Israel/Middle East (News & Politics)/Asking

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QUESTION: Hi

Shalom !

I wanted to know some general questions on Israel / Hebrew. There are multiple questions.

1. Hebrews count themselves under both religious and non - religious segment. You can not have an atheist Christian OR an atheist Muslim BUT you can have atheist Jew. How is it possible?

2. Israel did face holocaust. But despite all that, it is emerging as a superpower kind of. They managed to end anti - semitism in US and West. They got fully integrated. Any secret?

3. I also want to learn Hebrew. Can you help with some resources?

4. Some people have commented on origin of Arabic / Persian etc. from Hebrew. I dont know how true are those claims. May be you can confirm. Also, why is Arabic counted under Semitic languages when Arabs are the World's No. 1 Anti - Semites?

5. Jews have a long known history of fighting terrorism for they have killed many Islamic terrorists recently and in past. What is Israeli solution to terrorism?

ANSWER: Hi Azit,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you but your questions are very interesting and I wanted to devote the proper amount of time to answer them.

1. Atheists can be anybody. In fact, there are atheist Christians especially in the United States but more so in Europe, and Muslims especially in the Balkans and even Iran believe it or not. A Christian atheist would not consider him/herself to be Christian even though that's the family he was born into. For Muslims, it's similar. But with Jews, it's different. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism is both and religion AND an ethnicity/nationality. Some Jews identify more religiously and some more ethnically and a substantial number of those who identify as ethnically Jewish are atheist. That is the nature of belonging to a people that's both a religion and ethnicity. I noticed that you're from India. Admittedly, I don't know much about Hinduism, Sikhism, etc. Perhaps you can tell me if there are atheists among them.

2. I think you're mistaken. Anti-Semitism in the west is actually alive and well. Israel hasn't ended it and I don't think that's even possible. It's a sad fact that mankind hates - if not Jews, then other people. Never in human history has there ever been a period where people didn't hate. In the US, anti-Semitism has never been much of a problem even though it certainly exists. One incident occurred just a couple of days ago. This is an election year in the US and in a district in northern California, a Jew is running for Congress. As such, she has received an avalanche of anti-Semitic emails etc. and the problem got so bad that she now needs a police escort wherever she goes. But in Europe, the problem is much worst. Some blame Muslim immigrants but Europeans don't need Muslims to encourage them to hate Jews. I can make a whole list of western organizations made up of people of all backgrounds that are obsessed with hating Israel and Jews. One of the more notorious of these is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement which seeks to isolate Israel economically, and also culturally, all based on lies. Universities have become hell for Jews even though so many Jews do attend them. They prefer to put up with the constant harassment in favor of simply getting a education. The news media in Europe is another source of hatred, namely the BBC or France24; listen to them report on Israel. It's not only very biased, but I myself have caught them lying many times.

With all the wars and terrorism that Israel has had to deal with since independence, logic says that Israel is supposed to be a poverty stricken war-torn hellhole. But in fact, the Israeli standard of living is on a par with Europe with more hi-tech start-ups per capita than any country in the world outside of the US and possibly Canada. In the last 20 years, economic partnerships between Israel and India as well as the US and even Europe have increase tenfold. I don't have an answer to why all this success. Logically, it's not supposed to be this way. You'd probably have to look to other minds that are more knowledgeable than I am to answer this.

3. There are actually several good sites to learn Hebrew - some are paid lessons, others are free. I suggest you go to this Google page - https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=learn+hebrew+online - and you can choose which lesson plan suits you. Or you can type in "learn Hebrew online" in the Google search bar and similar results will come up.

4. Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian are all very ancient and separate languages but all had linguistic ancestors that they grew out of.

Arabs are indeed Semites. The term "anti-Semitism" was first coined in Germany in 1879 when describing hatred toward Jews. The sentiment was always there, but now, it was given a name. The term anti-SEMITISM soon came into usage because Jews were practically the only Semites that the people of central, western, and northern Europe had ever encountered.

5. There is an old Jewish saying, "two Jews, three opinions". Explaining to you the Israeli solution to terrorism is to explain to you the opinions of 6 1/2 million Jewish Israelis. With all due respect, I'm not going to do that. But basically, with a strong and technologically advanced army, terrorism can be contained. And if it can't be contained, that means the Israeli army chooses not to do so.

I hope these answers are satisfactory. Feel free to ask me any other questions in the future. All the best.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi

Thanks for wonderful reply


1. Sikhs are never atheists. Buddhist are atheists mostly. They believe in Buddha alone but disagree that Buddha was GOD. Hindu can be anything - they have multiple categories. They are Tantrik (sorcerer), Aghori (spirit hunters) as well. There is a category called Charvaak who are atheists. Being Hindu is also a nationality for the term derives from Indus river.

I guess the atheists you mentioned are just atheists not muslim / Christian. How can one call himself Muslim without believing in Mohammad as Allah prophet? Which Christian doesn't believe in Christ?

2. You have researched on history, maybe you have found out why mankind hates?

At the time of World War, anti - semitism was on its peak. Today, it isn't even one fourth of that. That's a remarkable feat.

3. Thanks for the Hebrew resources.

4. Arabs always hated Jews. I won't quote Qur'anic hate verses. People say that an Arab Hazi Amin Al Chishti motivated Hitler to kill Jews. What makes you conclude that Arabs are Semites?

5. In fact, most world governments aren't serious against terrorism. It is rumored that Hillary Clinton created terrorism in Kosovo and Syria. People often link Tony Blair with Islamic state.

But Israel seems quite serious against terrorism. If they can teach their mantra, the world can benefit.

Answer
Hi again Azit,

Regarding your second question, I honestly don't have an answer for you. I don't know why mankind hates. It would actually be easier to tell you the meaning of life.

Historically, the virulence of anti-Semitism fluctuated between being very high and very low. I'd have to disagree with you that it is one fourth of what it was. In the west, it is true that after the World War, anti-Semitism dropped dramatically. That was the very low period. Today, I see it rising again. In fact, a lot of historians have commented that the situation today is comparable to the situation in the 1930s when the Nazis were gaining in popularity. In the Arab world, it has been on the rise since the 1920s, reach its peak during the war, and we're still at that peak. I don't see it dropping any time soon.

The name of the Arab you referred to is Haj Amin al Husseini. It was Prime Minister Netanyahu who, not too long ago, did mention that it was Husseini who motivated Hitler to kill Jews. But historians and eyewitnesses who were there corrected him on this. Hitler needed no motivation from anybody. But Husseini was a willing accomplice and he told Hitler that he wished to create concentration camps for Jews in the Middle East based on the German model. Fortunately, that plan never materialized.

The fact is, Jews are not the only Semites in the world. The word "Semite" comes from the Hebrew word "Shemi", the descendant of Shem son of Noah. That also includes today's Syriacs and Assyrians, Kurds, and various tribes in Ethiopia. The Semitic race also includes Arabs. But how the Arabs were born into the Semitic race is a matter of debate. According to them, they are descendants of Ishmael specifically, the first-born son of Abraham. It's a genetic fact that Jews and Arabs are "cousins" but what proof do the Arabs have that their ancestor was Ishmael? In ancient times, the Semitic Ishmaelites were the Bedouin of the northern deserts in Arabia, and they probably still are, but as far as the Arabs as a whole, it would be highly doubtful. Also, it is mentioned in the Bible that Shem was the ancestor of Sheba who founded a nation in southern Arabia (homeland of the Queen of Sheba), today Yemen. But whether those people were "Arabs" is not known. At that time, Sheba also stretched far into Ethiopia.

I'm afraid I will have to agree with you that most of the world is not serious about fighting terrorism, even after the events in Paris. But I highly doubt that Hillary Clinton created terrorism in Kosovo or Syria. Even if the rumors were true, Syria doesn't need any encouragement from Hillary Clinton or anyone else. If I were you, I'd try to steer clear of conspiracy theories. They can only get you in trouble.

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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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