ISRAEL FACES ITS DETRACTORS
Part II: The Jewish Caliphate
Israel as a Jewish caliphate
A newly formed comparison between Israel as a Jewish state and the pretended Islamic Caliphate, better known as Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), has the former containing aspects associated with ISIL's version of a caliphate, but without the caliph. This comparison refers to the reasons and methods for founding the two states and for securing themselves as unique and dominant authorities -- establishment of a state with foreign people on foreign territory -- and does not imply that Israel's operations equate with those of the brutal ISIL.
Foreigners created the lands
Foreign fighters entered Syria and Iraq and allied with domestic populations to gain territory and incorporate the territory into a newly created Islamic State (IS). Many of the fighters are from the Caucasus and Europe and are not Arab nationals but sympathize with the ISIL cause.
In 1948, the Israeli forces contained few fighters who were born in the Levant; most were immigrants and volunteers from other countries. At that time, many did not consider joining a new state but sympathized with the Zionist cause. Foreigners to Palestine engineered the birth of Israel.
Uniting the people
The Islamists speak of uniting the Arab Muslim people and creating another Golden Age of Arab civilization in the Levant. Out of what? Just as the elements that produced the great Hellenist civilizations no longer exist for the Greek people, the elements for reviving an Arab civilization no longer exist for the Arab people. The Mongol onslaught broke the ties that bound the Arab peoples - devotion to the same religion, a House of Wisdom that contained the first university, which translated Greek and Indian texts and became a center for advancements in humanities, sciences, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine, and governance of Muslim Arabs for Muslim Arabs. The modern Muslim Arabs have more in conflict than in solidarity and no longer pursue the uniquely creative efforts of their ancestors. Go through the numbers and we find that ISIL appeals to a small disaffected group who define for others what is Muslim and what is Arab
The Zionists spoke of uniting world Jewry and recreating a homeland for all Jews in a land they claim was once a home and empire for Jews. Because Judaism is not a religion that governs or attracts those who need a strong devotion, religion did not play a role in their mission. Nor were the Zionists uniting a people -- Jews did not share a common language, history, or culture and therefore could not be classified as a nation any more than the Mennonites or Jehovah Witnesses can be considered as peoples. The Zionists' thrust was one of narrow disaffection, of belief that Jews would never be accepted in any nation. Its appeal, minuscule to Jews at the time of its beginnings, had a tendency to unify Jews by sharing woe, harm or victimization, a process of uniting psyches by trauma. Present day Israel still clings to the traumas and uses the Old Testament to give it legitimacy and a focus for all Jews.
Israel wants to convince the world that it represents world Jewry, but it has destroyed features that distinguish Jews. Arab reactions to the formation of the state of Israel forced the Mizrahi to abandon habitats in North Africa and the Middle East that had given them centuries of memory, sustenance and nourishment. By artificially molding its Jews into a new type of Jew, an Israeli Jew, the Zionists defined what is a Jew and what is an Israeli. The artificiality lessens the relation of Israel's Jews to world Jewry and decreases their attachments to specific forms of Judaism. Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher of the 12th century, must have cringed in his grave when the Jews from North Africa and the Middle East and the Ethiopian Falasha halted their paths in history and permitted their music, language, specific cultural traits and heritage to be destroyed. With Yiddish and Ladino becoming lost dialects, the Jews are now divided between the western, or Ashkenazi Jews, and the Eastern, or Israeli Jews.
Recreating the ancient empire
The previous Golden Age of the Arab world sputtered for 600 years, from 622 AD to 1258 AD, and, as other civilizations, capitulated to superior military forces. The use of the term Caliphate and its designation as an incorporation of the Arab people into a unified body is an exaggeration. Competing dynasties -- Umayyads in Damascus and later Iberia, Abbasids in Baghdad, Fatamids in Egypt and the Turkish Ottoman Empire, Muslim but not Arab - can claim the term Caliphate, but all have disappeared from history and so has the Caliphate. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Mongols and a host of other civilizations had several dynasties, but neither the Italians, Greeks, Egyptians, nor other communities of today are considered heirs or recreations of these previous civilizations. The Golden Age of Arab domination of the Levant is not myth. The modern Caliphate is myth, has no definition in the present and no return to the past.
History, archaeology and anthropology dispute the assertion that the Jews of today have a unique relation to the wandering Hebrew tribes and that these tribes ever secured a foundation as a civilization or an empire. There might be some slight genetic connection but the DNA has been modified by history and a new genetic pool has arisen. There are no significant traces - administration, monuments, buildings, weapons, accepted history, independent writings, tools, implements, or structures - to substantiate that the ancient Hebrews were other than wandering and hill top tribes, with some communities having periods of urban concentration. No history or records by other civilizations during the time of the Israelites mention the supposed accomplishments of David or Solomon.
A history of the ancient Hebrew people rests on the acceptance of the Old Testament as a historical narrative. Recently, the Bible has been shown to be a literature by a people and not an authentic history of a people -- a saga with historical occurrences. Its tone, language and stories are mainly derived from Ugaritic literature of the 12ih century B.C. Canaanite city-state of Ugarit and from previous Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian and other texts, stories and legends. From Ugarit and the Bible at http://www.theology.edu/ugarbib.htm
when we listen to their voices we hear echoes of the Old Testament itself. Several of the Psalms were simply adapted from Ugaritic sources; the story of the flood has a near mirror image in Ugaritic literature; and the language of the Bible is greatly illuminated by the language of Ugarit.
The most recognized archaeologists (Israel Finkelstein, the director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, William Dever, professor of Near Eastern archeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona, Ze'ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University and Margreet Steiner) have shown that the biblical history of an ancient Israel is mostly myth until the era of Omri in the 9th century B.C., and any attempt to refer to the myths has no definition in the present and no relation to the past.
Descendants of those who owned the land
ISIL can correctly claim they are descendants of those who had close attachment to the lands, cultivated and possessed the soil. No argument; they still do.
For centuries, mainly Arabs occupied the Levant, including historical Palestine, and, except for Israel, now firmly control all of the Middle East and North Africa. The problem in the Arab nations is that the land and resources are controlled by a relative few and not properly distributed. Resolving that situation does not need an Islamic state; it needs more democratic states.
Can Jews correctly claim they are descendants of those who had close attachment to the lands - who cultivated and owned them? The biblical twelve tribes of Israel retreat from history is presented as a mystery; described as the "Lost tribes of Israel." Did they fall into a crack? How does this ridiculous description survive normal thought?
By 500 BC, the agrarian and pastoral Hebrew tribes had been absorbed into other empires -- Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian and later Greek and Roman. Mostly, they formed a new group of Jews, who pursued urban trades throughout Mesopotamia and the Roman Empire. In the Persian Parthian and Sassasian Empires (248 B.C. to 641 A.D.), which housed the three great Jewish academies of Surah, Pumbadita and Nehardea, the legacy and heritage of modern Jews and Judaism are best expressed. There they codified the oral and written laws and produced the Babylonian Talmud, which became the central text of Rabbinic Judaism, and the basis for all Jewish law.
Although Jews lived in the Levant and Jews controlled a small portion of the area during the short reigns of the Hasmonean kings, Jewish prominence and physical attachments to the ancient land of Israel and to Jerusalem are not great and mostly spiritual. A previous article The War of Narratives at http://www.alternativeinsight.com/The_War_of_Narratives.html describes the connecction.
Some remains of Jewish dwellings, burial grounds and ritual baths can be found, but few, if any, major Jewish monuments, buildings or institutions from the Biblical era exist within the "Old City" of today's Jerusalem. The oft cited Western Wall is the supporting wall for Herod's platform and is not directly related to the Second Temple. No remains of that Temple have been located. This portion of the Western Wall lacks absolute proof of its being close to the "holiest of the holies," and therefore has religious significance by default -- there is no other readily apparent religious construction from ancient Hebrew's Jerusalem.
In an attempt to connect ancient Israel to present day Jerusalem, Israeli authorities apply spurious labels to Holy Basin landmarks.
- Neither King David's Tower nor King David's Citadel relate to the time of King David.
- Neither the Pools of Solomon nor the Stables of Solomon relate to the time or life of King Solomon.
- Absalom's Tomb is an obvious Greek sculptured edifice and therefore cannot be the tomb of David's son.
The Journal of Hebrew Scripture, volume 9, article 20, Persian period finds from Jerusalem: facts and interpretations by Oded Lipschits, Institute of archaeology, Tel Aviv university, places the Jewish relationship to the ancient land in proper perspective. In the year 400 B.C.,
the total population of Judah was over 42,000 freeborn Jews, besides over 7,000 slaves and menials, approximately 50,000 in all.
Calculating the population of Jerusalem according to the lower coefficient of 20 people per one built-up dunam (4 acres), the population estimates to about 1000 people; and according to the higher coefficient of 25 people per one built-up dunam to about 1,250 people.
Compare Jerusalem's population of about 1200 souls with those cited by Wikipedia at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_cities_throughout_history of major cities close to that time (probably exaggerated) --150,000 in Babylon, 300,000 in Alexandria, 300,000 in Athens, and 500,000 in Carthage - and combine the comparison with the archaeological digs and historical narratives that have not revealed Jerusalem as being a major administrative and religious center for an extensive territory during the Iron age from 1300 - 700 B.C.. What can be concluded? A close attachment of the Jews to an area that had little visibility and has not unearthed a major Hebrew religious structure is not physically possible. Jewish attachment to the Levant is a spiritual identification that arose from biblical literature and became embellished by spurious stories. Jews closest attachment is to Mesopotamia where the Talmud was produced and "Judaism reached its Golden Age during the period from 800 -1200 A.D. During that time, Mesopotamia and Persia contained 75% of world Jewry with the rest in North Africa and Western Europe."
Securing themselves as the unique and dominant authority
Troubling reports have the Islamic State destroying Christian churches and relics, most prominently those of the Assyrian Church of the East. Israel has also tried to consolidate its ethnic appearance.
Meron Rappoport, History Erased, Haaretz, Jul. 5, 2007 reports that "during the 1950s, the nascent state and IDF set about destroying historical sites left behind by other cultures, particularly Muslims." Rappaport continues with
According to a book by Dr. Meron Benvenisti, of the 160 mosques in the Palestinian villages incorporated into Israel under the armistice agreements, fewer than 40 are still standing. What is unusual about the case of Mash'had Nabi Hussein is that the demolition is documented, and direct responsibility was taken by none other than the GOC Southern Command at the time, an officer named Moshe Dayan. The documentation shows that the holy site was blown up deliberately, as part of a broader operation that included at least two additional mosques, one in Yavneh and the other in Ashdod.
Radical Islam has adherents in all of the Arab nations and their numbers are growing, but relatively few of them subscribe to the extreme vision of a caliphate, and the severe terrorist actions and criminal activity that has defined ISIL. Libya and Saudi Arabia may contain large elements partial to ISIL's program and Tunisia and Algeria may have some ISIL extremists but the Radical Islamists of the other Arab nations, who are in the minority, subscribe to less threatening and more localized expressions of faith. Only thousands, and not tens of thousands, are flocking to Syria and Iraq to join the ISIL. Some large donors from Kuwait and Qatar finance the brutal Islamists but there have not been reports of collections from the Arab street or massive sympathy with the ISIL cause. On September 7 at an Arab League meeting "foreign ministers agreed to take all necessary measures to confront ISIS and cooperate with international, regional and national efforts to combat militants who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria." Equating the Muslim Arab world with ISIL is a grotesque distortion.
The election of the Likud Party to power and its formation of a Netanyahu government indicate that a large majority of Israelis support their government's expansion plans and are not cognizant of the oppression of the Palestinian people. As for American Jews, the Pew Research organization has conducted a poll on their attitude toward the state of Israel. Retrievable from http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey-overview.pdf, here are some of the results.
- One-third (35%) of all U.S. Jews identify with the Reform movement, while 18% identify with Conservative Judaism, 10% with Orthodox Judaism and 6% with a variety of smaller groups. About 30% of American Jews do not identify with any denomination.
- About 30% of U.S. Jews feel very attached and 39% somewhat attached to Israel.
- 40% of Jews believe the land that is now Israel was given by God to the Jewish people.
- Only 38% say the Israeli government is making a sincere effort to establish peace with the Palestinians.
- U.S. Jews say that remembering the Holocaust (73%) and leading an ethical life (69%) are essential to their sense of Jewishness. More than half say that working for justice and equality is essential to what being Jewish means to them. And about 40% say that caring about Israel and having a good sense of humor are essential to their Jewish identity.
Opinion poll accuracy is difficult to ascertain, especially when the audience has emotional constraints to free expression. Taking the poll as stated leads to baffling conclusions:
(1) Can it be that 40% of Jews, most of whom are secular, "believe the land that is now Israel was given by God to the Jewish people?" The belief must be metaphorical. Everyone is entitled to a belief in God as a spiritual matter, but making God into a property manager who disburses property to a select group is bizarre and not a friendly gesture. Why could not Mr. Omnipotent have chosen the area of California rather than desert and rocky land? Also strange is that the Lord allowed many other peoples to occupy the same property - rent free. Has anyone else heard this decree, other than the beneficiaries who may, yes may have fabricated it? My personal attitude - I'd like to see a written contract. How is this absurdity allowed to persist?
(2) Overwhelming knowledge from archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology and history show that there was no pronounced ancient Jewish civilization, that Jews of today cannot be certified as direct descendants from tribes that disappeared from history any more than someone can show descendant from the Canaanites, Edomites, Jebusites, or even the well documented and more recent Nabateans, and that Jerusalem was never a real capital city of any consequence. Science that gives us truth and reality is obstructed by religious fanaticism, public relations and unhealthy deceit.
(3) High up on the list of what is essential to being Jewish are an "ethical life and working for justice and equality." Low on the list is "caring about Israel." The arrangement makes sense.
Why are many Jews involved in support of Israel when Israel has stripped from the Jews "ethical life and working for justice and equality?" Jews who support Israel refuse to have Jews live as simple Jews and occupy all strata of life in many nations. They want power and feel powerful by identifying with a high tech winner and powerful war machine rather than from inner resources provided by Judaism and justify their allegiance by reference to the Holocaust and Israel as protector against a future calamity. A few contradictions - Zionism started decades before World War II, the Jews in the United States did nothing to assist their brethren in Europe, the Holocaust was scarcely discussed until after the 1967 war, and American Jews did not attach themselves to Israel until a new generation became weaned upon Israel's might and victories. By their actions, Israel's advocates also seem to delight in making trouble for world Jewry, enjoy playing victim and making more victims. They permit Israel's actions to generate hatred of Jews and then use the antipathy to portray "growing" anti-Semitism."
The Islamic State is not a caliphate and has little possibility of becoming a big "C!" Examine carefully and focus intensely and soon the apparition becomes clear - if Israel becomes known as the Jewish Israel state, then ISIL is unknowingly patterning its development (not its behavior) with similar principles to those of the Zionists. The rise of the nation state under monarchs, which began in the 1500s and developed into nations guided by native people, has now entered a new phase - get a group together, invade a weak foreign land, provide a false history to authenticate claims and establish a new nation. Globalism has no borders and neither do ISIL and Israel.
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