Some argue that adaptation of European blood libels continues today, such as with the fable that Jews murdered a journalist
REPRINTS FROM THE JERUSALEM POST; BY GOL KALEV, DECEMBER 2, 2022
In this column, we have journeyed through over 3,000 years of Jewish history, leaning on the insight of Theodor Herzl. With today’s Magazine marking the 90th anniversary of The Jerusalem Post, it is only natural to place the newspaper in the context of history.
The beginning of the end of Judaism 1.0 – when Judaism was anchored in the Temple and the physical presence in Judea – came as Europeans invaded Judea. Unlike the local wars described in the Bible and in historical accounts, the Greeks and then the Romans sought to end Judaism – to force their “European values.”
When this failed, the Romans destroyed the Temple and deported the Jews from Jerusalem, and then from Judea. Judaism had to transform in order to survive, and indeed it has. For the next 2,000 years it had an internal anchor of religiosity (Rabbinic Judaism), and an external one of complete insularity.
The beginning of the end of Judaism 2.0, came as those two anchors were fading. Yet, just as the religious anchor of the Jewish nation-religion was eroding, its national aspect was ascending.
Theodor Herzl launched the Zionist movement in 1897, and within 20 years his vision was about to come to fruition. The British issued the Balfour Declaration and were later given a mandate for Palestine – core to which was to usher in a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Indeed, when The Jerusalem Post (then The Palestine Post) was first published, it was merely 12 years after the prospect of a utopian Middle East was shuttered by yet another European invader – this time, France.
1920: Toward a utopian Middle East
The year 1920 symbolized the fulfillment of Herzl’s vision – a Jewish state in the making in Palestine living side-by-side next to a pro-Zionist Arab kingdom in Syria. The Hashemite Arab Kingdom of Syria was led by King Faisal. Not only was Faisal a Zionist, but he also lobbied the world powers during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference for the Zionist cause.
Faisal was the consensus Arab leader of the region, and still the British chose to conduct additional due diligence. They tasked T.E. Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia – with checking Arab sentiment toward Zionism. Lawrence confirmed that Zionism had broad Arab support. This was very much in line with Herzl’s vision.
Yet Herzl, who died in 1904, also predicted something else: Europe will never leave the Jews alone. He warned that European animosity will follow the Jews even after they leave Europe. He wrote in 1895: “In the first 25 years of our existence we need, for our development, some rest from Europe, its wars and social complications.” Stunningly, exactly 25 years after Herzl wrote this, Europe ended its “rest” and exported its cherished obsession with war to the Middle East.
Emir Faisal’s delegation at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Left to right: Rustum Haidar, Nuri as-Said, Prince Faisal, Captain Pisani (behind Faisal), T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), unknown member of his delegation, Captain Tahsin Kadry.
European intervention begins
France defied international law and invaded the Arab kingdom in 1920, ending the trajectory toward the Herzl-envisioned peaceful Middle East.
France argued that this Arab land of Syria belongs to them. This was not based on a historic connection of the French people to Syria. To be fair, there was a French presence in Syria during the 19th century, and French diplomats even exported the European concept of Jew-hatred overseas to the local Arab population when French diplomats instigated the 1840 “Damascus Blood Libels.”
Blood libels tend to be associated with the Middle Ages, such as the 12th-century accusation that Jews murdered a child in Norwich, England for religious rituals, but European diplomats were able to not only export, but also adapt the well-tested anti-Jewish fable to local and contemporary circumstances, and accused the Jews in Syria of murdering a monk. (Some argue that such exporting and adaptation of European blood libels continues today, such as with the fable that Jews murdered a journalist).
France’s claim to Syria was based on colonialist dealings that took place between a mid-level French foreign-office official named Francois Picot, and Mark Sykes of the UK.
Based on this claim, France set in motion precisely what Herzl warned was the European obsession – war! France’s invasion of Syria led to the removal of the Arab monarch from Syria. This led to a series of events that shaped today’s Middle East: To compensate the Hashemite Arab king of Syria, the British carved Palestine into two.
They reduced the vision of the “two-state solution” from a Jewish state in Palestine living side-by-side next to an Arab kingdom in Syria – to a Jewish state in half of Palestine (west of the Jordan river) living side-by-side next to an Arab Hashemite kingdom in the other half of Palestine (east of the Jordan river).
The territory that was once promised to the Jews is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which just like its Syrian predecessor, is now a strong ally and friend of the Jewish state.
That same French invasion also led to the 1920 Tel Chai events – the first shots in what later became known as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Jews’ attempt to stay neutral did not work. Local Arab Bedouin thought that the Jews of Tel Chai were hiding French soldiers. In what some historians attribute to a series of misunderstandings, fighting ensued and eight Jews were killed, including iconic Zionist activist Yosef Trumpeldor.
Incidentally, similar circumstances occurred a century later in the 2020s, with France insisting (quite theatrically), that Jerusalem and Bethlehem should be taken away from Israelis and Palestinians. In this scenario, the city would be turned into an occupied entity controlled by the “international community,” (a.k.a. Europe), with the Church of Saint Anne carved out of this “make-believe colony,” and be given to the sole possession of France, based on France’s colonialist dealings with the Ottoman empire.
‘Jerusalem Post’ at 90 – European intervention intensifies
This historical backdrop of the years leading to the establishment of The Jerusalem Post continues as it celebrates its 90th anniversary. In the last two decades, Europe invested billions of dollars to nurture the Palestinian plight and turn it into what by now has become the autonomous movement of occupationalism, independent of Palestine interests.
As discussed in this column, occupationalists, led by the European Union, aggressively block Palestinians’ employment in Jewish-owned businesses, mentorship in Israeli hi-tech companies, residence in mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhoods, and even purchase of products in Israeli stores.
The October 14, 2022 cover of the Jerusaelm Post Magazine – exploring the thesis of Gol Kalev’s new book, Judaism 3.0 – Judaism’s Transformation to Zionism – over the background of the Jerusalem Post on May 16, 1948
But there is hope. Herzl predicted that the Jewish state would one day get the adamant support of the world – not due to Europe’s moral consciousness, but because it would become the necessity of the world. Indeed, today humanity is advanced through the Jewish state, through Zionism. (See last month’s article, “Anti-Zionism is anti-humanity.”)
Toward ‘Jerusalem Post’ at 100: A hope for peace?
As the Arab world recognizes this and increasingly partakes in the success of the Jewish state, the historic question is triggered: Will Europe end its 100-year-old disruptive intervention that existed since The Jerusalem Post has been in existence?
Moreover, can Europe have the courage to end its bigger woe: the 2,300-year-old European-Israeli conflict, which dates back to the European invasion of Judea; continues with the European deportation of Jews from their land; then 2,000 years of the European abusive and murderous persecution of Jewish refugees in Europe; and today, with the yet-to-be explained zealous European obsession with the Israeli-Arab conflict, its instigation and massive investment in conflict-perpetuation?
To find out, we will need to wait for The Jerusalem Post’s 100th-anniversary issue.
The writer is the author of Judaism 3.0: Judaism’s Transformation to Zionism (Judaism-Zionism.com). For his geopolitical articles: EuropeandJerusalem.com
THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN THE DECEMBER 2, 2022 JERUSALEM POST MAGAZINE – CLICK FOR THE PDF OF THE MAGAZINE
This is the ninth article in a Jerusalem Post series about the implications of Judaism 3.0:
This generation’s existential threat to Judaism
Applying Herzl’s thinking to counter Israel-bashing
Occuptionalism: The new form of Colonialism is hijacking the Palestinian cause
Occupationalism is enabled by the Jerusalem-based “Conflict Industry,” known for its lavish parties, insularity, high turnover and its own social hierarchy
European blood libels continue, but now there is a solution
Recognizing that we are in Judaism 3.0 would address existential threats to Judaism, but it would also provide Jewish clarity that would advance humanity
Judaism 3.0: Turning threats to Judaism into enablers of its survival
Like antisemitism in Herzl’s time, today’s Israel-bashing and assimilation of American Jewry also have hidden assets in them
Passover to Shavuot and the American-European divide
How the transition affects today’s geopolitics, the flaws of democracies and the emerging rift: Americanism vs. Europeanism
Threat to Judaism through friends, influenced by Israel-bashing movement
Applying Herzl’s thinking, the threat to Judaism might come through our friends. Such Israel-bashing-light was showcased in the Basel Zionism celebrations in 2022
A broad recognition of Judaism 3.0 would release the Arabs of the Middle-east from debilitating European dogmas that have occupied their true character for the last 100 years
See in Link: Applying Judaism 3.0 to the countering Israel-Bashing
See also The Jerusaelm Report 2022 New Year Magazine: Judaism’s transformation to Zionism – Countering the Israel-bashing movement
Recognizing that Judaism has transformed would rob the Israel-bashers of their starting point: The premise that Judaism is merely a religion.
Summary of above articles:
Gol Kalev shows how Israel-bashing is today’s existential threat to Judaism, having both a populous dogmatic retail component – Occupationalism, and institutional destruction mechanisms that deploy modern-day blood-libels. In such circumstances, Hasbara (Israeli PR) is futile. Yet, a broad global recognition that Judaism has transformed to Judaism 3.0, and Zionism is now its anchor, would dramatically mitigate the threat.
Taking it a step deeper, Gol then explores the depth of the existential threat by showing how the break from centuries old system of Divine-right-monarchy, created a bifurcation: Divine-right-republic in the United States and non-Divine neo-monarchy in Europe. Deploying Herzl’s political philosophy and his view of the inseparability of corruption from parliamentary Democracy, Gol demonstrates the imbedded danger of a system of “following laws” as opposed to doing so alongside an ideological Divine conscienceless: Passover to Shavuot and the American-European Divide
Gol then shows how Israel-bashers must stay in Judaism 2.0. A broad global recognition that Zionism is now the anchor of Judaism would rob Israel-bashers of their starting point, and would emancipate Palestinians and other Middle-Eastern Arabs from the debilitating European Occupation of their true character, which in turn would lead to peace: Paving the path to peace
For more of Gol’s geopolitical articles: Europe and Jerusalem
Europe should benefit from Herzl’s vision
Europeanism vs. Americanism – a new global philosophical divide?
GOL’S BOOK is NOW AVAILABLE oN AMAZON AND in stores in israel and the united states
Watch recap and video-clips from the book’s launch party: A revolutionary approach to countering Israel-bashing
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RELATED ARTICLES BY GOL KALEV: EUROPE & JERUSALEM
Related articles by Gol Kalev
The resurfacing of European Colonialism
Hijacking the Palestinian cause
European opposition to the Jewish state
Time for a new European peace conference
Europe should benefit from Herzl’s vision
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Watch Gol discuss his new book in an i24 interview