"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Changing Ottoman Empire, TE Lawrence, Ba'ath Party, Zionism & Israel

Notes and reflections on Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence by Zachary Karabell

This book is very informative in an interesting way, however I'm getting a bit bored of rehashing what I read. But I've come this far and have only two chapters left -- yeehaw!  I think I will list things in a different way on this post.

This chapter talked about:

1. How the Ottoman Empire went from a tolerant society to a police state with the rise of nationalism.  Armenians were mentioned specifically as they were uprooted from their land and many of them murdered.

2.  T.E. Lawrence and how he thought the Arabs needed assistance as together they fought for the "restoration of Arab glory."

Lawrence of Arabia

3. How the Arabs and Lawrence used each other to accomplish goals.  How the British made deals with three different groups (between Sharif Husayn and Henry McMahon regarding the formation of an Arab state, with the French in the Sykes-Picot agreement and with the Zionists regarding the land of Palestine) and while all may be fair in love and war, it doesn't mean playing people against each other and making false promises won't cause hurt feelings. 

4. How the British lied to the Arabs concerning Syria and it lead eventually to a mandate system (where the colonists ruled for a time until the natives would be granted independence)

5. How Zionism was a nationalistic movement in a period when the world was very nationalistic. In that regard, it was nothing special.  However it differed from most by making claim to a land that hadn't been occupied by a majority of Jews for nearly two thousand years.  

Zionism was a socialistic group with their Judaism based on ethnic, rather than religious, ties

6. "In England, support for Zionism stemmed from the same source as support for Arab independence. Most of the men who governed the British Empire had gone to schools whose curriculum was heavily influenced by both the Bible and the classics of Rome and Greece. The result was a deep affinity for the Holy Land,...shame and guilt over the ill treatment that Jews had suffered throughout most of the medieval and early modern period -- and there was also anti-Semitism, which led members of the British ruling class to prefer the idea of Jews living somewhere else."  (pg. 251)

7.  Michel Aflaq, a Christian Arab helped form the Arab nationalistic Ba'ath party which was, by the way, corrupted as Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party was very different from the one Aflaq created.  Aflaq used Islam as the glue for holding Arabs together. Although a Christian, he believed Arabs of all faiths should revere Muhammad as a hero and live together in coexistence.

Aflaq called Islam 'the most precious element of Arabism'

8.  How the creation of Israel was such a humiliation to Arabs and 1948 became an end rather than a beginning.  Many Jews were expelled from Arab lands so the peaceful coexistence of centuries past ended with the creation of the Zionist State.


Only one chapter left - hang in there!  :-P

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