient in need, even if such occurs on the Sabbath.

Given that Jewish doctors routinely treat barbaric Palestinian Arab terrorists without any objection from any rabbis, it follows that, as Jewish law is understood by the consensus of rabbis, treating barbarians such as Palestine Arab terrorists is not only allowed, it is required. Maybe Jews should adopt the customs of Muslims about the treatment of its enemies. Would you prefer that?


N. Friedman - 12/11/2008

Omar,

What does the fact, if it really is a fact, that Shahak was a popular professor of chemistry have to do with whether his assertions about the Jewish religion are accurate?

My contention is that his views about Judaism, not about chemistry, are Antisemitic. My contention is that your only purpose to discuss Mr. Shahak is to defame Judaism, a religion about which you know nothing at all. And, the likely reason why you have taken this tact is to change the topic of the article written by Mr. Greene, which is directed toward showing that Arabs have not always done kind things, including in connection with the Arab Israeli dispute.

Returning to the actual topic, the fact is that Palestine Arabs made an alliance with the Nazis. It does not get much worse than that. And, evidently, you realize that so you think you can avoid such a discussion by making false allegations against Judaism, based on the writings of a chemistry professor who had minimal knowledge about Judaism.

Again, Omar, if you want people to think you something other than a hate monger, you ought to consider just how hateful, not to mention stupid, your argument is.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/11/2008

Mr Friedman
You back off your ridiculous implied contention of a majority of the students body, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem a majority of which is presumably Jewish, being Anti Semites since they repeatedly (?) voted the late Professor Shahak as "most popular Professor"( which vote I presume was made NOT for looks but for attitude and ideals) by hurling at me , once more , the presently meaningless, from over use and abuse , accusation of Anti Semitism.
That you should back off this inane accusation of the students of the HU and of myself is perfectly understandable noting the pit in which you fell, or rather blindly walked into, by equating being influenced by, admiring and supportive of Professor Shahak to “Anti Semitism”.

What is NOT understandable, though, is your utter failure to comment on the fact that Professor Shahak was voted “most popular Professor” at the HU by that same student body!

You , normally, range far and wide on practically everything…WHY the utter silence on this particularly significant fact??


A. M. Eckstein - 12/11/2008

No, Omar--

If treating non-Jews it is NOT ALLOWED, as you say, then where are the rabbis who are CONDEMNING AND COMPLAINING about what the Israeli Jewish doctors are DOING in CONTINUALLY treating non-Jews, including vicious Muslim terrorists, including on the Sabbath?

IF WHAT JEWISH (INCLUDING ISRAELI) DOCTORS DO IS 'NOT ALLOWED', WHERE ARE THE COMPLAINTS AND CONDEMNATIONS FROM RABBIS?

LIST THEM.

Or drop this, as the miserable shameful anti-semitic propagandist you are.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/11/2008

Having failed to understand my point in the past one would wonder "why repeat it?"
The answer is , simply, "for the record."
So I repost it hoping, against hope, that Eckstein if unable to comprehend it on his own will seek help.
My point being:
"Re: Omar can't prove the accusation, but he won't drop it (#129842)
by omar ibrahim baker on December 6, 2008 at 2:15 PM
Once again it is, on the surface, the question of the ability, or rather the inability in this particular case, to distinguish between "NOT ALLOWED" on the one hand and what is actually "DONE" on the other.

However to presume that it is simply a question of inability would be preposterous considering that only elementary level comprehension is required,
In essence it is once more the question of a flagrantly false image they want to depict, a bare faced falsification and a deliberate conscious misenterpretation of my words and attitude ....that is the way they did gain some support in past: falsification and mis interpretation."


art eckstein - 12/11/2008

Omar's hate-filled anti-semitic rhetoric, and relying on Chemistry Professor Shahak, is no substitute for the EVIDENCE he has repeatedly been asked to provide for his accusation.

So I repeat the challenge: OMAR, SUPPORT YOUR POSITION WITH EVIDENCE.

1. Either DEMONSTRATE WITH MULTIPLE EXAMPLES that Jewish doctors do not, in fact, treat non-Jews, or (more narrowly) that Orthodox Jewish doctors do not treat non-Jews, or (more narrowly still) that Orthodox Jewish doctors do not treat non-Jews on the Sabbath.

In fact, as Friedman says and I have shown, the opinion of rabbis is that Orthdox Jewish doctors must medically treat even vicious Muslim terrorists, and even on the Sabbath. I cited multiple examples--that is, I provided FACTS.

CAN YOU SHOW US THE SAME, MULTIPLE EXCEPTIONS?

2. Or else you can demonstrate that, yes, while it is a fact of life that Jewish doctors treat non-Jews, and even that Orthodox Jewish doctors treat vicious Muslim terrorists, and even on the Jewish Sabbath, this is in VIOLATION of the consensus of rabbis. In which case,--that is, if SHAHAK is right--you ought to be able to come up with a LONG LIST OF PROMINENT RABBIS WHO COMPLAIN AND PROTEST ABOUT THIS PRACTICE.

WHERE IS THAT LIST?

IF, when repeatedly asked to provide empirical evidence, you cannot provide it, and instead resort merely to hate-filled rhetoric, then you look like a fool, Omar.

Mr. Hamilton, you have a good point--Muslim terrorists want to kill, but Jews want to save lives, all lives. Jewish doctors are indeed "guilty" of imposing their standards of behavior on Muslim terrorists. Those are Judeo-Christian standards of behavior, we should be proud of them.


N. Friedman - 12/11/2008

CORRECTION:

Strike this sentence: "And, it has been Antisemitic even by those Antisemites who were proud of their hatred."

Substitute: "And, it has been considered Antisemitic even by those Antisemites who were proud of their hatred.
"


N. Friedman - 12/11/2008

Omar,

Actually, what you have written has been considered Antisemitic going back more than a century. And, it has been Antisemitic even by those Antisemites who were proud of their hatred.


Elliott Aron Green - 12/11/2008

NB,
my comment #130016 refers to RR Hamilton's #130006.


Elliott Aron Green - 12/11/2008

RR, your first point is correct of course. However, as to the second point, I see no reason why Irish people in the United States can't maintain a unique Irish culture or features of their ethnic uniqueness.

In fact, on a recent visit to my old neighborhood in South Philadelphia after Labor Day, I noted many American flags being displayed. I also noted some Irish flags being displayed together with the American flag. You might look askance at that, but it doesn't bother me. I also note the prevalence of St Patrick's Day parades, etc., in the United States. Someone might think that display of the flag and the shamrock, as well as the parades, represent efforts to maintain a certain ethnic culture and identity. Do those efforts bother you?


omar ibrahim baker - 12/11/2008

The majority of the students of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, ie the majority of the majority who are JEWS, are ANTI SEMITES; according to Mr N Friedman !
That is the considered, well thought out conclusion reached by a dedicated Zionist who is less prone than some to "shoot from the hip"(?) who prefers to ignore, or is it forget, the meaning of what he writes!
( The AMAZING case of Friedman's Anti Semitism! (#129975)
by omar ibrahim baker on December 10, 2008 at 1:09 AM
"Re: Omar can't prove the accusation, but he won't drop it (#129895)
by N. Friedman on December 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM:
"Omar,

For the record, relying on Shahak amounts to announcing yourself to be an Antisemite. Is that really what you want to be known for?")

When considered thought leads to such conclusions one is bound to question either :
a- the sanity of the claim maker
OR
b-his intellectual honesty ie his objectivity
OR
c-the meaning of “anti Semitism” as bandied about to silence opposition to a pernicious doctrine, cause and their joint outgrowth!

I personally opt for (c) intermixed with a good deal of (b).

However Mr Friedman should be lauded for providing us with two important things:
1-The extent and reach to which the accusation of Anti Semitism is used
AND
2-the meaninglessness , the vacuity, of the term “anti Semitism” borne out of (1)!


R.R. Hamilton - 12/11/2008

From a cultural sensitivity perspective, isn't it wrong to prevent terrorists from dying? Aren't you thereby imposing your value (life) over his (death)?


R.R. Hamilton - 12/11/2008

It's like some Israelis missed the history lesson of the 20th century -- the one from the failures of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires that showed that multi-ethnic, multi-religious, or multi-linguistic empires can be maintained. In case they missed the lessons of World War I, there are the more recent examples of the breakups of the USSR, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia from which to learn. Or the post-colonial breakups of India, French Indochina, and Malaysia-Singapore.

The only truly successful "multi" country of which I can think is Switzerland (20 German cantons, five French and one Italian). But the only reason for Swiss unity is that they are surrounded by three powerful nations and know that disunity would only invite absorption into one or more of them.


R.R. Hamilton - 12/11/2008

Mr. Friedman,

Your analogy is flawed for at least two reasons. First is the obvious one: A significant part of the world is not trying to destroy the Irish homeland. Secondly and more importantly, the Irish in America do not claim a right to maintain a unique culture inside the United States. If, as you say, "Jews mostly claim[] that Jews are Jews", then where, manifestly, should they live?


N. Friedman - 12/10/2008

Omar,

The key point about understanding Jewish law is that the decisions made by rabbis are not considered inerrant. The laws are made by man and thus subject to revision based on reason and scripture. Hence, the law changes with time.

Jewish law, as it now stands - i.e. the consensus among all rabbis -, requires the treatment of all those who are sick - that means anyone who is sick. As Professor Eckstein notes, that includes treating terrorist including Palestinian Arab terrorists. In other words, Jewish doctors are required by their law to treat barbarians as if they were not barbarians.

If you believe what I have written is in error, show me the consensus of Rabbis who disagree with me. I bet you cannot find enough who agree with you to fit on the end of a pin. I bet that, as is your custom, you repeat the Chemistry professor, Shahak, who knew, so far as I can discern, exactly nothing about Jewish law.

Lastly, Omar, I reiterate that your entire argument amounts to hate speech. You should be ashamed of yourself.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/10/2008

"Re: Omar can't prove the accusation, but he won't drop it (#129895)
by N. Friedman on December 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM:
"Omar,

For the record, relying on Shahak amounts to announcing yourself to be an Antisemite. Is that really what you want to be known for?"

According to Mr Friedman reading and quoting a distinguished Jewish Professor , a full Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem amounts to Anti Semtism!
That very same Professor was also voted several times by the body of his University students as "Most popular Professor".
That Friedman never the less accuses him and , by association, his admirers including the majority of the body of his University students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Omar of being Anti Semites is nothing short of amazing, grotesque and bizarre!

The real issue here, however, is NOT what Friedman contends or believes in.
It is the impudence with which that "blank check" of Anti Semitism is used to silence opposition to a pernicious racist doctrine and cause.
The real tragedy is that it sometimes works with some despite the fact that through its indiscriminate over use the accusation has lost any real content.
Failure to find any alternative accusation and the indiscriminate and recurrent use of this particular one is , though, a positive sign declaring the moral and dawning political bankruptcy of the cause it purports to support .


omar ibrahim baker - 12/10/2008

"Re: Omar can't prove the accusation, but he won't drop it (#129895)
by N. Friedman on December 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM:
"Omar,

For the record, relying on Shahak amounts to announcing yourself to be an Antisemite. Is that really what you want to be known for?"

According to Mr Friedman reading and quoting a distinguished Jewish Professor , a full Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem amounts to Anti Semtism!
That very same Professor happens to have been voted several times by the body of his University students as "Most popular Professor".
That Friedman never the less accuses him and , by association, his admirers including the majority of the body of his University students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Omar of being Anti Semites is nothing short of amazing, grotesque and bizarre!

The real issue here, however, is NOT what Friedman contends or believes in.
It is the impudence with which that "blank check" of Anti Semitism is used to silence opposition to a pernicious racist doctrine and cause.
The real tragedy is that it sometimes works with some despite the fact that through its indiscriminate over use the accusation has lost any real content.
Failure to find any alternative accusation and the indiscriminate and recurrent use of this particular one is , though, a positive sign declaring the moral and dawning political bankruptcy of the cause it purports to support .


N. Friedman - 12/8/2008

The key point about understanding Jewish law is that the decisions made by rabbis are not considered inerrant. The laws are made by man and thus subject to revision based on reason and scripture.

I choose the word inerrant on purpose because, to the Islamist, Shari'a is inerrant. Omar, being the Islamist that he apparently is or pretends to be, sees laws as being permanent and not subject to debate.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Art,

That is fine. Debate is what this website should be about. On the other hand, Omar wants to rant hatred for hatred's sake.

You are correct that Torah means law. But, Jewish law is something different from literal commandments. Again, I urge on you: Torah says literally "Thou shall not kill." Jewish law says when one can and cannot kill - it defines murder and self-defense, etc., etc, which are the substance of what is understood as being Jewish law. Torah and Jewish law are two different, albeit closely related, things. And, what we are talking about here is the latter, not the former.

I too agree with you that Omar is unable to find a consensus about Jewish law because Omar has no interest in doing so. His interest is propaganda, which amounts to not caring what the truth is.


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

I think we disagree here, NF. To me, the Torah is the Law, and the consensus of rabbis at any one moment is, to me, just that.

In any case, the point of difference is minor since the consensus of rabbis since Medieval times is as you say--that Jewish doctors must treat everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike, including on the Sabbath. That is what I understood; that is what my cousin the physician understands too.

It is Omar's lies about this fact which are our main focus.

Again I challenge Omar:

If this is NOT the case, if that is not settled consensus, then where are the Orthodox rabbis who condemn and complain about Israeli doctors treating non-Jews, or (more narrowly) Orthodox Israeli doctors treating non-Jews, including vicious Muslim terrorists, on the Sabbath?

LIST THEM.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Professor,

I am not sure what you mean here. The Supreme Court of the US ponders all the time things which have no per se answer in any statute or even in the Constitution. Yet, when they dictate opinions, the result is called law.

Jewish law is something akin. Yes, treatment of non-Jews does not appear specifically in Torah but, nonetheless, Jewish law is what the consensus of rabbis at any given time say it is. The current consensus is that it is ethically required to treat the sick without regard to religion. It has been that way since before Medieval times, so far as I know.

I think what you really mean is that the Torah says nothing like, "Thou shall treat all with medicine." Note: even if there were such in the Torah, it too would be subject to interpretation by the consensus of Rabbis. Think about "Thou shall not kill." Does not mean one cannot make war, even in self-defense? Well, no, that is not what is meant. Does it mean no death penalty? Well, not precisely although it was evidently understood from early times to mean that the death penalty is frowned upon, requiring a degree of proof which could never possibly be obtained in circumstances that occur in real life. So, again, this is all about what rabbis think the law ought to be. And, the body of decisions they reach - as it becomes a consensus - is the law for that historic era.


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

It's not so much a question of "Jewish Law", since the Torah doesn't address this question of Jewish doctors directly (though Joseph Caro drew on certain general Torah passages to show that Jewish doctors should treat non-Jews): as Friedman himself has pointed out, it's a question of the varied opinions of various rabbis on theoretical questions. But in any case it is clear what the opinion actually is on the question of Jewish doctors treating non-Jews, even Muslim terrorists who have killed Jewish civilians, and even on the Sabbath.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Olmert has definitely lost his senses.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

CORRECTION:

Delete: "And, other than complete morons, everyone knows full well that rabbis are not telling anyone that is wrong to treat non-Jews."

Substitute: And, other than complete morons, everyone knows full well that rabbis are not telling anyone that it is wrong to treat non-Jews.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Omar,

My complaint is merely to put on the record my total disgust with your Antisemitism. I have not asked that you be banned - although, in truth, were it not that you serve as a very useful Exhibit A of what Arab opinion has descended into, I would do so. In fact, just the opposite. I would love you to continue peddling your hate filled rhetoric for historians to read and take notice.

For the record, relying on Shahak amounts to announcing yourself to be an Antisemite. Is that really what you want to be known for?

And, on the third hand, Shahak's understanding of Jewish law is based on the view that it is inerrant. That shows him not to understand it at all. Which is to say, there is no official statement of Jewish laws, only opinions which gain consensus and subject to change in what the consensus is.

Hence, while Shahak can say what he will, the question is what the consensus is at any given time. And, as Maimonides noted, the stance of Jewish law - and that was in the Middle Ages, which fails to reflect changes in the concensus since that time - is to allow for treatment of non-Jews and even on the Sabbath.

Today, the consensus has shifted to the view that Jewish law requires the treatment of anyone and, in life threatening circumstances, on the Sabbath. And, that means, treatment of Jews and non-Jews equally.

You, however, are free to continue peddling your Antisemitic drivel. Please do. This website is read by historians, not morons. And, other than complete morons, everyone knows full well that rabbis are not telling anyone that is wrong to treat non-Jews. In fact, everyone know that the exact opposite is occurring.

So, please post your drivel to your heart's content. You are hurting your cause, proving just how corrupted by Antisemitism your cause really is. Again: PLEASE CONTINUE.


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

Personal insults directed against me do not address the substantive point about professional historical training which I have made--and which Shahak did not have.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

CORRECTION:

Delete: "I use the word colony as it is understood in the dictionary, not as you want it to be understood in order to hid your bigoted agenda of hatred."

Substitute:

I use the word colony as it is understood in the dictionary, not as you want it to be understood in order to hide your bigoted agenda of hatred.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Omar,

We fail to address military matters because we rely on what the word "colony" means. If the mafia moves into a town, that does not mean it establishes a colony. That, even though the mafia is well armed.

What makes a colony, in the political sense of the word, is that the outpost is established with the loyalty of those who live in the outpost being with the country that established the outpost. That was not the case for Jews. their loyalty was to advance a cause in the state where they migrated.

Sorry to disappoint you. I use the word colony as it is understood in the dictionary, not as you want it to be understood in order to hid your bigoted agenda of hatred. And, as evidence that your agenda is hatred, Exhibit A is your discussion here regarding Jewish law based on your scanning and then re-printing the words of the infamous Antisemite Shahak, whom you cite as an expert on Jewish law but who was no expert at all.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

Mr Friedman
I normally read your posts and give it greater attention than some other's.
You have consistently failed to convice me.
If you plan to complain that is of course up to you, however I do hope that HNN will investigate fairly and objectively.
(It never occurred to me that reading your posts is "compulsory" reading though!)


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

Multiawarded , severally diplomated ,"trained" historian..if it feels good to rely SOLELY on that, I detect absolutely nothing else, ..so much the better or worse !

If anything a "trained historian" on display here proves the point that it is neither diplomas nor awards that make a scholar nor even a mini nor a micro historian.


Elliott Aron Green - 12/7/2008

amen about olmert. By the way, RR, Israel has a proportional representation system, which leads to many parties. In the 2006 election olmert's party, Kadima, got less than 1/4 of the popular vote. But it got more than any other party. Therefore, under Israel's system, the president asked olmert to form a govt. But less than 1/4 of the vote hardly gave him a mandate. He should have been in jail by now but was protected by certain persons in the judicial/prosecution system.


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

RRH, I agree with you about Olmert. He's a danger and a disgrace (financially corrupt, to boot).

You present a rather a different image of Israelis from Omar's, I'd say.


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

You miss the point, Omar.

Shahak was not a trained historian. To be sure, some people can do rigorous historical scholarship without professional training. But more often they end up charlantans retailing falsehoods, like David Irving.

Trained historians, by contrast, learn in the rigorous atmosphere of graduate seminars how to distinguish between good evidence and less good evidence, how to distinguish the significant text or event from the mass of the less significant, how to contruct a logical argument, above all how not to be tied to "my darling, my hypothesis" in the face of contrary evidence--contrary evidence which they are trained rigorously to include in any discussion.

None of this does Shahak do. We've shown that.
He was an amateur, driven by an all-encompassing ideology. The result is what you see--fundamental falsehood.

Omar--if Shahak isn't false, I challenge you again:

If Israeli doctors are "violating Jewish law" by treating non-Jews, or Orthodox israeli doctors are "violating Jewish law" (or even Orthodox OPINION) by treating vicious Palestinian terrorists, and on the SABBATH to boot--WHERE ARE THE CONDEMNATIONS BY ORTHODOX RABBIS, WHERE ARE THE COMPLAINTS?

LIST THEM, PLEASE.




N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Omar,

I read your post. You did not read mine.

At this point, I intend to complain.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Mr. Hamilton,

It is my understanding that most Irish people live in the US. Does that mean that Ireland cannot survive securely without them?

More seriously, Israel is surviving the way it is. Whether that can continue will depend on events that may unfold. More people is often but not always better.

As for your view that Jews claim to be more than one thing. I think you have it wrong. Europeans claimed that Jews were Asiatics and now claim they are Europeans. Jews mostly claimed that Jews are Jews.

Many Jews wanted to assimilate into European society. Large numbers decided to come to America, where place of origin mattered very little since the US is multi-ethnic in the best sense of the word, and some went to Israel, where the Arab regions are in convulsion.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2008

Omar,

Jews consider themselves a "people," hence the phrase, the Jewish people.

As for the rest of what you write, Arthur has answered you fully. I have nothing to add other than to say: keep it up. You are making a fool of yourself.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

Ya Green
The information you bring is well known.
-A Professor of Chemistry?
Does that in any way detract from his objectivity, honesty, moral courage and erudition?
A diploma in History ( multi or NOT multiawarded) or theology is no substitute to these qualities nor a certification about objectivity,openmindedness, honesty and moral courage; ie basic human decency!

I recall reading somewhere some time ago that the late Professor Shahak was voted several times "Most popular Professor" by the body of students at his University; the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (?) ;if I recall correctly.

I would like to think that is the case for it would definitely mean that there is still hope of a better , Zionism free and racism free, future for the region with a deZionized Palestine brought about by sincere convictions where Shahak's principles are vindicated and upheld .


R.R. Hamilton - 12/7/2008

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/245084,olmert-condemns-jewish-violence-in-hebron-as-pogrom--summary.html

The fact that a man like Olmert is not in a mental health facility but is instead elected to high office suggests to me that too many Israelis would rather be "good and dead" than "mean and triumphant". That's a recipe for national suicide.


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

Omar,

1. It has already been demonstrated that Shahak is WRONG (or dishonest) on the weight of the Talmudic theoretical debate (not lawcode). Read my posts and above all Friedman's. I cited major religious authorities on this. So simpliy appealing Shahak on this, as if he were definitive when he isn't (he's not even a historian), just reveals the emptiness of your antisemitic argument, as well as your unwillingness to do empirical research.

2. IF Shahak were correct, Omar, that aiding non-Jews is forbidden to Israeli Jewish doctors, or that aiding non-Jews on the Sabbath is forbidden to Israeli Orthodox Jewish doctors by Orthodox Jewish "law" (or even weight of OPINION), then there should be DOZENS of major Orthodox rabbis in Israel who are forbidding this universal practice, or at least complaining about it.

All right, Omar: so LIST THE MAJOR RABBIS WHO FORBID ISRAELI JEWISH DOCTORS TO DO THIS, OR COMPLAIN ABOUT ISRAELI DOCTORS DOING IT.

If what you believe is true, if what Shahak said were true, finding these prohibitions and complaints should be easy.

Good luck.

If you won't or can't accept the challenge to back up your accusations with actual EVIDENCE, then you must stop this. Or else Friedman is correct about complaining to HNN that you are simply in the business of spreading religious hatred on the basis of slander.

PROVE THE ACCUSATION YOU HAVE MADE WITH EVIDENCE AND INCIDENTS, OR DROP IT.


Elliott Aron Green - 12/7/2008

as far as I know, Shahak was a professor of chemistry, not history or political science or comparative religion. I have been told that he belonged to the Israel Communist Party.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

A-To draw any parallelism between Jewish colonies in Palestine and Jewish colonies in the USA or Argentina is simply inane and pitiful for obvious reasons!

B-Which effort, by the way , brings back to mind my earlier remark:
"2-Further more it is note worthy that Mr Friedman and side kick ,the me too man, assiduously fail to broach in their numerous posts the political (military/economic) dimension that the terms "colonization" and
"colonies" came to acquire in the twentieth century which describes best, and unveils the intrinsic nature of, Israel."


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

Eckstein; all you have to do is read Professor Shahak.
He has the detailed knowledge and references on whether they are allowed or not allowed to do that.
I have included the pertinent link to his book in my earlier posts.
Look it up and learn from an honest, objective and courageous man far more knowledgeable than yourself....to say the least.
It is never too late to learn!


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

No, Omar--if you really believe that aiding non-Jews is forbidden to Israeli Jewish doctors, or that aiding non-Jews on the Sabbath is forbidden to Israeli Orthodox Jewish doctors, LIST THE MAJOR RABBIS WHO FORBID IT, OR COMPLAIN ABOUT ISRAELI DOCTORS DOING IT.

If what you believe is true, finding these prohibitions and complaints should be easy.

Good luck.




art eckstein - 12/7/2008

Omar has failed using the Oxford dictionary definition of "colonialism": that dictionary definition says that colonialism is the policy of exporting the citizens of an imperial state to settle in a foreign area, backed by the power of that imperial state, and to claim that territory for that imperial state. Examples: the French settlers in Algeria; Muslim settlers in the later Mandate area in the 7th and 8th century A.D.

Non-example: the Jews in Palestine 1880-1948: they were the agents of no imperial state, were backed by the power of no imperal state, did not claim a foreign area for an imperial state, nor were they foreign to the area (as even the Koran acknowledges!).

So Omar has to resort to his usual adolescent special pleading, using the name of various Jewish refugee and immigrant organizations. He cites the Jewish Colonization Association (PICA).

PICA established more than 30 "colonies" in Canada and the US to facilitate the immigration of Jewish refugees from Russia and Eastern Europe, by settling them in agricultural colonies (communes) on lands purchased by the committee, particularly in North and South America (especially Argentina).
Colonies were funded within the United States in southern New Jersey, Ellington, Connecticut (Congregation Knesseth Israel).

Is Omar saying that the JCA or "the Jews" by setting up these agricultural settlements for refugess COLONIZED the United States"? or COLONIZED New Jersey? Connecticut? Is this "colonialism"??

A Canadian Committee of the JCA was established to assist in the settlement of the thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Russia, and to oversee the development of all the JCA agricultural settlements in the country.

JCA "Colonies" (i.e., agricultural settlements) established In:Saskatchewan:
Hirsch (1892)
Lipton (1901)
Cupar (1901)
Edenbridge (1906)
Sonnenfeld (1906)
Eyre (1910)
Montefiore (1911)
Rosetown (1911)

Is Omar saying that the JCA and "the Jews" by settling up these agricultural settlements COLONIZED Saskatchewan? Is this supposed to be "colonialism" as defined by the Oxford dictionary??

Manitoba:
Bender Hamlet or Narcisse north of Winnipeg (1903)
Pine Ridge (1907)
Bird's Hill (1911)
Camper or New Hirsch (1911) [150 miles north of Winnipeg!]

Quebec:
La Macaza (1904)
Ste-Sophie (1904)
Saint-Hyacinthe
Saint-Damase
Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Frelighsburg
Clarenceville

Alberta:
Trochu (1906)
Rumsey (1906)

Is Omar saying that by setting up these agricultural settlements, the JCA and "the Jews" COLONIZED Manitoba, Quebec, and Alberta?

Ontario colonies:

Niagara Peninsula
Brantville-Woodstock
Spencerville-Kemptville
Beamsville

Is Omar saying that by setting up these agricultural communal settlements the JCA and "the Jews" COLONIZED Ontario?

TThe JCA also established two agricultural colonies in what now is Turkey:
Or Yehuda (near Ismir)
Messilah Hadassah (Anatolia, an agricultural colony for several hundred families).

Is Omar claiming that by establishing these agricultural settlements, the JCA or "the Jews" was COLONIZING Turkey?

The JCA also established several colonies in Argentina, for instance "Colonia Lapin" near Buenas Aires.

Is Omar claiming that by establishing these agricultural communities the JCA or "the Jews"
was COLONIZING Argentina?

In the 19th century the term "colony" had the subsidiary meaning of any agricultural settlement. Examples of this include Oneida Colony in New York. Germans migrating to Chile formed such colonies, such as "Colonia Dignidad". Does Omar think that these are attempts by COLONIZE New York or Chile?

Enough. The fact is that Omar has either unintentionlly or intentionally misunderstood the meaning of the terminology here. JCA was not a state sending out political conquests; by using the term JCA it was not proclaiming an attempt to take over New Jersey or Quebec, or Turkey, or Argentina--or Palestine. it was simply establishing agricultural communities ("colonies") for refugee Jews. This isn't "colonialism" the way Omar means.

Period.

Omar has made another gross error; and he can't escape via THIS gross error the ORIGINAL gross error, his misunderstanding of the definition of the Oxford definition of "colonialism", by which he began this thread!!


art eckstein - 12/7/2008

Omar has failed using the Oxford dictionary definition of "colonialism": that dictionary definition says that colonialism is the policy of exporting the citizens of an imperial state to settle in a foreign area, backed by the power of that imperial state, and to claim that territory for that imperial state. Examples: the French settlers in Algeria; Muslim settlers in the later Mandate area in the 7th and 8th century A.D.

Non-example: the Jews in Palestine 1880-1948: they were the agents of no imperial state, were backed by the power of no imperal state, did not claim a foreign area for an imperial state, nor were they foreign to the area (as even the Koran acknowledges!).

So Omar has to resort to his usual adolescent special pleading, using the name of various Jewish refugee and immigrant organizations. He cites the Jewish Colonization Association (PICA).

PICA established more than 30 "colonies" in Canada and the US to facilitate the immigration of Jewish refugees from Russia and Eastern Europe, by settling them in agricultural colonies (communes) on lands purchased by the committee, particularly in North and South America (especially Argentina).
Colonies were funded within the United States in southern New Jersey, Ellington, Connecticut (Congregation Knesseth Israel).

Is Omar saying that the JCA or "the Jews" by setting up these agricultural settlements for refugess COLONIZED the United States"? or COLONIZED New Jersey? Connecticut? Is this "colonialism"??

A Canadian Committee of the JCA was established to assist in the settlement of the thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Russia, and to oversee the development of all the JCA agricultural settlements in the country.

JCA "Colonies" (i.e., agricultural settlements) established In:Saskatchewan:
Hirsch (1892)
Lipton (1901)
Cupar (1901)
Edenbridge (1906)
Sonnenfeld (1906)
Eyre (1910)
Montefiore (1911)
Rosetown (1911)

Is Omar saying that the JCA and "the Jews" by settling up these agricultural settlements COLONIZED Saskatchewan? Is this supposed to be "colonialism" as defined by the Oxford dictionary??

Manitoba:
Bender Hamlet or Narcisse north of Winnipeg (1903)
Pine Ridge (1907)
Bird's Hill (1911)
Camper or New Hirsch (1911) [150 miles north of Winnipeg!]

Quebec:
La Macaza (1904)
Ste-Sophie (1904)
Saint-Hyacinthe
Saint-Damase
Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Frelighsburg
Clarenceville

Alberta:
Trochu (1906)
Rumsey (1906)

Is Omar saying that by setting up these agricultural settlements, the JCA and "the Jews" COLONIZED Manitoba, Quebec, and Alberta?

Ontario colonies:

Niagara Peninsula
Brantville-Woodstock
Spencerville-Kemptville
Beamsville

Is Omar saying that by setting up these agricultural communal settlements the JCA and "the Jews" COLONIZED Ontario?

TThe JCA also established two agricultural colonies in what now is Turkey:
Or Yehuda (near Ismir)
Messilah Hadassah (Anatolia, an agricultural colony for several hundred families).

Is Omar claiming that by establishing these agricultural settlements, the JCA or "the Jews" was COLONIZING Turkey?

The JCA also established several colonies in Argentina, for instance "Colonia Lapin" near Buenas Aires.

Is Omar claiming that by establishing these agricultural communities the JCA or "the Jews"
was COLONIZING Argentina?

In the 19th century the term "colony" had the subsidiary meaning of any agricultural settlement. Examples of this include Oneida Colony in New York. Germans migrating to Chile formed such colonies, such as "Colonia Dignidad". Does Omar think that these are attempts by COLONIZE New York or Chile?

Enough. The fact is that Omar has either unintentionlly or intentionally misunderstood the meaning of the terminology here. JCA was not a state sending out political conquests; by using the term JCA it was not proclaiming an attempt to take over New Jersey or Quebec, or Turkey, or Argentina--or Palestine. it was simply establishing agricultural communities ("colonies") for refugee Jews. This isn't "colonialism" the way Omar means.

Period.

Omar has made another gross error; and he can't escape via THIS gross error the ORIGINAL gross error, his misunderstanding of the definition of the Oxford definition of "colonialism", by which he began this thread!!



omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

Mr Friedman
Read my post #129842!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

Ya Green
-Another, failed, attempt to deny the obvious:that Israel is the outgrowth of a colonialist conquest; a case of colonialism at its worst.
- The Koran, about which I am far from being an authority nor even well versed, does NOT , can NOT, based on my limited knowledge, possibly have any objection to Jewish presence in Palestine.
BUT that would DEFINITELY NOT encompass an exclusively, or predominantly, Jewish racist nation/ state.


R.R. Hamilton - 12/7/2008

Maybe Jews should make up their minds: Are they Europeans or Middle Easterners? They tell the Europeans one thing and the Middle Easterners another. Myself, I think of them as Middle Easterners, but maybe that's a European-American bias. Anyway, they can no longer be "this and that". That is the road to universal hatred and extinction. As I've said before, I cannot think that Israel can or should survive with only 1/3 Jewish participation. The fates of Israel and Judaism seem to me to be one and the same. There are, I've heard, about 18 million Jews in the world; how secure would Israel be if at least 16 million lived there?


Elliott Aron Green - 12/7/2008

`Umar, colonization is not colonialism. Colonization is settlement, again not the same as the political/imperialistic phenomenon of colonialism, although colonization/settlement can also have political implications. In fact, the Iraqi government settled people in different parts of the country. Saddam Hussein's regime removed Kurds from some areas and brought in Arabs, while sending the Kurds somewhere else. I would call that a policy of colonization rather than colonialism. But anyhow, did you complain about Saddam's policy??

The Soviet Union resettled many millions of people. People from the western areas of the USSR were encouraged and sometimes forced to migrate to Siberia and Central Asia. Millions of Slavic folk were resettled in Muslim-inhabited lands, like Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Turkmenistan, Usbekistan, Tajikistan, thereby diluting the Muslim majorities there. Did you complain about Soviet colonization?? Indeed the most militant Arab-Muslim nationalists were zealous advocates of alliance with the USSR.

I also remind you of the Quranic passages foretelling a Jewish return to the Jews' land. Do you dispute the Quran??

Colonialism has been described above. It is the policy of a parent state to set up colonies under its control. Of course, if mere migration of large groups of people is colonialism, then are the Muslim Arabs in France or the USA or UK colonists, colons??


omar ibrahim baker - 12/7/2008

1-None of the above, however, answers the question whether Mr Friedman believes, or DOES NOT believe, that there is such a thing as a "Jewish People"!

2-Further more it is note worthy that Mr Friedman and side kick ,the me too man, assiduously fail to broach in their numerous posts the political (military/economic) dimension that the terms "colonization" and
"colonies" came to acquire in the twentieth century which describes best, and unveils the intrinsic nature of, Israel.

3-Both Mr Friedman and side kick deliberately ignore the obvious in that both terms “colonization” and “colonies” were officially adopted and used in official Jewish /Zionist efforts to colonize Palestine.
Witness the following, among innumerable similar instances:

“Palestine Jewish Colonization Association
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, commonly known by its Hebrew acronym PICA (Hebrew: פיק"א‎), was established in 1924 and played a major role in supporting the Yishuv in Palestine until its disbandment in 1957.
The Jewish Colonization Association (ICA) was founded by Bavarian philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch in 1891 to help Jews from Russia and Romania to settle in Argentina.[1][2] The Baron died in 1896 and thereafter the ICA began to assist the Palestinian colonies.[2] In 1899 Edmond James de Rothschild transferred title to his colonies in Palestine plus fifteen million francs to the ICA, which was reorganised as the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association in 1924,[1][3] under the direction of Edmond's son James Armand de Rothschild.[4]
After the 1929 Palestine riots PICA helped to rehabilitate agricultural colonies that had been damaged.[4]
James de Rothschild's will instructed PICA to transfer most of its land in Israel to the Jewish National Fund.[5] On December 31, 1958 PICA agreed to vest its right to land holdings in Syria and Lebanon in the State of Israel.[6]”

4-Patently their efforts aim at decriminalizing the Zionist movement through disassociating it from the heinous phenomena of “colonization”, of modern history era, that led to liberation wars.


art eckstein - 12/6/2008

Dear Mr. G,

You are right about the historical "elasticity" of whether Jews are Middle Easterners or Europeans: racist propaganda is racist propaganda, and manufactures its deceits, whether it comes from Europeans or Arabs.
You've made a good point.

As you say, we see this same "elasticity" in Omar's expanded definition of "colonialism" and "colon."
Of course, another word for his procedure is: "lying."


N. Friedman - 12/6/2008

Hi Elliot,

Elastic is the word. Omar is ridding the word colonial of any meaning.

As for Mearsheimer, Art and I raised the same broadcast in a debate with the long missing Mr. Clarke.


N. Friedman - 12/6/2008

Omar,

You write: Once again it is, on the surface, the question of the ability, or rather the inability in this particular case, to distinguish between "NOT ALLOWED" on the one hand and what is actually "DONE" on the other.

If it is not allowed, why do rabbis not complain? More to the point, do you have any evidence, apart from Shahak, of any rabbis complaining that Jewish law is being violated by treating Arabs? If so, how many such incidents? Where were they? Who was the rabbi? What are the circumstances?

I do not think you will find such incidents because any Jew who holds such a view is holding a view contrary to the consensus position held by rabbis for centuries and centuries.


Elliott Aron Green - 12/6/2008

NF and Art E, I thank you for your usual erudite contributions to the discussion, in this case regarding the meaning of colonialism which becomes rather elastic for some of Israel's critics. Indeed, it seems to me that some critics have transposed the view of Jews as Oriental or Asiatic aliens in Europe, which was common in Germany, Britain and other European lands 100 years ago, to the Middle East. Whereas 100 years ago Jews were often seen as not truly European, no matter how far back their families might have lived there, today Jews are labelled aliens to the Middle East, to Israel in particular. So a certain kind of hostility has been geographically transposed. Indeed, 100 years ago the Judeophobes were at least factual in acknowledging that the Jews had originally come to Europe as migrants. Now the early history is reversed and the Jews in Israel are aliens who don't belong there. They are not viewed as returnees with a right to return, not even the approximate one-half of the Israeli Jewish population whose families came from Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Iran, etc. But seeing Jews as aliens was precisely a part of the old Judeophobia before World War I, as I see things.

As to Mearsheimer, he was aware that Israel did not create or force on the Bush administration the decision to invade Iraq. In an interview on National Public Radio, he argued that after Israeli security officials had learned of the plan to invade Iraq they expressed disappointment that Iran was not the first priority of the Americans. So much for claims that Israel made Bush invade Iraq or similar frauds. See links:

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&;x_issue=35&x_article=1365

http://interface.audiovideoweb.com/lnk/ca25win25213/wm_ashbrook.wma/play.asx


omar ibrahim baker - 12/6/2008

Once again it is, on the surface, the question of the ability, or rather the inability in this particular case, to distinguish between "NOT ALLOWED" on the one hand and what is actually "DONE" on the other.

However to presume that it is simply a question of inability would be preposterous considering that only elementary level comprehension is required,
In essence it is once more the question of a flagrantly false image they want to depict, a bare faced falsification and a deliberate conscious misenterpretation of my words and attitude ....that is the way they did gain some support in past: falsification and mis interpretation.


N. Friedman - 12/6/2008

Omar,

You write: If you really believe in that you would necessarily deny the existence of a "Jewish People" and consequently deny any "right" to that "people" to regain his presumed "homeland"!

No. I believe that words have meanings. The word "colony" does not apply unless the migrating people act on behalf of a parent nation, meaning an existing nation with actual physical boundaries. There was no parent nation in that sense - which is the sense meant in the definition you have provided - for which Jews acted. Rather, Jews acted to advance their own aims. Hence, Jews migrating to what became Israel were not colonists.

Were your definition correct, native Americans would be colonists because they were nations of people who migrated to the Americans and remained in America. Obviously, that is not the correct word.

Now, to be honest, since I live in the US - a nation created by colonists who kicked out their parent nation -, reading your effort to recast Jewish migrants as colonists makes me shrug. Which is to says, if what you say is correct, that makes Jews like everyone else including my fellow Americans and including Arabs who live in Israel.

Of course, you choose the word "colony" and "colonist" - or, in your propaganda, "colon" - purposely. The line you are parroting recasts the Arab fight against Israel into a fight against colonialism, using such propaganda rhetoric in order to discredit Israel's origins. The problem, however, is that the rhetoric does not fit because the word "colony" has a meaning that does not apply. And, to stretch that meaning to cover Jews who had no nation is to rid "colony" of any real meaning.

In any event, were you to argue your same point with words that actually might apply, namely, that you object to Jewish migrants moving to land you believe ought to have an exclusively Arab Muslim culture and be ruled exclusively by Muslim Arabs, people would call you a stupid bigot. So, rather than lose the argument up front - although you evidently also fail to realize that the term "colony" is not seen as a wholly negative thing in the US -, you attempt to jazz a bigoted argument up, using buzz words that make migration sound evil. In the end, though, changing the word does not make the argument any less bigoted.


art eckstein - 12/6/2008

The Oxfrod dictionary definition of "colony" cited by originally by Omar himself is interpreted correctly--and obviously so-- by Friedman. It refers to colonists backed directly by an imperial state to which they themselves belong and by whose imperial state power they are supported, and to which that imperial state lays claim. Obvious historical examples: the British colonists in America, the French in Algeria, the British in New Zealand and Australia, the Japanese in Korea, the Muslim Arabs everywhere in the 7th-8th century A.D. (including in what became Palestine).

This definition does not fit the Jewish situation of immigration to Palestine in 1880-1948.

No transparent and adolescent twisting of words by Omar can change the obvious meaning of the Oxford Dictionary definition of "colonialism" from "citizens of an imperial state backed by that state and settling territory claimed by that imperial state for itself" to mean "representatives of a people spread all over the world who do not have a state to back them up at all."


art eckstein - 12/6/2008

I took Omar's and Shahak's statements to my cousin, who is an M.D. (doctor) and a Professor of Medicine, and an Orthodox Jew. Here is his reaction:

"That is the worst hoax I have ever heard.

First, all physicians have to take Gross Anatomy to become a doctor. All Orthodox medical students have to handle cadavers. But Orthodox Jews were told by traditional rabbis that they should not touch a dead body. This was a pretty uniform opinon. Of course, they did so.

Second, the situation with treating non-Jews is the OPPOSITE of that. Halakhic opinions are clear, going back hundreds of years, that one should do everything to save a human life. Everything. Even break the Sabbath. Notice it's a human life.

And I have never heard of any physicians in Israel or anywhere else refusing to treat a person because they were not Jewish. In fact Arabs travel to Israel to get the best treatment in the world.

I can't believe that these antisemites can try to
propagate these lies."

Omar, the problem is that you are spreading anti-semitic lies. And, worse, you won't stop doing it, even when overwhelming evidence is presented to you that they ARE lies. The reason for your behavior is that you are emotionally committed to those lies. And given that, you are impervious to evidence.

But you are not only impervious to the evidence presented by others. There has been another astounding aspect to the above conversation:

When others have challenged YOU to present real EVIDENCE for YOUR position--evidence either (a) that many Jewish doctors refuse to treat non-Jews, or (b) that Orthodox Jewish doctors refuse to do so, or (c) that they do so while knowingly violating widely accepted "halachkic law"--you have continually refused to provide that evidence. You have called the demand that your position be backed up by actual evidence "silly". Then you have repeated the original accusation, but more loudly.

And you protest when people want to stop you from spreading those antisemitic lies, calling threatened protests to HNN about your behavior "cowardly".

Grotesque.

This is supposed to be a blog for historians, Omar. Historians are committed to (a) logic of argument backed by (b) weight of evidence. You, Omar, are committed to neither--which is why you constantly get into trouble here and make yourself look ridiculous.

But nevertheless, actual intellectuals have to engage with you, in order to prevent you from dominating certain threads on HNN with your grotesque statements and behavior. It's a distasteful job, but someone has to do it.

I guess right now it's NF and myself.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/6/2008

Mr Friedman
You write:
"Note the language "subject to, or connected with, the parent nation" refers to such people's "native country." That part of the definition is wholly absent from the case of Jews migrating to what is now Israel. There was no parent nation toward which Jews retained a connection. That is why Jews were not colonists."

If you really believe in that you would necessarily deny the existence of a "Jewish People" and consequently deny any "right" to that "people" to regain his presumed "homeland"!
Zionism contends that Jews form a "people", which is another meaning of "nation".
Patently Zionist /Jewish colons , when emigrating to Palestine, were connected to and maintained their connection with their " parent nation" as per Zionist definition of nation/people.
Your assertion that there is no such a thing as a “Jewish people” is quite welcome to me for it would undermine the whole Zionist thesis . The denial of the existence of a Jewish people with any presumed
“rights” is a fundamental principle on which anti Zionism stands.

But what matters, in this context, is what the Herzels , the Wiesmen, the Ben Gurions, the Frankfurters etc AND their followers believed/believe .
For it is their common misguided belief that a “Jewish People” with “rights” exists that gave birth to the pernicious and racist Zionist movement .
I guess Mr Friedman in your attempt to win a marginal encounter you have blasphemed against your inner convictions or is it , hopefully, that you are gradually discovering the inanity and destructiveness of the big lie on which the Zionist premise rests?


N. Friedman - 12/6/2008

Omar,

You quote the dictionary definition of "colony" as "a group of people who leave their native country to form in a new land a settlement subject to, or connected with, the parent nation."

Note the language "subject to, or connected with, the parent nation" refers to such people's "native country." That part of the definition is wholly absent from the case of Jews migrating to what is now Israel. There was no parent nation toward which Jews retained a connection. That is why Jews were not colonists.

In fact, your definition merely repeats my definition. It does nothing to help your argument. Now, you can hate the Israelis if you like and call them names (e.g. Aliens) to your hearts delight - although name calling is not an argument. But, unless you are dishonest, you cannot call migrants advocating their own cause, not the cause of a parent country, by the name "colonists." That is a fact no matter how many time you deny it.

Further, the word "colon" is the wrong word. It does not mean what you think it means. Look the word up in the dictionary. The word "colon" refers to a body part. The word you really mean is "colonist."

As for the rest of what you write, it does not address my comment. It is merely you repeating yourself. I have no interest in addressing comments from you already addressed by me, again and again and again. If you plan to repeat yourself without addressing my points, I have no intention of wasting any more time on you.

Consider, Omar. I do not mind you being pro-Palestinian Arab. There are real arguments that can be advanced for the Palestinian Arabs. The trouble here is that you, as opposed to some other Palestinian Arab advocates, have no real argument to support your position. Rather than advance a real argument, your writing consists mostly of mindless parroting propaganda that has no basis in fact and hateful rhetoric that is becoming of a bigot. Everyone here is tired of it.

Were you to make a real argument, there could be a real discussion from which all involved could learn something. But, your parroting propaganda points is a waste of time. And that, aside from your refusal to walk away from your blatant expression of religious bigotry, is why Art and I are so critical of your writing.


N. Friedman - 12/6/2008

Omar,

You quote the dictionary definition of "colony" as "a group of people who leave their native country to form in a new land a settlement subject to, or connected with, the parent nation."

Note the language "subject to, or connected with, the parent nation" refers to such people's "native country." That part of the definition is wholly absent from the case of Jews migrating to what is now Israel. There was no parent nation toward which Jews retained a connection. That is why Jews were not colonists.

In fact, your definition merely repeats my definition. It does nothing to help your argument. Now, you can hate the Israelis if you like and call them names (e.g. Aliens) to your hearts delight - although name calling is not an argument. But, unless you are dishonest, you cannot call migrants advocating their own cause, not the cause of a parent country, by the name "colonists." That is a fact no matter how many time you deny it.

Further, the word "colon" is the wrong word. It does not mean what you think it means. Look the word up in the dictionary. The word "colon" refers to a body part. The word you really mean is "colonist."

As for the rest of what you write, it does not address my comment. It is merely you repeating yourself. I have no interest in addressing comments from you already addressed by me, again and again and again. If you plan to repeat yourself without addressing my points, I have no intention of wasting any more time on you.

Consider, Omar. I do not mind you being pro-Palestinian Arab. There are real arguments that can be advanced for the Palestinian Arabs. The trouble here is that you, as opposed to some other Palestinian Arab advocates, have no real argument to support your position. Rather than advance a real argument, your writing consists mostly of mindless parroting propaganda that has no basis in fact and hateful rhetoric that is becoming of a bigot. Everyone here is tired of it.

Were you to make a real argument, there could be a real discussion from which all involved could learn something. But, your parroting propaganda points is a waste of time. And that, aside from your refusal to walk away from your blatant expression of religious bigotry, is why Art and I are so critical of your writing.


N. Friedman - 12/6/2008

No, Omar, it is just that I am tired of reading your Antisemitic drivel. So, if you want to persist, I will complain.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/6/2008

Mr Friedman
"If you persist, Omar, I am going to complain to management that you are using this website to propagate religious hatred."(Re: Omar--prove the accusation, or drop it (#129819)
by N. Friedman on December 5, 2008 at 2:45 PM )
That is cheap and cowardly...NOT surprising though!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/6/2008

Mr Friedman
The Oxford definition of "colony" is, among other things,the following:
"1. a group of people who leave their native country to form in a new land a settlement subject to, or connected with, the parent nation.
2. the country or district settled or colonized. "
Both entries patently apply to the case of early Zionist settlers in Palestine .
With the provision that the term "nation" has had with Jews themselves , historically and universally, a different connotation than that for other " standard" nations it it obvious that:
-(1) above is an exact description of Jewish colonists in Palestine.
Equally
-(2) applies exactly to Palestine.

However both the Webster and Oxford, the shorter versions at least, do lack a basic element in their definitions of "Colonies" as it came to be universally conceived : the political /economic dimension of establishing a military /economic base on FOREIGN land populated by ALIENS to that land.
In this sense ALIEN has a dual meaning:
a-Alien as for non indigenous and
b-Alien as for NOT partaking in the "national"/political outlook and aspiratios of the indigenous population of that land.
AS for the French colons in Algeria whose political outlook and aspirations were diametrically in variance and totally opposed to the Algerian people's.

Obviously that too applies perfectly to Jewish colons in Palestine and to Israel in general.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

CORRECTION:

Delete: "Note that Moses did, if he existed, lead the Israelites out of each and back to the promised land."

Substitute: "Note that Moses did, if he existed, lead the Israelites out of Egypt and back to the promised land.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Mr. Hamilton,

You make too much of myths. And, Judaism was not born in UR. Abraham, if he existed, was born in UR. That is a very different thing. Otherwise, since Abraham is revered by Christianity, such makes Christianity born in UR as well.

Note that Moses did, if he existed, lead the Israelites out of each and back to the promised land. Note, though, that the Israelites are not Jews either. Judaism came later.


R.R. Hamilton - 12/5/2008

I thought Abraham was from Ur, an ancient city in southern Iraq? And where did it say that Moses was leading the Jews BACK to the Promised Land? I think they were going there for the first time. (Maybe that's why the Canaanites didn't throw them a "Welcome Home!" party.)

On the other hand, it's indisputible that Christianity was born -- quite literally, in fact -- in the region known as Israel/Palestine today.

I think the point I was trying to make to Mr. Baker, in response to his complaints about Jewish settlers coming to the area during the past 150 years, is that Islam came the same way -- except without money.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

Read what I wrote before. Changing the phrase "categorically states" to "expresses this in the maxim" does not alter a debate into a law. Hence, what you write is stupid.

The same for your repeat of Shahak's version of Maimonides, for reasons already asserted and, in addition, given the material that Professor Eckstein has now presented.

If you persist, Omar, I am going to complain to management that you are using this website to propagate religious hatred.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

Read what I wrote before. Changing the phrase "categorically states" to "expresses this in the maxim" does not alter a debate into a law. Hence, what you write is stupid.

The same for your repeat of Shahak's version of Maimonides, for reasons already asserted and, in addition, given the material that Professor Eckstein has now presented.

If you persist, Omar, I am going to complain to management that you are using this website to propagate religious hatred.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

Mr Friedman
1-Is the following from the Talmud or NOT:
"The Talmud itself 15 expresses this in the maxim

'Gentiles are neither to be lifted [out of a well] nor hauled down [into it]'. "
2-Did Maimonides have the following to say, in internal quotes, or was that an invention of Professor Shahak:
"Maimonides 16 explains:
"As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war ... their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is seen falling into the sea, he should not be rescued, for it is written: 'neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow' 17 - but [a Gentile] is not thy fellow."
In particular, a Jewish doctor must not treat a Gentile patient. Maimonides - himself an illustrious physician - is quite explicit on this; in another passage 18 he repeats the distinction between 'thy fellow' and a Gentile, and concludes: 'and from this learn ye, that it is forbidden to heal a Gentile even for payment...'
However, the refusal of a Jew - particularly a Jewish doctor - to save the life of a Gentile may, if it becomes known, antagonize powerful Gentiles and so put Jews in danger. Where such danger exists, the obligation to avert it supersedes the ban on helping the Gentile. Thus Maimonides continues: ' ... but if you fear him or his hostility, cure him for payment, though you are forbidden to do so without payment.' In fact, Maimonides himself was Saladin's personal physician. His insistence on demanding payment - presumably in order to make sure that the act is not one of human charity but an unavoidable duty - is however not absolute. For in another passage he allows Gentile whose hostility is feared to be treated 'even gratis, if it is unavoidable'."
3-Are foot notes 15,16 ,17 and 18 which refer to the sources real or bogus invented by Professor Shahak?


A. M. Eckstein - 12/5/2008

NF is obviously correct: that is, Omar, based on his own restrictive culture, is mistaking a theoretical debate for a law code.

In any case, in that theoretical debate there was more than plenty of opinion on the other side:

e.g., Joseph Caro (1488-1575), whose work the Shulchan Aruch was considered authoritative commentary on halahkah, and became a major source of decision-making in Jewish communities. Caro' s Shulhan Arukh explicitly stated that the Torah mandates the physician to heal, and decreed that withholding treatment was akin to shedding blood. The injunction to heal included non-Jews as well, based partly on interpretation of Leviticus 25:35, insisting upon fair treatment of strangers in one's midst, and partly for pragmatic reasons, to encourage good relations with Christian or Arab neighbors.

Such rulings permitted Jewish physicians to treat non-Jews, a particular benefit for northern European Christians, who often sought out cures from Jewish doctors. They did so despite Church condemnation of this practice, and the subsequent castigation of Jews as either sorcerers (if the treatment worked) or poisonous murderers (if it did not)--and in either case pointing towards big trouble either for the doctor or the Jewish community.

At the upper end historically there's "the Rav", Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (b. 1903), who ordained some 2000 Orthodox Rabbis. He too argued that Jewish doctors must treat non-Jews, even on the Sabbath, and he rejected any argument from pragmatism as the reason, relying on natural morality.

Perhaps, Omar, now you will understand why you, for your part, were wise to reject my challenge to you to provide specific evidence that Jewish doctors don't treat gentiles, or even specific evidence that (more narrowly) Orthodox Jewish doctors don't treat gentiles on the Sabbath, You can't prove this--and the reason is, because it is UNTRUE.

Orthodox Jewish doctors, highly religious men, not only treat non-Jews, and do so regularly on the Sabbath, but they save the lives of vicious Muslim terrorists who have killed Jews. And on the Sabbath. (I gave examples).

I know of no modern Orthodox leader or modern Orthodox physician who has ever held that a doctor not treat a non-Jewish patient or has practiced in that way.

The charge is an anti-Semitic libel. It has its basis in 19th century European anti-semitism, Of course, Omar has shown himself perfectly comfortable with spreading such libels, and--even worse, both morally and intellectually--he seems impervious to change when confronted with the actual facts.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

The Talmud does not "categorically state." Ergo, there is no way to answer a question because it is based on a false premise.

Try looking at the collection of writings called the Talmud. It is not a law code so its statements are not of the type you allege. As such, I could not answer your question with either a yes or a no because the question is moronic.

As for Maimonides, the material you quote says he thought that non-Jews can be treated medically. So, your problem is what?

Hence, Maimonides does not support your thesis either. Have you bothered even to read the material you posted? I doubt it.

Again, Omar, what you write is stupid, an attempt to inject hatred and bigotry onto this website.




omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

Mr. Friedman
None of the above replies to the questions:
“1- Am I, are we, to take your word or the Talmud's which categorically states:(etc etc)? “
AND
“2-Are we to take your word re Maimonides or Maimonides' own words about his own views?”

I do, however, understand your eagerness to wiggle out through vituperation and obfuscation. I can also understand your intemperate ire at the honourable late Professor Shahak for facing the truth and honestly and objectively reporting it.
That must hurt some…..quite understandable
The conclusion that:
"The only way you can objectively refute Professor Shahak is to find fault in his references.
You can NOT speak more authoratively about the Talmud than the Talmud itself NOR speak for Maimonides when Maimonides himself is on the record about a certain point."
never the less stands since you fail to find fault with his oeuvre and its substantiation.

You and many of yours are, I guess, for a different, more RP friendly, interpretation …but that is immaterial since it is NOT your perception nor is theirs the issue.




N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

Do not tell me how one should read the Talmud. You, frankly, have no idea yourself and are taking the word of someone who seems to know comparatively little about the topic.

For your information, the Talmud involves discussions, Rabbinic decisions, poetry and debates. You, being ignorant of the subject, treat it as if it were an authoritative law code, which is definitely not the case. So, your citation to it as containing an authoritative conclusion on the topic is, frankly, moronic, the result of your ignorance and, given your refusal even to examine real sources of scholarship, an example of bigotry and hatred on your part that seems as blind and boundless as any I have ever seen.

As for what you cite from Maimonides, he provides an argument for helping non-Jews. Read what you posted more carefully. The bottom line is that Jews are not precluded from treating non-Jews, just as I said.

Again, Maimonides was the court physician to Saladin, a Muslim and, moreover, a great man. If Maimonides really thought it wrong under Jewish law, he would not have treated Saladin. He, after all, believed in following Jewish law. He, you will note, could have had a more illustrious career than he had merely by converting to Islam but did not because he believed in Judaism. He, after all, was famous even among Muslims and Christians, who read his philosophical writings at length and thought them to be truly first rate. So, you have this all wrong, as is your custom.

I am really tired of having to make you look like a moron and a bigot. Are you ever going to learn?


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

The phrase :

"about Jewish doctors NOT treating non Jews, that he himself noted that it was Shahak’s, that I quoted, NOT mine."

Should, for precision and consistency, actually read:

"about Jewish doctors NOT allowed to treat non Jews, that he himself noted that it was Shahak’s, that I quoted, NOT mine."



omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

Mr Friedman
1- Am I, are we, to take your word or the Talmud's which categorically states:

"As for Gentiles, the basic talmudic principle is that their lives must not be saved, although it is also forbidden to murder them outright.
The Talmud itself 15 expresses this in the maxim

'Gentiles are neither to be lifted [out of a well] nor hauled down [into it]'. "

2-Are we to take your word re Maimonides or Maimonides' own words about his own views?

"Maimonides 16 explains:
"As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war ... their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is seen falling into the sea, he should not be rescued, for it is written: 'neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow' 17 - but [a Gentile] is not thy fellow."
In particular, a Jewish doctor must not treat a Gentile patient. Maimonides - himself an illustrious physician - is quite explicit on this; in another passage 18 he repeats the distinction between 'thy fellow' and a Gentile, and concludes: 'and from this learn ye, that it is forbidden to heal a Gentile even for payment...'
However, the refusal of a Jew - particularly a Jewish doctor - to save the life of a Gentile may, if it becomes known, antagonize powerful Gentiles and so put Jews in danger. Where such danger exists, the obligation to avert it supersedes the ban on helping the Gentile. Thus Maimonides continues: ' ... but if you fear him or his hostility, cure him for payment, though you are forbidden to do so without payment.' In fact, Maimonides himself was Saladin's personal physician. His insistence on demanding payment - presumably in order to make sure that the act is not one of human charity but an unavoidable duty - is however not absolute. For in another passage he allows Gentile whose hostility is feared to be treated 'even gratis, if it is unavoidable'."
( All statements enclosed between inverted "............"commas are from Shahak's earlier mentioned book:
http://www.geocities.com/israel_shahak/book1.htm ) an(http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1194/9411069.htm)
AS is evident in the extract therefrom in my post #129792 above and here Professor Shahak made detailed reference to his sources re the Talmud and Mainonides.

The only way you can objectively refute Professor Shahak is to find fault in his references .
You can NOT speak more authoratively about the Talmud than the Talmud itself NOR speak for Maimonides when Maimonides himself is on the record about a certain point.

Other rabbis having different interpretations is another matter altogether.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

Propaganda terms make not an argument.

Let us start with the definition of colony. Here is what my dictionary states:

col·o·ny: \ˈkä-lə-nē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural col·o·nies
Etymology: Middle English colonie, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin colonia, from colonus farmer, colonist, from colere to cultivate — more at wheel
Date: 14th century

1 a: a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state b: the territory inhabited by such a body

2: a distinguishable localized population within a species

3 a: a circumscribed mass of microorganisms usually growing in or on a solid medium b: the aggregation of zooids of a compound animal

4 a: a group of individuals or things with common characteristics or interests situated in close association b: the section occupied by such a group

5: a group of persons institutionalized away from others
; also : the land or buildings occupied by such a group


[Source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008.]

Note that the political definition, which is what we are talking about here, involves "retaining ties with the parent state." In the case of Jews, that was not true. There was, in fact, no parent state for Jews. Rather, there were people escaping oppression migrating to a place where refuge was available in order to make a life for themselves. That is a fact whether or not you want to believe it. And, those who migrated purchased land, often at above market rate, which is why sellers were willing en masse to sell. And that is a reason why so many Palestine Arabs cooperated with Jews in selling the land. These are facts.

It is, of course, true, for example, that the French colonized Algeria. But note the difference, French colonists "retaining ties with the parent state." Jews did no such thing. Jews drove the imperial power out.

Now, if you want to have a serious discussion, you have to use words with the meanings that are generally understood or, alternatively, to adopt a lexicon explicitly by stating that you will use the word "colonist" whether or not such people "retain[ed] ties with the parent state." You have not done that because, Omar, your intentions are propaganda, not history and certainly not scholarship.

Further, there is no word "colon." It is something you have made up or have copied from someone else who made it up. The "colon" is a part of the human digestive system. Look it up!

In any event, let us say that you were, notwithstanding the dictionary definition of "colonist," correct and that Jewish Israelis are properly classified as colonists. What of it? So are Americans. So are Canadians. So are Australians. So are Mexicans. So are Panamanians. So are Cubans. So are Arabs who live outside of Arabia. So are Brazilians. So are Peruvians. So are Chileans. So are Venezuelans. So are Costa Ricans. So are Guatemalans. So are Argentinians. Etc., etc.

Wake up, Omar. Much of the world consists of colonies and former colonies. And, by your definition, the percentage of the world that consists of colonies is even larger than it really is. And, if everyone moves back to their ancestral homes, we would all likely move back to Africa. Then again, Jews might return to their ancestral home which is - now how about that - the land you claim they are colonizing. But again, your analysis is all nonsense because your concept of colonization is nonsensical propaganda that has only a convenient ad hoc application - meaning, your intention is mere propaganda.

It is time, Omar, to move beyond your propaganda and to begin to think for yourself instead of repeating mindless propaganda. There may be an argument against Jews migrating to what is now Israel and living among Arabs. You, however, have not thought of it. I have a better explanation for your view. I call it bigotry.


art eckstein - 12/5/2008

Omar has his own private definition of colonialism and colons, which few political scientists would accept as intellectually or empiricaly valid. The French in Algeria, the Dutch in Indonesia, the Belgians in the Congo, even the Boers in South Africa--"parallels" adduced by Omar--were in fact all SUPPORTED directly, militarily, and financially by external major powers in their settlements. This isn't true of the Jews in what became Israel.

Again, as to opposition, until 1948 all land owned by Jewish occupants of the Mandate had been SOLD to them (at high prices) by Arabs. As to what happened after 1948, the Arabs, rather than come to some compromise political solution, chose to fight--and lost. They could have won, in which case there would have been a second Holocaust. But they lost. There were consequences. Omar sees this as not merely immoral, but uniquely immoral--I guess because Arabs/Muslims lost a war.

It seems to me that Omar is using these terms "colonialism", etc., in order to graft fashionable leftist intellectual ideas onto his own Islamofascism.

But he confuses immigration and colonization.
On his theory, indigenous Lebanese would be correct to try to attack and expel Palestinians from Lebanon. They are unwelcome and discriminated against by the government, and have been forcibly kept from becoming Lebanese citizens and having citizen rights. Presumably, Omar would support the indigenous Lebanese on this policy. Indeed, the Christian Lebanese, the OLDEST cultural population in Lebanon, with a tradition there going back 2000 years, tried exactly that, to expell the Palestinians through violence and massacre, in 1975 and gain in 1982. Remember Sabra and Shatila? The latter was the work of Lebanese Christians.
Presumably, Omar, adhering with intellectual rigor to his theory about the rights of the "indigenous", would support these Christians' heroic 'resistance' to 'colons.'

I am, of course, being sarcastic--just pointing up Omar's lack of intellectual consistency. As if that were news.


art eckstein - 12/5/2008

The last sentence should read:

"Presumably, Omar, adhering with rigor to his theory, would support their 'resistance' to 'colons.'

I am, of course, being sarcastic--just pointing up Omar's lack of intellectual consistency.


art eckstein - 12/5/2008

Omar has his own private definition of colonialism and colons, which few political scientists would accept as intellectually or empiricaly valid. It seems to me that Omar is using these terms in order to graft fashionable leftist intellectual ideas onto his own Islamofascism.
But he confuses immigration and colonization.
On his theory, indigenous Lebanese would be correct to try to attack and expel Palestinians from Lebanon. They are unwelcome and discriminated against by the government, and have been forcibly kept from becoming Lebanese citizens and having citizen rights. Presumably, Omar would support the indigenous Lebanese on this policy. Indeed, the Christian Lebanese, the OLDEST cultural population in Lebanon, with a tradition there going back 2000 years, tried exactly that, to expell the Palestinians through violence and massacre, in 1975 and gain in 1982. Remember Sabra and Shatila? The latter was the work of Lebanese Christians.
Presumably, Omar, adhering to his theory, would their attack on 'colons'.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

Saying that something was an historical mistake does not make it one.

However, since you have expressed your view without any justification, I shall express mine.

The refusal of Arabs to accept Israel was and remains a great historical mistake, one that has helped set the Arab region behind where they might have been. In truth, Israeli Jews had and still have much to offer the Arab regions.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Omar,

Mr. Shahak is, in simple language, mistaken.

There are theoretical debates about all sorts of topics among Rabbis, something that Mr. Shahak may not be well versed. That is part and parcel of Rabbinic Judaism, which is a law based religion.

Like Islam, consensus among Rabbis often forms around a legal position. However, unlike Islam, Judaism does not believe that the holy book is the uncreated word of the Almighty, which means that Rabbis debate and then can re-debate whether to give meaning to given passages of scripture or, in fact, to adopt notions that they think are just. And, legal positions can and have changed with time, something that Mr. Shahak and, evidently, you have trouble grasping.

It is worth noting that the greatest religious thinker in Jewish history - the author of a primary source for determining what any specific Jewish law is -, namely, Maimonides, thought it perfectly acceptable to treat non-Jews - which means that such issue was a non-issue, no matter what Mr. Shahak thinks. In fact, Maimonides was the great Islamic leader Saladin's physician as well as the physician to many others in Saladin's circle of power. Maimonides did so even though he though he had been severely mistreated by Muslims, which is why he left Andalusia.

I have previously posted writings by rabbis who have examined the issue closely and show that Shahak is simply wrong, even on his own terms. You, however, persist without even batting an eyebrow. That makes you a propagandist of the worst kind.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Mr. Hamilton,

So far as I know, Judaism is native to the Middle East and, most especially, the noted region.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Mr. Hamilton,

I think that Jews are certainly committed to Israel's survival. But, that is different from wanting to abandon one's life and move to Israel.

As for Christians giving the country to the Jews, that is quite a bit of an exaggeration. My recollection is that Jews had to fight the wars started by the Arabs to prevent Jews from having a state. I also recall that Jews were migrating to the region notwithstanding the fact that the land was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. I also recall that the British backed off on their support of the Balfour Declaration and restricted the right of Jews to live in Israel. And, I recall that the British did not really want to end their rule and were pushed out. So, give is too strong a word


R.R. Hamilton - 12/5/2008

Since Christianity is the ONLY religion that is native to the area, if we removed the Jews, then it would only be fair to remove all the other adherents of settler-religions (that is, Muslims) as well.


art eckstein - 12/5/2008

1. Omar doesn't separate himself from Shahak. He believes Shahak. Therefore, I was perfectly correct to attribute the accusation that Jewish doctors don't treat non-Jews to Omar.

2. Omar cannot come up with any cases where Jewish doctors, even ultra-Orthodox Jewish doctors, even on the Sabbath, refuse to treat non-Jews--even vicious Palestinian terrorists. He refused to even try. Why is that? So even if Shahak was correct, it would by a tiny and irrelevant point at the level of theory.

3. By contrast, I gave eye-witness examples of Jewish doctors, even ultra-Orthodox ones, treating non-Jews, even on the Sabbath--and including even vicious Palestinian terrorists. How is this to be explained? Does Omar believe that these ultra-religiouis doctors were knowingly violating widespread and accepted interpretations of Halakhic law? I challenged him to prove THAT, with evidence. He refused the challenge.

4. The REASON why Jewish doctors, including ultra-Orthodox Jewish doctors, treat
non-Jews just as they treat Jews, including even Muslim terrorists, and including
even on the Sabbath, is because the Halakhic law cited by the miserable Shahak
(which has to do narrowly with healing on the Sabbath, not on any other day
anyway) was always the opinion only of a tiny minority of theorists and has never ever been
followed by any substantial portion of any Jewish community. Not in 2,000 years. This shows why it is intellectually wrong to depend on the miserable propagandist Shahak.

Omar, however, is bound up for his own poisonous ideological reasons in
showing that Judaism requires that Jewish doctors not treat non-Jews. It's a pathetic way of dealing with the violence of which Islam has always partaken: it's called "tu quoque" technique, the Latin for "you do it too". It's
simply a slander.

Unless Omar can prove that this accusation ISN'T a slander--by coming up with EVIDENCE showing that while "some Jews" as he puts it happen to treat non-Jews, LOTS of others do not treat non-Jews,because of acknowledged Jewish law.

I say again: let's see the EVIDENCE of that, Omar! Let's see the EVIDENCE that this occurs! Or else--drop this accusation as the slander it is.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

THE STRANGE AND SAD CASE OF A PROFESSOR Is slowly unfolding with new developments indicating that:
1-HE Can NOT recall what he wrote
And sadder still that:
2 -He Can NOT read
But saddest of all is that :
3-He does NOT comprehend what he reads

Professor Eckstein attributes to me a claim, about Jewish doctors NOT treating non Jews, that he himself noted that it was Shahak’s, that I quoted, NOT mine.
Let us consider:
1***:“ (And Omar should stop bringing up the miserable Israel Shahak,.)
“/History vs. Myth (#129704)by art eckstein on December 2, 2008 at 9:54 PM.
In which he forgot that he himself knows that it was a Shahak contention that I quoted not mine.
2***:”B-The plain fact that some, possibly most, Jewish doctors DO treat non Jews.”/ Re: History vs. Myth/Back to A,B & C (#129713)by omar ibrahim baker on December 3, 2008 at 5:13 AM.
AND
“B-The plain fact that some, possibly most, Jewish doctors DO treat non Jews.”/ Re: History vs. Myth/Back to A,B & C (#129730) by omar ibrahim baker on December 3, 2008 at 1:28 PM.
Both verbatim quotes which indicate exactly where I stand on the issue.
3*** :“Omar, Shahak does not substantiate anything. “/Omar--prove the accusation, or drop it (#129733) by A. M. Eckstein on December 3, 2008 at 2:01 PM.
In which only a cursory look at the following extract from what Professor Shahak wrote on the issue, and the foot notes /references thereto, will indicate the extent of Eckstein’s comprehension of what
“substantiating” means .

Be that as it may be it is always instructive and illuminating to read what Professor Shahak wrote about the issue of Halakhaic dictates to Jewish doctors re JEWISH doctors treating non JEWS.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“According to the Halakhah, the duty to save the life of a fellow Jew is paramount 14 . It supersedes all other religious obligations and interdictions, excepting only the prohibitions against the three most heinous sins of adultery (including incest), murder and idolatry.
As for Gentiles, the basic talmudic principle is that their lives must not be saved, although it is also forbidden to murder them outright. The Talmud itself 15 expresses this in the maxim 'Gentiles are neither to be lifted [out of a well] nor hauled down [into it]'. Maimonides 16 explains:
"As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war ... their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is seen falling into the sea, he should not be rescued, for it is written: 'neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow' 17 - but [a Gentile] is not thy fellow."
In particular, a Jewish doctor must not treat a Gentile patient. Maimonides - himself an illustrious physician - is quite explicit on this; in another passage 18 he repeats the distinction between 'thy fellow' and a Gentile, and concludes: 'and from this learn ye, that it is forbidden to heal a Gentile even for payment...'
However, the refusal of a Jew - particularly a Jewish doctor - to save the life of a Gentile may, if it becomes known, antagonize powerful Gentiles and so put Jews in danger. Where such danger exists, the obligation to avert it supersedes the ban on helping the Gentile. Thus Maimonides continues: ' ... but if you fear him or his hostility, cure him for payment, though you are forbidden to do so without payment.' In fact, Maimonides himself was Saladin's personal physician. His insistence on demanding payment - presumably in order to make sure that the act is not one of human charity but an unavoidable duty - is however not absolute. For in another passage he allows Gentile whose hostility is feared to be treated 'even gratis, if it is unavoidable'.
The whole doctrine - the ban on saving a Gentile's liife or healing him, and the suspension of this ban in cases where there is fear of hostility - is repeated (virtually verbatim) by other major authorities, including the 14th century Arba'ah Turirn and Karo's Beyt Yosef and Shulhan 'Arukh 19 . Beyt Yosef adds, quoting Maimonides: 'And it is permissible to try out a drug on a heathen, if this serves a purpose'; and this is repeated also by the famous R. Moses Isserles.
The consensus of halakhic authorities is that the term 'Gentiles' in the above doctrine refers to all non-Jews. A lone voice of dissent is that of R. Moses Rivkes, author of a minor commentary on the Shulhan Arukh, who writes.20

Foot notes:
14 Shulhan 'Arukh, 'Hoshen Mishpat' 426.
15 Tractate 'Avodah Zarah, p. 26b.
16 Maimonides, op. cit., 'Murderer' 4, 11.
17 Leviticus, 19:16. Concerning the rendering 'thy fellow', see note 14 to Chapter 3.
18 Maimonides, op. cit., 'Idolatry' 10, 1-2.
19 In both cases in section 'Yoreh De'ah' 158. The Shulhan 'Arukh repeats the same doctrine in 'Hoshen Mishpat' 425.
20 Moses Rivkes, Be'er Haggolah on Shulhan 'Arukh, 'Hoshen Mishpat' 425.
.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
http://www.geocities.com/israel_shahak/book1.htm ) and (http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1194/9411069.htm)


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

A Christians'"hands off " policy (Re: W and M (#129788)by R.R. Hamilton on December 5, 2008 at 1:12 AM )would be a great step forward in recognitiion of a grave historical mistake and in atonement for a grave sin: the empowering of the Zionist movement to dislocate, dispossess and subjugate the indigenous Palestinian people in his homeland and supplanting them with Zionist colons!


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2008

Mr Friedman
To establish a "colony" you do NOT necessarily have to belong to and have the backing of an existing state on whose behalf you do that .
It could be for laying the foundations of a state as is ,exactly, the case with Israel.
Back to the fundamentals of the issue.
Colonization, whose output is/are colonies, came to be universally known and acknowledged as that movement which involves:
- THE settlement of ALIENS on a foreign inhabited/populated land
-always against the opposition of the indigenous population of that land and
-almost always by direct or indirect, other’s, force.
-with the ulterior objective to exploit that land and establish an economic/military base populated by ALIENS
That is as in the case of the French in Algeria, the Dutch in Indonesia, the Boers in South Africa or the Belges in the Congo.
The essence of those universally recognized colonies was the FORCED settlement of aliens on a foreign populated/inhabited land, initiated and maintained/sustained by brute force against the will and opposition of the indigenous population of that land with the ulterior objective to exploit that land and establish on it an economic/military base populated by Aliens.
That obviously applies to the case of Israel whose Jewish "colons" :
- ARE definitely aliens to Palestine
-Forced their way into an inhabited/populated land Palestine
-Against the express will and opposition of its indigenous Palestinian people.
-Established the economic /military base populated by ALIENS; Israel.
Patently Jewish émigrés into Palestine , Zionist colons, were politically motivated to establish a state of their own instead of the usual case of being directly in the service of an existing state although both their entry and sustenance was only enabled and protected by an existing state Britain without whose use of military force they would NOT have neither gained entry, as alien colonists as distinct from pilgrims, nor been able to maintain the colonies they thus established.


R.R. Hamilton - 12/5/2008

Can a Christian get a word in here?

I hear a lot of Jews say they are "committed" to the survival of Israel. When I was growing up, I heard an analogy between the difference between "committed" and "involved". The way it went was, "In a breakfast of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed." Right now, only about 1/3rd of the Jews are in Israel. They are committed; the rest are (at best) involved.

Judaism will likely not survive the destruction of Israel and in my opinion it should not. A commitment of 9/10s, not 1/3rd, of Jews is necessary to save Israel. And, don't blame us for the results of the failure of Jews to commit. You begged us for centuries to "give us our own country". Now we have. The results of your failure to hold it is not on our heads.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Hi Art,

I am not impressed by simplifying theories such as Structural Realism. And, it does not surprise me that those who support such a theory would fall prey to another simplifying theory, namely, that Jews control US policy. They have merely substituted one seemingly impersonal force for another. In any event, Judeocentric conspiracy theories are attractive mostly to conspiracy mongers and Antisemites.

As for your noted flaw in M & W's writing, we have both presented this same evidence to Clarke.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2008

Hi Art,

I am not impressed by simplifying theories such as Structural Realism. And, it does not surprise me that those who support such a theory would fall prey to another simplifying theory, namely, that Jews control US policy. They have merely substituted one seemingly impersonal force for another. In any event, Judeocentric conspiracy theories are attractive mostly to conspiracy mongers and Antisemites.

As for your noted flaw in M & W's writing, we have both presented this same evidence to Clarke.


art eckstein - 12/5/2008

From what I hear, W and M came to "the Israeli Lobby conspiracy theory", a theory which violated 25 years of their own work (which downplayed the impact of internal lobbying groups on the foreign relations of a state and emphasized external interstate conditions instead), because they were not listened to in their advocacy of not invading Iraq. Their reasons for not going were so strong, they didn't understand why they were ignored. They were used to being treated with respect So they came up with evil influence of the Israeli lobby.

The problem with the basic argument of Mearsheimer and Walt here is that in 2002/2003 the Israelis, too, were not eager to do Iraq (they wanted the U.S. to preserve its power to go after Iran, which they saw as a far more dangerous enemy). The other problem is that ALL the major Iraq-invasion deciders were non-Jews: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Price. So, to deal with THAT evidentiary problem for their thesis, W and M had to seek out alleged Jewish puppet-masters at the second and third-level of the Pentagon and State Dept bureaucracy (Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle). Thus one absurdity was piled on another.

The facts are that Iraq went ahead despite the advice of Mearsheimer and Walt--and that does need an explanation. But Iraq also went forward against the advice of the Israelis (as we now know)--so perhaps THAT needs an explanation too! And the decisions were made by non-Jews anyway. All of which makes things dificult from the point of view of basing an argument on evidence and logic, which W and M earlier in their careers used to be able to do.

So, NF, Mearsheimer and Walt have indeed ceased to be scholars (which they definitely used to be) and have become (as you say) mere polemicists.


art eckstein - 12/4/2008

Dear NF,

In my view, Mearsheimer used to be an excellent inernational-systems analyst, an advocate of what is called in the field "structural realism." SR argues that state actions are determined overwhelmingly not by internal lobbying but by external situations--the prevailing anarchy, the desire for power-maximalization, the opacity of states to one another in terms of capability, the resulting "rational over-arming," the consequent "security dilemma" (my over-arming makes me secure, but you less secure so you arm even faster), and hence the prevailing "worst-case-scenario" thinking in governments. The whole situation is tragic--there are no specially evil actors (or they are rare), only the tragedy of great power relations under anarchic conditions. Important international events occur primarily because of the shifts in the distribution of power among states in such an anarchic system, i.e., for external reasons overwhelmingly, not for reasons of internal political pressures-- what the Germans call the "Primat der Aussenpolitik."

For 25 years M made his career along these lines of analysis; "Tragedy of Great Power Relations" is the culmination. (Walt is similar: his 1987 work "The Origins of Alliances" is a classic of structural realism.) ALL THIS M (and W too) has now thrown away in favor of an analysis of American international behavior based on Jewish conspiracy. It's a violation of his entire life's work. M has taken, so to speak, to wearing a tin-foil hat to protect him from evil internal influences.

Talk about tragedy...


N. Friedman - 12/4/2008

Hi Art,

Are you saying that Mearsheimer is, stimulating and all, a polemicist? That sounds about right to me.

By the way, why do you use the term "stimulating"?


art eckstein - 12/4/2008

It seems to me that the quote itself from W and M in Greene's article shows that they subscribe to the "oppressive Christian West, innocent Muslim East-that-got-this-Israel-thing-inflicted-upon-them-because-of-others'-sins."

In Mearsheimer's stimulating "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics" (2001), Christian Spain's destruction of the cultures which it conquered is mentioned in a prominent place, and Christian Spain is considered a classic expansionist state. Meanwhile early Muslim imperialism is missing entirely from the book, as is Muslim destruction of the cultures Islam conquered (e.g., in Christian Egypt and North Africa, Hindu Indus Valley). The Ottoman empire appears--but only as a victim of Italian or Russian imperialism.




N. Friedman - 12/4/2008

CORRECTION:

Delete the paragraph that reads: "Perhaps, you are saying that the academic community consists of the lunatic fringe. That is not my argument but, because you ascribe a widely held view in the academic community to being the view of the lunatic fringe, I would be interesting to know the views actually held by Disbelief in those examples does not exist beyond the lunatic fringe, and certainly not in Walt and Mearshimer. So, how about some evidence for your position."

Substitute:

Perhaps, you are saying that the academic community consists of the lunatic fringe. That is not my argument but, because you ascribe a widely held view in the academic community to being the view of the lunatic fringe, it would be interesting to know the views actually held by Walt and Mearshimer. So, how about some evidence for your position.


N. Friedman - 12/4/2008

Mr. Young,

With due respect, I think you misread what Mr. Greene wrote. His argument was directed specifically at what Walt-Mearshimer wrote, viz., that there is innocence by Palestine's Arabs with reference to Israel's creation. He did, no doubt, bring other issues into his subject but made clear what his topic is, writing:

The myth of Arab innocence throughout history --particularly concerning Jews-- has long haunted British and American writing about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Professors Walt and Mearsheimer put it as follows in their anti-Israel tract:

...in the Christian West... Jews suffered greatly from the despicable legacy of Anti-Semitism... But ... the creation of Israel involved additional crimes against a largely innocent third party: the Palestinians.

This article seeks to disprove that false claim and demonstrate instead the systemic, juridical oppression, exploitation, and humiliation of non-Muslims --including Jews--in Islamic society.


So, I have not been off topic. I have been addressing the actual topic at hand.

You write: "Disbelief in those examples does not exist beyond the lunatic fringe, and certainly not in Walt-Mearshimer."

Have you any evidence for your proposition? It seems to me that whether or not either Walt or Mearshimer know anything at all about the history of the Muslim regions is an open question. Find some evidence that either of them do not accept what is, in the academic community, a very common view, namely, that Islam's treatment of non-Muslims is one of tolerance.

Perhaps, you are saying that the academic community consists of the lunatic fringe. That is not my argument but, because you ascribe a widely held view in the academic community to being the view of the lunatic fringe, I would be interesting to know the views actually held by Disbelief in those examples does not exist beyond the lunatic fringe, and certainly not in Walt and Mearshimer. So, how about some evidence for your position.



A. M. Eckstein - 12/4/2008

You speak the truth, Fahrettin.

Art


Charles S Young - 12/4/2008

The original article used the "myth of Arab innocence" to mean disbelief there were antisemitic crimes by Arabs. It went on and on about various historical examples. That's what I was responding to. Disbelief in those examples does not exist beyond the lunatic fringe, and certainly not in Walt-Mearshimer.

You've gone in a whole new direction with the argument.


Fahrettin Tahir - 12/4/2008

Dismal place, this planet of ours.


art eckstein - 12/4/2008

I agree with N.F. in terms of the inaccurate use of the term "colonialism" to describe the founding of the Israeli state.

No colonial power was involved in the founding of the Israeii state or stood behind it, nor were Jews agents of any such colonial power . The British empire was a target, not a supporter, of Jewish fighters for statehood. The British Army intentionally stood by and despite Jewish pleas allowed, e.g., the Mt. Scopas massacre in April 1948, where 70 Jewish doctors and nurses were roasted to death in burning buses by Arabs.

The Jews who came to what became Israel were not colonialists supported by a colonial power going to a foreign land to which they had no connection, which is the normal definition of colonialism (e.g., the right-wing British aristocrats who bought land in British Kenya). Rather these Jews were, as NF says, refugees --refugeesfrom centuries-long oppression--oppression which had been instituted against them both in Europe and Muslim lands. And they were going to a land to which they had a thousands-year-old connection (and a continual presence).

The "colonialist" canard wielded inaccurately (big surprise!) by Omar is simply a leftist propaganda-tool cleverly adopted by (ironically enough) fascist-leaning Islamists to undermine the raison d'etre of Israel, a polity which for the its first 30 years was itself dominated by a strongly left-wing culture, and where half the political landscape is still dominated by the very powerful Labour Party.


N. Friedman - 12/4/2008

Omar,

I was not saying anything about there being any punishment or assuaging any guilt - about which I see no guilt to assuage. I was, instead, making a point that what Mr. Young wrote is not consistent with the known facts.

So far as your contention more generally, it is based on a distortion of the facts. I start with the point that migrants seeking a better a life are not colonists. That becomes all the more obvious when one inquires as to which foreign power the alleged colonists were colonists. The fact is that the migrants came to advance their own cause, not the cause of some foreign power.

So far as wondering why Jews migrated to the ancestral home for Jews - i.e. Eretz Y'srael -, that was not a punishment for bad Arab behavior. It was, rather, an effort by oppressed Jewish people to better themselves.

However, it is important, in understanding why people would feel the need to migrate to Israel, to note that the reason was oppressive behavior by Europeans and Arabs. But, that is something different from punishment or any effort to assuage guilt.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/4/2008

For the sake of clarity, Paragraph 3 above should read:

Omar refuses my challenge to show that Jewish doctors, including Orthodox Jewish doctors, do not treat non Jews. By the way: note that Omar above uses the phrase, "some Jews", to refer to Jewish doctors treating non-Jews. Omar--by using the phrase "some Jews" you imply that there are other Jewish doctors, indeed many, who do not treat gentiles: WHO ARE THESE? give the evidence!




A. M. Eckstein - 12/3/2008

Omar, Shahak does not substantiate anything.

If Omar believes that Jewish doctors (note it is no longer Orthodox Jewish doctors) are all violating acknowledged Jewish Law, he must PROVE that this is the case.

He has already refused the challenge to show that even ultra-Orthodox doctors do not treat non-Jews, even on Shabbat.

He refuses my challenge to show that Jewish doctors, including Orthodox Jewish doctors, do not treat non Jews. (BTW: note that Omar uses the phrase here, "SOME Jews", Omar--by using the phrase "some Jews" you imply that there are others, indeed many, who do not gentiles: WHO ARE THESE? give the evidence!).

Omar refuses the challenge because he cannot show that this is the case, and he cannot show that this is the case because--well--it isn't the case.

Okay. So NOW my new challenge to Omar is:

PROVE with EVIDENCE that all these Jewish doctors, including the Orthodox, are violating widely-acknowledged and accepted halakhic law by treating non-Jews. This includes, as I gave eyewitness testimony of, Orthodox Jewish doctors in Israel treating Muslim terrorists. On the Sabbath. PROVE that they are violating widely-acknowledged halakhic law, Omar.

Or drop this line of slanderous propaganda forever.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/3/2008

Fahrettin, the issue isn't the widespread existence of different classes of subjects, of which dhimmis would be one, Christians under the Ottomans another, and oppressed Catholics in Protestant England in the 16th century another, and Jews everywhere yet another.

The parallels you draw on that are reasonable enough. But the issue under discussion is whether historically Islamic rule has been innocent of these oppressions.

Some people claim this; they point ad nauseam to one specific area, Ummayad al-Andalus, in one very specific and not very long period of time. Mr. Greene is simply pointing out the evidence--evidence which even Omar admits is extensive and convincing--that this Islamic myth of "innocence" of these oppressions is indeed a total myth.

best,

AE


omar ibrahim baker - 12/3/2008

It is indeed very SAD that the Professor failed to respond to direct challenge of his comprehension capability , as in the post hereunder reposted,by throwing a meaningless "challenge"

So once again I state:
"Sadly enough Professor Eckstein can NOT tell the diference between:
A-"...Jewish doctors are not allowed to treat non-Jews, basing this claim on Shahak "
as documented and substantiated by the late Professor Israel Shahk ( reading Shahak is indispensable for comprehending Zionism and the Ecksteins of this world)
AND
B-The plain fact that some, possibly most, Jewish doctors DO treat non Jews.

Back to the A,B &C of the matter and,with the multiawarded professor, for practically everything:
-"ARE NOT ALLOWED" by Orthodox Jewish religious dictates, according to Professor Shahak, in no way is negated by the fact that some, most I guess,DO treat non Jews!

Back to the A, B & C:
A-Jews, just like Moslems, are NOT allowed to eat pork...
but
B-Some do.

Neither statement negates,invalidates nor nullifies the other which is, Prof,1+1=2"


Fahrettin Tahir - 12/3/2008

There was historically nothing unusual about having several classes of subjects. If we take the mother of modern democracy England, catholics only got equal rights in the 1820ies, men as voters towards the end of the 19th cetury, women in the 20th century, the colonials say hong kong at no point. Even today britain has several classes of citizens, lords had until the 21th century rights other did not and the empire still has different citizenship status depending on where people are born. The dhimmi regulation was medieval law guaranteeing minimal rights for nonmoslems, and much to be preferred to the status of slaves, also legal under islamic law und very much the shame mankind. Unusuil was the Ottoman empire in giving all subjects equal rights in 1863.


art eckstein - 12/3/2008

Omar's claims are simply slander. Repeating them ad nauseum does not make them any more true.

I therefore challenge Omar now to come up with mulitple cases where Orthodox doctors refused to treat dying non-Jews. WHERE'S THE EVIDENCE, OMAR?

And I am not talking about one wierd guy somewhere. I mean: to prove this isn't slander, Omar must come up with MULTIPLE MULTIPLE CASES. He must show that this is STANDARD PRACTICE among Orthdox doctors. Because THAT is what Omar is charging.

If he cannot, then he should drop this slander propaganda forever.

To help Omar get started in his research, I quote below an eye-witness account by Natan Nestel, from August 2007, writing about slanders such as the one Omar is retailing, which originate in 19th century European anti-semitism and make their way now around the Muslim world:

"Orthodox doctors do not make any distinction between a Jew and a non-Jew. I have seen such Orthodox impartiality with my own eyes. I underwent surgery a year ago at the Tel Aviv Medical Center. Several wounded Palestinians, among them militant terrorists, were hospitalized at the same time. It so happened that on the three Sabbaths that I was in the hospital, the doctors on duty were Orthodox. I asked them out of curiosity about their feelings regarding treating militant enemies. All said that in their eyes all patients are equal and should be treated equally.
"Moreover, one said that it was precisely because of his religious schooling and beliefs that he felt Jews and Palestinians were created by G-d equally and should be treated accordingly. Indeed, this is the faith that created the maxim: "Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you."


omar ibrahim baker - 12/3/2008

Sadly enough Professor Eckstein can NOT tell the diference between:
A-"...Jewish doctors are not allowed to treat non-Jews, basing this claim on Shahak "
as documented and substantiated by the late Professor Israel Shahk ( reading Shahak is indispensable for comprehending Zionism and the Ecksteins of this world)
AND
B-The plain fact that some, possibly most, Jewish doctors DO treat non Jews.

Back to the A,B &C of the matter and,with the multiawarded professor, for practically everything:
-"ARE NOT ALLOWED" by Orthodox Jewish religious dictates, according to Professor Shahak, in no way is negated by the fact that some, most I guess,DO treat non Jews!

Back to the A, B & C:
A-Jews, just like Moslems, are NOT allowed to eat pork...
but
B-Some do.

Neither statement negates,invalidates nor nullifies the other which is, Prof,1+1=2


art eckstein - 12/3/2008

If Omar actually wants to LEARN what happened at Deir Yassin, the most scholarly account is now Benny Morris, "The Historiography of Deir Yassin," Journal of Israeli History 2005, pp. 76-104 (based, let me stress, on both israeli and Palestinian sources).

But I think Omar, naturally enough, will prefer ignorance. Nevertheless, I urge him (and everyone else) to read this article. HNN is, after all, a site for actual historians.


art eckstein - 12/3/2008

1. Deir Yassin was carried out by the IZL (Irgun), which was not religiously based and did not act in the name of Jehovah. It was ultra-nationalist. Omar thus mixes apples and oranges: those who killed in Mumbai shouted "Allah-u Akbar!" as they murdered. Irgunists were not nice people but that's not what the organization was about.

2. Shahak has been shown again and again on this site to be incorrect. A classic example: Omar has claimed again and again that Jewish doctors are not allowed to treat non-Jews, basing this claim on Shahak. But the reality is that in israel Jewish (as of course elsewhere) Jewish doctors always treat non-Jews, just like they treat Jews, and this includes treating wounded Palestinian terrorists, including those wounded fighting each other. Omar was given specific citations from major newspapers showing this occurring. So much for Shahak and his claims--yet Omar still (it's unbelievable, really)l claims Shahak as some sort of an authority.

Facts always work vs. Omar. History is not the same as myth.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/3/2008

Reading Mr Friedman and Mr Green's implicit apologia one is bound to ask:
1-Was the establishment of a Jewish/Zionist colony in Palestine, Israel, according to them, a Punishment of Arabs for perceived injustices inflicted on Jews throughout their common history?
OR
2-Is it an attempt to feign an effort to assuage their own sense of guilt for the crime committed by theirs and thus to justify to others, on the human frailty for retribution grounds, the unjustifiable crime of a racist colonialist conquest?

Either objective is a positive indicator in that it discloses the bankruptcy of the old rationales, frequently used earlier, to justify and defend what is being increasingly unveiled and progressively universally perceived for what it fundamentally and really is: a racist colonialist conquest.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/3/2008

It is interesting to note that multiawarded “Professor “ Eckstein either failed to comprehend or consciously ignored my main point namely :
"In the absolute no human community is "innocent" of that "crime"; anti Semitism has been a long lasting, universal phenomena substantially encompassing all "gentile", goy=non Jewish, human kind!
A state of affairs and historical fact that pits the Jews against, practically, all of humankind"

The real issue is therefore twofold:
1-Given that it is a universal phenomenon the ranking of the extent of its spread and persavisness is objectively pertinent.
And that:
2-"(It)deserves further exploration to find out who was in the right and who deserved, earned, that long lasting antipathy often verging on outright hostility and why."

However that:
"(Reading Israel Shahak might shed some light on the issue.)" Instead of urging “Professor” Eckstein to weigh in by providing an interpretation of that sad but undeniable universal phenomenon provokes his ire is also interesting and telling.
His priority here is to dissuade and deter people from perusing a land mark oeuvre by a Jewish scholar of outstanding erudition, exceptional honesty, objectivity and courage: the late Israel Shahak’s
"Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years”.
(http://www.geocities.com/israel_shahak/book1.htm ) and (http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1194/9411069.htm)
A book, I contend, that goes a long way to explain the why of this deplorable universal outlook.
Once again a book frightens him.

Professor Eckstein then goes on and asks:
” what other religion produces fanatics who send fiends like this out to kill hundreds and hundreds of innocents in the name of God, Omar?”
The answer to which is plain enough:
Zionist Judaism , of course .The very doctrine that perpetrated and glorifies the cold blooded massacre of 250 civilian oldsters, children , men and women, and the disemboweling of pregnant women in DEIR YASSIN by an organization that came to be a backbone of the Israeli Army.


art eckstein - 12/3/2008

Readers: Omar himself has presented the reign of the Califs as some sort of paradise of tolerance presided over by benevolent Muslims. This is, precisely, the "myth of Muslim innocence," and Omar has been a purveyor of it.

Omar may remember, for instance, being brought up short in his discussion of the wonderful tolerance of the Ottoman Sultans when he was reminded of the tens of thousands of Christian children kidnapped and forcibly converted by the Sultan's government to Islam (i.e., the Janissaries).

Meanwhile, observe the illogic of what he says now:

"Mr Green had many episodes and quotations about Arab/Moslem ill treatment of Jews to support his thesis.
I contend that as much and much more evil could be unearthed if his objective was any other major human community."

The issue, Omar, is not how badly OTHER groups did or did not treat Jews. That is irrelevant to the question about Muslim behavior-- where the subject (to repeat) is the myth of Muslim innocence. I repeat: this is a myth which Omar himself has ahistorically purveyed until caught by the facts. So to be clear: the issue is whether the Muslims were innocent or not of ill-treating Jews (and Christians). The answer, as Omar himself admit, is that very often they were not at all innocent.

Okay, then. On Omar's own admission, case closed.

(And Omar should stop bringing up the miserable Israel Shahak, a source which he scrounged from his surfing of anti-semitic websites. N. Friedman and I have demonstrated time and again that Shahak is very inaccurate, undependable and highly distortive. But Omar never learns because he so desperately wants to beleive that the statements of Shahak are true.)

Oh, well. Maybe it was Mossad who did Mumbai, too, eh, Omar? One must ask, in the face of 180 innocent dead, what other religion produces fanatics who send fiends like this out to kill hundreds and hundreds of innocents in the name of God, Omar?

Islam isn't all violence. But it is a version of Islam which has produced THIS. And meanwhile, to quote Khaled al-Jenfawi, in Kuwait's al-Seyassah daily: "Unfortunately, we have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation [of the Mumbai atrocities] in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam."

That's not me speaking, Omar.


N. Friedman - 12/2/2008

Mr. Young,

You write: "The myth (newly invented), is that there's a myth of Arab innocence."

If I understand you correctly, you are factually mistaken. In fact, the view that Arabs were wholly innocent of what occurred before Israel's creation is common and, as noted in the article, untrue. The view of innocent Arabs on which Jews were dumped is argued ad nauseum in, among other places, British newspapers - including by respected columnists/commentators - to this time. Must I provide you with a list of such articles? In any event, John Mearsheimer himself argues for Arab innocence in an article - which, it seems to me, does him no credit and shows his reliance on highly questionable sources - re-printed in HNN:

Fifth, he [Benny Morris] clearly implies that the expulsion was the Arab's own fault. He writes: "The Arabs, it was said, had only themselves to blame for the upheaval: they’d started it. And, Morris notes, the Jews were only emulating the Arabs, who’d always envisioned a virtually Judenrein Palestine." This is an outrageous argument. The Zionist came to Palestine knowing full well that there were an indigenous people there and that they would have to steal their land. Margolick, to his credit, quotes Ben-Gurion saying that the Zionists stole their land. Of course, the Palestinians resisted the Jews. Who could blame them? Again, Ben-Gurion is worth quoting: “Were I an Arab, I would rebel even more vigorously, bitterly, and desperately against the immigration that will one day turn Palestine and all its Arab residents over to Jewish rule."

The Palestinians certainly did not start this conflict. They were simply reacting to an attempt by the Zionists to take away their homes and land, which they eventually did. Furthermore, to talk about a "Judenrein Palestine" is a subtle way of implying that the Palestinians were Nazis, which they were not. It is also worth noting that there were Jews living peacefully in the area we call Palestine before the Zionists began moving there from Europe. Moreover, there was little resistance to the first Jews who came to Palestine in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The resistance appeared when the Arab population came to understand the Zionists' agenda.


Which is to say, Mearsheimer sees the Arabs as pretty much wholly innocent. The facts, as history knows them, are otherwise. Which is to say, most - perhaps, 99% - Jews who came to historic Palestine knew little about the region. They little knew little about the history of the Arabs. They knew little about Islam or its history. Further, they did not come to steal the land. Land was purchased and purchased at above the going market rate - which is quite a bit different from stealing.

Those Jews who, in fact, knew something about the region sought, as even the right winger Jabotinsky advocated, joint rule with Arabs. Moreover, there was support for their position on the Arab side, with quite a number of Arab leaders believing that the region would benefit from the presence of Jews.

Which is to say, it was a conscious political decision made by the Arab side to oppose the presence of Jews - which was the view that became dominant. Such will become clear to anyone who examines the facts presented in Hillel Cohen's interesting but, in my view, slightly flawed, book, Army of Shadows. Mearsheimer confuses a political decision with a necessary position. But, as we all know from studying just war, moral aims are those directed to what is necessary to lead a decent life, not to keep others from migrating or playing a role in government.

The errors in the quote material are many - so many that I thought not to reproduce it. They include allegations about the absence of violence against newcomers in the 19th Century - untrue, by the way -, to just about everything else. Be that as it may, I have shown your thesis to be wrong.

Somewhat less emphasized by Mr. Green - and also contradicting Mearsheimer -, is the fact that there was a rather clear alliance between the Arab national movement in Palestine, via the Grand Mufti, and the Nazis to solve the so-called Jewish problem more generally, and not just in historic Palestine. In this regard, I would point you to the scholarship of Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers. The short version of their important scholarship can be found in this article. They are, more importantly, the authors of Halbmond und Hakenkreuz. Das "Dritte Reich", die Araber und Palästina. The two authors have written a detailed book on the subject, Halbmond und Hakenkreuz. Das "Dritte Reich", die Araber und Palästina ("Crescent Moon and Swastika: The Third Reich, the Arabs, and Palestine"). This was also raised by Bernard-Henri Lévy in his new book Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism,page 176, (and reference to the two researchers is a reference to Mallmann and Cüppers):

Reading the writings of the Mufti, one can no longer say that the Holocaust was a European crime of which the Arabs are innocent. One can no longer say that the Arab world is paying for a crime it had nothing to do with when we discover, in the archives of the high commander of the German army, that "only the funds placed at the disposition of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by Germany" allowed him to organize his little Kristallnacht in Palestine. And one can no longer make this claim or sustain this argument when one has read the book by two renowned researchers that just came out in Germany establishing, after many years of inquiry, especially in the military archives of Freiburg, two absolutely decisive facts. First, that Arab anti-Semitism was not, as is always said, a circumstantial anti-Semitism, mainly linked to English support for the nascent Israeli state, which the Arabs therefore saw as a colonial creation: Germany, says the Grand Mufti in a statement the authors discovered, is "the only country in the world that has not merely fought the Jews at home but have declared war on the entirety of world Jewry; in this war against world Jewry, the Arabs feel profoundly connected to Germany"–one could hardly put it better! And second, that there was, stationed in Athens, under the orders of the Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff, the very same man who refined and then developed the use of gas trucks at Auschwitz, a special intervention force, the Einsatzgruppe Ägypten, intended to reach Palestine and liquidate the 500,000 European Jews who had already taken refuge in the Yishuv in the event Rommel won the battle of the desert: this was an Arab unit, and it was al-Husseini who, there again, in his conversations with Eichmann, had put the final touches on the intervention plan, which should indicate his full and entire participation in the Final Solution; and only Montgomery's victory at El Alamein stymied the project for extermination.

Regarding Muslim attitudes toward Jews more generally, I would commend you to read not only Professor Lewis' book, The Jews of Islam, (which offers a somewhat kinder assessment than Mr. Greene does) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, by Andrew Bostom (which offers voluminous evidence from Islamic religious sources including the Qur'an, various Hadiths - which are reproduced in full, along with commentary on them by leading Muslim theologians over the millennium -, Muslims theologians generally (both from the classical period and up to today), political leaders across the Muslim regions (again, across the span of time), etc. showing the role religion played in fomenting hatred and, while this was not Bostom's theme, the attitude of contempt toward Jews which Professor Lewis describes as being typical in Muslim regions).

The point here is that it is, in analyzing what occurs in the world, important not to forget that non-Europeans have their own hatreds, their own agendas, their own history. It is not just a reflection of our history. Rather, Jews were thought of contemptuously by Palestine's Arab population and attitudes by Muslims, based on religion, did play an important role in making the dispute what it is. This is acknowledged by historians including even Benny Morris.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/2/2008

Mr Green vehemently denies that the Arabs, and Moslems in general,"are", according to W&M, "innocent"!
Innocent or guilty of what specific crime or misdemeanor he does not specify; presumably they would be , according to W&M, "innocent" of the "crime" of "anti-Semitism" and equally "guilty" according to him!

In the absolute no human community is "innocent" of that "crime"; anti Semitism has been a long lasting, universal phenomena substantially encompassing all "gentile", goy=non Jewish, human kind!

A state of affairs and historical fact that pits the Jews against, practically, all of humankind that deserves further exploration to find out who was in the right and who deserved, earned, that long lasting antipathy often verging on outright hostility and why.
(Reading Israel Shahak might shed some light on the issue.)

However it is NOT a question of who was right and how was wrong it is a question of historical fact and the real issue, in this context of a universal phenomena, is: who was more vehement in his enmity and who dealt the Jews the worst deal through out history?

I contend that Jews were better treated, or less evilly dealt with, by the Arabs and Islam than any other major human community in which Jews had a perceptible presence !

Mr Green had many episodes and quotations about Arab/Moslem ill treatment of Jews to support his thesis.
I contend that as much and much more evil could be unearthed if his objective was any other major human community.
Should that be Christendom all we have to do is recollect the Inquisition and the Holocaust the parallel ,or quasi equivalent, of which never occurred in Islamdom.

Re the Jizya, the tax imposed on non Moslems in Moslem states, the pertinent historical facts, studiously avoided by Mr Green, about it are:
1-It was first imposed on non Moslems at the request of the Archbishop of Jerusalem Safronius to serve as a substitute, en lieu of, to serving in the (Moslem ) army of the state that came to dominate Palestine in the sixth century AD.
Payment in lieu of military service is neither unique nor necessarily evil.
If anything at all it could be reasonably interpreted as a progressive move: to legally allow non Moslems NOT to fight for another cause/doctrine than their own.
In essence it is a reflection of Islam's respect of their, the dhimmis', beliefs, doctrines and the dictates of their own conscience and a humane measure to enable non Moslems to legally avoid serving in an army upholding the values of an other religion than their own
2-NON Moslems were EXCEMPTED from paying the taxes imposed on Moslems such as the Zakat and the Ushor.

To prop his thesis Mr Green quoted only one instance, subject to various interpretations, from the Koran; which same book classified both Jews and Christians as "people of the Book" and mandated the privileged treatment of their communities, houses of worship etc due to their monotheism .
As to the many other episodes and quotations, particularly re aspects of ill treatment of dhimmis, such as garment and horse riding vignettes, Mr Green failed to :
1-Find any support for that in the Koran; because there is NONE
AND
2-Failed to mention a paramount historical fact that those discriminatory measures were enacted in the era of Islamic decline, "asser al inhitat", during which Moslems also suffered from equally bizarre and inane regulations.

As a historian Mr Green failed two imperative tests of serious, objective historical scholarship by failing to consider:
1-The universal TIME context of such measures .
The crucial importance of which can be deduced from , say, "Appraising” England by noting SOLELY that rapists were imprisoned while at the same time pick pockets were executed at one certain era in English history
2-The universality of the phenomenon of Jewish antipathy throughout AD history which lends itself to various interpretations.


Charles S Young - 12/1/2008

No one, including Walt-Mearsheimer, deny antisemitic crimes committed by Arabs.

The argument is that Europe's record is worse.

The myth (newly invented), is that there's a myth of Arab innocence.

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