Why Won't Arabs Recognize Israel's Jewishness? It's the Islam, Stupid
This guy gets it:
The explanation for the Arab position lies, I believe, in the traditional
Arab-Muslim view of Jews as an inferior dhimmi people, a millet [see below]
devoid of national rights, and only entitled to live if they pay a yearly head
tax on dhimmis called the jizya. The dhimma system applied to all non-Muslims
who were subjects of the Islamic state, with individual exceptions. Within this
system, the Jews were at the bottom of the barrel, at least in the Fertile
Crescent countries, including the Levant, where the Jews’ status was inferior to
that of their fellow dhimmis, the Christians.
Quran and medieval Arab historiography, such as the the
writings of Ibn Khaldun, recognize the Jews as a nation or people, the
entrenched Islamic view of Jews as an evil, inferior contemptible millet is now
dominant. Moreover, in fact, in practice, that was the actual status of Jews in
the Arab-Muslim countries for centuries. Even today in the 21st century Muslims
believe that Jews do not deserve the dignity of having a national state of their
own, the Quran and the old Arab historians notwithstanding.
This contemptuous view of Jews is clearly stated by the PLO in its charter.
Article 20, already denies that the Jews are a people, claiming that they are
merely a “religious” group. Jewish tradition holds that the Jews are both a
people and a religious group. Here is the relevant text of Art. 20:
“The claim of historical or religious ties between Jews and Palestine does
not tally with historical realities nor with the
constituents of statehood in their true sense. Judaism in its
character as a religion is not a nationality with an independent existence.
Likewise the Jews are not one people with an independent identity. They are
rather citizens of the states to which they belong.”
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