Alawis on Zionism: Further Evidence that it was not Imperialism

I have argued in a previous post that the easy inclusion of Zionism in the broader phenomenon of Western European imperialism and colonialism is not only superficial in its understanding, but actually disguises the most remarkable aspect of the phenomenon — that unlike all other forms of European settlement in the third world, the Zionists proceeded without a prior conquest and therefore did it by making such a positive-sum contribution to the communities among which they settled that even those who were initially hostile were often won over. In an interesting essay on the origins of the term Nakba — a term Arabs living in the newly formed Palestine used in 1920 to refer to their separation from the Syrians — Steven Plaut provides the following quote from several Alawite notables (including Hafez al Assad’s grandfather):

Those good Jews brought civilization and peace to the Arab Muslims, and they dispersed gold and prosperity over Palestine without damage to anyone or taking anything by force. Despite this, the Muslims declared holy war against them and did not hesitate to massacre their children and women…. Thus a black fate awaits the Jews and other minorities in case the Mandates are cancelled and Muslim Syria is united with Muslim Palestine.”

That statement is from a letter sent to the French prime minister in June 1936 by six Syrian Alawi notables (the Alawis are the ruling class in Syria today) in support of Zionism.

4 Responses to Alawis on Zionism: Further Evidence that it was not Imperialism

  1. oao says:

    in the context of leftist cognitive egocentrism discussed in the other threads this is clear evidence that the left is clueless about the root of the conflict. if the issue was land and economic prosperity, the conflict would have been resolved a long time ago.

    but the jews improved the economic conditions of arabs in all their endeavor: before and after 1948 and after 1967 (indeed, conditions deteriorated only after arafat was brought in) and even though arabs must have felt it and some admit it, the conflict persists.

    the conclusion that the root is not materialistic is inescapable

  2. Eliyahu says:

    oao, the Jerusalem Arab population has for the most part stayed relatively peaceful over 7 1/2 years of conflict. I am aware of exceptions. Moreover, Jerusalem Arabs interviewed by the foreign press –even the arch-anti-Israel Int’l Herald Trib– have expressed a preference for Israeli govt over arafat rule or Palestinian Authority govt. This was also true in the late 1990s. It’s notorious that many Jerusalem Arabs who had moved out of the city for newer, more spacious housing in nearby Arab towns and villages before the palestinian authority took over Bethlehem and Ramallah moved back so as not to be under arafat rule. Further, many Jerusalem Arabs who had lived here without bothering to take on Israeli citizenship began to line up at the Interior Ministry offices in the Arab section of eastern Jerusalem and asked for Israeli citizenship.
    Moreover, since Israel began building the defensive wall, many Arabs have moved to get on the Israeli side of the wall, and have even moved into Jewish neighborhoods, such as Pisgat Ze’ev and Neveh Ya`aqov, so as not to be excluded from Israeli rule under some future dispensation of borders.

    But the generous, kind, peaceloving Europeans, especially the British, insist that these Arabs be under the rule of arafat or his successors.

  3. oao says:

    i keep repeating: the problem is not the arabs or muslims. it is the west, including the US and these days even israel.

    had it not been for the increasing ignorance, stupidity and cowardice of the west the so-called palestinians would have self-destructed a long time ago.

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