Thursday, January 30, 2020

Someone Had It Right in 1921

June 14, 1921,
House of Commons,

From Colonel Josiah Wedgwood's speech -

...I naturally subscribe to everything that the Noble Lord opposite and the right hon. Gentleman have said about Sir Herbert Samuel. Both the right hon. Gentleman and the Noble Lord have imbibed in their stay in Palestine some of the atmosphere of that country. No doubt since the Armistice, or perhaps before it, the military atmosphere there was anti-Jew and pro-Arab. They moved in the society of the effendis, the ex-Turkish officials owning large acres; the old lords of the country. They liked them. They got on with them. They listened to their views, and when the Noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman get up in this House and tell us what are the views of the Arabs about the Jews, how bitterly hostile they are, they are voicing the views of the Arab effendis, the old officials of the Turkish Government. These people hate the Jews, and for a perfectly good and sufficient reason. The Jews go in from Rumania, Russia, Poland, and go in not only as Jews but as outposts of Labour ideals, of Western ideas of civilisation, they plant themselves down in Palestine. The first thing the Jew does is to start a trade union. The next thing he does is to try and get the uneducated and unskilled Arabs to join him in raising wages. There is nothing on earth that any governing class hate more than the ignorant, stupid, slavish proletariat getting ideas as to what wages it ought to get. These wretched Jews, these Bolshevik Jews, start telling the Arabs they ought to get more wages when they are working on Government contracts. Hitherto the effendis have had the time of their lives, getting the Arabs to work for them and swindling them of their pay. This sort of thing has gone on in these Eastern countries for countless centuries. Now that the westernised Jews go into the country and teach that this is not what the working classes ought to put up with the effendis do not like it. They pass it on to the Noble Lord (Earl Winterton) at dinner. The officers of the British Army burn with zeal when they think of it. Naturally, of course, they, like the effendis, like to get their labour cheap; they do not like these new ideas; their life becomes more expensive.

Sir F. BANBURY Do not the Jews get their labour cheap in Russia at the present time: they pay nothing at all?

Colonel WEDGWOOD The right hon. Baronet does not understand. The Jews here are an Eastern race. The Jews in Palestine are the pioneers of Western civilisation, breaking in upon the immemorial slumber of the ages. It is these horrible new Europeans that are the victims of the pogroms! It is not the Arab cultivator that hates them. He works in with the Jews quite nicely, is good friends with the Jews and does not quarrel with them. The Noble Lord, I think, really ought to know that most of the Arabs are pastoral, not cultivators. They wander to and fro on the earth, and are not likely to be injured by close connection with the Jewish element. It is not the poor country Arab at all who counts for much. The people who count are these financial Arabs who have been in the custom of swindling the inhabitants of Palestine. They hire the cheap labour, and are in favour of killing off the new agitators and emigrants. All these things work up together, and the effendi uses, them for his own purpose to stir up the low class Arab into murdering the Jews—and that is the history of pogroms all over the world.

§Mr. ORMSBY-GORE The hon. and gallant Gentleman refers to the Levantines.

§Colonel WEDGWOOD The Levantine in a red fez. He stirs up the "black hundreds" to butcher the Jews, and on the first occasion of these riots the Government immediately stopped the influx of more Jews into Palestine. That is the worst possible policy to pursue. That is putting a premium on the pogroms. If you stop more Jews going in, that is exactly what the effendis want—to keep Palestine a preserve for the old ideas. When you give these people what they want in return for murdering the Jews you are likely to require more than 5,000 troops there. Unfortunately, Sir Herbert Samuel gave in to the Arabs. I hope if he has to choose again he will pay a little less attention to the evidence that is being concocted to prove that Jewish agitators 309and Bolsheviks came straight from Lenin at Moscow.

There is one way in which you can protect the Jews without throwing any administrative charge upon the revenues or the taxpayer of this country, and without increasing the garrison of 5,000 English troops; and that is by simply allowing the Jews to form a defensive force of their own. They had an excellent regiment during the War. That regiment did admirable service. At the end of the War the military administration, as it then was in Palestine, immediately disbanded it. Let them form their own regiments. The Palestinian Jews and the Zionist organisation are perfectly prepared themselves to find the money for the equipment for the troops. Give them a chance to defend their own settlements and we shall hear much less of this danger spot in the East. It is not necessary to fear that they will attack the Arabs. The Jews are a most peaceable people. They know the minority is always unwise to attack the majority. At the present time all the police of that country are Arabs. These Arab police stimulate others to assist in massacring the Jewish inhabitants. The danger for the Jews is very real. I submit to the Government they should take every step they can to assist in the formation of territorial forces to protect the Jews, and at the same time to relieve the taxpayers of this country from an expense which otherwise will fall upon their shoulders. Meanwhile the right hon. Gentleman has my blessing. I could wish that years ago he had been appointed to the Colonial Office instead of the War Office. We might have saved millions at both offices. Wherever he is he becomes the stormy petrel for his own department, and I cannot help thinking that it would be well that the rest of the Government should come to take his new view, that after all, peace is the principal necessity for the inhabitants of this country.


Friday, January 24, 2020

A Letter Sent But Not Published

To the Jerusalem Post Magazine:

There is a pitfall is writing a negative letter about a book based only on a review column while not even leafing through the book and I fear Marion Reiss has taken a tumble (Letter, Dec. 20). She is angry at Janet Levy for noting Rafael Medoff's charge against President Roosevelt that he was antisemitic, Reiss calling it "gratuitous" and without "substantiation". 

But Medoff's The Jews Should Keep Quiet does indeed prove it from FDR's own writings and decisions. It's all in the book and he has published portions of his factual proof in columns even in the JPost which she also seems not to have read.

Worse, she discounts the claim based on one act of kindness Eleanor Roosevelt did for her aunt. Mrs. Roosevelt was her own person and often disagreed with her husband's policies, especially regarding Jews and Israel. is Moreover, Reiss surely knows FDR was a philanderer who carried on an affair with his secretary Lucy Mercer. There was Marguerite 'Missy' LeHand and Dorothy Schiff as well. Is that the type of person an Orthodox woman really would presume couldn't be an anti-Semite?

Can I suggest Reiss be civil, cease hurling epithets and search out historical accuracy by at least reading Medoff's book?

BTW, Marion Reiss is a frequent letter-to-the-editor writer at the paper.


How Helpful was the British Mandate?

I have just managed to read the introductory chapter of  Matthew Hughes' "Britain's Pacification of Palestine: The British Army, the Colonial State, and the Arab Revolt, 1936-1939 (Cambridge Military Histories) and discovered the name  el-Asi, the nom de plume of Assistant District Commissioner Aubrey Lees. He served in various administrative offices during 1929-1938 in Haifa, Gaza, Hebron and Jaffa dealing with matters of land settlement.

Lees was kicked out of the Mandate administration for his too pro-Palestinien Arab views and for criticizing the Palestinian Government's attitude towards alleged Jewish atrocities and he was eventually imprisoned by Britian during World War II as a fascist. In 1939 he was accused of expressing anti-Semitic views and refused a reappointment back in Palestine and he continued his anti-Semitism in England.

Hughes, quoting an internal US Consulate General report from January 11, 1930 (867N.00/77-330 [Reel M#1037/1], NARA II), notes there were many British Mandate officials who had 'no real sympathy' for Jewish claims to Palestine and felt an injustice was being donw to the local Arabs. That is a repeat of the 1918-1920 period when British Military Government officers, before the Mandate was in place, almost succeeded in sabotaging the Jewish national home project at its start, including prodding Arabs to riot and kill Jews.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Quran and the Jewish Temple

Did you know that the Quran confirms the existence of the Jewish Temples?

Here, at Sura 17:7

Whenever you did good, it was to your own advantage; and whenever you committed evil, it was to your own disadvantage. So, when the time of the fulfillment of the second promise arrived, (We raised other enemies that would) disfigure your faces and enter the Temple (of Jerusalem) as they had entered the first time, and destroy whatever they could lay their hands on

And here are excerpts from a commentary,:

The historical background of the second degeneration and its chastisement is as follows: The moral and religious fervor with which the Maccabees had started their movement gradually cooled down and was replaced by love of the world and empty external form. A split appeared among them and they themselves invited the Roman General, Pompey, to come to Palestine. Pompey turned his attention to this land in 63 B.C. By taking Jerusalem he put an end to the political freedom of the Jews. But the Roman conquerors preferred to rule their dominions through the agency of the local chiefs rather than by direct control. Therefore, a local government was set up in Palestine which eventually passed into the hand of Herod, a clever Jew, in 40 B.C. This ruler is well known as Herod the Great. He ruled over the entire Palestine and Jordan from 40 to 4 B.C. On the one hand, Herod patronized the religious leaders to please the Jews, and on the other, he propagated the Roman culture and won the goodwill of Caesar by showing his loyalty and faithfulness to the Roman Empire. During, his reign, the Jews degenerated and fell to the lowest ebb of moral and religious life.

...In order to have a correct estimate of the condition of the common Jews and their religious leaders, one should study the criticisms leveled by Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) on them in his sermons contained in the four Gospels...when Pontius Pilate asked these depraved people, which condemned prisoner he should release, according to the custom, at Passover, Jesus or Barabbas the robber, they all cried with one voice Barabbas. This was indeed the last chance Allah gave to the Jews, and then their fate was sealed.

Not long after this, a serious conflict started between the Jews and the Romans, which developed into an open revolt by the former between A.D. 64 and 66. Both Herod Agrippa II and the Roman procurator Floris failed to put down the rebellion. At last, the Romans crushed it by a strong military action and in A.D. 70 Titus took Jerusalem by force. About 133000 people were put to the sword. Sixty seven thousand made slaves, and thousands sent to work in the Egyptian mines and to other cities so that they could be used in amphitheaters for being torn by wild beasts or become the practice target for the sword fighters. All the tall and beautiful girls were picked out for the army of conquest and the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Temple were pulled down to the ground. After this the Jewish influence so disappeared from Palestine that the Jews could not regain power for two thousand years and the Holy Temple could never be rebuilt. Afterward the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, restored Jerusalem but renamed it Aelia. The Jews, however, were not allowed to enter it for centuries. This was the calamity that the Jews suffered on account of their degeneration for the second time.

Jewish history, Jewish sovereignty confirmed.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

An Academic, Betar and the Jews of Shanghai

I asked Steven Hochstadt if in his new book on Jewish life in Shanghai he edited there is mention of Betar and/or the Revisionists.

He replied

I'm not sure if you saw that I replied in the comment space to my article, but here it is again. The new book, A Century of Jewish Life in Shanghai, is a collection of articles about all the Jewish communities in Shanghai. I'm afraid there is nothing about Betar, although I know that a number of younger Jews in Shanghai joined that group before they went to Israel.

Within five minutes of a Google search, I sent him this:

The Jews of China: v. 1: Historical and Comparative Perspectives by Jonathan Goldstein and Benjamin I. Schwartz from p. 75 - picture and summary  - passing mentions
My China: Jewish Life in the Orient, 1900-1950 By YaŹ¼acov Liberman  p.  122  - picture - picture
and that's a 5 minute Google search.
Did you search the Jabotinsky Institute archives?

And there's more.

Much more.

A book (!) on Betar in China.



I think this is amazing:

Danny Rosing
Betar in Sydney, Australia, was started by Betarim from Shanghai and Tientsin who came there from China in the 1950's, after the communist takeover of China. Betar apparently was the only Zionist youth movement in China.

I joined Betar in Sydney in 1953 after meeting some of these Betarim from China at the University of Sydney. 

Since leaving Palestine at the age of 10 I knew I would return one day but I was not a Zionist, most of my friends were not Jewish and I did not feel I had much in common with the Jewish community; but then one day, at the university, I overheard this group of strange students who were discussing what was going on in Israel and they knew more about my country than I did, So I asked them how they knew so much about Israel and they told me they had lately come from China where they grew up in Betar and, if I wanted to hear more, I should come to the Betar meeting on Sunday, which I did, out of curiosity.

The girls were beautiful, there was a heated discussion about whether Yasha Heifetz should have played Wagner in Israel and then we played soccer.

What else could an 18 year old Israeli want?

So I kept coming to the Betar meetings, when 70% of the members were ex Shanghai and Tientsin Betarim

Sunday, January 12, 2020

"Palestine" "Occupied" in a Good Sense

The term "occupation" is applied to Israel's administration of Judea and Samaria (and previously Gaza) to denigrate and to malign. It is used pejoratively.

Actually, "belligerent occupation" is a simple technical term in international law meaning territory obtained as a result of armed conflict. It is not that the occupation is inherently belligerent but rather that it came about through hostilities. In the case of 1967, Israel's war was one of self-defense and it had been a legitimate response in the face of Egyptian aggressive acts and intentions as well as those of the Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, which had begun terror incursions of Israel from January 1965.

Reviewing historical material on the San Remo Conference, the centenary of which is in three months time, I came across this document in which America's Ambassador to Italy reports on his participation at the conference and read the underlined words:

The session was "occupied with [the awarding to Great Britain a] mandate for Palestine" for the purposes of reconstituting the Jewish national home.

So, occupation isn't always a negative.


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Monty Python and the Jewish Swastika Star Symbol

Looking for the famous Judean Suicide Squad scene from Monty Python's "Life of Brian", I came upon a claip of deleted scenes, of which I knew not.

And what do I see?

The squad is a Nazi/Teutonic groupos of racists (demanding doing away with all "the scum of non-Jewish people", seeking to Hail the Leader, "The Leader who will save Israel by ridding it of the scum of non-Jewish people, making it pure! No foreigners; no riff-raff; no gypsies" here at 9:15).  

When the commander finds out they faked their suicide he calls them "non-Semitic racially impure".

And on their helmets?

See for yourselves:

Researching, I found another source.