History
Haifa Refinery Riots

Introduction

Immediately following the announcement of the partition plan, violence erupted sporadically throughout Palestine. This began as disorganized riots by Arabs in Jerusalem on December 1, and escalated into terrorist attacks by both sides, and systematic attempts by Palestinians to blockade Jerusalem. Below is one account of a major incident in Haifa, at the close of 1947.

Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Nazis and the Holocaust: The Origins, Nature and Aftereffects of Collaboration

In the fall of 2015, when the Palestinian Authority claimed that the State of Israel posed threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, public attention in Israel turned again to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a collaborator with Nazi Germany and the leader of Palestinian nationalism before and immediately after World War II. Some historians and, briefly, Israel’s Prime Minister also attributed to Husseini a significant decision-making role in the Holocaust in Europe. The following essay draws on scholarship on Holocaust decision-making in order to demonstrate that Husseini did not have an impact on Hitler’s decisions to murder the Jews of Europe. Rather his historical importance may be found in the texts of his speeches and essays of the 1930s and 1940s. They offer abundant evidence of his impact on Nazi Germany’s Arabic language propaganda aimed at North Africa and the Middle East during World War II and the Holocaust. Before, during and after his presence in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, Husseini played a central role in shaping the political tradition of Islamism by offering an interpretation of the religion of Islam as intrinsically anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist and in connecting that version to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of modern European history.

Mizrahi Nation

Long shut out of the country’s story, Middle Eastern Jews now make up half of Israel’s population, influencing its culture in surprising ways. Who are they?

Originally posted on mosaicmagazine.com

The story of Israel, as most people know it, is well trod—perhaps even tiresome by now. It begins with anti-Semitism in Europe and passes through Theodor Herzl, the Zionist pioneers, the kibbutz, socialism, the Holocaust, and the 1948 War of Independence. In the early decades of the return to Zion and the new state, the image of the Israeli was of a blond pioneer tilling the fields shirtless, or of an audience listening to Haydn in one of the new concert halls. Israel might have been located, for historical reasons, in the Middle East, but the new country was an outpost of Europe. Its story was a story about Europe.

Purim

Purim is celebrated on the Jewish Calendar Date: 14th of Adar (15th of Adar for cities in the land of Israel that were walled during the First Temple period).

In the years 539-332 BCE the First Persian or Achaemenid Persian Empire ruled from the border of India to Egypt and Turkey. When the Babylonians expelled many of the Jews from the land of Israel in 586 BCE, they dispersed throughout the area ruled by the Babylonian Empire.

According to the Biblical Book of Esther, a senior Persian minister named Haman conspired against the Jews in the 5th-4thcentury BCE. He gained the approval of the Persian Achashverosh Commonly identified as Artaxerxes II, who ruled from 405 to 358 BCE.

It should be noted that there are many scholars who question whether the Book of Esther is meant to be read as an accurate historical account.

To wipe out the Jews and loot their wealth for the kingdom’s treasury. Haman cast a lot or pur to decide which month the deed would be carried out. The lot fell on the month of Adar.

A Jewish Persian Judge named Mordechai and a Jewish Persian queen named Esther intrigued against Haman’s plans and eventually succeeded in causing the King to execute Haman and his family. This seminal event resulted in the Jews gaining the right to organize and defend themselves against those who wished to destroy them. The Jews did so and killed many of their enemies. Thus for the Jews, the month of Adar was a month where the threat of destruction was replaced with salvation.

The Myth of Israel as a Colonialist Entity

An Instrument of Political Warfare to Delegitimize the Jewish State

While modern Israel was born in the aftermath of the British Mandate for Palestine, which called for a Jewish national home, its roots preceded the arrival of the British to the Middle East. In that sense Britain was not Israel’s mother-country, like France was for Algeria. Indeed, the Jews were already re-establishing their presence independently in their land well before the British and French dismantled the Ottoman Empire.

As time went on, it became clear that the British Empire was not the handmaiden of Israel’s re-birth, but rather its main obstacle. The accusation that Israel has colonialist roots because of its connection to the British Mandate is ironic, since most of the Arab states owe their origins to the entry and domination of the European powers.

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