Taking Back Our History

The Jewish people in the Middle East are a people under siege.

Aside from the perpetual violence leveled at the Jewish minority in the region, the Jewish people are also subject to the theft of our history.  This is a theft that cannot be measured in financial terms.  This is a theft that goes to the core of our humanity and our dignity as a people.  It seeks, in fact, to eliminate us as a people.

For reasons which I find unfathomable, we are failing to place the Arab-Jewish conflict within the history of the Jews in the Middle East under thirteen centuries of Arab-Muslim persecution.  The conflict between the vast Arab-Muslim majority and the tiny Jewish minority needs to be understood in just those terms.  The Jews of the Middle East were a subjugated people since Muhammed’s armies marched out of the Saudi peninsula in the 7th century.  From that day to this the Jews were considered dhimmis, second and third class citizens under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperialism.

But the Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

When people read about the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews in the Middle East they are, today, generally given the distinct impression that Jewish militarists are oppressing an innocent, “indigenous” Arab minority.  Ever since the 6 Day War Israel has been depicted as the “Goliath” to the Palestinian-Arab “David.”  Sometimes, in fact, the Jews of the Middle East are even depicted as the “New Nazis” while the local Arabs are depicted as the “New Jews.”  For those of us with relatives dead from the Holocaust, such depictions are sadistic and the extent to which they come from the progressive-left, or even progressive-left Jews like David Harris-Gershon, is the extent to which the progressive-left has betrayed its own alleged values.

Sadism toward Jews, of course, is nothing new and it was the theocratic hallmark of Arab rule for thirteen centuries.  There is, however, an extreme reluctance within the international Jewish community to discuss this fact, but fact it is.  The Long Arab War Against the Jews of the Middle East has gone through many phases.

These include:

Phase 1, 1920 – 1947: Riots and Massacres

Phase 2, November 1947 – April 1948: The Civil War in Palestine

Phase 3, 1948 – 1973: Conventional Warfare

Phase 4, 1964 – Present: The Terror War

Phase 5, 1975 – Present: The Delegitimization Effort

It is the delegitimization effort, beginning with the UN “Zionism equals racism” resolution of 1975 that, today, represents the greatest threat to both the Jewish people and to the Jewish state of Israel.  The delegitimization effort, and the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS), is grounded in the denial of Jewish history.  The only way that it can be maintained – if it wishes to have any moral legitimacy – is through the denial of Jewish history and the theft of Jewish history.

The Denial of Jewish History:

The denial of Jewish history is a game played by Arabs and Jews alike.

The Jews play it by simply keeping quiet because we don’t want to upset anyone.  Given Israel’s success, and given the shaming that the world lathers on us, we don’t want to discuss the fact of Jewish persecution under Arab rule because it seems almost petty at this point.  Why dig up little things like the fact that historically in many places under Arab rule, Jews were not allowed to build new synagogues?  Why even mention the fact that in many places throughout the Middle East, Jews were not allowed to ride horses?  Or that sometimes we had to wear distinctive clothing in order to distinguish us from Muslims?  Or why even mention the fact that throughout the region a Muslim could beat a Jew, but it was illegal, under al-Sharia, for a Jew to fight back?

There is a reason that young Arab boys love to throw stones at Jews and they’ve been doing so long, long before anyone ever heard of any such person as David Ben-Gurion.

If in the Jewish world the denial of Jewish history is a matter of silence, in the Arab world, however, it is not.

The foremost example is what Dore Gold refers to as “Temple Denial.”  The first that Bill Clinton heard about it was during the Oslo “peace process” wherein Yassir Arafat denied that the Jewish Temple ever resided in Jerusalem.  Clinton was, by all accounts, flabbergasted at Arafat’s assertion, but this certainly did not prevent the PLO and Hamas and Fatah, and their western-progressive allies, from undertaking the full-scale theft of Jewish history in the years following.  Within Islamic historiography, Abraham was a Muslim.  Moses was a Muslim.  And now we learn that Jesus was the first “Palestinian shaheed.”

We even have Jewish opinionators claiming that some contemporary Jews, despite DNA evidence to the contrary, have no actual connection to the Land of Israel.

So, what we need to do is take back our own history and place the Arab war against us within the context of that history.  It’s a matter of time and place.  History did not start in 1967, after all, nor 1948.  The ongoing hostility against the Jews in that part of the world has been consistent and vicious and incessant since Muhammed.  He decided that because the Jewish people refused to accept him as “the Prophet” that we are his mortal enemy who need to be either murdered or subdued under the rules of Sharia and Arab hostility against the Jewish minority has been predicated on that ever since.

Replacement Theology:

What is perhaps most egregious is not the denial of Jewish history, but the theft of Jewish history within something akin to “replacement theology” or what is also known as supersessionism.  Anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, pro-Arab propagandists love to appropriate Jewish history and claim it as their own.  The Jewish people, of course, are among the most ancient people on the planet.  Our history predates written history, itself.  Yet, as you can see from the image of Anne Frank in a keffiyeh, the Arabs, and their supporters, love to abscond with our history.

It’s a form of cultural theft and it is widespread within the delegitimization war against the Jews of the Middle East.

Another example, of course, is the attempt to replace the Holocaust with al-Nakba, the “catastrophe.”  Among Arab anti-Jewish racists, and their supporters in the west, the failure of their Arab grandparents and great-grandparents to commit genocide upon the Jews – directly after the Holocaust – is considered a catastrophe on the level of the Holocaust, itself.

They even use the term “Nakba denial” to place the failure to kill the Jews, and thus their subsequent displacement to neighboring Arab countries, on a moral level with the Holocaust, itself.  This is despite the fact that the only reason there was any such thing as al-Nakba is because of intense Arab racism toward the indigenous Jewish population as that population restored its national home after World War II and after freeing itself from dhimmitude.

What we need to do going forward is to stand up for our rights of self-determination and self-defense and to remind our detractors that the Jews of the Middle East withstood thirteen centuries of abuse under Arab rule, but those days are over.   In my view, the “Palestinians” can have a state for themselves within the Jewish heartland, but that can only happen if they demonstrate an actual inclination toward peace.  So long as they continue to revile Jews throughout Arab media and threaten us with genocide and teach their children that stoning us makes for good sport, there can never be a twenty-third Arab state.

So long as they endeavor to steal our history and heritage, the vast Arab-Muslim majority can never be friends with the tiny Jewish minority.

It’s sad, but it is true


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

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  1. One can argue – based on accepted fallacies, of course – that “indigenous” Arabs had good reasons to fear and reject the “invading” Jew.

    Based on De Gaulle’s famous caption that Jews are a people ” accaparateuer et dominateur”
    – pardon my French – , which he inherited from millennia of antisemitism , local Arab late comers in the Jewish land, primitive as they were, found themselves indeed threatened and were expected to apply tribal methods of survival, i.e. intolerance of the “metek”, famous Greek category of the stranger at the city’s gates, about to invade, take over.

    Unable to negotiate at sophisticated levels a modus vivendi with the Jews, Arabs resorted to enmity. A vicious form of antisemitism has emerged, where open hatred and crime were at home. The British had their own agenda, also of territorial policies. Mixed with their own antisemitism traditions, the Jew who would be culturally from the same milieu as the British formal REAL dominateur, found an absurd coalition of the cultural unwilling of Brit and Arab to contend with on the same own historical land.

    One looks with pride at the manner in which our heroic forefathers took on the Zionist challenges. The objections against the home coming Jew were not only territorial, but against the almost unnatural way in which the Jew, known as a docile, “in HIS place”, perennially accepted victim of oppression, dared rise his head and even succeed in claiming his ancestral rights. Such audacity was retorted with increased hostility. Add impressive successes in open conflicts, particularly 1967, and the image of the objectionable intruder, the wondering-unworthy-of-rights Jew is, finally, revealed as the “known” indelible monster so aptly described in all religious cannons Christian and Muslims rely on.

    Any wonder antisemitism of latter days, enhanced by Palestinian racial activism, finds such readily available fellow travellers among those who have, in fact, nothing in common with the strictly district area conflict instigated by farcical Palestinian demands !!?? Yet, ideological/cultural commonalities between a civilized Europe and backward Middle East are predicated on base, instinctual necessity of a ” survival”, no less, based on suppressing the perceived domineering Jew, seen superior only due to the diabolical means he uses in dispossessing all others. Thus even the culturally assimilated Jew – obviously Judaeically cultured – is more receptive to Christian notions, “simply” because Western antisemitism has permeated so pervasively all forms of socio-cultural manifestation in such a discreet way, that reliable ethical principles have been adjusted to accommodate rejections of established images of the traditional Jew, those intellectual alert among us detect as primordial dogmatic, canonised antisemitism. I love classical music and am transfixed by its cannons, but cannot escape the infused permanent knowledge that in the heart of Lutheran Leipzig churches Bach promoted in such a persuasive way, musically perfect, Luther’s and his vicious antisemitism. Well, not all Jews are as obsessed with the suffering of my people at the gentle hands of those so good at creating…………culture. If only, The Church, Luther, Auschwitz did not exist at all !!

    • Otto,

      “I love classical music and am transfixed by its cannons, but cannot escape the infused permanent knowledge that in the heart of Lutheran Leipzig churches Bach promoted in such a persuasive way, musically perfect, Luther’s and his vicious anti Semitism.”

      The first album that I ever bought as a child was Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

      The question is, I suppose, should we allow an artist’s political inclination to influence how we perceive their art? In a certain kind of way it’s impossible not to. I can never listen to that album in the same spirit that I used to, but I think that in some small measure I can allow the music just to be the music and separate that music from its creator.

      It’s not easy, though.

      • sorry Michael, I cannot ever listen to Dark Side of the Moron again. For me Pink Floyd is tainted, and my love affair with their music is over.

  2. Michael, I fear Jews in the diaspora are far too ‘polite’ to mention the historical facts outlined in your excellent article – that Jews in the Middle East have endured persecution since the onset of Islam. The Arabs constantly deny Jewish history because they can get away with it, as they know that closet anti-Semites in the West will support them, as it justifies their hatred of Jews. With the UN, EU and much of the media bound up in historical revisionism, it takes a lot of courage for Jews to challenge the lies. Those Jews who do speak out are villified and demonised as extremists and racists. Plus they are not included in interfaith events, which progressive Jews love to be invited to, as it makes them feel important.

  3. Pam, you are right that those progressive – I do not have inverted comas large enough to mark it – Jews feel important and intellectually superior to the “backward”, “middle ages” types, hence the progressive label. What they deserve is the ridicule of a reality which proves their mental deficiencies. It is shown by the established (!!) reality that all those they are working with have not altered their stances on Judaism one yota. Those imbeciles are working on the principle that they will never be redundant, that their involvement will never cease, that is how permanently “necessary” their job is, unlike you and I and a few more who are striving to put an end to the barbarism of the truly backward, middle age mentality of an indelible Islam.

  4. Otto, I too have found progressive Jews feel intellectually and morally superior to Jews who see the reality of the situation; however much reality hits them in the face, they refuse to acknowledge it. They happily commune with those pretending to be moderates and human rights campaigners, believing themselves to be having a dialogue and ‘building bridges’, which further fuels their sense of superiority and self-importance.

    Of course, the totalitarians in moderate clothing regard them as the fools that they are, and once they are no longer useful, will dispose of them.

  5. .perfectly put, Michael.
    Yet, apart from totalitarians, in actual old terminology very few left, the democratic systems in which you and I reside, also use the same progressives to further their agenda.
    We are talking, of course of an agenda best known by themselves, not the accountable type of governing, one also, we must admit, occasionally well perceived and described by such otherwise possibly misguided minds as Noam Chomsky.
    He is not the only one, of course, but he did, respectfully speaking, put together excellent insights about philosophies and motivations of state strategies. The same, to be fair, has gone overboard and, as a frustrated mind ignored by the powers aware of his merciless intellect, has been engaged in political campaigns trying to implement as the force of one his academic findings. Thus, embraced by our progressives, he allowed himself to be swallowed by those well beneath his stature. One needs, I suppose, a bit of selfish satisfaction and cannot live by perfect existential syntax alone…………