Arab Jews in Israel? Ali Salem, and the Copenhagen Group Illusions

Tuesday 22 June 202112:27 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

اليهود العرب في فلسطين المحتلة... أوهام علي سالم وجماعة كوبنهاغن

By the end of 1993, Ali Salem wrote that he was thinking of visiting Israel to write a book that answered two questions: Who are these people? And what are they doing? At the time, the Zionist entity’s age was just 45 years, having witnessed four wars, several invasions and raids, thousands of victims, and millions of Palestinians deprived of their right of return. But inattention and oversight made the playwright ask his two naive questions and saw him in April 1994 carry out a performance by traveling to Israel.

Five months later, he published his book “A Drive to Israel”. He entered the contested territories in his green Lada Niva, “the final auto product of the Soviet Union”. And before he traveled, he preempted those who would criticize him by accusing them of fascism, “You are against me because you have nothing to offer for peace, and you had nothing to offer for war except weakness and lies.”

Cravings for a mouthpiece, publicity, and stardom may overwhelm the sick and the deprived. Ali Salem stood on a virtual stage, attacking those criticizing him, “Peace is created by the brave and you are cowards. The free demand it and you are slaves. The intelligent are keen on ensuring it [peace] and you are fools. The strong work towards it, and you are weak.”

The poor man had set out under the impression and visualization that what was between us and the colonial military occupation was merely a mental war, and that hatred was its source. So, what would he say to his Israeli companions in the occupied territories? He said that he was different from the warmongers, and wanted to get rid of this hatred; so, he decided to take a part in peacemaking. He also stated that there is hatred “fueled by the desert capitals and the prophets of fascism, but when peace prevails in the region, and freedom wins… the people will look behind them in shock and disgust at what we had been doing to each other.”

Then, to our great surprise, a unilateral move saw a number of delusional individuals betting on the Israeli citizen to find long lasting peace “before the end of this century”. That bet was adopted by the remains of the castrated hawks of the left, who held their meetings in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. On January 30, 1997, the “Copenhagen Declaration on the establishment of the International Alliance for Arab-Israeli Peace” was issued, with the participation of nine Egyptians, including Lotfi Al-Khouli, Mourad Wahba, Abdel Moneim Saeed, and Ali El-Shalakany.

The declaration was then aborted in Cairo with a statement signed by 250 Arab intellectuals calling for the formation of an Arab alliance against normalization (of relations with Israel), and announcing the establishment of the ‘Anti-Normalization Society’. Al-Khouli was the godfather of the Cairo Peace Association, and its members included Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, and Salah Diab. Al-Khouli later died in 1999, and was forgotten.

Ali Salem’s book was also forgotten; no one bothered reprinting it. It is no good, not even for entertainment, since a joke should only be thrown once, and a researcher won’t benefit from a tourist book that is trying to exact psychological revenge on the victims. A popular revolution and uprising took place in Egypt in January 2011, and was aborted twice by counter-revolutionary forces. We were surprised that Ali Salem was still alive the day his death was announced in September 2015.

At the end of his book is another illusion that he summed up with the words: “The strongest bridges for peace between Egypt and Israel are the Egyptian Jews.”

At the end of his book, my attention was drawn to yet another illusion that he summed up with the words: “The strongest bridges for peace between Egypt and Israel are the Egyptian Jews.” He went on to suggest “how to benefit from their presence there” by organizing a conference for them in Cairo or Alexandria entitled “What Do You Want from Egypt?” to contribute “surely, to the building of trust between the two peoples.”

It is as if the Jews who left Egypt for Palestine were a group of magicians that could be hosted to participate in a conference, then return to the enemy to practice their magic in “trust building”. And if there is a people in Egypt, to what degree would it be accurate to describe the hybridization of Jews — after they were brought in — as a “people”? I was aided by a study published in the book “Jews of the Arab World”, which was issued by the Zayed Center in the Emirates in March of 2003. It was the outcome of a symposium organized by the center in October 2002 about the Jews of the Arab world. The book was published with the introduction made by Mohammad Khalifa Al-Marar on Arab-Islamic tolerance with the Jews, “until the great conspiracy emerged… in what came to be known as the Balfour Declaration in 1917”, and the subsequent “violent appropriation of Palestine”.

Al-Marar’s introduction hasn’t gone by unnoticed nowadays in the Emirates, and it isn’t allowed to be re-published, considering intermarriage as well as making space and clearing the air for an enemy that might be disturbing the heritage of the Zayed Center. Since its establishment in 1999, it has been active in organizing seminars against the Zionist agenda in occupied Palestine that criticize displacement and settlement agendas.

The center continued to issue books that fall under this approach until Sheikh Zayed ordered its closure in August 2003, after a Zionist-American campaign accused it of anti-Semitism. I hope that the authors of these books will hasten to republish them in Arab publishing houses that reject normalization and submitting to the conditions of the Gulf-Zionist affinity, especially the book “The Centrality of the Concept of Expulsion and Deportation in the Zionist Belief” by Dr. Mahmoud Saeed Abdel-Zahir.

Abdullah Masri blasts the wager on peace or coexistence sponsored by Jews who left Arab states and settled in Palestine, calling them stifled and lower-ranking citizens that feed the Zionist machine. Israel wants to be an Arian state.

As for the book “Jews of the Arab World,” it has a study under the title, “Arab Jews in Israel between Islamic tolerance and Zionist captivity.” In it, Dr. Abdullah Ramzi invalidates the illusions of Ali Salem and the ‘Copenhagen group’. He blasts the wager on a sort of peace or coexistence contributed by the Jews that left the Arab countries and settled in Palestine, calling them lower-ranking citizens that feed the Zionist machine. He said that Arab Jews “in the Zionist entity are now an organic and integral part of the general Zionist structure there.” Rather, they’ve become under the influence of the Zionist propaganda of “one of the most violent and hateful Israeli sects to Arabs,” always siding with the racist far right, and rejecting “all forms of a fair and just settlement aimed at establishing an independent Palestinian state with the holy Al-Quds as its capital.”

It is no longer a secret that the Zionist entity is a military Western occupation settler society, no matter how much it opens its doors and grants its citizenship to any Jew regardless of his/her country of origin. It is foolish to imagine some sort of normalization between ordinary peoples and an army that is mobilized for aggression, even if it has a seat at the United Nations and is recognized by the United Nations as a “state”. It is inconsistent for relations, treaties, and coexistence between the normal and the abnormal to exist. “Israel is an Aryan State” is the title of a book by Zionist writer Michael Sellers. It is also one of the most accurate definitions of an entity that includes a Western minority elite (Ashkenaz Jews), Eastern Jews (Sephardi Jews), Jews born in Palestine (Sabra Jews), and Jews from Arab and Islamic countries (Mizrahim Jews). In the words of Dr. Ramzi, the voice of these people is “stifled and obscured to a great extent”.

In the movie “Forget Baghdad: Jews and Arabs – The Iraqi Connection”, Iraqi director Samir documents aspects of the suffering of Iraqi Jews who were forced to leave for Palestine in 1951, and how they were received in inhumane camps in Israel. In this study, Dr. Ramzi says that the Zionist regime lowers the eastern ‘Sephardi’ Jews on the social ladder, while elevating the Ashkenazi. For European and Zionist reasons, there is discrimination in favor of European Jews. Indeed, the term “Jewish people” excludes Eastern Jews. They may be considered as members of Jewish groups as long as they are outside occupied Palestine, “but as soon as they arrive in Israel, they become Moroccans or Egyptians and their social status is automatically determined... Some Arab Maghreb Jews resort to claiming that they are of French origin in order to improve their image in front of others.”

Indeed, the term “Jewish people” excludes Eastern Jews. They may be considered members of Jewish groups as long as they are outside Israel, “but soon as they arrive in Israel, they become Moroccans/Egyptians and their social status is determined as such.

The Zionist entity was able to rise thanks to European efforts — from both states and gangs — and its ruling elite defined the “Western Ashkenazi nature of the state” and practiced discrimination and persecution against Eastern Jews and Arabs. These, as Ben-Gurion said on October 24, 1960 during a speech in the Knesset, “came from a backward, corrupt, and uneducated society.”

The tyranny of the ethnic minority when it comes to influence in Israel is built upon the cultural roots of one of the pioneers of Hebrew poetry, Haim Nachman Bialik. The author of the Israeli national anthem was born in Ukraine in 1873 and died in Tel Aviv in 1934. Bialik, who preached of the promised holy land, said that he hates Arabs, “because they remind him of the Eastern Jews.” Dr. Ramzi believes that there is a “cultural war” in Israel between minorities suffering from discrimination.

The efforts of “familialization” in order to integrate these people into a single national fabric are aimed at dyeing them in the “Ashkenazi dye”. Despite the acceptance and tolerance of Jews in the Arab world, Zionist propaganda has erased “the cognitive image stored within the memory of the first generation of Arab Jewish immigrants… It made them permanently stuck between the jaws of a grinder: either live in the humiliation of the Israeli society, or the illusion that they will be once again slaughtered in case they fall under the mercy of Muslim Arabs... just as it is no secret for those who study the history of the Arab-Zionist armed conflict about the state of ferocity, cruelty, and racism,” as well as the hostile treatment of Arab prisoners by Jews of Arab origin. Regarding Jews, Charlie Chaplin’s words hold true when he said that the Nazi poison had leaked from the executioner to the victim.

The speech was dismissed, so that years and efforts in promoting falsehoods would not be wasted, and so that certifying illusions and enacting daydreams would not have been in vain. It has become clear to the Arab mind “the failure of waiting for the disintegration of Israeli society against the background of the sectarian dispute between Eastern Jews and Western Jews... as well as the failure of the so-called Zionist left and the so-called forces of peace in Israel to create a trend that adopts a culture of peace and approaches the concept of the legitimate rights of Arabs.” The author’s words are done and over, so that the solution may begin from within — within us. The lazy are the only ones who would wait for an outside solution with the self-collapse of the enemy, and would beg, since 2002, for a peace that is impossible with an initiative for the defeated, entitled “The Land for Peace”, and a two-state solution. With the Emirati normalization, they were woken up by a slap from Netanyahu when he said, “peace for peace”.

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