Saturday, December 21, 2013

It is not surprising that five hundred years after the Jewish expuls

It is not surprising that five hundred years after the Jewish expuls

Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:49 pm (PST) . Posted by:

"" bernardetti

It is not surprising that five hundred years after the Jewish expulsion and systematic anti-Semitism, little remains of a glorious Jewish past.
Toledo's XII century synagogue Photo: reuters

When I lived in Barcelona I used to run into my neighbor in the elevator quite often. He was a middle-aged man, chubby and always grumpy. Late one night, however, he was suddenly acting jovial, sympathetic and talkative; and because he was a little drunk he shared with me the cause of his joy: business was doing well. "What business?" I asked, feigning interest. He sells gift items to small shops geared toward tourists and - he explained boastfully - since the ‘Red de Juderías’ (Network of Jewish Quarters) association was created, groups of Jewish Americans began to invade Girona. He subsequently began to offer items such as clocks with Hebrew numbers, coasters depicting the Jewish quarter of Girona, magnets with Kabbalist Isaac el Cec... and the business began to prosper. "You know how Jews are..." he said smirking. “Not really. How are they?” I asked. He must have felt something behind my curiosity, because he was put on alert and carefully answered, "well, they buy everything Jewish ... " 

Twenty-four Spanish cities are part of the Red de Juderías de España, a public non-profit association that aims to preserve urban, architectural, historical, artistic and cultural Sephardic heritage in Spain, in addition to helping boost tourism in those villages. Related: 

Cities across Europe celebrate Day of Jewish Culture
The Dohány street sheriff

But it is not surprising that five hundred years after the Jewish expulsion and systematic anti-Semitism, little remains of that glorious past. There are, however, increasingly more ways to access it and to discover the Sephardic legacy by following the routes offered by the Red de Juderías en España.

There are three types of Sephardic historical tours, each organized geographically: Catalonia, Castile and Andalusia. This logistic division corresponds to three historical realities of a magnificent Jewish past that lasted many centuries, ending in 1492 with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

In the Andalusian zone, the Jewish community lived and sometimes flourished under Muslim rule, which began in the year 711 with the conquest of Al - Andalus, the Arabic name for the Iberian peninsula. The route of Madrid and Castilla represents the territory of the Christian kingdoms, which from the focus of resistance to the Muslim invasion in Asturias, the Northwest of Spain, took them nearly 800 years to retake the country. The Christian area also had an important Jewish community, and although it did not flourish, it created an essential heritage for Spanish and Jewish history. The third area is Catalonia, which was released/conquered by the Carolingians francs less than a hundred years after the Arab conquest, and where the Jews were forced to begin a new chapter.

When the best option for a Jew was to live with Muslims

The history of the Jews does not begin with the Arab invasion, not in Spain nor in the rest of Europe. In Spain the Jews were there before the country had its current name and even before the nation that formed the country existed. Most studies indicate that there were already Jews in the Iberian peninsula in the times of King Solomon, during the Greek and Phoenician colonies, the domain of Rome and, of course, under the Christianized Visigoths that persecuted them in the name of the religion of love.

However, the Golden Age of the Jews of Spain started with the Arab invasion of the Visigothic domain. The Golden Age of Jewish culture lasted from the 10th century to the 12th century, featuring personalities such as Hasdai Ibn Shaprut (910-975), a physician and leading diplomat of two Caliphs who helped solve complicated conflicts within Christian communities. 

Jews were also active in Toledo's school of translators, and had a transcendent role in European culture when they rediscovered --with their translations of Hebrew and Arabic texts into Latin and Spanish - the works of Greek philosophers and Jewish and Muslim thinkers.

Aristotle’s philosophy came to Europe via Hebrew and Arabic

The Jewish cultural boom in the Christian kingdoms of Castile and its allies coincides with its decline in Muslim territories, but the latter still remained the most important Jewish community of the time. In 1148, Al-Andalus was conquered by a group of Berber religious fundamentalists called Almohades who had a hostile attitude towards the Jews, of whom some 40,000 emigrated to Toledo, a Spanish city reconquered in 1085.

Religious tolerance in Christian kingdoms was based on their need to have the know-how, economical benefits and political weight of the Jewish and Muslim communities, rather than on the Spanish King’s political views. Once the Spanish king lost interest, he decided to get rid of the infidels. Meanwhile, the Jews managed to occupy important positions in medicine, finance, trade and diplomacy.

The best of Catalonia after the Barça

The third area corresponds to Catalonia, where Barcelona and Girona, city of the Kabbalist Isaac el Sec and Mose ben Nahman or Nahmanides, are the most relevant places along with the picturesque village Besalú, near Girona.

In any of these three routes the visitor can see the traces of a fascinating Jewish past: medieval synagogues, old Jewish quarters, mikves of the 11th or 12th centuries, newly resurrected cemeteries etc.

According to genetic research, no less than 20% of the current Iberian population descended from Sephardic Jews, but most Spaniards are not aware of that they may have Sephardic origins. Fuen Alcala is an example of this: born in Jaén, Andalusia, she discovered her Jewish origins when a Jesuit priest from her family decided to investigate their roots. The family,was forced to convert to Christianity shortly after the Statute of ethnic cleansing of Toledo in 1449. Despite everything, Alcala informed me that there are traditions that the family kept and which she did not relate to Judaism until she fully understood where she came from: 'we always cleaned and decorated the house it a special way on Saturday, and my mother called it to do Saturday'.

The routes of Spain offer history, culture and self-knowledge. If Paris was worth a mass to a French prince (Henry IV) who abandoned his religion in order to be crowned, Spain is worth a trip for all Jews who want to regain to their lost kingdom.

Gisela Dés is an intern at The Jerusalem Post

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mandela, justice and forgiveness

Mandela, justice and forgiveness

FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, World Economic Forum, Davos, 1992The guff about forgiveness that has been gushing forth since the death of Nelson Mandela is really quite... well, unforgiveable.

Mandela is rightly much admired for having rejected hatred and making an accommodation with his erstwhile persecutors rather than seeking revenge. This was indeed the behaviour of a statesman and a remarkable individual, and it would be wonderful if others could emulate that.

However, the context is all-important. First, you can only forgive your persecutor if you are in a position to do so – if you have won political power over them, or even more fundamentally if you have survived any attempt by them to harm you.

And second, while you are entitled to forgive someone who has done harm to you personally, you are not entitled to forgive those who have not done you any harm but have done harm to others. Only the victim is in a position to forgive. If others do so, this is a presumptuousness which can lead straight to gross injustice or worse. There can be no forgiveneness for Stalin, Hitler or Mao. To ‘forgive’ them would be to betray their victims and negate their suffering.

Obvious as these points may appear to some, for many others they are not self-evident at all. On the contrary, the prevalent mood in the west holds that compromise and accommodation are always preferable to conflict or war; that in the interests of ‘peace’, you must somehow blind yourself to the fact that the other guys are continuing to butcher people or even still intending to kill or conquer you. Not so much forgiveneness as a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

It is a view which does not acknowledge the crucial difference between magnanimity in victory and surrender to an active enemy. Nor does it recognise the difference between odious regimes which may give ground in their own interests, as happened in apartheid-era South Africa, and fanatical regimes which view any compromise merely as a faster way to achieve their infernal ends, as is the case today with Iran. It thus leads straight to the appeasement of the unappeasable and the victory of evil over good.

In today’s climate, however, where good and bad have become relative concepts, people have increasingly lost the will to fight for the former against the latter. They would rather reach an accommodation, even with active enemies. But you cannot split the difference between good and evil, for what you end up with is merely a sanitised form of that evil.

Moreover, with the distinction between good and bad now very blurred, the division that is now deemed to count instead is between victims and oppressors. The result of that deeply questionable distinction is that bad behaviour by those perceived as victims is ignored, tolerated or condoned (while good behaviour by those perceived as oppressors is correspondingly denied). So the appalling savagery by the ANC in burning perceived ‘traitors’ alive through ‘necklacing’, for example, is all too easily ‘forgiven’ – indeed, forgotten – by those who believed the ANC could not themselves be oppressors because they were victims. And how does one square Mandela’s signature characteristic of forgiveness, which in the eyes of so many turned him into a figure of unimpeachable goodness, with his embrace of Soviet communism, which persecuted, imprisoned and murdered so many millions of people?

In similar vein, it is hard not to conclude that substituting ‘truth and reconciliation’ for justice against the Afrikaners who oppressed black south Africans, as well as failing to act against those black south Africans who burned people alive, might well be the reason many fear a bloodbath now that the restraining presence of Mandela himself has departed. It is why criminal trials are necessary against war criminals, Nazi or otherwise, without limit of time – not just to obtain justice for their victims, but because unless a society expresses its collective abhorrence of such deeds, it is more likely to commit them again in the future.

Forgiveness may be necessary for an individual to move from darkness into light; but justice is essential if a society is to be civilised. Forgiveness is a great virtue; but it can never be at the expense of the fundamental moral distinction between right and wrong, good and bad. To make it so, as many are now doing over Mandela’s legacy, is another example of the vicious culture of sentimentalisation to which the morally confused west is now unfortunately all too prone.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The counterfeit Arabs

The counterfeit Arabs

They are the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.

They are indistinguishable from those Arabs who live in the surrounding artificial states such as Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the other entities throughout the Middle East created by the colonial powers, France and Britain. Both powers were victorious after the Ottoman Turkish Empire lay defeated at the end of World War I.

Both of these European powers carved artificial borders across the corpse of what had been Turkey’s empire in the Middle East, and both France and Britain have left a resulting legacy of war and violence ever since. One such territory, previously occupied by Ottoman Turkey for 400 years, was the geographical entity known sometimes as Palestine.

But there is no such thing as a Palestinian people; no such thing as a Palestinian history; and no Palestinian language exists. There has never been any independent, sovereign Palestinian state in all of recorded history – let alone an Arab independent state of Palestine.

You will search in vain for Palestinian Arab coinage or Palestinian Arab archaeological artefacts specifically related to any Palestinian Arab king or ancient leader. But what you will find are coins, pottery, ancient scrolls, all providing conclusive, empirical and millennial evidence of Jewish civilization dotting the land known correctly as Israel – not Palestine.

The present-day so-called “Palestinians” are an Arab people sharing an overwhelmingly Muslim Arab culture, ethnicity and language identical to their fellow Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, with few if any distinctions.

Yasser Arafat, the arch-terrorist, who imposed himself undemocratically upon the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, was fond of creating the absurd myth that Palestinian Arabs were descended from the Canaanites and the Philistines.  As we know, the bigger the lie the bigger the number of people will believe it. And so Arafat twisted history in order to disinherit the indigenous native people of the land: the Jews.

Canaanites, without doubt, were the first known inhabitants of the Land of Israel before the first Hebrews, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives, settled there, and before Moses brought their descendants back to the Promised Land during the Exodus from Egypt.

The Canaanites lived both along the coastal plain and in the mountain regions, which run like a spine down the biblical territory of Samaria and Judea. Their language was similar to Hebrew and their territory stretched north into present day Lebanon and included the present day Golan Heights.

The Canaanites were finally subdued during the reign of King David.
Most Canaanites were gradually assimilated into the Jewish people and were no longer a distinguishable people.

After the 8th century BC, the Canaanites no longer existed and the only people, therefore, who can trace back an historic link to ancient Canaan are the Jews, not the Palestinian Arabs. So much for Arafat’s nonsense and for the on-going attempts by today’s Palestinian Arabs, financed by vast Arab oil wealth, to hoodwink the world.

The term “Philistines” provides the source from which the term “Palestinians” is derived. Like the Arabs who gave themselves the concocted name “Palestinian,” the Philistines were alien peoples who entered the land from other lands, mostly from the Mediterranean island of Crete. That is why they were also known as the Sea People.

The modern “Palestinian Arabs” are primarily the descendants of those itinerant Arabs who illegally flooded British Mandatory Palestine from Arab territories as far away as Sudan, Egypt, Syria and what was Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). They were attracted during the early decades of the 20th century by new employment opportunities provided by the Jewish pioneers, whose heroic efforts were turning the desert green again and restoring centuries of neglect that the land had endured under a succession of alien occupiers.

Britain, during its Mandate over the territory, turned a blind eye to the flood of illegal Arab aliens entering, while at the same time often arbitrarily limiting Jewish immigration into their ancient, biblical and ancestral homeland. This was a betrayal of the Mandate given to Britain to facilitate a Jewish Homeland in the geographical territory known as Palestine.

The Philistines were non-Semitic peoples who had entered the land from their homes throughout the Aegean Islands in general and from Crete in particular. These ancient Cretans arrived in Southern Canaan and along the Egyptian coastline and were known as “Pelestim and Keretim” by the Hebrew tribes. It appears that their first settlement may have been Gaza. Later they settled in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gat and Ekron: the Pentapolis.

Their territory was primarily along the coastal Mediterranean; interestingly, a territory not dissimilar to the present day Gaza Strip. They attempted at different times to invade Judah but were turned back by the various Jewish biblical heroes and finally defeated by King David. From that time onwards they were diminished as a threat and as a separate people, finally disappearing from history and any “Palestinian” Arab attempt to claim a lineage with them is as absurd as that of links with the early Canaanites.

Moving fast forward to 73 AD, the first attempt of the Jews to reclaim their independence from the repressive yoke of Roman occupation ended when Jewish warriors and their families fled to the fortress of Masada from Jerusalem. The Romans had destroyed the Jewish capital city along with the Second Jewish Temple.

Historically documented and universally recognized, Masada, which rises to great height overlooking the Dead Sea, is where the heroic last stand took place and where the surviving warriors and their families took their own lives rather than be sent as slaves throughout the mighty Roman Empire. The Land where these stirring and epochal events took place was in the province known as Judæa. There is absolutely no mention of any place called “Palestine” before that time.

After the suppression of the Second Jewish Revolt in 135 AD against the Roman occupation, the Emperor Hadrian replaced the name of Judea (Yehuda in Hebrew from where the name Yehudim, Jews, originates) to Syria-Palæstina after the “Philistines” who were the ancient enemies of the Israelites. Hadrian did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history.

Ancient Romans, as well as so-called Palestinian Arabs, have fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptural prophecy that declares: “They lay crafty plans against Your People… they say: ‘come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more’.” – Tehilim
83:3-4 (Psalm 83:3-4). They failed, as Israel is reconstituted as a modern Jewish state in its ancestral and biblical homeland.

No such name as Palestine occurs in any ancient document. It is not written in the Bible, neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the Christian Testament, not even in Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Seleucian or other Greek sources. There is no “Palestinian”
people ever mentioned, not even by the Romans that invented the term.

If “Palestinians” allegedly are the historic inhabitants of the Holy Land, why did they not fight for independence from Roman occupation as Jews did? How is it possible that not a single “Palestinian” leader revolted against the Roman invaders or is mentioned in any historic record?

Why is there no Palestinian rebel group mentioned, as for example the Jewish Zealots? Why does every historic document mention the Jews as the native and aboriginal inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea; but no “Palestinian” people, neither as native or as foreigner? What is more, there is no reference to any “Palestinian” people in the Koran, although Muslims claim that their prophet was once in al-Aksa (meaning the farthest place) which Muslims, for political purposes, chose to be Jerusalem – an event not even mentioned in the Koran.

Saladin, a Kurd, knew the Jews and invited them to resettle in Jerusalem. He had no trouble in recognizing Jerusalem as their eternal capital city and the territory as their rightful Homeland. But he did not know any so-called Palestinians and to claim otherwise that Palestinians are the original people of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel,  is not only counter to secular history but also is opposed to Islamic history.

The so-called “Palestinians” who claim Jerusalem want it so that they can take it away from the Jews for whom Jerusalem, known also as Zion, is the eternal, 3,000 year old Jewish capital.

Perhaps what links the modern day Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” with the ancient Philistines is that both are invaders.
The Philistines wanted to take from the Israelites the Holy Ark of the Covenant, while today’s so-called “Palestinian Arabs” want to take from the Jewish people the Holy City of the Covenant – Jerusalem.

A wealth of information about this and related subjects may be found at the following website. I encourage all to read it:

So let me close, beginning with the words of a Christian Arab, Joseph Farah, who has made his home here in America and who knows of what he

“There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 per cent of the Middle East lands.
Israel represents one-tenth of one per cent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today… No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough.”

Joseph Farah, “Myths of the Middle East”

Let us hear what other Arabs have said:

“There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”.

Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937

“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not”.

Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946

“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria”.

Representative of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956

Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:

“The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 AD hardly lasted, as such, 22 years.”

The preceding declarations by Arab politicians were issued before 1967 as they had not the slightest knowledge of the existence of any Palestinian people.

How and when did they change their mind and decide that such people existed?

When the State of Israel was reborn in 1948 the Arabs had still not discovered that “ancient” people. They were too busy attempting to annihilate the reconstituted sovereign State of Israel, and did not intend to create any Palestinian entity, but only to distribute the seized Jewish lands among the already existing Arab states.

The Arab armies were miraculously defeated by a tiny handful of Jewish defenders. The Arabs attempted again to destroy Israel in 1967, and were humiliated in only six days, in which they lost the lands that they had previously stolen and usurped in 1948. Those lands included Judea and Samaria, which comprise the biblical and ancestral Jewish heartland, tracing its history back some 4,000 years.

Now the world forgets such empirical history and prefers to name the ancestral Jewish territory, the West Bank, which was illegally occupied by the Jordanian Arabs for 19 years from 1948 until its liberation in 1967.

In all those years, when Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip, neither of them created a “Palestinian”
state, since the still non-existing Palestinians would have never claimed their alleged right to have their own state.

Paradoxically, during the British Mandate, which lasted from 1920 to 1948, it was not any Arab group but the Jews that were known as Palestinians!

But read what other Arabs declared after the Six-Day War:

“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel”.

Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council

“Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people”.

Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yasser Arafat

“As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from.
Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, Muslim Sherkas from Russia, Muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to
30,000 inhabitants”.

Walid Shoebat

During the long years of alien occupation of the Land of Israel, though Jews were always living in the Land in whatever numbers they could sustain, visitors were always struck at how the land had become a barren waste with malarial swamps and a remarkably sparse population. The following reports from travellers to the desolate landscape that had become a mournful waste are quite telling:

“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilee); not for thirty miles in either direction… One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee… Nazareth is forlorn… Jericho lies a mouldering ruin… Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation… untenanted by any living creature… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent, mournful expanse… a desolation… We never saw a human being on the whole route… Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country… Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… desolate and unlovely…”

Mark Twain, “The Innocents Abroad”, 1867

One wonders, therefore, where were the “Palestinians” hiding so that Mark Twain could not see them? Where was that so-called “ancient”
people in the mid nineteenth century? Of course, Arab politicians now attempt to discredit Mark Twain, retreating into that realm of all scoundrels by calling him a racist.

“In 1590 a ‘simple English visitor’ to Jerusalem wrote: ‘Nothing there is to be seen but a little of the old walls, which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, moss and weeds much like to a piece of rank or moist ground’.”.

Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund

“The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil”.

British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s

“Palestine is a ruined and desolate land”.

Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian

“The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents.
They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it”.

Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s

“The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population”.

James Finn, British Consul in 1857

“The area was under populated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880′s, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained “The Holy Land” in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants – both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts… Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen… The plows used were of wood… The yields were very poor… Schools did not exist… The rate of infant mortality was very high… The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert… Many ruins were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants”.

The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913

Far too many otherwise decent people have come to accept Arab oil financed falsehoods masquerading as history about the origins of the so-called Palestinian Arabs. These lies now permeate the mainstream media, schools, colleges, and universities and are perpetrated by the tenured leftist professors and the colleges who all too eagerly accept Saudi blood money.

The historical facts given above may be of help to those who have otherwise fallen hook, line and sinker for duplicitous Arab propaganda and what constitutes one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated upon the world.

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of several books including a collection of short stories called The Blue Hour and Volumes One, Two and Three of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years

Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,40
Fri Nov 1, 2013 4:43 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Granddaddy Hand" hisdude2004

Subject: FW: Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 10:27:02 -0500

Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 11:34:44 +0100
Subject: Fwd: Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years

Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years. While almost all other cultures changed from primitive and medieval to democratic and egalitarian societies, one culture managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values for 1,400 years until today. Still today, the majority of Muslims prefer to live by values that can be traced all the way back to the desert tribes in which the founder of their religion lived. Getting to know life in Muslim families and societies is like traveling back in time to the time of Muhammad. Here one finds shocking laws and traditions that are obviously criminal and inhumane — but for some reason accepted — in our otherwise humanistic culture.

While non-Muslim scientists invent new fantastic medicines and technologies daily, discover the most amazing things about the universe, its building blocks and inhabitants, and Western voters and politicians have created the most humane, rich and free societies in world history, most Islamic countries are still amputating limbs for theft, stoning women and homosexuals, heavily inbred, denying people free speech and democracy, and contributing absolutely nothing when it comes to science, human rights or peace.

What are the cultural psychological factors making Islam able to stay medieval for 1,400 years?
One main factor is that while all other religions allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death. The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into modern, humanistic civilisations.

The fact that Muslims deviating from the Quranic world view are to be punished has the direct consequence that scientific facts conflicting with the naive and childish world view held in pre-Enlightenment cultures are suppressed. Together with massive inbreeding — 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many generations) — this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners. Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.

Within Islam, faith and tradition is obviously valued far, far more than inventions and discoveries that would ease suffering and lead to a more reasonable understanding of the complexity of the universe and the potential of its inhabitants.

Child rearing
Another powerful defence mechanism within Islamic culture is found within Muslim child rearing. A very real threat of violence and even death is over every Muslim child’s head, should he or she decide to choose another life style than that of its parents. Even if the parents allow their child to choose his or her own religion — or none at all — other Muslims are dedicating their lives to kill them. Together with the wide use of violence and even torture within Muslim families, the horrific amount of daily family executions of Muslim youth, this is enough to keep the vast majority from even considering escaping the way of the sharia. The Quran’s and the Hadiths’ many promises of hellfire to those who go against Muhammad’s orders and example scares many from leaving the culture that brings them so much suffering. I clearly remember how several Muslim inmates at the prison I was working in as a psychologist expressed what seemed to be compassion, when I told them that I do not believe in Allah.

In order further to make sure that the children grow up to follow the same patterns as their family, many of them are subjected to mind-numbing repetitions of Islam’s exceedingly violent scriptures, making many of them ticking time bombs where ever they live.


Muhammad’s teaching that Muslim females can only marry Muslim males — often within their own bloodline — further bolster the culture of his followers against outside influence. The fact that the wives are kept like slaves in the way that they can only divorce if they are set free by an Islamic authority, keeps them from escaping the religion and and very often violent husbands, that leaves them with so few freedoms and rights. Should they chose to run away or divorce, they will in most case be cut off by their family, the often violent father is entitled to the children, and because they are categorized as outcasts and have had no or very little right to educate themselves, the possibility to sustain themselves is strongly limited. On top of that, many will live with a death sentence over their head for the rest of their lives for having insulted the family’s honor.

Almost all Muslim women are thus threatened or even forced to fulfill their responsibility of continuing and passing on the Islamic culture, including its many misogynistic aspects. And the marriage rules within Islam makes sure that non-Muslim influence is not invited into the family.

View on non-Muslims
One basic principle within Islam is hating and harming non-Muslims. The Islamic scriptures are full of dehumanizing propaganda against us, and contain dozens of orders for Muslims to suppress, harm and kill atheists and followers of all other religions. The devaluation and demonizing of non-Muslims can easily be compared to the propaganda spread about the enemy by governments in wartime in order remove their soldiers’ psychological hindrances that would otherwise keep them from attacking the opponent. Not surprisingly, Muslims are not allowed to take non-Muslims as friends.

Thus keeping a mental and physical distance to people from other cultures, Islam prevents its followers from being influenced and inspired by our less barbaric values.

Ethnic pride
Another cultural psychological factor enabling Islamic culture to remain unchanged in a globalised world with all its possibilities concerns Muslims’ ethnic pride. No matter how ridiculous or embarrassing it may seem to the outsider, most Muslims are proud of being Muslim and a follower of Islam. According to Islam they are destined to dominate the rest of us, and we are so bad that we deserve the eternal fire. Working as a psychologist in prison, I heard how the Muslim inmates talk about their non-Muslim victims — and their victims were always non-Muslims, unless it concerned women or rival gangs — and I have no doubt that there exists a severe and widespread racism against non-Muslims among Muslims.

The cultural osmosis
Islamic culture thus has several defence mechanisms that prevents it and its followers from being influenced by non-Muslim values. At the same time, Westerners expressing pride in our country, culture or faith are immediately branded as racists,nationalistic or intolerant.

At the same time, we in the West have a longstanding tradition of tolerance and openness, together with the multicultural agenda pushed by the Left, the Media, EU and UN. The cultural osmosis can therefore go only one way: Islam stays where it is, while it drags the West back into medieval darkness, with its limitation of free speech and pre-enlightenment-style acceptance of religious dogmas and sensitivities.

Posted by Nicolai Sennels on October 30, 2013

Islam, Not Nazis, Motivated Hajj Amin El

Israeliadvocate] Islam, Not Nazism, Motivated Hajj Amin el
Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:42 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us


Islam, Not Nazism, Motivated Hajj Amin el-Hussini, Pt 1


Dr. Andrew Bostom

October 23, 2013

October 4, 1944—69 years ago—a then internationally renowned Muslim cleric, addressing imams of the Bosnian SS Division fighting for the Nazis, stated the following to his co-revisionists:
“Nearly one-third of the Koran concerns the Jews.  The Koran calls upon all Muslims to protect themselves against the Jews and to fight them wherever they may meet them.  The Jews in Khaybar attempted to poison Muhammad, the messenger of Allah; they also carried out themselves or supported various attacks on the person of the Prophet, all of which failed.  Muhammad’s many attempts to bring the Jews to their senses were unsuccessful, with the result that he saw himself as simply forced to dispose of the Jews and to run them out of Arabia.”
This accurate summary of canonical, mainstream Islamic theology regarding Jews, was made by Hajj Amin el-Husseini—the preeminent Arab Muslim leader of the World War II era.  Concordant with his stature then, in Islamdom, el-Husseini was viewed by Adolph Hitler (and also the Waffen-SS), as a “Muslim pope.”  For example, the Nazi regime promoted this former mufti of Jerusalem in an illustrated biographical booklet (printed in Berlin in 1943) which declared him Muhammad’s direct descendant, an Arab national hero, and the “incarnation of all ideals and hopes of the Arab nation.” 
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine; anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.  The Congressional record contains a statement of support from New York Rep. Walter Chandler which includes an observation, about “Turkish and Arab agitators . . . preaching a kind of holy war [jihad] against . . . the Jew of Palestine. During this same era within Palestine, a strong Arab Muslim irredentist current—epitomized by Hajj Amin el-Husseini—promulgated the forcible restoration of sharia-mandated dhimmitude for Jews via jihad. 
Indeed, two years before he orchestrated the murderous anti-Jewish riots of 1920, that is, in 1918, Hajj Amin el-Husseini stated plainly to a Jewish coworker (at the Jerusalem Governorate), I. A. Abbady, “This was and will remain an Arab land . . . the Zionists will be massacred to the last man. . . . Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country.” 
Despite his role in fomenting the1920 pogroms against Palestinian Jews, el-Husseini was pardoned and subsequently appointed mufti of Jerusalem by the British high commissioner, in May 1921; a title he retained, following the Ottoman practice, for the remainder of his life. Throughout his public career, the mufti relied upon traditional Koranic anti-Jewish motifs to arouse the Arab street.  For example, during the incitement which led to the 1929 Arab revolt in Palestine, he called for combating and slaughtering “the Jews.” not merely Zionists.  In fact, most of the Jewish victims of the 1929 Arab revolt were Jews from the centuries-old dhimmi communities (for example, in Hebron), as opposed to recent settlers identified with the Zionist movement. 
With the ascent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, the mufti and his coterie intensified their antisemitic activities to secure support from Hitler’s Germany (and later Bosnian Muslims, as well as the overall global Muslim umma [community]), for a jihad to annihilate the Jews of Palestine.  Following his expulsion from Palestine by the British, the mufti fomented a brutal anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad (1941), concurrent with his failed effort to install a pro-Nazi Iraqi government.  Escaping to Europe after this unsuccessful coup attempt, the mufti spent the remainder of World War II in Germany and Italy.  From this sanctuary, he provided active support for the Germans by recruiting Bosnian Muslims, in addition to Muslim minorities from the Caucasus, for dedicated Nazi SS units. The Mufti’s objectives for these recruits, and Muslims in general, were made explicit during his multiple wartime radio broadcasts from Berlin, heard throughout the
Arab world: an international campaign of genocide against the Jews.  For example, during his March 1, 1944, broadcast he stated: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them.  This pleases God, history, and religion [i.e., Islam].” 
Hajj Amin also attempted to contribute to the German war effort in Yugoslavia by recruiting Bosnian Muslims for the so-called Handzar Division.  Jan Wanner has observed that,
“His [the mufti’s] appeals . . . addressed to the Bosnian Muslims were . . . close in many respects to the argumentation used by contemporary Islamic fundamentalists . . . the Mufti viewed only as a new interpretation of the traditional concept of the Islamic community (umma), sharing with Nazism common enemies.” 
However, the creation of these Muslim units, for which the mufti bears direct responsibility, had only a limited impact on the overall destruction of European Jewry when compared with his nefarious wartime campaign to prevent Jewish emigration from Europe to Palestine.  Wanner, in his 1986 analysis of the mufti’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II, concluded,
“The darkest aspect of the Mufti’s activities in the final stage of the war was undoubtedly his personal share in the extermination of Europe’s Jewish population.  On May 17, 1943, he wrote a personal letter to Ribbentrop, asking him to prevent the transfer of 4500 Bulgarian Jews, 4000 of them children, to Palestine.  In May and June of the same year, he sent a number of letters to the governments of Bulgaria, Italy, Rumania, and Hungary, with the request not to permit even individual Jewish emigration and to allow the transfer of Jews to Poland where, he claimed they would be “under active supervision.”  The trials of Eichmann’s henchmen, including Dieter Wislicency who was executed in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, confirmed that this was not an isolated act by the Mufti.” 
Invoking the personal support of such prominent Nazis as Himmler and Eichmann, the mufti’s relentless hectoring of German, Romanian, and Hungarian government officials caused the cancellation of an estimated 480,000 exit visas which had been granted to Jews (80,000 from Rumania, and 400,000 from Hungary). As a result, these hapless individuals were deported to Polish concentration camps.  A United Nations Assembly document presented in 1947 which contained the mufti’s June 28, 1943, letter to the Hungarian foreign minister requesting the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Poland, includes this stark, telling annotation: “As a Sequel to This Request 400,000 Jews Were Subsequently Killed.” 11Moreover, in the mufti’s memoirs (Memoirs of the Grand Mufti, edited by Abd al-Karim al-Umar, Damascus, 1999), he describes what Himmler revealed to him during the summer of 1943 regarding the genocide of the Jews.  Following pro forma tirades on “Jewish
war guilt,” Himmler told the mufti that “up to now we have liquidated [abadna] around three million of them.”
According to historian Howard M. Sachar, meetings the mufti held with Hitler in 1941 and 1942 led to an understanding whereby Hitler’s forces would invade Palestine with the goal being “not the occupation of the Arab lands, but solely the destruction of Palestinian Jewry.”13And in April 2006, the director of the Nazi research center in Ludwigsburg, Klaus-Michael Mallman, and Berlin historian Martin Cueppers, revealed that a murderous Einsatzgruppe( mobile killing units) Egypt, connected to Rommel’s Africa Korps, was stationed in Athens awaiting British expulsion from the Levant, prior to beginning their planned slaughter of the roughly five hundred thousand Jews in Palestine.  This plan was only aborted after Rommel’s defeat by Montgomery at El Alamein, Egypt, in October/November 1942. 
The mufti remained unrelenting in his espousal of a virulent Jew-hatred as the focal tenet of his ideology in the aftermath of World War II, and the creation of the State of Israel.  He was also a committed supporter of global jihad movements, urging a “full struggle” against the Hindus of India (as well as the Jews of Israel) before delegates at the February 1951 World Muslim Congress: “We shall meet next with sword in hand on the soil of either Kashmir or Palestine.” 
Declassified intelligence documents from 1942, 1947, 1952, and 1954 confirm the mufti’s own Caliphate desires in repeated references from con­texts as diverse as Turkey, Egypt, Jerusalem, and Pakistan, and also include discussions of major Islamic conferences dominated by the mufti, which were attended by a broad spectrum of Muslim leaders literally representing the entire Islamic world (including Shia leaders from Iran), that is, in Karachi from February 16–19, 1952, and Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem, December 3–9, 1953.  Viewed in their totality these data do not support the current standard assessment of the mufti as merely a “Palestinian Arab nationalist, rife with Jew-hatred.” 
There is another parallel negativist trend, which is also widely prevalent: the claim that el-Husseini’s canonical Islamic Jew-hatred somehow represented a suis generis; a specialized type of “Nazification” of Islam, which has “persisted” into our era.  Paul Berman articulated an unabashed formulation of this broadly held thesis, proclaiming, that abetted by the Nazis, el-Husseini “monstrously,” and “infernally,” “blurred Islam and Nazism,” achieving a victory of Himmler’s Islam…A victory for the Islam of fanaticism and hatred over its arch-rival, the Islam of generosity and civilization.
During 1938, a booklet Muhammad Sabri edited, Islam, Judentum, Bolschewismus (Islam, Jewry, Bolshevism), was published in Berlin by Junker-Duennhaupt [Dünnhaupt].  Sabri’s booklet included Hajj Amin el-Husseini’s 1937 declaration—also deemed by some as a “fatwa” (an Islamic religious ruling) —appealing to the worldwide Muslim umma.  El-Husseini’s declaration was extracted and reprinted, separately, by the Nazi regime as Islam und Judentum (Islam and Jewry), and distributed to Muslim SS units in Bosnia, Croatia, and the Soviet Union. 
As best as I can determine, the first complete, annotated translation of this pamphlet, directly from the German, is provided herein. Although author Jennie Lebel included a somewhat awkward Serbo-Croatian to English translation of the pamphlet in her important biography of el-Husseini, neither she, nor any other scholar has ever identified, let alone comprehensively explicated, the antisemitic Islamic motifs which punctuate el-Husseini’s pronouncement, from beginning to end.  Accordingly, what follows the translation, is a detailed commentary which addresses this critical—and frankly, self-fulfilling—lacuna in the scholarship on el-Husseini’s Jew-hatred, i.e., identifying

Monday, June 17, 2013

The "Sushi" is Heating Up

The "Sushi" is Heating Up by Mordechai Kedar
Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:06 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Granddaddy Hand" hisdude2004

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The following article was written in Hebrew by Dr. Mordechai Kedar for
the June 14, 2013 issue of the Makor Rishon newspaper, and translated
to English by Sally Zahav.

The "Sushi" is Heating Up
by Mordechai Kedar

Among scholars of the Middle East, the term "sushi" is used as a
shorthand for the expression, "Sunni-Shi'a". Anyone interested in the
history of Islam knows that the seeds of the Sunni-Shi'a conflict were
planted the moment that Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, closed his
eyes forever in the year 632 CE, without leaving a mechanism for
choosing a successor to lead the nation. The conflict that developed
as a result, has become an open, bloody battle over the years, and it
has been a thread in the fabric of Islamic history throughout all of
its 1400 years. This conflict has facets on many levels: personal,
familial, political and religious. The battle between the two factions
of Islam is "for the whole pot", and it continues to this very day.

In modern times, attempts have been made to bridge over the conflict
and to find common ground between the factions of Islam in order to
create a sense of calm between the factions, on the basis of which it
will be possible to manage states such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon,
where the two factions live side by side, Shi'ites and Sunnis, in one
state. Even the Egyptian Sheikh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is the
Mufti (religious arbiter) of the Emirate of Qatar, has expressed
himself both verbally and in writing about the need to find a way to
"bring the schools of thought closer together", as if Shi'a is another
legitimate school of thought, in addition to the four Sunni schools:
Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. In the good old days they used to
call the Shi'a faction the "Jafari school" after one of the fathers of

The Golden Age between the Sunni and Shi'a was the year 2006, as a
result of the Second Lebanon War, when Hizb'Allah managed to create
the impression that it had won a "divine victory" over Israel. After
all, Hasan Nasrallah had survived despite 33 days of heavy Israeli
attacks, some of which were aimed at him personally. Hizb'Allah was
compared with the armies of the Arab countries, which had failed in
all of their attempts to destroy the state of Israel, and were
defeated by Israel's army in only six days in 1967. As a result of the
Second Lebanon War, Hasan Nasrallah declared in every public arena -
especially in his al-Manar ("the beacon") television channel - that
the victory belongs to the whole Arab and Islamic nation, and in this
way, he created for himself the image of being the only leader in the
Middle East who knows what to do and does the right things, ignoring
the objections of the infidel West and its paltry servants, meaning
most of the rulers of the Arab states. Bashar Asad declared that
Hizb'Allah's way is the only way to fight and the only method that can
defeat the Zionist enemy.

During the war in the summer of 2006, great crowds of people of the
Middle East erupted in emotional demonstrations where pictures of
Hasan Nasrallah were held high, and those who wanted to make a point
also carried pictures of Bashar Asad, the great supporter of
Hizb'Allah. It was convenient for everyone - including religious
figures such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi - to ignore the fact that
Hizb'Allah was a Shi'ite group, backed up by Iran, because if the
Sunni Hamas movement ended up in the same boat with Hizb'Allah what
evil could possibly have sprung from the Lebanese "al-Muqawama
wal-mumana'a" ("Resistance and Defense") movement, which supports all
of the "liberation movements" regardless of religious sect? The
al-Jazeera channel, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Sunni Muslim
Brotherhood movement, embraced Hizb'Allah and dedicated many hours of
positive programming to it, and in many Islamic societies - including
Israel's - more than a few people crossed over from the Sunni side of
Islam to the Shi'a. Only a small group of Saudi religious authorities
were not overcome by the waves of sympathy for Hizb'Allah. They always
view the Shi'ite dominance of Lebanon, as well as its influence on the
collective Arab discourse, negatively.

But the enthusiasm for Hizb'Allah has not survived the storm that has
been buffeting the Middle East ever since December 2010, known
romantically in the media as "the Arab Spring", as if presently in the
Middle East, the birds are chirping, the trees are budding, the
flowers are blooming, the butterflies are fluttering, people are
smiling and there is an air of rising optimism. The vicious war that
has been raging in Syria since March 2011 has cost so far at least one
hundred thousand fatalities and many thousands of wounded, has made
millions of Syrians into displaced persons within their land and into
refugees in neighboring lands, and Hizb'Allah is totally engaged in
fighting this dirty war in support of the Asad regime. Information
about the involvement of Hizb'Allah in the fighting has been leaking
out for more than a year. At first they buried their fallen in
temporary graveyards in the Valley of Lebanon, near the border with
Syria, to avoid holding funerals in residential areas, thereby
disclosing Hizb'Allah's involvement in the events in Syria. Because
of the need for secrecy, the families of the fallen were forbidden to
observe rites of mourning and memorial services when the fighters

With time, the picture has changed, and Hizb'Allah can no longer hide
its involvement in the battles in Syria. In an effort to shore up his
popularity, Nasrallah tried to say that the Hizb'Allah forces were in
Syria only to defend a number of "Lebanese" villages, but some of
those who heard this story understood that Hizb'Allah was actually
defending Shi'ite villages from attacks by the Sunni rebels. This
story crumbled when faced with the reality that was reported by the
media, describing Hizb'Allah as an integral part of the Asad regime's
fighting effort. For the past year, public criticism of Hizb'Allah has
increased in the Arab world because of its involvement in the murder
of Syrians, and matters came to a head about a month ago, with the
attack on the town of al-Qusayr, which is located on the border
between Syria and Lebanon, and serves as a bridge for the transfer of
support, weapons, ammunition and fighters from the Sunni area of
Tripoli in Lebanon to the rebels in Syria. The rebels took control of
al-Qusayr about a year ago, which enabled them to drive a wedge
between the area of Damascus, the capital, and the Alawite area in the
northwest of the country. From the photographs and the reports of the
battle for Qusayr during the past month, it seems that it was
Hizb'Allah and not the Syrian army that was fighting for the town.

This bloody battle was the straw that broke the Sunni camel's back.
Since al-Qusayr fell into Hizb'Allah's hands, all the dams of
criticism have burst, and the religious authorities of Sunni Islam
have been attacking Hizb'Allah with their sharpest arrows of Islamic
rhetoric, tipped with deadly venom. The expression they use as the
name of the organization is "Hizb al-Shitan" - "the party of Satan" -
hinting at the passage from the Qur'an "The party of Satan are the
losers" (Sura 58, Verse 19), which is the opposite of the name "Hizb
'Allah" - "the party of Allah" - which is also based on the Qur'an
(Sura 5, Verse 56). In homilies given in the mosques and in the media,
Yusuf al-Qaradawi calls on all Muslims, male and female, to wage jihad
against Hizb'Allah in Syria, and openly accuses Hizb'Allah and the
Iranians of wanting to devour all of the Muslim countries. He accuses
them of being infidels and of hiding their true identity.

Qaradawi does not restrain his tongue. He speaks with contempt about
the change in the Syrian constitution that allowed Bashar Asad to
succeed his father in 2000 when he was 34 years old, despite the fact
that until then, the president was required to be at least 40 years
old. He even mentions the original name of the Asad family -
"al-wahsh" - which means "wild beast". Qaradawi calls on all the
Islamic sages of the world to gather in Cairo on Thursday of this
week, to discuss how to deal with the Shi'ites in general and Iran and
Hizb'Allah in particular, and to take decisions on the matter. He
views the ascent of Sunni Islam to power in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco
and Yemen as a blessing, in addition to Gaza, which he visited

Qaradawi clearly admits that he erred in 2006 about Hizb'Allah, and
was fooled by its religious appearance. Qaradawi praises the religious
sages of Saudi Arabia who even then, in the days of the Second Lebanon
War, were right about Hizb'Allah and did not fall into the trap that
Nasrallah had set for the Arab and Islamic world. He asked for pardon
and forgiveness from those sages for supporting Hizb'Allah against
their judgment.

But Qaradawi is not alone. When 1200 Kuwaiti jihadists were about to
leave Kuwait and go to Syria to join the jihad against Hizb'Allah, the
Kuwaiti Sheikh Shafi al-'Ajami encouraged them to slaughter their
enemy and asked the jihadists to save ten Hizb'Allah fighters for him
to have the pleasure of beheading personally.

Even Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic
movement in Israel, openly speaks against Hizb'Allah, which acts
against "our brothers" in Syria. It is important for us to remember
that "our brothers" to Sheikh Ra'ad Salah might be the Muslim
Brotherhood in Syria, but could also be the Palestinian refugees in
Syria, several hundred of whom were killed and injured in battles
between Asad and his opposition, and many thousands of whom fled to
Jordan and Lebanon.

In Iraq as well

The increasing tension between the Sunni and Shi'a takes its toll in
Iraq as well. In the month of May this year, more than a thousand men,
women and children were killed in Sunni attacks against Shi'ites, and
in revenge attacks of Shi'ites against Sunnis. The increasing tension
between the factions in Iraq has generated mutual declarations, each
side against the other: "You had better get out of Iraq before it is
too late", meaning before our knives separate your heads from your
shoulders. Iran arms and equips the Iraqi army as well as the Shi'ite
militias such as the Mahdi Army, while Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the
Emirates support the Sunni minority with weapons, ammunition and
funds. The "sushi" tension in the Land of the Two Rivers is increasing
and a conflagration resulting in an all-out civil war is apparently
just a matter of time.

And Lebanon

Many Lebanese object to the activity of Hizb'Allah in Syria because
they fear that the civil war will overflow from Syria into Lebanon,
and they will be its victims. This week the Sunnis held a
demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy in Beirut where the
demonstrators called on Iran to bring Hizb'Allah out of Syria. Armed
Hizb'Allah activists attacked the demonstrators with clubs and sticks
and beat one of them to death. The fighting continues in Tripoli in
the north of Lebanon between the Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabana
and Jabal Mohsen, whose residents are Alawite, and this week too,
people were injured there. About two weeks ago Grad rockets fell in a
southern neighborhood of Beirut, a Hizb'Allah stronghold, and all
signs point to a "sushi" heating up in the Land of the Cedars too.

There are reports that Hizb'Allah has demanded the Hamas movement to
take its people out of Lebanon because Hamas no longer supports

The Sunni-Shi'a tension might result in a conflagration in many
countries: Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, the United Arab
Emirates, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and perhaps even Turkey, which also
has a significant Shi'ite minority.

In Israel, we must take into account that in the Middle East the rule
"the enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not always work. Just
because the Sunnis and the Shi'ites relate to each other with
hostility and hatred, that doesn't result in love for Israel. In the
best case, it may lead to a short-term coalition between Israel and
Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, but we cannot
rely on such a coalition, because we are still the "Zionist entity"
which, according to Islam - Sunni and Shi'a alike - has no right to


Dr. Mordechai Kedar ( is an Israeli scholar
of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the
director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam
(under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in
Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab
countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for
the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan
University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Middle East Genocide

Ralph Peters has written an incredibly important, profound, well-documented, and terrifying report on Middle East Genocide (June 2, 2013). While all of us are busy addressing personal issues, and serious matters affecting our lives as citizens in this country, as well as  those affecting our Israeli brothers and sisters, the very nature of the world is changing dramatically. The population shifts due to persecutions and expulsions, many due to Islamic terrorism, must be recognized. They threaten our lives as Christians, Jews, Americans, and Europeans. After reading Peters' article, which appears below, please contact AFSI by email or telephone to help us formulate an action plan. We must work to get Peters' message to  President Obama and the politically correct groups who deny the dangers of Islamic terrorism. If our government continues on its present path, we are all in danger.
Middle East Genocide

We do nothing as Muslims eradicate the last vestiges of Christians 
and Jews from nation after nation


We are witnesses to murder, and our governments are accomplices. The relentless destruction of the last remnants of the Middle East's Judeo-Christian civilization is well under way. And we are silent.
Captives of political correctness, our governments cater to radical immigrant tantrums as our leaders contort the truth to deny the existence of Islamist terrorism. Meanwhile, our Middle Eastern "allies" and foes alike eradicate thousands of years of Jewish and Christian heritage. Our diplomats treat the persecution as a minor embarrassment, best ignored.

Muslims set fire to a Copt  
Christian church in Cairo.

The banishments and butchery aren't new, but the breakdown of the last rotting order in the wake of the "Arab Spring" has empowered psychotic fanatics who do not even value the lives of the faithful, let alone the lives of unbelievers. This is the end-game, the final persecution of Christians clinging to lands they've called home for 2,000 years. Except for Israel and the rarest exceptions elsewhere, Jews are already gone from the realms that nurtured them since the early years of their faith.

A thousand years ago, there were more Christians in the Middle East than in Europe, and Jewish communities prospered from the Nile to the Tigris. Even a century ago, more than 20% of the region's population was Christian, and Jews still adorned Arab cities with their talents.
Today, estimates put the Christian population of the region at under 5% and sinking rapidly - and only that high because of the 9 million Copts who remain, for now, in Egypt.
The birthplace of Christianity, Bethlehem, now has a Muslim majority of as much as 80% - a reversal that coincided with the West's decision to embrace Palestinian terrorists as "partners for peace." A few decades ago, Lebanon had a Christian majority. Now, with Christian numbers fading, it's tugged between Shia Hezbollah and Sunni fanatics.
Slighted by the US occupation - as our government pandered to Muslim hardliners - the Christian population of Iraq has fallen by two-thirds over 10 years. And the most ferocious elements in the Syrian insurgency see no place for Christians in Syria's future. Even Jordan, struggling to appease its own Islamists, has cracked down on Christian activities.
The Jews, of course, are already long gone.
But the stones of ruined churches cry out, and vanished synagogues haunt decayed Arab neighborhoods.
If you read the New Testament or study the formative centuries of Christianity, there are few references to western cities other than Rome. The names that dot the Epistles of St. Paul and histories of the church are now in Muslim hands: Alexandria, Damascus, Tarsus, Carthage, Ephesus, Nicaea, Constantinople and so many others. Even Mecca and Medina had thriving Christian and Jewish quarters before the first jihads.

But all they possess does not suffice for Islamist fanatics. Israel must be blotted from the earth, and the last Christians must be driven out.
This is an old, old story, nearing its end. We shroud it in lies to excuse ourselves from taking a stand, even accepting the preposterous Arab claim that Muslim failures today are the fault of the Crusades, a brief interlude when Christians occupied a coastal strip hardly larger than Israel. In fact, it was the Mongols, then the Muslim Turks, who shattered Arab civilization. And as for conquests, Muslims occupied Spain in all or part for 800 years - and brutalized the Balkans for half a millennium. The Crusades were hardly a burp.
We also accept extravagant claims that "civilized" Arabs rescued the classical texts that formed our civilization. That's utter nonsense. The Arab hordes that burst out of barren Arabia in the 7th century were composed of illiterates. Conquering at a time when the warring Byzantine and Persian empires had exhausted themselves, the new rulers found that tribal practices didn't suffice to run provinces. So they took over the existing bureaucracies, staffed by Greek-speaking Christians and Jews. It was those officials who saved the Greek classics for Europe's future Renaissance - and their descendants designed Islam's greatest monuments.
Yes, some Arab rulers came to value learning - but the Arab world never produced a Homer, Plato, Sophocles or Thucydides whose appeal transcended their culture.
Islam was a religion spread by war. It was only a "religion of peace" where it had conquered. True, Islam sometimes proved more tolerant of minorities than Europeans, but that was at the zenith of the faith's power.
There's yet another illusion of ours - that Islam is gaining strength. Islam is on the ropes. What we've seen in the pogroms and outright genocides over the last 150 years has been the spleen of a once-triumphant faith whose practices and values can't compete in the modern age.
Consider today's Middle East, apart from Israel. Despite the massive influx of oil wealth, there isn't one world-class university. Nothing of quality or technological complexity is manufactured between Morocco and Pakistan. Not even Saudi Arabia has first-rate health-care. Research is nil. Patent applications are statistically zero. Women are regarded as lesser beings, wasting half of the region's human capital. Not one Arab society's a meritocracy. And corruption cripples all.
A handful of glitzy hotels and shopping centers do not make a civilization (especially when the merchandise is all imported). Should Islamist fanatics succeed in driving all minorities from the region, they'd be left with a human wasteland of comprehensive failure, seething with hatred and uncontainable violence. The self-segregation of the Islamic heartlands would be a tragedy for humanity - but, above all, for Muslims.
Birth rates are a red herring. More mouths to feed are not magic sources of strength in lands of scarcity and poverty. The Middle East is self-destructive, morally brittle and falling ever further behind a world that's charging ahead. Islamists can't even get terrorism right - today, we're terrorizing the terrorists. So they turn on the weak in their midst, the last minorities.
The initial wave of destruction and slaughter began almost a millennium ago, when the Muslim world first felt itself under threat. But, more recently, as the West shot to power (thanks to science, learning, hard work, religious tolerance and organization), the creaking Ottoman Empire could not shake off its centuries-old stupor to keep up.
Enraged by failure, the Ottomans turned on their most-productive minorities - whose successes outraged yesteryear's fanatics. Beginning in the 1880s and accelerating in the 1890s, pogroms against Armenian Christians stunned Western witnesses. But European leaders turned a blind eye, just as we do today. So during the First World War, the Young Turks who had seized power decided to finish the job.
It was genocide. At least a million Armenians - perhaps twice that number - were systematically exterminated . . . although not without being tortured, raped, starved and death-marched first. The scale of the butchery was such that it obscured other, concurrent genocides, most notably that of Assyrian Christians at the hands of Turks and other Muslims. Estimates of Assyrian deaths run from just under 300,000 to one million.
Nor did the slaughters stop there. In British-created Iraq, massacres of Christians recurred from 1933 to 1961.
City names we know from our recent wars, such as Mosul, Basra or Tikrit (Saddam's home town), once were centers of Christian culture, with bishops, cathedrals and monasteries famous for learning.
Gone. And the last pale ghosts, those Christians holding on to homes their blood knew for 20 centuries, are soon to go. Meanwhile, our president assures us that "Islam's a religion of peace."
Mr. President, go to Iraq and speak those words in the bomb-torn churches amid desecrated graves.
Mr. President, go to Egypt and explain to the brutalized Copts why your embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood government's good for them.
Then go to Israel, Mr. President, where Christians worship freely, and tell the Israelis they should "return Palestinian land" after Muslims seized the homes that sheltered Jews for 3,000 years.
Explain to Jews why their temples were profaned and obliterated by the adherents of that "religion of peace."
Of course, the real tragedy for the Arabs in the last century wasn't the Naqba, Israel's close-run struggle to survive attacks by an arc of Arab armies. The tragedy was that the most-backward, intolerant and indolent Arabs, primitive tribesmen, got most of the oil wealth and used it to spread their Wahhabi cult throughout the Islamic world. The intellectuals in the great Arab cities never had a chance.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon on a long bus trip through Turkey, a country for which I have great, if frustrated, affection. All went fine amid splendid hospitality . . . until we reached the east. Along the roadsides in what had been Armenia (the first Christian kingdom, by the way) desolate villages, razed to their foundations, scarred the landscape between drab modern towns. When asked what those ruins were, a Turk would avert his eyes and mutter, "Abandoned."
Those villages weren't abandoned. They were the site of the last century's first great genocide. No one stood up for those inconvenient Christians.
And no one's standing up for the Middle East's tormented Christians now, or for the last handful of Jews left beyond Israel.
Even the dust cries for justice, and we look away.
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of the new Civil War novel, "Hell or Richmond."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Origin of the word 'Hoax'

Michelango and Jewish symbols
Tue May 28, 2013 10:53 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Salomon L Vaz Dias" Well Judith, in the Vatican they just adore magic. Is their way though a hoax?

Origin of the word 'Hoax'
The word hoax first came into popular use sometime in the middle to late eighteenth century. It is thought to have been a contraction of the word hocus from the conjuror's term hocus pocus. The term hocus pocus itself first appeared in the early seventeenth century. It might have derived from the assumed name of a conjuror in the time of King James who called himself 'The Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus' because with the performance of every trick he used to call out the nonsense phrase, "Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo" (later magicians were known to use the phrase "Hax pax max deus adimax"). This phrase was itself probably an imitation (or mockery) of the phrase used by priests of the Church of Rome when they performed the act of transubstantiation, "hoc est corpus."

We all believe whatever we believe or?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is Islam Peaceful?

Thu May 16, 2013 4:39 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Rufina Mausenbaum" bernardetti _____

From: Denese Z

German's View on Islam - worth reading. This is by far the best explanation
of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past
history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth
the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and
well-respected psychiatrist.

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a
number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people
were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward

'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of
German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who
just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back
and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had
lost control, and the end of the world had come.

My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies
destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is
the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to
live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is
entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better,
and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the
globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is
the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting
wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or
tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire
continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder,
or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is
the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims
and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to
become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent
majority,' is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of
Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were
responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority
were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese
Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people..

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering
sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia
in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million
Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can
forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the
majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our
powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because
like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the
fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans,
Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have
died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public
schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord's Prayer was
removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the
time being in our country until the fanatics move in.

In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the
most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look
at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food
items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem,
just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within
the nation's shores.

In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now
dozens of "no-go" zones within major cities across the country that the
police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the
Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group
that counts -- the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this
email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows
the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on
and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about
it, and send it on - before it's too late.

And we are silent..

Thursday, May 2, 2013


From: Arlene Kushner
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7:05 AM
To: A Kushner
Subject: From Israel: No and No!!

April 30, 2013
"No and No!!"
It gets more and more awful.  More disgusting.  More distorted.
The Times of Israel has the following headline this morning (emphasis added):
"In sea change, Arab League backs land swaps in peace talks"
A sea change is defined as a marked change or a transformation.  But what we're looking at here is nothing of the sort.
Members of the Arab League, representing seven Arab nations, met with top US officials yesterday in Washington.  The topic of discussion was the "peace process" and ways in which the Arab nations might advance it. 
After the League delegation huddled for consultations at Blair House, Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani announced "the possibility of 'comparable,' mutually agreed and 'minor' land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians."  (Emphasis added)
Note that "land swamps" are not agreed to firmly in principle.  There is a "possibility" of support for this, which means at the end of the day they might say, "Sorry, we won't do this after all."  After all, only seven of 22 nations of the League were represented here.
And even if they were to agree, in any case it would be "minor" swaps only.  Piddling. Only piddling. 
Most importantly, this entire notion is predicated upon an erroneous and unacceptable concept.
Secretary of State Kerry, who seems to have staked his entire professional (sic) reputation on succeeding with the "peace process," gushed:
�We�ve had a very positive, very constructive discussion over the course of the afternoon, with positive results...�
He praised the League for the "important role it is playing, and is determined to play, in bringing about a peace in the Middle East."
A bit of background is in order here:
The Arab League "Peace Plan" had originally been advanced by Saudi Arabia in 2002, then was adopted by the League, and subsequently "re-endorsed" by the League in 2007.  It was, and is, a horror:
If Israel will surrender all lands acquired in 1967, and provide for a "just" settlement of the Palestinian Arab refugee problem, based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194 -- which the Arab world interprets as giving the "refugees" "right of return," when in fact there is no such thing -- then the Arab world will "normalize" relations with Israel.  No specification of what normalization means re: diplomatic, security, economic interaction and ties.
Translation: If you will surrender the Temple Mount, and the Kotel, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron, and Shilo, and much more, including the Golan Heights.  And if you will return to the 1967 line [the Green Line], which, admittedly, was recognized by Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the Six Day War, as not providing a secure border.  And in addition, if you will take within your borders millions of so-called refugees, rendered radical and hostile by decades of UNRWA influence.  Then all 22 of the Arab states -- and not just "Palestine" -- will have some sort of ties with you.      
This was touted as a great opportunity for Israel, which would secure "normalization" with the whole Arab world in one fell blow.
There were to be no negotiations with this plan.  It was a take-it-or-leave-it deal.
Israel rejected it out of hand.  Israel has legitimate rights to Judea and Samaria, based on a heritage that is more than 3,000 years old, as well as legally binding resolutions in the twentieth century, notably the Mandate for Palestine. Israel will never return to the '67 line -- which, in addition to everything else, provides insufficient strategic depth for adequate security.  Resolution 242 says the final border of Israel must be determined by negotiations.  Agreeing to pull back without negotiations is not the way to go.
For years now, the Palestinian Authority and its supporters have promoted the idea that the '67 line is Israel's "real" border, and that everything on the other side "belongs" to the Palestinian Arabs.  It is a crock. A myth.  But unfortunately -- because successive Israeli governments have not been vigorous enough in countering this -- it has become accepted thinking in many places. 
It is this myth, this crock, upon which the Arab League fashioned its "peace proposal." 
And, more recently, it has been President Barack Obama who has advanced proposals based on the same myth.  Has he swallowed it whole, so that he really believes it?  There is no way to be certain, although there is ample reason to suspect so.  We only know what he says.
Obama's only deviation from the stipulation of return to the '67 line is the concept of "agreed-upon swaps" of land.  This means the principle of the '67 line as Israel's legitimate border is retained but if Israel wants to hold on to a community that, say, spreads over two square kilometers east of the line, then "Palestine" will be given two square kilometers of land west of the line, inside of Israel.  In the end, Israel will be defined by an area no greater than what rests within the '67 line.
No and no!!
For the record, and this is terribly important: the '67 line, or Green Line, was, with very minor adjustments, the 1949 armistice line.  It is the line that was drawn when Israel and Jordan stopped fighting, at the end of the War of Independence: Israel fought that war defensively, having been attacked by the Arab nations on the day she declared independence.  It is referred to as the "'67 line" because Israel was behind that line until June 1967, when the Six Day war was fought.
The armistice agreement signed between Jordan and Israel stipulated that the line was temporary and that the permanent line would be determined by negotiations.  Actually, this stipulation was put in at Jordan's insistence.  And, please, note that it WAS Jordan on the other side of the line -- the nation with which, it was presumed, Israel would ultimately negotiate. There was no talk of "Palestine" or a "Palestinian people" with whom Israel had to negotiate.  Whatever existed on the other side of the armistice line, it certainly wasn't a Palestinian state, or land defined as belonging to a Palestinian people. 
How Israel could be required to "return" Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Arabs is a genuine mystery.  The historical situation has been distorted:  It has morphed from the reality into what people of a certain political bent wish it to be.
You will be doing Israel an enormous service if you circulate this information -- this historical clarification -- as broadly as possible.
If you see reference in news sources to "Israel's '67 border," send a correction: It was never a border, it was an armistice line, and it was temporary; both the armistice agreement with Jordan and the subsequent UN Security Council Resolution 242, called for negotiations to determine Israel's final eastern border.
What I see is that Kerry went to these Arab League members and asked them for some flexibility so that he might move ahead with the infernal process. And, to his delight, they delivered.  Not only delivered, but stated themselves willing to go along with parameters outlined by the president.  
At a press conference, Kerry declared:
"The US and Arab League delegation here this afternoon agreed that peace between Israelis and Palestinians would advance security, prosperity, and stability in the Middle East. And that is a common interest for the region and the whole world..."
Well, then, it's the Arab world that sees eye-to-eye with President Obama, yes? And Israel? 
We can anticipate that the secretary will now turn to Israel with a request/a veiled demand for more "flexibility," for the sake of stability in the Middle East.  But what has been tentatively proposed is no more acceptable to Israel than the previous formulation of the Arab League plan, or only very minutely so. (Now, presumably, there would be some negotiations to determine the "minor swaps.") 
The essential premises of the plan remain as unsatisfactory, and as faulty as a basis for peace, as ever.
(With this discussion we have left aside the fact that the entire notion of Israel striking a genuine peace agreement with the PA -- a weak, totally corrupt, terrorist-supporting entity -- is nonsense.  An issue to be re-visited on another day.)
I do not, for a moment, anticipate that Israel will agree to the terms tentatively outlined by the Arab League.  But I do anticipate a huge amount of pressure coming down the road.
It never hurts to communicate to Prime Minister Netanyahu very briefly to let him know you are with him and encourage him to stand strong.

E-mail: and also (underscore after pm) use both addresses

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Maimonides as a Physician: Caring and Curing

Maimonides as physician: Caring and curing By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH Tue Apr 2, 2013 11:33 am (PDT) . Posted by: "rufina" bernardetti Maimonides as physician: Caring and curing By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH\ nd-curing-308369 An impressive English-language volume on the Rambam and his medical career has just been published, showing how he was way ahead of his time. [Maimonides] Maimonides Photo: Yair Haklai/Wikimedia Commons Centuries before the invention of the MRI and CT scans, x-rays, aspirin and antibiotics, the sphygmomanomter and even the thermometer, the medieval rabbi and philosopher Maimonides (Rambam) was a brilliant physician who treated the patient rather than the illness and espoused moderation and disease prevention. The great sage, especially during the last decade of his life as court physician to the sultan in Cairo, devoted himself to medicine and his patients and wrote 10 impressive works in Arabic including volumes on asthma, poisons and their antidotes, hemorrhoids and digestion, cohabitation and health promotion, and a glossary of drug names in Arabic, Syrian, Greek, Spanish, Persian and Berber. In recent decades, the Rambam's medical works were translated over nearly five decades into English by Jewish medical ethicist Prof. Fred Rosner of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Rosner, Prof. Samuel Kottek (emeritus professor of the history of medicine at the Hebrew University) and Prof. Kenneth Collins (medical historian of the University of Glasgow) have written and edited an excellent new book, Moses Maimonides and His Practice of Medicine. The 202-page, $30 hardcover Englishlanguage volume was published by the Maimonides Research Institute of Haifa and New York and includes chapters by 10 authorities on various aspects of the Rambam's medical work. It is a joy to read, not only for people in medicine but also the layman interested in health promotion, Jewish philosophy and history. Born in Cordoba in the Almoravid Empire (Spain) on the eve of Passover in 1135, Maimonides also lived for a time in Morocco and the Holy Land. He died in Egypt in 1204. His body was buried in Tiberias, on the shores of the Kinneret. Although he himself advocated regular and balanced meals, he worked so hard as a physician in the sultan's palace that he would arrive home in the nearby town of Fostat, exhausted and hungry, where, he said: "I would find the antechambers filled with gentiles and Jews... I would go to heal them and write prescriptions for their illnesses... until the evening... and I would be extremely weak." Some scholars have even suggested that his health declined and he died prematurely because of his endless work as a physician. Maimonides took up the profession at the age of 37 after the death at sea of his brother David, a merchant of precious stones. He needed the income to support himself and his family, including his sisterin- law and nephew, writes Britain's Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his foreword. "Why should the work of Maimonides in medical science continue to be of interest to contemporary physicians?" Sacks asks. "After all, the physics of Aristotle, and even his metaphysics, have long been surpassed, even if his writings on ethics still inspire and instruct. The first reason is his status and stature as a role model for Jewish doctors and medical scientists, indeed for all those who engage in the worked of healing as a religious act in the spirit of the biblical phrase `I am the Lord who heals you.' ...Second is the religious gravitas Maimonides ascribed to the calling of medicine. It was a strikingly bold move to include rules of health." The British chief rabbi adds that the Rambam wrote clearly why health is important to Jewish belief and practice of medicine: "Since, when the body is healthy and sound, one directs oneself towards the ways of the Lord – it being impossible to understand or know anything of the knowledge of the Creator when one is sick – it is obligatory on man to avoid things that are detrimental to the body and seek out things that fortify it." Just as a Jew must return a lost object to its owner, doctors should restore the good health of their patients, the Rambam argued. Sacks concludes that the most impressive part of Maimonides' work is its integration, the result of his unrivalled ability to "see life Creator and see it whole." Thus he was a holistic medical practitioner before the term became popular in the 20th century. MAIMONIDES LEARNED a lot about medicine and anatomy from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who established medicine as a profession and whose doctors' oath the rabbi replaced for Jewish physicians; and from Galen, the prominent Greco-Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher. The Rambam called Galen "the greatest medical scientist who ever lived." Hippocrates recommended "the drawing off of noxious humors, that diarrhea benefits eye disorders and if bald people contract large varicose veins, their hair grows back." Both of these ancient physicians made numerous errors, such as thinking the human heart has two chambers and the liver five lobes. The Rambam was willing to change his views. He "would have understood a world where medical advancement is rapid and sometimes even theories that have seemed to be well validated are speedily discarded," Collins writes in the introductory chapter. "He never claimed certainty for his own views but only that they were likely to be so, given the methods he employed and and his adherence to a scientific outlook... Always challenging, and sometimes controversial, and with very modern attributes even from our contemporary perspectives, Maimonides has much to say to physicians today." While the Rambam hardly mentions surgery, he very often discussed plants – both fruits and vegetables – to treat his patients' ills. Some, like rhubarb, were used to purge the body of harmful humors, while others were used to treat migraines, asthma, cough and constipation. Among his collection of medications were dill, fennel, fenugreek, finger, hyssop, beet juice, borax, celery, cinnamon, quince, saffron, sesame, licorice and pine nuts. K o t t e k stresses the importance the Rambam gave to having a close relationship between the doctor and patient, taking psychology into account and being careful not to harm him. If the patient doesn't trust his doctor fully, the healing process won't get far, the Rambam believed, "For each sick individual feels his heart constricted, and each healthy person feels his soul wide-spread." By this, Kottek explained, the Rambam meant the existence or lack of anxiety. He also understood the importance of the environment on the patient: "In case the sick individual is poor and lives in a place that is harmful for his disease but has nowhere else to go, he [the physician] has to remove him to another place." He even realized that asthma involves air quality. Although bloodletting was commonly used by Arab physicians as treatment, Maimonides realized it could be dangerous and urged care in using it. Health promotion was no less important to Maimonides than caring for the sick, wrote Kottek. The Rambam gave advice on "how to eat, what may be eaten and what not, how to practice exercise, to bathe, to sleep and how to have sexual intercourse." Medicine, for him, was "an art." Prof. Carmen Caballero-Navas of the department of Semitic studies at the University of Granada, notes in her chapter that Maimonides did not seem to practice gynecology, even though he treated women from the Cairo palace for ills not connected to their reproductive organs. This is not surprising, she writes, because male Arab physicians usually did not treat women. Midwives delivered babies rather than male doctors. However, Jewish physicians and rabbis had more of an understanding of female anatomy due to the importance of "impurity" (nidda) in women's menstrual cycles and the halachic rules that relate to them. The Rambam does differentiate between men (as being warm and dry) and women (as being cold and wet) and discussed the theoretical nature of women's conditions, from amenorrhea, uterine "suffocation," "phlegm in the womb," pregnancy, miscarriage and childbirth. THE DISCUSSION of nutrition and lifestyle as seen through the Rambam's eyes is as relevant today as it was in the 12th century. Prof. Elliot Berry, director of the department of human nutrition and metabolism at the Braun School of Public Health and the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, discusses this aspect along with Reut Ben-Ami, a master's degree graduate at the Hebrew University. Maimonides wrote much about keeping clean the air we breathe, observing a proper diet, and "regulating emotions, exercise, sleep and excretions." He even noted the psychosomatic aspects of asthma and the holistic approach to the disease. Just moving from Alexandria to Cairo, with its better air, improved asthma, the Rambam wrote. People should not exercise in extreme cold or heat or immediately after eating. Famously, he urged people not to overeat by getting up from the table before being satiated. Whole grains, Maimonides advised, were better for digestion than white flour, and "thick meat" should be avoided, as its digestion is "hard on the stomach." He recommended poultry as well as small saltwater fish, but did not endorse consuming large amounts of fish – apparently because there were no refrigerators, so they were preserved in salt, which he identified as not promoting health. He recommended dairy products because they are digested easily, but thought them "harmful for those suffering from headaches." He strongly endorsed fruits and vegetables as a regular part of the daily diet and drinking cool water some two hours after eating, when digestion had already begun. Dr. Helena Paavilainen, a history of pharmacology researcher at the HUHadassah Medical School, listed the many plant products that the Rambam prescribed for treating asthma and noted that modern pharmacology has validated their efficacy for controlling respiratory spasms. "Maimonides' medical legacy, rooted in the experience of generations and augmented by his own clinical experience, would be a valuable starting point for further research. His deep understanding of psychosomatic and philosophical aspects of medicine is given the appreciation it deserves," she declared. Although leprosy is given in the Bible as a spiritual disease, Maimonides differentiated in his writings between that condition resulting from slander and the dermatological condition that today is treated with antibiotics. SURELY, THE Rambam erred with regard to some medical beliefs, such as female fetuses lying on one side of the uterus and males on the other. But his knowledge and ability to diagnose were amazing. He deserved the praise given him by Rosner, who called him "one of the greatest physician-theologian-philosophers that ever lived on this earth. May his memory be blessed!"