Thursday, May 31, 2007

As with the February, March and April calendars, the numbers for each date represent the number of Qassams fired on that day. The numbers in parentheses (second row after date) are those I saw reported by Palestinian Arab media, outside of parentheses (first row after date) are those reported in Israeli media. Linked dates are dates that Israel fired back. (Israel has fired back every day since the 15th and I have not maintained links for each day.)

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa

1 2 3 4 5


(4) (2)

6 7 8 9 10 11 12
5 + 2




13 14 15 16 17 18 19


20 21 22 23 24 25 26

27 28 29 30 31


Italicized numbers indicated number of mortars claimed to have been fired, as opposed to rockets.

June calendar here.

  • Thursday, May 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The superficially cordial relations may have been the rule, but there were exceptions. The first Arab attack on a Jewish settlement occurred in 1886 when hundreds of Arabs descended on Petah Tikva in an attempt to destroy it. Around 1898 the Ottoman Empire outlawed Jewish ownership of land in Palestine but it reversed itself under European pressure in 1901. Arabs attacked Jews in Tiberias in 1901 and 1904, and in 1911 Arabs strongly protested the legal Jewish purchase of a large tract of land from the Sursuq absentee landlords of Beirut (the al-Fula incident.)

All of these incidents had one thing in common: Arabs protesting Jewish ownership of land in Palestine. No matter how legally the land was acquired, the very idea of Jews in control of land has historically caused reflexive Arab protest. Even in this early time period the Arab leaders would try to find legal arguments against Jewish land ownership.

History is almost necessarily weighted towards documents, and when historians talk about "Arabs" in this context it appears to refer to the Arab intelligentsia - the leaders, the writers, and those who are most likely to leave a record of their thoughts. Ordinary Arabs who moved to Palestine to work did not leave such a historical record, and their opinions of the Jews are left up to conjecture. While anti-semitism is a given in the Arab world at large, by the end of World War I they were starting to work directly for Jews. Clearly their antipathy for Jews did not outweigh their practical desire for jobs. In fact, there is some evidence that the most pronounced anti-semitism in the early 1900s came from Arab Christians, not Muslims.

In short, the average Arab in Palestine in this timeframe was more interested in his economic well-being than with politics or hating Jews. But that didn't mean that they could not be easily used by the press and by self-proclaimed leaders. The lack of sophistication among the average Arab, along with his sense of communal unity and his pre-existing biases, made him uniquely susceptible to manipulation by others. The entire concept of the "Arab street" has been a myth perpetuated by Arab leaders to strike fear into Westerners, and there was never a shortage of Arabs who could be easily manipulated into rioting or other violence.

These "leaders" had their own agenda. Arab nationalism emerged from a number of factors - the planting of nationalistic ideas from American missionary/teachers in the Middle East, the the decline of the Ottoman empire and early hopes for a pan-Arab state that would result, exposure to Zionist ideas and fear of Zionist plans being realized. In large part, Palestinian Arab nationalism seems to have been fueled more by their disgust at the possibility of Jews controlling any "Arab" land rather than any real desire to build their own country. The well-being of the Arab people themselves was never a part of the equation.

The best proof of Palestinian Arab "leaders" who had no interest in their followers except as pawns comes from the life of the infamous Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Mufti of Jerusalem. At first, Husayni advocated independence for "Greater Syria" which comprised today's Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. In fact, he wrote for a Palestinian newspaper named "Suriyya al-Janubiyya", or "Southern Syria" in English. This is not surprising as from the Arab perspective, Palestine had historically been considered "southern Syria" - an Arab map from 952 CE shows Jerusalem as part of Syria and Palestine is not listed as one of the 17 Islamic nations at that time.

But after the Sykes-Picot agreement dividing the Middle East between Britain and France, Husayni's dream of pan-Arabism was modified to pure anti-semitism disguised as Palestinian Arab nationalism. He instigated riots (with British help ) against the Jews during Passover in 1920, killing 5 Jews as Arabs ransacked the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.

Husayni's role in the riots bought him a ten-year prison sentence in absentia (he fled to Syria to avoid jail,) but he was granted amnesty and the new British civil administration appointed him Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921. As such he built his power base, getting elected as leader of the Supreme Muslim Council, controllingWaqf funds, the shari'a courts and many jobs. As he cemented his leadership role, his concerns for his Palestinian Arab brethren diminished.

For their part, the Palestinian Arab masses were not happy about this pogrom. 82 Arab villages who claimed to represent 70% of the Palestinian population and 90% of the peasant landowners condemned the riots and said that they prefer a Jewish settlement under British mandate to being at the mercy of the Arab effendi and money-lenders. These were not Husayni's concerns.

Three weeks after he reassured the British High Commissioner that he was a peaceful man dedicated to tranquility, Husayni discreetly instigated another set of riots, these much deadlier, in Jaffa and later to a few other areas. 43 Jews were killed.

In the wake of these riots, the Haycraft Commission placed the blame almost entirely on Arabs, and noted that they were encouraged by their leaders. While the 1921 riots do not appear to have been pre-planned (they were sparked by an altercation between Bolshevik and Communist Jews during a May Day march) they were fanned by unfounded rumors of Jews killing Arabs, showing again how easily a spark can turn into a conflagration when you combine Arab ignorance, latent anti-semitism and naivete. Nevertheless, Haycraft even-handedly mentioned that Arab fears and antipathy towards Jewish immigration and Zionism was a cause of the rioting.

This motif, where Arab violence would be blamed partially on Jews, helped set the stage for British restrictions on Jewish land ownership and immigration in the decades to follow. Not surprisingly, leaders like Husayni would see that instigating Arab riots would bring immediate political results, and even threats of violence could be used as an effective political tool.

Part 1
Part 2
  • Thursday, May 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, the British University and College Union voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions for the usual Jew-hating-masquerading-as-human-rights reasons. While this has been reported pretty widely, what people don't realize is that they passed two anti-Israel resolutions, the second one arguably worse.

The full of the resolutions are not even available on the UCU website - are they perhaps a bit embarrassed? - but I found a copy here:
Resolution 30 Boycott of Israeli academic institutions
Congress notes that Israel’s 40-year occupation has seriously damaged the fabric of Palestinian society through annexation, illegal settlement, collective punishment and restriction of movement.

Congress deplores the denial of educational rights for Palestinians by invasions, closures, checkpoints, curfews, and shootings and arrests of teachers, lecturers and students.

Congress condemns the complicity of Israeli academia in the occupation, which has provoked a call from Palestinian trade unions for a comprehensive and consistent international boycott of all Israeli academic institutions.

Congress believes that in these circumstances passivity or neutrality is unacceptable and criticism of Israel cannot be construed as anti-semitic.

Congress instructs the NEC to
§ circulate the full text of the Palestinian boycott call to all branches/LAs for information and discussion;
§ encourage members to consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions;
§ organise a UK-wide campus tour for Palestinian academic/educational trade unionists;
§ issue guidance to members on appropriate forms of action;
§ actively encourage and support branches to create direct educational links with Palestinian educational institutions and to help set up nationally sponsored programmes for teacher exchanges, sabbatical placements and research.

A count was taken of the voting on this motion which was as follows:
FOR 155 [61%]
AGAINST 99 [39%]

Resolution 31 European Union and Israel
Congress notes:
1. That since the Palestinian elections in January 2006 the Israeli government has suspended revenue payments to the Palestinian authority (PA), and the EU and US have suspended aid, leaving public-sector salaries unpaid and earning the condemnation of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions;
2. That Israel is seeking to upgrade its relations with the EU to the same level as Norway and Switzerland, permitting free passage of goods, people and capital, while denying these freedoms to Palestinians.

Congress resolves to campaign for:
1. The restoration of all international aid to the PA and all revenues rightfully belonging to it;
2. No upgrade of Israel’s status until it ends the occupation of Palestinian land and fully complies with EU Human Rights law;
3. A moratorium on research and cultural collaborations with Israel via EU and European Science Foundation funding until Israel abides by UN resolutions

Congress instructs the NEC to encourage Branches/Associations to
1. raise these campaigns in their Institutions and
2. investigate the possibilities of twinning their Institution with a Palestinian University or College

This motion was declared passed on a show of hands –with a majority visibly still higher than that for Resolution 30.
The hypocrisy of calling for boycotts of Israel while allowing every oppressive nation on the planet to do business as usual is obvious.

But what is stunning is the fact that these same self-styled humanitarians support Palestinian Arab terrorism - at the same time that they want to boycott Israel, they are trying to prop up the same universities that lecture hate, support terror attacks against civilians and daily advocate genocide against Jews. Arab terrorism against Israel is not only condoned; it is encouraged by these moral midgets.

There are no shortage of znti-Zionist Israeli academics who freely condemn Israel - but they must be punished, according to the EUdiots in Britain. Yet can one even imagine a Palestinian Arab lecturer who can espouse a Zionist position in his classes? Free speech is an oxymoron in the Palestinian Arab universities that they want British universities to "twin" with.

Beyond that, they call for unconditional monetary aid to go to the same Hamas-led government that is behind the daily barrage of Qassam attacks on Israel. The amazingly stupid British intelligentsia doesn't only support Arab terror - they want the EU and US (and Israel) to fund it!

These resolutions are beyond imbecilic - they are embarrassing, and the fact that the British wackademics go along with these absurdities will ultimately make British academia and research irrelevant, not Israel's.
  • Thursday, May 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
A third victim of the recent escalation of Qassam attacks has been reported:

Thirteen-year-old Chai Shalom suffered from cerebral palsy, and was deaf, mute, and confined in a wheel-chair. He was hospitalized after a rocket landed next to a bus transporting him and three other disabled children.

According to the report, all four children were wounded by the force of the blast. The driver of the bus fainted and Shalom's caretaker alerted his father.

The boy died last week in Soroka Hospital after his condition worsened.

His father asked that Shalom be recognized as a terror victim and was denied because his particular incident had not been reported.

Chai is now the 11th fatality of Qassam rocket fire altogether.

I only saw this reported in The Jerusalem Post (5 hours ago) and Arutz Sheva (1 hour ago). (H/T Backspin.)

Qassam attacks are no longer news - it is getting harder to keep track of the daily numbers shot as fewer Israeli news outlets bother counting them.

When the Israeli media themselves start treating rocket attacks on Israeli citizens as no big deal, how can we expect the rest of the world to take them seriously?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
YNet reports:
The UN Security Council issued a statement Wednesday, calling the Palestinians to cease Qassam fire at Israel.

Unlike previous statements made by the council, calling on both Israel and the Palestinians to cease fire, Wednesday's statement did not call for a bilateral ceasefire, but rather for curbing of clashes in Gaza and the firing of rockets at Israel. (Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington)
This would certainly be interesting. It is unimaginable for the UN to scold Arabs for aggression against Israel without saying that Israel is doing something at least as bad.

Ma'an Arabic, probably copying YNet, wrote what appears to be an identical story.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be true.

The following Security Council press statement on the breakdown of the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was delivered today by Council President Zalmay Khalilzad ( United States):

The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern at the breakdown of the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the resulting increase in violence. The members welcomed the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to establish a ceasefire, and expressed appreciation for the active support of the Government of Egypt in this regard. They urged all parties to join the members of the Council in supporting the call of President Abbas for an immediate end to the violence.
This refers strictly to an end to PalArab internal violence, and not a word about violence against Israel.

So the next question is - what is stopping the UN from such a call to Palestinian Arabs to stop Qassam attacks on civilian targets, a gross violation of international law in anybody's book?

Do we even have to ask?

UPDATE: It seems that YNet got confused with a statement that the Quartet made yesterday:
The Quartet strongly condemned the continued firing of Qassam rockets into Southern Israel as well as the buildup of arms by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. It endorsed PA President Abbas’ call for an immediate end to such violence, and called upon all elements of the PA government and all Palestinian groups to cooperate with President Abbas to that end. The Quartet called for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit. The Quartet urged Israel to exercise restraint to ensure that its security operations avoid civilian casualties or damage to civilian infrastructure. It noted that the detention of elected members of the Palestinian government and legislature raises particular concerns and called for them to be released.
While the UN is a member of the quartet, this statement was not made by the UN.
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Two Palestinians were killed and two others wounded when a car exploded in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday, witnesses and hospital officials said.

They said the casualties were men in their 20s. Their identities were not immediately known.

Nablus has seen frequent fighting between Palestinian militants and Israeli troops over the past 6 1/2 years of conflict. A military spokesman said he knew of no Israeli actions in Nablus at the time of the blast.

Even though Israel is not known to use car bombs in the territories, that doesn't stop the PalArabs from blaiming Israel. Ma'an Arabic says:
two Palestinians died, and several others wounded, one seriously wounds in the assassination attempt carried out by Israeli forces bombing collection downtown Nablus tonight.

According to our correspondent, quoting security sources said that a big explosion occurred inside the jeep-type vehicle "Suzuki" in the Sheikh Muslim city center, which led to the martyrdom of young Mahmoud Fatayir, and another unidentified because Coked body, were near the enclave addition to the injury of a number of other citizens passers wounds, one critically.

Dude, the body was totally Coked!

Call me a Zionist bigot, but I tend to believe the IDF in this one. Our PalArab self-death count for 2007 is now 276.

One killed in Gaza by "unknown gunmen." 277.

  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon

Palestinian refugees, who fled the besieged refugee camp of Nahr al-bared in north Lebanon, walk in front of a mural at the adjacent refugee camp of Beddawi, 29 May 2007. Crowded into schools with little food and deteriorating sanitary conditions, life is growing more miserable by the day for thousands of Palestinian refugees who fled fighting in northern Lebanon. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH BARRAK (Photo credit should read JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images)

People are upset over the al-Qaeda-linked Fatah al-Islam group that started taking over "Palestinian refugee camps" in Lebanon. But is anyone asking what made the camps such an ideal place for terror to spread?

This picture gives a good answer to that question. When generations of people are raised to worship weapons, when they decorate their own towns with romantic representations of instruments of death, why is anyone surprised that these places become incubators of terror?
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Monday I wrote a story about how Israeli doctors and medical teams are endangering their own lives to save Palestinian Arab children. Soccer Dad tells me about "Save a Child's Heart," an Israeli team of doctors who treat children with heart problems - with a 96% success rate.
Our patients, ranging in age from infants to teenagers, receive various types of treatment that is necessary for their heart problems. The children come from all corners of the world, including China, Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Moldova, Nigeria, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Srilanka, Ukraine, Vietnam, and the Island of Zanzibar (part of the Federation of Tanzania).

Save A Child's Heart has a full outreach program to train medical personnel in our partner countries. Our ultimate goal is to create centers of competence in these countries, enabling local medical personnel to provide needed treatment in their own environment. The program brings doctors and nurses to the Save A Child's Heart center for in-depth Post Graduate training in all facets of pediatric cardiology. In addition, our staff travels overseas to educate and to perform surgery in cooperation with local personnel. However, until our goal is achieved, children with congenital heart problems are brought to Israel for surgery and other cardiac care.

Save A Child's Heart provides all its services in cooperation with the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, a southern suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city.
Not surprisingly, the people who have gotten the most benefit from this program have been Palestinian Arabs. Out of the 1500 children whose lives have been saved since 1996, over 700 have been Palestinian Arabs.
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Arabic Ma'an has an article this morning on how important the media is to terrorists. (Probably later today the English site will have a better translation.) Excerpts:
Abu Al-Hassan, Director General of the web site of the Nasser Saladin Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees said "that the media is crucial resistance is supplementing the role of the struggling, No less a session on the role of the warrior in the battle it gives moral batches at the psychological and focuses on the negative impact on the psychology of the occupier. "

The spokesman Abu Ahmad media on behalf of Al Quds military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, said that media resistance "as a fundamental and strategic resource for the resistance, and gives the resistance operations and activities of the various needs of the legitimacy of the Zionist media in the counter trying to show resistance as terrorist movements task only killing, slaughter and destruction."

He emphasized that "the role of media is to show that the resistance is self-defense and attempt to restore rights, and detect crimes of the occupation as real and tools used to kill the Palestinian people, and this is what happens when great equalizers domestic public opinion and the world in which we need to be this opinion to our side always."

His spokesman Hossam Abu al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of the Supreme Military Council said : "As long as there is resistance to the occupation must be accompanied by information shows the nobility message of Jihad and resistance, and the role of Mujahideen For this significant influence in the management of the battle with the occupier."

He continues, "Media resistance today is a fundamental pillar underlying resistance factions living among them Nasser Saladin Brigades, as an important means no less important than the rocket attack."

The Abu Ahmed "that the media can be sometimes more important than armed action, and sometimes other tributary of this work provide him with legitimacy and give cover for the continued addition of directing many of the messages both on a psychological level or practical."

He noted, "The media has real achievements supports and strengthens resistance to the image viewer and monitor local and managed to stabilize the Arab Palestinian version refuted the Zionist story, which is based on lies, fraud and deception."

The world's worst criminals are saying explicitly that the Palestinian Arab media are a weapon, that accuracy is not the aim of their media but propaganda is. Yet the world's news organizations will take the information published by Palestinian Arabic "news" sources uncritically. They employ stringers and photographers who make no secret of their biases nor their disregard for the truth and accuracy.

We are not just talking about their own websites. "Palestine Today" is a pro-Hamas newspaper that delights in any damage Qassam rockets inflict on Sderot - on their main page they've had a link to a large photo collection of Qassam rockets being fired and Jews in fear in Sderot. The "International Middle East Media Center" routinely refers to Israeli arrests as "abductions" and "kidnappings."

Truth has been left far behind in the PalArab media and the terrorists are pulling the strings.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From WND:
Israel today arrested a longtime wanted terror leader here in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

According to Israeli security officials and Palestinian sources in Ramallah speaking to WND, the terrorist was arrested while having car sex just a few hundred feet from late PLO leader Yasser Arafat's gravesite.

Khaled Shawish, an officer in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Force 17 presidential guards, was captured by undercover Israeli police forces following scores of shooting attacks he is suspected of carrying out. Shawish, who doubles as the Ramallah chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, previously boasted of involvement in a West Bank shooting attack in December 2000 that killed Israeli ultranationalist leader Benjamin Kahane and Kahane's wife, Talya.

The Brigades is the declared "military wing" of Abbas' Fatah party.

After the Kahane murder, Shawish was extended refuge by Arafat to live in the late PLO leader's Ramallah compound, widely known as the Muqata. Arafat is buried at the entrance to the Muqata.

Shawish continued the past seven years to live in the Muqata, from which, according to Israeli security officials, he directed the Brigades to carry out scores of shootings against Israelis driving on West Bank roads.

Several years ago Shawish sustained an injury during a gun battle with the Israel Defense Forces and has since been confined to a wheelchair, although he is still able to drive.

According to Israeli security officials and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades sources in Ramallah, Shawish was arrested after the Israeli police stormed his jeep, which was parked in a lot outside the Muqata, about 200 feet from Arafat's grave. The sources said at the time of his arrest, Shawish was having intercourse in the back seat of his jeep with a Palestinian woman, whose identity is being withheld by WND. The woman was not his wife.

The Brigades, founded by Arafat, largely considers the late PLO leader's resting place to be a sacred site.
I wonder if he still rates the 72 virgins when his time arrives? I hope he finds out soon.
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The "Palestinian Center for Human Rights" got a bit upset when their office in the Jabalya camp was damaged on Saturday:
At approximately 23:00 on Saturday, 26 May 2007, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a security room belonging to the (Hamas - EoZ) Executive Force of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior near Timraz fuel station in the center of the densely populated Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The missile hit the room from the south and penetrated its roof. It then hit the ground causing heavy damages to PCHR’s branch office in Jabalya, nearly 40 meters away, and to dozens of houses and shops. Additionally, 15 Palestinian civilians were wounded by shrapnel. This attack apparently aimed at causing maximum damage to civilian property.
The hypocritical PCHR admits that the IDF shot its Hamas terror target exactly and then turns around to claim that Israel intended to cause maximum damage to civilians.

Beyond that, PCHR does not say a single word about the fact that Hamas operates out of civilian areas, endangering civilians in a cynical ploy to avoid getting hit itself.

Once again, "human rights" is not what PCHR is about - demonizing Israel is.
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
While there have been few recent deaths, just today it is reported at PalToday that a tunnel was discovered leading to government buildings in Gaza, and that a PalArab judge had been shot multiple times.

A Ma'an poll in Arabic shows that two thirds of its readers say that Hamas' firing rockets at Sderot helped prevent fighting between Hamas and Fatah. Killing Jews is a time-honored formula for Arab peace, at least in the short term.

UPDATE: A "mysterious explosion" in the Nuseirat camp, two killed. PalToday says it appears to have been internal, not from an airstrike. Our self-death count rises to 273.

3 dead from the explosion. 274.
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Although Jewish immigration to Palestine predates Zionism by centuries, the first major waves occurred in the late 1800s. Accurate demographic information about the Arab population of Palestine in the same time period is impossible to find, but it is apparent that the Arab population increased in concert with the Jewish population. An Ottoman population report for the Jerusalem district, which may not be accurate but is still instructive, shows the total population of the Jerusalem district (2/3 of Palestine) to increase dramatically between 1885 and 1910:

1885 1890 1900 1910
Population in Thousands: 233.2 336.1 341.6 382.1

While many claim "natural increase" to explain the Arab population growth, I have yet to see anyone explain why such natural growth should have only started in that time period. A regression analysis of the numbers above would indicate an absurdly tiny population in Palestine in the 18th century but by all indications it remained fairly steady at least since Christian pilgrims started writing about their travels there.

The most obvious explanation for the increase in Palestine's population is that many Arabs moved there. Jewish immigration brought in new capital, Jewish effort increased the amount of agriculture and industry, and Arabs naturally migrated to where they could honorably take care of their families. The entire Middle East was under the administration of the Ottoman Empire and there were no borders to stop Arab migration.

Arabs have, to this day, been naturally itinerant. Recent studies show that 70% of the residents of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are immigrants and that "the world’s highest share of migrant population is to be found in the Middle East." The incomplete data we have coupled with the Arab history of migration and the Arab male's desire to support his family, together with the undeniable increase in the standard of living as the economy improved, all indicate a concurrent explosion of two immigrant populations in Palestine, Jews and Arabs, under the late days of the Ottoman Empire.

Interactions between the two groups seem to have been cordial although not as direct as one might think. Jews tended to employ Jews in the early decades of the Zionist movement and the Arab economic boom seems to have been more indirect from the infusion of new capital in the area rather than from direct employment.

It would be a mistake to confuse cordiality with respect, though - both the Arabs that moved to the area and the native Palestinian Arabs had a visceral hate for Jews as a people. A Christian travelogue published in 1874 noted the "Men in Palestine call their fellows 'Jew,' as the very lowest of all possible words of abuse." when explaining an insult of "Dogs, brutes, pigs, Jews!" So while practicalities and honor allowed Arabs to move to the area, and the Arab hospitality allowed them to interact relatively pleasantly, their innate hatred of Jews as a people far precedes Zionism.

(Part 1 here. It is going more slowly than I would like but these things take time....)

Monday, May 28, 2007

  • Monday, May 28, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The horrors and depravity of the Zionist apes and pigs never cease:
A Magen David Adom ambulance transferred an eight-day-old Palestinian baby from Gaza to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Sunday evening.

This humanitarian act took place during one of the more difficult days in terms of Qassam launchings, during which a 36-year-old Oshri Oz was killed in Sderot

The baby suffers from a congenital heart defect and without proper treatment will not survive long. He was transferred to the Erez crossing, where an MDA ambulance was waiting to transfer him to hospital ventilated and in an incubator.

"We transfer patients from the Gaza Strip under fire on a daily basis," said Moshe Vaknin, deputy manager of Lachish region of MDA. "Last week, our medics continued to treat a patient while shells were fired at the terminal at Erez. During the Shavuot holiday we evacuated another baby in an incubator, endangering our staff."

The baby is now hospitalized at the intensive care department at the Safra Children's Hospital at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

Dr Dudi Mishali, head of the Department of Pediatric & Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery at the hospital, said: "The baby has a complete occlusion of his aorta. This is a severe defect, and if the child is not operated on as soon as possible he could die within a day.

'He will probably be operated on tomorrow (Monday) and the prognosis is good. He is currently on medication that is keeping him alive," he added.

Dr Mishali said that an average of three Palestinian babies with heart defects arrive at his department every week: "We have daily communications by phone and fax with doctors in Gaza. There is no heart surgeon in the Strip, so they transfer all of these children, and there are many, to be operated on here."

"Our treatment has not changed over the last few days. This cooperation has survived difficult times of terrorism and bombings," Mishali said and stressed that politics always stay outside the operating theater.
  • Monday, May 28, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
YNet notes:
“The Qassam attacks from Gaza are one of the means we are using to resist the occupation by the Jewish state,” said Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau.

Which "occupation" is Hamas referring to? When you look at the Hamas-oriented Arabic press (and even the mainstream Palestinian Arabic press) they refer to Sderot as a "settlement" and the victims in Sderot as "settlers." Even though the Western media will consistently assume they are referring to the West Bank, it is clear that they are referring to the entire state of Israel.

Since this is the game they are playing, it is way past time for Israel to play the same game. Although the Israeli strikes at Qassam cells and Hamas leaders do have an effect, there is a relatively easy way for Israel to scare the terrorists to stop the Qassams, in a language they understand far better than airstrikes.

For each Qassam rocket sent to Israel, the IDF should re-occupy at least a symbolic amount of Gaza. I would like to see a square kilometer but for our purposes, a dunam would do. The Gaza fence would be moved the equivalent amount and Israeli tanks would roll in. Even better, a mobile home or trailer for each rocket would be appropriate.

Israel should announce that this new occupation is irreversible and necessary to build a buffer zone. And each dunam should be reclaimed within a day of the rockets landing.

A Qassam resulting in property damage, an injury or fatality would result in larger areas being confiscated.

The most important part is for Israel to be firm about these confiscations being permanent and not subject to negotiation.

Anyone who honestly observes how the Palestinian Arabs have acted over the decades knows that the only thing they care about is Jews controlling land they consider Arab. Everything else is noise. The holy formula of "land for peace" has a second meaning that Israel needs to make clear: when there is no peace, Israel will take more land.

The first village built on reclaimed Gaza will be named "Kfar Qassam." The rest will be named after victims of the attacks.

This is far more humane and far more effective than any amount of military retaliation.

Friday, May 25, 2007

  • Friday, May 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
A very nice article from David Harris that shows how consistently the media is willing to parrot Muslim claims of 6-7 million Muslims in America when in fact the number is much, much lower - closer to 2 million according to a recent respected study.
  • Friday, May 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
This editorial was printed in "Palestine Today" (Arabic) in reaction to Mahmoud Abbas calling Qassam fire ridiculous and counterproductive. It shows the depravity and mindset of these terrorist supporters. And this is not a Hamas newspaper (autotranslated):
Mahmoud Abbas resumed use of language that serve the Zionist entity, which does not serve the interest of our forces and, when stopping to describe Palestinian Rocket again as ridiculous, in an implicit reference to the Palestinian resistance, in an attempt to minimize the amount and value in an affront to the feelings of the Palestinians who see valuable resistance means defending the dignity and themselves.

Mr. Abbas's position is very resistance, which sees a futile, and had previously described one of the martyrdom operations carried out by the Islamic Jihad, stating that it (the menial), and this naturally to the media, which documented the video, as documented in sound and picture vocabulary yesterday.

Interviews with Olmert, what can be classified, and Embrace Embrace again, let alone conduct a long and tortuous negotiations, which is still in Eugena maze behind the other, all these matters are not considered absurd from the standpoint of Mahmoud Abbas, but Palestinians requested a abandon their resistance, and proven, causing panic in the hearts of Zionists and at all levels.

The position of Abbas came here in favor of the Zionist entity, because he did not recall the size of the suffering of the Palestinian people, and would like to see assassinations and physical liquidation daily, and all drive the cease-fire, and throwing down their arms and surrender Palestinians resisting the Zionist entity.

Betting on the settlement reported what the Palestinian people, and to Embrace Olmert km of prisoners liberated from the constraints, but what is the position of Abbas began defense of the Zionist position, and came at a time when the Zionist massacres are continuing, and interaction within the military institution especially in front of the continued Zionist missiles fall, that made a ghost town of Sderot.

Once again the position of Mahmoud Abbas in favor of the Zionist entity, does not take into account the other hand, the magnitude of the tragedy, which requires the logic of the need to retaliate and to deter the enemy.

Missiles are not ridiculous, but negotiations are useless, because it limits the minimum finding umbrella of settlement expansion, while Rocket, made the area around the Gaza unsafe areas, where no future for settlement.

Rockets opportunity and the means necessary to deter use to protect our people in the West, but the arms of the Zionists came only disasters.
The amount of fantasy that ordinary Palestinian Arabs can maintain simultaneously is staggering.

  • They honestly think that Qassams are deterring Israel from hurting them more.
  • They look at these rockets as a huge ego boost and they hang their very dignity on their ability to force Jews from their homes.
  • They say explicitly that terror is better than peace.
  • They don't care about their own people's welfare as long as they can hurt the "Zionist entity."
How anyone can think that it is possible to negotiate with people who have no grasp of reality to begin with?

A Palestinian man runs with an injured boy after an Israeli missile strike on a Hamas base after they gathered at the scene of an earlier airstrike in Nusseirat, central Gaza Strip, Friday May 25, 2007. An Israeli airstrike hit a Hamas training center south of Gaza City on Friday, destroying the compound and lightly injuring at least three, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

A Palestinian evacuates a wounded boy after an Israeli air strike at Hamas Executive Force position in the central Gaza strip May 25, 2007. Israeli aircraft fired missiles into the central Gaza Strip on Friday, hitting a position used by the ruling Hamas Islamist movement, residents said. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

A Palestinian man runs with an injured boy after an Israeli missile strike on a Hamas base after they gathered at the scene of an earlier airstrike on area in Nusseirat, central Gaza Strip, Friday , May 25, 2007. An Israeli airstrike hit a Hamas training center south of Gaza City on Friday, destroying the compound and lightly injuring at least three, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

Nusseirat Refugee Camp, -: A Palestinian man carries a wounded boy as he flees following an Israeli air strike on Hamas's Executive Force building in Nusseirat refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza strip, 25 May 2007. Warplanes pounded the Gaza Strip for a ninth day today as Palestinians continued to fire rockets into Israel despite a call from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for a truce. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Friday, May 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Besides the facts that since Israel abandoned Gaza, hundreds of Palestinian Arabs have killed each other; Israelis who lived in Gaza are still living in trailers and have been all but abandoned by their government; the Gaza economy has gone to hell; the greenhouses Israel left behind were destroyed; the only growing industries are tunnel digging and Qassam building; PalArabs that can afford to are emigrating in huge numbers; PalArabs living in Gaza are now ruled by terrorists who are proud of it as opposed to the terrorists who were slightly embarrassed by it beforehand - forgetting all of that:

When Israel left Gaza it left a trillion cubic feet of natural gas for Hamas to screw up:
The militant Hamas movement has launched a stinging attack on BG Group and vowed to block a potential £2 billion deal being brokered by the company to supply Palestinian gas to Israel.

The Islamist group told The Times that any agreement would be equivalent to a modern-day “Balfour Declaration” – the British Government statement that formally approved the creation of an Israeli homeland in 1917.

Ziad Thatha, the Hamas economic minister in the Palestinian Government, said: “BG Group is an embarrassment to the Palestinian people.

“When a company sells Palestinian gas to the Zionist occupation, it is similar to acts of theft the Israelis are practising against our land every day.”

The comments threaten to overshadow key negotiations BG Group hoped would lead to the development of the Gaza Marine gas field it discovered seven years ago. Talks over a 15-year contract are due to begin next week and the Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was keen to conclude a deal “as soon as possible”.

The Gaza Marine field is Palestine’s only sovereign natural resource and its development could generate £500 million for the Palestinian economy in royalties from BG Group. The gas would meet 10 per cent of Israel’s annual energy requirements. BG Group said that its priority was thrashing out a deal acceptable to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. “We need a bilateral agreement for this project to get across the line,” a spokesman said.

However, Hamas controls a majority of the seats in the Palestinian Government. The more moderate Fatah Party reiterated yesterday that it wanted guarantees over how cash payments would be made before signing off any deal.

Mohammad Mustafa, the economic adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, said: “We hope that we will reach an understanding and remaining obstacles will be overcome.”

To Hamas, there is no distinction between Israeli buying things and Israel stealing things. Which explains a lot.

  • Friday, May 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
During the two days of Shavuot (in the Diaspora):
So, by PalArab standards, it was a pretty quiet two days.

The self-death count for the year rises to 268.

The 23-week winning streak that Palestinian Arabs had in outkilling the IDF when their own people were victims was finally ended, with Israel winning, 32-20. To put this in context, during the same week some 77 Palestinian Arabs and others were killed in Lebanon by other Arabs.

Also, another difference between Ma'an News in English and Arabic: besides referring to Palestinian Arabs killed by Israel as "martyrs," the Arabic service also refers to Israeli towns being bombarded by Qassams in the Negev that are within the Green Line as "settlements." This is by far the best journalism that Palestinian Arabs are exposed to, and it is filled with lies.
(Background can be found here. )

citizen killed Samih Hussein Massoud Shawahneh 45 years killed and five others were injured after a family quarrel of families in the village of Ras Tireh south of Qalqilya.

UPDATE 2: 1 killed, 15 injured in Fatah/Hamas clashes. 270.
Man in Gaza found tortured to death. 271.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

  • Tuesday, May 22, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
During a funeral for a Hamas terror leader on Monday there was some cross-factional cease-fire shooting that didn't get reported anywhere. Today, one of those shot, a fifty year old man who was also a member of Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, died from his wounds. (IMEMC seems to indicate that the shooting was last Monday, not yesterday.)

Yesterday there was also a cease-fire shooting of two Hamas students in Khan Younis and one died last night, and their "university" library building was set on fire.

Our PalArab self-death count climbs to 266 for 2007.
  • Tuesday, May 22, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Western media has reluctantly started mentioning Qassam attacks on the Western Negev and Sderot, usually in articles that are headlined about how Israel is bombing poor overcrowded starving Gazans. But you will never see articles like these mentioned:
An explosive device has been found by soldiers on Tuesday in a Palestinian car at a checkpoint near the West Bank town of Qalqiliya.

Sappers defused the device safely.

A pipe bomb was found during an IDF scan of the Jenin area on Monday afternoon. The pipe bomb was detonated under a controlled detonation, and not one was injured.
Every single day the IDF finds bombs built in the West Bank for the purpose of killing Jews. Almost every day someone is caught at a checkpoint (often women and children) with weapons.

In other words, those horrible repressive IDF actions that "human rights" organizations spend so much time condemning are saving lives every day. It would seem that "human rights" and saving lives are incompatible according to these defenders of terror.

  • Tuesday, May 22, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Religious Intelligence (h/t Zionist Spy):
Pope Shenouda in anti-Semitic outburst
Monday, 21st May 2007. 10:55am

By: George Conger.

THE LEADER of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria told Egyptian television last month the Western Churches were wrong to exonerate Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and criticised recent statements apologising for Christian anti-Semitism.

Pope Shenouda in anti-Semitic outburst
In an interview with Dream 2 TV broadcast on April 8, Shenouda was asked if the Coptic Church would follow the lead of the Western Christian churches. Shenouda responded that the Christian Churches had “done nothing that warrants an apology,” adding he believed the apologies were being “done for appearance’s sake.”

Asked whether Jews were “Christ-killers”, responsible for the crucifixion, Shenouda stated, “The New Testament says that they are,” and asked rhetorically whether the Vatican was “against the teachings of the New Testament?”

Shenouda stated he had banned Copts from visiting Israel for fear they will “be influenced by the Israeli media, and we will not be able to prevent this. Who knows what ideas they will return with?
This is not the first Christian leader in the Middle East who has been infected with an extreme case of dhimmitude, where the ones actually oppressing his people are not criticized at all - see our Dhimmi of the Year 2006 and his runner up.

UPDATE: A commenter at Discarded Lies, Frank IBC, points out the resemblance between our esteemed Coptic pope and a more famous icon of royalty:

Monday, May 21, 2007

  • Monday, May 21, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon

Female Palestinian suicide bombers attend a news conference in Gaza May 21, 2007. The bombers, members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, declared that they are ready to blow themselves up in attacks against the Israeli army if it attacks Gaza. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA)

Wow. They look really good for being suicide bombers! I wonder how they managed to keep themselves together.
  • Monday, May 21, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
Bethlehem – Ma'an – The political advisor of the Palestinian prime minister, Ahmad Yousif, on Monday refused to halt the launching of homemade projectiles at Israeli towns.

The resumption of projectile launching was the Palestinian factions' response to Israeli violations of the ceasefire agreement.

Yousif depicted the projectiles being hurled at Israeli targets as "fireworks which alert the world that there can be no solution except forcing Israel to halt its hostilities."

Yousif told Ma'an that he does not expect Hamas to cease launching projectiles as long as Israeli aggression and the international embargo on the Palestinian people continue.

He considers the homemade projectiles part of the Palestinian right to self-defence. He said, "They represent a message which says 'no to siege and no hostility' and they do not contain nuclear heads."

Yousif condemned those who call for an end to the launching of projectiles, especially, he said, in light of the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. He added, "The Palestinian government exerted efforts and convinced the factions to cease fire, yet the Israelis did not stick to that and so the projectiles will continue."
Well, he's right when he says that the Qassams don't contain nuclear heads. Got to give him some credit.
  • Monday, May 21, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
YNet reports that Sderot residents' luck finally ran out. A woman was killed in her car and a man injured.

Will we finally see Israel killing Hamas leaders?

There have been 10 rockets today.
  • Monday, May 21, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
In a nod to the famous playing cards that the US Army gave its soldiers when looking for Saddam's top henchmen, Ma'ariv published their own facsimiles of cards representing the major terrorists that Israel may have on its list for assassination.

(Of course, the Arab newspaper that published this took it seriously.)
  • Monday, May 21, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Another PalArab who was shot during the "unfortunate events" died - after the imperialistic Israelis failed to save him in the Zionist hospital he was transfered to. The PalArab self-death count for the year climbs to 263.

2 Hamas members were critically injured from more unfortunate gunfire during the "truce." (Perhaps when Israel is doing the shooting, it is "fortunate?" )

At least 3 Qassams this morning towards the western Negev. (JPost: 4.)

Paltoday reports that some members of Knesset from Labor, Likud and Kadima suggest compensating Sderot residents retroactively from the time of disengagement from taxes collected for the PA that Israel has been withholding. An excellent idea, although all terror victims should be able to get compensated from that ever growing fund. The idea that Israel is still bound by all the agreements it made with an entity that continuously tries to kill and kidnap her citizens is ludicrous.

UPDATE: One of the Hamas members shot this morning has died. Fatah denied it had anything to do with it so the fiction of the cease fire remains. 264.

UPDATE 2: A 17-year old youth was killed when a "mysterious object" he was holding exploded in Rafah. 265.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

  • Sunday, May 20, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Jerusalem Post:
According to sources close to the two parties, several mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip witnessed fistfights and screaming matches over the past few days between Hamas and Fatah supporters.

The same preachers who until recently were attacking Israel, the Jews and the "Crusaders" in the US and Europe, have now shifted their anger toward PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction.

According to PA security sources, some of the Hamas-affiliated preachers exploited Friday prayers to call for the killing of Fatah political leaders and security commanders. In many cases, worshipers walked out of the mosques in protest against what they described as "incitement." The sources claimed that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was kicked out of a mosque near Damascus after worshipers held him responsible for the internecine fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Fatah spokesmen accused Hamas of exploiting the mosques to launch a wave of incitement against their leaders.

"This is not the first time Hamas has used the mosques to call for killing Palestinians," said Jamal Nazzal, a Fatah representative in the West Bank. "We must put an end to the incitement in the mosques."

Fatah officials are particularly enraged by the harsh rhetoric that many preachers have begun using when referring to the Hamas-Fatah clashes. These preachers are calling the PA security forces the "Lahad Army," a reference to the former pro-Israel South Lebanon Army headed by Gen. Antoine Lahad.

The preachers have also been denouncing Abbas and his top aides in Fatah as a bunch of corrupt infidels who are conspiring with the US and Israel against Islam.

The tension reached its peak on Friday, when thousands of worshipers stormed out of mosques after the preachers launched scathing attacks on Fatah.

In the town of Deir el-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip, preacher Maher Huli was forced to run away from a local mosque after being attacked by dozens of worshipers.

Huli enraged many mosque-goers after declaring that all the PA and Fatah members who were killed in the clashes with Hamas would "end up in hell." He also claimed that Fatah and Israel had been jointly bombing the Hamas-controlled Islamic University in Gaza City.

Hamas militiamen who rushed to the scene assaulted a number of worshipers and fired into the air to disperse the angry crowd.

A similar incident occurred in another mosque in the town, where preacher Ahmed Nakla was also forced to flee the mosque after being attacked by worshipers. In his sermon, Nakla had called for killing members of the PA security forces under the pretext that they were implementing a "Zionist-American plot to eliminate Hamas."

The worst incident took place in the Beersheva Mosque in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, where at least five people were wounded in a melee that erupted after the preacher accused Fatah leaders of high treason.

Witnesses quoted the Hamas preacher as saying that some of the Fatah leaders were "not even fit to serve as shoe shiners." The remarks were directed especially against Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Azzam and PA National Security Adviser Muhammad Dahlan.

Sounds like houses of worship in any religion. No difference at all.
  • Sunday, May 20, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13

Understanding history is difficult unless one understands the psyches of the major players in history. This applies not only to individuals but to groups as well. Members of relatively homogeneous groups tend to think similarly and knowing how they think is a critical piece of the puzzle in understanding how they act.

Unfortunately, historians generally do not put primary emphasis on the state of mind of the subjects of their histories. Events are listed and discussed but not the psychology of the people involved. There are a number of reasons for this: historians are trained to deal with facts and to discount conjecture, and there is no greater conjecture than to guess how someone thinks. The reluctance to look at history through this prism is perhaps also due to an understandable reluctance to place entire groups of people into a single bucket, as this seems to be too close to racism. Paradoxically, today's Western mindset where the disgust of racism is paramount may be hurting the understanding of the mindsets of other cultures and historical periods.

In starting this series of posts, I am engaging in some hubris. I am not a historian, nor a psychologist, nor a demographer, nor a sociologist, and I'm not even a professional writer. To make matters worse, I do have biases that I freely admit. Even with these shortcomings, I hope that I can contribute in a small way to the understanding of today's issues revolving around the Arab-Israeli conflict. Especially in this case, there is really no dividing line between history and current events, and too much history glibly assumes that all people think the same way - an error that has great ramifications in our time as well.

In the wake of the 1948 birth of the state of Israel came the creation of a wholly new people, known today as "Palestinians." They became a people as a result of a confluence of events that, in the end, brought them together and gave them a shared identity. This essay will attempt to show how these Arabs who originally came from all over the Middle East ended up perceiving themselves as a separate people, how their Arab mindset became the specifically Palestinian Arab mindset, and ultimately how the Palestinian Arabs became who they are today.

One other note: leaders of societies do not necessarily reflect the thinking of their people, and the Palestinian Arabs have had many leaders who acted in ways that were counterproductive to their people as a whole. This essay is not as concerned with the psychology of the leaders nearly as much as with the Palestinian Arabs themselves, as a group.

The Arab psyche in the early days of the Zionist movement

The psychology of the Arabs of Palestine in the decades before Israel's founding is indistinguishable from that of all Arabs. This is because, to the Arabs, Palestine was just another Arab district in the larger Arab world, usually associated with southern Syria. While the Arab world was hardly unified, from the average Arab man's viewpoint there was little difference between one area and another, except for some minor cultural differences.

We can divide the major components of the Arab psyche into three major groups, each of which include some corollaries and subgroups. The major groups are Honor/Shame, Community and Unity, and Islam.

The most important and overriding component of the Arab psyche is that of honor, and its flip-side of shame. Although there is some controversy about this, I posit that there is nothing inherently better or worse in an honor/shame culture versus the "guilt" culture that typifies the Western psyche. The emotions of shame or guilt can be constructive or destructive depending on how the individual deals with it. And outside circumstances can accentuate and amplify these attributes. People in the Far East exhibit the same honor/shame viewpoint although they exhibit it somewhat differently than Arabs do.

In brief, in an honor/shame society, more emphasis is placed on how the individual is perceived by others rather than how he views himself. The appearance of wrongdoing is far more upsetting than actual wrongdoing, and the respect of others is more prized than self-respect.

Honor/shame can be divided into two complementary components: seeking honor and avoiding shame.

The idea of honor as a positive incentive is critically important. The Arab man in the early 20th century, as with the Arab men in previous centuries, aspired as individuals to be honorable, and in a part of the world where there was little chance for real social or political advancement, this desire would be concentrated on the idea of raising a family honorably. The basic requirement of supporting a family is to make money.

The disincentive of shame is spoken about much more nowadays than in the past, as the phenomena of so-called "honor killings" get some measure of publicity. The fear of being shamed predates Islam and has always been a very powerful concept.

Almost every other major feature of the Arab mindset in general, and the Palestinian Arab mindset in particular, can be traced back to understanding the overwhelming importance the Arab people ascribe to honor and shame. But there are others that need to be understood.

Community and unity
Like other peoples, Arabs build and take pride in their communities. But through the first half of the twentieth century, they did not feel as much allegiance to their individual countries as they did towards the Arab "nation" as a whole. This is understandable as national boundaries were somewhat arbitrarily decided by the West and were ignored when possible.

The commonality that Arabs throughout the region had dwarfed any possible differences. Most shared the same religion, all spoke the same language, almost all shared a distrust of outsiders and particularly Westerners. Not that there weren't conflicts within the Arab world but on a personal level the differences were quite small.

Ties to a particular region were somewhat tenuous. When the need arose, Arabs were not reluctant to move elsewhere. Perhaps it was the influence of the Bedouins but the Arabs have been historically much more nomadic within the sphere of Arabia than most other peoples. In those times, Arabism was a much stronger tie between people than Islam was.

While there were many Christian and Jewish Arabs, the vast majority have been Muslim, and the relationship between Islam and the Arab world has been a two-way street. Islam itself has been very influenced by Arab customs (such as women covering their faces, which is mentioned as an Arab habit in the Talmud that predates Islam) but Arab culture and thinking have likewise been influenced by Islam. It is difficult to know which influences the other more. Examples of Arab cultural habits that probably at least partly a result of Islam would include charity, misogyny and a level of supremacy.

Each of the three main categories include other aspects of personality and mindsets.

The Honor/Shame mentality spawns an entire host of feelings and potential actions. One of the corollaries to Arab pride and sense of honor is the importance of manliness. Masculinity is functionally equivalent to honor in the Arab world, as honor is all about how one appears and not so much about how one thinks. The man is the breadwinner of his household, the defender of his people, the public face of his family and the leader of his community. Aggressiveness is an attribute of masculinity but it is not a necessity to prove oneself through aggression. It can be exhibited through macho posturing but this is by no means a necessity. Quietly supporting one's family is also an attribute of manliness. Unfortunately, misogyny is often a result of this attribute as well.

Conversely, the fear of being emasculated is a strong component of the Arab psyche.

Another possible outcome of the honor/shame mentality is dishonesty. In cases where telling the truth can cause disgrace, it is preferable to lie. The incentive to lie increases with how high a position one occupies because any mistake he makes could cause a commensurate amount of disgrace.

Another aspect of the Palestinian Arab personality that can be ascribed to honor is itinerancy. Arabs tended to wander from place to place within the Arab nation. The purpose would usually be financial, and quite justified - to be able to make enough money to raise a family in an honorable fashion. For most of the history of the Middle East one can find Arabs migrating from place to place, and even after the Western world imposed semi-arbitrary borders they would be ignored.

One of the famous Arab attributes that come from their sense of community and unity is that of hospitality. Within the Arabian sphere, all likely guests were, in a sense, family. Any Arab traveling to any other village or area could rightfully expect to be treated as an honored guest. This attribute would be extended to strangers as well, and while the Arab world on a political level was highly sensitive about Western influence, individual travelers from the West seem to have been treated generally well.

Arab Anti-semitism has many possible sources, but for now we will assume the influence of Islam. Arab anti-semitism has historically been of a fundamentally different type than Christian Jew-hatred. Notwithstanding the Damascus blood libel of 1840, for the most part Muslims and Arabs are correct when they say that Jews lived in relative peace under Arab rule. However, living in peace is not the same as living as equals. The tolerance of Jews in Arab nations was salted with contempt. Even so, overt anti-semitism was relatively rare before the 20th century, and some argue that the influence of Christians in Arab lands accelerated these ideas.

In Islam, dhimmis (Christians and Jews) are second-class citizens, forced to pay allegiance and taxes to their Muslim masters. Islam looks upon itself as building upon and improving Christianity and Judaism. Dhimmis may live in Muslim lands but they may not display conspicuous religious symbols; they may not use church bells or blow shofars in public, or even to build or expand churches or synagogues in many circumstances. The punishment for murder of a dhimmi was rarely equivalent to that of a Muslim, and dhimmis could be executed for blasphemy.

So while there was not the same overt hatred towards Jews than Christian Europe exhibited too many times, the clear mindset of Muslim Arabs as the 20th century dawned was that Jews and Christians were beneath them.

Islamic supremacy was a difficult position to maintain in the early 1900s. The Western world had dominated the Islamic world militarily, culturally and scientifically since the Muslim defeat in 1683 at Vienna. Colonialism had already been encroaching on the edges of the Arab world since the 18th century and Europe was dividing up the Islamic world after the collapse of the Ottoman empire. The Islamic idea of a global 'Ummah had steadily deteriorated from the heights of the 15th and 16th centuries to a mere dream after World War I. So while the Muslims may have privately felt that Christians were just as low as Jews, in fact they maintained a healthy fear and respect for Christians who had beaten them. And their sense of being shamed by the Westerners so thoroughly translated into a hate that could not be acted upon without losing even more control.

But there were still Jews who seemed to still accept their dhimmi status in the Islamic world, and the fact that the Christian "ummah" seemed to hate them even more than the Arabs did made the Arabs think that at least they are not on the very bottom of the international food chain.

There are two other layers of the Arab psyche that need to be understood. They are hardly unique to Arabs but, in combination with the other characteristics we described, they are important to understand.

The first is projection. Everyone tends to think that others think as they do, and the West is at least as guilty of this mistake as anyone else. In this case, we are dealing with the Arabs assuming that the West is similar to them - in unity, in cohesiveness, in religiosity, and in hate. We see this today, with Arab (and other) Islamists referring to the entire Western world as "crusaders" and their conviction that everyone is working in concert against them.

The second is lack of sophistication. Although the American-run universities in the Arab world since the 19th century made a dent in how the Arab intelligentsia thought, the vast majority of Arabs were not well educated and especially not aware of other ways of thinking. As a result, any event or rumor could set off a mob mentality (the "Arab street") that would be impossible to control with logic.

Given this background, we can now begin to understand the Arab reaction to Zionism from its founding until the birth of Israel.

(It took a while to write Part 1 so don't expect Part 2 very soon, but I wanted to get this posted.)


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