History of the Middle East

Located at the juncture of Asia, Africa and Europe, the Middle East has been one of the centers of ancient civilization. Today it continues its historic significance as it provides much of the world's energy through its oil resources.

14,146 Questions
History of the Middle East
Arabic Language and Culture

What are the names of Arab garments?

The main Arab garment is the thobe, dishdasha, kandura or kanzu. Thes are all essentialy similar long white loose robes.

History of the Middle East
History of Judaism

Where did the Jewish people originate?

Scriptural Narrative

1. The explanation in the Bible is that it started with a man named Abraham who lived in Ur [Babylon]. God commanded him to move to Caanan, so he did, taking with him Abraham, his son, and Sarah, his wife. * Then there was Joseph [the one with the colourful coat]. After being sold into slavery in Egypt and rising to high position there, in a time of famine he moved his relatives, and thus, Judaism, to Egypt. * A few generations later Egyptians again ruled over them (many report that the slaves were Jews) but it was the Hebrews as slaves. The Jews are not mentioned till later. In John 8:33 The Jews said they were never in bondage to any man. God promised to Moses the freedom of the Hebrews, and not the Jews as many have reported. The ten plagues were visited upon Egypt, and Moses led the Hebrews back to Canaan.

2. The term "Jew" is first used in the Old Testament in the Book of Esther 2:5. * The term "Jews" is first used in the Book of 2 Kings 16:6. * The Hebrews are mentioned only (And Not the Jews) in the first 5 Books of Moses. * It refers to the people, primarily members of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, who were exiled from the Land of Israel when the Kingdom of Judah was defeated. * Background: After the time of King Solomon (David's son) the nation of Israel split into 2 kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. The Kingdom of Judah's capital was Jerusalem, on the border between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and included those 2 tribes, and the tribe of Levi (who were very connected to the Temple in Jerusalem). The Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah were both defeated and forced into exile. The Kingdom of Judah, on the other hand, maintained many attributes of a nation, including a connection to a land and a set of beliefs (which of course includes many variations). Many of them returned to the Land of Israel after approximately 70 years in exile, and re-established their kingdom in Israel for roughly 400 years before being defeated by the Romans. * It is true that the Kingdom of Judah (and therefore the Jews) does includes only part of the original Nation of Israel, but 2 relevant points:
According to the censuses in the Bible, the Kingdom of Judah was similar in size to the Kingdom of Israel, and included more than just the tribe of Judah, so the claim that "Jews" refers to just 1/12 of the original Nation of Israel is inaccurate.
The Kingdom of Israel was dispersed, and maintained no connection to their original identity. Therefore the Jews constitute the only group that considers themselves to be part of the original convenant between God and the Nation of Israel, and bound by that covenant.

3. In Israel. Read the books of Genesis, Exodus, Judges, 1st and 2nd Samuel and 1st Kings to get a good idea of their early history. They wound up scattered all over Europe because the Romans destroyed their country and deported them in 72 A.D. Jewish tradition names Abraham as their first ancestor. He came from Ur, and was most likely a tribal leader who brought his people west towards Canaan, a land promised to his descendants by God. Contemporary writings attest to a group of tribes known as "Habiru", "Hapiru" or "Abiru" that came from the deserts and cities of Iran and Iraq. They seem to be separate from the nomads and bedouins we know of today, and held quite a lot of power, and posed a threat to the kingdoms already occupying the lands they passed through. The Bible shows Abraham in contact with several of these kingdoms, possibly as a mercenary, and he bought land in Hebron as a burial ground for his wife and himself. * The Jews were probably a loose confederation of different tribes, some of which went to Egypt during times of famine and gradually came to be slaves until the great Exodus. The Bible makes it clear that there were already kinsmen of theirs in Canaan, when they came back and gradually took over the land of the ancient Canaanites, as promised by God. * Like most other nations, they probably originated as groups of separate peoples, who came together during times of stress, unified by a common God and history.
4. Please see the link SimpleToRemember.
5. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their families lived in the Holy Land. Their earlier ancestors came from Mesopotamia.

What Scholars Propose
For the original population, as distinct from today's Jewish population (see above): Currently biblical scholars recognize three possible scenarios explaining Israel's rise to power in Canaan:

1. the Conquest theory: that Israelites came in from the outside and conquered the land;
2. the Peaceful Settlement theory: in which it is argued that Israelites entered gradually, settling in the sparsely populated areas of the central highlands; and
3. the Peasant Revolt or Social Revolution theory: that Canaanites rose up against their overlords. See link The Problem of Israel's Origin.

Another Answer

Our tradition (Jewish tradition) is that we are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as described in the Biblical book of Genesis. Abraham was born in Ur; and his ancestors and relatives lived in the Fertile Crescent adjacent to the Euphrates river. This tradition has been substantiated by DNA analysis of Jewish communities all over the world, showing them to be inter-related and of Middle Eastern origin. We possess the names, dates, and (in some cases) the family trees of our ancestors and leaders in an unbroken chain for 3800 years.
Abraham, tenth generation descendant of Noah, of Hebrew lineage, was the son of Terah, uncle of Lot, father of Isaac, grandfather of Jacob, and ancestor of the Israelites. His story is in Genesis ch.11 (end), through ch.25. Jewish tradition states that he was the first to teach belief in One God; and it is in his merit that Jews continue to exist (Genesis 18:19, and ch.17).
Abraham (18th century BCE) came from ancestry that had been God-fearing a couple of centuries earlier but had afterwards slipped into idolatry (Joshua 24:2). Nimrod, the idolatrous tyrant, had brought Abraham's father (Terah) from the Semitic ancestral seat near the conjunction of the Balikh and the Euphrates, and instated him in a position of power in his army in the royal Babylonian city of Ur, where Abraham was born. Nimrod persecuted any who would question his idolatrous cult.
The Kuzari (Rabbi Judah HaLevi, 1075-1141) states that Abraham was gifted with high intelligence; and, as Maimonides (1135-1204) describes, Abraham didn't blindly accept the ubiquitous idolatry. The whole populace had been duped, but the young Abraham contemplated the matter relentlessly, finally arriving at the conclusion that there is One God and that this should be taught to others as well. This is what is meant by his "calling out in the name of the Lord" (Genesis ch.12). As a young man, he remonstrated with passersby in public, demonstrating to them the falsehood of their idols; and our tradition tells how he was threatened and endangered by Nimrod.
Subsequently, Terah relocated to Harran; and it is here that Abraham began to develop a circle of disciples (Rashi commentary, on Genesis 12:5).
Later, God told Abraham in prophecy to move to the Holy Land, which is where Abraham raised his family.
He continued his contemplations, eventually arriving at the attitudes and forms of behavior which God later incorporated into the Torah given to Moses. Abraham taught disciples (Talmud, Yoma 28b), gave tithes (Genesis ch.14), strove to raise a family (Genesis ch.15, 17, and 24) which would serve God (Genesis 18:19), made a covenant with God (Genesis ch.15 and 17), welcomed guests into his home (Genesis ch.18) unlike the inhospitable Sodomites (Genesis ch.19), prayed for people (Genesis ch.18), rebuked others when necessary (Genesis ch.20), eulogized and buried the deceased (Genesis ch.23), and fulfilled God's will unquestioningly (Genesis ch.22). He became renowned as a prince of God (Genesis 23:6).
All of these forms of behavior were based upon the ways of God, which Abraham comprehended through his contemplations. These, and similar personality traits, were the teachings of Abraham and his descendants.
It is therefore clear why God expresses His love for Abraham (Isaiah 41:8) and calls Himself the God of Abraham (Genesis 26:24), and says that Abraham obeyed Him fully (Genesis 26:5). And this is why, according to our tradition, Abraham is credited with having begun the religion which became known as Judaism. However, Abraham and his descendants observed their traditions voluntarily, until the Giving of the Torah to Moses 3325 years ago, when God made it obligatory.

An Historical View:
The people who became the Hebrews were part of the general Semitic people of the eastern Mediterranean. They were known to the Egyptians as Habiru - hill tribes of pastoralists and brigands in the highlands of what became Judah. These tribes became better organised and started to expand their territory. The stories of David and Solomon are much exaggerated - witness the archaeological absence of all the palaces etc claimed; they were most likely over-chief of a confederation of tribes.

However by the 8th Century BCE the tribes had a territorial area from Galilee to Jerusalem. The northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrians in the latter part of that century, and their aristocracy taken off to Assyria, replaced by a foreign one which would be unlikely to sympathise with fomenting rebellion against Assyrian rule (so no, the ten tribes were not deported and lost, the mass of people remained). Nearly a century and a half later, the same thing happened to the southern kingdom, at the hands of the Babylonians - the aristocracy deported, the people remaining behind.

Judaism was a missionary religion, converting people all around the Mediterranean and then further afield later on. The actual ethnicity of Jews expanded well beyond the Semitic people known as Hebrews. Just as Greeks transitioned to people who adopted Greek culture, and Slavs the people who adopted Slavic culture, Jews became people who adopted Jewish culture. Over the centuries, quite different ethnics have come under the umbrella of all those cultures, with wide varieties of skin colour, physical characteristics, language and religion.

World War 1
History of the Middle East
Famous People

Were DH Lawrence and TE Lawrence related?

Obviously not, since Lawrence was not T.E.'s father's real name, which was Chapman. T.E.'s parents were "living in sin" under an assumed name.

History of the Middle East
History of India
Women in History

How old was the queen of jhansi when she died?

Despite her having been one of the leaders of the resistance, she was only 22 when she died.

History of the Middle East
Hosni Mubarak

Is Hosni Mubarak alive now?

Yes, apparently he is in a Military Hospital in Cairo with ongoing health issues.

US Presidents
History of the Middle East

Why did Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi lose popular support despite growth in Iran's economy and standard of living?

Answer 1

He was the Shah of Iran, he lost popularity with the Islamic evolutionary leader The Khomeini , who was sent into exile in Paris returned back to Iran. and forced the Shah and his family to go into exile.

Answer 2

While he was still Shah, he lost popularity for a number of other reasons. These included: hording wealth among the elite of Iran, denying people the rights to vote for their politicians, having a brutal secret police, depriving Iran of its natural oil wealth, being ultra-secularist, and appearing to be a puppet to foreign/Western interests.

As for the particular issue of Iran's improving economy and standard of living, while Iran on average was improving, most of that benefit was conferred on the wealthy in Iran. The median wealth decreased during the Shah's later years (60s and 70s) and many Iranians were working longer hours in these decades as well.

History of the Middle East
Palestinian Territories

What is the argument between Israel and Palestine?

Answer 1

Primarily, the Jews historically lived in the area known as Palestine around 2000 years ago. The majority were then exiled by the Romans. The people who remained in the territory in the interim period began to consider themselves Arabs by the mid-1200s. When the British occupied the area and called it Palestine, these Arabs began to call themselves Palestinians. During this period, however, many Jews sought to return to their ancestral homeland and declare it as their own historic country. This provoked conflict between the people returning to their homeland and those who had lived there for centuries.

Please see the Related Questions for more information.

Answer 2

A very long one. In general, the Palestinians' ancestors lived in the Israeli area of the Middle East before the Jews arrived. According to the Bible as a historical book, and it is very accurate, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan (Israel and Palestine), where Joshua took over and proceeded to pacify the Palestinians by force as God commanded him.

The Palestinians have ever since been arguing that they possessed the land first: finders keepers. They want the Jews to leave their land. The Israelites believe that the land belongs to them because God said so.

Answer 3

First, let´s clear some things. Palestine is not a country or a State and has never been it. Palestine is a geographical area like Balkans, and like in Balkans, there are various countries on its territory. One of such countries is Israel that occupies about 23% of the territory of the geographical area called Palestine. Another is Jordan, that occupies another approximately 75%. Also, the Southern parts of Lebanon and Syria are geographically also in Palestine.

The area of the modern Palestine thousands years ago was inhabitied by the union of the tribes under the common name Canaanites, and was called The Land of Canaan. Then, in approximately 1900 BC, the tribes of the "People of the Sea" began to arrive to the Land of Canaan and settle there. Their origin was not the Middle East; they were from Crete. The biggest among them was called Peleset, and this name was applied to all the posterior waves of the Sea People to the land of Canaan. In the Greek transcription, it was pronounced as "Philistine", so these invadersfrom Crete were called in Greek "Philistines", and in Latin- "Palestinians".They rapidly conquered the coastal part of the Land of Canaan and founded there five cities: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath. As their number grew, they started to try to expand their territory by wars, but met an obstacle: the tribes of the Hebrews ( the forefathers of Jews and Israelis) who invaded the inland of the Land of Canaan and conquered it, like Phislistines conquered the coastal part. After many centuries of bloody wars, Hebrews defeated Philistines and made them their vassals. Then they created two Kingdoms on the land they called Eretz Israel, The Land of Israel: one in the North, it was called The Northern Kingdom of Israel and its capital was in Samaria, and another one in the South; it was called Kingdom of Judea and its capital was Jerusalem. So, the jewish and israeli hisotry on hte land the WestCalls "Palestine" and jews and Israelis call The Land of Israel is 3,000 years long.

In the 8th century, Assyrians defeated the Northern Kingdom of Israel and then fell on Philistines. As well as Israelis, they were "rooted out" aznd driven to other parts of the Assyrian Empire. But Jews later were granted the permission to return, while Philistines were not. After Alexander The Great conquests in approximately the 5th century, Philistines totally disappered from history - and remained disappeared until 1967, when Muslim Arabs all of a sudden proclaimed themselves "Palestinains".

What relations are there between Muslim Arabs from Arabia who confess Islam, and whose language is semitic - and the Sea People from Crete is a question even Muslim Allah would not be able to answer. But guided by the main Nazi´s ideologist Gebbels rule, who said that if you repeat the most monstrous lie continuously people will start to believe it, Arabs cry at every corner that they are "Palestinains", carefully avoiding answers to the questions like how to say "hello" in Palestinian, and since when Crete became the craddle for Arabs.

The truth is that Arabs use this hoax about "Palestinain people" as a weapon in their propagandistic war against Jews in the Arab-Israeli dispute over the land Romans called "Palestine" but whose original name for thousands years was The Land of Israel

Answer 4 (some hints on Answer 3 above):

Arabs; and more specifically Muslims; are never against Jews.

Judaism as a religion started by prophet Moses around 1200 years before Christ while Palestine was as a country thousands of years before this date. The claim that prophet Abraham was Jewish is not true. He was worshiping God as the one and only one God with no partner. That is the basic principle of Islam in its universal sense that all God prophets called their people for it.

It is not true that there was nothing called Palestine as a country. Otherwise, it could be claimed also that there was nothing called as Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

The country as Palestine was under control of:

  1. Ancient Egyptians,
  2. Canaanites,
  3. Israelites,
  4. Assyrians,
  5. Babylonians,
  6. Persians,
  7. Ancient Greeks,
  8. Romans,
  9. Byzantines,
  10. Arab Caliphates,
  11. Fatimid Caliphate,
  12. Crusaders,
  13. Ayyubids,
  14. Mameluks,
  15. Ottomans,
  16. the British, and
  17. modern Israelis and Palestinians.

During the British occupation of Palestine, they promised the Jews to have their native land side by side with the Palestinians in Palestine and allowed immigration of thousands of Jews to the area.

The UN had taken the decision in 1947 to partition Palestine into two states Israel and Palestine. However, Israel State had been established while the Palestinian State not yet.

Even, if it was called the land of Israel it does not mean that it is the land of current Israelis. Otherwise, the US lands should be given back to the Indians.

History of the Middle East
Microsoft Xbox
Arabic Language and Culture
Bars, Clubs, and Lounges

How do you delete an Arab lounge profile?

hello.. i wanna delete it too .. but dont know how.. did u find out yet?

History of the Middle East
Middle East

What are some major cities in Southwest Asia?

Istanbul, Turkey

Tehran, Iran

Cairo, Egypt

Baghdad, Iraq

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Ankara, Turkey,

Jeddah-Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Izmir, Turkey

Aleppo, Syria

Damascus, Syria

Tel Aviv, Israel

Beirut, Lebanon

Sana'a, Yemen

Erbil, Iraq

Basra, Iraq

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Dubai, UAE

History of the Middle East

What is a typical viking?

A Viking was someone who went aviking. That is, a trading/raiding expedition. They were usually led by the second or third sons of a chieftain or wealthy landowner in order to make a name for themselves. (Yes, this means that not everyone who lived in the Viking age, was a viking. In fact, a very small number of people were Vikings, they were mostly farmers). They were typically from Norway, Iceland, Denmark, or another North European country, were lightly armored in leathers, fought with a wooden shield and a spear, and were not the blood thirsty savages commonly depicted. They set out each expedition with goods to trade; wine, butter, lumber, wool and textiles, honey, furs, etc. They would trade it for more valuable items. Should they come across a simple village or a Christian monastery, they would raid it. The Christians kept a lot of wealth in the Churches (just like today), that is why they raided monasteries and the like. They would then take these stolen items, and trade with them.

Metal was expensive, and only the wealthy could afford a sword, let alone full body armor. A helmet (no horns) was often worn, and only the Danish used axes as a common weapon. Usually it was a spear, since it was mostly wood.

Saudi Arabia
History of the Middle East

Is the king of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah dead?


Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is the current reigning monarch of Saudi Arabia. He is very much alive. Recently, the heir apparent, Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud died (October 2011), but the King himself did not die.

History of the Middle East
Political Office Holders

Is Ariel Sharon former prime minister of Israel alive?

No, Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel whose time in office ended abruptly in

early 2006 when he suffered massive strokes, died on January 11, 2014.

History of the Middle East
Persian Empire

What is the Middle Eastern country that lies between Iraq and Afghanistan and used to be called Persia?

IRAN is the country that lies between Iraq & Afghanistan. Iran's historical name was Persia, though it did not have today's borders as those were defined in the 18th and 19th centuries.

History of the Middle East
Famous People

Who was Golda Meir's successor?

Yitzhak Rabin was the successor to Golda Meir. It is important to note that Yitzhak Rabin was Prime Minister of Israel on two occasions, once in the 1970s and once in the 1990s and this was his first Prime Ministerial Position.

History of the Middle East
Middle East
Arabic Language and Culture

Why is the Bedouin Arab dress usually white?

Maybe because the sun. The climate in that region can be quite extreme.
Because white coluor doesn't attract heat.

History of the Middle East
Barack Obama

Is the pirate Bile Hussein any kin to President Obama?

Probably not. President Obama is of American and Kenyan heritage while Bile Hussein is Somali. In addition, Hussein is Obama's Middle Name and thus a given name (as opposed to a surname) and does not indicate family lineage whereas Hussein in Bile Hussein does indicate family lineage. Furthermore, Hussein is an incredibly common surname in the Moslem world (it comes from the name of Mohammed's grandson and means "beneficent").

Ancient History
War and Military History
History of the Middle East

Who won the battle of Damascus in 634 AD?

The Muslim army under Khalid won the Battle of Damascus. Khalid gained an entry to the city at the east gate, and Thomas then negotiated a surrender with Ubaidah at the southwest gate. There was some disagreement between Khalid and Ubaidah as to whether the city had surrendered or was conquered.

History of the Middle East
Hosni Mubarak

What makes Hosni Mubarak a dictator?

The policies and total control Hosni Mubarak had over the people during his reign made him a dictator. The people had practically no rights and he controlled everything for three decades. Anyone that disagreed with him was thrown in jail, tortured, etc. He would also have people arrested for no reason other than the fact that he could.

History of the Middle East
Arabic Language and Culture
History of Judaism

What are the causes of the Jewish-Arab Conflict?

There are a myriad of reasons underlying and undergirding the Jewish-Arab Conflict in recent times and it is important to evaluate all of these rationales. However, it is important to note that the actual military conflict is an international one with set international players. The spiritual conflict is much more pervasive. At the core for this difference is that Jews and Arabs see their communities as being brethren in the same way that all Americans see each other as brethren. There is a saying among Arabs that goes "If an Arab falls in the desert and nobody hears him, everybody still feels him."

NOTE: Jews are an ethno-religious group, while Arabs are merely an ethnic group with an incredible variety of religious difference (similar to the way that White connotes a race with an incredible variety of religious differences). These days, Jews do not typically target Moslems with faith-based issues (i.e. we abhor you because of the false prophecy of Mohammed) and Moslems similarly do not target Jews on faith-based issues (i.e. we abhor you because you say that Isaac was taken to Mt. Moriah instead of Ishmael being taken to Saudi Arabia).

Additional Information is available at the Related Links below.

Causes for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

1) Hallowed Land: The Jews consider the Land of Israel (which is not necessarily all in the borders of the State of Israel) to be a holy piece of land in that God promised it to the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance. Thus, some Jews, especially Religious Zionists see resettlement of the Land of Israel by Jews to be part of God's plan and mandate and therefore do everything in their power to settle it. In addition, it contains specific religious and historical sites such as the Western Wall and the Old City of Jerusalem, the Cave of Machpelah, the Old City of Jaffa, and the Sanctuary of Shiloh among others. Moslems also consider Jerusalem holy because of Mohammed ascending to Heaven on the Buraq over Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Both cultures want to ensure maintenance and access to the sites which they feel have been limited by the other. (Jews claim that Jordanians used the Western Wall as a landfill and Arabs argue that Israelis arbitrarily close off access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

2) Zionism: A number of Jews in Europe began to feel that they were being permanently and deliberately excluded from parts of European society because of the prevalent racial and pseudo-scientific forms of Anti-Semitism. They believed that there was no possible equality between European nationals and their Jewish residents and were disinterested in the Andalucian Solution because they did not want to be second-class citizens. They believed that the Jewish people needed to form a political apparatus (an Independent State) to defend themselves and their civil rights. Zionism originally had purely secular connotations, but with the advent of Religious Zionism, the powerful secular cause of Zionism joined with the Hallowed Land idea to provoke conflict. Zionism is strongly opposed by many for many different reasons. See the link at the bottom of the page for Anti-Zionist arguments and rationales.

3) Halutzim & Jewish Land Acquisition: In the First Zionist Congress in 1897, the main resolution was to acquire, by any means, a piece of land to be made a country for the Jews. Early Zionists tried to figure out how to attract Jews to leave their country of origin and come to build this Jewish State. The general consensus always revolved around building a State in the Land of Israel/British Mandate of Palestine since that would make attraction easiest. (The idea of the Jews Returning to Israel had a very romantic notion to Jews at the time and still does today.) As a result, politically influential Jews began purchasing tracts of land from the Ottoman Pashas in control of the territory without indigenous consent and promptly began to develop it. The indigenous Palestinians took issue with the migrations of these Halutzim (Jewish Pioneers) but as the land was bought legitimately, they had little recourse but to allow them to arrive. This occupation and colonialism were certainly not greeted with friendly handshakes or pats on the back by the indigenous inhabitants who stood to lose everything.

4) Balfour Declaration, the Holocaust, and UN Resolution 181: The European Climate also supported the Zionist idea of forming a Jewish State in the Middle East as it would allow Jews to leave Europe and stop being a European problem. This prevented the Europeans from having to absorb the refugees themselves, rapidly increased the numbers of Jews in Israel. In addition, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which declared Britain's intent to create a Jewish State in the Middle East. This, however, was not seriously considered until the Holocaust proved to Europeans (and Jews) that Europe was no longer safe for Judaism. UN Resolution 181 promoted a partitioning of the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish State and an Arab State. While this resolution did pass (and is in fact legally binding) many Arabs find issue with its decision because there were not enough independent Arab States to vote it down.

5) Palestinian Exodus & UNRWA: This is probably the most thorny issue between Israel and Palestine. During the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9 (in which Palestinian militias also participated), many Palestinians were forced out of their homes by Israeli soldiers due to brutal atrocities. In addition, many left because they feared similar outcomes. Also Arab leaders encouraged the exodus, because they believed that they could destroy Israel and safely return all of the Palestinians after the conflict. However, this did not happen and a large number of Palestinians (some estimate four million) are in UNRWA Refugee Camps and there is a large Palestinian Diaspora. They have not forgiven Israel for not allowing them to return after the War.

6) Occupation of the West Bank & Gaza: In 1967, Israel fought the Six-Day War against the Arab States and took over control of the West Bank and Gaza. These territories did not come under Israeli Civil Authority and have been instead militarily controlled. Palestinians who live in these territories have to contend with Israeli checkpoints, military provisions, and incoming settlers (from the Hallowed Land section). This occupation is perceived by Palestinians to be a repression of their Right to a State and their ability to lead normal productive lives. Settlers in the territories act in a very cavalier fashion (similar to cowboys in the Wild West) and steal property owned by Palestinian families for generations in the name of Religious Zionism. Zionist Squatters are a huge problem in cities like Hebron where these individuals have "liberated" over a quarter of the city from its Palestinian inhabitants and begun to drive a wedge into those communities.

7) Blockade of Gaza & Dependence of the West Bank:Due to the militancy of Hamas, Israel has found it necessary for defense to form a blockade around Gaza and to only allow certain materials into the territory. This has resulted in a Human Relief Crisis in the Gaza where the average caught in the struggle barely have enough food, heat, and light to adequately survive. On a different token, the West Bank (as controlled by the Palestine Authority) is a patchwork of separate unconnected jurisdictions. As a result, the West Bank leaders depend on Israel for defense coordination, tax collection, and assurances of safety from settlers. This creates a secondary occupation-dynamic where the Palestinian government is bound to the desires and wishes of the Israeli people in addition to its actual constituency.

8) Retaliation: This one is fairly simple. Each side honors its fallen by engaging in retaliatory killings and attacks. In addition, the retaliation is usually on a larger scale than the offense. (I.e. one death results in ten retaliatory deaths etc.)

Causes for the Arab-Israeli Conflict:

1) Restatement: Since the Arab-Israeli conflict sees a strong connection between Arabs in Palestine with Arabs outside of Palestine, the above eight causes are repeated in full here.

2) Andalucian Solution: Many Arabs capitalize on the situation in Andalucia as being the perfect solution to create Arab-Jewish harmony and are angered when Jews do not agree. In Andalucia (Islamic Spain of the 700s-1000s), Christians, Moslems, and Jews all had a flowering of their cultures and an interchange of ideas. It was one of the most progressive societies in the World for its time and certainly a much better time/place for Jews than many countries in the Modern Era. Jews get angered by the fact that Arabs do not note that Jews were second-class citizens in Andalucia who were granted the privilege of settling in Andalucia (a privilege which was revoked on several occasions). Jews want to be able to control their affairs and have civil rights, which Arabs seem not to understand when they advocate this model.

3) Pan-Arab Nationalism: Beginning in the 1950s and reaching its apex in the 1960s and 1970s, the wave of Pan-Arab Nationalism began to assert that all Arabs should live in one united country that would span from Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean to Iraq on the Persian border and all lands in between. This view was based on the history of the Umayyad Caliphate in the year 700 C.E. which controlled all of that territory and formed the basis of the modern Arab Identity. It also harkens back to the Abbassid Caliphate of a couple hundred years later which was the pinnacle of Arab scientific accomplishment. The thought of Pan-Arabists was that a Pan-Arab State would bring about a second unity of the Arab peoples like the type seen in the Umayyad days and the cultural flowering seen in the Abbassid days. Israel was a logistical problem for that ideology in that it cleanly separated North Africa (Egypt specifically) from the Levant countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. More importantly, it represented a non-Arab country in the region that according to Pan-Arabism should be an Arab State.

4) Anti-Colonialism: Israel was seen by many in the Arab World as being a European colony in the Middle East because much of the state infrastructure was built by Europeans. This, of course, did not take into account the Mizrahi Exodus (see below) which makes Israel a much more mixed nation, but there are some elements of truth. Israel was conceived primarily by European Jews, funded with European and American money, and built in a Western Governmental style. The Arabs saw this as an attempt by Europeans to influence their affairs and control their futures without having to maintain their untenable pre-World War II empires. This belief was exemplified by the British, French, and Israeli responses to the Suez Crisis. Jews argue that Israel is not a colony because it is loyal only to its own needs; it just so happens that those needs align more often with modern, liberal states than those of its Arab neighbors.

5) Lack of Respect: Arabs feel maligned by the Great Powers in the World and see Israeli support by those same Great Powers as a way of denying them a seat at the Global Table. Arabs have a strong sense of cultural pride, believing themselves to be the heirs of the Abbassid cultural legacy of science, math, philosophy, and historiography. However, they are weakly involved in International Agencies, their countries rarely have pull over anything except oil prices, none of them are allowed nuclear weapons or any other sort of powerful weaponry, and their hopes and dreams are largely ignored. Unlike the Arabs, though, the Jews have managed to make Israel a cornerstone of American and British foreign policy and guarantee their international protection and seat at the Global Table. Therefore, the Arabs have a lot of negativity towards Israel for securing that spot.

6) Israeli Imperialism: There is a belief in the Arab World that it is Israel's intent to expand and colonize other Arab regions in the Levant. They point to Israel's occupation of the Sinai Peninsula from 1967-1982, the Israeli occupation of Lebanon south of the Litani River from 1982-2000, and the continued holding of the Syrian Golan Heights conquered in 1967 and annexed to Israel in 1981. Religious Zionists claim that Israel should spread from the Nile to the Euphrates which encompasses a territory occupied in full or in part by six different countries. Most Jews and Israelis say that Israel has enough trouble controlling what little territory it does have and that the idea of controlling more is absurd, but the past extraterritorial occupations leave a different taste for most Arabs.

7) The Mizrahi Exodus: Jews become irate over the fact that the Arab countries refuse to recognize the events that led up to the Jewish exodus from the Arab World. Jews from the Arab World or Mizrahi Jews, did not live in the Andalucian Solution as most Arabs uncritically believe, but lived in countries which limited their rights, organized pogroms (such as the Farhud in Baghdad), stole their property, and executed and disappeared family members. Between 1950 and 1952 over 500,000 Mizrahi Jews immigrated to Israel where they were forced to live in camps in the desert until proper shelters could be built for them. (The population before the immigration was around 600,000 which made this immigration almost impossible to accommodate.) Arabs often claim that the hostility towards the Mizrahim (if they admit that such things occurred) were just outbursts and that they do not treat minorities as badly anymore, but refuse to publicly atone for the treatment or be self-critical about this history.

8) Biblical Causes: Arabs and Jews consider themselves descended from Abraham's sons Ishmael and Isaac respectively. Abraham aggressively kicked his maidservant Hagar and her son Ishmael out of the house in order for his son Isaac (born of his wife Sarah) to have primary attention. Jews and Christians assert that Abraham had a more special relationship with Isaac, taking him up a mountain in an attempt to sacrifice him. Moslems allege the same story, but with Ishmael. So, many claim that Jews and Arabs have a sibling rivalry of sorts coming from this moment. However, both the Bible and Qur'an make it very clear that after the halted sacrifice, Ishmael and Isaac actually spent a good deal of time together and remained on good terms. In fact, Isaac's son Esau married one of Ishmael's daughters.

Causes for Arab Anti-Semitism and Arab Anti-Zionism:

1) Restatement: Since Arab Anti-Semitism and Arab Anti-Zionism is strongly linked to Arab interests, all previous causes are repeated in full.

2) Arab Un-Integration in Europe: Arabs are finding it difficult to integrate into European society because of the European definition of what a European is. Typically those definitions involve an ethno-racial character (which Arabs cannot become) or a very strongly disdainful attitude towards religion (which Arabs are not interested in ascribing to). This has led to riots across Europe (especially in France) over French-born Arab rights as citizens. In response to the glass ceiling present in these countries, some Arabs have acted out. One of the clearest symbols of European governmental authority is its protection of Europe's remaining Jewish communities and endorsement of the State of Israel. Therefore these ideologies are attacked and institutions like synagogues are vandalized as a way of showing Arab frustration with European governmental authorities.

3) Financial Unbalance for Arabs: Arabs feel that Jews have much more financial pull than the Arabs do and this unbalance draws their ire because they believe that what the Jews have was partially stolen from them and their historical achievements. Jews counter by saying that there are quite a number of rich Arabs in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, but that these emirs choose to spend their money personally instead of professionally or philanthropically.

4) Jewish Failure to Reciprocate Past Treatment: Some also believe that when Islam was civilized and glorified centuries ago, the Jews were treated fairly and that their rights were respected and recognized. Muslims thought of them as their friends and let the Jews lived with them on the same land, using the same natural resources without any barrier. All were equal in the eyes of the Muslims. Only Jews who hate and wanted to destroy Islam were the ones who could not be tolerated by the Muslims. It is important to note that many Jews are particularly angry that Muslims fail to recognize that their treatment of Jews, while enlightened for the period, falls far short of the modern concept of "Equal Rights" and that the situation for the Jew under Islam was one of humiliation and vast inequality in both taxation, job openings, and general feeling of being second class.

Causes for Jewish Anti-Islamic Sentiment:

1) Restatement: Since Jews feel a strong kinship to Israel, all causes in the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli Conflict are repeated in full.

2) Islamic Un-Education & Un-Censorship: Jews are angry that in many mosques, messages of tolerance and acceptance of Jews are few and far between. The message spread is one of hatred and a desire to prevent reconciliation. This is much more common in conservative Arab countries than it is in Western nations where numerous liberal Islamic leaders (even those who are Anti-Zionist) vigorously oppose Anti-Semitism. In addition, television in Arab countries tends to be strongly biased against Jews and Israel, uniting the two in such shows as Farfur by Hamas. Finally, Arabs are strongly discouraged from reading and discovering other points of view in the world, preventing them from having an honest understanding of what Judaism stands for and believes.

3) Islamic Opposition to Free Speech & Use of Threats: Moslems have notoriously protested violently at cartoon portrayals of Mohammed, Qur'an burnings, and other forms of free speech or religious protest. Islamic leaders have also called for death threats to those who hold views counter to their own, the most famous of which being the Fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie. Most Jews see these reactions as barbaric, as do many Western Moslems who are ashamed of their more excitable brethren. This ultra-conservative and unwavering view makes many Jews fearful that there cannot be reconciliation with Arabs and Islam because they would be unwilling to accept an open dialogue.

4) Islamic Support for Terrorism: This is pretty straightforward. Jews are angry that Moslems all over the world contribute to organizations whose prime motive for existence is the slaughter of Israeli and Jewish civilians. Similarly Arabs are angered whenever Jews give contributions to Israel or to the IDF because they feel similarly that Jews are paying to kill Palestinian civilians.

5) Clean Up Your Own Backyard: Jews are bothered that many Arabs spend so much energy accusing Israel of Human Rights abuses and other infringements of international law, but do not turn the lens on themselves first. Jews believe that Arabs should be angry about the torture that openly goes on in Saudi Arabia and Syria, the genocides that occurred all over Iraq, the suppression of free will in Algeria by a military junta, and numerous beatings and stonings that go on in the Arab World. They argue that the Arabs should clean up their own backyard before they attempt to tell Israel how to behave.

6) Arab Messiah: Some believe that the Jews have been keeping a sense of hatred towards the Muslims when Mohammed was chosen as the official last Prophet for humankind till eternity. They believe this problem among the Jews and the Arabs did not happen before Islam came. Both tribes lived happily and respected each other before Muhammad announced his prophet-hood. As Mohammed came from the Arab lineage, this led to anger and frustration amongst the Jews as they were hoping that their promised Messiah would be among the Jews itself. They did not accept that their Messiah was not from their own kind. They believe the Jews kept hating Muslims and tried to destroy them. It is important to note that this belief is circulated far more often among Arabs as a way to detract from the above-mentioned reasons. Jews typically do not see Mohammed as a prophet in the lineage of prophets (the way that Moslems see him) and generally see him as a False Prophet or a Leader of the Goyim.

Religion & Spirituality
History of the Middle East
Middle East

Who founded a dualistic religion in the near east?

With its notions of good and evil powers, heaven and hell, Zoroastrianism was probably the first true dualistic religion. It was founded by its prophet Zoroaster, or Zarathushtra, probably in the Indo-Iranian culture of southern Russia.

Dualism is present in three major religions from the Middle East - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Ancient History
History of the Middle East
Society and Civilization
Celebrity Births Deaths and Ages

When did shirin Ebadi die?

She has not died yet. She was born in 1947.

Languages and Cultures
History of the Middle East
Arabic Language and Culture

What was the Arab capital of culture for year 2000?



International Cuisine
History of the Middle East
Red Cross and Red Crescent
Dead Sea

Which Middle Eastern country has the best cuisine?

I would say that the cuisines of Middle Eastern Lebanon and Syria stand out. as superb

If you want to include North Africa, then Moroccan cuisine is one of the great cuisines of the world. = Answer =

be sure to check out Jewish-Iraqi and Persian cuisine. in fact i don't think there's a bad middle eastern cuisine.

History of the Middle East
Political Office Holders

Was Che Guevara related to Ariel Sharon?

No he wasn't.

Business & Finance
History of the Middle East

Why were Ibn al-Nafis' discoveries not known in Europe when he made them?

Because at the time, the knowledge, skills, expertise, equipment etc in Arabia was far more superior than in Europe. Remember that this time was called the 'Dark Ages' in Europe. It was only after Ibn al-Nafis and hundreds of other Arab scholars' work that the Renaissance was even possible to happen in Europe, where the European scientists took all the credit for theories and explanations that the Arab scientists had made years before.


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