How Zionism Turned Palestine into a Jewish State
From Arabian Desert to Revolt Against Turks
America is a long way from the Arab lands of the Middle East. Americans, in general, know very little about the Arab people. The Arab image, for reasons well known to many, has not been handled too favorably by the American press. To understand the message in this book, it is important to have at least an elementary grasp of Arabic history, and to help in that purpose the following quick sketch is presented.
Of the many mixed Semitic peoples of ancient history (Babylonians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans, Phoenicians, Amorites, Arabians, Hebrews, and others) only the Arabs and the Jews (generally considered as Hebrew offspring) remain as organized religious entities. The only language writings (largely cuneiform) of the groups here mentioned have shown such similarity as to indicate these people all came from a common racial (Semitic) stock or source. Presumably, according to Biblical genealogy, they would be descendants of the Old Testament Shem (or Sem), oldest son of the legendary Noah.
The word “Arab” is the Semitic term for one who lives in the desert, but it would be no more correct today to visualize the wandering Bedouin remnants living in their black goathair tents in the desert as representing the present Arab civilization than it would be to equate Yemen Jewish peasantry with modern Jewish communities in America, England or elsewhere.
From Yemen They Spread
In his book The Arabs, Anthony Nutting, distinguished British diplomat, gives a quick but lucid picture of Arab origins, with an explanation that the earliest mass settlement of the Arab people took place in the Yemen; and when this small corner of the Arabian peninsula became overcrowded, about 3500 B.C., a migrating tribal group pulled away in search of a new and less-crowded area for themselves and their herds.
They traveled along the west coast of Arabia, circumventing the Red Sea, via Sinai and into Egypt, where the Arabic Semites and the native African Hamites (descendants of Noah’s son Ham) mixed and assimilated “to produce the Egyptians of history and absorbed the elements of science and culture, which are the basis of our civilization.”
Mr. Nutting further explains that another migration from the early Arabian-Yemen inhabitants, going in another direction, reached the Tigris-Euphrates valley where they (the Semites) assimilated with the Sumerians—the people who populated the early Mesopotamian country, known as Sumer. Out of this union of the non-Semitic Sumerians and the migrating Arabic Semites came the Babylonians who gradually developed their own particular customs, culture and life methods.
A thousand years later, further mixtures of the emerging populations, which had spread to Syria and Palestine, produced the Amorites and Phoenicians and other groups that were the early settlers of the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean coast, where, several hundred years still later (roughly between 1500 and 1200 B.C.), the sector known as Canaan was invaded by another Semitic division, known as the Hebrews. About the same time, a Semitic grouping, known as the Arameans, established themselves firmly in Syria with Damascus as their capital. Many of the early ethnical and tribal names, particularly as mentioned in the Old Testament, originated out of the geographical section they occupied.
Assyrians Push Empire
Much later, in the ninth century B.C., the Assyrians moved into Syria, and with imperialistic might succeeded in setting up a considerable Empire stretching from Babylonia (the southern Iraq of today) to Armenia and on down to Phoenicia, which roughly is the Lebanon of today. It was the custom of early historians to consider the section we later came to know as Palestine as a geographical part of Syria.
In the wide stretches to the East, during the sixth and seventh centuries (B.C.), the Medians (Medes) ruled a considerable land mass, including ancient Persia and part of what is now Pakistan. In the course of time, this developed into the strong Persian Empire, which included the conquered territory that had, in an Empire sense, first been Assyria and then Babylonia.
For historical reasons, it may be useful to mention that the major religion which preceded Islam in Persia (now Iran) was Zoroastrianism. There is no need here to say more than that this was a very ancient religion, originating as early as 1200 B.C., as estimated by some, while certain early Greek historians placed Zoroaster as hundreds, or even thousands of years earlier. One such authority describes Zoroastrianism as “a pure monotheistic concept of God, Ahura Mazda, the perfect creator and ruler of both the material and unmaterial world.” Its adherents were and are called Parsees. Zoroastrianism appears to have become an official state religion with the rise of the Persian Empire, and remained as such until it was dethroned and largely abolished by the great Arab conflict around 636 A.D…