PALESTINE - Harun Yahya

Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples
and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in
God's sight is the one who best performs his duty; God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.
(Qur'an, 49:13)


This book does not oppose and criticize Judaism or Jews, but rather the racist Zionist ideology and its defenders. All the tragedy that has happened - and continues to happen - in Palestine is traceable to the application of the Zionist ideology by its leaders. It is Zionism that causes the Israeli army to fire rockets on children playing in schoolyards; sprays bullets on women harvesting their gardens' crops; and makes torture, violence, and skirmishes daily parts of Palestinian life.

Author Israel Shahak approaches Jewish history from a different point of view in his classic work Jewish History, Jewish Religion, and the Weight of Three Thousand Years.

Throughout the world today, quite a few intellectuals, politicians, and historians oppose Zionism. Various Christian and Jewish thinkers and authors condemn it and the Israeli governments' Zionist policies, as do various academics in Israeli universities such as the late Israel Shahak or Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, who criticize Israeli violence directed against Palestinians and who maintain that peace can be acheived only when Israel forsakes its Zionist ideology. Noam Chomsky, himself a Jew, has written many books and articles that are highly critical of Zionism and the policies of those countries that support it.

A group of Jewish academics, the self-proclaimed "new historians," has been exposing the "sacred lies" embedded in official Israeli policy, and the truths associated with them, since the early 1980s. Its members, namely, Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, Tom Segev, Baruch Kimmerling, Simha Flappan, and Joel Miqdal, are provoking strong reactions from Jews with Zionist leanings. They deal with the following "sacred lies": Arabs are racially inferior to Jews, Israel is a small country trying to survive in a region surrounded by enemies, all Palestinians are terrorists who want to destroy Israel, and these crazy terrorists deserve every kind of retaliation. Tom Segev, for example, one of the most prominent of these "new historians," has this to say of Israel's "official" history: "Until very recently, we did not have real history in this country; we had mythology."2 This just criticism, once offered only by Muslim academics and scholars, is now being expressed more loudly by many Jewish and Christian academics who are attempting to evaluate history in an unbiased manner.

These people, having witnessed the horrors of the Zionist ideology, see it as yet another of the colonialist ideologies founded in nineteenth-century racism. They give no credence to the myth that Israel is "a small and lonely country, surrounded by enemies who want to destroy it." To the contrary: Israel, through its actions, has proven to be a violent country that follows a policy of oppression and aggression.

Gideon Levy, a writer for Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper, defends the decipherement of the "sacred lies" in his review of Professor Benny Morris' book Correcting a Mistake: Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel, 1936-1956. After reading the details of the Zionist terror described in the book, and substantiated through eyewitness testimony and secret recordings, Levy wrote:

A majority of Israeli children begin learning Zionist ideology at a very young age. The ideology's racist interpretations have a very negative effect upon them.

Oh, we were so good (and did so many bad things). We were so right (and caused so many injustices). We were so beautiful (and our actions resulted in so much ugliness). And oh, we were so innocent and spread so many lies - lies and half-truths that we told ourselves and the rest of the world. We, who were born afterward, weren't told the whole truth; they only taught us the good parts, of which there were many. But, after all, there were also dark chapters which we heard nothing about.3

Israel Shahak, a Polish-born Jewish chemistry professor who spent 40 years in Israel and passed away in 2001, criticizes Israel's Zionist anti-human rights policies. In his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, and the Weight of Three Thousand Years, Shahak describes the extent to which Zionism constitutes a threat to humanity:

In my view, Israel as a Jewish state constitutes a danger not only to itself and its inhabitants, but to all Jews and to all other peoples and states in the Middle East and beyond.4

Ilan Pappe, who says of himself "I am the most hated Israeli in Israel," is a famous Jewish academic who shares the views of the new historians. When asked in an interview why Israelis fail to notice the cruelty done to Palestinians, the answer he gives is quite thought-provoking:

It is the fruits of a very long process of indoctrination starting in the kindergarten, accompanying all Jewish boys and girls throughout their life. You don't uproot easily such an attitude which was planted there by a very powerful indoctrination machine, giving a racist perception of the other, who is described as primitive, almost non-existing, hostile -- he is hostile, but the explanation given is that he was born primitive, Islamic, anti-Semite, not that someone has taken his land.5

But these thinkers, strategists, and writers have more in common than just their opposition to Zionism. The most important common denominator between them is that each has been accused of anti-Semitism. Anyone who has used historical facts and documents about events occuring in Palestine and then written an article or book criticizing Zionism has been accused of being anti-Semitic. The latest example is the British television channel BBC. The crew members who were preparing a documentary about the 1982 massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, as well as the station directors who broadcast it, were accused of anti-Semitism by the Israeli government.

This, actually, is a technique used by Zionists and pro-Zionists for slandering and neutralizing those who criticize Zionism. Zionists have even devised a term to slander such Jews: "self-hating Jew." This term also is used to describe Jews who criticize Israel, aiming to present them as traitors suffering from some psychological dilemma. Zionists who make such claims, no doubt, seek to sabotage the work of their opponents.

In fact, such race-based accusations, especially when leveled at Muslims, are groundless and illogical, for no Muslim, due to his or her beliefs, can defend any racist thought or viewpoint. Indeed, this is borne out by history. The Islamic world has never seen anything like the medieval European practices of the Inquisition, which grew out of religious fanaticism, and the more recent outbreaks of anti-Semitism (born of racist beliefs) in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Nazi Germany. The clash between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, which continues until this day, is the result of some Jews' adherence to Zionism's racist and anti-religious ideology, not of the actions of Muslims.

Israeli Soldiers Refusing To Serve in Occupied Territory

Following the 1967 war, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, one of Israel's leading intellectuals, warned that Israel must withdraw from the Occupied Territories in order to stop the bloodshed. He wrote that the only way to avert destruction from the Israelis might be for 500 soldiers stationed in the Occupied Territories to have the courage to say "we don't want to serve here" and to withdraw.6

In the days when the al-Aqsa Intifada (starting from September 2000) and the Israeli retaliation were growing more and more violent, a group of Israeli soldiers acted upon his proposal. In mid-January 2002, approximately 25 soldiers signed an open letter to the Israeli press reporting that they were refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. This refusal was not without precedent, for during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, a smaller group of soldiers had refused to serve in the Israeli army, saying that they did not want to be part of the genocide being perpetrated against Lebanese civilians. The actions of these soldiers, later called Yesh Gvul (There is a Limit), culminated with their imprisonment. Those soldiers who made their public statement in January 2002 did not face any punitive sanctions yet, and as of February 2002, their numbers had reached 250. Moreover, this time they received a great deal of support from peace groups, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, and ordinary Israelis and Palestinians.

In their statement, the soldiers contend that the Israeli army has acted brutally and mercilessly toward the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, that what is happening there violates human dignity, and that, furthermore, it has nothing to do with defending Israel. They continue: "We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve, and humiliate an entire people." In his statement to an Israeli newspaper, a signatory named Shuki Sadeh explains how he witnessed Israeli soldiers open fire on Palestinian children. He explains how he felt at the time: "What angered me at the time was that our soldiers said: 'Well, that's another Arab who has disappeared.' "

Ariel Shatil, an artillery master sergeant recalled that while it is claimed that the Palestinians shoot first and Israelis just respond, in reality, "We would start shooting and they would fire back." In a brochure that they prepared to warn their colleagues who continued to serve in the region, the soldiers stated:

When you take part in extrajudicial killings ("liquidation," in the army's terms), when you take part in demolishing residential homes, when you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes, when you uproot orchards, when you interdict food supplies or medical treatment, you are taking part in actions defined in international conventions (such as the 4th Geneva Convention) and in Israeli law as war crimes.7

A soldier named Asaf Oron, who took a long time to decide not to serve, reports that he witnessed extremely brutal practices while serving in the region. He explains what he experienced and what he sees as the solution:

Already on the bus ride to the Gaza strip, the soldiers were competing with each other: whose "heroic" tales of murderous beatings during the Intifada were better (in case you missed this point: the beatings were literally murderous: beating to death)...

As time went by, as the level of insanity, hatred, and incitement kept rising, as the generals were turning the Israeli Defense Forces into a terror organization... And then I discovered that I was not alone we all believe in God... We believe that there is no room for the tribal code, that the tribal code simply camouflages idolatry, an idolatry of a type we should not cooperate with. Those who let such a form of idol worship take over will end up as burnt offerings themselves.8

An Excerpt from the Soldiers' Open Letter

We, combat officers and soldiers who have served the State of Israel for long weeks every year, in spite of the dear cost to our personal lives, have been on reserve duty all over the Occupied Territories, and were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people. We, whose eyes have seen the bloody toll this Occupation exacts from both sides.

We, who sensed how the commands issued to us in the Territories, destroy all the values we had absorbed while growing up in this country.

We, who understand now that the price of Occupation is the loss of IDF's human character and the corruption of the entire Israeli society.

We, who know that the Territories are not Israel, and that all settlements are bound to be evacuated in the end.

We hereby declare that we shall not continue to fight this War of the Settlements.

We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people.

We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves Israel's defense.

The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose - and we shall take no part in them.

Britain's Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' Views on Israel

One very strong criticism from within the Jewish community against Israeli policies has come from Prof. Jonathan Sacks, Britain's Chief Rabbi. In aninterview, published in The Guardian on August 27, 2002, Sacks sternly criticized Israel, arguing that the country was adopting a stance "incompatible" with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians was "corrupting" Israeli society.

Sacks, who became the chief rabbi of Britain's Orthodox Jews in 1991, and who has been the leader of a Jewish community of 280,000 in the country, is known as a loyal supporter of Israel and a veteran who has worked for the establishment of peace in the region. "I regard the current situation as nothing less than tragic. It is forcing Israel into postures that are incompatible in the long run with our deepest ideals" said Sacks. He added that "there are things that happen on a daily basis which make me feel very uncomfortable as a Jew." He went on to say that he was "profoundly shocked" at the reports of Israeli soldiers smiling while posing for photographs with the corpses of slain Palestinians.a

The chief Rabbi's denouncement of Israeli savagery in the name of Judaism reminds us an important fact: It is not permitted for either a true Muslim or a true Jew to shed innocent blood. All divine religions forbid violence, war, and unjust murder, and command peace and the helping to those in need.

Jonathan Sacks also noted that Israelis, who have lived centuries in dispersion, should very well understand the plight of Palestinians:

You cannot ignore a command that is repeated 36 times in the Mosaic books: 'You were exiled in order to know what it feels like to be an exile.' I regard that as one of the core projects of a state that is true to Judaic principle. b

In the same interview, Sacks also answered the questions about a secret meeting he held in 2000 with Abdullah Javadi-Amoli, one of the highest-ranking clerics of Iran, during a conference of religious leaders, and noted, interestingly:

We established within minutes a common language, because we take certain things very seriously: we take faith seriously, we take texts seriously. It's a particular language that believers share. c

The chief rabbi Sacks' words are an example of the peaceful dialogue that must be established between Muslims and Jews (and, of course, Christians). All three faiths have enjoined justice, honesty, the rescue of the oppressed, and peace and love. The adherents of all the three faiths believe in God, love the same prophets; there should be no hostility between them.

a Jonathan Freedland, "Israel Set On Tragic Path, Says Chief Rabbi", The Guardian, August27, 2002
b Jonathan Freedland, "Israel Set On Tragic Path, Says Chief Rabbi", The Guardian, August27, 2002
c Jonathan Freedland, "Israel Set On Tragic Path, Says Chief Rabbi", The Guardian, August27, 2002

(Top) RADIKAL-Turkish Daily, 18.2.02
The revolt among Israeli soldiers refusing to go to the Occupied Territories is growing. The country's best-known military family has joined the ranks of those saying, "The occupation is debasing us."
The refusal of some Israeli soldiers to serve in the Occupied Territories resonated in the Western media. Many newspapers and magazines reported upon their protest. While The Nation approached this issue under the headline "An Antiwar Movement Grows in Israel," the Houston Chronicle used one of the soldiers' own words to lead its piece: "Israeli soldier: My moral objection to occupation." On the web site that the soldiers have started to bring their voices to the world, they encourage sincere Jews to avoid violence and animosity, because these have been forbidden by God. (http://www.seruv.org.il/YahadutEng.asp)

(Left) AKIT - Turkish Daily, 23.5.01
The campaign in Israel against Jewish settlements has slowly begun growing in influence. The latest polls have revealed that 61% of the public support the halting of settlement construction. The figure was 55% in the previous poll.
The illegal settlements established on Palestinian land have been protested not only by Muslims, but by Christians and Jews as well. The demonstrations shown above, as well as others, were dispersed violently by Israeli forces.

The Israeli government's practices are being criticized not only by Palestinian Muslims, but also by peace-loving Jews all over the world, who arrange frequent protests.

Ghada Karmi: "I am a Palestinian Arab. I was born in Jerusalem. Palestine is my homeland. But I cannot return there." Location: Israeli Embassy, London 1973

Ellen Siegel: "I am an American Jew. I was born in the U.S.A. Israel is not my homeland. But I can 'return' there." Location: Israeli Embassy, London 1992

The Islamic View of the Jews

Every Muslim feels a natural and legitimate response to the Zionist practice of terror upon Palestinians. However, it is necessary here, as in all matters, to stand for justice and act without prejudice. Every Muslim is obligated to prevent the cruel or unjust treatment of innocent Jews, even as he or she opposes Zionist Jews.

Anti-Semitism, like all forms of racism, is contrary to the morals of Islam. Muslims should oppose every type of genocide, torture, and cruelty, and do not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, or ethnicity. Muslims should not approve of the slightest unjust attack against Jews, nor against any other race, but rather condemn it. The Qur'an condemns those who sow discord, treat others cruelly, and murder innocent people. Thus, legitimate opposition to Zionism must never take the form of blanket enmity toward Jews.

As we read in the Qur'an, God considers it a thing of beauty that humanity is composed of many peoples. However, such racist ideologies as Zionism prevent people of different races, languages, and religions from living together in peace.

At the same time, other examples of racism (i.e., toward black Africans) are also deviations resulting from superstition and various ideologies outside the divinely revealed religions. Such deviations defend varieties of thought and social models that contrast starkly with the morals of the Qur'an. At the root of anti-Semitism are feelings of hatred, violence, and mercilessness. The Qur'an, on the other hand, teaches humility, love of others, compassion, and mercy. It commands Muslims to be just, and, if necessary, forgiving, even to their enemies: "O you who believe! Show integrity for the sake of God, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to faith. Heed God (alone). God is aware of what you do." (Qur'an, 5: 8) Moreover, "if someone kills another person - unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth - it is as if he had murdered all mankind" (Qur'an, 5:32).

For this reason, the murder of even one innocent person is a crime that cannot be understated.

The reason for different races and peoples on Earth is not to cause strife or war, but rather to display variety, which is the beauty of God's creation and a cultural bounty. People's physical differences are of no importance to God, and all Muslims know very well that the only superiority is that of godliness. God states this truth in the following verse:

Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God's sight is the one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Qur'an, 49:13)

Just as the Qur'an does not distinguish among races and ethnicities, people of different faiths are encouraged to live in peace and harmony within the same community. Another basic Qur'anic teaching is that people should not be sentenced as a group because they belong to a certain race, people, or religion. There are good and bad people within each community;this is a fact which the Qur'an points out. For example, after explaining that part of the People of the Book is rebellious toward God and religion, God mentions the following exception in the Qur'an:

They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite God's Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. God is aware of the heedful. (Qur'an, 3:113-115)

As a result, given that Muslims fear God and consider the criteria of the Qur'an, they cannot harbor hostility toward the Jews on religious grounds. For this reason, our examination of the clash between the Israelis and the Palestinians is undertaken with this point in mind. It is not directed against Jews and Judaism, but against the Zionist ideology that has steered some of their leaders to form and maintain a racist, violent government.


2- Jonathan Mahler, "Uprooting the Past - Israel's New Historians Take a Hard Look at Their Nation's Past," http://www.linguafranca.com/9708/mahler.9708.html.
3- Gideon Levy, Book Review, "Correcting a Mistake - Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel, 1936-1956 by Benny Morris," Ha'aretz, November 3, 2000.
4- Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion and the Weight of Three Thousand Years, (AMEU: 1994), p. 5.
5- Baudouin Loos, "An Interview of Ilan Pappe," November 29 1999, http://msanews.mynet.net/Scholars/Loos/pappe.html, emphasis added
6- Neve Gordon, "An Antiwar Movement Grows in Israel," The Nation, February 25, 2002.
7- Neve Gordon, "An Antiwar Movement Grows in Israel," The Nation, February 25, 2002.
8- Asaf Oron, "Personal Testimony of an Israeli Refusenik," Z Magazine, http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/rad-green/2002-February/ 003007.html. emphasis added