What Else, O Medieval Saudi Oil Potentate? Try These For Starters…

                                                                                                                                  by Gerald A. Honigman

 

     A stop along President Bush’s recent Middle East trip—after further pressuring Jews to accept his vision of Abbas's latter day terrorist Arafatians as being the good cops—took Dubya to the sands of the Saudis and other Arabian Peninsula nations. 

     A photo soon was published worldwide of the President wielding a sword along with Bahraini hosts, and Dubya brought along a New Year’s present--tens of billions of dollars in military aid to the Saudis. Hey, if we don’t sell it to them, the Brits, Germans, French, and so forth certainly will. So goes the argument…

     During the visit, Bush asked if perhaps the Arabs might reach out to Israel a bit more. Saudi King Abdullah responded that he didn’t know what else he could do. After all, he came up with his own “peace” (of the grave) plan some time ago. If the Jewish State merely agreed to return to its pre-’67, 9-mile wide ’49 armistice line—not border—existence and agreed to be swamped by millions of “returning” jihadist refugees (many, if not most, of whom were new-comers to the Palestinian Mandate themselves) created because the Arab attempt to nip a reborn Israel in the bud backfired, then the Saudis might normalize relations with Israel.

     The Desert Kingdom has long gotten away with a virtual free pass from America and most of the rest of the world. The same folks—including academics and others who should know better—who routinely scrutinize Israel and the actions it’s forced to take merely to survive, act deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to the Saudis and too many other Arabs controlling much of the world’s oil and influencing many other petrodollar-connected, multi-national corporations in the process. Together, this power and influence--via their many tentacles and manifestations-- make the much spoken about “Zionist lobby” look pitiful.

     Years back, when I was a card-carrying member of the London-based Anti-Slavery Society, persistent reports spoke of slavery throughout Saudi Arabia and other Arab lands…in the oil fields, and other places as well. It was still “above ground” up until the middle of the last century. But it was all treated as though it didn’t exist. Have you ever noticed the many black Saudis and other Arabs? Guess who and what their mothers mostly were? Hush...

     Okay. Let’s get back on track.

     What else can the Saudis do to reach out to the Jews? Here’s some suggestions…

     On this last trip, Dubya pledged some twenty billion dollars in state-of-the-art aircraft, missiles, bombs, and so forth to the Saudis, supposedly to bolster them against the Iranian bogeyman.

     The problem is, despite all of those Arabs prancing around with their swords, each time they were threatened—by fellow Arabs like Saddam or Iranians--America had to pull their chestnuts out of the fire with our own blood and money anyway…despite billions of dollars in military aid given previously. Not to mention the Saudis' gift of most of the suicide/homicide bombers of 9/11.

     Previous sophisticated weaponry and aircraft that the Saudis pledged to place to face the Iranian threat were stationed a stone’s throw from Israel instead. Indeed, they’ve been expanding the King Faisal Air Base at Tabuk. Prior to Bush’s new holiday gift, the base contained about 50 advanced F-15S fighter-jets, which were sent to the northwestern facility on the eve of the U.S.-led war against Iraq in March 2003. Other promises related to those sales later proved to be worthless as well.

     So much for past and future similar Arab guarantees...

     What else could the Saudis do for Israel? How about honoring the pledges above, for starters.

     The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion is perhaps one of the most flagrantly anti-Semitic doctrines ever written. Guess who was one of the latter day leaders in endorsing and spreading it around?

     While the Saudis aren’t the only Arabs still doing this sort of hate-spreading stuff (“peaceful” Egypt still freely indulges), ending such practices is another suggestion for the “what else”…as is ending dehumanizing “kilab yahud”—Jew dogs—even further by routinely also calling them sons of apes and pigs. Extend this further by revising the textbooks of Arab children, hatred in the media, sermons, and so forth which routinely demonize Jews and Israel, and an Arab “peace” might become more believable.

     Ready for more?

     When Israel was squeezed by President Clinton at Camp David and Taba to cave in to Arafat and abandon its right to defensible “secure and recognized” borders instead of pre-’67 Auschwitz/armistice lines a la resolution 242, while Arafat rejected the plan, Clinton and the State Department’s Arabist “deal” Prime Minister Barak was forced to accept became the new starting point for President Bush’s recent Annapolis travesty.

    During the era of Clinton’s “Oslo Peace,” the more Israel tangibly conceded to Arabs, the more it bled.

    Guess who was paying Arab families tens of thousands of dollars each for having a "shahid" member blow up Jewish kids in teen night clubs, buses, pizzerias, and so forth during the Intifada (conducted under Arafat and Abbas’s Fatah good cops’ watch—not that of Hamas’s bad cops)? Maybe Saudi despots, who condemn women victims of rape to hundreds of lashes and humiliation, could revise their policy here also…

     The Saudis, like other Arabs, are always quick to claim the whole region as “purely Arab patrimony.” Hence their additional concern about Iranians and others who call the body of water in the north the Persian Gulf instead of the Arabian Gulf. More than just words are involved here.

     Since Arabs claim all that they acquired after Muhammad and successor caliphal armies burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E., conquering and forcibly Arabizing millions of non-Arab peoples and their lands, and then rejected the rights of Jews (one half in Israel who were refugees from “Arab”/Muslim lands), Kurds, Berbers, black Africans, and so forth in a later age of nationalism to resurrected political rights of their own, perhaps the Saudis need to be reminded of another time period in what is now their country…

     When Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, fled enemies in Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. (the Hijrah), the inhabitants welcomed him. Medina had been developed centuries earlier as a thriving date palm oasis by Jews fleeing the Roman assault on Judaea (the banu-Qurayzah and banu-al-Nadir tribes, etc.). Medina’s mixed population of Jews and pagan Arabs opened their doors to the future Prophet of Islam.

     Muhammad learned much from the Jews. While the actual timing of his decision on the qibla, the direction of prayer, may never be known, during his long sojourn with the Jews of Medina, his followers were instructed to pray towards Jerusalem. Early prominent Arab historians such as Jalaluddin came right out and openly stated that this was done as an attempt to win support among influential Jewish tribes (the “People of the Book”) for Muhammad’s religio-politcal claims.

     It is from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (which Arabs now claim Jews have no connection to—including Bush’s good buddy, Abbas) that Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven on his winged horse. A mosque, the Dome of the Rock, would later be erected on this Jewish holy site after the Arab imperialist caliphal conquest of the land in the 7th century C.E.

     Arab imperialism? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh…… Only nasty westerners do that stuff.

     There is no doubt among objective scholars that Jews had an enormous impact on both Muhammad and the religion that he founded. The holy sites for Muslims in Jerusalem (i.e. the mosques erected on the Temple Mount of the Jews) are now deemed “holy” precisely because of the critical years Muhammad spent after the Hijrah with the Jews.

     Not mincing words, the Temple Mount of the Jews had no prior meaning to pagan Arabs.

     While there was some early Christian influence, intense scholarship has shown that the Holy Law (Halakha) and Holy Scriptures of the Jews had a tremendous influence on the Qur’an, Islamic Holy Law (Shari’a), and so forth. Muhammad’s “Jerusalem connection” was most likely not established until after his extended stay with his Jewish hosts. This was no mere coincidence…Muslim religious beliefs regarding Muhammad’s conversations with the Angel Gabriel notwithstanding.

     When the Jews refused to recognize Muhammad as the chief political honcho, “Seal of the Prophets,” and so forth, he turned on them with a bloody vengeance. Before long, with the exception of Yemen, there were virtually no Jews left on the Arabian Peninsula. And the direction of prayer was changed away from Jerusalem and towards the Kaaba in Mecca instead.  

     Now, imagine, since Arabs claim all of Israel because of their previous conquests, that descendants of Arabian Jews staked their own claims as well? How about Medina as a Jewish city?

     Certainly, when demands by Arabs for compensation and the like regarding Arab refugees comes to the front burner, Jewish refugees from “Arab” lands—who number more and who left behind far more property and financial assets than their Arab counterparts did due to a war that Arabs themselves started—need to put forth their own demands and need to backed by an Israeli government which will state unambiguously that there will be no fulfillment of the one claim without the other.

     What else can the Saudis and other Arabs do to convince Jews that the Saudi “peace” is indeed not simply a peace of the grave? After all, Muhammad made his “Peace of the Quraysh” too—a temporary hudna designed to buy time until he could conquer his enemies. Arafat loved to talk about this regarding Israel. Dubya’s darling, Abbas, was Arafat’s # 1 lieutenant and choice for Prime Minister.

     Lots more to relate…but this essay is already too long.

     Let’s end for now by simply stating that if the Saudi king and other Arab potentates and despots (they’re all either one and/or the other) want to really reach out to Israel, all they have to do is to grant Jews in their sole, tiny, resurrected state a microscopic portion of the same rights they claim for themselves in demanding the official creation of the  22nd member nation of the Arab League….and second, not first, Arab one in “Palestine”—Jordan carved out of some 80% of the Mandate’s original 1920 borders.

 


Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous university campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many anti-Israel spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites around the world. His official website is: http://www.geraldahonigman.com/

Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article. A. G. S.