Sunday, April 18, 2010

When Palestinian Jews Were Under Muslim Rule

Originally posted May 15, 2007

In a post from December, 2005, Chardal writes about Life Under Muslim Rule in general, and has a section focusing on what life was like in then-Palestine for Jews.

Since the Arabian invasion of Palestine in the seventh century, Jews and Christians were allowed to remain alive, between attacks, to be a source of funds obtained by special taxes and extortions, and to serve as helpless scapegoats for the Muslim masses. This policy continued under successive waves of other Muslim non-Arab conquerors of the Holy Land, as well.

The lawful humiliation of the non-Muslim was a fact of life. The degree of harshness of the persecution depended on the whim of the particular ruler.

Arab dominion over non-Muslims was reminiscent of the nation of Amalek of biblical infamy:
"Amalek represents that principle which judges the dignity of men and nations solely in terms of visible power and domination. It is willing to condone any act as long as it results in successful conquest. It will tolerate only that which it fears or that which it can safely despise" (Rabbi S.R. Hirsch, Collected Writings II, p.414).
From the beginning of Muslim Turkish rule in 1516, Jews had to pass Muslims on their left side, the side of Satan (David Landes, "Palestine Before the Zionists." Commentary, February 1976). Sultan Murad III decreed death for all Jews of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, but later commuted the sentence (Jacob de Haas, History of Palestine, New York, 1934).

In 1586, the famous Ramban Synagogue of the Old City of Jerusalem was seized by the Muslim authorities. This had been the last synagogue in Jerusalem remaining in Jewish hands (Ben Gurion, Israel, Tel Aviv, 1971).

One single Jew survived the Muslim massacre in the holy city of Safad in 1660 (Jacob de Haas, History of Palestine, New York, 1934).

In 1775, Muslim mob violence against the Jews of Hebron was incited by the infamous blood libel (Samuel Katz, Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, New York, 1973).

The Albanian born Mamluk "Arab", called "the Butcher", terrorized the land with his sadistic exploits through the late 1700's (Jacob de Haas, History of Palestine, New York, 1934).

To be permitted to pray by the Wailing Wall, the Jews paid a high annual rent to the Arab whose property adjoined it. They paid protection money to Muslim officials, already paid by the Turkish Government, for fear of desecration of the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and of Rachel's Tomb (David Landes, Palestine Before the Zionists, 1976).

In the 1830's, during the brief Egyptian reign over Palestine, the Jews found themselves caught between the ravages of the Egyptian soldiers and the multi-ethnic Muslim rebels who fought them:
"Forty thousand fellahin rushed on Jerusalem... The mob entered, and looted the city for five or six days. The Jews were the worst sufferers, their homes were sacked and their women were violated" (Jacob de Haas, History of Palestine, New York, 1934).
News of the Damascus blood libel of 1840 brought heightened waves of persecution and murder of Jews throughout Palestine (Moshe Ma'oz, ed., Studies in Palestine During the Ottoman Period, Jerusalem, 1975).

In 1914, after returning from his heinous mass slaughter of the Armenian people, Turkish commander Baha-ud Did threatened to do the same to the Jews if he ever got the chance. Fierce persecutions ensued. Use of the Hebrew language was banned. Entire Jewish families were thrown in prison. Jewish males were forced into labor battalions. Farm carts and animals were confiscated just before harvest time. The entire Jewish population of Jaffa was expelled on Passover, 1915. Resistors were hanged. Thousands wandered helplessly on the roads, starving (Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return, New York, 1978).

During the last few years of Muslim rulership over Palestine, torture for a Jew was the norm upon arrest. By the time the British routed the Turkish Ottomans from Palestine in 1917, the entire country, including the new Jewish settlements, had been plundered.

The documented Muslim excesses committed during the corrupt Turkish rule over Palestine from 1516 to 1917, are too hideous and numerous to record (See Joan Peters; From Time Immemorial p.190 et seq.).
Something to keep in mind when Palestinian apologists hearken back to the good old days when Jews got along with were subservient to Muslims.

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