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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven

Modern Day Dhimmis, Awake!

By Shelomo Alfassa

(July 10, 2006) This week we saw protests against the Jewish state in three Muslim countries. What do these three countries have in common? They all have a sizeable Jewish population, populations with no intent to leave their respective country.

Protests in Turkey took place with thousands of marchers protesting in the street against Israel's Gaza offensive, in one of the largest anti-Israeli demonstrations ever conducted in Istanbul. They chanted "Wake-up Muslims" and "Devotion to Hamas." They carried banners reading "Israel burns down Palestine" and "Israel commits crimes against humanity." The demonstrators burned Israeli flags as they shouted "Murderer Israel" and "out of Palestine." A man with a loud speaker warned the Jewish state that Turkey's 70 million Muslims would turn against it. "Inshallah (God willing), all of Turkey will show in coming days that it is behind Palestine!" he said. The top Palestinian diplomat to Turkey, Nabil Marouf, said on Friday that the events in Gaza were "a true holocaust" while Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul strongly criticized Israel Saturday before leaving for Iran for meetings.

Protests in Morocco took place in Rabat where some 5,000 people marched in solidarity with Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, denouncing "the Zionists." Protests also took place in the streets and squares of Casablanca. The protesters in Rabat carried PA flags and marched through the Moroccan capital, denouncing the IDF operation in Gaza. The marchers called on Arab countries to "take revenge against the dictators." Newspapers reported marchers screamed "Arab people, rise up from the Atlantic to the Gulf," and "Jews-Mohammed's soldiers will return."

Protests in Iran took place in the capital city of Tehran in support of Hamas. The protests included the traditional burning of the Israeli flag as well as the shouting of inciteful words against the Jews. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, using his Hitler-like fiery tongue, warned that the Israeli invasion of Gaza could spark a violent backlash in Muslim nations. He stated that continued Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip could spark an explosion in the Islamic world. Two days after the protest, the president of Iran greeted the Moroccan Ambassador, Mohammed al-Wafa, at Tehran.

In Turkey the Islamic propaganda war against the West and Israel continues. After the 2003 Istanbul synagogue bombings, Islamic papers declared that "a majority of the Turkish people and its media believe that the bombings were carried out by some Western intelligence agencies to push Turkey into the crisis created by them in the region." In addition to al-Qaeda, the Hezbollah terrorist organization is alive in Turkey, despite a crackdown a few years ago in which security forces arrested 3,370 of its members. Clearly, we now see that Hamas supporters also dwell there in large number. Turkey is a country that has always been cordial with the Jews as well as the State of Israel, but times are changing. Turkish Jews live in a country where for the last few decades they have seen the ever growing verbal and physical manifestations of anti-Jewish hatred. And while some Jews remain active in politics, most remain in a purposeful low-profile mode, knowing they are the potential targets of Islamic radicals. There are about 25,000 Jews living in Turkey with another 300,000 that visit this top Israeli tourist spot annually.

In Morocco a Jewish shop owner was gunned down in 2003 by Arabs in an apparent anti-Jewish attack, and later that year 10 suicide bombers attacked four Jewish targets in Casablanca. While Jews escaped, 45 others were killed and over 100 were injured. Before the Jews started to emigrate, due to anti-Jewish discrimination in the 1940s, there were near 265,000 Jews in the country; today there remains some 6,500 Jews. Morocco may be home to a small population of Jews, but it is still a sizeable one. Sadly, and only because of political reasons, no Jews in Morocco (or for that matter any other Muslim country) will openly acknowledge their support for Israel.

In Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for jihad against Israel with his proclamation that Israel must be, "Wiped off the face of the earth." Ahmadinejad is strategically fanning the flames of hatred among Islamic terrorist groups to unite against the Jews and the Western world. Iran has funded Arab terrorist groups for many years. This includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with millions of dollars, money used with one intention -- to kill Jews and destroy the State of Israel. Iran (Persia) has been the home to Jews for thousands of years, long before Islam existed. Today near 30,000 Jews live in Iran. Persian Jewish history is a proud history, and while many call for them to leave, it is not easy to leave from a place you call home for thousands of years. Yet, with the president of Iran calling for Israel to be destroyed on almost a daily basis, we have to fear that someone will be influenced by his calls for destruction.

A complex and bizarre situation exists in Turkey, Morocco and Iran, where Jews are essentially living as dhimmis-subjugated non-Muslims that are now are facing the dual-loyalty issue. They are living in a fish tank, being watched by those that dislike them, their people, and their historic homeland. One would think that we as Jews would have developed a very strong and accurate early warning system after what happened to us only six decades ago. One would think that when we sense danger, we would take measures to mitigate hazards. One would think that when those around us shout for the destruction of our homeland, we would believe them. One would think that in this post 9/11 world when radical Islam's hatred of Jews and Israel is becoming mainstream, Jews living in Muslim countries would plan to leave-but that's not the case.

There is an American expression that says "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." This says that can give someone the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to. Jews in Turkey, Morocco and Iran all have the availability and support system available to relocate to Israel, but they don't take advantage of it in any substantial manner. Yet, some good can come from the evil spouted by the lips of Iran's Ahmadinejad, if in fact it rouses more of the Jews from Turkey, Morocco or Iran to consider emigrating to Israel-before-he insipires radical elements to act on his words against the Jews in those Muslim countries.


© Shelomo Alfassa