Jim Crow for Jews & the Artificial Construction of Palestinian National Identity

The western-left today thinks that the Jews are oppressive to Muslims in the Middle East. They believe that Jewish Israelis are brutalizing and ethnically-cleansing the innocent “indigenous” population.

Credit: The Jewish Press

In previous decades the so-called “Palestinian narrative” has taken hold of the western imagination.  Within that narrative, vicious and militaristic Jews marched out of Europe and violently displaced the native population in the early-middle of the twentieth-century.  Jews pushed “Palestinians” out of their native land where, as “Palestinians,” they had been living for many thousand of years.  Mahmoud Abbas even laughably claimed that the “Palestinians” have a 9,000 year history on that land. He said,

“Oh, Netanyahu, you are incidental in history; we are the people of history. We are the owners of history.”

If the “Palestinians” are the “owners of history” it must be a secret history that they keep entirely to themselves.  I have never heard of a people with a secret history before!  The “Palestinians” have lived on that land for 9,000 years and, yet, somehow, history seems to have passed them by.  It is a profound mystery. There are no records of a “Palestinian” state on that land.  There are no records of the great “Palestinian” artists or leaders or scientists that thrived in the Land of Palestine for all those thousands of years.  Yet the foundation of Arab and western-left hostility toward the Jewish Israelis is the idea that they violently displaced the native population.  Jews, we are to understand, are illegally “Occupying” – with the Big O – Judea, a land that belongs to Palestinian-Arabs, not Jews.

There is always a charge against the Jews among westerners in every generation.

Every generation they tell us just why Jewish kids deserve a good beating.  In previous generations, of course, we were either guilty of killing Jesus or of giving the world Jesus and are, therefore, responsible for the failings of Christianity.  We were sometimes thought of as the heinous agents of greedy capitalism or the heinous agents of totalitarian socialism.  And, needless to say, in the early part of the twentieth-century, we were the wrong “ race.”  We were considered inherently, essentially, bad people.

In this generation, however, the charge is that we are mean to Arabs.

Credit: www.mirror.co.uk

There are around six million Jews in Israel and something between three hundred and four hundred million Arab-Muslims surrounding them in the Middle East.  For reasons having to do with theocratic bigotry, Muslims in that part of the world traditionally despise the Jews and often teach their children to throw stones at us.  Throwing stones at Jews in Israel is not a manifestation, as is often claimed, of righteous push-back against the “Occupation,” but is a time-honored tradition within Arab culture, grounded in the rankest form of bigotry and persecution of the despised “other.”

It was Caliph Omar Abd al-Azziz, who reigned between 717 and 720 CE, who codified the rules of dhimmi status, sometimes referred to as the Pact of Omar or Covenant of Omar, but which I like to think of as Jim Crow for Jews. The first and foremost rule was the paying of jizya tax and acceptance of the conditions of ahl al-dhimma.  In Martin Gilbert’s In Ishmael’s House, we read:

There could be no building of new synagogues or churches. Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not use saddles, but only ride sidesaddle. Further, they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims. They were even obliged to carry signs on their clothing or to wear types and colors of clothing that would indicate they were not Muslims, while at the same time avoid clothing that had any association with Mohammed and Islam. Most notably, green clothing was forbidden…

Other aspects of dhimmi existence were that Jews – and also Christians – were not to be given Muslim names, were not to prevent anyone from converting to Islam, and were not to be allowed tombs that were higher than those of Muslims.  Men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims, while women could not bathe with Muslim women and had to use separate bathhouses instead.  Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public – an offense punishable by death.

Under dhimmi rules as they evolved, neither Jews nor Christians could carry guns, build new places of worship or repair old ones without permission,or build any place of worship that was higher than a mosque.  A non-Muslim could not inherit anything from a Muslim.  A non-Muslim man could not marry a Muslim woman, although a Muslim man could marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.

(Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010) 32 – 33)

The unacknowledged foundation of the conflict is Arab-Muslim Koranically-based bigotry against Jews… we children of orangutans and swine.  Were it not for Islam, there would be no conflict.  Or, another way of putting it is that if Israel was not a Jewish state, but yet another Muslim state, there would be no conflict based on a supposed need for a “two-state solution.”  In fact, not only would there be no conflict, there would not even be any “Palestinians.”  The reason for this is because the designation “Palestinian” only came into being so that Arab-Muslims could make their hysterical claims upon historically Jewish land.  The great majority of local Arabs did not consider themselves “Palestinian” until the latter third of the twentieth-century.  And some even remain skeptical concerning it to this day.

“Palestinian” does not represent an ethnicity any more than “Saharan” represents an ethnicity or “Californian” represents an ethnicity.  If we must use outdated terms, then anyone who lives in Israel – a part of the former British Mandate of Palestine – must be considered a “Palestinian.”  There are Muslim Palestinians and Jewish Palestinians and Christian Palestinians and Rosicrucian Palestinians and Rastafarian Palestinians and Atheist Palestinians.  To claim that only Muslims and Christians can be “Palestinian” would be something akin to claiming that only Rastafarians and Rosicrucians can be “Californians.”  As someone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, it sometimes seems as if California is, in fact, run by Rastafarians and Rosicrucians, but no one would ever suggest that only some people can be Californian.

Furthermore, it must be understood that “Palestinian,” as an ethnic designation, was artificially constructed or contrived.  It did not emerge, as other ethnicities have, organically, but was primarily a creation of Yassir Arafat and the Soviets.  Even Rashid Khalidi in Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness only finds the first quiet notions of the idea emerging around the turn into the twentieth-century, but everyone who understands the history of the conflict knows that most “Palestinians” only came to see themselves as “Palestinian” in the 1960s with the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Many would suggest that, contrived or not, “Palestinian” as an ethnic or national designation now exists and that as a matter of general human decency, if not liberal ideology, it must be acknowledged.  And, of course, the world has acknowledged the “Palestinians” as a distinct people with a history and with rights.  What I fail to understand, however, is just why it is that Jewish people are under any moral or ethical obligation to acknowledge a people who only recently came into existence as a people for the purpose of undermining, and eventually destroying, Jewish national autonomy?

Jews may acknowledge the “Palestinians” or we may not.  Jews may negotiate with “Palestinians” or we may not.  It may even be in Israel’s best interest to both acknowledge and negotiate with “Palestinians” or, maybe not.  But just why in this world are we under any sort of ethical obligation to acknowledge a people who only emerged as a people for the sole purpose of destroying Jewish freedom on our own land?

I suppose that I am trying to slam the barn door only after the horses have escaped, but I am one of those who has come to the conclusion that the very biggest mistake that Israel ever made was in acknowledging a distinct “Palestinian” people and, therefore, agreeing to negotiate with their alleged representatives, the PLO terrorist organization.  Were it up to me Israel would only agree to negotiations with legitimate state actors.  Israel may legitimately negotiate with Iran, but it certainly should not negotiate with the Islamic State (IS), which Barack Obama deceptively refers to as ISIL in order to veil the Islamic nature of the group.  And just as Israel should not negotiate with the Islamic State, so it should not negotiate with either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.

Neither represent legitimate state actors and both are entirely riddled with genocidal antisemitism.

As we are seeing with the Iranian bomb situation, Israel can no longer afford to allow itself to be pushed around.  People respect those who respect themselves and letting the murderers of Israelis out of Israeli prisons, as a concession to Mahmoud Abbas and Barack Obama, does not suggest self-respect, but its opposite. The only way for Jews to have self-respect, however, is to see through the “Palestinian narrative” for the tissue of lies that it represents.  Otherwise both Israeli Jews and diaspora Jews must, by necessity, see themselves as complicit in a terrible crime against the innocent indigenous population.

I recommend against it and history backs us up.

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  1. Larry Langman

    Whenever I read a piece on this website by Michael Lumish I know that two reactions will happen. Firstly I’m going to mutter to myself ” Michael Lumish, I know its not fair but the world thinks the Palestinians exist….deal with it!” and the second will be something Michael points out that I had not considered and that sets of a few days of research, which takes me away from what I should be considering which is Judea 167 BCE to 167 CE. It goes without saying that I will end up acknowledging the point that Michael has made.

    So I’ll say it now. This piece has caught me completely off guard. And I don’t know if I am happy to have that reaction. I will quibble over one point and that is Michael’s point about “Islamic State.” Michael suggests as I understand it, that Obama’s reference to ISIL rather than use the term “Islamic State” should be avoided….as at least “Islamic State” names it for what it is Islamic. Personally I am happy if ISIL is the preferred term though I would be happier if the term Daish was used. Here’s the reasoning. Say “The Palestinians” often enough and whoosh “The Palestinians” appear right before your eyes….say “Islamic State” long enough…..well you know what will happen. ISIL, the term, lets every citizen of the middle east know that the target is Iraq and the Levant…..and that takes in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt….that is what should be focused on, the loss of these countries to a murderous regime.

    So much for the quibble.

    Michael makes the absolutely valid point that prior that until recent times Palestinians could not exist because there was no Palestine…….may I recommend to all those interested, that they read this:- “Genesis of Citizenship in Palestine and Israel Palestinian Nationality in the 1917-1925 Period” available here http://bcrfj.revues.org/6405#ftn9 . It is long but well worth the read for a number of key points. Britain and Jordan you will find have much to answer for. The article supports my contention that the entire of the quote Palestinian unquote poulation should move to Jordan which is truelly theirs.I have always felt that the border drawn by Weizman and Hussain 1 should be the true border of Israel….but that opportunity for the moment is lost.

    • Larry there is a big push for Jordan to be Palestinian. After all 80% of the population claim to be ‘Palestinian’, which would be correct as the Hashemites are only a small tribe. Search ‘Jordan is Palestine’

      The ‘useful’ idiot, Mudar Zahran, claims to be the leader of Jordan’s Palestinians majority, and the secretary general of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition. He spends his time making a good deal of money by speaking about it around the world.

      Brothers Feisel and Abdullah were given Iraq as the home of the Hashemites by the British .. There was some kind of a disagreement I believe, so Britain gave what us now Jordan to Abdullah and Feisal became King of Iraq . I have it on very good authority from Israeli connections that Israel is backing up the current King Abdullah. The point is that if he is overthrown the Muslim Brotherhood and/or ISIS would take over and that would be a disaster for Israel.

      You should follow “We Have Legal Grounds” – I post a link to this with every piece I publish from Arlene Kushner. Arlene is an old school journalist with amazing connections not only in Israel but also in surrounding States.

      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/legalgrounds

      Website: http://israelrights.com/en/

      • “Useful Idiots” love that description…last I heard it was in a radio documentary on Stalin.

        Totally agree with your observations re Jordan. I would almost say that Jordan needs Israel as much as Israel needs Jordan….but that would be going too far.

        I have recently become aware of this publication “Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923” by Efraim Karsh, Inari Karsh it appears to trace in a very detailed way how we ended up with the Heshamite Emirate of Trans-Jordan sitting in half of the Mandate of Palestine.

    • Larry,

      thank you for this comment.

      Your point about conjuring enemies through naming them is very interesting. I mean that sincerely and I take your point, but I simply don’t see much way around it. I think that I would prefer to speak the truth as I understand it than concern myself too much with tactics. What you seem to be suggesting is that naming the enemy or the “bad guy” conjures him into existence. I actually agree with that. The foremost mistake that Israel has made was in recognizing the so-called “Palestinians” as a distinct nationality or ethnicity or people.

      But the Islamic State is what it is and we simply cannot deny the fact that it is Islamic and maintain credibility. We should not hide the nature of that organization. It is an Islamic organization… an uber-Islamic organization. Does it represent all Muslims? Of course, not. But that is not the point. The point is that they think of themselves as Islamic and their behavior is not inconsistent with the Koran or the Hadiths.

      In any case, I appreciate your commentary because it is intelligent commentary.

      You have my thanks.

      • Michael, the claims by many supporters of Israel that to quote you “The foremost mistake that Israel has made was in recognizing the so-called “Palestinians” as a distinct nationality or ethnicity or people”….may I suggest is a disservice to Israel and should not be supported. As the article I referred to in my above comment notes, and I think correctly it was the 1923 Treaty of Lussane and then reflected in the 1925 Palestinian Order in Council of the British Mandatory Authority wherein it stated
        ““Turkish subjects habitually resident in the territory of Palestine upon the 1st day of August, 1925, shall become Palestinian citizens.”

        I strongly recommend the above cited article, it really does set out the situation in International law rather well. It demonstrates that a) Israel had no say in the creation of “the Palestinians” and b) It is the British that first created a people called Palestinian, not as is so often said the Russians in 1967.

        • Palestinians were NEVER a people, they were a nationality, a whole other issue.

          The Palestinians as a ‘people’ were invented in Moscow in 1964, by the Soviet dis-information masters as a propaganda tool when they drafted the pre-amble for the PLO Constitution.

          One June 4th 1967, the ‘Palestinian people’ were born. One very well known Jordanian Arab said….

          ““Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”
          “We considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then all of the sudden we were Palestinians — they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all at once we had a Palestinian flag.”

          On March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. He said: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people.”

          • Totally take your point. My main contention, though was against the notion that Israel “created” the Palestinians.

            There is a wonderful piece circulating around the web that has the “foreign minister” of Gaza complaining that Egypt and Saudi should support Gaza because after all Gazans came from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

          • Larry, on the side bar you’ll see a link to a site called MEMRI. It’s an invaluable one and if you subscribe you’ll see what complete and utter rubbish in the main comes out of the countries in the ME.

            The piece you mention I haven’t seen but there are plenty of film clips around saying that the invented people do indeed not come from the region.

            Here are some of the most common family names among the “Palestinians”:

            “Masri” = from Egypt-Hamas member of Parliament, Mushir al-Masri (the word “masri” littelery means “the egyptian” in arabic !).
            “Khamis”= Bahrain “Salem Hanna Khamis” “al-Faruqi”= Mosul, Iraq
            “al-Araj” = Morocco, a member of the Saadi Dynasty “Hussein al-Araj”
            “al Lubnani” = the Lebanese
            “al-Mughrabi” = the Moroccan (Maghreb” – meaning “West” in Arabic, and usually referring to North Africa or specifically to Morocco)
            “al-Djazair” = the Algerian
            “al-Yamani” = the Yemeni “Issam Al Yamani”
            “al-Afghani” = the Afghan
            “al-Hindi” = the Indian “Amin al-Hindi”
            “Iraqi” = from Iraq.
            “halabi” = from Aleppo, Syria
            “El Baghdadi” = from Baghdad Iraq.
            “Tarabulsi”= Tarabulus-Tripoli, Lebanon.
            “Hourani” = Houran Syria.
            “al-Husayni” = Saudi Arabia.
            “Saudi” = Saudi Arabia.
            “Metzarwah”= Egypt.
            “Barda—wil” = “Salah Bardawil” HAMAS legislator in Gaza; Egypt, Bardawil Lake area.
            “Nashashibi” = Syria.
            “Bushnak” = Bosnia
            “zoabi”= from Iraq: “Haneen Zoabi”.
            “Turki” = Turkey “Daud Turki”
            “al-Kurd” = Kurdistan.
            “Haddadins” = YEMEN descended from Ghassanid Christian Arabs.
            “Arab Abu-Kishk” = Egypt.(Bedouins)
            “Arab al shakirat” = Egypt (Bedouins)
            “Arab al zabidat” = Egypt (Bedouins)
            “Arab al aramsha” = Egypt (Bedouins)
            “Abu Sitta” = In Arabic’ Abu means father and sitta means six. Translated it

  2. The people who call themselves “Palestinian” are not an ethnicity. Their language, culture, institutions, affinities, affiliations, and major religion all derive from the Arabian peninsula. They are Arabs. This is not to say they don’t have a peculiar identity. It consists, basically, of a special claim to hatred, bigotry, and self-pity. If that makes them a people, so be it.

  3. Larry Langman

    I would be interested in the opinion of this board on this piece “tick-the-box” journalism from Australia’s ABC Radio National……..Note that the second episode shall be aired this Thursday 11.00AM AEST. I shall be listening as I feel many on this board will……The title of the program was……wait for it……..”Jerusalem: a divine crime scene”


    I think it would be foolish to challenge the ABC before the second episode…..I note there are only two comments on the Website….I would not wish to give the ABC oxygen on this but once the second episode airs…..I would love to get the commentary of this site and do wonder if the ABC should not be taken to task over this amazing and deeply sad piece of journalism.

    • Funny you should mention this, as I was alerted to it this evening.

      If it had been an honest programme it would have been good, but when I looked through the credits and saw the names of the ‘who’s who’ of Israel haters, I knew it was a far from unbiased account.

      Then I saw that the Producer is Cathy Peters and know for sure it is far from an unbiased account.

      Cathy Peters was a ‘Green’ Councillor at Marrickville Council, who with her fellow Greens and a couple of ALP Councillors, attempted to boycott Israel and fell flat on her face. In the process the Mayor, Fiona Byrne, lost her safe seat on the State Government.

      • Larry Langman

        A quick check of Dr.Google tells me in an add for a Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine function….that one of the star turns will be……wait for it…… “CJPP executive member, Cathy Peters, who is a former Marrickville Councillor and also works with Australians for BDS and Professor Peter Slezak, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW”

        Can you hear the timebomb ticking….as we speak I am reaching for my copy of the ABC Editorial Standards….and will be keenly listing this coming Thursday.

        • Most of us are well aware of Cathy Peters. I more than most, as I was very involved with the whole saga of Marrickville Council and its pathetic attempt to boycott Israel. One of her grandparents, on the male side, either was interned in the Shoah, or died in it. I can’t remember.

          I am sure the ECAJ will put in a complaint. Keep an eye out on their website. Personally we get sick of complaining. Though I must say that I am very proud of the fact I had a complaint against them upheld.

  4. Larry Langman

    So the second “Earshot” on the ABC Radio National courtesy of Ms Peters has come and gone….this time the subject was “An unholy mix—Jerusalem, religion and archaeology”. Needless to say the proposition being put is Israel is a myth, along with its history and culture, this time over the City of David. I note three comments on the Earshot story website, two praising the “balance” and “honesty” of the segment, the other casting doubt as to either of these two qualities.

    While both Ms Peters contributions can be dismissed for what they are, The commissioning process in the ABC must surely be questioned in terms of its compliance to its own guidelines,