Taken from The
Scribe, No. 17 - January 1986
The Arabs and
It is very probable
that Arabia was the home of all the Semitic races and the
starting point of Semitic culture, in which case the Sumerians,
the Phoenecians, the Jews, the Assyrians and the Babylonians
could all be classed loosely as "Arabs". But it
is more apt to class the Semitic peoples as Arabs and Abars,
the Arabs being those who stuck to their homeland and stayed
behind under all conditions, and the Abars being those who
emigrated in search of a better environment and kept moving
to look for better conditions. The present Arab-Jewish conflict
is the outcome of these two contrasting strategies. It can
be said of the Jews, "qui va à la chasse perd
sa place" "He who goes out hunting loses
his territory". Recognising this danger the economics
of the Torah, by the 50 year jubilee system, jealously tried
to let the nation retain ultimate ownership of the land. I
find it strange that a conqueror has to acknowledge previous
titles to land. When the Arabs conquered the Middle East they
claimed ownership of all land by conquest. Israel should do
the same and make sure, through land taxation, that the nation
cannot lose ownership of the land. The Jewish people lost
their homeland in the past more because of emigration than
as a result of military defeat. This pattern has now been
resumed in Israel.
Arabia has been
claimed as the real scene of many of the earlier episodes
of the Bible, and it seems certain that the earlier Jewish
authorities recognised their kinship to its inhabitants.
of Monotheism, which is the basis of Semitic culture, goes
all the way back to the historical Adam (as distinct from
the mythical Adam) who lived some 8000 years ago. Adam was
literally the father of civilisation because he discovered
the wild wheat and started agriculture that obliged mankind
to live in settled communities.
Adam was a great
leader and a prophet. He and his successors were very likely
the authors of the first chapters of Genesis. Through Adam
were established knowledge of the One God, the principle of
free will, crime and punishment, man being created in Gods
image, the Sabbath, mans title to this earth, etc. Adam
most probably lived in East Africa at the end of the last
Ice Age and moved to Arabia when the Red Sea was still a lake.
The early episodes
of the Bible were not taken by the Hebrews from the Babylonians
or vice versa but were ancient traditions handed down from
Adam to Noah to Abraham. The Monotheism of Adam remained alive
even while Semitic nations had lapsed into idolatry. The Bible
tells us that up to the time of the Tower of Babel mankind
spoke one language. We can infer that they also had one religion
the religion of Adam.
analysis is meant to show that Semitic nations and tribes
migrated within a well defined area of the Middle East bounded
by Turkey to the North and Iran to the East. That whole region
does not belong exclusively to the Arabs but equally to all
the peoples of the area, including the Jews.
The word Arab
derives from the Hebrew meaning blend or mix
with (the land) vis erub. The word Abar
derives from the Hebrew word to cross over.
The ancestor who
started the migratory movement for better conditions was named
Eber (to cross over). He was seven generations
Abraham is often
referred to as the Ibri, in the mistaken belief
that he got this title for having crossed over from Ur to
However, the true
interpretation of Abraham the Ibri is that he
was a descendent of Eber. Eber settled on the eastern coast
of Arabia near present day Oman. At a recent graduating ceremony
at the University of Oman, we noted that many graduates carried
the surname of al-Abri which obviously refers
to a distant ancestor by that name.
now emulate the Palestinians by risking life and limb in defence
of the homeland, instead of some migrating to greener pastures
at the first sign of trouble.
So who is right
in the end: the Arabs who consider themselves a product of
the land and feel attached to it, come what may, or the Abars
who want to feel free to roam about from place to place in
search of greener pastures? The human race is slowly moving
in the latter direction, of which the Jews have been the fore-runners.
For instance, suddenly there was a million Moslems in Britain,
as a million Englishmen in Asia, a million Israelis abroad
and so on. But as long as the world is divided into national
territories, a people will put their survival at risk if they
dont maintain a territorial base.
Are the Jews a
nation or are they religious communities? They are both a
nation as well as religious communities and neither faction
can tell the other what they are. A Jew who feels he is only
part of a religious group cannot prevent another Jew who feels
he is part of a nation.
What of the future?
Where do you draw the line? If national boundaries were abolished,
then America would be swamped by the Chinese and Europe would
be overrun by Africans. A possible arrangement would be to
remove the national barriers but introduce a system of national
dividends to serve as a handicap for a number of generations
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