While all states of
humans are imperfect, only that of the Jews in this
region of study was routinely--is routinely--taken
to task in most academic settings.
Case in point (and there were countless others)...
One of my doctoral seminars was taught by a scholar
of, among other subjects, modern Turkey and the
Ottoman Empire. Said academic knew full well the
ethnic make-up of modern Turkey and the struggles
for human rights still going on there to this day.
One fifth of Turkey is Kurd--whom Turks like to call
"Mountain Turks"--as one fifth of Israel is Arab.
Roughly forty Israels would fit into Turkey--for
just some perspective.
Now, in all of the discussions regarding struggles
of folks for political rights and such in the
region, the only time the word "Kurd" (some 35
million truly stateless people) came up was when
this scholarly source of ethical enlightenment
mocked their plight while speaking of travels
through Turkey. This attitude is reflected in this
academic's books as well. Note that this was the
same professor who taught entire seminars virtually
dedicated to the plight of poor Arabs struggling for
their 22nd state at the expense of the one that the
Jews finally saw resurrected.
During that seminar, another doctoral student did a
lengthy presentation on Haj Amin al-Husseini--the
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Completely omitted was the
fact that this dude was Hitler's commander of the
Waffen SS division in the Balkans. I watched and
listened carefully...no probing questions, comments,
etc. from our glorious leader.
Now, I did my major research project for that same
seminar on Ze'ev Vladimitr Jabotinsky... The good
doctor was quick to ask about his alleged "Fascist
Too much of this hypocrisy and duplicity goes on to
this very day in places where there should be no
toleration for it at all--in the classrooms of
universities. And students who dare to protest do so
at risk of the very careers.
And that is why my book had to be written. Not that
there are no others like it...but that there are
definitely far too few daring to tread where this
A great man once summed up the Arab-Israeli conflict
as appetite versus starvation. He's the very same
guy I wrote about above…
Indeed, the scope of Jabotinsky's analogy goes far
beyond what he thought at the time, back in 1937.
For, that same Arab mindset which allows no room
whatsoever for justice for Jews (one half of whom in
Israel who were refugees from the so-called
"Arab"/Muslim World) also denies justice to scores
of millions of other non-Arab peoples in the region
as well. Arabs simply call the whole area, "purely
Arab patrimony"--subjugating and forcibly Arabizing
all, and frequently slaughtering those who might
disagree...millions over the centuries, and
continuing as this book was being written. It is no
accident that major Kurdish and Amazigh ("Berber")
publishers are among those who wrote the Foreword
and jacket comments for my book.
Quest...does not attempt to be a tour de force,
although I've spent a substantial portion of my life
studying the region in both academic and
professional capacities. With the Middle East
constantly making the news, there are plenty of the
Rather, Quest...aims to provide the basics of the
conflict to those being bombarded daily with
misinformation coming out of this important region,
and to place such topics and issues into a much
broader perspective--one too often ignored, as we've
seen above, by those who should certainly know
As with all other problems between peoples, there is
a case to be made for both sides in the struggle
between Jews and Arabs as well. Nowadays, however,
one is often hard pressed to discover this.
The main problem in the Arab-Israeli conflict has
always been that one side, the Arabs, has refused to
grant that there is any justice due to their
adversaries at all. This has not been the case
regarding how Jews have approached this problem.
Somewhere down the road an Israel, about the size of
New Jersey, and its six million Jews (why am I
nervous about that number?)--which one needs a
magnifying glass to find on a map of the
world--became labeled "Goliath" to the Arabs’
alleged “David” in its struggle to survive amid some
two hundred million Arabs on over six million square
miles of territory.
While the reasons for this are complex, the fleeting
sympathy and feelings of guilt some of the Western
World felt because of the Holocaust, which helped to
allow for the rebirth of the Jewish State, had long
The stench of burning and decaying corpses at
Auschwitz had subsided. Age-old, ingrained, and
often religiously inspired animosities towards Jews
again resurfaced, especially after the 1967 Six Day
War. Very often they would take on a new
disguise...anti-Zionism. This is not to say that to
criticize particular Israeli policies is necessarily
it is to say that for many, as others have also
observed, Israel had simply become the Jew of the
Nations--and has been treated accordingly. How else
to explain such blatant hypocrisy and double
standards Israel has frequently been subjected
to...by the non-Arab/Muslim world?
After pulling yet another rabbit out of its hat in
thwarting the Arabs' latest attempt on its life in
June 1967, Israel sent out a new message to an
Forget sympathy for dead Jews, a la the Holocaust,
if you cannot empathize with live ones.
My book is an attempt to promote justice for all
parties in conflict in the Middle East. It is not
"anti-Arab," just pro-everyone. In Arab eyes,
however, that makes it anti-Arab. And it
specifically deals with other key issues too often
overlooked...for a variety of reasons.
Readers will find that ample footnotes are included,
many from primary sources.
But no amount of footnoting will impress academic
polemicists (who like to fling this label at those
who dare to disagree with them)--the Rashid Khalidi
clones--and their more subtle variants occupying the
bully pulpits of their respective ivory towers. My
own academic career, unfortunately, was in one of
their tenured hands. They'll point an accusatory
finger in this book's direction instead.
So, while I'm partially indebted to them for
inspiring this work--since they avoided the topics
you'll read about in Quest...like the plague---I do
not seek the approval of those who suppress academic
disagreement in the most extreme of ways.
Indeed, in the study of Middle Eastern Affairs
today, some subjects too often seem to be taboo
while others never seem to leave center stage.
Constantly in the spotlight's glare, Israel is
frequently picked apart (all in the name of
"objective scholarship," of course), while far
greater problems and sins of the Arab/Muslim states
which surround it are usually ignored.
In academia, especially, for a variety of reasons,
Middle Eastern Studies has been largely hijacked by
a blatantly anti-Israel crew. Furthermore, in
courses besides those pertaining to the Middle East,
this animus often permeates those classrooms as
well. My book provides much needed help for students
going off to the university and other concerned
readers as well. It is designed to be user friendly.
It's not unusual, for example, for students to take
courses and never be informed that the original
Mandate for Palestine, as Great Britain received it
on April 25, 1920 in the aftermath of World War I’s
breakup of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, included the
modern Arab nation of Jordan as well as
Israel...along with non-apportioned territories such
as Judea and Samaria (only since the last century
also known as the West Bank). Since this doesn't sit
well with the typical Rashid Khalidi clone lesson
that Jews "stole all of Palestine," it is most often
Data and documentation from the League of Nations
Permanent Mandates Commission and elsewhere which
show that many, if not most, so-called "native
Palestinians" were, in fact, Arabs who had poured
into the Mandate from elsewhere to take advantage of
the economic development going on due to the Jews--i.e.
Arab settlers setting up Arab settlements in
Palestine--will also appear to be non-existent as
students learn the fine details about a "colonial"
and /or “racist” Israel instead.
Students will likely not study the Jews' age-old
connections to the land of Israel, nor their tragic
struggle against the Soviet Union of its day, the
Roman Empire, for their freedom and independence.
Missing from most academic syllabi will also be a
discussion of the other side of the refugee
coin--the one half of Israel's Jews whose families
fled "Arab"/Muslim lands as a result of the Arab
attempt to nip a reborn Israel in the bud-- but
without roughly two dozen other states to
potentially call their own as Arabs indeed have.
While Israel's admittedly imperfect struggle to
survive will be closely examined under a high power
lens of moral scrutiny, the forced Arabization,
subjugation, and/or slaughter of millions of native,
non-Arab Imazighen/Berbers, black Africans, Kurds,
Copts, Assyrians, Jews, Semitic but pre-Arab
Lebanese, and others in the region will likely never
be mentioned at all...as neither will continuing
black slavery in an Arab world that likes to lecture
(along with its champions in academia) about "racist
As my book was being written, tens of millions of
native, non-Arab Imazighen in North Africa were
increasingly being told that they could not even
name their children with their own names but had to
use Arab/Islamic ones instead. And, of course, they
were forced to use just Arabic when speaking, not
their own native language. And nothing but silence
about such things in the typical university
classroom, the United Nations, and so forth.
The chapters of Quest...are concise and to the
point. Each is designed to stand on its own as much
as possible, so some repetition of crucial facts is
deliberately built in to allow for this and
resurfaces from time to time. The reader may thus
open any chapter and quite possibly find crucial
points to the conflict carefully woven in and
related to the main thrust of that particular
Thus, despite the volumes of material out there, I
believe that my book is unique in many ways--and in
a very positive, useful light.
Lastly, I dare not forget to once again mention
those more subtle, but as duplicitous, slanted, and
hypocritical professors whose classes convinced me
that my own personal account of this multi-faceted
story had to be written. While being deprived of a
Ph.D. dissertation advisor (and thus university
career) by such folks, I remain, nonetheless,
indebted to them as well for finally--decades
later-- forcing this book out of me.
Quest... may found at
Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has
done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern
Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-Arab
propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured
on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has
publicly debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles
and op-eds have been published in dozens of
newspapers, magazines, academic journals and
websites all around the world. Visit his
website at http://www.geraldahonigman.com/
By Gerald A. Honigman. eKurd.net,
April 15, 2010. You may reach the
author via email at: honigman6 (at) msn.com.
Copyright © 2010 ekurd.net.
All rights reserved
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