by Shimon Ohayon
July 6, 2014
There are not-infrequent moments which perfectly illustrate what our long-standing conflict is all about. Many, especially around the world, accept the lazy assumption that it is mainly about land, occupation and settlements. However, for this to be true it would be a sine qua non that before Israel liberated Judea and Samaria in 1967, built a single community over the Green Line or even before the State of Israel was proclaimed, there was no conflict.
However, those with knowledge of history will be familiar with an ancient enmity expressed by radical adherents of Islam toward the Jewish People. It is surely no coincidence that one of the most popular rallying calls at anti-Israel demonstrations around the world is “khayber khayber ya yahud, jaysh Muhammad saya’ūd!” (“remember the Khyber, oh Jews, the army of Mohammed is coming now”). This genocidal chant recalls perhaps the first massacre of Jews under Islam as the ancient Jewish community of Khayber (in present day Saudi Arabia) was almost wiped out by Muhammad and his first followers. Those that did survive had their land confiscated, were humiliated with oppressive laws and forced to pay the jizya tribute tax.
During this time, tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Jews were massacred across what became known as the “Arab world,” in places like Granada, Fez, Algiers, Damascus and Sana’a. All of this long before the rise of modern political Zionism. In Hebron, the oldest Jewish community in the Land of Israel, during 1929, 67 Jews, many of whom were yeshiva students, were hacked to death, disemboweled and burned.
These types of attacks occurred throughout the Arab world long before the reestablishment of Jewish statehood in Israel, and decades before a single Israeli settlement was built…..