Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Lesson on 'How to think like Said Arikat'

There is nothing like an extensive example of Said Arikat's questioning at the State Department to exhibit how PPPPs (pro-Palestine propaganda proponents) think and how they insert wrong assumptions, untruths and misrepresentations into their questioning. Mehdi Hasan, of course, is another.

Here is from
the State Department Press Briefing of January 30, 2024 (the boldface I have added):-

MR MILLER: Go ahead, Said.

QUESTION: Thank you. Actually, on both points. But on this particular one, I mean, Israel occupies the whole West Bank. They are under their control. They don’t need to disguise themselves as medics and go into a hospital and kill people, which you called non-civilians. They are actually civilians, but that’s beside the point. So —

MR MILLER: I – so that is very much – but hold on.

QUESTION: Just allow me. Allow me just to follow up.

MR MILLER: No, Said, but before you call someone a civilian that Israel has said is a member of Hamas, I need to put on the record that that is very much a question that’s in dispute.

QUESTION: There are civilian members of Hamas; it’s a political organization. I mean, you may disagree with their politics, but that does not make them militants, right? Or —

MR MILLER: I would very much —


MR MILLER: I would very much disagree with that, Said.

QUESTION: That is —

MR MILLER: They’re a terrorist organization as have been —

QUESTION: Right, but that —

MR MILLER: — have been designated by the United States of America.

QUESTION: Right, but that’s an accusation of the occupier, a military occupier. They are making the accusation. I want to ask you: Is that a conduct befitting a state or a group of gangsters to go in and kill people, assassinate them as they sat in their beds?


QUESTION: Is that the conduct of a state? Will the United States ever do something like this under similar circumstances?

MR MILLER: So, Said, I am going to first of all note for the record, because it is important to note for the record, that Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the brutal murder of 1,200 people on October 7th and —

QUESTION: We’re talking about the Bank, the West Bank. We’re talking about the West Bank, not Gaza.

MR MILLER: — and there are members of Hamas – and there are members of Hamas in the West Bank. And in addition to carrying out the brutal murder —


MR MILLER: — of 1,200 people on October 7th, has hid behind civilians in Gaza and been responsible for the death of many, many Palestinian civilians who they use as human shields. So before we talk about the people who died in this operation, I think it’s important to talk about who Hamas is, and it is not just – it is not a political organization, Hamas. It is – or Said. It is a terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist acts to kill civilians and has said it wants to continue to carry out those terrorist acts over and over again, and that context is important because Israel has the right to carry out antiterrorism operations to bring members of Hamas to justice. But as I said, we want them to be carried out in full —

QUESTION: I am asking you —

MR MILLER: Said, let me finish – in full compliance with international humanitarian law.

QUESTION: I’m asking you: Is this a conduct befitting a state that controls every single person in that whole territory?

MR MILLER: We think it is appropriate that they have the ability to bring members of Hamas to justice.

QUESTION: Fair enough, fair enough. That’s your answer.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Peace Requires Reeducation

Imagine this being proposed after hostilities with Hamas in Gaza, and then extended to the areas of Judea and Samaria to include Fatah:

On September 15, 2045, which is exactly one month after the announcement of the defeat in the war, the Palestinian government through the minister of education issued the ‘Education Policy Guidelines for the Development of New Palestine,’ which contain 11 work guidelines:

1. Education aims to broaden insights and knowledge, improve the ability to think scientifically, foster a spirit of peace-loving, and improve people's morality. 

2. Erasing all subjects related to the military; all teaching and research must be focused on peaceful purposes. 

3. Revised the textbooks so that the contents are in accordance with the new education policy. 

4. The Ministry of Education organized a re-education program for teachers, to understand the new education policy. 

5. Giving special learning opportunities for students who had been deployed to the battlefield or to the factory, which forced them to drop out of school. 

6. Scientific education aimed to train the ability to think scientifically and not just to pursue temporary interests. 

7. To foster high morality and broad-minded people, it was necessary to increase education outside of school for adults and workers, through public facilities such as public libraries and museums, as well as utilizing media such as painting exhibitions, theater shows, publishing popular science books, etc. 

8. Facilitating the formation of local youth groups, as a forum for communication and fostering social solidarity. 

9. Sought interfaith cooperation to foster friendship and world peace. 

10. Facilitating sports competition events to improve physical and spiritual health, as well as fostering the spirit of fair play and friendship among the nation's children and between the people of Palestine and other citizens. 

11. Restructuring the ministry of education to form the directorate of sports and directorate of scientific education.

A great dream, yes. Wild? Improbable?

Well, that text actually exists. But it was dated in the year 1945. And instead of Palestine and Palestinian, it read Japan and Japanese.

Think about that.

Source:  Journal of Strategic and Global Studies | Volume 2, Number 2, July 2019


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Non-Published Letter to the London Review of Books

Sent on November 20th:

Manal A. Jamal, writing in her blog post, "On Non-Violent Resistance" (LRB, 17 Nov 2023), asserts that "from the beginning, non-violent resistance has been central to the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom.". Unlike clinging to the truth in Orwell's "1984", Professor Jamal would rather we go mad, adopt the process of continuous alteration and cling to the untruth. She purports a fantasy as history.

In 1851, after having purchased property in Jerusalem's Old City so as to rebuild the Hurva Synagogue , which Arab creditors burned down in 1721, Rabbi Avraham Tzoref was axed by an Arab and died three months afterwards on September 16. In August 1890, Yisrael Rozeman was shot and killed while on guard duty in Gedera. Another over two dozen Jews were killed by Arabs on the background of their "resistance" to Jewish settlement all prior to the Balfour Declaration.

During the three decades of British Mandate rule, Arabs violently and murderously rioted against Jews in April 1920, May and November 1921, August 1929 and then April 1936 until May 1939 killing almost 900 Jews in additionn to pillaging, burning homes and agricultural produce as well as raping. More instances of individual murders occurred in between those outbursts. Many instances of mutilation are recorded. Arabs seeking an alternative route of opposition to Zionism were eliminated in dozens of internal assassinations on the orders of the Mufti Amin Al-Husseini.

Mubarak Awad aside, who I met and discussed his politics, there has been no significant non-violent campaign of resistance by any influential Arab personality or organization, official or civil society based in over a century and a half.

Yisrael Medad

Friday, January 12, 2024

Did Israel 'Emerge' in 'Ancient Palestine'?

In a review of Emanuel Pfoh's "The Emergence of Israel in Ancient Palestine: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives" by Jeremy Hutton you can find this theory gaining a grip on the academic discourse - and soon to be mass discourse: increasingly vocal contingent has challenged the critical theory (/theories) of historiography employed by traditional historical-critical approaches to the biblical text...Emanuel Pfoh steps into the gap and offers his own terms for peace with this book...itself is a methodologically and theoretically grounded study of how one might begin to write about “the emergence of Israel in ancient Palestine.”

...The author marshals critical historiographic theory, state formation theory, and other anthropological models in an attempt to deal “specifically with Israel’s origins and the question of statehood in Palestine”.  Throughout this introduction Pfoh positions himself as a proponent of “alternative historical explanations of what happened in Iron Age I Palestine in regard to ‘Israel’ ” (emphasis added). This effort comes as nothing surprising in the field of “biblical historiography” (construed loosely as the total combined subsets of biblical scholars, historians, archaeologists, Egyptologists, and Assyriologists who concern themselves with the reconstruction of the history of an ethnic group in the Southern Levant known as “Israel”)...he seeks “to assess the changing historical nature of the entity called ‘Israel’ as a product of contemporary history-writing” through both a review of the various proposals for understanding Israel’s emergence in Palestine (conquest, pastoral infiltration, etc.) and a sharpening of the “minimalist” critique of traditional biblical historiography....of Israel, Pfoh attempts to justify the critical historians’ foundational premise that “we cannot speak of Israel in history without firm evidence, and we cannot base our image of historical Israel on the biblical Israel that dwells in the Old Testament”...

...we have little or no access into the Bible’s meaningfulness within the original social context of its production. Because the historical narratives’ “intention is not historical,” “one cannot deem [them] historiographic” either...

...Pfoh attempts to deconstruct the putative relationship between the various “Israels” known from the ancient epigraphic texts. Pfoh dismisses as skewed any archaeological interpretations of the data that may be linked to the biblical text (e.g., A. Faust’s connection—hardly new with Faust—between
“the absence of pig bones in the Iron I highlands” and Israelite identity; 165; cf. 166–67).  Instead, Pfoh argues that the name “Israel”—if that is in fact what the Mernepta Stela says—“had survived afterwards in the territory and was adopted—from the ninth century on—by people living in the highlands” (172). Moreover, because “[e]thnic consciousness is… "retrospective” and “historiography … defines and creates ethnicity,” we have no access to the identity of early Judaism’s namesake Israel. There follows an outline of what we can know (from epigraphic remnants) or reconstruct (on the basis of archaeology and social-scientific theory) about the genesis and organization of the earliest known polity in the Iron Age II southern Levant: the Bīt-Humriya. This history, however, is not accessible through the biblical text, since “it is during the later periods of however, is not accessible through the biblical text, since “it is during the later periods of ancient Palestine’s history, the Persian and the Graeco-Roman, that we find the proper context in which biblical Israel was created”.

In his “Concluding Reflections” (188–94), Pfoh wraps up a number of independent lines of argumentation that have been touched upon through the course of the study. In a few pages, Pfoh defends himself (and implicitly his congeners) from charges of anti-Semitism and nihilism. But the more salient threads of this short summary are tied together around the theme of epistemology: comparison of the historical reconstruction and the biblical text proceed “only at the final stage of research, but such an endeavour must never aim to achieve a harmonization or an historical corroboration of ancient mythic images,” since doing so “simply misses the point of the original intention [of the biblical text] because of the mixing of logical categories”. “Mythic traditions are rationally unfalsifiable, they just cannot be tested, not because they may not be confirmed by historical or archaeological data—which they are sometimes!—but because they are
created by a different mentality, by another episteme, which never should be confused or blended with our own”...

Sunday, January 07, 2024

"Disproving", Well, Everything Jewish

Historian and researcher Issam Sakhnin (1938-2019) has had a third edition of his book, “Jerusalem: Hijacked History and Forged Antiquities” published by Al-A’idoun Publishing and Distribution House in Amman. His biography includes that Sakhnini contributed to the establishing of the “Palestinian Research Center” in Beirut in 1965, and served as Deputy Director General of the Center between 1971 and 1978. 

The biography relates he "sought to collect documents related to the Arab-Zionist conflict, prepare field studies and research on the Palestinian issue, and spread knowledge of the Israeli enemy in Palestinian and Arab circles.

One of his books, “The Holy Crime: Genocide from the Ideology of the Hebrew Book to the Zionist Project” (2012), presents a reading of the Zionist project, based on an analysis of its genocidal structure, whether in its origins, purpose, process, or outcomes. The Zionist project is a colonial/settler project based on the doctrine of genocide. Moreover, "the roots of the Jewish faith [are] represented by the blood-soaked God Yahweh, who commands his disciples to shed blood and annihilate other humans and animals as well. He also addresses the Zionist genocide discourse, which borrows the provisions of Jewish law to justify the genocide that it committed, and continues to commit, against the Palestinian Arabs. Ethnic cleansing is an essential feature of the Zionist discourse".

In “Jerusalem has a hijacked history and forged antiquities” Al-Sakhnini "refutes Zionism’s claims". The book, which was published as part of the publications of the Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs, Dr. Sakhnin "reveals the distortions, falsifications, and falsifications that befell the history of Jerusalem, beginning with the stories of the Hebrew Bible and continuing with the myths founding the foundation of contemporary Zionist thought."

The book came in four chapters. The first discussed the falsification of the history of Palestine in general, in order to understand the dimensions of the falsification of the history of Jerusalem and the sources and references of this falsification. The second chapter was devoted to researching the myths and legends from which the forged history of Jerusalem was derived and the facts that archeology has revealed that contradict it. These are basically myths. In the third chapter, Sakhnini discussed the issue of the “Temple” as it is in the riddles and riddles that were invented and whose futility modern research shows, and in the fourth chapter he discussed the processes of forging antiquities with the intention of proving the authenticity of stories about the city’s history.

Secretary-General of the Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Kanaan, wrote an introduction to the book in which he says, “The book by history professor Dr. Issam Sakhnin is a “true scientific and historical treasure.” It embodies the saying, “From your mouth I condemn you.” In this book, Sakhnin refutes the claims of Zionism that aim to Complete control over all aspects of community life in the Holy City and its Islamic sanctities.”

Kanaan continued, “Sakhnini, in this book, exposes and exposes all the Zionist plans and Israel’s policy that aims to Judaize the city of Jerusalem with the aim of imposing “new facts and data,” enabling it to perpetuate its occupation of Jerusalem and perpetuate its usurpation so that it remains a unified and eternal capital of Zionism, in contravention of international law and relevant international legitimacy resolutions. The connection to the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem.

He points out that the issue of Jerusalem, in its past, present and future history, was the focus of attention of the Arab and Islamic nations in particular, and of all those who love peace in the world in general. It was self-evident that the Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs would work to direct those with pens, bright minds, and scientific and research abilities and capabilities, towards studying Sources that serve the cause of Jerusalem, and keep it alive in the Arab and Islamic mind and conscience, generation after generation, until it returns to its Arab people, the legitimate owners of the right, as it has always been throughout history.

Kanaan believes that Jerusalem has continued to occupy a prominent place in the mind and conscience of the Arab and Islamic worlds. It was and still is the focus of interest of researchers and historians who have dealt with it through monitoring, research and analysis in all its historical, anthropological, demographic and spiritual dimensions, relying in this on the most important books, references and the results of Arab and foreign archaeological investigations, ancient and modern. .

Dr. Sakhnini, in the introduction to the book, emphasizes that the intention of this book is not to present an ancient history of the city of Jerusalem, as the breadth of this chronological history, with its unparalleled rich diversity, cannot be comprehended in such a book, which is limited in size. Rather, “what we aimed for from this book was to reveal the distortions, falsifications, and falsifications that occurred in the history of Jerusalem, which began with the stories of the Hebrew Bible, and continued with the myths founding the foundations of contemporary Zionist thought.

In this context, a replacement occupation invasion took place on this history, with its temporal and spatial memories, and all the facts witnessed in the city’s past were excluded from it if they contradicted the narratives of those stories and legends, or were forcibly silenced, or were falsified and terribly deviated from their historical meanings.” .

Sakhnini confirms that the focus of the book is “forgery operations,” indicating that it may be in the form of an introduction to rewriting the history of ancient Jerusalem, getting rid of myths and legends, and relying exclusively on what modern sciences provide, especially the sciences of archeology and anthropology, of means by which Access to historical truth. Pointing out that he benefited from the data of archeology and the historical facts it reveals, but without delving into his techniques, in order to destroy all that mythical heritage in which he placed the ancient history of Jerusalem in its chains.

Sakhnini says, “No history has been subjected to falsification as the history of ancient Palestine in general and the history of Jerusalem in particular has been subjected to it,” indicating that “history in one of its meanings is the past, but the past here is not what has passed and gone with its ancient time, but rather it is an extended, untruncated past that flows.” In the present, he creates its content, features, and signs that indicate it, so that the past becomes the present, articulated on its feet and attached to all its aspects.

He points out that Zionism started from this understanding, and its concern was to own and monopolize the past, because whoever owns the past owns the present and the future as well. Palestine's past or ancient history is what is concerned here. That history, as is the objective, scientific view of it, which is consistent with the Arab view, is rich in its ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity, as the Canaanites, Edomites, and ancient Palestinians succeeded in its era.

Sakhnini believes that Zionism has stripped all of that rich past of its historicity, indicating that the history of ancient Palestine, which it wants to be its present and future as well, is the history formulated by “biblical” tales and legends that separated the history of ancient Palestine into stages that are exclusively the stages of the history of the children of Israel in it.

He says that Zionism sought to exclude the name Palestine from geographical-historical memory, and replaced it with the name “Land of Israel.” This was based on the premise that made the name have a political-ideological function whose goal was to show an alleged connection extending throughout history, linking the Jews to this place in their past, present, and future. More than that, this connection in the custom of Zionism, with its contents derived from Jewish theology, is a manifestation of a divine will that willed there to be a predestined relationship between four hypostases: “the God of Israel, the children of Israel, the land of Israel, and the history of the children of Israel.” .

Sakhnini concluded that no history has ever been subjected to the Jewish robberies that the ancient history of Palestine was subjected to, and thus Zionism actively sought to silence it, considering that a necessary condition for owning it, and thus owning the present and the future, and for monopolizing the land that is the geographical framework of that history. In these robberies, Zionism reaped a valuable spoil by granting it a right to present Palestine, based on an alleged history, and in recognition of its possession of the place on which a state was created.


Saturday, January 06, 2024

Rudyard Kipling Visits Mandate Palestine 1929


and an interrupted repaste:


A copy of the unpublished private edition was given to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in October 1943, with instructions not to make the gift public. ‘The Burden of Jerusalem’ is reproduced here with the same punctuation and in the same format as it appeared in the privately bound volume.

I was working through files from the Roosevelt library (, which has a large amount of letters online, when I noticed a note by Churchill.

I was immediately intrigued and wondered what it was that Churchill didn’t want to be made public. I looked around the net and the only reference I could find was in usenet where some silly people had mentioned the Poems and they seem to have appeared in a Christopher Hitchens book about 1990. I emailed some Kipling people and one was kind enough to post me photocopies from one of the copies of them, talked about in the Churchill-Roosevelt correspondence, that he possessed. I think this is the first time the poems [with ‘A Chapter of Proverbs’] have appeared in full online. The majority of Kipling fans seem to be in ignorance of their existence and I am not sure if they have appeared elsewhere in print since 1990. I think their historical importance is clear.
David Noone


But Abram said unto Sarai, “Behold
thy maid is in thy hand. Do to
her as it pleaseth thee.” And
when Sarai dealt hardly with her
she fled from her face.
                 Genesis XVI.6.

In ancient days
     and deserts wild
There rose a feud –
     still unsubdued –
’Twixt Sarah’s son
     and Hagar’s child
That centred round Jerusalem.

(While underneath
     the timeless bough
Of Mamre’s oak,
     mid stranger-folk
The Patriarch slumbered
     and his spouse
Nor dreamed about Jerusalem).

For Ashmael lived
     where he was born,
And pastured there
     in tents of hair
Among the Camel
     and the Thorn –
Beersheba, south Jerusalem.

But Israel sought
     employ and food
At Pharoah’s knees,
     till Rameses
Dismissed his plaguey multitude,
     with curses,
Toward Jerusalem.

Across the wilderness
     they came,
And launched their horde
     o’er Jordan’s ford,
And blazed the road
     by sack and flame
To Jebusite Jerusalem.

Then Kings and Judges
     ruled the land,
And did not well by Israel,
     Till Babylonia took a hand,
And drove them from Jerusalem.

And Cyrus sent them back anew,
     To carry on as they had done,
Till angry Titus overthrew
     The fabric of Jerusalem.

Then they were scattered
     north and west,
While each Crusade
     more certain made
That Hagar’s vengeful
     son possessed
Mohamedan Jerusalem.

Where Ishmael held
     his desert state,
And framed a creed
     to serve his need. –
     God is Great!”
He preached it in Jerusalem.

And every realm
     they wandered through
Rose, far or near,
     in hate or fear,
And robbed and tortured,
     chased and slew,
The outcasts of Jerusalem.

So ran their doom –
     half seer, half slave –
And ages passed,
     and at the last
They stood beside
     each tyrant’s grave,
And whispered of Jerusalem.

We do not know
     what God attends
The Unloved Race
     in every place
Where they amass
     their dividends
From Riga to Jerusalem;

But all the course
     of Time makes clear
To everyone
     (except the Hun)
It does not pay to interfere
With Cohen from Jerusalem.

For, ‘neath the Rabbi’s
     curls and fur
(Or scents and rings
     of movie-Kings)
The aloof,
     unleavened blood of Ur,
Broods steadfast on Jerusalem.

Where Ishmael bides
     in his own place –
A robber bold,
     as was foretold,
To stand before
     his brother’s face –
The wolf without Jerusalem:

And burthened Gentiles
     o’er the main
Must bear the weight
     of Israel’s hate
Because he is not
     brought again
In triumph to Jerusalem.

Yet he who bred the
     unending strife
And was not brave
     enough to save
The Bondsmaid from
     the furious wife,
He wrought thy woe, Jerusalem!

...The following is by David Richards, an American Kipling collector and the author of a new bibliography of Rudyard Kipling, to be published by Oak Knoll Press in 2006.

I have a little privately bound typescript book, supposedly (and I believe) printed by Alfred Webb-Johnson, who operated on Kipling in October 1931, and is said to have “edited” ‘Something of Myself’ (a claim doubted by Professor Pinney, as I remember). This book, a small 8vo titled in gilt only on the spine and bound in dark blue half-calf with marble endpapers, is comprised of 16 leaves. ‘The Burden of Jerusalem’ is leaves 4-8, and ‘A Chapter of Proverbs’ is leaves 9-13, with 32 numbered proverbs, ending with the note “An unpublished item by Rudyard Kipling, and given to me by Mrs. Kipling. Copy in the British Museum.” This is followed by Webb-Johnson’s signature. ‘The Burden of Jerusalem’ is present in the British Library (BL Add MS 45680 f. 155-56, typescript, two leaves, rectos only, seventeen 4-line stanzas, annotated “to follow ‘The Peace of Dives’”) in a typescript copy with a letter from Webb-Johnson dated 12 August 1940 saying that the poem was meant for publication but withheld by Mrs. Kipling. There is another copy at the Royal College of Surgeons, with ‘A Chapter of Proverbs’ and bound with correspondence regarding these items (Webb-Johnson to Winston Churchill, 28 July 1943; Churchill to Webb-Johnson, 1 August 1943 and 12 October 1943, and a copy of a letter from Webb-Johnson to Franklin Roosevelt, 14 October 1943).

The first letter to Churchill states that Webb-Johnson had given copies of ‘The Burden of Jerusalem’ to Queen Mary and the British Library, and there are copies in the Churchill College Cambridge and Roosevelt (Hyde Park NY) Libraries. ‘A Chapter of Proverbs’ is also among the Kipling Papers at Sussex University (25/4). The Royal Library, Windsor, contains a calligraphic MS of ‘Burden,’ including an epigraph from Genesis, made for Webb-Johnson as a birthday present for Queen Mary, transcribed in 1914 from a copy sent to Webb-Johnson by Carrie Kipling. Stanzas 1 and 14 were first published in Carrington’s biography of Kipling in 1955, at p. 498, and are reprinted in Harbord, Verse No. 1163, as ‘Jews or Jews and Arabs.’ ‘Burden’ was first formally published in Lord Birkenhead’s biography of Kipling in 1978. Hitchens is the first to publish ‘A Chapter of Proverbs’ in a trade edition.
Another copy of what I have, bound in red morocco, was included as item (iv) in item 1 in Maggs 1994 Rudyard Kipling catalogue, with Webb-Johnson’s papers, including a letter from Churchill to Webb-Johnson suggesting that another Kipling poem contained in this little book, entitled ‘President Wilson,’ be destroyed as “derogatory” and unworthy of Kipling’s reputation. (On the Wilson piece, see the Kipling Journal 3/82, p. 46, and KJ 6/82, p. 38.)
David Alan Richards
New York

‘The Burden of Jerusalem’ appears in slightly edited form in Christopher Hitchens, Blood, Class, and Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York), 1990, pp. 86-88. Here it is reproduced exactly as it appears in the original, privately published volume held by David Richards. (An instance of “Ashmael” instead of “Ishmael” and apparent punctuation errors appear in the original.)
We have been informed, in full detail, of Kipling’s piece of verse “The Burden of Jerusalem”, and I am aware that a number of our members find it distasteful.  Nonetheless, the verses exist:  The genie – no, we’re talking Kipling so it should be djinn - has been let out of the bottle, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to stuff him back again (and why is the genie in ‘Aladdin’ always male?).  So let us consider the piece, as John Walker has said, in an open way.  In doing so, I draw no conclusions, but offer these observations – which are not intended to be an apologia for the verse or for Kipling’s alleged views but, I hope, a dispassionate dissection..
Kipling always spoke of “the two sides of his head”.  I do not think that one can say exactly what those two sides were, because their exact nature varied, depending on his age and what he was writing.  One thing is, I think, undoubted, and that is that Kipling was capable of expressing views, in the mouths of his characters, which were not necessarily a reflection of his own.  Furthermore, one should remember that he was a superlative journalist, and master of English.  He reviewed and revised his texts over and over again (he told us so in Something of Myself ).  Therefore it behoves us to examine his words carefully, and not put any careless interpretation on them which is not in strict accordance with the accepted definition of those words. 
(There is an excellent example of the dangers of this in Stanza 12, where he talks of “the unloved race”.  Mark the exact word “unloved”.  He does not say “unlovable”.  He is making a statement of fact, as will be shown later on.)
It may also be observed that Kipling was, at various times of his life, capable of expressing contrary views on the same subject.  He may have held racialist views, but he was perfectly capable of admiring other races and expressing that admiration.   (N.B. the word ‘racist’ is first cited in the OED in 1927: “racialist” and “racialism” date from 1901/2, but we should not apply our late 20th century views to those of our 19th century forebears without remembering autre temps, autre moeurs).  He may have been contemptuous of the Bengali babu type, but he admired the Punjabi Mussulman.
So, for what they are worth, here are my observations, which are not in any particular order, except for the first ones which consider the 17 stanzas.
1.         The first eleven stanzas of the poem can be considered a clever, and not inaccurate, history of Israel.  My knowledge of that history is distinctly shaky, and I cannot say if the reference to Israel in stanza 4 is to one tribe or to all.  I think it is likely that it supposed to be to all, using ‘Israel’ as an all-encompassing word for the Jewish race.
2          The next stanza (12) can certainly be taken as distinctly anti-Semitic – “the Unloved race”:  “amass their dividends”.  Having said that, it is also a statement of fact:  the Jews have been, throughout history, an “unloved race” (NOT, as remarked above, an “unlovable race”) suffering persecution at the hands of just about every nation amongst whom they have settled.  (In that context, so far as I know, the only place where there has not, in recent history, been any systematic persecution of the race is in the United States of America.)  And one of the reasons why they have been unloved is because of their skill with money.  No one likes those who make money (as it is perceived) by usury from those amongst whom they live (cf, in 2009, “bankers”).
3.         Stanza 13 I find interesting.  As I say, my history of this is shaky to minuscule, and I do not know of any specific incident in which the biter has been substantially bitten after a tussle with “the Jews” – though it may have been so in economic terms – when the Jews were thrown out of England in 1290 by Edward I, after a century and a quarter of intermittent and sometimes bloody persecution, I suspect the King probably found it difficult to raise the wind for his wars against the Scots.
            But the verse is entirely apposite today.  As the world has observed since the state of Israel came into being in 1948, its motto may be said to be “An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth”.  So Kipling’s words are extremely prescient.  I do not understand RK’s reference to “the Hun” not knowing better than to “interfere with Cohen from Jerusalem”.  (Remember, the verse seems to have been written before the Nazi state began to persecute Jews.) 
4.         Stanza 14 may also be said to be prescient.  As is well-known the ancient city of Jerusalem has great significance for Jewry, as it has for Palestinians of all faiths, for differing reasons.  But the unification of the city is, in my understanding, a central plank of right-wing politics in Israel, and I suspect that, although other political parties may be less insistent, they would still say that they have, in effect, a prior claim to the city, and when RK wrote the verse, the toast of “Next Year in Jerusalem” at the Feast of Passover, had a very real meaning among the followers of Judaism.  Very many references speak of Jerusalem being central to Judaism, and although there is a sneering tone to the stanza, it is nonetheless an accurate reflection of the feeling amongst Jewry.
5.         To provide at least a partial balance, Stanza 15 is not exactly complimentary to the Arab, without mentioning the Muslim faith of the majority.  Nor does it suggest that Muslims world-wide are united in a desire to possess Jerusalem.  Muslims would be more concerned with the fate of Mecca and the Holy Places of Medina than with the fate of Jerusalem.  (I wonder what would be the view of the average Muslim man-in-the street in Djakarta, capital of the largest Muslim state?)  The reference is to the sons of Ishmael, who, I take it, are the modern day Palestinians.
6.         Stanza 16 implies the difficulties experienced by those who ‘held the ring’ between, on the one side, the established Jewish settlers who had been in Palestine since the 1890s or so, and those in central Europe who saw in the aftermath of the Balfour Declaration their hope of a Jewish state, and on the other, the former subjects of the Ottoman Empire who had lived on and tilled their land since the expulsion of the Jews in AD70. 
7.         The final stanza, taken literally, suggests that if Abraham had been firmer with his wife, and taken charge of his household, the whole difference between the tribes might never have occurred.  John Walker has noted that the verse was originally prefaced with a verse from Genesis, which confirms that reference.  John went on to suggest that RK was implicitly criticising the British mandate.  For what it is worth, his correspondence with Elsie at the time, recording that he had dined with the Acting High Commissioner, and was about to dine with Sir John Chancellor, the High Commissioner himself,  contain no hint of criticism -  he speaks of Palestine in three separate letters, to Elsie, to Lady Sykes (daughter of Bonar Law) and to Sir Henry Newbolt as being “a most marvellous land”, although he notes that there were “three religions at each others’ throats and the Bolshie dancing in the background to see where he can get in a stab”.
            In one of his letters to Elsie from Jerusalem at this time, he remarks that “many races are vile but the Jew in bulk on his native heath is the Vilest of them all.” Of all the remarks which I have read in the last few days, that is undoubtedly the most damning to Kipling’s reputation.
8.         So why?  The view he took was undoubtedly common in British society (and other European societies – cf the Dreyfus case in France) at the time.  What was it about the Jews collectively which made them so disliked?  Did that attitude pervade all classes?  Probably not.  The Jewish pawnbroker, if he were honest, was a necessary part of life to many of the labouring classes, and certainly wasn’t hated.  The Jewish financier was equally necessary to the upper classes, for whom he frequently provided similar, if more recherché, facilities (cf.  King Edward VII).  My suggestion is that the attitude stemmed from a complex series of causes.  One was that the Jews were Different, a tribe apart, and whatever one may say, tribalism, whether it be Millwall fans v: West Ham fans, is still an immensely strong force.  Secondly, in an era when Land (“ther Land” as Midmore contemptuously expressed it in the early pages of ‘My Son’s Wife’) formed the basis of wealth, the Jews, who Understood Money in a way that too many landed proprietors did not, provided the essential capital which could not easily be unlocked from land, and as has been said above, no-one likes those who make money out of one’s own lack of it.  Thirdly, in Understanding Money, Jews were quite happy to talk about it, and in Polite Society that just was Not Done (and Polite Society did not merely mean the upper and monied classes, it went pretty far down the social scale).  Fourthly, they kept themselves to themselves, and didn’t take part in the same activities as the great bulk of the British public – though in Regency days, the Jewish prize-fighter Mendoza was a great favourite with the public.  (I haven’t got the least idea, but wonder how many professional footballers in the Premiership and upper divisions of the Football League are Jews?)
10.       If Kipling was anti-semitic, then he reflected the view of the majority of his generation (consider that paragon, George Cottar, who, on hearing that a girl named Miriam is to visit, wonders, in a disparaging way, if she is of Jewish extraction).  But in his Lodge in India, he had met, on an equal footing, a Jew along with others of all the faiths.  However, if there were conflict between Muslim and Jew, perhaps he would have supported the Muslims, whom he admired (because he knew them) rather than the Jews (whom he knew much less well).
It was not until I had written all the above that I read the text of Professor Craig Raine’s lecture at the Kim conference in 2002 (KJ 303, Sept 2002, as noted by John Walker).  He makes many of the same points that I have, if more elegantly.  And he cites some of Kipling’s more positive (if, perhaps, not totally approving) remarks about the Jews, as well as other negative remarks.  And he identifies where the piece is to be found, in the Roosevelt Library at the Roosevelt home, Hyde Park:  it would be interesting to know precisely when it was written.
There are many more points to be made, e.g.: Jews in South Africa – did RK comment on them? – if not, why not?  He must have met them on the boats going out to the Cape and coming home again.  In the verse (stanza 14), one might suggest that he has chosen as his exemplars only the caricature Jew.
Some may consider it significant that the metre is undoubtedly that of the bawdy song “The Harlot of Jerusalem” – observations to this effect have appeared in the KJ in the not too distant past.  The words of that song vary, and the date is uncertain, but it almost certainly dates from World War I, and possibly originated with the troops of Allenby’s army which drove the Turks out of Sinai, Palestine and Syria.  (Certainly some versions date from that period, since there is a reference in one to the Lewis Gun.)  I have not seen the connection made elsewhere (but haven’t particularly looked for it) but it may be suggested that there is a parallel with the “Whore of Rome” – a 17th century (I think) and later reference to the Roman Catholic Church, much used by the more extreme Protestants.
If that is accepted, then it might be suggested that the Harlot of Jerusalem is, indeed, Judaism.
And if that, in turn is accepted, then the whole poem can be interpreted as a rant (or is that too strong?) against Judaism.
Kipling was a man of his time: he held most of the prejudices of a British member of the middle class of that time.  He did so, perhaps with better reason, because he had had so wide an experience of life, both personally and vicariously because of his own “’satiable curtiosity”.  We, with our post holocaust knowledge, should be wary of ascribing views to him which represent only one side of his head.
Oh, and finally, just consider what he said about Americans from time to time.
Alastair Wilson