Written by Gerald Honigman
Hey, got your attention, didn’t I !?!
But calm down…it’s not what you might be thinkin’–not by a long shot. So please bear with me…
For those still unaware in these post 9/11 times, dhimmitude describes the status of peoples conquered by both Arabs and other successive Islamic armies since the former burst out of the Arabian Peninsula waging Jihad in the name of the Dar ul-Islam against the rest of the world from the 7th century C.E. onwards.
If the conquered were “People of the Book” (mostly Christians and Jews) and submitted peacefully, many survived without conversion to Islam. Not so, however, for those to Arabia’s east…Hindus, Buddhists, and such either converted or were slaughtered.
Now, if you were a dhimmi, there were lots of regulations and things that you had better learn quickly–beyond the obligatory special taxes you had to pay to simply be allowed to live as a “protected” person on your own land.
Rather than get into a long list of what dhimmitude entailed/entails (Bat Ye’or is the essential historian on the subject), let’s just sum it up in a few words…subjugation, humiliation, subservience, ingratiation–for starters. The dhimmi better well know his place.
While the circumstances of dhimmitude have varied in severity depending upon place and time, among other things, the overall effect was to create a specific frame of mind in those caught in its embrace. Think Uncle Tom blacks for an imperfect analogy.
And in this discussion, the condition of the Jew was unique in some very important ways…
He was not only a dhimmi to Muslims, but a much despised one at that, since Jews rejected Muhammad’s overtures to them from the very beginning of his leadership.
Jews fleeing the Roman conquest in Judea had established the date palm oasis at Medina in the Arabian Peninsula centuries before Muhammad was born. Their influence was so significant in southern Arabia that Yemen had Jewish kings not long before the rise of Islam.
When Muhammad fled his Meccan enemies during the Hijra, it was the mixed pagan Arab/Jewish town of Medina which granted him refuge. To win the important support of the People of the Book, he even had his early followers pray in the same direction that the Jews did–towards Jerusalem.
After the Jews rejected Muhammad’s religio-political claims as the Seal of the Prophets and such, he turned on them with a vengeance…mass extermination of the males and enslavement of the women and children soon followed. And the direction of prayer, the qibla, was changed towards the Ka’ba in Mecca.
So, the Jew as dhimmi was already predisposed for extra special problems of later conquest. Forced conversions, massacres, and such were not strangers to those whom Arabs would label killers of Prophets, kilab yahud (Jew dogs), sons of apes and pigs, and so forth.
For fourteen centuries before the rise of modern political Zionism, Jews indeed had to tread very carefully in the Dar ul-Islam. It’s therefore no accident that, among the staunchest Zionists (i.e., Jews wanting the resurrection of their own, sole state as Arabs wound up with almost two dozen), are Jews whose origins are in the so-called “Arab”/Muslim World.
Now, add to the above condition of dhimmitude in the Muslim East, the plight of the Jew in the Christian West. There, the Jew was declared to be killer of G_d and child of the Devil…and treated accordingly. Scholarly estimates show as many or more Jews slaughtered prior to the Holocaust than during it–and with no machine guns or Zyklon B gas to assist in the earlier process.
As centuries of dhimmitude helped to shape the dhimmi Jewish and others’ mindset, centuries of forced subjugation, dehumanization, ghettoization and such of the Jews did likewise in Christendom.
So, for the Jew, the reality has been that a case of double dhimmitude has had to be dealt with.
One of the greatest scholars any civilization would ever produce, Islam’s Ibn Khaldun, had this to say about this very topic six centuries ago…
Students, slaves, and servants brought up with injustice and tyrannical force are overcome by it… makes them feel oppressed… induces them to lie, be insincere… their outward behavior differs from what they are thinking. Thus they are taught deceit and trickery…become dependent on others… their souls become too indolent to acquire… good character qualities. Thus they fall short of their potentialities and do not reach the limit of their humanity.That is what happened to every nation which fell under the yoke of tyranny and learned the meaning of injustice. One may check this by observing any person not in control of his own affairs with no authority on his side to guarantee safety. One may look at the Jews (as an example)… The reason is what we have said.
Keep all of this in mind as we proceed…
Lately, Egypt’s ongoing oppression of its non-Arab Copts (about ten million or more pre-Arab, native Christian people) has increasingly been making news–in at least some media outlets. Not enough news, mind you, for anyone to really do anything about it. After all, Israel is not involved here…But enough to give you another hint of some of what dhimmitude still consists of.
For a good look at dhimmitude Egyptian-style, please follow the conversation below between the late President Sadat’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and a visiting Israeli author, Amos Elon (Flight Into Egypt ). A Copt, it was largely believed that Boutros-Ghali was chosen for this post precisely because of his unquestioned, assured loyalty. Centuries of dhimmitude could be expected to have done its thing–and it most certainly did. Here’s some excerpts from Elon…
In his office, there is a map of the Middle East on which Israel is still blacked out. Israel must integrate by accepting the nature of the area…that nature that is Arab…In a tape of a long discourse delivered in 1975 to Professor Brecher he proclaimed that…in the vast area between the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean everyone had to be Arab or risk continuing strife…Still, Boutros-Ghali felt that there might be a solution. How?…Well, Israel could become an Arab country. Most Israelis were (Jewish) immigrants from Arab countries anyway.
As I like to say…Uncle Boutros instead of Uncle Tom (a chapter in my own new book, by the way).
Now, let’s move on to how all of this has affected dhimmi Jews–whether in the West or the East. While Christians outside of the Middle East have illustrated this behavior too, it’s the Jews who will be the focus of the rest of this essay, for a number of troubling reasons.
In a previous analysis I spoke of Court Jews. The term came to symbolize, over the ages, the Jew who, apart from the vast majority of his brethren, was able to gain influence and some measure of acceptability among his rulers. Most were bankers and businessmen who could be used, and there was often competition among these folks for the Court’s favor.
In modern times, Jews who serve in public positions and such have often been expected to bend over backwards, sideways, and forwards to prove their disconnect to anything Jewish.
Think Uncle Boutros again as you contemplate those who served as Secretary of State James ( F ‘ the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway) Baker’s stick-it-to-the-Jews “Jew Boys;” Cap Weinberger (even though a convert); both old and new sickening revelations about Kissinger; the current White House’s former and remaining Jew stooges; and so forth. To get ahead, too often Jews are expected to be apathetic or down right hostile to anything Jewish…especially if it has to do with the resurrected Jewish nation.
For Jews to simply be accepted in too many other places, this pattern too often persists as well. Think media and academia, for example…
In courses pertaining to the Middle East, in particular, too often the Jew who uses one set of lenses to scrutinize Israel and a far different set in the study of the “Arab”/Muslim World” which surrounds it is the Jew who gets to teach the subject. The same story holds true for most of the mainstream press and media.
And that brings me to the second half of this essay’s title…
What mainstream newspaper, which now specializes in nauseating double dhimmitude, not only has a favorite yes man working for it, but has him as a featured no man as well?
As my (Jewish) friend , Charlie, would say…the pathetic (dhimmi) Jew Yawk Times !
See if you can guess the author of this gem. While discussing Iraq, he wrote…
What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand? You Kurds are not breaking away.
Okay, that was back on March 26, 2003. So, here’s a more recent hint…
Israel, when America, a country that has lavished billions on you…and has taken up your defense…asks you to halt settlements for three months to get peace talks going, there is only one right answer…It is: ‘Yes, whatever you want, because you’re our only true friend in the world. (December 11, 2010)
The author, of course, is Thomas L. Friedman.
And, by the way, Tommy boy, for many years now, America has spent more for Arabs in Iraq alone, in one week, than Israel gets in one year. Not to mention American lives and limbs lost for the former as well.
Having said this, the December 11th op-ed still had merit to it. I too believe that it’s time to let Arabs and Jews work out the issue themselves with less meddling from the outside.
But Friedman does his usual shtick in which he places blame equally on both parties.
While no one side guilt free, the blame is not equal in this conflict.
Whether Friedman–who likes to see himself as the origin of the Saudi Peace (of the grave) Plan–likes it or not, Israel is not obligated to return to the suicidal armistice lines–not borders–forced upon it in ’49. UNSC Resolution 242 called for it to finally gain secure, defensible, real borders after the Arabs renewed attempt on its life in 1967.
The settlement and building freeze issues are all about whether Israel gets a reasonable territorial buffer/compromise, a la 242, or is forced to return to its 9-15 mile wide sub-rump state status. Friedman knows this, yet expects Israel to simply cave in to all that Arabs and their other Saudi Peace Plan fan, President Obama, demand.
As I continuously remind folks, two main points in that Saudi plan call for a total withdrawal of Israel to the ’49 lines and, after it again becomes virtually invisible on a world globe, Israel is next expected to agree to accept millions of real and alleged Jihadi refugees.
Geez, given the above, why can’t those unreasonable Hebes just say what Friedman demands…”yes, massa Obama…whatever you want…” ?
By the way, more Jews fled the “Arab” world and left far more property and wealth behind because of the combined Arab attack on a reborn Israel in 1948 than vice-versa, but without almost two dozen other states to go to as Arabs now have.
Now, contrast Friedman and the Times’s obsession with creating Arab state # 22 with his quote from 2003.
Despite the fact that Arabs have a long history of subjugating and massacring hundreds of thousands of them , the only thing Friedman could say to 35 million truly stateless, used and abused Kurds in the region about their one best hope for independence ( in Iraq) again was…
what part of ‘no’ don’t you understand…You Kurds are not breaking away.
Like others of his hypocritical ilk, the Times’s Mr. Yes & No Man has no trouble lecturing Israel to take steps towards suicide for the sake of creating Arab state # 22 (and second, not first, in “Palestine”…since 1922 Jordan sits on almost 80% of the original 1920 mandated territory). Yet he behaves deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to discussing the plight and rights of scores of millions of non-Arab peoples in the region.
Incidentally, the Kurds were promised independence in at least part of the Mandate of Mesopotamia after World War I, but a collusion of Arab nationalism with British petroleum politics nipped it in the bud. Arab Iraq was created and wound up with the entire territory instead, the oil of the Kurdish north included.
Why is it that the Friedmans and their Lefty media enablers can only see justice through Arab eyes?
Where are the op-eds and editorials demanding, for example, that if Iraq erupts into civil war upon America’s withdrawal, independence for the vulnerable Kurdish north should, at long last, be supported?
Why is yet another partition of the Mandate of Palestine demanded to create that 22nd Arab state, but no partition whatsoever is required of the much larger, former Mandate of Mesopotamia–today’s Iraq–so that tens of millions of Kurds in the region can finally attain one state? And Kurds are not the only non-Arab folks treated by the new “Liberals” this way.
Recall, once again, the dhimmi Copt, Boutros-Ghali’s, advice (quoted by Amos Elon) stating that Israel must consent to Arabization to gain “acceptance.” And, after you do this, please take another look at what the Times and its favorite mouthpiece have been up to.
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