Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brief Notes: On Dhimmitude and the Muslim Conflict Against the Jews

{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

1,300 Years of Dhimmitude.

We cannot understand the Muslim – Jewish conflict in the Middle East without reference to the 1,300 years of dhimmitude that preceded it and the century of war against the Jewish population there following their freedom in the early part of the twentieth century.

If one is to have any meaningful understanding of this conflict one must also have some understanding of Jewish history in Muslim lands. Further, one cannot have an understanding of Jewish history in Muslim lands without seriously considering the Jewish condition of persecution in those lands known as dhimmitude.

To try and understand the Arab and Muslim conflict against the Jews of Israel without considering thirteen centuries of dhimmitude is something akin to trying to understand the Black experience in the United States with no reference to slavery or Jim Crow.

It is absurd.

I suppose one of the primary questions for me, personally, is just why it is that Jewish scholarship has done such a piss-poor job of pointing out the long and ugly history of Jewish persecution among the Arabs and the failure to point out the connection between Israeli history and the history of dhimmitude?

There are people who have done work, of course.

Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (2007) is one considerable effort.

Edwin Black, The Farhud, Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust (2010) is another.

Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (2010) is still another.

Yet I-P discussion throughout the progressive-left remains entirely innocent of the history of Jewish persecution in Muslim and Arab lands.

The problem is that you cannot really discuss I-P without discussing the history of Jewish dhimmitude because modern Israel emerged as a country, in part, because of Jewish persecution not just among the European Christians, but among a hostile Arab and Muslim population that outnumbers us by orders of magnitude that the rest of the world tends to think of as irrelevant.

It is not irrelevant.

There are something like 13 million Jewish people in the entire world. We are approximately .2 % of the world population.

We are a tiny, tiny, tiny minority.

Yet, there are something like 300 to 400 million Arabs, who mainly will not accept Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land and many of whom believe that they have a religious obligation to see us dead.

There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, many of whom think likewise.

Yet, somehow, in the progressive-left imagination, it is the Jews... the tiny minority, the historically persecuted ones... which must be spanked.  Not only do they refuse to acknowledge the rise of radical Islam today, they refuse to even discuss the I-P conflict within the context of the long history of Jewish persecution within Islam.

And what this means, in my opinion, is that the progressive movement stands for nothing.