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Cockeyed arguments and bizarre evidence
on November 28, 2013
Though I was raised in a family of Zionists, I have no illusions about what Israel has done to the Palestinians. However, I find that the critics of Zionism rarely get their facts straight. In this book, Exploding Middle East Myths, the facts are mostly untrue or obscure, and the author is completely ignorant of facts and cases that would prove his point more sensibly.
Let’s begin with the part on Sadat. While it’s true that the great peacemaker was killed by his own soldiers, it’s not entirely correct to call it Muslims killing a Muslim. Sadat was no religious at all; he was a follower of the Ba’ath philosophy, which placed socialism above religion. Its founder, Michel Aflaq, happened to be a Christian. The soldiers who killed Sadat were Muslims, but religion had nothing to do with it. King Abdullah was killed by Arabs because he wanted peace with Israel, but the Arabs who killed him were from a rival tribe. Muslim Arabs were involved, but it wasn’t about Islam.
Another fact that author Greg Felton gets wrong is the (still believed) myth of the Khazars. He believes the unlikely story that king Bulan forcibly converted his entire tribe of Tatars to Judaism, when there is almost no record of it (except for the Kuzari, which was written centuries after the fact) and Jewish Rabbis do not go looking for converts. He says that Askenazi Jews are descended from the Khazars, and I can promise you, that is not true at all. The ancestors of the Ashkenazim lived in the Rhine Valley and were driven into Eastern Europe after the Black Death. The culture of Ashkenazi Jews is completely different from the Tatar-speaking Jews of the Black Sea coast.
More bizarre and questionable arguments follow. According to Felton, the USA didn’t accept Jewish refugees from Germany because the Zionists prevented it. Historians would say that FDR wouldn’t let them in because it would’ve hurt the New Deal he was pushing, but why argue, Felton’s entitled to his opinions. He describes Israel as a parasite, which contradicts his own argument that the Arab armies were a mess. Every military magazine I ever read blamed Israel’s winnings on the incompetent playboy officers of the Arab armies, but once again, why try to convince this guy?
Greg Felton bills himself as a journalist, but it’s not clear if he writes for any publications other than his own. No wonder he had to self-publish this kooky conspiracy book, full of one-sided arguments and obscure, distorted “evidence.” Halfway through, I was certain he’d accuse Israel of assassinating JFK or harboring extraterrestrial invaders, but who knows? As for the accusations that he’s an anti-Semite, I say they’re true. His website is full of badly-doctored photos parodying the Rabbi who allegedly controls Canada’s foreign minister. You have to wonder, in a country that gave us great comedians, couldn’t Felton come up with better gags?
I’ll give him credit for decent writing. The book could be a lot more entertaining if he’d sensationalized it just a wee bit more.