Abravanel, the Blog

Jewish life and not only in Greece / Εβραϊκή ζωή και όχι μόνο στην Ελλάδα

Confused, who are we supposed to destroy?

Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 16/05/2008

Confused, please help me out here; here are two excerpts from different sources:

Q: You said some Ottoman documents depicted the Arab national movement as a tool in the hands of foreign powers used to weaken the Ottoman state. What about the Turkish national movements such as the Young Turks and the Committee of Union and Progress? How were they depicted?

A: The Committee of Union and Progress was based on the Young Turks movement. Thessaloniki (modern day Greece) was known for its population of Jews who migrated from Spain and fled religious persecution in Europe in the late 19th century. Some argue that the migration of the Jews from Europe to the Ottoman state was plotted by the Jews and the Europeans under the pretence of religious persecution in order to sabotage the Ottoman state. However, I believe that the Jews encouraged nationalism amongst the Turks and were behind the establishment of the Young Turks and the Young Arab Society [Al Fatat] at the same time that was based in London.

http://www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=11591

Αξίζει να αναφερθεί ότι αμέσως μετά την Αλωση της Πόλης, οι Τούρκοι επιδόθηκαν στον αφελληνισμό της, καταφεύγοντας, μεταξύ των άλλων και στο μέτρο του εποικισμού. (the Turks began to wipe out the greek character of the city and resorted to colonizing it)

Είναι ιστορικά τεκμηριωμένο, ότι αμέσως μετά την άλωση του 1453, ο σουλτάνος Μωάμεθ ο Β’, διέταξε τον εποικισμό της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως και για τον σκοπό αυτό μεταφέρθηκαν εκατοντάδες οικογένειες εβραίων από την περιοχή της Θεσσαλονίκης. (hundreds of families of Jews were moved from Thessaloniki to Constantinople) Επ’ αυτού ο άγγλος τουρκολόγος Lowry, αναφέρει ότι ολόκληρος ο εβραϊκός πληθυσμός της Θεσσαλονίκης, μεταφέρθηκε και εγκαταστάθηκε, οριστικά, με την υπόδειξη των τουρκικών αρχών, στην πρωτεύουσα της Οθωμανικής πλέον Αυτοκρατορίας, συγκροτώντας μάλιστα ιδιαίτερη συνοικία (Cemaat). Επίσης δεν είναι καθόλου τυχαίο το γεγονός, ότι ο Μωάμεθ είχε υπουργοποιήσει τους εβραίους Χακίμ και Γιακούμπ, μέλη της ανθελληνικής ομάδας «Γκαρέμπια»*.

/I won’t provide a link but it is available

We have the turks believing that moving Jews to Thessaloniki in 1492 was the work of Western Powers to destabilize the Ottoman Empire.

Then we have Greeks believing that Jews from Thessaloniki were moved after 1453 in order to de-hellenize Constantinople/Istambul and act against greeks.

If Jews worked against the Turks, as suggested by our arab historian, then why would the Ottomans move them directly to their capital ? And if Jews aimed at destroying the Ottoman Empire then moving them to the capital should have been a positive thing for the Greeks and not a threatening move against them, right? It is interesting to see how both greeks and turks view the jewish presence as threat against them, imposed by a foreign power. One could also add that it is amusing to see how the conspirationist views of both seem to clash since jews cannot be simultaneously be used to favor and hurt the same national cause.

But why am I wondering? In Greece the leader of LAOS, a party with 10 parliamentaries in the Greek Parliament – one of the only five parties that comprise it, Y.Karatzaferis implied in a TV show together, (interviewing a self proclaimed admirer of Adolf Hitler), that the Jews are responsible for the Peloponnesian War in 431–404 BCE between Sparta and Athens. More on Y.Karatzaferis soon to follow.

.

confused

So tell me, who are we supposed to destroy?

8 Σχόλια to “Confused, who are we supposed to destroy?”

  1. plagal said

    Google is a potent and mighty deity. With its infinite powers, Google has revealed unto me that the Greek passage comes from the book «Zionism and National Tragedies» by Ioannis Charalampopoulos, Apolloneio Fos editions (Ιωάννης Θ. Χαραλαμπόπουλοs, ΣΙΩΝΙΣΜΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΘΝΙΚΕΣ ΤΡΑΓΩΔΙΕΣ, εκδόσεις ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΕΙΟ ΦΩΣ), or at least that’s what they say here: http://is.gd/hpw

    The Appoloneio Fos publishing house seem to be a bunch of neopagan cuddly neo-nazis, or at least that’s what the editor of the «patriotic left» (aka neo-con, anti-imperialist nationalist) magazine Ardin (Αρδην) thinks in this fairly big article: http://is.gd/hpy

    My advice: don’t give undue weight to fringe lunatics. They’re just that: fringe lunatics.

  2. Abravanel said

    You are correct. To tell what I wanted was to show how «established truths», like the one that the presence of Jews was antagonistic to that of the Christian Greeks can be seen in a completely different manner. Another established truth is that Jews were the the natural allies of the Ottomans; as you can see many modern turkish historians do not agree! Both views are overtly simplistic and seek to find «outside» interference that render oneself a martyr; it is amusing to see how an established truth that nobody would question in Greece, is seen exactly the opposite in Turkey. :)

  3. J. said

    stupids of all nations come together!
    (after all, Marx was jewish)

  4. lidt said

    The claims may be hilarious (especially the Arab one about how Jews ‘plotted’ their own persecution in Spain) but not exactly contradictory.
    The Arab sees the jewish presence as a threat to the Ottoman state, of which Arabs were an integral part, not the ‘Turks’ in particular. Accordingly he sees the Young Turk movement as acting against the same Ottoman establishment, which is after all basically true. Young Turks were enemies of the Sultan in Constantinople, whom they -in turn- considered a spineless pawn of Western powers.
    The Greek neo-pagan (aka neo-nazi) is referring to an act of sultan Mehmed II, in 1453, replacing part of the christian population of Constantinople with jewish population. I can’t attest the validity of this, but I don’t think it proves anything, except in his mind where such an act would seem specifically anti-Greek (as if conquering Constantinople and the subsequent massacre of the population weren’t anti-Greek enough for him).
    There is also a difference in timing. How many Jews lived in Thessaloniki before 1492? (he says they were transferred «immediately after Alosis», and Mehmed died in 1481)

    Apparently, both feel obliged to inject a little jewish-conspiratorial connotations to their historical ‘analyses’ for obvious reasons.

    However, this is not to say that an antagonism between Christians and Jews inside the Ottoman Empire was not existent. Both groups were second-class citizens (as non-muslims) hence they competed for the same positions in the merchant/trading occupations and -in more ‘liberal’ times- for positions inside the ottoman diplomatic hierarchy.
    Turkish nationalism that gave birth to modern-day Turkey viewed all of them (Greeks, Jews, Armenians etc.) as hostile to the new turkish identity and state.

  5. plagal said

    Lol, you raise a great point. It was not Mehmed II that invited the Sefardic Jews in the Ottoman empire. It was Bayezid II: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayezid_II

  6. Abravanel said

    The Arab sees the jewish presence as a threat to the Ottoman state, of which Arabs were an integral part, not the ‘Turks’ in particular. Accordingly he sees the Young Turk movement as acting against the same Ottoman establishment, which is after all basically true. Young Turks were enemies of the Sultan in Constantinople, whom they -in turn- considered a spineless pawn of Western powers.

    Yes and no. :)
    If you read the interview you’ll see that what the arab historian is trying to do is to smooth out the differences that arose in the beginning of the 20th century between the Ottoman state and generically the «arabs». Since indeed the various independence movements of arabic origin were used by foreign powers, what he tries to promote is that all movements were pawns of foreign powers and generically throw in a conspiracy against the Ottoman Empire, (that’s where the jews come in).

    The Young Turks indeed stressed the turkish identity of the Ottoman State but this was in opposition to the combative nationalism of it’s christian subjects and much less aimed towards the arabian populations which lacked a coherent nationalistic feeling, (with the exception of M.Ali’s Egypt). While it is true that one can easily presume that the Young Turks were opposed to the Ottoman state, they simply proposed an ottoman nationalism and since only the turks were interested in adopting it, the drive became more turkish than the all-inclusive ottoman.

    My reference to «the turks» was a simplistic one trying to make a point on the absurdity and on this you are right to correct me. :) The contradiction lies in how jews are used both by modern turks, arabs and modern greeks as an agent of foreign powers and how their presence in se is enough to produce harm. But I stand by the fact that he presumes that the presence of Jews is harmful to the Ottoman State while the greek neo pagan presumes jews as agents in favour of the Ottoman State.

    However, this is not to say that an antagonism between Christians and Jews inside the Ottoman Empire was not existent. Both groups were second-class citizens (as non-muslims) hence they competed for the same positions in the merchant/trading occupations and -in more ‘liberal’ times- for positions inside the ottoman diplomatic hierarchy.

    I never suggested otherwise and this is indeed true. With only the exception that – generically speaking – Jews never aimed to political positions while the Greeks did. But the economic antagonism existed and became a major factor even after the jewish community was incorporated into the greek nation.

    (as if conquering Constantinople and the subsequent massacre of the population weren’t anti-Greek enough for him).

    :D

  7. Abravanel said

    On the matter of the movement of Jews from Salonica to Istambul…

    Jewish presence in Greece dates back from c.a 300BCE. Especially for Thessaloniki we have the testimony by none other than Apostle Paul who around 50CE preached for 3 consecutive Sabbaths in the synagogue Etz Haim of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki. Jewish presence continued throughout the roman and byzantine times, with numbers following the diverse fortune of the city. Diverse historical sources talk about a jewish community in the 7th century and again in the 11th. So the fall of Thessaloniki in 1430 found a sizeable jewish commnuity, mainly comprised by the original Romaniote Jews and important numbers of Ashkenazi fleeing Eastern Europe persecutions.

    The fall of Thessaloniki in 1430 was followed by extensive massacres that devastated the city. The Sultan himself brought christians and muslims in an effort to re-populate it with small results. The same fate followed the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and invariably there, we also had an effort to bring back christian and muslim populations, (now that I think of it is rather funny how the neo pagan tries to emphasize on the transfer of the jews, while even the «official» greek school textbooks talk that the sultan tried to bring back especially the christians in order to revive the economy).

    Anyway, ottoman sources in 1450 talk about a suburb inhabited by the Selanik Yahudiyan of about 90 families. Other sources like E.Tselebi talk about a forced transfer of about 50 families. On the other hand the claim of Lowry about a massive transfer of the whole community is excessive since the sephardic jews that arrived in 1492 found an already important Jewish Community of maybe 2000 individuals. Important to note that Romaniote presence was not eradicated and thus the thesis that the whole community was transferred is substantially exaggerated.

  8. lidt said

    right, thanx for the info.

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