Here are two popular videos on Youtube of members of the Neturei Karta telling people that before Zionism Jews and Muslim Arabs got along very well together. They attended each other’s celebrations and took care of each other’s childrens etc... But all that peace and harmony came to a tragic end with the rise of Zionism.
One of the most tragic events that occurred in the Land of Israel over the last 100 years was the 1929 Hebron massacre where barbaric Muslim Arabs slaughtered 67 members of the Hebron Jewish community. Many people, including the Ultra-Orthodox put the blame on the rise of Zionism.
Is it really fair to blame Zionism for turning Muslim Arabs into barbaric savages? Does that really make any sense?
The Jews living in Hebron at the time werent even Zionists and even if they were can one really justify the slaughter of 67 men, women, and children and blame Zionism? Am I missing something here? To suggest that Zionism is responsible for barbaric Islamic behaviour is preposterous!
Let me provide you with three points as to why the Neturei Karta, Satmar, and other anti-Zionists fanatics are wrong for blaming the past and current episodes of Arab (and the world) hostility towards Jews on Zionism.
I. Anti-Semitism preceded Zionism by centuries
Its fascinating and frustrating how anti-zionist blame anti-semitism on Zionism. Anti-Semitism has been around for thousands of years. Thousands of Jews were massacred during both the First and Second Crusades. Tens of thousands of Jews were either forced to convert to Christianity or were tortured to death and slaughtered during the Spanish Inquisition. Tens of thousands of Jews were massacred during the Khmelnytsky Uprising in 1648.
But what about the treatment of Jews in Arab lands? While the Jews faired off better in Arab lands than they did in Europe they were by no means free from persecutions and massacres.
In 627 after Jews rejected Muhamed, his followers massaced 900 men. wikipedia
1033 and 1465 Fez Massacres
In 1033, the forces of Prince Abu-Alquemal Tamim, part of the Ifranid dynasty, perpetrated a massacre of Jews in Fez, Morocco following their conquest and plunder of the city. The Prince's forces killed over six thousand Jews, appropriated their belongings, and captured the Jewish women of the city. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1033_Fez_pogrom
In 1465 another massacre took place resulting in the slaughter of thousands of Jews leaving only 11 alive.
1066 Granada massacre
On December 30, 1066, a Muslim mob stormed the royal palace inGranada, which was at that time in Muslim-ruled al-Andalus, assassinated the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred many of the Berber Jewish population of the city. - wikipedia
1107: Forced conversion of all Jews in Morocco
1165: Mass conversions in Yemen
1333: forced mass conversions in Baghdad
Jews were massacred throughout Arab lands from the 6th century all the way to the 19th century. Decrees were ordered for the destruction of Synagogues in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, and Baghdad throughout the centuries. Jews were forced to wear special articles of clothing such as yellow badges or different colored turbans to seperate them from Muslims in Morocco and Baghdad.
In the early 19th century, the Jews of Morocco were forced to live in Ghettos called Mellahs. Jews were forced to walk barefoot outside this ghetto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellah
The list goes on and on. For a complete list of Anti-Semitism see this article:
For a thorough coverage on the topic of the treatment of Jews in Arab lands click here.
Treatment of Jews in Palestine
At this point its important to discuss the treatment of Jews in Palestine before the onset of Zionism. Poor treatment of the Jews of Palestine didn’t begin in the late 1800s or early 1900s as a result of the rise of Zionism, it actually predates Zionism by 400 years.
In the late 15th century a pilgrim in Jerusalem wrote:
The Muslims know that the Jews think and even say that this is the Holy Land which has been promised to them and that thos Jews who dwell there are regarded as holy by Jews elsewhere, because in spite of all the troubles and sorrows inflicted on them by the Muslim, they refuse to leave the land. (1)
In the 16th Century the Jews of Tsfat (Safed) and Jerusalem were constantly persecuted. The Sultan of the time Murad III decreed that all Jews be executed. Althought the decree was never fulfilled the Jews were still subject to constant persecution.
In 1625, the Jews of Jerusalem were persecuted mercilessly:
“It was not unusual, when the countryside suffered a drought for the Muslim mob to attack “Jewish sinners who drank wine and thus caused the rains to stop!” To buy off the attackers, Jews had to borrow money from rich Muslims at compound interest, under threats of further attacks if they failed to repay.” (2)
In 1660 the entire Jewish community of Tsfat (Safed) was massacred as Arab muslims destroyed the town.
Over the next hundred years the Jews of Palestine continued to suffer harrasment and constant persecution. In 1775 a blood libel spread throughout Hebron resulting in violent mob attacks by the local muslim arabs.
Even the Christians suffered tremendously at the hands of the Muslim Arabs. In the early 1800s, the Christians of Ramla were slaughtered by the gangs of Muhammed Djezzer aka The Butcher:
“Even as late as 1801 Djezzer sent troops to destroy the standing crops in the environs of Nazerath. Ramle, however, bore the brunt of the Muslim wrath. During the three days of pillage, the local Latin Christians were either murdered, or lost all their property and fled.” (Dr. John Martin Augustus Scholz, Travels 1821, as seen in From Time Immemorial pg 180)
In 1834, forty thousand Muslims attacked Jerusalem. “The mob entered and looted the city for five or six days. The Jews were the worst of sufferers, their homes were sacked and their women violated.”
In 1837, as a result of an earthquake that hit Tzfat, the surviving Muslims took out their rage on the Jewish quarter.
The Blood Libel of 1840 resulted in the persecution and murder of Jews throughout Palestine by Muslim Arabs.
In 1839, British Consul Young reported:
“Scarecely a day passes that I do not hear of some act of Tyranny and oppression against the Jew - chiefly by the [Turkish] soldiers, who enter their Houses and borrow whatever they require without asking any permission-sometimes they return the article, but more frequently not. Like the miserable dog without an owner he is kicked by one because he crosses his path and cuffed by another because he cries out.” (Wm. T. Young to Viscount Palmerston, Jerusalem, 1839)
In 1847 a traveller to Palestine reported:
“They do not have any protection and are at the mercy of policemen and the pashas who treat them as they wish.”
In 1858 a Muslim in Hebron commented after theft and vandalism of Jews and their property that it is “his right from time immemorial in his family to enter Jewish houses, and take toll or contributions at any time without giving account.”
The next several decades from 1848 - 1878 The Jews of Palestine including the Jews of Hebron were subjected to constant anti-semitism, opression and persecution. All these anti-semetic attacks were thoroughly documented by the British Consulate in Jerusalem.
Just like the list of attrocities against Jews in Arab lands, the list of poor treatment of Jews in Palestine goes on and on. Suggesting that Zionism is responsible for anti-semitism and violence against Jews shows a clear lack of knowledge of Jewish history.
The bottom line is that Muslim Arabs simply do not need an excuse for killing or persecuting Jews. Its been happening for centuries.
II. Zionism was founded because of anti-semitism
It is well known amongst knowledgeable historians that one of the main reasons for the birth of modern Zionism as a political movement was a response to modern day anti-semitism. It was believed that the only way for the Jewish people to be able to live freely as a people would be in their own homeland under their own control.
The following is an excerpt of Theodor Herzl’s “A solution of the Jewish Question:”
“Two phenomena arrest our attention by reason of the consequences with which they are fraught. One, the high culture, the other, the profound barbarism of our day. I have intentionally put this statement in the form of a paradox. By high culture, I mean the marvellous development of all mechanical contrivances for making the forces of nature serve man’s purpose. By profound barbarism, I mean anti-Semitism.
“The Jewish Question still exists. It would be foolish to deny it. It exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Where it does not yet exist, it will be brought by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those place where we are not persecuted, and there our presence soon produces persecution. This is true in every country, and will remain true even in the most highly civilised - France itself is no exception- till the Jewish Question finds a solution on a political basis.
“The force we need is created in us by anti-Semitism. Some people will say that what I am doing is to kindle anti-Semitism afresh. This is not true, for anti-Semitism would continue to increase irrespective of my project, so long as the cause of its growth are not removed. “ - A Solution of the Jewish Question. The Jewish Chornicle, January 17, 1896 as seen in “The Jew in the Modern World”, Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz pgs 420-422.
III. Jihad and Radical Islam
Radical Islam and Jihad versus Western entities has absolutely nothing to do with Zionism. This is a perfect example of the phrase: “A lie told often enough becomes truth.” As mentioned above persecution of the Jews in Palestine existed for centuries before the rise of Zionism. Muslim hatred of the Jews has even existed since the beginning of Islam. The following is an excerpt of Muhammad's writings called The Hadith:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews , when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
On Palestinian television Dr. Muhammed Madi stated the following in March 2001:
“This Hadith clarifies to us the characteristics of the campaign between us and the Jews. The tree and the rock do not say 'Oh, Palestinian', 'Oh Arab', or 'Oh resident of the Middle East'. Rather they say: 'Oh, Moslem, Servant of Allah'"
(as seen in http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/jerusalem/jerusalem42.htm)
Its interesting to note that the tree and rock also do not say “there is a Zionist behind me, come and kill him” but rather it states “there is a Jew behind me...”
Watch the below video and hear for yourself.
It is very clear from the above statements that hatred towards Jews has very little to do with Zionism. Just doing research on the overall attitude of Islam towards Judiasm would reveal that this negative sentiment has existed for thousands of years.
Its important to note at this point that radical Islam also harbors animosity towards western entities primarily America. While people often point the finger at America’s support for the State of Israel as the number one reason for the ongoing conflict between the West and radical Islam the fact is its the Western presence in the Middle East that is the cause for these conflicts.
The following is a quote from Osama bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attacks:
“For more than seven years the United States is occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of its territories, Arabia, plundering its riches, overwhelming its rulers, humiliating its people, threatening its neighbors, and using its bases in the peninsula as a spearhead to fight against the neighboring Islamic peoples.
“The ruling is to kill the Americans and their allies is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it, in order to liberate the Al Aqsa mosque [Jerusalem] and the Holy Mosque [Mecca]... This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God...
We call on every Muslim who believes in God and wished to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.”
Its important to notice that Osama bin Laden is reflecting the overall Islamic attitude towards America and Israel. Its not about Zionism or America’s support for it but rather its about the struggle between Islam and the West. Between Islam and Judiasm. Its about the Jewish and Western presence in what they consider should be an Islamic Middle East.
Furthermore, take a look at all the conflicts going on around the world today. Most of the conflicts today involve radical Muslims. Churches are bombed, woman are raped, men are slaughtered.
Unfortunately this is an ongoing theme involving radical Islam and has absolutely nothing to do with Zionism.
(1) Martin Kabtanik, Journey to Jerusalem 1491 as seen in From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters page 176
(2) A.Y. Brawer, Haaretz, 1929, page 169 as seen in From Time Immemorial pg. 178