Roman Empire to Roman Catholic ChurchWhile the history of Judea and Israel is long and complex, the Roman period of Judea is also complex in itself. Because another chapter deals with Christianity, not much is written here concerning the Jews from the Messiah era up to Constantine the Great, who was the first Christianized ruler of Rome, and after all, Jesus of Nazareth is part of Jewish history; however the background of the Christian movement and formation of the first organized Church is in the chapter concerning Christianity.
For the Jews, the medieval period began with the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337 AD). He was the first Roman emperor to issue laws that limited the rights of Jews as citizens of the Roman Empire. This was due to the Christians growing power within the Roman Empire and the influence upon its rulers. Most of the imperial laws that dealt with the Jews since the days of Constantine are found in the Latin Codex Theodosianius of 438 AD, and the Latin and Greek code of Justinian of 534 AD. These texts allow the researcher to trace the history of the progressive deterioration of Jewish rights.
The laws of Constantius (337-361), forbade intermarriage between Jewish men and Christian women. Jews were also not allowed to have slaves. Actually, this prohibition was to keep slaves at minimum, as well as keep from slaves converting to Judaism; but whatever be the case, it was detrimental to the economic life of the Jew - giving Christians an edge as far as the economy.
The law of Theodosius II (408-410) prohibited Jews from holding any office of honor in the Roman state. The building of new synagogues was forbidden, which was really an official rule that was already established previously. In the Eastern Roman Empire anti-Christian laws were stricter against Jews and persecution was greater because they believed that the Messiah was returning in 440 and therefore stayed close to Jerusalem where they thought Christ would return. This sort of treatment of the Jews carried on into the historical period when the Muslims took over the region. The Christian Church looked upon Judaism as an old rival, mostly because it was the Pharisees that had caused the death of Jesus of Nazareth, the prophet-teacher-Messiah whose name was used for their religion. Some later would blame the Jewish people, oddly disregarding the fact that Jesus the Christ was himself, a Jew, who even followed the old ways of Passover during his preaching of a new era in the life of humanity. Just as his parents, Jesus of Nazareth heeded the tradition of Passover and encouraged it. Constantine in 325 changed the celebration of Easter on the calendar so that it did not coincide with the Jewish Passover.
The Latin law of Justinian (527-565) did not allow a Jew to bear witness in court against an orthodox Christian; therefore, as early as the 6th century, the Jews were already being persecuted within the social, economic, civil, political, and religious aspects of places where they lived.
The laws went to the extremes, like in October of 315; Constantine the Great enacted the following:
We wish to make it known to the Jews and their elders and their patriarchs that if, after the enactment of this law, any one of them dares to attack with stones or some other manifestation of anger another who has fled their dangerous sect and attached himself to the worship of God, he must speedily be given to the flames and burn together will all his accomplices.This law was absurd because the Jews worshiped the same God as the Christians, for whom Jesus Christ proclaimed to be his heavenly father. And the law is against Jews converting anyone to Judaism; and to add further injuries: Moreover, if any one of the population should join their abominable sect and attend their meetings, he will bear with them the deserved penalties.
At first the law was as the following, where Jews were forbidden to have Christian slaves and later they were forbidden to have any slaves whatsoever:
If any one among the Jews has purchased a slave of another sect or nation, that slave shall at once be appropriated for the imperial treasury.Christians, it appears, had forgotten what it was like to be persecuted before Rome became Christianized.
If, indeed, he shall have circumcised the slave whom he has purchased, he will not only be fined for the damage done to that slave but he will also receive capital punishment. If, indeed, a Jew does not hesitate to purchase slaves – those who are members of the faith that is worthy of respect, then all these slaves who are found in his possession shall at once be removed. No delay shall be occasioned, but he is to be deprived of the possession of those men who are Christians.
In 379 AD, St. John Chrysostom and St. Ambrose in Milan wrote vicious things about Jews:
The Jews are the most worthless of all men. They are lecherous, greedy, and rapacious. They are perfidious murderers of Christ. They worship the Devil. Their religion is a sickness. The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. Christians may never cease vengeance, and the Jew must live in servitude forever. God always hated the Jews. It is essential that all Christians hate them.St. John Chrysostom was called the Bishop with the Golden Tongue. St. Ambrose, Bishop of the Church offered to burn the synagogue himself. Apparently, neither “Saint” had read Deuteronomy 14:2 –
For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all nations that are upon the earth.St. Gregory of Nyssa in sermons and writing characterized Jews in 395 as
assassins of the Prophets, companions of the Devil, a race of vipers, a Sanhedrin of Demons, enemies of all that is beautiful, hogs and goats in their lewd grossness.In 415, Bishop Severus burned the synagogue in the village of Magona. Bishop of Alexandria, St. Cyril, expelled Jews from Alexandria and the mob took Jewish property. Also Jews were accused of ritual murder during their holy Purim and so Christians confiscated synagogues in Antioch. Behind these atrocities were famous Church fathers, Augustine, Jerome,Ambrose, St. Chrysostom and St. Cyril.
In 1096, the First Crusade took place against the conquering Islamic forces, but the Jews were attacked along the way to Jerusalem. Crusaders massacred the Jews of the Rhineland.
In 1144, the first recorded blood libel occurred in Norwich, England where it was alleged that the Jews had
...bought a Christian child before Easter, tortured him with all the tortures wherewith our Lord was tortured and on Friday hanged him on a rood in hatred of our Lord.This absurd allegation of ritual murder is based on the assumption that blood is used for the Passover or other rituals; when in fact, blood rituals of such description that goes back to ancient times is strictly forbidden in Judaism. While the early Church advertised this propaganda against the Jews, these same false accusations have been taught children by Islamic Fascists in Palestine and other Islamic nations to justify their aggression against the Jewish people.
The Jews were also blamed for the Black Death (plague) in 1348, absurd because Jews died of the terrible disease as well, and they were also charged to have poisoned the wells to kill Christians.
In the 14th and 15th centuries the Inquisition (also see Spanish Inquisition) was more intent upon Jewish persecution and it is then that the Church and State had joined forces to guarantee their persecution.
The Reformation age began around 1544 and at the end of Martin Luther’s life, the German reformer passed pamphlets around depicting violence against the Jews. Luther was a German nationalist from Germany. The road to modern persecution had been established and the Jews continued to have problems, especially in Europe.
The medieval Jew in the Middle Ages was no different than the Moslems and Christians when it came to replacing reality with superstition, stories of miracles, practiced magical incantations and charms; and crowded the skies with angels, witches and demons.
Jewish mysticism is as old as the Hebrew religion. It was influenced by Zoroastrian dualism of light and dark; from Neo-Platonist ideas of creationism, from Gnostic theosophies of Syria and Egypt, from the apocrypha of early Christianity, from the poets and mystics of India, Islam, and the medieval Church. But the basic sources was from traditions and the Jewish mind. The Essenes had secret writings which were guarded from being found. If one knew the names of the angels he could control the forces of nature. Necromancy, bibliomancy,exorcism, amulets, incantations (also see Merseburg Incantations) divination, and casting of lots were used in Jewish life, just like the Christians. In the first century AD a book in Babylonia was written called Sefer Yezira – The Book of Creation. The gist of the book was that the Hebrew alphabet determined the forms through which the creation could be understood by the human mind. The book has been seriously commented on up to the 19th century.
JUDAISM AND ISLAMChristians began persecuting Jews because they insisted that they had been murderers of Christ. Moslems persecuted Jews mainly because they were considered nonbelievers and had fallen away from the faith of Abraham. Both religions had forgotten what it was like to be persecuted.
In the medieval age, the Jews had stubbornly held onto their rituals, but because of their situation also found strength in philosophy and theosophy. Among the three faiths that became the followers of philosophy, the least of them was Islam because of its wealth, the Christians becoming second because of their initial persecution and less wealth, and Judaism being last in the concept of philosophy and theosophical belief because they had the least. Jewish philosophy did not find itself until the Jews prospered in Moslem Spain.
Medieval Jewish philosophy developed from two sources: Hebrew religion and Moslem thought. Most Jews began to think that religion and philosophy were similar, an ideology that may have been resurrected from the Hellenic age of the Greeks. Knowledge of Greek philosophy from Arabic translations, of which Islam had accepted and obtained knowledge from what was left of the Alexandria Library before its final destruction; and because the Jews had become translators for the Moslems from Greek to Arabic, Jewish scribes began to assimilate philosophical thought. In a way, Hebrew philosophy saved their religion, keeping it whole and allowed it to survive the attempts to exterminate Judaism by other cultures – specifically the Christians during the Medieval period of history. Hebrews had closer ideology to Islam than they did with Christianity. Islam considered Abraham to be the father of unification, something that Mohammed could relate to in his endeavor to remove paganism from Arabia and replace it with the religion of the one true God, Allah. Islam continued sacrificing lambs when Jews had given up the practice, and Christians denounced it altogether stating that Jesus the Christ had been the only necessary sacrifice required for spiritual salvation, and thus the mystical aspect of Christianity formed in ideology such as the Holy Trinity and the mystical aspects of Jesus' birth and death.
The concept of Jewish philosophy is described aptly by Will Durant in his book, The Age of Faith:
The life of the mind is a composition of two forces: the necessity to believe in order to live, and the necessity to reason in order to advance. In ages of poverty and chaos the will to believe is paramount, for the courage is the one thing needful; in ages of wealth the intellectual powers come to the fore as an offering preferment and progress, consequently a civilization passing from poverty to wealth tends to develop a struggle between reason and faith. … In an age of faith, where hardship makes life unbearable without hope, philosophy inclines to religion, uses reason to defend faith, and becomes a disguised theology.Islam’s views toward the Jews can be gleaned from the holy book, the Qu’ran (often miswritten as “Koran.”). I would also like to add a footnote here that in the Qu’ran and the Hadith there is a difference between Children of Israel and Jews.
The term Israel or Children of Israel refers to the twelve sons of Jacob and their descendants. Jews almost had never referred to themselves as Jews – at least not until after the 13thcentury. In the Hebrew Bible, the Holy Bible, Prayer Book, and the Talmud they call themselves Children of Israel, Children of Jacob, but never Jews. The word Jews comes from the roman term Judea which described the area that was given to the tribe of Judah that included Jerusalem. It was used in reference to the militant zealots who fought against Rome. According to Josephus, the zealots belonged to a Temple cult and were against the Rabbinical Jewish authority, and some of them were Idumean who had converted to Judaism. In this sense of usage, Jews or Judeans meant militants. Even in the New Testament, references to Jews was used like the labeling of Jesus at his trial as King of the Jews, which meant King of the Militants to the Romans, and not King of Israel. After the Islamic conquest the Children of Israel came to mean the Jewish people who kept the commandments, and the Jews as those who abandoned or rejected them. Over a period of time these terms and the concept/ideology set forth by Mohammed became cluttered, misinterpreted and misused by Islamic fundamentalists, just as the Christians did with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth; as will be explained later. Modern Islamists have only stressed the term of Jews as an evil stereotype.
The Qiyamah (also see Al-Qiyamah), Yawmul Deen, also known as the Day of Judgment, Day of Gathering, Day of Meeting God, the Resurrection, and the Great Announcement, is a theme and promise that is written in the Qu’ran, but can also be found in other religious scripture. This event has been traditionally linked to the Day of Judgment, both in Judeo-Christian traditions as well as in the Qu’ran and it is the time of the return of the Children of Israel to the Holy Land. Holy Qu’ran, Sura 17:4 –
And we gave warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance and twice would they be punished.Holy Qu’ran, Sura 17:104 -
And we said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land of promise” but when the second of the warnings came to pass, we gathered you together in a mingled crowd.Another term used in the Qu’ran for Hebrews is People of the Book – but the term is confusing in Mohammed’s various writings to some because he also referred to the Christians as thePeople of the Book. Children of Israel, Christians and Moslems are considered People of the Book. Holy Qu’ran, Sura 59:2 –
It is He who got out the unbelievers among the People of the Book from their homes at the first gathering. Little did ye think that they would get out, and they thought their fortresses would defend them from Allah. But the Wrath of Allah came to them from quarters from which they little expected, and cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their dwellings by their own hands of the Believers, take warning, then O ye with eyes to see!Also, according to the Qu’ran, Allah chose the Children of Israel above all the nations … Holy Qu’ran, Sura 2:40 –
O Children of Israel! Call to mind the special favor which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill the covenant with Me as I fulfill My covenant with you, and fear none by Me.And … Holy Qur'an, Sura 2:47 –
Children of Israel! Call to mind the special favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other.And … Holy Qur'an, Sura 2:83 –
And remember We made a covenant with the Children of Israel parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular chastity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide even now.Holy Qur'an, Sura 2:121 –
Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied. They are the ones that believe therein. Those who reject faith therein, the loss is their own.Holy Qur'an, Sura 2:122 –
O Children of Israel! Call to mind the special favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred to you all others for My message.Another term used in the Qur'an is Yahudis, which means Judeans, the “Jews” – more specifically the militant inhabitants of Medina. Once again, Jews is referring to the militants and not the Children of Israel in this Sura: Holy Qur'an, Sura 5:51 –
O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for friendship is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.Modern research of the Jewish Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called Himyar and that was destroyed during the rise of Islam, indicates that the crescent symbol used by Islam originates from the Hebrews. It was mostly used by Idumean converts to Judaism, associated with the Temple cult supported by the Herodian Dynasty who rebuilt and controlled the Temple. The symbol represented the calculation of the calendar that was the appearance of the New Moon (crescent moon) and was announced by the Temple. Signal fires were lit to announce the New Moon on high places like mountain tops. The Idumean converts took the crescent symbol with them to Jordan and later to Southern Arabia when they were forced to move eastward by the Roman invasion in 135 AD. The convert king, Joseph Dhu Nuwas, was the last Jewish king to reign in southern Arabia and was killed sometime during the life of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. The Quran refers to the Jewish converts of Himyar.
The Star of David is a more recent Jewish symbol, formerly a Roman symbol and wasn’t used for religious use until the 17th century in Prague. The term Magen David first appeared in the 13th century Qabala (Kabalah) and refers to the five-pointed Star of David.
The history of the Children of Israel is not just history of a people, but also a religion, which is Hebrew (this term refers to the traditional language), and now Jewish. Hebrews were the first historians, as some scholars/historians write. They became a people with no nation, a people of many nations, wanderers in constant persecution, and today the Jewish religion is not comprised of the original Semitic peoples, but includes converts and followers through mixed marriages, that are faithful followers of the Hebrew religion of old. Israel was reborn in the 1940s as a nation, and as of old still has its enemies that seek its destruction, and there are still Christians who persecute Jews forgetting that the personage of Jesus of Nazareth that became Jesus the Christ was a member of the Children of Israel, not a Jew/militant as the Romans depicted the Judeans of old, but a reformer of the Hebrew faith.
Hebrews – Wandering PeopleThe Jews began to wander and travel to find new lives in may places. Here is a list of places where Jews have been found in history, and a short history of each:
America -The earliest history of American Jews was in the colonial period that dates back to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam when refugees from the Dutch colony of Recife in Brazil arrived on January 26th, 1654. The Dutch authorities had been liberal with the Jews, but the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant was not favorable to the Jews. Over the next ten years, until the British seized New Amsterdam, the Jews fought for and won civil rights as other colonies enjoyed. Despite the fight only one of the Jews remained after the ten year battle for civil rights. New Amsterdam had become poor and had food shortages, so most left for other places. The sole remaining Jew was Asher Levy, a kosher butcher, who fought for the right to participate in the defense of the colony, despite the governor’s opposition. After the British took over the colony in 1664, the small Jewish community that developed lived in peace and harmony. In the early to middle 19thcentury, Jews arrived to America from Germany because of growing anti-Semitism. Also, the Napoleonic wars caused the Jews to migrate, some of them showing up in America. From that time until 1870, Jewish immigration and the Jewish population quadrupled in America within 20 years between 1850 and 1870. From 1881 to 1924, Russian Jews would flee the persecution of the Russian Empire and two million Jews immigrated to the United States by 1924. After that period, Jewish immigration was not as large as these historical periods, especially after World War II when the Jews decided to repatriate back to the Holy Land and establish a new Israel.
Caribbean and the New World
When the Jews were expelled from Spain, settlements in the New World looked promising, almost as their ancestors did when wandering with Moses across the desert in search of thePromised Land. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain, the same year Columbus sailed in search of the New World, and they settled in Portugal. But in 1497 the Portuguese government banished the Jews from there as well. Many of them fled to other European countries that would accept them, places like Holland, England and France – the countries that would be in competition with Spain to colonize the New World. Some Jews sailed to Brazil that was part of the Portuguese territory and set up trade routes between Portugal and Brazil, started farming,, and some became wealthy plantation owners. The Inquisition still existed, so the Jews in Brazil were forbidden to practice Judaism in public. Meanwhile, back in Portugal, the authorities were taking children from their Jewish parents and sending them to Brazil to be raised as Catholics. Secret groups in Brazil taught these children about their true heritage and therefore kept the Jewish faith in Brazil. Sugar cane soon became the foundation of the Caribbean economy, founded by the Jewish plantation owners in Brazil. In Holland, when the Dutch decided they should start colonies in the New World, sent 600 Jews from Amsterdam in 1642 and prospered as well as they did in Holland. Under the Portugese the Jews were forced to pretend they were Catholic, but when the Dutch took over, Jews were no longer required to worship secretly. In 1654, the Portuguese sent a fleet to reconquer their lost Brazilian colony and the siege lasted ten years. The Jews fought on the side of the Dutch, while native Brazilian Indians and Portuguese who had settled there fought on the side of Portugal. Peace was declared in 1664 and Portugal being the victor, conducted an Inquisition like that in Spain – if a citizen would not profess to be a Catholic, he was branded a heretic and either expelled or killed. During the reign of the Dutch, the Jews had openly worshiped their religion, so they could no longer return to secret societies. The Portuguese gathered 16 ships to remove Jews from Brazil. Many who left Brazil returned to Amsterdam, including Isaac Aboab de Fonseca, the first American Rabbi, and Moses de Aguilar, the first American cantor. The rest settled on the nearby islands in the Caribbean, one boat even made it to New Amsterdam, which later would become New York under British rule. Jews began to show up in Dutch colonies like Surinam and Curacao, British colonies like Jamaica and Barbados, and French colonies such as Martinique. A synagogue was established in Barbados in the 1650s. The original Barbados synagogue building is still standing but no longer used for worship. The adjoining cemetery is crumbling, but the inscriptions on the headstones were copied in order to be preserved, which will be valuable for historical and genealogical researchers. The Jewish graveyard in Barbados is believed to be the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Western Hemisphere that date back to the 1660s. The British attracted Jews to their colonies in Jamaica and there were settlements in Kingston and Spanish Town. Despite their success, the citizens of Jamaica petitioned the British government to expel all members of the Hebrew community. Governor Lynch of Jamaica opposed this petition and it was not enacted, but the citizens were able to obtain a special tax against the Jews in 1693. In 1703, Jews were banned from using Christian indentured servants, and in 1783, they were taxed again and previous exemptions of duty on the Sabbath were taken away, and Jews were no longer allowed to hold public office. The British Empire declared equal rights for Jews living in any colony under British control in the early 19th century, which made up 10% of the white population in Jamaica. There is a small group on an island at the eastern end of the Caribbean, and because of its small size, its history is sketchy. It is known that Jews settled on the island in the 1600s.
Archaeological evidence suggests that Jews were in China as early as the 8th century and had most likely arrived there from Persia along the trade route called Silk Road. In 1163 the Emperor of China ordered the Jews to live in Kaifeng, where the first Chinese synagogue was built. Marco Polo recorded that Kublai Khan celebrated the festivals of Muslims, Christians and Jews, which meant there must have been a significant amount of Jews in China in the 13th century in order for this to happen. A Ming Emperor gave Jews seven surnamesof: Ai, Lao, Jin, Li, Shi, Zhang and Zhao. Even today, if one can find Jews in China, those seven surnames are used. At least one synagogue was constructed and the community was active for about eight centuries. In the Vatican library, there are letters from Jesuits in the 18th century that describes the life and religion of Jews in Kaifeng, including drawings of their synagogue. The Kaifeng Jews lost contact with the West in the middle of the 1700s, and it was not until 1900 that contact resumed with them. The development of the port city of Shanghai was due to the Jewish population and rivaled the prosperity, at one time, with Hong Kong. By 1903 there were three synagogues in the city of Shanghai, and the Jewish population totaled to 30,000. But most of them fled when the Communists took over in 1959. The Chinese government presently recognizes Jews as an official Chinese ethnic group. On September 29th2000, Rosh Hashanah services were held at the Ohel Rachel Synagogue for the first time in almost 50 years. There is a Jewish library and a Jewish museum in Shanghai as well.
Once Ethiopia was ruled by great kings, one of the rulers was a great queen known as Bathsheba. In the mountain highlands around Lake Tana lived one-half million Jews. They called themselves Beta Israel – House of Israel. They used the Torah to guide their prayers and memories of the heights of Jerusalem as they lived in their hatched huts. Their neighbors called them Falasha, meaning the alien ones or the invaders.And after three hundred years of rule and black features like the people around them, they seemed to have secured their position in this homeland. For centuries the world Jewish community was not even aware of the existence of Jews in Ethiopia, located in the northern province of Gondar. Their story goes back to the days of King Solomon as a people. Christianity spread through the Axum dynasty of Ethiopia in the 4th century BC and by the 7th century Islam had taken over, separating Ethiopia from its Christian African neighbors. Beta Israel had enjoyed relative peace and independence through the Middle Ages, their reign was threatened in the 13thcentury under the Solomonic Empire and sporadic fighting continued for the next three centuries with other tribes. In 1624, the Beta Israel fought their last battle for independence against Portuguese-backed Ethiopians. Jews captured were sold into slavery, forced to be baptized, and denied the right to own land. The first modern contact with the suppressed community came in 1769 when Scottish explorer, James Bruce, stumbled upon them while searching for the source of the Nile River. He reported that there was a population of Beta Israel at about 100,000, decreased from a population of a half-million from centuries before. Little contact was made after that with the Beta Israel until 1935 when the Italian army marched into Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s ruler, Emperor Haile Selassie fled and took refuge in Jerusalem for a short time. Selassie returned to power in 1941. In 1947, Ethiopia abstained on the United Nations Partition Plan vote for the British Mandate of Palestine, which reestablished the State of Israel. By 1955, the Jewish Agency of Israel constructed schools and a teacher’s seminary for the Beta Israel in Ethiopia. In 1956, Ethiopia and Israel established consular relations and this improved in 1961 when the two countries established full diplomatic ties. Positive relations between Israel and Ethiopia existed until 1973, when after the Yom Kippur War, Ethiopia and 298 African nations broke diplomatic relations with Israel under the threat of an Arab oil embargo. In the early 1980s, Ethiopia forbade the practice of Judaism and the teaching of the Hebrew language. Several members of the Beta Israel were imprisoned under trumped up charges of being “Zionist spies“and Jewish religious leaders were harassed and monitored by the government. Forced subscription in the Ethiopian army at the age of 12 took many Jewish boys from their parents, some were never heard from again. With constant threat of war, famine, and horrible health conditions, the Beta Israel’s future looked bleak. The government began to soften its treatment of the Jews, but during the mid-1980s a terrible famine occurred ruining the economy. Ethiopia had to accept famine relief from Western nations, including the United States and Israel, which gave leverage for the release of the Beta Israel. Over 8,000 Beta Israel came to Israel between 1977 and 1984, but Operation Moses in 1984 surpassed those numbers by a great margin. Operation Moses ended on January 15th 1985. About 15,000 Jews remained in Ethiopia because the Sudan government forbade Jews from entering to go to Israel. In 1985, President George H. Bush arranged a CIA-sponsored mission that compared to Operation Moses and was called Operation Joshua that brought 8,000 more Jews to Israel from Beta Israel in Ethiopia. The new arrivals to Israel were now separated from their families and spent between six months to two years in learning centers learning Hebrew, being trained for Israel’s industrial society, and learning how to live in a modern society. Some were so depressed they committed suicide, something unheard of in Ethiopia. Over 1600 lived separated from families, not knowing the fate of their parents, brothers, sisters, and other members of family and friends. Because much of the Beta Israel’s history has been passed orally from generation to generation, we may never know their origins. Four main theories exist as to the beginnings of the Beta Israel:
(1) The Beta Israel may be the lost tribe of Dan.
(2) They may be descendants of Menelik I, son of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba.
(3) They may be descendants of Ethiopian Christians and pagans who converted to Judaism centuries ago.
(4) They may be descendants of Jews who fled Israel for Egypt after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC and eventually settled in Ethiopia.
In June 1849, in the last days of the revolutionary German National Assembly, the vice president, Gabriel Riesser, one of its seven Jewish members, made this statement concerning the debate on civil rights:
We are not immigrants – we were born here – and so we cannot claim any other home: either we are Germans or we have no homeland. Whoever disputes my claim to this my German fatherland disputes my right to my own thoughts, my feelings, my language – the very air I breathe. Therefore, I must defend myself against him as I would against a murderer.Compared to other European countries, Germany had been considered to be the best in chances of success for the Jews. In Russia there was the pogroms, France had anti-Jewish feelings during the Dreyfus case, and as late as 1900, the British had imposed limits on Jewish immigration, and in 1916 Jews were denied scholarships if they were of Polish origin. But the general welfare of the Jew started to crumble when the economic crash of 1873 under French reparation payments for the recent war and other failures and corrupt dealings between the government and the railroad tycoon, Bethel Strousberg. Of course, Jews were many of the stockbrokers and victims of the bad economy started a wave of anti-Semitism not seen since the medieval period. Years later anti-Semitism even found its way into Christian sermons, like the court chaplain, Adolf Stöcker, who insisted that
...if we wish to hold fast to our German national character, we must get rid of the poisonous Jewish drop in our blood.In an article in the Preussische Jahrbücher by historian Heinrich Von Treitschke, in which he declared that
...the Jews are our national misfortune.Emperor William III became annoyed with both men and demoted the chaplain and Treitschke was attacked by is colleagues and after than attacks upon the Jews became less frequent. This, unfortunately, was only temporary because during World War I scapegoat rhetoric returned more extreme than before. When the war was going badly for the Germans, complaints began to be heard that it was the rich Jews who hadn’t made enough money from the war and the army’s strength was weakened because Jews were dodging the draft. This, of course, was not true. In October 1916, 3,000 Jews had already died in service of Germany and more than 7,000 had been decorated. As a result, when Germany was defeated in 1918, the theory the Jews were responsible for the woes of Germany became embedded in German minds. Everything about the Weimar Republic government after WWI was disliked and soon the Germans started calling it the Judenrepublik in which Alfred Döblin wrote:
It is a republic without proper instructions for use. … every unsolved problem and all the world’s evils from the crucifixion of Christ to capitalism, Communism, syphilis, and the lost war were projected onto a a tiny minority representing 0.9% of the population.But the Jews still insisted they were Germans, even in the last days before Hitler’s Final Solution.
The histories of Jews in India are divided into three groups: theBene Israel, the Cochin Jews, and the White Jews (Paradesi) from Europe. Each group practiced Judaismand had synagogues, The Sephardic a rite of ancient times is predominating among Indian Jews. The Bene Israel (Sons of Israel) lived primarily in Bombay, Calcutta, Old Delhi, and Ahmadabad. The native language of the Bene Israel was Marathi, while the Cochin Jews of southern India spoke Malayalam. The Bene Israel claim to be descended from Jews who escaped the persecution in Galilee in the 2ndcentury BC. The Bene Israel resembles the non-Jewish Maratha people in appearance and customs, which shows that intermarriage between Jews and Indians, was not forbidden. However, they maintained the practices of Jewish dietary laws, such as not eating pork meat or byproducts. The Bene Israel say their ancestors were oil pressers in Galilee and they are descended from survivors of a shipwreck. In the 18thcentury they were “discovered” by traders from Baghdad. At that time the Bene Israel were practicing Judaism from oral Law, because they had no scholars among them. Teachers from Baghdad and Cochin taught them Judaism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Jewish merchants from Europe traveled to India in the medieval period for trading, but it is not known if they formed permanent settlements in India or South Asia. The first reliable evidence of Indian Jews comes from the early 11th century, but the history is vague. The first Jews in Cochin (southern India) were called “Black Jews,” who spoke the Malayalam tongue. White Jews settled there later, when they came from Western nations like Holland and Spain. There was a Spanish and Portuguese settlement in the 15th century, but it eventually disappeared. In the 17th and 18thcenturies, Cochin had a number of Jewish settlers arrive from the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. The Jews of Cochin claim they cam to Cranganore (south-west coast of India) after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. In 1524, the Moors, backed by the ruler of Calcutta attacked the Jews of Cranganore claiming they were “tampering” with the pepper trade. Most Jews fled to Cochin under the protection of the Hindu Raja there. He granted them a site to build a town and named it Jew Town – which is still what it is called today. The Jews of Cochrin were persecuted by the Portuguese until the Dutch drove them out in 1660. In 1795, Cochin was under British influence. In the 19thcentury, Cochin Jews lived in towns of Cochin, Ernakulam, and Parur. Today most of the Cochin’s Jews have immigrated to Israel. Near the end of the 18thcentury a third group of Jews appears in India. They are the middle-eastern Jews who came to India through the trade routes. Under British rule the Jews of India prospered and the Indians were tolerant and the Jews of Calcutta enjoyed their home there. The first generation of Calcutta Jews spoke Judeo-Arabic at home, and by the 1890s they mostly spoke English. After WWII, Indian nationalism made Jews feel uncomfortable because they were identified with the English by the Indians. Starting in the 1940s the Jewish population began to decline as they began to immigrate to Israel. An interesting Jewish community by the name of Bnei Menashe, with a population of about 7,000, is members of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribe who lives in northeast India near the border of Burma. For generations they kept the Jewish traditions and claim to be descended from the tribe of Menashe, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel that were exiled by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC and who have disappeared into the pages of history. At the beginning of the 20th century, tribe members converted to Christianity, but about 30 years ago some of the Jewish community began moving back to Judaism.
After the Assyrian conquest, the ten lost tribes were moved to the east toward the Persian Empire. Babylon, former main city of Judaism, was an Iranian province for more than 1,000 years, including the period which the Talmud was written. Based upon historical evidence, the first Jews exiled from their homeland settled in Iran and from there they moved to other countries such as India, China and Russia.
The date of the arrival of the first Jews in Poland is unknown. Ibrahim ibn Jakub, a Jewish merchant and diplomat from Tortosa, Spain, in the account of his journey in 965, mentioned Krakow being a city in Poland where Jews had migrated. While some traveled through Poland to escape persecution, some settled there permanently. Jews would later come to Poland in later times when countries banished them, or they had become victims of social and religious strife, or just looked for a better way of life.
Polish dukes and kings, such as Boleslaw Pobozny (1221-1279) appreciated their talents in commerce and crafts, and so granted the Jews privileges and conditions for a peaceful life. Boleslaw Pobozny created a Charter of Kalisz in 1264 that guaranteed in writing the security of Jews, their communities, and their property.
The major influx of Jews into Poland took place between the 12th and 15thcenturies. This was the period when the Crusades and the Holy Inquisition led to the persecutions of Jews in the countries of Western Europe and forced them to move eastward in search of asylum. Poland, over time, came to be the largest concentration of Jews in Europe and the center of Jewish culture. Poland became home to the Jews from Central and Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi), and Southern European Jews that included 15th century Spain and Portugal, called theSephardi. There was a diversity of various religions, from Chassidim to the progressive movement of the Enlightenment, called the Maskilim.
A major role in the industrialization of Poland was instituted by Jewish entrepreneurs, bankers, industrialists, and merchants. Jews had become good business men. Jews were in the forefront of modern banking, industry like sugar refining, textile, paper and mechanical. They were masters at commerce in the export and import trading, and transportation as well. One of the first polytechnic colleges in Poland was founded by the Wawelberg and Rotwand Jewish families. The Jews were also prominent in the fields of publishing, photography, and motion pictures; as well as music and the fine arts. Adam Muncheimer and Ludwik Grossman directed the Warsaw Opera for a time during the 19th century. One of the founders of the Warsaw Philharmonic that opened in 1901 was Aleksander Reichman, and its director for many years between the two World Wars was Grzegorz Fitelbe. Numerous Jews, both writers and poets, made their mark in Polish history: Jolian Tuwim, Boleslaw Lesmian, Antoni Slonimski, Mieczyslaw Jastrun, Wlodzimierz Slobodnik, Arnold Slucki, and Jan Brzechma. Just before World War II, Jewish culture grew and Jewish schools, both secular and religious, could be found all over Poland. Jews actively participated in national uprisings that took place in Poland. A colonel of the Polish Army, Berek Joselewicz, formed a Jewish cavalry regiment in 1794 that took part in theKosciuszko Insurrection. Jews participated in other national conflicts: the November Insurrection (1830-1831) and the January Insurrection of 1863. Many Jews enlisted in the Legions, which fought for independence and finally achieved in 1918. At the start of World War II there were 100,000 Jewish soldiers in the ranks of the Polish Army. During the period between the two World Wars, Jews made up 10% of the Polish population.
In the late 19th century, Russian Jewish communities were founded in Harbin, Tianjin and other places in Russia. The Russian government was eager to provide incentives to minorities, like the Jews, to settle in Harbin and constructed a Russian railway from Harbin to East Asia. In the early years of the 20th century, Jews that had fled from a place called the Pale of Settlement joined the Jews in Harbin during the Russo-Japanese war and the population increased to 8,000 by 1908. The Russian Revolution of 1917 caused Harbin Jews to increase to double that size and became a community of Zionist activists. Japanese annexation in 1931 increased restrictions of life for the Jews and some left for other countries, like America, to be free of persecution. Most of the Russian Jews who remained in Russia at the end of World War II emigrated to the West. Some were repatriated, voluntarily and involuntarily, to the Soviet Union after Russian troops freed inmates of certain Nazi death camps.
As you can see thus far, the history of the Hebrews is complex and can be confusing; indeed, just the terminology alone can throw one off. The Hebrew is called Jews, Children of Israel,Israelites, and Chosen People and in the modern age – Zionists. But what is Zionism?
Zionism is the Jewish national movement that gets its name from the name of a hill in Jerusalem. It includes the political movement such as the socialist Zionists. Zionist ideas have evolved over time and were influenced by social and cultural movements that were popular in Europe at different periods in history and encompass socialism, nationalism and colonialism; therefore there isn’t any official Zionist ideology. It all began in 1897 when Jews had continued the connection with Palestine, both spiritually and physically. This mentality continued after the Kochba revolt in 135 AD, when many Jews were exiled from Roman Palestine, their ancient national home. Under Muslim rule, there were as many as 300,000 before the Crusades around 1,000 AD. The Crusaders killed most of the Jewish population of Palestine or forced them into exile, so that only 1,000 families were left after the reconquest of Palestine by Saladin.
In the Diaspora, religion was what preserved Jewish culture and Jewish ties to the ancient land. Jews prayed several times a day for the rebuilding of the Temple, celebrated agricultural feasts and called for rain according to the seasons of ancient Israel, even as far as Russia. Religion is what binded the Jews together no matter what part of the world they were forced to flee to. In tradition and religious rites the concept of Diaspora remained through thought and writing. It was not just the religion that united them or kept them as a people, but the hope for a Messiah, despite the fact that a proclaimed one appeared from Nazareth. It wasn’t nationalism, in terms of the modern sense, but the longing for their land of Israel continued through the centuries.
During the course of this historical period, groups of Jews would settle in Palestine for one reason or another; sometimes to answer a rabbinical or Messianic message or just to flee persecution in Europe. Beginning around 1700, groups of pilgrims led by rabbis would reach Palestine from Europe and the Ottoman Empire domain. In one case, Rabbi Yehuda Hehasid and his followers settled in Jerusalem about 1700, but the rabbi died and in time an Arab mob, angered over unpaid debts, destroyed the synagogue the group built and banned all European Jews from Jerusalem.
Oddly, between the Roman exile and the rise of Zionism was there a movement to settle the holy land and make it once again the state of Israel (Judea during the Roman period). Many Jews through this history were attracted to false Messiahs such as Shabetai Tzvi, who promised to restore Jews to their land. To most Jews returning to their ancient land and Jerusalem became a cultural and spiritual desire and it all keyed upon the coming of the Messiah at some time in the future.
The French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon helped the European Jews, who were no longer kept in ghettos of European cities to become citizens everywhere else. After the enlightenment of the 18th century and the emancipation of the 19th century the Jews split into several groups. Orthodox Jews who kept to the old ways continued to remain in the culture of the ghetto, which meant they were excluded from mingling with modern society or gaining a modern education. A second group attempted to mix in with the European society, some converting to Christianity and eventually lost their Jewish identity. A third group believed they could integrate as modern citizens, with equal rights and still maintain their Jewish faith, yet renounced their allegiance to Judaism. Their Judaism became something like the Protestant religion separating from the Roman Catholic Church. They formed new identities and they became known as Hebrews or Germans of the Mosaic faith. The last group was the one that founded the Reform Judaism movement. The concept was that once Jews “became like everyone else” they would be accepted into society as equals and would become Germans, Italians, Englishmen, or Frenchmen. However, during the 19th century that sort of assimilation would not work out too well. Most likely because the anti-Jewish sentiment prevailed, and despite there new identities as Christians and “Germans of the Mosaic Faith” they found themselves the object of increasing anti-Jewish sentiment, which changed to the title of anti-Semitism in German in the 19th century.
In 1836, Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer petitioned Anschel Rothschild to buy Palestine or at least the Temple Mount for the Jews. In 1839 and 1840, Sir Moses Montefiore visited Palestine and negotiated with the Khedive of Egypt to allow Jewish settlement and land purchase in Palestine. However, the negotiations led to no deal, most likely because of the anti-Semitic blood feud in Damascus.
British intellectuals for religious and practical reasons took up the idea of Jewish restoration to the Holy Land in the 1840s by Lord Shaftesbury and Lord Palmerston, who thought that a Jewish colony in Palestine would help stabilize and revive the county. Writers like Lord Byron, Benjamin Disraeli, George Eliot, and Walter Scott also voiced the support of such an idea.
While the idea of Zionism was led in Europe, the Sephardic (Spanish) Jews and Jews in Arab lands kept a close tie with the Holy Land and with the Hebrew language. In fact, the Sephardic Jews influenced and participated in the Zionist movement from the beginning. Judah ben Solomon Hai Alkalai (1798-1878) is considered to be the founder of modern Zionism. He believed that return to the land of Israel was a way to redeem the Jewish people.
Modern Zionism was not based upon religious ideals. While the Jews left the ghettos of Europe, some converted to Christianity, and integrated within the society. Others who were able to achieve higher education, dropped their religious beliefs, but understood that both they and the others considered them to be Jews. The term “Jew” no longer became a name for a religion, but a race. German racists invented a racial theory that lacked no scientific evidence, as written above. Socialists gave the Jews there own class structure and labeled it a caste. Zionists declared that the Jews are a people, but a people without a country. According to Zionist ideology the Jews were guests everywhere and at home nowhere.
The first groups of immigrants who came to the Holy Land with the idea to turn into a national state or home for the Jews are known as the Aliya, which means “going up.” Among the first arrivals of the first Aliya was Eliezer ben Yehuda (Perelman) and arrived in 1881. He worked at reviving the Hebrew language. Later he founded and published the Hatzvi newspaper and was the founder of the revival of Hebrew as a modern language.
Early Jewish Settlers
The Dreyfus Affair, which developed in France beginning in 1894, made Western European Jews conscious of their national identity. A young Vienna journalist, Theodore Herzl, wrote a pamphlet Der Judenstaat and another entitled The Jewish State that was published in 1896. Herzl took upon himself to seek a practical plan of Zionism, a plan for creating a Jewish State, which led to the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in August, 1897.
After the first Basle Congress, Herzl wrote in his diary:
Were I to sum up the Basle Congress in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: ‘At Basle, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in 5 years, certainly in 50, everyone will know it.Theodore Herzl, 1860-1904, is considered to be one of the founders of the Zionist movement. He believed that diplomatic negotiations would be the main way to obtain the Jewish homeland. Herzl tried to get a charter from the Sultan of Turkey for the to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, which was then ruled by the Ottoman Empire. In 1898 he also met with German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, in Istanbul and Palestine, but these meetings did not obtain anything. Herzl negotiated with the British for possibly settling the Jews on the island of Cyprus, the Sinai Peninsula, the El Arish region and Uganda. After the Kishinev pogroms, Herzl visited Russia in July of 1903. He tried to persuade the Russian government to help the Zionists transfer Jews from Russia to Palestine. At the Sixth Zionist Congress, Herzl proposed settlement in Uganda, which the British offered as a temporary refuge. The idea was opposed, especially from the Russian Jews that Herzl was trying to help. The congress passed the plan, but it wasn’t taken seriously and the whole thing died away. Herzl tried to find a political solution and met with the king of Italy, who was friendly about the idea and with the Pope, who was opposed to it.
Second Aliya and Socialist Zionism
The political approach was tried by Montefiore, Pinsker, and Herzl, but the attempt to obtain a Jewish homeland from colonial governments failed. At the same time the socialist movement was rising and the Zionists inspired several of the movements.
In 1907 an economist by the name of Arthur Ruppin, was sent to Palestine to study the conditions of the Yishuv. He formed the second Aliya and established a future for the Zionist settlement, as well as the promise of Britain to help make Palestine a Jewish national state.
This Aliya consisted mostly of Eastern European and Russian Jews included some who left or were expelled by the Turks during the war. This immigration began around 1919 when Palestine was still under British military rule and ended around 1923. About 35,000 to 40,000 Jews came to Palestine during this period.
A mandate was established that produced immigration quotas and applicants had to prove they had enough money to begin life in Palestine. This Aliya lasted from 1924 to 1932 and consisted mostly of Polish Jews who came to Palestine because of the anti-Zionist regime and the immigration quotas imposed in the United States. In 1932 German Jews immigrated to Palestine because of the Nazi. About 60,000 to 70,000 Jewish immigrants came to Palestine during this time.
The British White Paper closed the gates of Palestine from 1933 to 1939 because of an Arab revolt and international Arab pressure on Great Britain. About 200,000 to 250,000 Jews arrived during this time, 174,000 came between 1933 and 1936. Many of them were German Jews escaping the Nazi. The Germans allowed the Jews to leave because of the “hesder” agreement where the property Jews took with them was treated as “export goods” in return for a ransom paid to the Reich.
The Jewish Agency as set up in 1929 through the efforts of Chaim Weizmann and others in accordance with the League of Nations mandate that
...an agency comprised of representative of world Jewry assist in the establishment of the Jewish National Home.The Jewish Agency was not a Zionist organization because it was set up by the World Zionist Organization and non-Zionist groups and leaders that included Leon Blum, Felix Warburg and Louis Marshall.
Zionism and Arabs
When Zionism first began in the 19th century there were about 200,000 Arabs living in the countryside of the West Bank and Galilee. Palestine was, in the eyes of the West, a country without a nation, as Lord Shaftesbury wrote. By 1914, there were over 500,000 Arabs in Palestine, a population that grew faster than the Jewish population.
Colonialism was “fashionable” and early Zionist leaders saw nothing wrong in the idea of socialism, utopianism and nationalism.
David ben Gurion headed the Executive Committee of the Zionist Yishuvin Palestine and would later become the first Prime Minister of Israel thought that the Arabs would benefit from Jewish immigrations and would welcome it. He was wrong. Others, such as Eliezer ben Yehuda envisioned instead the removal of the Arabs from Palestine.
One of the earliest warnings about the Arab problem came from the Zionist writer, Ahad Ha’am (Asher Ginsberg), who wrote in his 1891 essay, “Truth from Eretz Israel” that the Palestine “it is hard to find tillable land that is not already tilled.”
Arab resentment of the Jews grew after 1900. In his book, “Reveil de la Nation Arab” in 1905, Najib Azouri stated that
the Jews want to establish a state stretching from Mt. Hermon to the Arabian Desert and to the Suez Canal. Azoury wrote: Two important phenomena of the same nature but opposed, are emerging … They are awakening of the Arab nation and the latent effort of the Jews to reconstitute on a very large scale the ancient kingdom of Israel. These movements are destined to fight each other continually until one of them wins.Rashid Khalidi noted that beginning about 1908, Palestinian newspapers gave evidence of anti-Zionist conflicts. Problems arose because the Zionists purchased large tracts of land. Unfortunately the land purchased was involved with tenant farmers and had to be evicted. The former tenants received compensation but insisted that the land was theirs and tried to take it back by force. One case involved Al-Fula, where Zionists purchased land from the Sursuq family of Beirut. Local officials took the side of the Arab peasants against the Zionists and against the Ottoman government. In March 1911, 150 Palestinians cabled the Ottoman government to protest land sales to Jews. Azmi Bey, Turkish governor of Jerusalem stated:
We are not xenophobes; we welcome all stranger. We are not anti-Semites; we value the economic superiority of the Jews. But no nation, no government, could open its arms to groups … aiming to take Palestine from us.Following World War I, Palestine was under British rule and even before they had conquered Palestine from the Ottoman Turkish Empire, the British declared its intention of allowing Zionist to settle there were laid out in the Balfour Declaration. The Arabs were not happy with the prospect of living in a country dominated by a Jewish majority and was afraid they would lose property they had passed from generation to generation. By 1919, representative of the Jaffa Muslim-Christian council were saying:
We will push the Zionists into the sea or they will push us into the desert.Arabs opposed the Zionist infiltration not based upon economic or social issues, but because they viewed the Jews as second class citizens. By the 1920s, it was also motivated by Western anti-Semitism.
The Arabs saw themselves as helpless victims of powerful British and Jewish policies and the Zionists had the opposite view:
The matter is not … an issue between the Jewish people and the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, but between the Jewish people and the Arab people. The latter, numbering 25 million, has territory equivalent to half of Europe, while the Jewish people, numbering ten million and wandering the Earth, hasn’t got a stone … Will the Arab people stand opposed? Will it resist? Will it insist that they shall have it all for ever and ever, while he who has nothing shall forever have nothing?Zionism during Holocaust
The relationship between the Holocaust and Zionism was an issue where the Zionists have been accused of indifference to the plight of European Jews. The Zionists managed to save over 200,000 European Jews before World War II. When the British suspended Jewish immigration to Palestine, the Zionists attempted to rescue Jews from the Nazi that was organized illegal immigration.
The Zionists wanted to fight Fascism and rescue European Jews, but they could not do that without the permission of the British government. The Jewish Agency proposed to send hundreds of Jewish commandos into occupied Europe. Reports of Nazi atrocities began to become more frequent and with more details. The Holocaust was a warning that Jews could not integrate into European society. As has been stated, early Zionists envisioned colonialism. This only reflects the influence of the 19thcentury European culture, when colonialism was acceptable. It only shows that Zionist leaders wanted to sell their idea to the great powers of Europe to support a Jewish colonization that would support German or British or French nations in the Middle East. The Socialist-Zionist movement did not like the idea of colonialism and were opposed to it and imperialism. An idea probably inspired by the writings of Najib Azouri, that Zionists envisioned that the expended Jewish state would fulfill the promise of the Old Testament – the Nile and Tigris Euphrates rivers – often thought to be the location of Eden. Though there are some religious and national extremists in Israel who would like to see that happened, Zionists never intended to pursue such a program. The map of Zionist borders presented by Zionists to the Paris conference of 1919 was larger than modern Israel of today. It covered parts of what are now Jordan and Lebanon and Syria, which ended west of the Damascus-Hejaz railway.
The Zionist organization has continued to function after the establishment of the Jewish state. It has helped bring millions of new immigrants to Israel, encouraged teaching of Hebrew and Jewish culture home and elsewhere. Zionism has come to represent the support for the settlement of Jews in territories occupied by Israel in the six-day war. In recent times the conflict with Palestinians has brought about the development of Palestine to be recognized as a sovereign state, and recently the Palestinians have voted for representatives of their new government. Unfortunately, Palestine is run by terrorist organizations that are made up of Islamic fanatics whose intentions are not just having a sovereign state and separation from Israel, but to annihilate the Jews and chase any left out of the entire Middle East region. It is all such a sad state of affairs that the Jews cannot remain where their ancestry began and that the Arabs who are basically cousins to Jews, as far as race, and who have the same historical background based upon Abraham and Moses should be fighting over religious ideology. While Israel has been criticized for retaliation against dastardly attacks upon its people and nation, it is the Moslems of Palestine and surrounding Arab nations that do not want to live and let live. The Arabs’ hateful ideology is so ingrained it will take a long period of time in order to achieve any level of peace.
The next chapter deals with the New World (Mesoamerica and North American indigenous people), its people and their religion. Bibliography for this and all other chapters is at Appendix A.
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