This article is a continuation of the previous one on the Ukrainian civil war that is currently raging around Donetsk. It is a continuation because the Ukraine and Palestine have a connection ignored by contemporary commentators who miss the subterranean historical context.
In the previous article we referred to the position of Jews in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the First World War. We pointed out that although many Nationalities found themselves to be minority citizens of the newly created States and many people subsequently found themselves to be homeless and even temporarily Stateless, only Jews and Gypsies (Roma) respectively lacked States of their own. The Jews, large and small pockets of whom could be found from Germany all across Europe and deep into Russia, had long been unassimilated into the populations around them. How much this was a consequence of their religion, which designated them the ‘chosen people’ and created a self-imposed unwillingness to inter-marry, and how much was forced on them by the oppressive laws of governments, is debatable. It is probably a mixture of both causes. We can assume that a small number of Jews did marry ‘out’ or did lose Jewish identity by converting to Christianity. A small but significant number did leave the ghettos and find privileged positions and/or earned success in the more advanced new Nation States. This was especially true of Germany and Austria and had long been true in France and England.
The largest concentrations of Jews, numbering millions, were in Poland, the Baltic States, the Ukraine and Russia. Most had been living in ghettos in these countries since the Diaspora and generally were poor and often as backward as the people around them. In contrast to the numbers in Eastern Europe, only half a million Jews lived in populous Germany. France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the UK also had relatively small Jewish populations. We mentioned in the previous article that Jews were widely resented, especially in the backward countries of the Ukraine and Russia. We can posit that there were several factors for this antipathy, including the ignorance and poverty of the indigenous people which bred envy and hostility to anyone different; the Jews’ self-imposed separateness by religion; a Nationalistic and primitive Christianity which blamed Jews for the death of Christ; and the device of unpopular ruling classes diverting hostility (pogroms). Also, and importantly, the part played by Jews as tax collectors, secret policemen, money-lenders and bureaucratic servants of oppressive Authority bred much hatred. As the 19th Century progressed, Jews also were prominent in the revolutionary international Socialism that threatened National States and attacked the old cultural and Christian ties of most people.
Nowhere did Jews live a more dangerous life than in pre-Communist Russia, where an ineffectual, unpopular and oppressive Ruling Class periodically encouraged pogroms as a means of diverting resentment. One consequence of this was that a Jewish intellectual, Theodor Herzi, born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire promoted as a solution in 1896, not Socialism but what became known as Zionism, i.e. a mass return to the historical homeland of Israel from where Jews had been expelled in Biblical times.
It is a fact beyond dispute that Jews had maintained a significant 2000-year presence in Palestine, as well as a presence in old cities in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and other Arab countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire, despite its latter-day decline, had been remarkably tolerant of minorities and Jewish communities flourished in the sense that they sustained both rich and poor Jews. Jerusalem, the Biblical sacred city and capital of the Jews, had long sunk into intellectual and economic decline, but it retained its many Christian Churches and a small Jewish population both of which dated back 2000 years. Educated European Jews began to take a greater interest in their history in the 19th Century and Zionism added to this interest. When they visited Jerusalem and Palestine they were shocked to find a Jewish population that was primitive by their European standards and whose residents had little knowledge of, or interest in, Jewish history and Judaism. The majority Arabs, mostly suppressed by the Ottoman Turks, had long been forcibly converted to Islam and although vast areas were dominated by tribes, there were no Nation States. European Imperialism, already present in the Middle East, filled the vacuum left by the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, and so Arab political awakening was suppressed. Even those ‘States’ that had an identity (Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Iraq) were subject to European powers domination.
In the area known as Palestine, Jews and Arabs (many of whom were Christian) lived side by side, mostly as farmers. Jerusalem was also peaceful despite its many religious sects. All of the residents could be described as Semites meaning descendants from a common source. Zionism failed to generate a mass move of Jews to Palestine, especially from Western Europe, since the area was backward and uninviting, but a trickle of Jews began to arrive, purchase land and settle. This did not arouse significant hostility among the majority Arabs, although as the British ruled, it may be that resentment was suppressed by their lack of effective political and civic organizations. The establishment of Nation States on the ruins of the Austro/Hungarian Empire after 1918, together with the Communist Revolution in Russia hastened the migration of Jews from Europe. The triumphant Western powers officially supported the principle of a Jewish Homeland. The influx of Jews, making claims to a Jewish homeland, greatly sharpened divisions between Palestinian Arabs and Jews. As the British had inherited a mandate to rule the area, the British found themselves attempting to keep the peace between two sides amid ever greater violence.
Hitler’s assumption of power in Germany in 1933 soon made clear that his National Socialist Party’s anti-Jewish policies were intended to persecute, impoverish and then expel every Jew from Germany, where they had been enjoying prominence and success. Hitler’s annexations of Austria and Czechoslovakia and then his occupation of half of Poland (in collusion with Stalin) greatly extended the reach of his anti-Jewish policy of ridding Europe of all Jews. More was to follow when Hitler’s triumphant armies moved across Poland and the Baltic States into the USSR. The SS followed to round up and exterminate all Jews. We have already, in the previous article, covered the ‘popular’ German SS campaign against the Ukrainian Jews but in all European countries occupied by the Nazis there was some native support for the removal of Jews.
The outbreak of the 2nd World War in 1939 and the expansion of German National Socialism into Eastern Europe and France and the Netherlands by military conquest overshadowed the problems in Palestine. The influx of Jews into Palestine fell to a trickle as it became impossible for most Jews in Eastern Europe and the occupied countries of Western Europe to escape the Holocaust. The Western Allies, preoccupied with a desperate war with the Axis Powers and an uncomfortable alliance with Stalin, were unwilling to arouse Arab hostility further and those desperate Jews who escaped the Nazis mostly found themselves denied entry into Palestine. Those who did succeed were prepared to employ violence towards both the Arabs and the British forces. The USA, already home for many Jews, did take some refugees, but suggestions that Jews be admitted to South Africa, East Africa, Australia and other safe places were too unpopular to gain support. In truth, the Jews were not wanted anywhere and their persecution by the Nazis reinforced and emboldened anti-Jewish sentiment around the world.
After the war and the defeat of Germany, it became clear that many millions of Jews had been exterminated in death camps and on killing grounds all across Eastern Europe. The figure of 6 million may be exaggerated by Jewish supporters but the torture and killing of men, women and children must have numbered many millions and was unprecedented in history. Between 1945 and 1948, more desperate surviving Jews from Europe reached Palestine. They were determined to create a homeland as a safe haven and the scene was set for open warfare between Palestinian Arabs and Jewish settlers. Palestine was both small and not particularly fertile. The immigrant Jews now established their own armed forces and terrorist organizations, the Stern Gang being the most notorious. These gangs attacked not only Arabs, but also the occupying British forces. The blowing up of the King David Hotel and its British occupants was the most infamous attack. British soldiers serving in Palestine in this period sympathized with the Arabs who were being displaced.
It can surely be said that Europe solved its Jewish problem at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs, though this is a simplification. Who can blame the Jews for wanting a homeland and State of their own, and since nowhere else in the world was willing to concede land for this purpose, Palestine was Hobsons’ Choice. The Palestinian Arabs were not in a position to successfully resist. Much can be written about the subsequent wars between the Jews and Arabs, which resulted in the expansion of Israel’s territory and further Arab hostility as neighboring Arab States, newly independent for the most part, ineffectually joined in. Israel, its new people united, educated and skilled, was able to successfully defend itself though ringed by enemies. One consequence of the Palestinian civil war which now raged was that Jews were expelled wholesale from the Arab countries where they had lived for 2,000 years. Like the Palestinians who fled the Jews, these Jews lost homes, property and wealth. Many moved to Israel but others chose the USA.
It can be seen from this objective review that Jews and Palestinian Arabs were unfortunate victims of history. The Palestinians, generally more advanced than the Arabs of other countries, were not welcome in them and most were left to fester and multiply in refugee camps on the borders of Israel. Since the US and UK were in the forefront of the foundation of Israel, and the USA subsequently contributed much financial aid to the new State, and since the UK had ruled Palestine during the invasion of Jews, Arab hostility grew rapidly. The foundation of Israel indisputably fueled Arab Nationalism. If the Jews had not adopted Zionism surely the history of the Middle East would have been vastly different. But we cannot re-write history in other parts of the world even though Hollywood and the Media Class succeed in doing so here in the USA and the UK.
We can say that the Palestinian Arabs were driven from their own land to make way for Jews who were driven from their homes in Europe and later in the Middle East, but no-one can put this right. There are now 6 million Jews in Israel, as many as in the USA! The Arab stated intention of wiping Israel from the map is both unrealistic and horribly blood thirsty. But in any case this Semitic civil war has now spawned an Islamic revival that can best be described as Islamic Imperialism. It has enveloped almost every Muslim country in the world; bred suicidal terrorism never before witnessed; and created an Islamic primitivism that is gaining popularity by the day.
No doubt the foundation of Israel has greatly contributed towards all this but left unsaid-and will remain so except here- is the revulsion that many people in much of the world feel about the revolutionary moral standards that the West’s Media Classes are exhibiting and exporting. The public celebration of homosexuality and other perversions, the rejection of private behavior and dignity, the collapse of Western culture and its replacement with gross ignorance and ugliness-all intrinsic properties of the new Ruling Media Class- have alienated much of the world and inflamed Muslims.
Where should American counter-revolutionaries stand in relation to Israel and the Palestinians? When in doubt do nothing is a good old saying but we welcome contributions to this website.
To be concluded in the next article.
In middle California the weather is very normal for August with temperatures in the 80’s and no rain. In the UK, it is rain as usual and sea levels remain constant everywhere.