So we've seen Muslims and Jews actually got along quite well at times. In those instances as long as the Jews kept their respectful stance as dhimmis, most often problems did not exist. After a time, however, this all changed and problems happened in places where Jews had thrived for years such as Iraq. One former Iraqi administrator, Abraham Elkabir, "later reflected - while living in Israel - on what went wrong" between Muslims and Jews. "He traced Muslim hostility to three factors:
1. "the Palestine issue"
2. "the Mufti of Jerusalem's campaign in Iraq identifying Jews and Zionists"
3. "the 'anti-Semitic tendencies' of the British officials and other Westerners in Iraq" (pg. 193)
Chapters 12 and 13 also mention Nazi Germany influencing Arab hatred towards the Jews. This despite the fact Hitler's social ladder put Arabs only one step above Jews. Wisely Hitler had this illustration deleted from the Arabic printing of his book Mein Kampf since he wanted Arab help.
Observation: Part of the problem with Zionism is that it was in conflict with rising Arabism. So was this all a soured competition between nationalities?
COMPARE this thought ...
"The Muslim world, inspired by Arab nationalism but inflamed by Jewish nationalism, still considered Palestine as an Arab country and part of the Muslim patrimony, in which Jews could live only as a subject people." (pg. 201)
with this one:
"The imminent prospect of a National Home had given the Jews a sense of pride and a hope for a secure future. Jews would no longer have to put up with being second-class citizens, but that was how the Muslims among whom they lived considered them: the eternal, born dhimmis, subject to one form or another of the Covenant of Omar." (pg. 205)
So was the problem that Islamic faith said Jews were God-ordained to a certain role that Jews no longer were willing to play?
I found this fact very interesting and wondered how I should weigh it in considering the whole Palestine/Israel issue.
"Between 1922 and 1939 more Arabs had entered Palestine than Jews. These were Muslim immigrants including many illegals, from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Syria - as well as from Transjordan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. These immigrants were drawn to Palestine by its opportunities for work and its growing prosperity - opportunities and prosperity often created by the Jews there. In 1948 many of these Arab immigrants were to be included in the statistics of 'Palestinian' Arab refugees." (pg. 175)
So much for all the Palestinians living on ancestral lands for centuries, huh? I'm sure many had, but not these 20,000+ who came only in the twentieth century from other Arab lands.
The Partition problem also caused conflict in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood "called for the reintroduction of the dhimmi laws, which had been repealed by Egypt's Mohammad Ali dynasty a century earlier, allowing both Egyptian society and Egyptian Jewry to flourish." (pg. 213)
Several times Arab suspicion of the Jewish communities giving money to Zionist organizations was noted. It seemed most Arab countries at this time simply wanted to make sure their Jewish populations didn't support the creation of a Jewish state and they wanted the Jews to renounce Zionism, declare their loyalty to their countries (whether Iraq or Morocco or Libya) and definitely not financially support any Jewish agencies which might work to relocate Jews to Palestine. This reminds me of today in the United States where many Muslim "charities" are under suspicion for supporting what the United States deems as terrorist organizations. If you want to support the Palestinians by giving to any charity with ties to Hamas or Hezbollah, forget it.
And people here often want Muslims to show their loyalty to the United States. It seems some are suspicious of Muslim ties to that mysterious worldwide ummah.
The last chapter I finished was about Iraq from 1948 to1952. One Jewish man put the reason why his family left, "because of 'hostility at a popular level to the new State of Israel' - not due to any official Iraqi discrimination or expulsion.'" (pg. 243) It's as if the Arab people hated Israel so much that they took out their frustrations on the local Jewish populations which caused most of them to flee. The author noted by the end of 1951, over 113,500 Jews had left Iraq legally while 6,000 remained. When Jews left Iraq they had to surrender all but a small amount of money so a few Jews decided to stay.
What I find ironic to consider is that European Jews discriminated against and hurt so much by the Holocaust and preceding years (and years) understandably wanted to flee Europe for the newly created Israel where they felt safe. Most Arabs throughout the region hated this new creation so they took out their wrath on the Jewish people in their countries. Which, in turn, made those Jews want to leave. So many Arab countries let them leave -- for Israel! Which to me makes little sense. If you are wanting to destroy this newly-created entity, why bolster it with more people? Especially Jewish people who seem to have an innate ability to thrive wherever God puts them?
I think I see more clearly why many Palestinians feel abandoned by other Arabs and why they are cynical of Arab nations truly wanting to aid them. If anything, Palestine and Palestinians have been used as a rallying point for some Muslims who are trying to unite a fragmented ummah. But has real effort taken place to do anything? Or is it mostly talk? Arabs have often blamed their dictatorial leaders so we'll have to see if this Arab Spring - and new leaders coming to power - makes any difference for the Palestinian refugees.
All that said, it does not change the fact that I detest how Israel treats the Palestinians. I find it very shameful that people who have suffered so much over the centuries could, in turn, show they can be just as evil now that they are in superior positions. One would hope the human population would learn lessons from history, but that seems too difficult.
Thoughts? Corrections? Please share!
(see the two previous posts for more information on this book)