Tuesday, July 04, 2006


the good jews

What’s happening in Palestine and specifically in gaza at this moment is very distressing. When Hamas won the election in January this year, all western aids to the Palestine state suddenly stopped. The US government in fact went one up further, it not only stopped the aid but pressured the hamas government to RETURN the already approved grants ( eg; 50 million dollars dedicated to building infrastructures on the west bank and gaza - a measly sum by American standard), and for good measure it flexed it’s muscle and bullied the powerless neighboring arab countries by preventing them from giving any monetary aids to the hamas government. So much for the US promotion of democracy in the arab world. The sad truth is, the US government has absolutely no concern about democracy in the arab world. As long as a government is ‘pro US’ it doesn’t give a damn if that government is the vilest dictatorship or corrupted up to the gills.

And now, for one ‘kidnapped’ (captured) teenage Israeli soldier, the Zionist state has found an excellent excuse to wreak havoc on the entire population of gaza and have rounded up a third of the legally elected Palestinian (hamas) parliamentarians including ministers and treating them like common criminals. And at this very moment the Israeli jets are flying bombing missions on the city of gaza and the army is threatening to invade the whole of the gaza strip again.

Oh, what a far cry from the old days when jews much rather live in muslim lands such as morocco or even Iran rather than endure anti Semitism in ‘christian’ countries or be subjected to Spanish inquisitions or Russian pogroms. Ironically and perhaps arguably the best era of jewish arab/muslim relationship was in the early nineteenth century, just a few decades before the formation of Israel when the jews and muslims lived peacefully in the place then called Palestine. They are afterall very closely related in terms of race (semites) and culture (abrahamic religions). It was during this time that one Leopold Weiss converted to Islam, took up the name of Muhammad Asad and wrote a world famous autobiography the road to mecca a must read book for any muslim university students who knows or care anything about Islam….and impressed by M Asad , Margaret Marcus, a new york Jewish girl converted to Islam, became “Maryam Jameelah” and contributed so much with her writings in defense of womens rights in Islam …these are the good jews, who surmounted their narrow jewish chauvinism and showed or tried to explain to the world the ugly side of Zionism … but sadly, with the formation of Israel and the polarization of arab and jewish political interests , the peaceful resolution seems unsurmountable now and the almost pathological hatreds that each has for the other is now too far gone and may be realistically impossible to overcome, at least not in the near future…

On a brighter note…

… a couple of weeks back I received a paperback The Orientalist , from an american friend, a book by an author who was until then unknown to me…one Tom Reiss, a book which is part biography, part travelogue (in Caucasus/Azerbaijan) part literary mystery about a now completely forgotten Jewish man Lev Nussimbaum who lived in Azerbaijan in the early nineteenth century, converted to Islam at the age of 18 , wrote a famous novel Ali and Nino under a very imaginative pseudonym Said Kurban . Ali and Nino (which I must look for some day soon) is about the only book available in English in Baku that anybody who backpack to Baku in the eighties ever read….and now that I’m absorbed with his quite fascinating adventure (the orientalist) , a rich life that intertwined in some ways with Mussolini , erza pound among others…. And looks like I have to leave aside the book I’m currently reading, gunther grass’ crabwalk’ for a while…..

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?