Israel/Middle East (News & Politics)/ARAB - ISRAEL TRAGEDY

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QUESTION: I am researching on middle east politics. So, I want to know about so called Arab - Israel tragedy. Arabs say something else and Jews say something else. So, what is unbiased opinion? When did the war started and why?

Also can you elaborate on these videos? It shows that Jews conclude Israel as anti - Torah. 2 such videos are here:

http://www.anti-semitism.net/zionism/proof-israel-is-an-imposter-state-real-isra

http://www.anti-semitism.net/zionism/the-real-religion-of-our-leaders-video.php

What does this means? Please elaborate in detail.

Dr David Duke claims that nowadays, an Anti - Semite is one whom Jews hate. What is happening?

I am sorry to ask too many questions but am just confused. Try to give as many details as you can. Also try to give references what you mentioned. Thanks...

ANSWER: Hi Aja,

I'm getting a lot of questions from India lately. I guess Indians really like me.

Just to let you know, I am Jewish and I can only answer from a Jewish point of view. But if you should doubt anything I'll be saying here, feel free to check out my answers independently and you'll see that they are accurate. The references I suggest to you are at the bottom.

To answer your question about when the Arab-Israeli conflict started is a lot like asking when baseball started. There's just no pin-point answer. I can tell you with certainty, though, that Arabs, like Europeans, simply never thought that highly of Jews in the first place. Not all Arabs certainly, but many. For centuries, Jews and other non-Muslims in the Middle East, both in and outside of "Palestine", were treated as dhimmi - protected second-class citizens. This was either a good thing or a bad thing depending on the ruler. In the social heirarchy, Jews were the lowest, with Christians, just a step above that. When Zionism came along beginning in the 1880s, the Zionists said "I don't want to be dhimmi any more. I want to be treated as equals and reestablish my ancient homeland". This was a major insult to the Arabs, especially coming from a people who were always considered to be the lowest of the low. That's how the conflict as we know it today, started. Everything else the Arabs say - the Jews stole Palestinian land, the Jews wanted to drive the Palestinians out, the Jews are committing genocide against the Palestinian people, etc. are nothing but excuses to hate Israel, not to mention pure lies that only a typical anti-Semite would believe.

The website that these videos you mention are posted on, is one that I honestly never heard of. I don't know its purpose. They say that it is to fight anti-Semitism but anti-Semitic videos seem to be all they post. So I'll just comment about the 2 videos you list above. The first one features a group of religious Jews denouncing Israel and Zionism. These Jews that are featured belong to a sect known as Neture Karta. It was founded in Jerusalem in 1938 in response to the growing number of religious Jews who were accepting Zionism in principle. Their belief is that only the messiah, sent by god, can reestablish the State of Israel and nothing else. This view was held by religious Jews for centuries. They believe that Zionism interferes with the will of god, therefore, Zionism is blasphemy, the very existence of Israel is blasphemy, and everything Israel does in self-defense is illegitimate. For good measure, they also publicly embrace those people whose desire it is, is to finish the job Hitler started e.g. Ahmadinejad, Arafat, George Galloway, etc. This group is shunned by most religious Jews throughout the world, and in some cases, they are excommunicated.

RE the second video you posted. The subject here is Freemasonry. Freemasonry is a partially secretive fraternity, not a religion. It has nothing to do with Judaism (although some Jews are members) or Zionism or Israel or the Middle East. Anyone can become a member regardless of one's religious beliefs. The only major requirement is that the candidate believes in a higher power. Their main activity is charitable work. The video is obviously anti-Freemason, but I can tell you from personal experience, in my family, I've had some cousins who were members. I've never heard anything negative said about them, either from family members who were members or from those who were not.

RE David Duke. There are many prominent anti-Semites in the United States today. David Duke is one of them. He was a former wizard in the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization that would lynch black people for the fun of it. Hatred is simply in his blood. He hates blacks, and especially Jews. No reason. This is just what the Klan is based on. Get rid of blacks and Jews from American society and the Klan would go out of existence. Personally, I don't pay much attention to anything David Duke says.

References: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH8RL2XRr48
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXSvrAe5xEM
http://www.nkusa.org/aboutus/index.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_duke

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QUESTION: Thanks Sir.

Yes. India - Israel relations are itself a growing phenomenon. In fact more Indians want to know Israel in detail. Some do independent research. Nathan Katz declared that Cochin Jewish community is oldest to the east of Iran. He adds that Bnei Jews are growing in Mumbai. Some Indo - Judaic studies have also developed. He also argues that Jews were not persecuted despite having many communist anti - semite parties.

Yeah, I am too confused about the website. It posts some videos which are semitic and some are anti - semitic. May be they too are run by Nature Karta people. Anyways, thanks again for the quick response.

I would also like to know in brief about various Jewish sects.

How do Jews perceive  afterlife?

Answer
Hello again Aja,

I'll answer your second question first. According to Jewish law, a Jew must be buried no later than four days after death or else the soul of that person won't go to heaven. In Israel, Jews are buried without a casket. They are only draped by a prayer shawl. (In some countries, this is illegal. In the US, for example, a person, by law, must be buried in a casket. So, in this case, Jews follow the rules of the state.) The reason for the Israeli way of burial is because it allows the body to decompose faster in keeping with the ancient Jewish tradition that man is made from the dust of the earth and must complete his earthly existence as dust of the earth. Cremation is forbidden (although some Jews do choose that option). Once the body is buried, the soul separates itself from the earthly body and goes to heaven. That's why, according to Judaism, the person dies, but the soul lives on forever. Unlike Christianity where Jesus judges everyone and the evil spend eternity with satan in hell, in Judaism, god judges everyone, much like what happens in a courthouse, and satan acts as man's prosecutor. I'll refer you to an excellent article on the subject: http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm. It is not long and you'll get a lot out of it.

Now as regards your first question about Jewish sects, there are actually so many, I can't possibly list them all here. But I could list some. Not all Jewish groups are "sects", however. German Jewry, for example, isn't a "sect". It's an "ethnic group" (for lack of a better term), referred to in Hebrew as "edah" - edot, plural. This term can also apply to "sects". The oldest edah in the Jewish world is that of the Musta'arabi Jews. These are the indigenous Palestinians. To be sure, the term applies to any Jew in an "Arab" country whose family had lived in that country since before the Arab invasion and conquest in the 7th century, but traditionally, most Palestinian Musta'arabim have been Palestinian. Then there are the Samaritans. They live mostly in Shechem (Nablus) and have existed since Biblical times. They don't believe in the Talmud, only the Torah and also the Book of Joshua. For centuries, it was thought that they were Assyrian settlers who converted to Judaism for opportunistic reasons. The Samaritans had always claimed that they were descended from the Israelite tribes of Menasheh and Ephraim and, in fact, in 1842, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine proclaimed that they were a branch of the House of Israel. Recent DNA tests have proven that the Samaritans were right all along. Aside from the Musta'arabim and the Samaritans, there are also those "Palestinian Arabs" who are descended from Jews - some from Jews who never left Israel and some who came from the region of Khaibar in Arabia and were refugees from Mohammed's armies. Later, their descendants converted to either Islam or Christianity for a variety of reasons, but mainly through force. Today, they live mainly in the village of Yatta south of Hebron. Karaite Judaism had their roots in the Bible but its present form began in Babylonia (Iraq) in the 8th century and spread throughout the world. Some of their ritual practices were influenced by Islam but generally, they are like mainstream Jews except, like the Samaritans, they don't follow the Talmud. The Donmeh began in Israel in the 17th century. This edah centered around an individual named Shavtai Zvi, a Turkish Jew who claimed he was the messiah. Today, his ardent followers still believe he's the messiah. Their rituals are a mixture of Jewish and Islamic because Shavtai Zvi became a convert to Islam later in life. Nowadays, they live mainly in Greece and Turkey but also in Israel and the United States.

Of the two main Jewish groups, the Ashkenazim comprising the majority of Jews today, originated from the central and eastern European diaspora. They are subdivided into many edot which include - secular, religious, Hasidic (known as Hareidim in Israel, and they themselves are divided into many groups, including the Neture Karta, and Chabad who are pro-Israel), Khazar which account for maybe 10% of Ashkenazi Jews, and Subbotniks, Russians whose ancestors had converted to Judaism centuries ago much like the Khazars. The Sephardic Jews originated from the Spanish and Portuguese diaspora. They also include the B'nei Anusim whose ancestors were forced to convert to Christianity but who practiced Judaism in secret. With the exception of the B'nei Anusim, the Sephardim were expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1496 respectively and spread throughout many parts of the world. The Mizrahi Jews, the majority of whom are descended from Sephardim who settled in the Middle East and North Africa, are also subdivided into many groups. These include the Babylonian community which is the oldest dating back to the Babylonian Captivity in 586 BCE. From the Babylonian grew the Persian community. The Yemenite community is almost as old as the Babylonian and the ancient Ethiopian community believe they are descended from the tribe of Dan.

As far as India is concerned, I don't know what Mr. Katz was talking about when he said that Jews were never persecuted unless he meant that Jews were never persecuted in India (or China for that matter) which was true. I don't think Mr. Katz is correct to say the Cochin Jews are the oldest community east of Iran although, you could say that they are the second oldest. The oldest would be the Bene Israel. They first came to India in around 175 BCE from Judea and settled in the Mumbai area. The Cochin Jews also came from Judea and settled in the area of Cochin in the period after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. They believe they are descended from the tribe of Menasheh and are divided into black and white communities. Also believing they are descended from Menasheh are the Bene Menasheh who live in Manipur and Mizoram. About 2000 of this group have already settled in Israel. In addition to those groups, there is the Persian community who settled in northern India beginning around the 12th century, the Ashkenazim mainly from Poland who came to India in the mid-15th century to escape persecution although most came centuries later to escape the nazis, the Sephardim who came after their expulsion from Spain and Portugal, and the Babylonian community who immigrated mainly from Baghdad in the 19th century. They settled predominantly in Mumbai and Calcutta. The Sassoon family belongs to this group.

There are also many other groups of Jews around the world, but like I said before, I can't possibly mention all of them.

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David

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I am an expert in Middle Eastern history, and Israeli history in particular. My main focus is Biblical analysis, the origins of Islam, and medieval and modern historical events in Israel. Everything you see happening in the world today, has a history.

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I am a free-lance writer who has previously lived in, and studied the history of, Israel.

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