Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 8th, 2012

Jews of North Africa and during colonial period 

“Jews had been living in North Africa for many centuries when Europeans expanded their toehold on the continent in the 19th century.  A few Jewish communities trace their presence in North Africa from Roman times.

The expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) in the late 15th century gave the local Jewish communities in Morocco and Algeria a demographic and economic boost, especially in Oran and Algiers.  The Jews in northern Africa kept their Iberian tongue (Ladino) as a lingua franca among themselves, similar to the function of Yiddish for their Eastern European counterpart.

In 1830, the French occupied most of the coastal plains of modern-day State of Algeria and gradually began to root their colonial occupation into local communities. Indigenous tribes supplied soldiers for auxiliary colonial troops called Harkis and the Jews were recruited as local officials.

From 1845, rabbis from the French mainland were sent to local Jewish communities “to inculcate unconditional obedience to the laws, loyalty to France, and the obligation to defend it.” The French government granted Algerian Jews the French citizenship in 1870, putting them on a par with the French colonists from the mainland.

During the 19th century, most Jews in North Africa discarded local customs and clothing in favor of the French language, culture and dress. Their affiliation with French culture and power also brought Jews protection, as in Tunisia after 1855.

After a legal dispute with the local Arab Prince about blasphemy, the French emperor Napoleon III intervened with a naval force in favor of the Jews. Jews were subsequently granted equal religious rights and more legal rights than locals: Jewish assessors were attached to criminal courts to provide input on the sentences incurred by Jews charged with crimes in order to safeguard a fair trial.

Jewish collusion with the French in the occupation of North Africa, ultimately encompassing Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, had also negative side-effects in regions which were not firmly in French control.

In Morocco, which remained independent until the beginning of the 20th century, Jews were always targeted by the public when the French launched military campaigns against Morocco or other local powers defying French expansion.

Consequently, Jews were seen as traitors by the local population, which were deprived of the right to vote and were economically deprived in favor of French settlers and their Jewish henchmen.

In Algeria, the number of French citizens reached 1.4 million in 1961 (13% of the total population), including 140,000 Jews (10% of all French citizens). Those settlers dominated public life in the big cities, enjoyed colonial privileges and were in control of the economy.

Jews were often the middlemen between the French rulers and the local subjects, because they knew the country best. The local Muslim population resented French occupation, not in the least place by their display of cultural-religious power by erecting huge cathedrals and synagogues.

The Algerian war of independence was an exceptionally brutal one with terrorism, torture and murder squads from both sides. It has been estimated that approximately one million Algerians lost their lives in the struggle for independence.

The French dispatched to Algeria the ruthless general Massu and the OAS (Organisation de l’armée secret: Secret Army) in order to foil negotiation on independence.  The OAS was ultimately suppressed by none other than De Gaulle. De Gaulle granted Algeria independence in 1962, which led to the exodus of French colonials (Pieds noirs: blackfeet) and their Jewish collaborators to France, a country they barely have seen.

In the newly founded Algerian republic, both Christians and Jews were excluded from Algerian citizenship in revenge for support for the French occupation.

Most Jews left Algeria for France. A few went to Israel, the post-colonial apartheid State in the Middle East. Israel was founded in 1948 by a Jewish settler-minority from Europe, which deposed the Arab majority by brutal expulsion. The remaining natives were politically disenfranchised and economically exploited, similar to the French occupation of Algeria.

Israel was (and is) seen as an offspring of European colonial domination. For example, the Balfour Declaration of 1916 by the colonial power Britain, and the Israel’s siding with the colonial powers France and Great-Britain against Egypt during the Suez crisis in 1956.

The Six Day War of 1967 sealed the fate of most Jewish communities in North Africa as the locals cracked down on them as a result of Israeli victory over Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

The point here is that in the case of French colonialism and throughout their history, Jews have not only been victims but have also been deeply complicit in actions now viewed as morally repugnant by the international community.

The fact that throughout the Western world, Jews are seen only as victims is far more an indication of Jewish power to control their image than a reflection of historical reality.

This section is from Nalliah Thayahbaran (with slight editing and rearrangement)

Note 1: Zionist lobbies in the USA and Europe have been relentless in putting the heat on successful Lebanese business men in Africa for two decades now. The latest strategy is taking this smokescreen of combatting Iran nuclear program and Hezboolah in order to pressure Lebanese banks from facilitating the transfer of money of Lebanese expatriates into Lebanon. How? Disseminating the falsehood that all the money coming in is the result of whitewashing operations…

Note 2: This post was of Nalliah Thayahbaran in reply to my post

Note 3:

Navigating Relationships in Lebanon


Have you stumbled on any article comparing relationship to financial management rate of return concept? Kind of the greater the risk the higher the expected return on investment?

This idea is obviously in the mind of arranged marriages, and marriages done at a much older age, as one partner saved enough to take the riskiest of investment…


“A few Lebanese take pride in how our society is a conservative one and still has values, while in reality it’s asking guys to have Superman-like skills to navigate a relationship and make it endure.

I never thought I would be writing an article on relationships in Lebanon but somehow I ended up writing one that got published in RAGMAG’s July issue which is awesome. You can read the full article [Here].”

“During my MBA years at LAU Beirut, I enrolled in a Financial Management course despite being warned by two friends of mine (both girls) that it was a difficult and tricky course. Financial Management consists of creating wealth for businesses through proper planning and control.

It requires strong decision-making skills to maximize the Return on Investment (ROI) for every dollar spent, bearing in mind the external and internal risk factors. You’re probably asking yourself why the hell I’m talking about a finance course to explain matters of the heart.

The truth is that this course has given me a new insight on handling relationships.

It was far better than everything I’ve experienced or learned, whether through readings or from friends and family. As a matter of fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that handling a relationship is very similar to handling a finance portfolio.

It requires a certain amount of time and energy that are bound by the nature of the relationship you are seeking or in financial terms, the ROI percentage that this person wishes to achieve.

The higher the risk, the higher the return,” a statement used to define risky investments can also be applied to relationships.

All types of relationships are in effect investments that a guy makes in exchange of a desired return (and vice versa?). If you’re just after sex with a partner or want to fool around, you can either invest in safe areas (in other words interact with people open to such arrangements), or put in an incredible amount of energy seeking sex with a girl who is a full member in the Society for Preserving Chastity.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s like investing nowadays in MySpace thinking it will stage a comeback and take down Facebook.

Of course, Lebanon is not the ideal place to be seeking such relationships as sex is still considered a societal taboo and the myth that all Lebanese girls are virgins, and all guys have had sex with at least 5 girls still lives on until the present day. (The myth is the way around…ask the tourists…?)

This being said, many “Westernized” Lebanese men find it easier to “diversify their investments” by looking into other markets, meaning they befriend European and North American tourists and residents in Lebanon.

Away from the short-lived and unpredictable relationships, the long-term relationship is the most demanding and time-consuming one (compared to the accumulated longevity of the marriage?), yet it is the one that poses the highest accumulated return if handled properly.

If a guy thinks he’s found The One and wants to keep her, he’ll need to assess all the internal and external risks surrounding this choice and invest heavily to keep this relationship going. He’ll be hoping for a return equal or higher to his early investment: to be loved back. (Loving needs no investment: Friendship does)

You hear many so-called relationship experts give advice on both long and short-term relationships and how to preserve and handle them, and what one has to do to keep pleasing a partner, but in my opinion they’re as reliable as financial companies making recommendations for the stock market: You cannot accurately predict the behavior of a stock or a bond, even if you’ve extensively studied its past performance, the risks surrounding it and computed various forecasts.

A serious relationship is one that needs to be handled on a daily basis, and it requires a lot of commitment and hard work. It also encompasses several uncertainties and could crumble at any second for many plausible reasons, just like an 80 year-old well-established company could collapse within a few weeks if its stock drops drastically (By that age, who cares?)

Last but not least, Lebanon’s conservative society makes it even harder for guys to handle serious relationships as there are many unexpected factors that could come out of nowhere to mess things up!

Indeed, it’s not just the girl’s immediate family that you have to worry about, but factor in the grandparents, aunts, cousins, extended family, the rich uncle living in the U.S., the town Priest or Sheikh or wise man, peers at work, her boss, her best friends, the “Bossara” she visits each week, her ex-bfs and the list goes on and on.

A few Lebanese take pride in how our society is a conservative one and still has values…

In reality, it’s asking guys to have Superman-like skills to navigate a relationship and make it endure. 

5th August 2012 in Ragged HighlightsMon amour, mon ami

I am wondering: “When LENAJIB will post on how women in conservative Lebanon should get active in not relying on guys superman skills…”




August 2012

Blog Stats

  • 1,522,554 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 770 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: