Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jews, Zionism and the Right of Blood.

Jews, Zionism and the European Right of Blood.

The Middle Eastern conflict has been viewed from many angles in the media, and there have been numerous viewpoints as to who had caused it, why it has happened and who is at fault. It is kind of hard not to be partial or not to take sides in the debates surrounding it as the temptation to do so is very high. "Oh, those Arabs, they are such fanatics!" "Oh, those Israelis, they are baby killers!" "Oh, they are both wrong". "They are brothers, why can't they just try and get along somehow?"

I keep seeing all these commentators with respectable faces, experts, in their sixties, who are supposed to know about such things better than we do, but they never seem to give you the complete picture. There are just too many factors involved many of which even they do not know of- religion, tradition, the nationality question, and, most of all, lots of emotions pouring out every which way. The Arab-Israeli conflict seems simple to some and complicated to others, but even the most knowledgeable pundits of international politics cannot give you the whole truth. Some things simply seem to be missing from all of their explanations.

If you ask most people in the West about the Arab-Israeli conflict, they will probably tell you a very simple story- there was the Holocaust and then the establishment of the State of Israel as a kind of shelter for Holocaust victims. The Nazis persecuted the Jews; killed six million of them, and then the survivors went back to their ancient homeland and established an independent state there. Arabs would not accept these Jews and have been fighting them ever since. On the Arab side they usually talk about European imperialism, Western colonialism and how the Jews come to Palestine to take Arab land. They will also tell you about how they are killing Muslims who never did anything bad to the Jews. The Jews became Nazis themselves, and are racists, and are killers of Arab children. They took the place of other Western colonial powers in the Middle East in further oppressing the Arabs. They see Jewish immigrants as Europeans of Jewish belief that should be living in Europe and not in the Middle East. The see Jewishness as a religious thing only- same as Christianity or Islam.

Outside of mentioning the Nazis, or occasionally, Germans, almost no one ever mentions East or Central Europeans and how they treated the Jews as one of the main factors to cause the Jews to leave the countries of their birth, and go to a faraway desert land to build a new country there. Moreover, almost no one ever talks about a very important European nationality law called "Jus Sanguinis" which loosely translated from Latin means "The Right of the Blood" and which was one of the main causes of mass Jewish exodus from Europe in the 20th century. In this short paper I attempt to show how Russia and Poland and other Central and East European countries applied the Jus Sanguinis law to the Jews and put them in a situation where the only possible way out , short of emigration to the New World, was the creation of Zionism and subsequent exodus of hundreds of thousands of East European Jews to Palestine.

Central/East Europeans and Arabs see "Jewishness" in two different ways.

The Arabs do not see Jews as an ethnic nationality or a race of people who have the right to be in the Middle East. They see them as Europeans who should be residing in Europe. They also see them as merely a religious group, the same as Catholics or Baptists. However, many Europeans who had large Jewish populations in their countries saw and still see the Jews as non-Europeans who have no business being in Europe. These two conflicting views caught the Jews who moved to Palestine between the rock and the hard place. On the one hand, the Europeans (particularly Central /East Europeans) constantly told them that they were an alien nation and urged them to get out of their countries and go back to the Middle East, and on the other hand you have the Arabs who say that the Jews are just a religious group and most are Europeans that should go back to Europe. They say that Palestine belongs to Arabs and Muslims and that Jews have no right to be there. So, a Jew goes to Europe and they tell him to go to his country, and then he goes to "his country" and they tell him to go back to Europe. You just can't win!

One of the main reasons why so many Jews went back to the Middle East and established the state of Israel was because they could not obtain the ethnic nationality of Central and Eastern European countries in which they lived. Hence, they were persecuted there and were told to go back to "where they came from". And, according to East/Central Europeans, they came from what is known as Palestine/ Israel/Judea, etc. So, they went back there. It is about as simple as all that. The Jews were practically put in the midst of the Arabs by the Poles, the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Lithuanians and other such nationalities. So, why are the Brits and the Americans the only ones that feature in the long accusative harangues of Arab leaders as the powers guilty of causing Zionism to appear on the world stage? Before I continue, I would like to clarify some important logical premises that are often utilized in many an anti-Zionist rhetoric. The main one is: "Jews are not a nation but a religion only, hence they have no right to be in the Middle East".

Are Jews a Nation(ality) or a Religion?

It depends on what school of thought you adhere to. One can say that there are, generally, two methods of describing what constitutes a nation and/or a nationality. One is the German/Russian/Japanese method, which teaches that a nation is a group of people that is of common ethnic origin, a certain predominant physical appearance, descends from a common ancestor, and has its own language and traditions, but may or may not necessarily have its own independent political entity. So, according to this concept, Gypsies are a nation, Tibetans is a nation, Kurds are a nation and so are Basques and Catalans. Belonging to such a nation means having its nationality. Hence, Jews would be a nationality within this conceptual framework, and a Jew's nationality would thus be just "Jewish". The concept of "citizenship" would be different from that of nationality. Citizenship would mean "having paper documents from a particular independent state and thus, having the right of abode, the right to vote and the right to do business there and travel under that state's passport." So, citizenship would thus be political, but 'nationality' would be an ethno-racial/cultural concept.

Such "nationalities" would not be easy to acquire as they are transmitted genetically. For example, one can join a Gypsy caravan or be accepted into Judaism, but one will never be a true Gypsy or a true Jew. Only by intermarrying and having children with a spouse from that particular group would one's lineage become Gypsy or Jewish, but only after several generations of such 'racial' mixing.

One mainly belongs to such nations through something called "Jus Sanguinis" (Yoos-San-Gwee-Nis): in Latin, "the right of the blood". Let's take Japan as an example. One cannot "become" Japanese. One does not become Japanese by being born there, either. You need to have a Japanese face and lineage, a Japanese name, and you must speak Japanese. If two Germans go to Japan and their child is born there, the child is not Japanese. If two Japanese persons go to Germany and their child is born there, the child is not really German. One can obtain "paper citizenship" there, but one will never be truly German or Japanese to the people in daily situations in that country. And, in the past, even citizenship in those countries was very hard to obtain, let alone if one tried to obtain "nationality" there.

The countries in Eastern/Central Europe have traditionally adhered to this "nationality by bloodline" concept and they strictly separated citizenship and nationality. That is why when you go to Poland or Lithuania or Latvia, you will see that most of the people there belong to one ethnic stock, look (kind of) similar to each other, and have the same language and the same kind of names. A Jew born in such countries would never be Polish or Lithuanian. He would just be a "Jew." Hence, millions of Jews living in those countries were always treated as foreigners, denied many fundamental human rights, and physically persecuted. They were told to "Get out!" "Go home" and thus, to counteract such persecutions, they created a movement called "Zionism" so that they could be "in their own country" , at last.

The British/French and American (including Latin American) concept of a nation is that of "a group of people having an independent political state that is recognized as such by the world community". How does one belong to such a nation? Usually, by being born on the territory of that independent state or having at least one parent born there. This is called "Jus Solis", translated from Latin as "the Right of the Soil". Hence, a person born in the US, or Britain, or France, or Argentina is automatically American, British, French or Argentinean. And such citizenship would be identical to "nationality". The governments of those countries recognize you as one of them and the people also consider you to be part of their nation. Therefore, a Jew from America is an American first and foremost. A Jew from Britain is British and a Jew from Australia is an Australian. And while there may be some prejudice against them in those countries, the position of the government and the general population there is: these people were born here; therefore, they have the right to be here. Thus, there has not been as much Jewish emigration out of these countries into Israel as there has been emigration out of Eastern Europe. Those who did emigrate, usually did so based on strong religious convictions and not because of 'national' aspirations, or because they were never considered to be part of the nations of their birth.

Poland, Germany, Romania, Ukraine and Russia, places where millions of Jews ended up living after centuries of migrations, were not like the US, Latin America or France. They utilized the Jus Sanguinis method of determining people's nationality. A Jew born in Russia was not Russian. Russia traditionally sees belonging to the Russian nation as a "blood" thing, not as a citizenship thing. Jews came from somewhere else. Russians did not. So, a Jew may have citizenship there, but he would not be considered a Russian by the hundred plus million ethnic Russians and by the government of Russia. You see, who is Russian in Russia and who is not, was always decided by the Russians.

They see Jews as a nation that came from the Middle East. Jews may live in Russia and have paper citizenship there, so much is true. However, they are not related to the Russian indigenous population by 'blood'- Russians called Jews “Yevreyi" -"Ethnic Hebrews". Such "Hebrews" are basically seen as foreigners, and ,according to many Russians, they have no real right to be in Russia. They should "go back to where they came from" even if they came from there two thousand years ago. "Russia is for Russians". "Israel, Palestine, or somewhere else in the Middle East is for Hebrews". "They should get out of the Holy Russia and go back to their country." Such was the attitude of many Russian people and the Russian government in those times and it can still be found in Russia today. Laws were passed against Jews by the Czars stripping them of more and more rights and increasingly making them feel as unwelcome as possible in that country. Then, pogroms, or attacks on Jewish property and lives were effectuated by the Czars in various parts of the Russian Empire. Fantastic accusations such as that the Jews were killing Christian babies to make matzos were fabricated and circulated as rumors to whip up crowds into going out and killing Jews.

Most Arabs, on the other hand, follow the American model. Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians in particular, see "nationality" as "belonging to an independent state by citizenship" and see citizenship and nationality as essentially one and the same. They practice the Right of the Soil- or, again, Jus Solis. They see the Jews living and having citizenship in Syria, Lebanon or Egypt as just Syrians, Lebanese or Egyptians, and as Arabs, too, since, traditionally, an "Arab" is a person who speaks Arabic as his mother tongue. Many Jews there did, consequently they were often seen as just Arabs, too, albeit of Jewish faith.

The Arabs saw Jews coming from such 'Jus Sanguinis' countries as Russia as simply Russians/Europeans because they did not understand anything about how the Jus Sanguinis- the "right of the blood", or more exactly, the absence of it, drove the Jews out of those places.

So, to stress my point again, you have a situation where on one hand you have the Arabs who see nationality as a citizenship concept and see Jews who ran away from Europe as just Germans and Russians and Poles of Jewish faith, and, on the other hand, you have East Europeans such as Russians and Poles who see nationality as a 'blood thing' and who have forced the Jews to leave their countries of birth because they told them that they had no blood right to be there. And who also made sure that they could not live a normal life there by persecuting them legally and by creating organized massacres against them.

Hence, the big conflict of the two nationality systems and the ensuing misunderstanding -the East and Central Europeans ( Germans for one) said that the home of the Jews is the Middle East and practically forced them to go there, and many Arabs who see Jews as Europeans have been telling them to "go back to Europe". It was and is an awkward situation for Jews to be in, not to mention that it has been causing tremendous bloodsheds for over a century now.

Conflicting Partial Cultural Perspectives Greatly Complicate the Situation.

A great deal of confusion has been caused by the misunderstanding resulting from how different cultural groups view what is happening in the Middle East and the consequent controversies that result from such differences. Let us examine how they view the situation and how it affects their attitudes and opinions towards the Arab- Israeli conflict:

I will roughly repeat what I have heard on TV and the radio, and read in various US, Saudi Arabian, Israeli, British and American press over many years:

Arabs and Muslims themselves: Rich Europeans of Jewish faith, with the help of American and British Imperialists, conspired to take place in the colonization of the Arab world by the West by establishing a non- Muslim stronghold from which the destruction and the exploitation of the Muslim world can be continued. Their goal is to bring into the Middle East all kinds of other Europeans who have nothing to do with the Semites living in the Middle East, including Russians, Hungarians, Germans and other such Khawajas. They want to become rich at the expense of Arabs, expand Israel, destroy the Arab Nation and Islam, and take possessions of the resources of the region. Zionists are greedy, rich Western imperialists who have no pity for the poor Palestinian people whom they expelled from their native homes, and on whose villages they built an illegal and evil so-called State of Israel. Palestinians who were expelled from their land should continue fighting against that evil colonial pseudo-country that should not be there in the first place.

Jews from Europe: Jewish people are a separate nation and nationality that has it own language and religion but did not have a country-they (the Jews) were expelled from their homeland, Judea, by the Romans and had to wonder around various countries in which they were not accepted. They ended up in Europe where they underwent horrendous persecutions because they were seen as an alien tribe that could never be assimilated. They were told to go back to their country repeatedly by the Europeans, as they could never obtain full nationality anywhere in Europe, and were almost completely annihilated. They suffered from anti-Semitism which was hatred against Jews as a racially-ethnic group, a foreign nationality. Europeans hated them and left them no choice but to form a Zionist movement to rebuild their ancient homeland. They started buying land in Palestine but the Arabs would not accept them even though the land was purchased legally. They attacked the Jews. The Arabs were not driven from their land but left it on their own free volition because other Arab countries were urging them to do so, so that they could invade Israel and kill all the Jews living there.

Jews from the Americas (and other immigrant societies): Israel is a place where Israeli people live. People born and raised in Israel are Israelis. It is a place where people can practice Jewish religion in peace. There are two types of Israelis- Arabs and Jews. There are also Arab people in the lands that have to be allotted for Israelis of Jewish faith, but heck, if the Muslim Arabs want to live there and no Arab state should take them, and then maybe there should be a state for them. Israel was built by Russians, Germans and Hungarians and other nationals whose religion was Jewish. They had to go to Israel because they were persecuted in Europe, and many died in the Holocaust because of their religion. Muslims do not like for anyone to practice Jewish religion in that part of the world, so they are attacking Israelis and putting bombs on buses, at markets and other public places. Israel is legal and should stay there because it was recognized by the UN. If they want to give land back for peace, they may; if they don't , they don't have to. It does not concern us too much because we are just Americans and Canadians and we are comfortable living in our countries. Some of us are against Zionism primarily because we see it as something unnecessary as Jews can live well in America, Canada and other countries as their citizens of Jewish faith. Some of us who are truly religious and believe in Zionism sometimes like to go to live in Israel so that we could fulfill our religious aspirations. The rest of us can attend services occasionally but most of us enjoy living in the countries of our birth.

Other Americans: Jews are just a religion. Most are white people. Jews and Arabs have been fighting since the beginning of time (actually, this is not true). Arabs are fanatical Muslims and they hate the West. They hate Americans and they hate anybody who is not Muslim, including the Israelis who are Middle Easterners of Jewish faith. Where do Israelis come from? From Israel, of course. People who were born in Israel are Israelis. America is supporting Israel because we have many Jews in the government and they want to support their own. .That is why Arabs come here and bomb our buildings and kill our civilians. America should support Israel less and take better care of its people at home. Let those people in the Middle East sort it out among themselves.

Europeans (non-British):Jews and Arabs are two Semitic nationalities who cannot get along in some small country called Israel/Palestine or whatever. Palestinians are Arabs, too, but for some reason they want another state near the Jews. They keep killing each other there but it is so far from us, it really does not concern us. Nazis have killed many Jews that is why they went to live in Israel. We guess Jews have to have their country so it is all right for Israel to be there, but, maybe Palestinians should have their country, too.

Jews from Israel: We were born here so we are Israelis. We are surrounded by Arabs who want to kill us all. They hate us because we are smarter than they are and because we are not Arabs or Muslims. Palestinians are Arabs, too. Arabs have twenty-two countries but they are basically are nation. They all belong to one Arab nationality. There is no such thing as a Palestinian nationality or an Egyptian nationality. They are all just Arabs and they want to kill us all. They are crazy fanatics whose only thought is to kill, bomb and maim Israelis or anyone who is not a Muslim. They like building states of their own but having twenty-two states and so much land is not enough for them - they want a twenty-third one on the land of Israel. They are greedy and cruel. We did not take their land. There weren’t any Arabs here before. They keep making babies and these want more land and jobs and other resources. Why can't they go and live with other Arabs? - there is plenty of land out there. They need to ask Saudi Arabia or Jordan for more land. Maybe one day, we can allow them to have a state but they will still want to kill us because they are all just crazy killers- they can't help it- it's their nature.

The British: this is our former colony and it is populated by Jews and some Arabs. Jews used to be a race but now they are a religion only. The people living in our Palestine used to be our colonials but they are now called Israelis. Palestinians are not a proper nationality as they do not have an independent state. So, they are a stateless people without a nationality. Jews in our country are as British as anyone else. The race thing is long gone. Anyway, some Jews from Europe went to Palestine and we let them settle there. We divided our colony into an Arab and Jewish state and then, we left them alone. They started fighting between themselves and they still keep on fighting. All they need to do is divide the land again just as we have told them to do. No wonder they cannot get along- we should have never left the place to begin with. Those bloody w-gs!

Palestinians: We are Palestinians by nationality and we want to have our independent state. Some people who wish us evil say that we are just Arabs. However, there is no such thing as an Arab nationality. Arabs are divided into Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, Moroccans, etc. Arabs are a nation in the cultural sense, but different Arab countries have their own nationality. There was a Palestinian nation in the country and we all lived happily and were struggling to become independent from the Turks and the British, until all these weird people from Europe started coming. They were Khawajas- white people. Most were pale and many had blue eyes. They claimed to be Jews- same people that had lived here thousands of years ago. How preposterous! These were just Europeans, actually. They were Western Imperialists that called themselves Zionists who just wanted our land. Then, in 1940ies, huge numbers of new Westerners started coming and taking our land by force. These were just like the British and the French before. New foreign colonialists. The only difference is that the other Europeans were Christians but these Europeans had synagogues. They were of Jewish faith. What right did they have to come to our country and settle? Jews are just a religion, same as Catholics. It is like saying that all Catholics have the right to settle in the area of the Vatican and build a country there. These evil occupiers should go back to their own countries- they should go to Poland and Russia or wherever. It was the British and the Americans who brought them here so that they could have a military presence in our country and exploit the Middle East from here. These people are not Semites. They are Khawajas. What are they doing here? They are not supposed to be here. We will fight until our country is liberated. Well, maybe we can let them keep Tel Aviv and other such small areas, but only because we do not want any trouble with the United States. We need to have our own state just like Egyptians have their own state. We cannot get land from other Arab countries because they do not see us as their nationals. They are Jordanians and the see us as Palestinians. Even if we are born in other Arab countries, it is not easy for us to get citizenship there now. Plus why should we even try? We want to have our own citizenship.

As you can see from the above examples each party has its own, perfectly logical view of the conflict, but each view is severely slanted by each party's own unique cultural perspective. Where is the truth? That is the toughest question of them all.

Eastern and Central European Countries Are Also to Blame for The Middle Eastern Conflict.

There are numerous conferences always taking place around the Muslim world against Zionism, against American imperialism, Western "encroachment", etc. Somehow the Muslims see Zionism as an American invention, they see Zionists as Western allies, and Israel's presence- as an offshoot of America's expansion into their peace- loving and conservative domain. Today it may be so, but there are deeper causes that are almost never mentioned. Few seem to realize that Zionism started in Eastern Europe- Zhabotinsky and Hertzl and other such people were from the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, not from "the West".

Moreover, many media people and politicians often mention the Holocaust as the cause of Zionism, but there is also another underlying causality that has almost never been brought up in the media. So what is it? Well, it is the refusal of Eastern and Central European countries to fully naturalize their Jews, the persecutions that the Jews suffered there, and the fact that life was simply made impossible for them on the territories of those nation-states. All those factors were what mainly encouraged the Jews to create the Zionist movement and carry out the subsequent colonization of Palestine. The Holocaust came later.

Zionism is often discussed in both the Western and the Arab media. However, I have not seen anybody in such media, including the BBC and the CNN or any other major newspaper, or an Arab-authored book or article ever discuss how the Jus Sanguinis laws basically caused Zionism to rise in Eastern/Central Europe as the only possible opposing philosophy to them. Perhaps, if we could see how such "blood laws" played such a big role in bringing all the Jews to Palestine, the people fighting the Jews could understand why they are there in the first place. Maybe, they could see that the blame should be placed not only on the Jews but on the European countries that did not accept them. Maybe, the next demonstration by Palestinian refugees should not be in front of the Embassy of Israel or the US but in front of the Russian or Polish or German or even the Ukrainian embassies. For, in many ways, it was these countries that for centuries told the Jews to go back to Palestine. Is it any wonder then, that they in the end they did just that?

It has been the German, the Polish, the Russian and Ukrainian idea that nationality is something genetic and hereditary and that it is not determined by one's place of birth, but exclusively by one's ethnic and not geographical roots. It was these nations that have taught that one's nationality can only be inherited and cannot be lost or acquired. It was them who told the Jews to get out because they did not have the right of blood to live in those countries. As a result, this strange and archaic principle of nationality effectively drove the Jews from those countries, transplanted them to Palestine, and caused the infamous Palestinian displacement as a natural effect of such a mass migration of humanity from Europe to the Middle East.

It is a much overlooked detail, a way of thinking, a concept that has been totally disregarded by even the most informed commentators, politicians and scholars. It has also been largely ignored by the American and the British media . Many of the most educated Brits and Americans do not know about the Eastern and Central European concept of "nationality by bloodline". Many mistakenly think that what the Jews suffered from in those lands was merely a religious persecution. And since not much is ever popularly discussed outside of the Holocaust as the cause of the establishment of the State of Israel, the blood laws as the origins of the present "land dispute" in the Middle East have hardly ever been brought up by anyone.

Additionally, since Jews do not form a separate ethnic group in America and are just 'Americans of Jewish faith', anti-Semitism there is just hatred against people who practice Judaism. Americans will therefore, often think that Germany and Russia and Poland must have also seen Jews as integral members of their nations but persecuted them because they were opposed to the Judaic religion. Just like in America, right? The problem was that these countries are not America so, they didn't hate the religion as much as the "nationality" of the Jews. They saw the Jews as a separate ethnic group, a separate race, a separate people that was undesirable and that had to be expelled.

In simpler terms- in Central and East European countries anti-Semitism is a racial/nationality-related thing; and the Jews were living as another race in an unwelcoming and hostile environment. Both the people and the governments there treated them as foreigners even if born and raised there, and as unfavorable "aliens". There is no such thing as a "Russian, born and raised" ."Or a Pole, born and raised". Either you are Polish or Russian by blood or you are not. The message of both the population and the officials there was for along time was this: - "We do not want this Jewish nation here. They should go back to where they came from." In such a manner, one can say that Poland, Russia and Germany and other such countries basically forced the Jews to go to Palestine and "dumped" them on the Arabs, thus effectively achieving racially pure societies in their own homelands. At the same time, Arabs were left to deal with the Jewish problem. So, while the Arabs are loudly protesting against the " American and Western conspiracy" to colonize them, the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Latvians, and other such nations quietly sigh with relief as they look with smug satisfactions upon their now Jew-free, "Aryan", one-nation, one-race, lily-white countries. "Whew! No more Jews here. Let the Arabs deal with them."

Why do Arabs see Jews as a Religion and Europeans see them as a Nation(ality)?

We have probably all heard of the Jewish Kingdom of Judea and Israel, and many of us have studied the history of the Jewish people in the Old Testament. If atheists, maybe we have come to know about it through Hollywood movies, TV series, etc. So, before we even get into the whole Jewish History "thing", let us see who the Jews were in those times. Say, 2000-3000 years ago. The Jews were mainly Semitic desert nomads who through various wars, ended up in Israel/Palestine. Where did they originally come from? Somewhere from the Middle East, undoubtedly. Could it be where Iraq is now? Where Saudi Arabia is now? Most Jews in Russia or Poland look like Lebanese people so shall we assume that they maybe came from the area around Lebanon and ended up in Canaan/Palestine?

In any event, they were a group of tribes similar to those which the Arabs came from. Was their origin possibly in Jordan or Syria as well? Around that area, probably, too. In those times they were called "Hebrews", meaning " from beyond the Euphrates". The Jews considered themselves a nation and, most importantly, their neighbors at that time also considered them a nation. Their language was similar to Arabic or Aramaic. They built their own kingdoms in what is now Israel/Palestine, but then they were attacked at various times by the Babylonians and then, occupied and later colonized by the Romans. Eventually, they were kicked out of the area sometime in the beginning of the 1st millennium. Later, they were dispersed all around the world. The main bulk went through Africa into Europe and this is where they settled for a long period of time. The Jews had their own national religion and their own God- Yahweh. They intermarried in the beginning with other Semitic tribes which became absorbed into their nation. But later, they did not intermarry as much anymore. Some intermarriages still took place but, as a general rule, it was not easy for anyone to marry into a Jewish family.

Many Jews went to live in Arab countries and, because racially they were similar to Arabs, and many spoke Arabic as their mother tongue, the only conspicious difference between them and the Arabs was their religion. So, to an Arab, up until today the word "Jew" means just that- a religious group. This is how the Arabs see it from their own Middle Eastern cultural and historic perspective. So, if a Jew converted to Islam, he, for all intents and purposes became indistinguishable from another Muslim Arab. He spoke Arabic, he looked like an Arab, well, he was now a Muslim Arab. This is why until today Arabs vociferously oppose any kind of concept of "nationhood" or "ethnicity" inherent in the Jewish people. "Jews are not a nation, they are a religion!" the Arabs repeat over and over again. And they are probably right as long as the Jews are on the territory of Arab countries and the Arab definition of "Arab-ness" applies.

After the Arabs broke up into all these different countries you see on the map now, they developed a legal concept of "Jinsiya"- a nationality, the Arab type of nationality, that is. Nationality to them has since then been identical to citizenship, as I have mentioned before. It means that if your family had been in some Arab kingdom for many generations and your ancestors had at some time acquired a legal status there, you would now be called "Egyptian", "Moroccan", "Syrian", "Yemeni", etc. Sometimes, you could be naturalized as a long-time resident foreigner and again you would be considered an Egyptian and an Arab if you speak Arabic well, and if you have documents from that country. If you are Jewish, you would be Jewish in religion only, as your race would be the same as that of the Arabs; and your "nationality" (read: citizenship) would be the same as that of the people around you. So a Jew in Egypt would be just as Egyptian as anyone else.

If there was any conflict or hostility against Jews by Muslims in the Arab world or anywhere else in the Islamic world, it was not because of any racial or national issues, but because of religion only. That was the only way that they could tell Jews apart from themselves.

Most Jews could generally solve the problem of such hostility against them by simply converting to Islam. Some opted to do so. An Abraham Ben Yitzhak would just have to say 'There is no God but God and Mohammed is His Prophet' and he would become a Muslim Ibrahim Ibn Yitzhak and thus join the Arab mainstream society. It would usually be that simple. Spain, having been an Arab kingdom before, but having become a Christian country later on, still retained such a "naturalization mechanism" for Jews as what the Arab countries had- the Jews (or Arabs living in Spain) simply had to convert to Christianity, and thus, they would become full nationals of the various kingdoms that Spain was composed of at that time. Some Jews opted to do so again. An Abraham Bin Yitzhak said that he now believed in Jesus Christ and thus, he became a "Jose Rodriguez" and a Spaniard. Those who did not do so, were kicked out, but at least, they were given the chance to become believers in Christ the Savior if they wanted to stay. I say, fair enough. At least there was a choice and an opportunity extended to them to become part of the Spanish society.

Up until now you see lots of Spaniards with Jewish-type faces but names such as Juan Perez or Pedro Lopez. And that is why Jews who travel to Argentina or Chile or other former Spanish countries would not look too different from many of the locals there.

France was somewhat less accepting of the Jews and did not initially see them as being French, but after the French revolution, all the Jews in France who were loyal to "la Republique" were proclaimed to be "Frenchmen". Within the French society, as well, there seemed to be a great deal of people who were of the Mediterranean stock and racial type, so a Jew in France would not stand our racially from the general population. Still many French people up until today continue to utilize the term "La Nation Juive" - "The Jewish Nation" when talking about the worldwide Jewry.

The biggest problems began when Jews moved into the Central-Eastern part of Europe. Not only they had different faces and hair and skin color from the majority of the people there, but in such countries as Germany, Poland, Russia, or whatever they were called at that time, nationality was and is generally seen in purely racial and ethnic terms. In other words, those nations, as it were, traditionally divide people into "breeds", the way dogs and cats and horses are divided into their respective breeds. So, being born in Germany does not make you a German, unless you descend from the original tribes indigenous to that place. Unless you 'look" German. To give you an analogy- if a French Poodle moves to Germany and mates with another French Poodle there, the puppies will not become German Shepherds. The only way for a person to assimilate into the ethnic mainstream in Germany, Poland, Russia, etc. is to intermarry with the indigenous population and for the children to intermarry. Once your "blood", i.e., the genetic lineage, is 75% German or Russian, or Polish, you are usually considered a full national.

So, ethnicity, race and nationality are one and same thing in those countries. Consequently, Jews who moved to these countries sometime in the Middle Ages ran into major difficulties. They could not assimilate, and ,eventually, had to leave those nations and go back to Palestine after hundreds of years of living on their territory.

Jews were not the only ones who have suffered from Jus Sanguinis.

A few paragraphs above I have also mentioned that the nationality by blood model is also a model used by the Japanese. It is also important to note that the same method of defining one's legal ethnicity is utilized in China, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia and many other Asian countries. Your nationality is determined first and foremost by the way you look- Koreans and Chinese can usually tell each other apart by looking at each other's facial features. Sometimes, they overlap but most of the time, they do not. Thus, the can tell most of the time.

Similarly to the Jews born in Germany not being Germans, children of Koreans born in Japan are still not Japanese. Likewise, Chinese in Korea still continue being Chinese after three or more generations. Such blood laws are very discriminatory and have caused suffering to many people. In the early 1970ies, ethnic Chinese in Malaysia underwent a major persecution from the indigenous citizens of the country in which they were born and raised. Many thousands were killed as a result. In 1999 similar events occurred in Indonesia: many ethnic Chinese were blamed for the collapse of the Indonesian currency and suffered severe beatings. Their women were raped, their stores were plundered and many had to "go back" to China or Hong Kong. So, why were these people persecuted? Weren't they born there? They were, in fact, born there and many had lived up to four generations in Indonesia. Some have even converted to Islam. However, they did not as a rule intermarry and they did not acquire "the Indonesian blood" by doing so. Consequently, they were still Chinese in the eyes if the Indonesian population and its government. They even had documents with special numerical codes to show that they were Chinese.

During the reign of Idi Amin in Uganda, many Indians were dispossessed of their property and forced to leave the country. The same happened to many white farmers in Zimbabwe when the Blacks wanted to take the land that the Zimbabwean government decided had been 'illegally acquired'. The farmers are still referred to by the Zimbabwean president Mugabe as 'Europeans' although many were born in Africa. And if the government treats you as such, 'whatcha gonna do'? Many ended up going to Britain, just like the Jews who went back to Palestine.

After the British left Burma in the 1950ies, those residents of the country who were ethnically Indians and Pakistanis were soon stripped of the right to own companies because they "were not Burmese". A Brit or an American will probably protest and say:- "These people were born there! Ergo, they are Burmese!!!" No, no, and again no! It is not for you to decide. Who is Burmese and who is not Burmese is decided by the Burmese. Especially by the government of Burma. And if your name is not something like Su Mu and you do not have a Burmese face, you are just not Burmese. So what if you were born here? If a pregnant woman comes and gives birth in the kitchen of your house, does that make the baby in any way related to you? If a kitten is born in your house and you are a human, does that make the kitten a "human" as well? This is at totally different logic from the one applied on the streets of London, New York, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires where all races born and raised there automatically belong there.

If you are a modern politically correct American, you will probably say that the above cases of persecution are just like the internment of the Japanese Americans in camps during WWII, or like the putting of American Indians on reservations during the Great American westward expansion. I would say- not quite. The Native Americans and the Japanese-Americans were displaced and interned and some even exterminated. But the Indians were not told to " Go back to Siberia" and the Japanese-Americans were not seriously expected to " go back to Japan". They were BORN in the US. Americans and even Brits take the birth of any person in their country as something as sacred as if it is a automatic blessed right of residence bestowed by the Almighty Himself. Hence, rarely there have been recent mass expulsions of people who were born in the US or the UK.

It is no wonder then, that when a Brit or an American wants to determine a person's nationality, the first question he normally asks you is "Where ( what country) were you born ( in)?" Or "Where ( What country) are you from, originally?" Upon getting the name of the place, the British or the American person will say: "Oh, so you are (--put the name of country here and add the suffix -"ese" or "-an").

In Europe, Asia and Africa, however, there have been many expulsions (either directly ordered or encouraged) of people born in "their" respective countries but of foreign ancestry no matter how remote. It all probably stems from the fact that on these three continents people are not children of immigrants, but are mostly of a homogeneous stock who are indigenous to the place in which they live as opposed to others who are of a more recent stock and whose families have not been in the countries as long.

Precisely the same thing happened in Europe to Jews as what happened to the Chinese in Indonesia with a few exceptions- in 1999, China was still there, but Judea was not there in the early 1900s when pogroms against the Jews were happening in Eastern Europe. Also, the Chinese around the world did not rally in the support of their ethnic brothers as much as the worldwide Jewry supported the cause of solving the "Jewish exile" problem by establishing a new state in the British and/or Turkish-ruled Palestine.

A Jew looks "Semitic" to East and Central Europeans, but looks "European" to Arabs.

It is very important to note that when Jews ended up in Germany or the Russian empire, they looked extremely different (racially) from the people there. If to an Arab a local Jew looked similar to him, to a German or a Pole he did not. To them, Jews were a race, a nation from the Middle East, a bunch of foreigners who were not even Christian and who came to live in their land. In Russia they referred to the Jews as "The Hebrew Nation" and they still do so until today. A German, a Pole and a Russian can easily tell who is Jewish and who is not. The hair is different, the shape of the nose is different, the voice is different even if born there. Granted, after a few centuries in Europe the Jews started looking more European and many became very pale because of rapes and the mixture with some new Jewish converts. There even appeared Jews who were blond and blue-eyed. Still, the locals, the pure, indigenous Russians and Germans could tell that the person had Semitic blood even if blond, therefore the bulk of the Jewish population was still quite easily distinguishable to these, very ethnically homogeneous European people. Even if there were some very 'Aryan-looking' people among the Jews, the East-Central Europeans could still often notice that these were not full-blooded members of their Slavic or Germanic ethnicity.

Allow me to give you an analogy with Blacks in America. Think of people like Malcolm X or Collin Powell. They are light-skinned, and Powell, in particular, is almost completely white. However, within the context of America, and by traditional American norms, he would still be called "Black". When an average White American looks at Powell, he probably says to himself "Oh, a Black Man". Why? Well, the shape of the mouth, the nose, the mannerism, the curly hair, etc. are a dead give-away, not to mention the manner of speaking and the pitch of voice. However, if you ask a few hundred million Black Africans how they would describe Powell, you would get such answers as a "White man", "an American man" or "Muzungu"- a light-skinned foreigner. "Black" or "African" would rarely be the answer. So, depending on the observer's perspective,point of refernce and cultural background, the same person's identity would change, subject to who he would be compared to. A "mulatto" thus looks white to Africans but looks 'Black' to "white people". Because, when a human eye sees something out of the ordinary to it, it will notice differences but will take similarities for granted. All the resemblances that a “mulatto” person has with “pure Caucasians“, such as lighter skin, lighter hair, maybe, even blue eyes, will be dismissed by the eye of the Caucasian observer, as it will notice only the unusual to him African elements of the 'mulatto's' appearance. The opposite thing will happen when a black African is looking at the same hypothetical 'mulatto'. He will ignore the broad nose and the thicker lips and, instead, pay attention only to the lighter hair and the whiter skin of that person. He will thne probably conclude: “Oh, a" White Man!". A 'Muzungu'.

It was kind of like that for Jews in Europe. Even a blond, blue-eyed Jew would still have something in his facial features, the shape of the nose and the hair texture, as well as the accent, that would make the local people in Eastern Europe conclude that he was an ethnic Jew. He would be somewhat darker than a typical Pole or Czech, his hair would be thicker and curlier, the complexion would be more olive, the eyes would bulge more and not be as deep, the nose will usually have a different shape. “This is a Jew“, the East Europeans would conclude after about a second's observation.

However, to an Arab, such a light-skinned Jew would be a "Khawaja"- a European. He would not notice the fact that the nose was not the same shape as what the Germans or the Poles have, that the hair was curlier than that of Poles or Germans, that the shape of the eyes was somewhat Semitic. He will not be comparing such a Jew to a Pole. He will be comparing him to the people in his Arab village. He will only pay attention to the fact that the skin is lighter, the eyes are blue and that the person is wearing European-like ( at least not Arab-style clothes)- and the “computer “in his brain will spit out the conclusion of the observation- this is a “Khawaja “, a European!

Those European Jews who happened to travel in Arab countries would notice to their surprise that they would no longer be harassed for their Jewish look, as they were when they lived in Europe, and, instead be treated as just Europeans by the Arabs.

The difference is this, though- Malcolm X and Colin Powell would still be called "Americans" by ‘other Americans’ even though they would still be seen as Blacks, but the Jews would never be called "Russians" or "Poles" by the Russians and the Poles, and other such Europeans while at the same time ironically still be called Khawajas- Europeans by Arabs. Now, let me ask you, just how East European would these Jews really be?

To give you a visual analogy, If you ever watched the show "Starsky and Hutch" back in the seventies, then I can tell you that people in Russia or Ukraine or Lithuania look like Hutch and the Jews look like Starsky. Starsky's ( Paul Michael Glaser's ) family were Jews from Latvia and his particular Mediterranean appearance would stand out very much in Latvia. Starsky and Hutch would be two completely different racial types there. In America, they would both be "White", but in those countries, Hutch would be a "Latvian" and Starsky would be a "Jew/Hebrew"-a non -Christian stranger of a heathen Middle Eastern stock. I invite you to tour Latvia and challenge you to find even one person with a face like Paul Michael Glaser. I guarantee you that you will not, but if you do, he will be a Jew or maybe an Arab tourist there.

Some Jews there did look like Kirk Douglas, i.e. of somewhat Nordic stock, but most looked like Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, David Schwimmer, Woody Allen or Einstein- a Northern Semitic/Mediterranean look. Very different from the natives who have the same complexion and hair color as Brad Pitt or Olivia Newton John.

The bottom line is this- no matter how many generations they lived there, because of their different 'race', different religion and because they did not intermarry with the natives ( the natives for the most part would not have liked it, anyway) the Jews could never become Polish or German or Russian. Even if they converted to Christianity, they would still be called "Baptized Hebrews" for it was their descent and looks, and not their newly acquired religion or the birthplace that determined their true nationality. It is also worthy of noting here that although many Jews in the US say that their ancestors came from Russia, strictly speaking, Jews were not allowed to live in Russia proper- they were kept in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and other countries which were under the Russian control at that time. While the Russian government allowed them to live there, they were still very unwelcome and constantly suffered from physical and legal persecutions. The local churches and governments saw these Jews as a scourge of sorts and repeatedly carried our all kinds of evil propaganda against them, which resulted in pogroms, prohibitions to participate in certain professions and other kinds of injustices which left emigration as the only way out. As a result, many went to the Americas- US, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay as well as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Some settled in Britain. And those who missed the immigration quotas of the above countries, went to Palestine.

Immigrant societies in the Americas accept Jews as their own.

Those Jews who went to the United States and also, emigrated to Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, and other such countries were in for a pleasant surprise. The nationality concept in the Americas was a whole different game and very beneficial to them and their children. The indigenous population does not rule the countries there, (as it had usually been wiped out before the arrival of the Jews), so no one can tell a person born there 'to go back home'. Mostly, it is the children of immigrants from Spain, England, France and other such countries who "call the shots" in such societies. Consequently, a Jew who went to live in the US, Canada, Argentina, and other such countries became a naturalized American, Canadian, Argentinean, and their children were now full citizens and full Americans, Canadians and Argentineans. He lost the scared look that characterized Jews of Eastern Europe.

The Jews were now walking proudly and behaving confidently in their new societies. Their children were now thinking of themselves as fully-fledged members of these new countries. They quickly advanced and became honorable citizens, doctors, lawyers, mayors and politicians. No one would ever again tell them to "get out".

The same can be said about Jews who went to other ‘immigrant-ruled’ societies- S. Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Once their children were born there, their nationality became S. African, Australian, New Zealander, etc. Also, because the divisions in those countries were often along White/Black/Indigenous lines, the Jews became "Whites" and later, members of something that is called in the Americas "the native-born population". The law of Jus Solis-" born here- you are one of us"- was something that was working in favor of the children of these Jewish refugees from the Jus Sanguinis countries of Poland, Germany and Russia.

Again, the situation became similar to what it was for Jews in Arab countries a long time ago- the main thing that now distinguished Jews from other Americans, Argentineans, Canadians, Australians, etc, was, again, their religion.

Unlike an average Pole or a Russian, an average American, Canadian and Uruguayan cannot easily tell Jews from other "whites" unless they dress in religious Jewish clothes. A person from the Americas may be able to tell Blacks from Whites and, also, Hispanics and Asians, but his eye is not tuned in to the niceties that exist among different types of Caucasians. A Pole can literally tell a Jew a mile away because of the experience that he has had in his country with seeing Jews there on a daily basis. These were possibly the only obviously distinct minority in his homeland, so he leaned to recognize them. However, an average American does not have such experience. He can distinguish White Americans from African-Americans, but he cannot usually distinguish a Jew from an Italian, a Greek, a Turk and other thousands of groups that form the "White American" category. It goes the same for Latin American countries. Many Spanish and Italian descendants there seem to look "Jewish" or "Arabic", so a Jew could pass for a Spaniard or an Italian. An Indian will stand out there and a Black man would but not a Jew.

In Poland or Russia, a Jew can just be stopped on the street and often get beat up because he has a face that still looks Semitic to a local. However, in the Americas, a Black person will just see him as another "White" and a White person will also see him as another "fellow White". In short, he is just another child of immigrants- just like everybody else. Thus, the Jews found the Americas a very stable place in which to settle and, in spite of occasional religion-based discrimination, most of them successfully assimilated into the mainstream of these relatively new immigrant countries.

Ironically, though, the governments of the USA, Canada and Argentina equated people's nationalities with "what country they came from". So, when the Jews arrived in the New World, they were now seen as "Russians", "Germans" and "Poles". Up until this day, on their census documents, many American Jews put:" ancestry "Polish" or "ancestry: Russian". They could never be Polish or Russian in Poland or Russia, but they became such in America. Curious, indeed.

In Argentina also, up until today they call Hassidic Jews- "Rusos"- "Russians". Ridiculous and strange, and crazy if you ask any Old World person, but that's just the way it is there- and perfectly logical to these New World countries- "What country do you come from?" "Poland. That's it"; "You are Polish." The newly arrived Jews tried to protest and shout that they are "Jewish by nationality" because that is what the Poles and Germans considered them to be, but it would only fall on deaf ears in the New World. You are now a "Pole of Jewish Faith" in the Americas. Or Australia, or South Africa for that matter. It is, indeed, a bit funny for any European who visits the US to see American-born Jewish people with names such as Lipshitz or Weinstein proudly declaring, " I am Russian". "What kind of Russian name is that?" " And Russians do not have faces like that". Again, an average American Jew is just located too far from Eastern Europe to know of such things. Also, most native-born Americans do not even know what Russians looks like. Or, what kind of last names they have, for that matter. (By the way, a typical Russian name is "Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov", not "Abraham Goldenstein"). God bless the American ignorance!

American Jews now participate in "heritage tours" going to Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to see where their grandparents came from. However, technically speaking, they did not really come "from" there. From the point of Jewish History, they only went "through" those countries. Before that, they had lived in Germany and Spain and North Africa.

Jews were travelers and temporary residents in those places. However, the present American obsession with genealogy impels thousands of American Jews to go on expensive genealogical tours to places that weren't true motherlands of their ancestors at all. Jews weren't like the Irish, you see. Those countries never accepted them; rather, they were their unwilling and begrudging hosts who ended up expelling them from their soil in the end. Again, these American Jews cannot relate to that, as they think that the whole world is just like America, and they can go to Ukraine to see where their great grandparents came from and what kind of culture people have in those places just like Italian Americans go to Italy. "Oh, so is this what my ancestors looked like ?" they probably say looking at local Ukrainian peasants. But, the Jews did not look like that, dress like that or even speak the language of those places. They spoke Yiddish, had Klezmer music, not the Ukrainian "Hopak" and never wore those Ukrainian Cossack head -dresses. By observing life in Ukraine today, these American Jews will discover little of what the Jewish life was like, since most of what used to be of it there is gone. The Slavic population living in those villages now had as much in common with the Jews as the modern SAR Chinese population had with the British colonials who lived in Hong Kong during the Imperial times.

Still the American Jews keep on going to the towns and villages where the Jews did not even have the right to work the land and where they were unwelcome guests of an alien race. They are flying to countries whose nationality their ancestors could never obtain. That is why they went to America in the first place, didn't they? Such American ignorance about the Jus Sanguinis laws keeps those tour operators in business. However, wouldn’t tours to Jordan, Israel, Syria and Lebanon as well as Iraq and Saudi Arabia be more appropriate? Aren't those the real places where Jews came from? Pity that such tours (except the ones to Israel and, maybe, a secret one to Jordan ) would be quite difficult to arrange.

So, for now, at least, the traditional American attachment to the "Where is your family from?" thing" ' which shouldn't apply to the wondering Jewish tribe, (unless one is talking about the Middle East) is keeping various "heritage tours" in Ukraine in business.

American, British and East European Jews see and experience anti-Semitism differently.

When American Jews complain about the Anti-Semitism in the US, they classify it under "religious prejudice". A Jew who claims discrimination in hiring says that he was not hired, or that he was fired because of his "religion". In Britain, it is the same thing. When the Brits talk about anti-Semitism, they again see it as an expression of purely religious intolerance. In old British books you can still find the mention of the" Jewish race", but in today’s' politically correct Britain, all citizens are British and Jews are just a religion. Moreover the eye of an average politically correct and multi-cultural Brit can no longer tell Jews from other 'white' people. His eye may have been "trained" to distinguish a Pakistani from a Chinese person, or an African from a Burmese, or other former colonial subjects from each other, but his eye is not good at picking out a local British Jew. A hundred years ago an eye of an average Englishman probably could do it, but now it can't. There is too much ethnic mixture in Britain and the Jews got lost in the melting pot that is modern UK. The only thing that is different between a British Jew and any other Brit is again- his religion.

However, because of the people's tendency to equate one's country with "the world", awkward and incorrect reporting takes place when American and British commentators or historians start describing past or present anti-Jewish events in Eastern Europe as instances of "religious hatred". For example, recently a rabbi was assaulted in Kiev, Ukraine. Immediately, some British commentators started mentioning it as a case of "religious prejudice". In any literature describing history of the Jews in the Russian empire, again the main explanation for any persecution that they suffered seems to be that it was a purely "religious matter". Again, while the commentators and the writers may be fairly well informed of the fact that such persecutions took place, they are usually not aware of how the Jews formed a completely different nationality in those countries. Being British, they think that other countries do what the British do- namely, liberally give their nationality to various other races that happen to be under their crowns at the moment.

This has lead to tragic misunderstandings. Jews who were running from the Nazis because they ( the Jews) " were 'not' Germans", became "Germans" once they entered the British Empire and they were subsequently arrested and interned. You see, to the Brits, even a person such as Anna Frank would be a "German". Nationality = Place of Birth = Passport is the law in most present and former British domains.

In order to fully understand what was happening to the Jews in Eastern Europe and in Germany for that matter, one should have preferably gone there, spoken to the local Jews, studied the local nationality laws and not judged the local events based on the American and British models of thinking since they simply do not apply there. In America Jews are Americans! Americans like you and me, but in, say, Ukraine they are just not Ukrainians. Sorry!

Jews can never become Ukrainians or Russians or Poles. Because of that, and because they "have killed Christ" and were accused of many things that they did not do, people in those countries used to beat them up (and they still do), come into their houses, and even occasionally do things like kill their children and hang the parents upside down from the ceiling so that they could see their kids lying dead underneath them. But, most of the time they would just tell them- "Get out of our country! And sometimes,” Go back to your country!"

"But I was born here!"- The Jew would protest.

To which the reply would be something like this: "So a dog that was born in the stables is now a horse? Get out!"

The Orthodox and The Catholic Church made life impossible for Jews in Central/Eastern Europe.

The Church, especially the Catholic and Orthodox churches, were probably some of the most serious culprits in fanning anti-Jewish hatred in Central and Eastern Europe. For over a thousand years, the Jews were blamed by them for killing Jesus Christ. How can one expect the Jew to be treated well, when their Gentile neighbors are repeatedly told at church that "that accursed nation is guilty of killing your God"?

'Why did you beat up this Jew?' 'I beat him up for crucifying Jesus Christ? '

The hatred for Jews as Christ-killers is another thing that people in Protestant America and in the Arab countries cannot truly relate to, and do not often mention in the media when they talk about anti-Semitism. Muslim or even Christian Arabs do not see Jews as killers of Christ and Protestant Churches did not create a "Christ-killer" propaganda of similar intensity in the countries which were largely Protestant- Sweden, the US, Canada and the UK among others as what was created in Orthodox and Catholic countries of Europe.

It does not however take away the fact that in many Protestant countries the Jews were still hated, however, the "they killed our God" type of hatred was especially evident in Poland, Russia and Romania, the countries who obeyed either the Anti-Semitic Papal authorities or the authority of very anti-Jewish Patriarch of Constantinople.

Imagine this daily reality for a Jew in Eastern/Central Europe- Hundreds of millions of Germans and Poles, and Russians, and Ukrainians treat him as an undesirable alien who " had killed their God", and many tell him to get out of their country. What did the Jews do? To counter that problem the Jews invented Zionism. "These people persecute us and do not want us here. Let's get organized and go back to our country". Americas and other immigrant societies could not take all the Jews in, so it seemed logical to these Jews that they needed to go back to where they originally came from, which, in their mind, was the place where they coalesced into the kingdoms of Judea and Israel. So they started buying land in what was at that time Palestine.

The Jewish "Khawajas" are coming to the Middle East.

When the Jews started "re-populating" Palestine, it had already been populated by various Arab tribes. And again, as I have mentioned before, Arabs have a different concept of nationality. In fact, all of them seem to have "two nationalities", as it were. Each one is an Arab and a Palestinian, an Arab and an Egyptian, an Arab and a Syrian, -a unique phenomenon. And their view of the world is also different from the way a European Jew would view it. It is quite simple in their minds, and looking out from where they are, either you are an Arab, whether Christian or Muslim; or you are a Jew (who can be an Arab, too). And then you have "Kaffirs"- the infidels- various Chinese, Japanese, or whoever is not of Jewish, Muslim or Christian faith; then, there are Africans who can also be Arabs and Muslims, provided they speak Arabic and practice Islam.

Then you have the "Khawajas"- all these people from Europe/America, etc.- they dress in pants and they wear hats. Europeans, White Americans, Australians, Brits- they are all "Khawajas".

To give you a comparison: have you ever heard a Mestizo Latin American, particularly someone from Mexico or Central America call White Americans "gabachos"? Well, it is the same "Khawaja" word, an Arab term, transferred into Spanish, to describe all those lighter-skinned people from the North- the racial terms would be "Gringos", "Honkies", "Haolies", "Whities", "Gueros", etc. If you do not wear a long piece of cloth over your head, or put on a fez, and you do not speak Arabic, and if your skin is lighter than mine, your eyes are blue- you are a "Khawaja"- a "Gringo"!

So, paradoxically and very ironically, again; while the Europeans were trying to kick the Jews out of Europe because these were 'not' Europeans but Semites; the Arabs now saw all these Jews coming from Europe, dressed in European clothes, speaking German-based Yiddish and behaving like Europeans ( at least to the Arab eyes) as "Khawajas".

'Hey, there is bunch of "Gringos" coming into town!' they would probably say, and a dialogue like this most possibly took place between an Arab and Jewish Zionist:

Arab: 'Where do you come from?'
Jew from Poland:' Poland'
Arab: 'And why are you here?'
Jew from Poland:' I came back home. This is my country.'
Arab: 'How can you call this place home? Where is your father from?'
Jew from Poland: 'Poland'.
Arab: 'And where is your grandfather from?'
Jew from Poland: 'Poland.'
Arab: 'So how can you say that this is your country if your roots go back to Poland? You are Polish, a European, a "Khawaja". This is Arab, Muslim land. What are you doing here in our country?'
Jew from Poland: 'I am a Jew. This is our country.'
Arab:' "Jews" are just a religion, you are a Polack. A Khawaja. A Western Gringo, Honkie, Whitie,' etcetera, etcetera.

The Arabs' logic seems unassailable in this case, right? Well, if this Arab had gone further down the Jew's family tree, he would have discovered that his great grand-grand-grand-grand father was not from Poland, that he had lived in Germany, and before that his ancestors had lived in France, and Spain, all the way back to where they are standing and talking now. That the Jews were wonderers. Two thousand years went by, but the Jew is still clinging to the land that has now been occupied by Arabs for about a millennium. He is here because the Europeans told him to get out and well, that is why he is standing in front of you with his suitcases.

Arabs do not accept such a fantastic explanation. Ugly conflicts ensue. A war takes place. Arabs in Palestine become refugees.

Yes, an Arab sees the Jew as being just "Polish", but it is also important to realize that who is Polish and who is not Polish is not decided by the Arab. It is decided by the Polish people. Who is European and who is not European is decided by the European people, not by Arabs. And again, as I have mentioned before, those European people use "the Jus Sanguinis" principle- "the Right of the Blood"- nationality is determined by bloodline/ancestry/heritage, while the Arabs use the "What country do you come from and what is your citizenship?" principle to ascertain people's ethnic identity.

The Arabs thought that the Jews were "Russians" coming to take Arab land "based on religion"; while in reality, it was happening based on "nationality". And considering the Arab cultural perspective on the territory of Arab countries, mistaking the Jews for Russians was a mistake easy to make. The trouble with such a way of thinking was that, again, who is Russian and who is not, was not something for Arabs to decide.

This way, again the Jew became caught between the Scylla and the Harybdis as these two nationality models clashed on him- on the one hand you have East /Central Europeans who see these Jews as an alien Semitic nation and chase them out of their countries " back to where their tribe came from", and on the other hand, you have these Arabs who see the Jews as "Europeans of Jewish faith" who came to usurp their land, right during the time of the European occupation and colonization. So, the Arabs dumped these Jews in the same category with the other "Khawajas"- the French in Lebanon, the British in Egypt, and the Italians in Libya. "It is a plot by the "Khawajas" to take over our land! Let's rise in arms!"

Jews fight back. Wars, bloodsheds and deportations take place after that.

This is simply amazing! Two cultures, the European and the Arab one can look at the same group of people and see two different things based on their own perspective. And after that they proceed to categorize the group relative to their own histories, social systems, visual associations and viewpoints!

Blacks from America who went back to Africa faced similar problems as the Jews who went to Palestine.

Let's again go back to the analogy with Black Americans: In the 19th century, many Blacks from the US decided to go back to Africa. Why? Well, they were told repeatedly by white racists in the US: "Go back to Africa! Get out of here!" So, some went back. Now, when they arrived in Africa, they were met by all these different African tribes who probably asked them the same questions:

African: 'Where did you come from?'
Black man from Alabama: 'USA'
African: 'And what are you doing here?'
Black man from Alabama: 'This is my continent, I am black.'
African: 'So am I, but I am blacker than you. Your skin is lighter than mine. Your face looks strange. You are not from Africa.'

(Many Blacks in the US were mixed with whites because of rapes by their previous owners. If in America a person who is 70% black, he is still a Black man, then to an average African, a person who is 30-% White is... a White man!!! Yes, siree!)

Black man from Alabama: 'But in the USA they call me "Black" and by other bad words, and they tell me to go back to Africa. So that is why I am here.'

African: 'But here you are an American, A Westerner, a White man. You are not an African.'

Black Americans especially the ones who went on to establish Liberia over a hundred years back, had to fight several black tribes who wanted to repel them as "foreign invaders". Again, the native African Blacks could not recognize these strangers coming from the US as their Black cousins just as the Arabs in Palestine could not see the European Jews as their Semitic cousins. Most probably, the Blacks in Africa never saw themselves as having a "Black" ethnic identity. They thought of themselves in tribal terms and these people from America were not of their tribe. End of the story. Case closed.

Here is another analogy along the same lines- take Mexican-American people in the American Southwest. In the US for a long time, these were and still are called "Mexicans" by quite a few members of the white population, and are treated as such. After all, their skin is kind of brown; they have last names such as Gonzales, Ramirez and Perez. Many speak Spanish and are Catholic. These are "Mexicans" or at least "Hispanics" within the context of those states.

However, if these "Mexicans" went to Mexico proper, they would be treated as 'Americans', not 'Mexicans'. The word "Hispanic" would not be even applied to them as everybody there else is also "Hispanic". So, it happens to some groups of people that in Country A they are a "B", and in Country "B" they are an "A". A very awkward situation.

The above two analogies present cases that are similar to what happened to East European Jews in Palestine, but there is one major difference if you try to compare it to the above case with the Mexican-Americans- namely: the US is a land of immigrants. A person there can be a Mexican-American and an African-American but all are Americans, at least according to the US law. One can say that the Mexican Americans are Mexicans and not "White", but one cannot say that they are not Americans because they had been born in the US or are US citizens. However, in Europe, because of the Jus Sanguinis laws, there is no such thing as a Jewish-Pole or a Jewish-German. These are oxymorons. You can be a 'German Jew' or a 'Polish Jew' but not the other way around. Either you are a Pole- a Slav, or you are Jew- a Semite living in Poland; and one day, "you will get out of my country and go back where your Asiatic, Semitic ancestors came from".

"But he (the Jew) is a citizen of Poland/Russia/Germany!" you will say. Remember again! Those countries clearly differentiate between 'citizenship' and 'nationality'. Citizenship is your purely political association with the State. Nationality, OTOH, is ethnic/racial and comes from almost "tribal" bloodlines/heritage. Anybody can become a Polish "citizen", but becoming a Polish "national” is impossible. You have to be "born of the blood".

The British law, as the American law, treats people born in their country as their own.

If you are an American, a Canadian or a British citizen reading this, you are probably used to the fact that 'national' and 'citizen' mean the same thing in your countries. In America, actually, the word "national" even denotes something less than a citizen. Kind of like the people from Samoa or the Marianas. These are territories administered by the US but people there cannot vote in Federal elections and they do not have exactly the same rights as full US citizens living on the mainland. In Britain, it is also similar, in a way. Colonial passports of Hong Kong Chinese were not equal in value to the "full British passports". In a way these were nationals but not full citizens.

People born and raised in Britain are a totally different story. When, for example, other European countries kicked their Gypsies out in the latter part of this past millennium , the British would often only deport those Gypsies who were not born in Britain. The ones who were born there were considered British. Sure, we all hear of hooligans that shout "Paki go home!" to British citizens of South Asian descent, but that is not the official line of the British government. 'Born in Britain' usually makes you British. 100%.

When the British distributed "Wanted" posters on Menahem Begin in Palestine during his terrorist activities against the British rule- they wrote "Nationality: Polish" on them. You see, according to the Brits, his nationality was Polish, but the British stubbornly refuse to realize that who is Polish and who is not Polish is not decided by them since Poland does not have the same nationality laws as the UK. It is decided by the Poles who is a Pole. And while to Brits 'nationality' and 'citizenship' were closely related, and a very Semitic-looking Begin was "Polish", to the tens of millions of Poles he was just a "Zhid"- a Jew who happened to be born in Poland. Not a "Pole" by a long shot. And that was pretty official, too.

Unlike in Britain, in Poland, Germany, Russia, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, etc. the ethnic "nationality" 'overrides' your citizenship. Having, say, a Russian nationality means that you have a certain face, a certain color of hair, a certain name and a certain pedigree from certain 'tribes' that goes way back- millennia perhaps. Nationality basically indicates your "human breed". Polish people also have certain faces and bodies and skin and eye color. So do Germans. So do the Romanians. What’s more, they can usually tell just by looking at your face if you are one of them or not. And the Jew can never be one of them, or be a 'national' of those countries. Menahem Begin was in Palestine because he was ' not' Polish, but an ethnic Jew. And according to many anti-Semitic Poles, Palestine is the place where they should all be living.

The Jews were treated as a "non- indigenous nationality" in the Soviet Union, which further forced millions of them to emigrate, many to Israel.

While the English-language media used the words "U.S.S.R", "Soviet Union", and "Russia" interchangeably, as if it was one and the same, it was not. If you do not believe me, check any encyclopedia. Check the CIA World Fact book. Russia was only one of the republics (read: non independent countries) that composed USSR. There were fifteen of them- Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc. In the U.S.S.R, they had an internal classification of nationalities, and an internal passport system to designate them- kind of like an ID booklet that all citizens had to carry from the time they turned 16. The Jews, of whom there were some several millions in the country, had those, too.

Now, what was that "nationality" system? Aren't they all "Russians"?

In Hollywood movies they are, and in the English-language popular media they are. In British and American novels about the Cold War (by writers who have never even been to that country, and do not speak the language) they are. However, to themselves, and to the countries around them, they are not. They are all 'Soviets' but not all "Russians".

What is the difference?

The same difference as between "British" and "English". "British" can be Scottish, English, (Northern Irish- arguably) and Welsh. The English are the most numerous of the four (or three, some will say) and, arguably, the most powerful, but they are only one of the several ethno-cultural groups that compose the country. The French and the Belgians loosely call them all "Anglais", but it is a simplification and, culturally, and even politically, it is very wrong.

Unlike in the United States, where most people are children of immigrants, in the USSR they are not. Georgians are from Georgia originally. Ukrainians are from Ukraine for tens of millennia. Russians are from Russia originally. These people have been there since the last Ice Age and perhaps even before that. They were there way before recorded history. At least this is how the Soviet people would have seen themselves.

The Soviet government divided people there into the indigenous and non-indigenous populations. The indigenous- or what they in USSR used to call "korennoye naselenie"- literally the "autochthonous population", had the "blood right" to be in the country. The ones that came to the country later- say a few hundred, or even a thousand years ago were not "autochthonous". Some Jews came about a thousand years ago, but most Jews who lived there migrated through Poland and into the future USSR lands only a couple of hundred years ago.

The Gypsies also 'settled' (or rather established their caravan routes) there about 500-1000 years ago. The Germans came 200 years ago, after Catherine the Great invited them to help raise agriculture and improve trade in the country. Does this make them autochthonous populations? If this were the countries of the Americas or even Britain, or even Arab countries, these people would by now be "natives", citizens, nationals and totally assimilated members of society for sure.

However, the rulers of the USSR had other ideas. This is what they decided: " We will support the indigenous population and persecute the non-indigenous ones". So, who would be the autochthonous ones? The Russians were Slavs mixed with Finns- autochthonous, that is- they have been in the country for 10,000 + years? Ukrainians? A mixture of Iranic tribes and Slavs- same thing- autochthonous. The Georgians? Indigenous population. So all these peoples were now members of one great multinational state of USSR. However, there were also "nationalities" that were declared "non-autochthonous" The "Hebrews"- read "Jews", the "Germans", and the "Gypsies". These three were seen as de facto "foreign nationals" residing in the country. The Jews were also referred to as "people of Jewish nationality" in everyday Soviet life.

Again, the Soviet government utilized strict "Jus Sanguinis" laws to define people's nationality. Based on documented ancestry and 'bloodlines', they would write in people's ID cards- Last Name, First name, Patronymic ( the name of the father plus -the OVICH suffix for a man, and -a YEVNA suffix for a woman), Date of Birth, and then "Nationality"- the infamous "pyataya grapha" or "Fifth Paragraph".

Again, who is Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian and a "Hebrew", and who is not, is decided by guess who? The Soviets! Not by Americans; not by Arabs; not by Brits. Soviets decide. It is their country. Lock, stock and barrel!

So, let's see what strange classification system they created there:

A National ID card looked like a passport and it was in fact called a " Passport", but it was an internal one. There would be a picture and an inscription of this nature

(for Jews):

Born: May 19, 1936
Nationality: Yevrey (Hebrew)

This is what information an ID/Internal Passport would have on a Ukrainian citizen of USSR:

Born: October 9, 1946
Nationality: Ukrainka (Ukrainian)

This is what it would look like for a Russian (who were only 49% of the population of USSR- not 100% as the Hollywood movies and various American Cold War novels would want you to think.)

Born: January 23, 1955
Nationality: Russki (Russian)

Or a German (who had been in the country for 200+ years)

Born: December 11, 1943
Nationality: Nemetz (German)

How would you like to have an ID like this? Whenever you apply for a job, or rent a place, and present it to the police on demand, or show it to train conductors or the post office, you are a "Hebrew" for the whole Soviet world to see. You are not an "autochthonous" citizen and therefore, not a full citizen. For all intents and purposes, you are not even a national of the country. There are quotas on you everywhere, other students can harass your kids at schools, teachers ask you your nationality, and the word "Hebrew" is marked on the student rosters, official papers, job applications, birth and death certificates, etc. You spend your entire life as a "Hebrew" foreigner in a faraway Slavic land.

When Israel was established in 1948, all those who had "nationality: "Hebrew” and as a result felt like 'Hebrews' in were automatically treated as potential traitors and foreign citizens while at the same time, not allowed to leave "the host country". They became a fifth column; many considered them enemies of the state and they were caught in a limbo- they are neither from here, nor from there. Life became so hard for them that emigration became the only choice. People would scream at them- "Go back to your country! Back to Israel! This is not your country! Get out!"

Eventually, these "Hebrews", who often did not speak a word of Hebrew, were allowed to emigrate back to "their country" and they left in millions. And would you blame them?

When these Russian-speaking "Hebrews" arrived in Israel in such numbers, the Arab population was up in arms- there is a million of them coming. Why? They are all 'Khawajas!' What are they doing coming into our country? Where are we going to live now?

Thank you, leaders of the mighty U.S.S.R for pushing over a million Jews into the Palestinian lands and then duplicitiously supporting the Palestinian struggle which resulted from a demographic catastrophe which you yourselves helped to create! How very hypocritical of you to do that!

The Hypocritical Soviets.

By then, many more Palestinian Arabs had already been displaced to make room for more immigrants coming from the USSR. A terrible thing to happen! All of a sudden you are told to leave your homes. Why? What did you do? You've never hurt those Jews.

But again, whose fault is it? Why couldn't the Soviet government treat those "Hebrew" people like their own, like they would treat a Georgian or a Ukrainian? Why couldn't they just call all people "Soviets"? Why was there the fifth paragraph? Why did they have to have those internal "nationality" ID cards? Why create the 'non-autochthonous' nationality concept? Why couldn't they thoroughly naturalize people who had been in the country for centuries? And why did so many Soviets scream at these Jews," Go back to your country!" "Go back to Israel!" Why were so many Jews harassed there and told to 'go back to Israel'?

In a very hypocritical way, the Soviets always blamed Israel for taking away Palestinian lands but ,at the same time, it was the Soviets that proclaimed that the Jews were Semites and Hebrews and not Russians. It was them who practiced such a severe anti-Semitism against the Jews, that they practically left no alternative for them but to emigrate 'back home'.

Jews in America often cannot relate to what the Jews in the USSR went through.

There have been demonstrations by some Jews in the US against Israel and Zionism. The reason they saw the need to demonstrate in America was because they were as 100% American, just as anyone else in the US. Hence, they really saw no need for Israel to exist. No one ever denied them the right to live in the US. They have never had strange ID cards saying that they are not part of the ' autochthonous population'. Not many have been screaming at them, " Go back to your Israel!". Not in Williamsburg, anyway.

However, there were no such demonstrations in Russia or Ukraine because Jewish people there could never become Russians or Ukrainians. And they still aren't fully so. They are happy that if the things get nasty and attacks against them begin, they always have a country to go to.

Although now the Fifth Paragraph has been abolished, its ugly heritage in the former Soviet states has not yet disappeared completely. The Jews can never truly be accepted as Ukrainians or Russians socially unless they start intermarrying with the indigenous population and then, only their grandchildren can feel like they truly belong. And slowly, but surely, it is happening. Over the next century many more "Hebrews" will intermarry. And it is not a bad thing. If you ask me, nothing good seems to have come out of being a person of "Jewish nationality" in those countries.

Israel also differentiates between Nationality and Citizenship.

You thought Israel would be a country that would not adopt the blood laws after all the problems that these had caused to Jews in Europe. It did. In Israel, there is again a "nationality"- either you are an "Arab" or a "Jew"; and then there is a "citizenship"- "Israeli". So, Arabs there can have the 'citizenship' but not the "nationality". Looks like the Jews borrowed the same very ugly Jus Sanguinis principle from Europe and superimposed it on the Middle East, a region that traditionally never practiced it except in the cases of modern Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and other Gulf states but even then it has been a very recent phenomenon.

Did the Jews know any better when they set up that nationality system? Maybe not. After all it was like that in Poland. Let’s create the same system here, too.

A yet another unexpected twist- Jews looking down on each other in the new land.

After Israel was established in 1948, a yet new identity was formed, a whole new concept- "a native-born Israeli". A "Sabra"- cactus, that is - supposedly a modern Israeli person, who just like a cactus is "tough on the outside, but soft on the inside". He is Hebrew-speaking, he usually does not know much about life of Jews in other countries and sometimes he looks with condescension on immigrants from outside of Israel. "We are warriors, we fought for this country, we are Israelis. And you are all "Russians". We don't like you- go back to Russia".

Can you just imagine that? You take one group of people that were persecuted so much and you put them together in one place and, guess what happens?-almost immediately they start forming a pecking order amongst themselves- "I was born here! You weren't". "I was here before you, but I am poor and now you come here and you get subsidies from the government, but I don't get anything". The Jews who were "Hebrews" in the USSR, were now "Russians" in Israel. Some are now even being beat up by those who are supposed to be their brothers- of the same blood as them. Jewish police sometimes insult Jews from USSR by calling them "Rasputins", "Mafiosi", and "Russian pigs". There have been reports of them getting roughed up by the cops- the proud, "native-born Israelis".

Things are now different in Europe, too.

Things have also changed in Europe but for the better, at least, as far as the Jewish situation goes. Many of the countries that used to persecute Jews and treat them as foreigners, no longer do so as much. If there are haters, they now unleash their xenophobic fury on the new Arab, African and Asian immigrants. Many Europeans would even prefer that the Jews were back, as the Poles, the Germans and the Russians now have to face these newly arrived groups that are even more different and even less assimiliable than the Jews. At least, the Jews knew the local culture. and the Europeans were also somewhat used to the Jewish ways. They were part of the landscape for so long. They were better than these fanatical Chechens and not as different from us as the Africans that are now coming in droves to our shores. And these are the devils we don't know.

The US and the UK are now starting to export their concept of multiculturalism and tolerance to the traditionally intolerant societies of Central and Eastern Europe. Germany is inviting Jews to come back. And the new importance of money is changing things, too. Now a Jew can go to Ukraine with money and marry a beautiful local girl. Many no longer care about him being Jewish. There are still anti-Semites and occasional hate attacks, but things are getting better. From the long term point of view, Jus Sanguinis in Eastern Central Europe is destined to be a thing of the past, something that most people will one day forget about. And racial hatreds of yesteryear will one day be also forgotten, for sure.

The Jus Sanguinis is no longer on government law books, even though it still raises its ugly head in informal situations. With the present or upcoming EU membership, a lot of things have become different and more things will change in the future. Turks in Germany are now Turk-Germans. Russia and Ukraine have identity documents that just say: “Citizen of Ukraine” or “Citizen of Russia”. As they have to adopt EU standards to prepare for either entry into, or some associate status with the EU, “Blood Laws” are now being replaced by “Soil Laws“- the Russians have begun to replace the ethnic name “Russki” with “Rossiyanin”- a term that can be applied to anyone who is a citizen of Russia and/or who was born there. Things are definitely getting better.

Tens of thousands of Jews are going back to Germany and Russia. Many are now buying property in Ukraine. The Jewish heritage of many European cities is being revived. It is just a pity that there was so much suffering for such a long time, and that so many lives have been ruined. Maybe the Arabs were right, maybe these Jews should be called 'Europeans', after all?

What could have been done in the past to prevent the Palestinian tragedy?

America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina as well as all the other countries in the Americas could have taken more Jews in. Jews could have converted to Christianity and stayed in Spain without ever reaching Germany or the Russian Empire. They would have been accepted and could have become good Spaniards. They could have converted to Islam and become as Arabian as all the other Arabs while they were in North Africa. Didn't many do so? Some people say that many Palestinians are simply descendants of Jews who converted to Islam a long time ago. Many even have that traditional Jewish look but names such as Ali or Mohammed.

They could have all gone to France after the French Revolution when the revolutionaries declared that all people in France who had allegiance to the Republic were now Frenchmen.

European countries could have adopted the "Jus Solis" law and declared all those Jews just Poles and Russians and Germans. They did not. Hence, you have the mess on your hands that you see on TV every day.

Arab countries could have taken in more Palestinian refugees and naturalized them after the Arab-Israeli conflict took place, too. It surely would have helped.

Jus Sanguinis still exists in some places.

While many countries, including Germany have abolished Jus Sanguinis, some countries still practice it. In Gulf Arab countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Arabs from poorer countries, and also, children of African immigrants cannot get the local citizenship/nationality even if they were born there. Beduin tribes in Kuwait who cannot prove that they are from well-established Kuwaiti families remain stateless. Kuwait expelled most of its Palestinian population after the first Gulf War( many of whom were born in Kuwait) because its leaders decided that these Palestinians supported Saddam Hussein. In Saudi Arabia, many children of immigrants from Chad and other Arab countries are still not Saudis. Born and raised there, but not Saudis. Why?

In Japan, children and grandchildren of Korean immigrants still have hard time getting jobs, apartments and participating in the Japanese society because they are not Japanese. Some African countries such as Zimbabwe abuse that law, as well, by refusing to naturalize children of foreign-born parents.

And even though Russia has been making progress by abolishing the fifth paragraph, If you do a search anywhere on the ethnic composition of the population of Russia, particularly in the CIA World Fact Book, you will clearly see that the Russians up until this day say that only some 80% or so of the population of the country are Russians. All others are not considered to be. It is no longer a legal stance but it is still mentioned. Why?

Even in countries where non-indigenous population can obtain citizenship, they are still not treated equally from the social perspective. They have problems finding work, places to live, friends and mates. Such things happen to children of Indians, Pakistanis and Arabs in various European countries. Jews who have stayed in the former Soviet countries no longer suffer legal discrimination against them, but it may be a long time before the local people from those countries start considering them as their true nationals.

All that shows that while the law may be waning, and things may be changing, the cultural practices of Jus Sanguinis are still lingering. When will they ever go away completely? Do you want me to be optimistic? I will say, several generations - a century or two.


Those who take sides in the Middle Eastern conflict by listening to only one side and not studying the whole issue are really missing the point. They also waste energy on hating the "bad guys" on each side. In addition to that, everyone's perspective is clouded and slanted because of one's own cultural background and the tendency to see events from one's own cultural perspective. People tend to simplify such a multi-faceted problem as this.

Many plead for Israel's right to the land because they are either Jewish themselves, or have close friends who are Jewish. Many Muslims and politically correct Westerners support the Palestinians. Blames are often directed against the British, the Muslim fanatics, the religion of Islam, the United States interests in the area, the militant Jewish settlers, the hawkish leaders of the Knesset and other such villains.

However, very few know about the profound role that the Eastern and Central European countries such as Poland, Romania, the Russian Empire (and the USSR) and many others played in driving millions of their Jews into Palestine; Jews who were born and bred in those countries. They did that by instituting against them a policy of persecution based on the legal principle of Jus Sanguinis. These nations have not taken any blame for what is happening in the Middle East and it has rarely occurred to anyone, including the Arab leaders, to at least say to them: "Quit kicking your Jews out and onto our lands". Their part in creating a huge Jewish population in Palestine is hardly, if ever, discussed and has almost never been brought up in any important public debate.

The sanctimoniousness of those countries is seen in how arrogantly and phonily they talk about self-determination for the Palestinians, while it was their governments and churches who practically made the Jews emigrate from the countries; the places where they had lived for generations, in order to seek shelter in that arid Middle Eastern land called Palestine.

Although many Jews are returning to Eastern and Central Europe, those countries still have Jewish populations that are miniscule compared to what they used to be in the past, and while some Jews are happy to re-embrace the lands of their births, many of the locals still treat them as outsiders. Poland has only a few thousand elderly Jews left and not many Jews are going back to Poland. The government and the general public of Ukraine consistently refuses to consider local, native-born Jews as Ukrainians. Citizens of Ukraine, yes. Ukrainians, no! Few real steps are taken to bring to justice many anti-Semitic elements in the country that consistently publish slanderous articles against the Jews in the press further fanning inter-ethnic hatred in the country. The strange mechanism set into motion by those racist organizations still feeds on human suffering and creates a sadistic loop of these malicious steps: 1) Slander the Jews so that they get discriminated against and emigrate from the country. 2) Let them go to Israel and push out more Palestinians. 3) Let more Palestinians get displaced and rebel against the Jews.4) Let the Jews fight back and more Palestinians get killed, 5) Now the anti- Semites can slander Jews again and more of them again can get discriminated against. 6)They again emigrate to Israel in even greater numbers, push out more Palestinians and the World Zionist Conspiracy is blamed. More weapons are then sold to both sides. More funds are channeled to terrorists. A vicious cycle. Who suffers in the end? The innocent Palestinians and the innocent Israelis.

Bullets are still flying, Palestinian children die, terrorists blow up and kill innocent Jewish people in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Bearded and bespectacled, mature-looking commentators with PhDs talk about aggression and terrorism committed by each side. Fanatical Muslim and Jewish elements continue to plot murderous acts against each other.

Establishing a state in Palestine called " Israel" may not have been a wise step, but the policy by the Central and Eastern Europeans to treat the Jews as a nation from that ( the Middle Eastern) part of the world, and to refuse to acknowledge them as their own nationals, was one of the principal factors that forced compelled the Jews to take that step. Now, the Jews in Israel are paying for their ancestors' difficult decision to build such a country on the land that the local Arabs considered their own, by living under the constant threat of terror attacks in a society devoid of peace.

Will Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Romania, and other such states, ever apologize for making their own countries "Jew- free" by simply dumping their Jews on the Arabs in the Middle East, while causing great sufferings to both the Jews and the Arabs? Will the Palestinian leaders ever realize that this is one of the main reasons why all these people are on their land, and understand who is partially to blame? Will there be huge demonstrations in every Arab and Muslim capital in front of the embassies of the Russian Federation, Poland, Ukraine and Romania with youngsters in Hamas and Hizbullah uniforms shaking fists in the air and carrying slogans: “Take them back!", "Don't Dump Your Citizens on our Land!"," Stop Pushing Us Off Our Farms With Your Jews", and " Get Them Out of Here, They Belong To You!"?

That would be a sight to behold, wouldn't it?

1 comment:

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the hottest virtual strippers dancing on my desktop.