To the Arab World, Jewish Sovereignty Is a Rebellion Against Islam

(Tel Aviv Review of Books) Shmuel Trigano - Between 1945 and 1970, the Jews of the Arab and Islamic world, most of whom had lived there since long before the arrival of Islam, saw their civilization collapse. 900,000 people from 11 countries stretching from Iran to Morocco underwent this ordeal. The creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine under the British Mandate was seen as sacrilegious to the Islamic conscience. The destruction of Jewish communities and institutions was the starting point of a process that has now seen the slow destruction of Christian communities and institutions in the Arab world. It is less the existence of Israel as a sovereign state, but rather the Jewish nature of this sovereignty, that troubles the Arab-Islamic conscience. In these terms, Jewish sovereignty is understood as nothing short of a rebellion against Islam. Islamic society is carefully demarcated. Non-Muslims were conferred the status of dominated nations: segregated in special quarters, their members clearly marked as outsiders. Contesting this is seen as a declaration of "war" on Islam, to which the legitimate response is all-out jihad. In parallel with the formation of the State of Israel, pogroms and exclusionary laws were carried out against Jews in almost every Arab state, holding them accountable for the "rebellion" of Israel. If the Jews of these countries were not fundamentally considered as foreigners and pariahs, they would not have been held responsible for the creation of Israel. In comparing the Jewish refugees from the Arab world and the Palestinian refugees, the Palestinians were made refugees as a result of the defeat of the war of extermination launched by the Arabs, whereas the Jewish refugees were innocent of all aggression towards them. The writer is professor emeritus of sociology at Paris Nanterre University.

2019-10-10 00:00:00

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