Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Israel & the Jews (II): A Brief Historical Overview (A)BCE to the Jewish Ordeal

Israel & the Jews : Part-IV : Israel After 1948
Israel & the Jews : Part-III : Events Leading upto Creation of Israel
Israel & the Jews : Part-II  : BCE to the Jewish Ordeal
Israel & the Jews : Part-I    : FAQs, Truths & Interesting Facts

Israel & the Jews
FAQs, Truths & Interesting Facts
Part - 2
(A)BCE to the Jewish Ordeal

This, Part-2, is only the first part of the historical overview. 
Subsequent parts of the historical overview:
Part-3 : Events leading up to the Creation of Israel in 1948.
Part-4 : Israel  — 1948 Onwards.
Details about specific periods and episodes would be in separate blog-posts that would follow Part-4, as a part of this blog-series.

So prominent was the Jewish role in the foreign commerce of Europe that those nations that received the Jews gained and the countries that excluded them lost in the volume of international trade.

— Will Durant, The Story of Civilization - The Reformation.

Asked to make a list of the men who have most dominated the thinking of the modern world, many educated people would name Freud, Einstein, Marx and Darwin.  Of these four, only Darwin was not Jewish.  In a world where Jews are only a tiny percentage of the population, what is the secret of the disproportionate importance the Jews have had in the history of Western culture?

— Ernest van den Haag, The Jewish Mystique

For the Jewish impact on humanity has been protean.  In antiquity they were the great innovators in religion and morals.  In the Dark Ages and early medieval Europe they were still an advanced people transmitting scarce knowledge and technology.  Gradually they were pushed from the van and fell behind, by the end of the eighteenth century, they were seen as a bedraggled and obscurantist rearguard in the march of civilized humanity.  But then came an astonishing second burst of creativity.  Breaking out of the ghettos, they once more transformed human thinking, this time in the secular sphere.  Much of the mental furniture of the modern world too is of Jewish fabrication.

— Paul Johnson, author of A History of the Jews and A History of Christianity


The name Israel derives from the patriarch Jacob (Yisraʾel, Isrāʾīl: Struggle with God) who was given that name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord, as per the Hebrew Bible (Tanach or Tanakh or the Jewish Bible or the Old Testament). As per verse 28 of Chapter 32 of Genesis of the Old Testament: "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed."

Jacob was the son of Issac (and Rebecca), who was the son of Abraham (and Sarah), the founder of Judaism and father of the Jewish race.

Abraham (Abram), his son Yitshak (Isaac), and grandson Jacob (Israel), are referred to as the patriarchs of the Israelites. They all lived in the Land of Canaan that later came to be known as the Land of Israel. The three
patriarchs and their wives are buried in the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Ma'arat HaMachpela) in Hebron (Old Testament: Genesis, Chapter 23).

Jacob with his 12 sons lived in Canaan.  The 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelis. They were also named the Twelve Tribes of Israel or the Children of Israel. The root of the term Jew is Yehuda (Judah), one of the 12 sons of Jacob whose names as per verse 1 of Chapter 1 of Exodus of the Old Testament were: "These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: Reuben, Simeon [Shimon], Levi, Judah [Yehuda], Issachar [Yisachar], Zebulun [Zevulun], Yosef, Benjamin [Binyamin], Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher."

Famine in Canaan forced Jacob and sons to migrate to Egypt. In the famous Exodus, Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelis back into Canaan.

The Hebrews had been in the area of and around the current Israel since the second millennium BCE. Hebrew kingdoms existed under Joshua, followed by King David and his descendants. Jews were the main settled population of Judea (Palestine) for over 1600 years.

As per the Torah (Jewish "Instructions"/"Teachings" comprising all the 24 books of the Tanakh or only (interpretations vary) its first five books (hence, also called Pentateuch, in English)), God promised the land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people in the early 2nd millennium BCE. The first Kingdom of Israel was established in the 11th century BCE.

The name Israel first appears in the Merneptah Stele or the Israel Stelestele (inscription) of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah of 1209 BCE.

Judea (Palestine)

Judea was renamed as Palestine.
The territory was known by various names through the centuries: Canaan, Judea, Samaria, Southern Syria, Syria Palaestina, Kingdom of Jerusalem, and so on.

The area of and around the current Israel can be referred to as Judea or Palestine both for brevity and for historical reasons. Judea was the original Jewish name. Rome invaded Judea and took its effective control in the first century CE. In order to de-Judaize it, the Romans renamed it after the Philistines as Palestine. The Philistines were an Aegean people closely related to the Greeks (and not to the Arabs), who inhabited a narrow coastal strip on the Mediterranean, including Gaza. As per Wafa Sultan, (a)the root of the word "Philistine" is a Hebrew word "plisha" which means "invader", as the concerned people had invaded that part and settled on it; (b)Arabs can't pronounce "P", so why would they name themselves that way: even now Palestinian Arabs pronounce themselves as "Falestinians".

From 1920 the whole region was known as Mandate Palestine or Palestine (under British Mandate) until the UN partition plan, followed by the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Palestine: NOT a nation. Palestinian: NOT a nationality or an ethnic/religious group.
It is worth noting that there was no nation called Palestine. There is nothing like Palestinian nationality or Palestinian language. The religion, language and culture of the Arab Muslims living in the area is the same as that of the Arab countries around. The word “Palestine” was used to refer only to an area, and NOT to a country or nation.

There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist.
— Golda Meir

Several Arab leaders and academicians have unambiguously stated that there was and is no such country as Palestine. However, the name has since (since the creation of Israel in 1948) been used politically to create a false impression that Palestine was a nation, parts of which were unjustly given to Israel, and that the “Palestinians” as “original” inhabitants have been denied their rights.
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...
— Zuheir Muhsin, late Military Department head of the PLO


No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people.
— David Ben-Gurion

Jerusalem is a port city on the shore of eternity.
— Yehuda Amichai, Israeli poet
King David (1050-970 BCE) established the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the whole Land of Israel; and for over 3,000 years it has been the Jewish capital.

In the Hebrew or Jewish Bible (Tanakh), Jerusalem is mentioned over 600 times and Zion (meaning Jerusalem or the Land of Israel) over 150 times. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 
over 150 times.

King David's son King Soloman constructed the First Temple (also called Soloman's Temple) at Mount Moriah in Jerusalem in 970 BCE, popularly known as the Temple Mount (Beit HaMikdash in Hebrew) A tradition related to Mount Moriah is the binding of Isaac for sacrifice by his father Abraham, As per chapter 22 of Genesis of Tanakh (Old Testament): '...God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”...'

The particulars of the Temple are described in Chapter 6 of the Book of Kings I in Tanakh (Jewish Bible): "...The house that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high..." The First Temple also housed the sacred Ark of the Covenant (details under "Major Timelines" below).

After the destruction of the First Temple in 587 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Second Temple at the same site was built in 538-41 BCE, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the holiest site for the Jews. It is also a holy site for the Christians on account of close association of Jesus Christ with the Mount.

Caliph Abd el-Malik built Dome of the Rock in 691-692 CE on the site of the First and Second Temples (Temple Mount) of Jews. Al Aqsa Mosque was built next to the Dome of the Rock in 714 CE. Muslims believe the location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque to be the site of Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heavens and back. The Night Journey is mentioned in the Quran, though Quran does not specify the location as Temple Mount or Jerusalem; the Quran simply says in sura Al-'Isra' (The Night Journey) 17.1: "Exalted is He who took His Servant [Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Haram [of Mecca] to al-Masjid al-Aqsa [the furthest place of worship], whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs..." There is no evidence to show that Prophet Mohammed ever came to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Quran.

Temple Mount is like the Babri Masjid (Mosque) of India which was built at the site of the destroyed Hindu temple, as decisively proven in the scientific archeological findings submitted to the court by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

While under the Jordanian rule Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to their places of worship; with Jerusalem under the Israeli rule since, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths. Israel has been liberal enough to even allow the Arab Waqf to control the Temple Mount; yet the Arab Waqf does not allow the Jews to pray at the Temple Mount: Jews only pray at the Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall or Kotel) of the Temple Mount.

Major Timelines:
BCE to 1948 CE

3760 BCE. Year 1 of the Jewish calendar. As per a legend, Adam and Eve created!

Abraham, Issac, Jacob. (Dates as per legend.) 1813 BCE: Abraham (also called Abram) born. Abraham had migrated to Canaan from Mesopotamia. 1713 BCE: Issac born. 1653 BCE: Jacob born. Famine forced Israelites to migrate to Egypt.

Moses. 1393 BCE: Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) born. 1280 BCE: Exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Entry into the land of Cannan. The Ark of the Covenant, a chest described in the Book of Exodus as containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments (Chapter 10 of Exodus) were inscribed, was created. After 40 years in the Sinai desert, Moses led his people to the Land of Israel: referred to as The Promised Land in the Hebrew Bible, promised by God to the descendants of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as per Genesis (17:8): "And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."

Modern day Israelites have the same language and culture as bequeathed to them by Abraham and his descendants. They thus have over three millenia of connection with the land.

Joshua. 1355 BCE: Joshua born. 1240 BCE: Joshua set up the Ark of the Covenant at village Shechem (Nablus). The rule of Israelites in the Land of Israel started with the conquests of Joshua.

The Israelites developed a tradition of prophecy: a succession of men (Prophets) felt they had been called by God to speak His message to the people.

1050-970 BCE: King David. Establishment of Kingdom of Israel first under Saul, and then under King David.

970 BCE: Soloman, Temple Mount. King David's son Soloman became king. He constructed the First Temple at Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, popularly known as the Temple Mount.

Israel under Soloman: 961-922 BCE

931 BCE: Kingdoms of Israel & Judah. Israel split into two: the Kingdom of Israel in the north and the Kingdom of Judah in the south.

Israel and Judah

722 BCE. The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians.

587 BCE. Judah and Jerusalem and the First Temple destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who also exiled the Jews to Babylon (Iraq).

538 BCE: Cyrus & the Second Temple. The Persian king Cyrus allowed the Israeli exiles back into Israel/Judah. Cyrus facilitated rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem: called the Second Temple.

450 BCE. Torah, as scripture, gains acceptance.

333 BCE. Alexander the Great conquered Israel.

63 BCE. Rome (Pompey) annexed Israel.

4 BCE - 30 CE. Joshua/Jesus, the Christ.


63-313 BCE: Romans. Romans ruled Israel. 70 CE: The Second Temple and Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans. Jewish people were then exiled and dispersed to the Diaspora. Romans decimated the Jewish community and renamed Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina and Judea as Palaestina to obliterate Jewish identification with the Land of Israel. The word Palestine and the Arabic word Filastin have Latin root.

313-636 CE: Byzantine. Byzantine empire (Greek-speaking continuation of the eastern half of the Roman Empire) ruled over Israel.

636-1099 CE: Arabs. Arabs dominated Israel. Dome of the Rock was built by Caliph Abd el-Malik on the grounds of the destroyed Jewish Temple (Second Temple) in Jerusalem.

1099-1291 CE: Crusaders. Responding to an appeal by Pope Urban II, the Crusaders came from Europe to capture the Holy Land. They massacred the non-Christian population: both Jews and Muslims.

1291-1516 CE: Mamluk. The Mamluk Sultanate was a state in medieval Egypt, the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean comprising Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and part of southern Turkey) and Hejaz (a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia). It lasted from the overthrow of the Ayyubid Dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517.

1516-1917 CE: Ottoman. The Ottoman (Turkish) empire ruled over vast region, including Israel, until its defeat in the First World War.

1918-1948 CE: British. The current area of Israel and Jordan came under the British Mandate following the First World War.

14 May 1948. Israel founded as an independent nation.
(Details leading up to the foundation of Israel would be in the next blog.)

Jewish Ordeal

What is given about the Jewish ordeal below is NOT exhaustive. Only some samples are included to illustrate the heinous and deplorable treatment of Jews.

Jewish Ordeal under
"The Religion of Compassion" (Christianity)
in Europe

The Jews are frightened people.
Nineteen centuries of Christian love have broken their nerves.

― Israel Zangwill

He did not call them Abraham's children, but a "brood of vipers" [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, "He has a demon' [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a "brood of vipers"; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: "If you were Abraham's children ye would do what Abraham did.... You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham's but the devil's children, nor can they bear to hear this today.

― Martin Luther (1483-1546) in his book "The Jews & Their Lies"
Jewish Ordeal under the Byzantine Empire and in Rome/Italy
114-117 CE. Destruction in Cyprus. Jews revolted against Rome in Cyprus and elsewhere. As a consequence, the Great Synagogue and the Great Library in Alexandria were destroyed. Not only that, it also spelled the end of the entire Jewish community of Cyprus. The Jews were thereafter forbidden into Cyprus.

132-135 CE. Bar-Kokhba Rebellion: 500,000 Jews killed. In the Second Jewish Revolt led by Shimon Bar-Kokhba in Judea against the Romans, the Jews ultimately lost. Hundreds of Jewish villages were destroyed and an estimated half a million Jews were killed.

136 CE. Renaming Judea. Forbidding Jews. Roman emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem as Aelia Capatolina and built a Pagan temple over the site of the Second Temple. He also renamed Judea (the southern portion of the current West Bank) as Palaestina so as to disassociate Jews from Israel. He forbade Jews from Judea.

222 CE. Roman emperor Alexander Severus allowed revival of Jewish rights and granted permission to Jews to visit Jerusalem.

312 CE. Roman emperor Constantine embraced Christianity in 312 CE. His code (Code of Constantine) limiting the rights of non-Christians severely affected the Jews. Jerusalem became part of Constantine's Byzantine Empire.

439 CE. Roman emperor Theodosis II enacted a code prohibiting Jews from holding important financial positions, and disallowed building of new synagogues.

627 CE. Byzantine emperor Heraclius massacred Jews in 627 CE and forbade them from entering Jerusalem. Hundreds of Jews were killed and thousands were exiled to Egypt. The Jewish towns in Galilee and Judea were emptied of Jews.

1270 CE. Christian theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas regarded the slavery of Jews to be permissible.

1492 CE. Over 130,000 Jews were forced to leave Sicily.

Ghettos. 1516 CE: Jews in Venice were condemned to a ghetto resulting in their extreme segregation. Subsequently, Jews elsewhere were similarly segregated. Incidentally, the root of the word "ghetto" is "geto": closed Jewish Quarters in Venice were dubbed as Geto Nuovo (New Foundry).

1516-1800 can be called as the Age of the Ghetto. Compulsory segregation was imposed by Pope Paul IV. By the end of the 16th century ghetto became an accepted institution in Italy, from Rome to the Alps.

1550 CE. Jewish doctor Jospeh Hacohen was chased out of Genoa for practicing medicine. Following the same, all Jews were expelled from the Italian city Genoa.

1553-55 CE. The Talmud was confiscated and publicly burned in Rome on Rosh Hashanah (the holiest day of the Jews), starting a wave of Talmud burning throughout Italy, thanks to the provocation by Cardinal Caraffa, who later became Pope Paul IV, and renewed all anti-Jewish legislation, installed a ghetto in Rome, forced Jews to wear a special cap, and forbade them from owning real estate or practicing medicine on Christians.

The Talmud is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism and has two components: the Mishnah (200 CE) and the Gemara (500 CE). The Mishnah is the written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism's Oral Torah (Torah = Instruction/ Teaching). The Gemara is an elucidation of the Mishnah. The Talmud contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including law, ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law.

1593 CE. Pope Clement VIII expelled Jews from all Papal states except Rome and Ancona.

1625 CE. The Jews of Vienna were forced to move into a ghetto called Leopoldstadt.

1796-1815 CE. When the Napoleanic French armies entered Italy in 1796–98, the new revolutionary spirit momentarily triumphed: the walls of the ghetto were demolished and the Jews received equal rights. However, with the restoration of the old regimes in 1799, all the new-found liberties were abolished. Napoleon's campaign of 1800 again brought freedom to the Jews, but in 1815 the restoration resulted in a complete and almost general return of the old conditions.

Positive Developments. Pope Pius IX (1846–78) abolished compulsory Jewish attendance at conversionist sermons and other humiliating regulations. He ordered that the gates and walls of the ghettos be demolished in Rome and in other towns of the Papal States in 1848. In June 1848, the House of Savoy introduced into the constitution of the kingdom a provision that established equal civil and political rights for all citizens, without religious distinction.

The Holocaust Period. The Manifesto della Razza that appeared in July 1938 asserted the existence of a "pure Italian race of Aryan stock" into which the Jews had never integrated, and called for the implementation of a clear racial policy of a "northern Aryan character". Ostensibly the work of a group of scientists, the Manifesto was apparently edited by Mussolini himself. Laws passed in September 1938 forbade Jews to study or teach in any school or institution of higher learning, and ordered the deportation of all Jews who had found refuge in Italy after 1919. A "department for demography and race" was established to coordinate the policy of racial discrimination in all branches of the government, and to conduct a census of Jews living in the country.

The Supreme Council of the Fascist Party passed a detailed anti-Jewish legislation on November 17, 1938. On November 1943 the Ministry of the Interior issued an order that all Jews, without exception, should be interned in special concentration camps and all Jewish property should be confiscated.
Jewish Ordeal in England
1190 CE. In March 1190, a mix of Crusaders, barons indebted to the Jews, those envious of Jewish wealth and clergymen attacked the Jews of York killing many.

1229 CE.
King Henry III of England forced Jews to pay half the value of their property in taxes.

1282 CE. The Archbishop of Canterbury, John Pectin, ordered closure of all London synagogues. He also prohibited Jewish physicians from practicing on Christians.

1290 CE: Expulsion. English King Edward I expelled the Jews from England, allowing them to take with them only what they could carry on themselves. Most went to France, paying for their passage, only to be robbed and cast overboard by the ship captains.

15th to 17th Century CE. Jews were readmitted to England sometime at the end of the 15th century. In 1589, Christopher Marlowe’s anti-Semitic play, The Jew of Malta, was first performed. In 1594, Queen Elizabeth I’s physician, a Jew, was falsely implicated in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth, and was tortured, tried and hanged; leading to the flight of the local Jewry to the Low Countries, often disguised as Spanish or Portuguese Roman Catholics. William Shakespeare’s famous play about a Jewish moneylender, The Merchant of Venice, was first acted out in 1597. In 1609, Portuguese merchants were expelled from London on the suspicion of being Jewish.

The re-establishment of the Jews in England was a gradual process that took many years.

19th Century CE. Jewish Emancipation. The first Jewish emancipation bill was passed by the House of Commons in 1833, but it was defeated in the House of Lords. Finally, the law came into effect in 1858. In 1874, Benjamin Disraeli became the first (and only) Jewish Prime Minister. Jewish members in the House of Commons take oath on a Hebrew Bible.
Jewish Ordeal in France
France was once a center of Jewish learning. However, Jewish persecution increased as the Middle Ages wore on, involving multiple expulsions and returns of Jews.

1007-1009 CE. There were widespread persecutions of Jews in France beginning 1007, instigated by the French King Robert II,  known as "the Pious". He conspired with his vassals to destroy all the Jews on their lands who would not accept baptism. A large number were put to death, and many committed suicide. The King advocated forced conversions of local Jewry, as well as mob violence against the Jews who refused.

1147-49 CE. In the wake of Second Crusade (1147-49), French clergyman began giving frequent anti-Semitic sermons. In some cities Jews were forced to pay a special tax every Palm Sunday. In Toulouse, Jewish representatives had to go to the cathedral on a weekly basis to have their ears boxed, as a reminder of their guilt!

1171 CE. In Blois, a town southwest of Paris, Jews were falsely accused of committing ritual murder of Christian children and blood libel leading to their arrest and execution, upon refusal to convert. The Jewish children were forcibly baptized.

1181 CE. Soon after his coronation on 14 March 1181, the French King Philip Augustus ordered arrest of all Jews in their synagogues on a Saturday. All their cash and valuables were confiscated. In April 1182, they were expelled from the royal domains of France, though not from the whole kingdom. All their immovable property was confiscated. Their synagogues were converted into churches.

1254 CE. French King Louis IX expelled the Jews from France. Most of the Jews went to Germany and further east.

1306 CE. King Philip IV ordered expulsion of Jews from France. Their properties were sold at public auction. About 125,000 Jews were forced to leave.

1321 CE. Jews were accused of encouraging lepers to poison Christian wells in France. An estimated five thousand Jews were killed. King Philip the Tall later admitted the Jews were innocent.

1322 CE. Charles IV expelled Jews from France.

1420 CE. All the Jews of Lyons were expelled from there. That included the Jews who had come there two decades earlier as refugees from Paris, from where they were expelled.

1615 CE. King Louis XIII decreed all Jews to leave France within a month or face death.

1780s. Anti-Jewish laws began to be repealed in the 1780s.

1939-45 CE. WW-II & Holocaust. During the World War II, more than a fifth of the Jewish population of France was deported and murdered in death camps.

France fell to the Germans on 14 June 1940, following which an armistice was signed and France was divided into unoccupied and occupied zones, and Alsace-Lorraine was annexed to the Reich. A Vichy government was set up in France. A number of anti-Jewish measures were passed. Non-French Jews were rounded up for deportation by the French police, whereas French Jews were rounded up by the Gestapo, who did not trust the French authorities to do so. About 76,000 Jews were deported to the concentration camps in Poland and Germany. A number of transit camps, like Drancy located outside Paris, were established that were run by the French police. Drancy served as a transit point for thousands of Jews en route to Auschwitz. There were also concentration camps inside France, such as Gurs.

Jewish Population: 3rd Largest in France. Jewish population in France of about 600,000 located mainly in the metros such as Paris, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lyon, and Toulouseis, is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world, after Israel and the US.
Jewish Ordeal in Germany
The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the worst conditions (in fact better than under favorable ones) by means of virtues of some sort, which one would like nowadays to label as vices-owing above all to a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before “modern idea…" It is certain that the Jew, if he desired―or if they were driven to it, as the antisemites seem to wish-could now have the ascendancy, nay, literally the supremacy, over Europe; that they are not working or planning for that end is equally sure… The resourcefulness of the modern Jews, both in mind and soul, is extraordinary…

― Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher (1844 - 1900)
1100 CE. Many German Jews migrated to Poland.

1285 CE. Blood libel (an allegation, recurring during the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries, that Jews were killing Christian children to use their blood for the ritual of making unleavened bread (matzah)) in Munich, Germany resulted in the death of 68 Jews. An additional 180 Jews were burned alive at a synagogue.

1386 CE. Emperor Wenceslaus expelled the Jews from Strassbourg and confiscated their property.

1389 CE. Massacre of thousands of Jews on a flimsy ground, which King Wenceslaus refused to condemn, and instead blamed the Jews.

1510 CE. Over 3 dozen Jews were burned at the stake in Berlin.

1543 CE. Martin Luther (founder of the Protestant Reformation) wrote "About the Jews and Their Lies", which is considered as the first modern anti-Semitic work.

1878 CE. The antisemitic German Christian Social Party demanded that Jews convert to Christianity.

1923 CE. The first issue of the pro-Nazi, antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer (The Attacker) published in Nuremberg had a slogan "Die Juden sind unser Unglück" ("The Jews are our misfortune").

1930s: Fifth Aliyah. The Fifth Aliyah (Aliyah is immigration of the Jewish Diaspora to Israel) in the 1930s following the rise of Nazism resulted in an influx of about 2,50,000 Jews into Palestine.

1933 CE. Germany began anti-Jewish boycott.

1933 CE. Upon learning of Hitler's election, Albert Einstein (a Jew), then visiting the United States, decided not to return to Germany, and took up a position at Princeton.

1935 CE. Jewish rights in Germany rescinded by Nuremberg laws.

1933-41 CE. Between 1933 and 1941, the Nazis aimed to make Germany judenrein (cleansed of Jews). They made life too difficult for the Jews to continue, forcing them to seek life elsewhere. By 1938, about 150,000 German Jews (one in four) had already fled the country. But, an additional 185,000 Jews came under the Nazi rule after Germany annexed Austria in March 1938.

Unfortunately, many Jews had nowhere to go, as other countries were reluctant to take them. Even the US, undergoing the Great Depression, had restricted their entry. To find a way out, delegates from 32 countries met at the French resort of Evian in the summer of 1938. But, each had their excuses for not letting in more Jewish refugees. Only one country, a relatively tiny one located in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, agreed to admit between 50,000 to 100,000 Jewish refugees on the condition that they become agricultural workers.

Noting the goings on at the Evian, the German government was shameless enough to state how astounded it was that while foreign countries criticised Germany for its treatment of the Jews, none of them wanted to open their doors to them when the opportunity presented itself!

1939 CE. SS St Louis, carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned back by Cuba and the US.

1940 CE. Nazis establish ghettos in Poland.

1942 CE. Nazis refined The Final Solution (genocide of Jews) at the Wannsee Conference.

1939 & 1942-45 CE. The Nazi German Holocaust (HaShoah, in Hebrew: refers to the systematic murder of more than six million Jews) against Jews. Holocaust deaths of 6 million Jews represented two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of world Jewry!

Auschwitz concentration camp

The question shouldn't be "Why are you, a Christian, here in a death camp, condemned for trying to save Jews?" The real question is "Why aren't all the Christians here?”

― Joel C. Rosenberg, The Auschwitz Escape

Till 1941, as Hitler built his power, Jews were persecuted and brutalized but there was no organized effort to systematically murder them. Germans expected the Jewish brutalization to lead to their mass migration out of Germany. As Germany occupied more countries, more Jews from those countries came under their rule. Jews found they had nowhere to go as the countries they could have migrated to had been occupied by Germany, and the other countries (though outwardly expressing their sympathies) were not willing to accept them. Realising that Jews could not be got rid off by forcing their migrations out, Hitler and his henchmen "invented" their Final Solution: arrest of Jewish men, women and children, putting them together in Concentration (Extermination) Camps, and their organised mass murder through various means: shooting by death squads, death during medical experimentation, forcing them to work to death in slave labour, starvation, disease, poison gas in specially built gas-chambers! The most notorious of these labour-cum-extermination camps was Auschwitz in Poland, where Jews were put to work as slave laborers and eventually killed in gas chambers and crematoria: about 1.3 million Jews perished, a million of them in gas chambers. 

Nazi Death Camps

Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason alone do we have to suffer now. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English, or representatives of any country for that matter; we will always remain Jews, but we want to, too.

― Anne Frank
    died at age 16 in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Germany
Although the Nazis had targeted many groups for persecution, including Catholics, Poles, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and Communists, they had turned their wrath for systematic extermination only on three groups: Jews, the handicapped, and the Gypsies. 

Slave Labour. Jews in concentration camps were forced into slave labour. Many German factories were run on Jewish slave labour including SS-owned enterprises like the German Armament Works and the private German firms such as Messerschmidt, Junkers, Siemens and I. G. Farben. In Lodz ghetto, the Nazis opened 96 factories. Those of the Jews engaged in slave labour who fell exhausted or ill and thus became unproductive were often shot dead. Prisoners in all the concentration camps were literally worked to death.

Congo Redux: Hitler's Jewish slave labour was like the repeat of what King Leopold II of Belgium and Lord Leverhulme of Unilever did to the local population of Congo during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: killing millions through forced labour, effectively halving the population of Congo―all in the name of the usual colonial rubbish of spreading the benefits of civilisation and Christianity. Leopold reportedly massacred ten million Africans by cutting off their hands and genitals, flogging them to death, starving them into forced labour, holding children ransom and burning villages. Such was the brutality of Leopold’s Congo that those who failed to meet the rubber quotas set by the Belgian officers were routinely flogged with the chicote or had their hands severed. A Belgian officer described a raid to punish a village that had protested thus: “The commanding officer ordered us to cut off the heads of the men and hang them on the village palisades, also their sexual members, and to hang the women and the children on the palisade in the form of a cross." (Ref: Book "Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo" by Jules Marchal; Book "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa" by Adam Hochschild) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes) even penned a non-fiction work “The crime of the Congo” in 1909.

Terrible Colonial Cruelty. Of course, it is not Belgium alone, other colonial regimes like those of Britain (read: "The Blood Never Dried" by John Newsinger), France, Portugal and Spain too had been extremely cruel and heartless in their treatment of the natives in Asia, Africa, North America and Latin America, notwithstanding the Christian "love" and "compassion" and the "civilisational" missions of their Christian missionaries.

Gassing. Both stationary gas vans were used and fixed gas-chambers were constructed in various concentration camps to kill Jews and to exterminate "lives not worthy of living" of the mentally and physically challenged and the terminally ill.

Death Marches. As Allied forces approached the concentration camps in 1945 in the wake of imminent defeat of Nazis, the SS organized long, arduous, punishing death marches of Jewish inmates killing many on the way, lest they fall into enemy hands.

Medical Experiments. To advance German medicine, extensive medical experiments were carried out on Jews as guinea pigs without their consent and with total disregard for their suffering or survival.

1945 CE. International tribunal for war crimes was established at Nuremberg.
Jewish Ordeal in Russia & Eastern Europe
What is the Jew?...What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish. What is this Jew whom they have never succeeded in enticing with all the enticements in the world, whose oppressors and persecutors only suggested that he deny (and disown) his religion and cast aside the faithfulness of his ancestors?! The Jew - is the symbol of eternity. ... He is the one who for so long had guarded the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind. A people such as this can never disappear. The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.

― Leo Tolstoy

1494 CE. Jews were blamed for the destruction of part of the city of Krakow (Poland) by fire, and were ordered to leave by the Polish King Jan Olbracht.

1547 CE. Ivan the Terrible became ruler of Russia. He refused permission to the Jews to live in his kingdom.

1648-1651 CE: Ukraine. The Cossacks massacred tens of thousands of Jews during 1648-1649.

1791 CE. Tsarist Russia confined Jews to Pale of Settlement: between the Black and Baltic Seas.

1825-1855 CE. Czar Nicholas I (1825-1855) sought to destroy all Jewish life in Russia. In 1825, he ordered the conscription of Jewish youth into the Russian military beginning at age 12. Many of the youngsters were kidnapped by “snatchers” (“khapers”) in order to get them to spend their formative years in the Russian military.

1881 CE. May Laws restricting the movements and conduct of Jews were enacted in Russia. Start of mass migrations of eastern European Jews commenced in 1881. The word "pogrom" entered the English language, as Russian mobs began a series of violent attacks against the Jews and their property.

1881 CE: First Aliyah. During the last decades of the nineteenth century, Jews fled (known as the First Aliyah) from the pogroms and religious discrimination in Russia and Eastern Europe. The migration began in 1881.


1891 CE. Grand Duke Segai ordered the expulsion of Jewish families living in Moscow.

1903 CE. Kishinev massacre increased Jewish exodus from Russia.

1905 CE. The rabidly anti-Semitic fraudulent work "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" earlier commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II became public.

1903-1907 CE. 500,000 Jews fled Russia, out of which 90% migrated to the United States.

1914 CE. During the First World War, Russian forces in retreat drove 600,000 Jews from their homes.

1904-1914 CE: Second Aliyah. The Russian pogroms of 1903-1906 were a major precipitant of the Second Aliyah (1904-1914). The government-inspired waves of violence against the Jews were even more vicious than those that precipitated the First Aliyah after 1880s. Hundreds of thousands of Jews immigrated to America and Western Europe, while tens of thousands sought refuge in Palestine.

1917 CE. Russian Revolution broke out. Over 2000 pogroms conducted against the Jews claimed the lives of about 200,000 Jews over the next three years.

The Third Aliyah (1919–1923), mainly from Russia, and the Fourth Aliyah (1924–1929) brought an additional 100,000 Jews to Palestine.

WW II. During World War II, parts of the Ukrainian population collaborated with the Nazis in exterminating the Jews in occupied Ukraine. Eighty-five percent of the Polish Jewry perished in the Holocaust.
Jewish Ordeal in Spain
6th-7th Century CE. Under Toledo III, Jews were barred from holding public office, and children of mixed marriages were forcibly baptized. In 613 CE, the Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or face expulsion. Though many Jews chose to leave rather than convert, a large number of them still practiced Judaism in secret, a tradition that survived for centuries. In 633, the Fourth Council of Toledo, convened to address the problem of crypto-Judaism and Marranos (Jews who converted to Christianity to escape persecution yet observed Jewish law in private) decided that if a professed Christian was determined to be a practicing Jew, his or her children were to be taken away and raised in monasteries or trusted Christian households.

8th-11th Century CE. In the 8th century, the Berber Muslims (Moors) swiftly conquered nearly all of the Iberian Peninsula. Under the Muslim rule in Spain Jews and Christians were granted the protected status of dhimmis.

11th-13th Century CE. Although Alfonso VI, Alfonso VII and Alfonso VIII were by and large good to the Jews, yet there had been occasions when anti-Semitic riots broke out, Jews were slain, and their houses and synagogues were burned. Crusaders unleashed anti-Semitic riots in Toledo in 1212 robbing and butchering Jews across the nation. During the 13th century, Spanish Jews, like the Jews of France, were required to identify themselves by wearing a yellow badge on their clothing.

A papal bull issued by Pope Innocent IV in 1250 prohibited building of new synagogues in Spain, forbade Jews to appear in public on Good Friday, and forced them to live in the Juderias (Jewish ghettos).

1360 CE. Samuel ben Meir Abulafia, a wealthy, generous and philanthropic Jew, who had also been a financial adviser to the Castile & Leon (Spain) King Peter (known as Peter the Cruel or Pedro the Cruel), was arrested without warning and was tortured to death in prison. His enormous property was confiscated by the king. His house still stands: it is the El Greco Museum.

1391 CE. Ferrand Martinez began a campaign against Spanish Jewry resulting in killing of over 10,000 Jews and destruction of their quarters in Barcelona. The campaign spread to other parts of Spain.

Monk Thomas de Torquemada and the Inquisition

1492 CE. Ferdinand and Isabella issued the Alhambra Decree in 1492 expelling all Jews from Spain. Of the over 235,000 Jews who lived in Spain, approximately 165,000 immigrated to other countries (Italy, England, Holland, Morroco, Egypt, France and the Americas), 50,000 converted to Christianity, and 20,000 died en route to a new location.

1632 CE. Several Jews were burned alive in front of the King and Queen of Spain after being discovered holding Jewish rites.

1639 CE. Over 80 recently converted (from Judaism) Christians were burned at the stake after the Inquisition caught them holding regular Jewish services in Lima, Peru (then under Spain).

1834 CE. Jews were permitted to return to Spain after the abolition of the Inquisition in 1834.
Jewish Ordeal in Other Countries in Europe.
1096-99 CE. First Crusade. The Crusaders killed without mercy all the Jews whom they met on their route.
Over 5000 Jews were murdered in Germany in different attacks.
1200 Jews committed suicide in Mayence to escape Count Emico, who tried to forcibly convert them.
Crusaders captured Jerusalem and massacred tens of thousands of the Jews.

1215 CE. A Church decreed that Jews be differentiated from others by their type of clothing to avoid intercourse between Jews and Christians. Jews were sometimes required to wear a badge; sometimes a pointed hat.

1239 CE. Pope Gregory IX issued an edict to the kings of France, England, Spain and Portugal to confiscate Hebrew books, following which the Talmud was burned in France and Rome.

1267 CE: Vienna. The Vienna city council forced Jews to wear the Pileum cornutum, a cone-shaped head-dress prevalent in many medieval woodcuts illustrating Jews, which was in addition to the badge the Jews were forced to wear.

1278 CE. The Edict of Pope Nicholas III required compulsory attendance of the Jews at conversion sermons.

1348-49 CE. Most of Europe blamed the Jews for the Black Plague.  Jews were tortured to make them confess they had poisoned the wells. Even though Pope Clement VI declared their innocence, the false accusations led to the destruction of dozens of Jewish communities.

1348 CE. Basle burned 600 Jews at the stake, and expelled other Jews. Many Jewish children were forcibly baptized. Basle's synagogues were converted to churches.

March 1497 CE. Jewish parents were ordered to take their children, between the ages of four and fourteen, to Lisbon. Upon arrival, the parents were informed that their children were going to be taken away from them and were to be given to Catholic families to be raised as good Catholics. While some parents chose to kill themselves and their kids rather than be separated, some agreed to be baptized along with their children, while others succumbed and handed over their babies.

October 1497 CE. King Manuel I expelled Jews from Portugal.

1800 CE. Around 1800, Portugal decided to "invite Jews" back into the country and reverse Portugal’s economic decline.

1938 CE. Catholic churches rang bells and flew Nazi flags to welcome Hitler's troops in Austria.

1942-43 CE: Holland. Nazis began to deport Jews from Holland from 1942 onwards, after occupation. Most were sent to Auschwitz and Sobibor. Many Jews survived by hiding with non-Jews or forging documents with the help of non-Jews, notably the Frank family, who survived for several years hidden in an Amsterdam building: the diary kept by Anne Frank provided a graphic account. In 2005, Holland’s prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende, apologized for his country’s collaboration with the Nazis.
Examples of Unfair Negative Jewish Depiction in Literature
Shakespeare (1564-1616) & The Merchant of Venice. In The Merchant of Venice, the portrayal of a bloodthirsty Jewish moneylender, Shylock, dramatized the 16th century racial stereotype that was grossly unfair and deeply unsettling.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Oliver Twist & Fagin. Dickens' portrayal of Fagin in Oliver Twist smacks deeply of antisemitism. The novel refers to the villain Fagin numerous times as "the Jew", while the ethnicity or religion of the other characters is rarely mentioned. Dickens later tried to correct his position in other books.
Anti-Semitism in the USA
Although the US has been the biggest supporter of Israel and has the second-largest Jewish community in the world; like racism, anti-semitism too persists in the US, although it is on the wane. Of course, anti-semitism in the US even at its peak lacked the extent and severity of its counterpart in the Middle East and Europe, where Jews endured pogroms and other massive acts of violence culminating in the Holocaust.

Henry Ford, the industrial genius and the renowned automaker, is one prominent example of rabid anti-semitism. Ford's newspaper "The Dearborn Independent" used to publish anti-semitic material. One of the paper’s chief targets was the so-called “International Jew”, a sinister figure cited as the root cause of World War I. In 1921, it printed the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” even though the book had by then been exposed as a forgery created by the Russian czar’s secret police in 1905 to foment virulent anti-Semitism. Hitler admired Ford. Ford received "Grand Cross of the German Eagle" from the Nazi regime in 1938.

"Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler's Rise to Power, 1919-1933" by James Pool brings out the role of the US industrialists and the US capital too.

Lately, the anti-semitism in the US has been rooted less in religion or race and more in envy and jealously of the Jewish affluence and influence.

As per the findings of the US Commission on Civil Rights in 2006, the incidents of anti-semitism were a serious problem on college campuses throughout the US. In 2012, the California state assembly approved a resolution that "encourages university leaders to combat a wide array of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel actions".

Jewish Ordeal under
"The Religion of Peace" (Islam)

570 CE. Birth of Prophet Muhammad. 610 CE: Start of Quranic revelations.

622 CE. Prophet Muhammad and his followers arrived in Medina (Yathrib) from Mecca in 622 CE (Hijra). They depended upon the hospitality of the Arabs and the Jewish tribes that lived in Medina, the three prominent Jewish tribes being Banu Qurayza, Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir.

When Prophet Muhamma realised he would not be accepted as a Prophet by the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) like the (Jewish/Christian) Prophets that had preceded him, he turned hostile towards them.

The Muslims gradually gained in strength in Medina. Raiding merchant caravans in and around Medina also helped.

624 CE. Muhammadan forces defeated the Meccan Quraish in the Battle of Badr in March 624 CE, considerably enhancing their confidence. The battle had followed the attempted raid on a Meccan merchant caravan by the Muhammadan forces.

625 CE. The Muslims, by then strong enough, confiscated the date orchards, land and other property of two of the Jewish tribes, Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir, and exiled them. Many of them moved to Khaibar.

Sura 59 of the Quran, Al-Hashr (Exodus), refers to this banishment of the Jewish tribe. Quran 59.2: "It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture [Jews] from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision." Quran 59.3: "And if not that Allah had decreed for them evacuation, He would have punished them in [this] world, and for them in the Hereafter is the punishment of the Fire." Quran 59.4: "That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever opposes Allahthen indeed, Allah is severe in penalty."

627 CE. After the Battle of the Trench was over, Prophet Muhammad and his followers besieged the remaining major Jewish tribe in Medina, Banu Qurayza, for 25 days in their fortress until they surrendered. Their property was divided, women and children were taken captives/slaves and divided, and almost all the male adult members were beheaded. As per sura Al-Ahzab of the Quran 33.25-27: "And Allah repelled those who disbelieved, in their rage, not having obtained any good. And sufficient was Allah for the believers in battle, and ever is Allah Powerful and Exalted in Might. And He brought down those who supported them among the People of the Scripture [Jews] from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts [so that] a party you killed, and you took captive a party. And He caused you to inherit their land and their homes and their properties and a land which you have not trodden. And ever is Allah , over all things, competent."

O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you—then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.
— Quran 5.51

[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, "I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.
— Quran 8.12

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture —[fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.
— Quran 9.29

Say, "O People of the Scripture [Jews], do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient?" Say, "Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah ? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way."
— Quran 5.59, 5.60

...[The] Qur'an describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people's wealth frivolously, refusing to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness … only a minority of the Jews keep their word. … [A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims, the bad ones do not...
— Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the grand sheikh of Cairo's Al-Azhar University and the leading authority for Sunni Muslims in his book "Jews in the Qur'an and the Traditions"

629 CE. The oasis of Khaibar (or Khaybar) is located 150 km from Medina in the NW-part of the Arabian peninsula. The Battle of Khaibar was fought in the year 629 between the Jews living there and the Muslims led by Prophet Muhammad. The Jews in Khaibar had barricaded themselves in a fort. Incidentally, among the residents of Khaibar were also Banu Nadir, who had settled there after being evicted/exiled by the Muhammadans from Medina in 625 CE (see above).

The Jews finally surrendered and were allowed to live in Khaibar provided they gave one-half of their produce to the Muslims—this imposition led to a provision in the Islamic law of Jiziya requiring the exaction of tribute from non-Muslims and confiscation of land belonging to non-Muslims into the collective property of the Muslim community. This led to the concept of dhimmi (for Jews and Christians: the People of the Book) under Islam, supposedly the "protected", or rather the "tolerated", ones, from whom the religious Jiziya tax was extorted as the "protection", or rather the "toleration", money, which compounded their daily humiliation, robbery of freedom, and even expropriation of their property and murder on whimsical grounds.

Part of sura Al-Fatt-h (Victory) is in relation to this and other victories. Quran 48.18-20: "Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, [O Muhammad], under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest. And much war booty which they will take. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. Allah has promised you much booty that you will take and has hastened for you this [victory] and withheld the hands of people from you - that it may be a sign for the believers and [that] He may guide you to a straight path."

635 CE. The Palestine/Israel region, including Jerusalem, was conquered by the Arabs in 635 CE; and for the next 1300 years it remained under the Islamic rule under various caliphates.

637 CE. Muslim forces captured Caesarea, a city in Israel, forcing the city's estimated 100,000 Jews to follow the Pact of Omar, which meant they had to pray quietly, not build new synagogues and not prevent Jews from converting to Islam. The Jews were forbidden to ride horses. They were barred from holding judicial or civil posts, and were forced to wear a yellow patch for identification.

692 CE: Dome of the Rock. 714 CE: Al Aqsa Mosque. Caliph Abd el-Malik built Dome of the Rock in 691-692 CE on the site of the First and Second Temples (Temple Mount) of Jews. Al Aqsa Mosque was built next to the Dome of the Rock in 714 CE. Muslims believe the location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque to be the site of Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heavens and back. The Night Journey is mentioned in the Quran, though Quran does not specify the location as Temple Mount or Jerusalem; the Quran simply says in sura Al-'Isra' (The Night Journey) 17.1: "Exalted is He who took His Servant [Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Haram [of Mecca] to al-Masjid al-Aqsa [the furthest place of worship], whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs..." There is no evidence to show that Prophet Mohammed ever came to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Quran.

8th century CE. The whole of Jewish community was wiped out by the Muslim ruler Idris I in Morocco.

807 CE. Caliph Harun Al Rashid (1001 nights) forced Baghdad Jews to wear a yellow badge and Christians to wear a blue badge for identification.

1066 CE. Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob, which then razed the Jewish quarters of the city and slaughtered its 5,000 inhabitants.

1107 CE. Moroccan ruler Yoseph Ibn Tashfin ordered all Moroccan Jews to convert to Islam or leave.

Jews were forced to convert to Islam or to face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344).

1465 CE. Arab mobs in Fez (located in the northeast part of Morocco) slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier allegedly treated a Muslim woman in “an offensive manner”. The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.

1516 CE. The Ottoman Turks occupied Palestine in 1516.

1619 CE. Extreme persecution of the Jews by Shah Abbasi of the Persian Sufi Dynasty forced many to outwardly practice Islam, even as they kept secretly practising Judaism.

1783 CE. Upon their failure to pay an exorbitant ransom demanded by the Sultan of Morocco, the Jews were expelled for the third time.

1785 CE. Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews in Libya.

1805, 1815, 1830 CE. Jews were massacred in Algiers.

1821 CE. There were anti-Jewish Arab riots in Jaffa and other cities.

1830 CE. In the 1830s, Egypt occupied Palestine leading to merciless prosecution of the indigenous Jews by Muslim zealots. In 1834, Jewish homes in Jerusalem were destroyed and their women violated. Later, Jews in Hebron were massacred. Savagery was unleashed on the Jews out of blind hatred and false prejudices of a fanatical population.

19th century. Jews in most of North Africa, including Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Morocco, were forced to live in ghettos. In Morocco, Jews were made to walk barefoot or wear shoes of straw when outside the ghetto. Even Muslim children participated in the degradation of Jews, by throwing stones at them or spitting at them or harassing them in other ways.

1909 CE. Tel Aviv was founded by the European Jews on the sand dunes in 1909!

1917 CE. The Turkish Governor of Jaffa ordered all Jews to leave Tel-Aviv and Jaffa.

1929 CE. Arab gangs attacked the Jews praying at the Kotel (the Western Wall of the Temple Mount).

1929 CE. Hebron Jews were massacred by Arab militants.

1933 CE. There were riots in Jaffa and Jerusalem against the Jews.

1934 CE. 2000 Jews were forced to live in the wilderness in Afghanistan after being expelled from its towns.

1936 CE. The Arab Higher Committee encouraged raids on Jewish communities in Palestine, supported by the Axis powers.

1936-39 CE. Anti-Jewish riots were instigated by the Arab militants in Palestine.

1939 CE. Jewish immigration to Palestine was severely limited as a result of the British White Paper (Palestine was under the British Mandate then) effectively condemning thousands of Jews, who could have been saved otherwise, to the Holocaust.

1940 CE. British refused illegal Jewish immigrant ship, the Patria, permission to dock in Palestine.

Harassment of Jews. Although the Jews elsewhere assimilated with the local population, the same didn’t happen in Palestine on account of the anti-Jewish prejudice inculcated among the Muslims by their leaders and religious heads. It was not uncommon for the organized gangs of Arabs to attack unprotected and unarmed Jewish settlements.

Arab Jew Refugees. Jewish refugees from the Muslim countries (Arab Jews) like Yemen, Iraq, Turkey and North Africa too migrated to Palestine to escape persecution there.

Pressure on Jews to Leave. The Romans, and subsequently the Crusaders and a section of the Muslims, did their level best to drive away as many Jews as possible from Judea/Israel/Palestine. However, despite the difficulties and ill-treatment, thousands of Jews refused to leave their holy cities like Hebron, Jerusalem, Safad and Tiberias; besides remaining in Acre, Ashkelon, Caesarea, Gaza, Jaffa, Jericho and Rafah.

Jews Brought Prosperity to Barren Lands. As the Jews, through their hard-work and investments, began to bring prosperity to the barren lands, Arab Muslims started flocking near the Jewish settlements in view of better economic opportunities and better infrastructure and healthcare. It would be wrong to say that the immigrating Jews displaced the local Arab Muslims/Palestinians in any way. The land purchased by the immigrating Jews was economically and agriculturally backward, grossly under-populated and barren in most cases. Jews actually made the barren land prosperous and opened up economic opportunities even for the local Palestinians and the Arab Muslims.

To Jews the land meant freedom from the oppressive regimes from which they had fled. Palestine, the land of their forebears, had tremendous historical and religious significance for the Jews, and was an appropriate place for them to return to. Besides, there had always been a significant presence of Jews in Palestine, making it that much more attractive for the Jews elsewhere to immigrate to Palestine. Jerusalem was a predominantly Jewish city well before the First Aliyah.

Inexplicable Treatment of Jews
under Crescent & Cross,
"The Religion of Peace" &
"The Religion of Compassion"

I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation.

       — Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

Judaism was the forerunner of the latter two Abrahamic faiths: Christianity and Islam. All the three religions are monotheistic and worship the same God: Jews call him Jehovah or Yahweh or YHWH and Muslims call him Allah. Abraham and Moses of the Jewish Bible are also accepted by Christianity and Islam. Christianity’s sacred texts includes the Jewish Bible (Old Testament), besides the New Testament. The Children of Israel is an important religious concept in Islam, and Islam incorporates Jewish history. Moses, the most important prophet of Judaism, is also considered a prophet and messenger in Islam. There are numerous references to the Israelites in the Quran.

Yet, both Christians and Muslims had been ungrateful enough to victimise the very people they drew inspiration from, and from whom they borrowed so much! It is hard to understand why these latter two Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam) should have been so intolerant, arrogant and full of themselves, believing quite unreasonably that they alone were right, permitting no alternate routes to God. How could one be religious (if it means being good, compassionate, kind and loving) and be yet so full of hate and ill-will towards those believing in other religions, including the one they borrowed liberally from, namely Judaism.

Some scholars regard monotheism as an improvement over polytheism, when actually polytheist religions have been more reasonable, tolerant, democratic and respectful of other faiths.

What is baffling is that even the European Enlightenment failed to enlighten the Christians into being tolerant and accepting of others—for the exclusion and persecution of the European Jews continued!

Muslim bias against the Jews is rooted in the Quran’s negative allusions to Judaism and the negative references in the Prophet Muhammad’s biography and traditions. Discrimination, humiliation and insulting treatment was a fact of life for the Jews under Islam, not to speak of the Jizya (tax) that they were forced to pay.
The Arab world is the last bastion of unbridled, unashamed, unhidden and unbelievable anti-Semitism. Hitlerian myths get published in the popular press as incontrovertible truths. The Holocaust either gets minimized or denied....How the Arab world will ever come to terms with Israel when Israelis are portrayed as the devil incarnate is hard to figure out.

— Columnist Richard Cohen
Under Islam, the Jews were viewed with contempt and the so-called peaceful coexistence was conditional upon their subordination, degradation and payment of Jizya. In the ninth century, Baghdad’s Caliph forced Jews to wear yellow badges for identification, later copied by others nations/regions.

Jews as "dhimmis" under Islam had to live with insecurity and humiliation.
Our hatred for the Jews dates from God’s condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa (Jesus) and their subsequent rejection of His chosen Prophet. ...for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.

— Saudi Arabia’s King Ibn Saud, 1937 as told to the British Colonel H.R.P. Dickson
It speaks eloquently about Israel’s secularism that 25% of its population comprises non-Jews, of which the overwhelming majority is of Muslims. In sad contrast, Jews have been cleaned out of the Arab countries, where they had lived for centuries.

Exceptions: Good Treatment of Jews

(There are many more such examples. The following are only samples.)
742-814 CE. Charlemagne, French Holy Roman Emperor, protected and helped develop Jewish culture in his kingdom, seeing Jews as an asset.

1095 CE. Henry IV of Germany granted Jews favourable conditions. He issued a charter to the Jews and a decree against forced baptism.

1115 CE. After reconquering Toledo (Spain) from the Muslims, Alphonso I invited all Jews to return.

1389 CE. Pope Boniface continued the policy of Clement VI forbidding Christians to harm Jews, destroy their cemeteries or forcibly baptize them.

1391-92 CE. Spanish King Pedro I ordered that Jews be not harmed, and that synagogues be not converted into churches. He also announced his compliance with the Bull of Pope Boniface IX, protecting Jews from baptism.

1420 CE. Pope Martin V reinstated old privileges of the Jews and ordered that no child under the age of 12 be forcibly baptized without parental consent. He also reminded Christians that Christianity was derived from Judaism and issued warning that there should be no incitement against Jews.

1569 CE. Brest Litovsk (city in Belarus) welcomed Jewish settlement, which then grew from 4000 to 50,000 in the next 80 years.

1621 CE. Sir Henry Finch, legal advisor to King James I, made the first English call to restore the Jews to their homeland in his treatise The World's Great Restoration or Calling of the Jews.

1655 CE. Jews were re-admitted to England by Oliver Cromwell.

1657 CE. The first Jews gained the rights of citizens in America.

1740 CE. 1753 CE. England granted naturalization rights to Jews in the colonies. The English Parliament extended naturalization rights to Jews resident in England in 1753 CE..

1790 CE. George Washington wrote a letter to the Jewish community proclaiming religious liberty.

1781 CE. Joseph II of Austria rescinded the 513-year old law requiring Jews to wear distinctive badges for identification.

1791 CE. French Jews were granted full citizenship for the first time since the Roman Empire.

The brief legal emancipation of Jews during the Napoleonic wars released unparalleled economic, professional, and cultural energies.  It was as though a high dam had suddenly been breached.

— Amos Elon, The Pity of It All - A portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch 1743 -1933

1866 CE. Switzerland, a hotbed of anti-Jewish edicts, granted Jews equal rights after threats by the US, France and Britain.

1867 CE. Hungary passed legislation emancipating the Jews.

1868 CE. Benjamin Disraeli became the prime minister of Great Britain—the first one of Jewish descent in Europe.

1869 CE. Italy granted emancipation to the Jews.

1870 CE. Sweden granted citizenship to the Jews.

1870 CE. Ghettos that Italy had earlier forced upon the Jews were abolished!

1871 CE. A new German constitution gave the German Jews full legal equality.

1881 CE. The Ottoman government announced permission for foreign Jews to settle throughout the Ottoman Empire.

1917 CE. Jews were granted full rights in Russia.

1919 CE. Emir Faisel wrote a letter to Felix Frankfurter (Zionist delegate) supporting Zionism, “We Arabs...wish the Jews a most hearty welcome.”

(Overview of the history of Israel would be continued in the subsequent blog-posts: Part-3, 4.)

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