Obma Egypt and the ME


Published on Jul 4, 2013

Obama has been and is 100% wrong on his ME policies and who he has backed in the ME.

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One Response to Obma Egypt and the ME

  1. Pip Power says:

    CIA PROPAGANDA MACHINE:
    Al-Qaeda’s Jihad on Anti-Morsi Egyptians
    by Raymond Ibrahim
    July 4, 2013 at 12:30 am

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3812/al-qaeda-jihad-morsi-egypt

    Since Islamists have tasted power — Salafis, Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda — it is unlikely that they will quietly release the reins of power without a fight.
    Now that the Egyptian military appears to have granted the nation’s wish—to be rid of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, as millions have been chanting, “Irhal” ["Leave office"] — al-Qaeda appears to have stepped in.
    Hours before Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was sidelined by the military council, Muhammad al-Zawahiri, Egypt’s al-Qaeda leader, declared that the terrorist organization would wage a jihad to save Morsi and his Islamist agenda for Egypt. (They would not be the first Islamic terrorists to come to his aid; Hamas members were earlier arrested from inside Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, where they opened fire on protesters.)
    According to a July 2 Veto Gate report, “al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Muhammad Zawahiri, is currently planning reprisal operations by which to attack the army and the Morsi-opposition all around the Republic [of Egypt].” The report adds that, hours before this information was ascertained, Zawahiri had been arrested and was being interrogated—only to be ordered released by a presidential order. He has since fled to the Sinai, where al-Qaeda is stationed—not to mention where Morsi had reportedly earlier summoned thousands of foreign jihadis to come to his aid whenever necessary, and where he may even have smuggled Muhammad Zawahiri’s brother, Ayman Zawahiri—al-Qaeda’s supreme leader.
    In another report, Muhammad Zawahiri “offered joy to our Muslim Brothers in Egypt, for in all circumstances, we will not lose, Allah willing- – quite the contrary.” He added that “if matters reach a confrontation, then to be sure, that is in our favor — for we have nothing to lose. And at all times and places where chaos reigns, it’s often to the jihad’s advantage.” Zawahiri concluded by saying that even if many and important jihadis and Islamists are arrested, it matters not, “for we sold our souls to Allah” — a reference to Koranic verses like 9:111 — “and welcome the opportunity to fight to the death.”
    In the context of all these threats, many Egyptians are understandably worried. Right before the military intervened, a Tahrir TV host frantically and repeatedly called Morsi a “murderer,” and the Brotherhood, a “gang of murderers,” adding, “Oh Minister of Defense — move! Move! Move and save the country! There is no time!” This may also explain why so many leading Islamists — including Morsi himself — have been arrested and held by the military, on the charge of inciting Muslims against anti-Morsi demonstrators, by portraying them as “apostates” who must be fought and killed for are trying to resist the implementation of the Sharia of Allah.
    They may also be being held as hostages to dissuade al-Qaeda from waging an all-out jihad, as many of those arrested — Safwat Hegazy, Hazim Abu Ismail, Tarek al-Zomor, Khaled Abdullah — are open friends of Muhammad Zawahiri.
    On the other hand, although the Brotherhood has been portrayed in the U.S. as “just another” political party — or, in the mystifying words of James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, “largely secular,” which is the last thing it is — it is folly to think that Morsi, the Brotherhood, and all their Islamist and jihadi allies are going to go peacefully.
    Now that the Islamists have tasted power — Salafis, Muslim Brotherhood, or al-Qaeda — it is unlikely that they will quietly release the reins of power without a fight. History has proven that many jihadis never give up — unless they are in prison or dead. And as Egyptian al-Qaeda leader Muhammad Zawahiri pointed out, not only have they long been inured to sufferings and deprivations — they have nothing to lose.
    Raymond Ibrahim is author of the new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, 2013). A Middle East and Islam expert, he is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, and author of The Al Qaeda Reader.
    Related Topics: Egypt | Raymond Ibrahim
    THE TRUTH:
    Polidics.com
    Reporting News the Main Media Refuses to Touch…
    Top Ranking CIA Operatives Admit Al-Qaeda is a Complete Fabrication
    by Mr. Charrington on January 7, 2008
    BBC’s killer documentary called “The Power of Nightmares“. Top CIA officials openly admit, Al-qaeda is a total and complete fabrication, never having existed at any time. The Bush administration needed a reason that complied with the Laws so they could go after “the bad guy of their choice” namely laws that had been set in place to protect us from mobs and “criminal organizations” such as the Mafia. They paid Jamal al Fadl, hundreds of thousands of dollars to back the U.S. Government’s story of Al-qaeda, a “group” or criminal organization they could “legally” go after. This video documentary is off the hook…
    THE POWER ELITE AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
    PART 1

    By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
    June 27, 2011
    NewsWithViews.com
    Power Elite (PE) agent Lord Herbert Samuel (Jew) was one of the first to refer to the establishment of a “new world order” (House of Lords, May 16 and August 7, 1918). As a member of the Milner Group that controlled British foreign affairs from the beginning of the 20th century until WWII, Samuel in 1921 appointed Hajj Amin al-Husseini as Mufti and head political administrator of Arab Palestine. Lord Alfred Milner, who was in charge of executing PE member Cecil Rhodes’ secret “scheme to take the government of the whole world,” on June 27, 1923 in the House of Lords said regarding Palestine that there “must always remain not an Arab country or a Jewish country, but… an international country in which all the world has a special interest—I think some Mandatory Power will always be required.”
    While al-Husseini was in Palestine, Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt in 1928, and it has been from this organization that radical Islamic groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al Qaeda have come (Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff of Newsweek have reported connections between al Qaeda and MB members Mamoun Darkazanli and Youssef Nada). Former CIA agent Robert Baer in Sleeping With the Devil explained how the U.S. “made common cause with the [Muslim] Brothers” and used them “to do our dirty work in Yemen, Afghanistan and plenty of other places.”
    In the 1930s, the MB supported Adolph Hitler (distributing his Mein Kampf), and by 1936 with only 800 members began to oppose British rule in Egypt. By 1938, the MB’s membership had grown to 200,000, and by the late 1940s to at least a half million.
    In 1933, when Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany, Young Egypt (Green Shirts) was also founded in October of that year by Ahmed Hussein who had been greatly influenced by al-Husseini. Young Egypt supported Hitler and the Nazis, and one of its early members was Anwar Sadat who helped the Nazis during WWII. In a September 18, 1953 letter to the Egyptian news daily Al Mussauar, he expressed his admiration for Hitler.
    During WWII, President Roosevelt was no real friend of the Jews. In Secretary of State Edward Stettinius’ papers, he wrote that during FDR’s meeting with Stalin at Yalta (February 4-11, 1945), Stalin asked FDR if he intended to make any concessions to King Saud of Saudi Arabia. And then Stettinius wrote:
    “The President replied that there was only one concession he thought he might offer, and that was to give him the 6 million Jews in the United States.”
    The outrageousness of this remark by FDR is perhaps rivaled only by the hypocrisy of his “Day of Infamy” speech regarding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, because two weeks earlier (Nov. 25) he had talked with Secretary of War Henry Stimson about how they “should maneuver them [Japan] into the position of firing the first shot”!
    This quote comes from the diary of Stimson, who was a Council on Foreign Relations member as well as the Skull & Bones member who initiated George H.W. Bush into the same Yale University secret society.
    After WWII, Gamal Abdel Nasser (a leader of Young Egypt) led the July 1952 coup against the monarchy in Egypt, becoming president in 1956. At first, the CIA indirectly supported Nasser. In The Game of Nations, CIA agent (in Egypt) Miles Copeland revealed the agency subcontracted more than one hundred Nazi specialists in security and interrogation techniques to help Nasser. However, as Nasser grew stronger, CIA director Allen Dulles saw him as a threat who could ally Arabs and Muslims far beyond Egyptian national boundaries. Copeland said Dulles told him,
    “If that Colonel [Nasser] of yours pushes us too far, we will break him in half.”
    The MB had originally supported Nasser, and the 1952 revolt, but they became disenchanted with him when it became apparent he would not establish an Islamic state. They were blamed for an assassination attempt on him in 1954, and according to Copeland, interrogations of MB members after the attempt revealed they were merely a “guild” that fulfilled the goals of western interests:
    “Nor was that all. Sound beatings of the Muslim Brotherhood organizers who had been arrested revealed that the organization had been thoroughly penetrated, at the top, by the British, American, French and Soviet intelligence services, any one of which could either make active use of it or blow it up, whichever best suited its purposes.”
    On the book jacket for Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (2005) by Robert Dreyfuss, one reads:
    “Among the hidden stories of U.S. collusion with radical Islam that Dreyfuss reveals here are President Eisenhower’s 1953 Oval Office meeting with a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the United States’ later alliance with that group and their Saudi patrons against Egypt’s President Nasser. Dreyfuss meticulously documents the CIA’s funding of the Iranian ayatollahs in the coup d’etat that restored Iran’s shah to power, the United States’ support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to create a worldwide Islamic bloc as an antidote to Arab nationalism, and the longstanding ties between Islamic fundamentalists and the leading banks of the West. With clarity and rigor, Dreyfuss also chronicles how the United States looked the other way when Israel’s secret service supported the creation of the radical Palestinian group Hamas…. Devil’s Game reveals a history of double-dealing and cynical exploitation that continues to this day—as in Iraq, where the United States is backing radical Islamists, allied with Iran’s clerics, who have surfaced as the dominant force in the post-Saddam Hussein Iraqi government.”
    The Saudis were opposed to Nasser and became the primary supporters of the MB on the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. According to author Martin Lee in Razor Magazine (2004), MB members were
    “employed as teachers and imams in Saudi mosques, schools and government agencies, where they promoted the extremist doctrine of Sayyid Qutb, the Brotherhood’s leading scribe and theorist… [who] provided a Koranic justification for violence… [against] corrupting Western influences…. One of [Osama] bin Laden’s instructors in religious studies was… the exiled brother of Sayyid Qutb, who taught classes on the imperatives and nuances of Islamic jihad…. Muslim Brotherhood veterans have played a prominent role during every phase of bin Laden’s terrorist odyssey.
    As a college student he was mentored by Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian [Muslim] Brother…. Bin Laden transferred his base of operations to the Sudan in 1991. For the next five years, bin Laden and his inner circle were holed up in Khartoum courtesy of Sheikh Hassan al Turabi, the Sorbonne-educated head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sudanese branch…. Bin Laden [went] back to Afghanistan in 1996…. [Al Qaeda member] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed… self-described mastermind of the 9/11 operation… cut his teeth on the Kuwaiti chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.” For part two click below.
    © 2011 Dennis Cuddy – All Rights Reserved
    Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
    Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS’s Nightwatch.
    THE LAVON AFFAIR
    IS HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF?
    In 1954, Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Arabs as the culprits. The ruse would have worked, had not one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to capture and identify one of the bombers, which in turn led to the round up of an Israeli spy ring.
    Some of the spies were from Israel, while others were recruited from the local Jewish population. Israel responded to the scandal with claims in the media that there was no spy ring, that it was all a hoax perpetrated by “anti-Semites”.
    “Honorable Chairman, members of the Knesset. The trial that started two days ago in Egypt against 13 Jews is disturbing everybody and brings about an emotional turmoil and deep bitterness in the country [Israel] and in the whole Jewish world. Indeed, it must cause concern and anxiety in the hearts of all justice-seeking people around the universe. The Committee for Foreign Affairs and Security has already dealt and will further deal with this serious issue. But at this stage I feel obliged to make a short announcement. In my speech in the Knesset on November 15 1 said “The uncontrolled behavior of’ Egypt . . . does not indicate . . . that its leadership . . . is seeking moderate approaches and peace. How far Egypt is from this spirit [of moderation and peace] can be learned from the plot woven in Alexandria, the show-trial which is being organized there against a group of Jews who became victims of false accusations of espionage, and who, it seems, are being threatened and tortured in order to extract from them confessions in imaginary crimes.” This gloomy assumption was verified and was revealed to be a cruel and shocking fact, by the declaration of the accused Victorin Ninyo in the military court in Cairo that was published this morning. [According to this declaration] she was tortured during the interrogation which preceded the trial and by that torture they extracted from her false confessions to crimes which did not happen. The government of Israel strongly protests this practice, which revives in the Middle East the methods used by the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. The government of Israel strongly rejects the false accusations of the general Egyptian prosecution, which relegates to the Israeli authorities horrible deeds and diabolic conspiracies against the security and the international relations of Egypt. From this stand we have protested many times in the past persecution and false accusations of Jews in various countries. We see in the innocent Jews accused by the Egyptian authorities of such severe crimes, victims of vicious hostility to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. If their crime is being Zionist and devoted to Israel, millions of Jews around the world share this crime. We do not think that the rulers of Egypt should be interested in being responsible for shedding Jewish blood. We call upon all those who believe in peace, stability and human relations among nations to prevent fatal injustice”.
    But as the public trial progressed, it was evident that Israel had indeed been behind the bombing. Eventually, Israeli’s Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon was brought down by the scandal, although it appears that he was himself the victim of a frame-up by the real authors of the bombing project, code named “Operation Susannah.”
    It is therefore a fact that Israel has a prior history of setting off bombs with the intent to blame Arabs for them.
    This is not the only example of a “False Flag” operation designed to trick the United States into attacking Israel’s enemies. According to Victor Ostrovsky, a Mossad defector now living in Canada, Ronald Reagan was tricked into bombing Libya by means of a radio transmitter smuggled into Tripoli by the Mossad, which broadcast messages designed to fool the United States into thinking Libya was about to launch a massive terror attack on the West. On the basis of this fake evidence, the US bombed Libya, killing Khadaffi’s daughter.
    The Jews of Iraq is a story by a Jewish writer revealing yet another false flag operation where Israelis used bombs and planted the blame on Arabs
    More recently, Captain Ward Boston, who served as senior legal counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the Israeli attack on USS Liberty, has come forward to report that the Court of Inquiry was ORDERED to conclude that the attack was an accident by President Lyndon Johnson. In hindsight, given the use of unmarked aircraft and boats by Israel during the actual attack, it appears that Israel intended to sink the US ship and frame Egypt for the attack, tricking the US into the war against Egypt.
    So, with this established history, it is now time to re-examine some facts about the World Trade Towers:
    1. There is no proof at all of who was actually on the hijacked airplanes last 9/11. Even the head of the FBI admits that the only hard evidence are the names used by the hijackers on faked IDs. At least 7 of the men whose names were on those IDs have since turned up alive. Another had died back in 1999. None of the names of the alleged hijackers were on the passenger lists of the four aircraft. We do not know who was on those planes, only that we are supposed to think they were Arab Muslims.
    2. The night before the attacks on the World Trade Towers, men using those stolen identities visited bars and strip clubs, making sure they would be noticed and remembered by all they met. Students of Islam will confirm that no Muslim devout enough to be willing to commit suicide would spend the night before he was to meet Allah violating so many of Islam’s laws regarding alcohol and nude women. This suggests the planting of a false trail ahead of time, doubly so because we know the identities were stolen. Coupled with the deception of the faked Osama “confession” video tape , it is beyond question that deception and fraud exists in the World Trade Towers case.
    3. Contrary to early reports (including a statement by George Bush) of large numbers of Israelis being killed in the 9-11 attacks, only two Israelis died, both passengers on the airplanes. No Israelis working in or near the World Trade Towers died. The foreign press has long rumored that Israelis were given an advance warning not to go to work on 9-11, and in the case of Odigo, an Israeli company with offices located near the World Trade Towers, the existence of a warning message sent before the four aircraft had even left the ground is an established fact. That someone in Israel knew of the attacks ahead of time is beyond question.
    4. There is an Israeli spy ring. As in the Lavon Affair, Israeli assets have been trying to dismiss the spy ring story (apparently with the FBI’s help) while accusing those who refuse to be silent of “anti-Semitism”. The lesson from the Lavon case is that Israel’s strident denials and smear campaigns are a sure sign that something is indeed being covered up, even as the “art students” continue to be deported. And, as a US Official stated in Carl Cameron’s suppressed story on the Israeli Spy/Bugging Ring, evidence does exist that links the arrested Israeli spies with 9-11, but that this evidence has been classified by the United States Government, probably to keep from looking like total idiots at having been so easily fooled for the Nth time.
    The United States has been deceived before by Israeli covert operations with the intention of harming American relations with the Arab nations. Israel has never hesitated to kill Americans (USS Liberty) or allow Americans to be killed (The bombing in Beirut that killed 241 American Marines) when it serves a purpose. And, the fact remains that Israel has exploited 9-11 from the instant when Ehud Barak appeared on the BBC moments after the attacks on the World Trade Towers (holding a prepared speech) to the aggression against the Palestinian people which has escalated non-stop ever since 9-11.
    Who is responsible for the World Trade Towers attacks? We truly do not know. What we do know beyond all doubt is that someone went to a great deal of effort to provide an easy and at times all-too-obvious a target to blame. Our nation was fooled by that stunt before. The result was that our money and the blood of our children was spent to attack someone else’s enemies.
    There is an old saying that goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!”
    There is another saying, “We won’t get fooled again!

    Reflections By An
    ARAB JEW
    by Ella Habiba Shohat

    Irvi Nasawi: Sephardic & Middle Eastern Cultures

    Ella Habiba Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies at CUNY. A writer, orator and activist, she is the author of Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (Univ. of Texas Press, 1989) and the co-author (with Robert Stam) of Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (Routledge 1994). Shohat co-edited Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation and Postcolonial Reflections (University of Minnesota Press, 1997) and is the editor of Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age, (MIT Press/The New Museum, 2000). She writes often for such journals as Social Text and the Journal for Palestine Studies.

    When issues of racial and colonial discourse are discussed in the U.S., people of Middle Eastern and North African origin are often excluded. This piece is written with the intent of opening up the multicultural debate, going beyond the U.S. census’s simplistic categorization of Middle Eastern peoples as “whites.”

    It’s also written with the intent of multiculturalizing American notions of Jewishness. My personal narrative questions the Eurocentric opposition of Arab and Jew, particularly the denial of Arab Jewish (Sephardic) voices both in the Middle Eastern and American contexts.

    I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S. Most members of my family were born and raised in Baghdad, and now live in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., England, and Holland. When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the ’50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently–the European Jews–were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of “us” as Jews and “them” as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been “Muslim,” “Jew,” and “Christian,” not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that “Arabness” referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences.

    Americans are often amazed to discover the existentially nauseating or charmingly exotic possibilities of such a syncretic identity. I recall a well-established colleague who despite my elaborate lessons on the history of Arab Jews, still had trouble understanding that I was not a tragic anomaly–for instance, the daughter of an Arab (Palestinian) and an Israeli (European Jew). Living in North America makes it even more difficult to communicate that we are Jews and yet entitled to our Middle Eastern difference. And that we are Arabs and yet entitled to our religious difference, like Arab Christians and Arab Muslims.

    It was precisely the policing of cultural borders in Israel that led some of us to escape into the metropolises of syncretic identities. Yet, in an American context, we face again a hegemony that allows us to narrate a single Jewish memory, i.e., a European one. For those of us who don’t hide our Middle Easterness under one Jewish “we,” it becomes tougher and tougher to exist in an American context hostile to the very notion of Easterness.

    As an Arab Jew, I am often obliged to explain the “mysteries” of this oxymoronic entity. That we have spoken Arabic, not Yiddish; that for millennia our cultural creativity, secular and religious, had been largely articulated in Arabic (Maimonides being one of the few intellectuals to “make it” into the consciousness of the West); and that even the most religious of our communities in the Middle East and North Africa never expressed themselves in Yiddish-accented Hebrew prayers, nor did they practice liturgical-gestural norms and sartorial codes favoring the dark colors of centuries-ago Poland. Middle Eastern women similarly never wore wigs; their hair covers, if worn, consisted of different variations on regional clothing (and in the wake of British and French imperialism, many wore Western-style clothes). If you go to our synagogues, even in New York, Montreal, Paris or London, you’ll be amazed to hear the winding quarter tones of our music which the uninitiated might imagine to be coming from a mosque.

    Now that the three cultural topographies that compose my ruptured and dislocated history–Iraq, Israel and the U.S.–have been involved in a war, it is crucial to say that we exist. Some of us refuse to dissolve so as to facilitate “neat” national and ethnic divisions. My anxiety and pain during the Scud attacks on Israel, where some of my family lives, did not cancel out my fear and anguish for the victims of the bombardment of Iraq, where I also have relatives.

    War, however, is the friend of binarisms, leaving little place for complex identities. The Gulf War, for example, intensified a pressure already familiar to the Arab Jewish diaspora in the wake of the Israeli-Arab conflict: a pressure to choose between being a Jew and being an Arab. For our families, who have lived in Mesopotamia since at least the Babylonian exile, who have been Arabized for millennia, and who were abruptly dislodged to Israel 45 years ago, to be suddenly forced to assume a homogenous European Jewish identity based on experiences in Russia, Poland and Germany, was an exercise in self devastation. To be a European or American Jew has hardly been perceived as a contradiction, but to be an Arab Jew has been seen as a kind of logical paradox, even an ontological subversion. This binarism has led many Oriental Jews (our name in Israel referring to our common Asian and African countries of origin is Mizrahi or Mizrachi) to a profound and visceral schizophrenia, since for the first time in our history Arabness and Jewishness have been imposed as antonyms.

    Intellectual discourse in the West highlights a Judeo-Christian tradition, yet rarely acknowledges the Judeo-Muslim culture of the Middle East, of North Africa, or of pre-Expulsion Spain (1492) and of the European parts of the Ottoman Empire. The Jewish experience in the Muslim world has often been portrayed as an unending nightmare of oppression and humiliation.

    Although I in no way want to idealize that experience–there were occasional tensions, discriminations, even violence–on the whole, we lived quite comfortably within Muslim societies.

    Our history simply cannot be discussed in European Jewish terminology. As Iraqi Jews, while retaining a communal identity, we were generally well integrated and indigenous to the country, forming an inseparable part of its social and cultural life. Thoroughly Arabized, we used Arabic even in hymns and religious ceremonies. The liberal and secular trends of the 20th century engendered an even stronger association of Iraqi Jews and Arab culture, which brought Jews into an extremely active arena in public and cultural life. Prominent Jewish writers, poets and scholars played a vital role in Arab culture, distinguishing themselves in Arabic speaking theater, in music, as singers, composers, and players of traditional instruments.

    In Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia, Jews became members of legislatures, of municipal councils, of the judiciary, and even occupied high economic positions. (The finance minister of Iraq in the ’40s was Ishak Sasson, and in Egypt, Jamas Sanua–higher positions, ironically, than those our community had generally achieved within the Jewish state until the 1990s!)

    The same historical process that dispossessed Palestinians of their property, lands and national-political rights, was linked to the dispossession of Middle Eastern and North African Jews of their property, lands, and rootedness in Muslim countries. As refugees, or mass immigrants (depending on one’s political perspective), we were forced to leave everything behind and give up our Iraqi passports. The same process also affected our uprootedness or ambiguous positioning within Israel itself, where we have been systematically discriminated against by institutions that deployed their energies and material to the consistent advantage of European Jews and to the consistent disadvantage of Oriental Jews. Even our physiognomies betray us, leading to internalized colonialism or physical misperception. Sephardic Oriental women often dye their dark hair blond, while the men have more than once been arrested or beaten when mistaken for Palestinians. What for Ashkenazi immigrants from Russian and Poland was a social aliya (literally “ascent”) was for Oriental Sephardic Jews a yerida (“descent”).

    Stripped of our history, we have been forced by our no-exit situation to repress our collective nostalgia, at least within the public sphere. The pervasive notion of “one people” reunited in their ancient homeland actively disauthorizes any affectionate memory of life before Israel. We have never been allowed to mourn a trauma that the images of Iraq’s destruction only intensified and crystallized for some of us. Our cultural creativity in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic is hardly studied in Israeli schools, and it is becoming difficult to convince our children that we actually did exist there, and that some of us are still there in Iraq, Morocco, Yemen and Iran.

    Western media much prefer the spectacle of the triumphant progress of Western technology to the survival of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. The case of Arab Jews is just one of many elisions. From the outside, there is little sense of our community, and even less sense of the diversity of our political perspectives. Oriental-Sephardic peace movements, from the Black Panthers of the ’70s to the new Keshet (a “Rainbow” coalition of Mizrahi groups in Israel) not only call for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians, but also for the cultural, political, and economic integration of Israel/Palestine into the Middle East. And thus an end to the binarisms of war, an end to a simplistic charting of Middle Eastern identities.
    The Jews of the Arab world:
    A Community Unto Itself
    Writer:
    Lynne Vittorio

    Source:
    Aramica

    Date:
    Wednesday, 16 October 2002

    They speak Arabic. They listen to Arabic music. They eat Arabic food. Were you to pass by an Arab Jewish synagogue during prayer, you would hear strains of music by Om Kolthoum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, and Sayed Darwiche. And yet, here in New York, they are not considered a part of the Arab American community – by Arab Christians, Arab Muslims, or even by themselves (for the most part). Why not?

    In an effort to understand another fragmented community of people from Arab lands here in New York, we have chosen to delve into a subject matter that, for many members of this community, is very sensitive and provocative. It is not our intent to provoke, rather, to illuminate so as to satisfy our own curiosity and, in so doing, provide our readers with food for thought.

    Locating statistics which detail Arab Jewish immigration to New York proved extremely difficult, so much so that even the individuals we interviewed could not give us figures as to how large this community is. We know that approximately 800,000 Arab Jews lived in the Middle East prior to 1948 and that, today, there are approximately 8,000 Arab Jews left in those countries.

    We know that there was an Arab Jewish community in New York prior to the establishment of Israel and that the Arab Jews who managed to emigrate here from Israel were absorbed by that community. These two groups, however, have completely different experiences and memories of their lives in Arab countries prior to coming to New York.
    **********
    Professor Ella Shohat is an Iraqi Jew who teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University.
    – Why don’t we hear about Arab Jews?

    I hold responsible both Zionism and Arab nationalism. Zionism has always looked at the people of the East as inferior, including Jews from Arab countries. From the turn of the century, Zionists tried to bring Arab Jews to Palestine as cheap labor. Up to now, there are Arab Jews in Israel who are discriminated against within the Jewish population. It is largely the European Jews who set the tone. The rise of Arab nationalism and the forceful rise of Islam did not create a less problematic condition for diverse minorities, who have also suffered, but for the Arab Jews, it has been one of the most complicated stories, precisely because of the establishment of the state of Israel. For the first time in their history, Arab Jews had to choose between being Jews and being Arabs.

    – How would you describe the position of the Arab Jews in the Arab American community?

    There’s tremendous fragmentation. There are people who have been here for several generations, who speak Arabic at home, pray in the synagogues in Arabic, have Arabic culture, speak to each other in Arabic, yet, it is a community unto itself. There isn’t much exchange. It happens through the cultural realms: video stores, music stores. But there isn’t much interaction. They are very much separated, just as Arab Jews are also separated from the European Jewish community.

    – What was the backlash of September 11th on Arab Jews?

    If people are around their neighborhoods, or in the synagogue, they’ll speak Arabic without fear, but outside, or if they’re in their stores and customers come in, they’ll stop speaking Arabic. The immigration policies affect some of them, when their place of birth isn’t Israel.

    I read in the local Hebrew paper of New York, there were many Mizrahim who were arrested or detained because they thought they were terrorists. This happened often in Israel, when Arab Jews were confused with Palestinians.

    There are consequences to their looks. There is some fear there but it’s still different than being a Muslim.
    **********
    David Shasha is an American born Arab Jew living in Brooklyn with a Master’s Degree in Jewish/Middle Eastern Studies from Cornell University. He is an activist, an educator, an author and an archivist and the Director of The Center for Sephardic Heritage.
    – What has the impact of your different opinions been on you?

    I have been called “Arab lover,” “terrorist,” I get the emails. It’s a very ugly situation right now. We just found out that there’s something called “Campus Watch.” Jewish organizations are monitoring Arab professors, or professors sympathetic to the Arab position. My library in itself is expressive of my guilt. The fact that I have a full shelf of Mahfouz already makes me guilty of being an Arab sympathizer and it has hurt my ability to make a living.

    – How important is it for Arab Jews to be associated with Arab Americans?

    Their relationship to the Arab American community is extremely negative. Their hatred for Arabs, I don’t think has peaked yet. The people who initially immigrated here, they did not experience great persecution. As the years went by, and they became more and more removed from the Arab world, they began to forget. Then, the people who did have experiences of persecution at the hands of Arab governments, Muslims, etc., began arriving in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Things began to develop without the intellectual structure of really understanding what the history was, as the Ashkenazi did, which is how they were able to come to terms with the experience of the Russian persecution of the late 19th century, the Communist Revolution, and the Holocaust, etc. All of these things have been examined, ad nauseum. You can get books and articles and movies and documentaries on every facet of their culture. With our culture, zero. Nothing was produced. You have very little information as to what Jewish life was like in those places. People didn’t write about it, there are no historians that have come out of the community.

    – What are you hoping to accomplish?

    I’m an activist within a community that despises what I do. This is a very peaceful community and I am stirring up elements that they would much rather not hear about. Everybody would much rather that Syria became something far, far away, in another galaxy. People are not interested. We live in America; they just want to be Americans and fit in and do whatever it is that’s necessary to be able to continue the lifestyle that they have. I’m concerned with cultural issues that are not addressed, or are addressed by a very small group of people.
    **********
    Professor Ammiel Alcalay was born and raised in Boston and is of Bosnian origin. He teaches at Queens College and is the author of numerous books on Arab Jews and Levantine culture.
    – Why do you think they’re such an isolated community?

    Traditionally, the way that Arab Jews have related to their environment is to completely integrate themselves into it and you can see this during the periods of their greatest cultural creativity, in Spain and Iraq. You can see it through the music, through the poetry. What happened when they came here they faced an Ashkenazi community that did not understand who they were and because of the political situation in the Middle East, their own sense of their Arabness eroded more and more and they were left adrift, relating neither to one or the other.

    – If this is the case, why the radical refusal to call themselves Arabs or associate themselves with Arab Americans?

    There are several factors. If you ask most Arabs, they would identify with the plight of the Palestinians, more or less. Furthermore, a lot of Arabs believe that Americans don’t really understand what’s going on in the Middle East.

    I think that part of the reason they’re less willing to associate themselves with Arabs is because of the ‘ism’ associated with the politics in Israel. They need to identify themselves as Jewish and it’s very hard, culturally, except in a few places, to be Arab and Jewish at the same time. In America, it seems very strange to people that you can be both an Arab and a Jew.

    These are excerpts from Aramica’s larger story. For the whole story, please contact Aramica ataramica@aramica.com or (718) 680-8849.
    This article appeared in Edition 38 of Voices That Must Be Heard.

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