Posts Tagged ‘Arabia’

Like Spots Only A Leopard, Change Is Rare

31 Mar


T.E. Lawrence


Unfortunately, the same general observation holds true today. Note the comments below, taken from T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, for what light he sheds on the area in 1916 and 1917. For all his fascination with the nomadic peoples, Lawrence, in his own words, remained a proud and obedient English officer. In fact, we can learn that he had not much positive to say of the "Palestinian" farmers who lived side by side with German Jewish farmers who had begun to settle in the previous two decades.

"A fifth section in the latitude of Jerusalem would have begun with Germans and with German Jews, speaking German or German-Yiddish, more intractable even than the Jews of the Roman era, unable to bear contact with others not of their race, some of them farmers, most of them shopkeepers. Around them glowered their enemies, the sullen Palestinian peasants, more stupid than the yeoman on North Syria, material as the Egyptians, and bankrupt."

Let's back up a paragraph or so.

“Across the eastern plains (thick with Arabs) lay a labyrinth of crackled lava, the Leja, where the loose and broken men of Syria had forgathered for unnumbered generations. Their descendants lived there in lawless villages, secure from Turk and Beduin, and worked out their internecine feuds at leisure. South and southwest of them opened the Hauran, a huge fertile land, populated with warlike, self-reliant and prosperous Arab peasantry.

East of them were the Druses, the heterodox Moslem followers of a mad and dead sultan of Egypt. They hated Maronites with a bitter hatred; which, when discouraged by the Government and the fanatics of Damascus, found expression in great periodic killings. None the less, the Druses were disliked by the Moslem Arabs and despised them in return. They were at feud with the Beduins, and preserved in their mountain a show of the chivalrous semi-feudalism of Lebanon in the days of their autonomous Emirs.”

And yet, every Jewish Israel-hating leftist I know will read the above passages and take away only that the Jews were racist Zionists who have to go, as if none of the other competing tribes were guilty of anything more severe than an afternoon bellyache.

Critical thinking is obviously not a requirement for westerners who want for nothing but the good sense the rest of us exploit when we read a sentence "like spots only a leopard, change is rare" we know that the good life is more than the "sum of all its better parts" of valor.



"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""