The Divergence of Judaism and Islam. Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

(Joyce) #1

8 · Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev

Egyptian Salafi streams, regard the Jews as their enemies and allies of
the establishment. Rutland’s analysis more closely resembles the German
case study in one aspect: Australian Muslims replaced the Jews as the
new and main undesired “others.”
The second section of this book, “Socioeconomic and Political Interac-
tion in Arab Lands and Central Asia: Toward Jewish Immigration,” fo-
cuses on the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial scenes in Arab lands
and Central Asia. The common threads weaving through are Judeo-Mus-
lim existence prior to Jewish communal disintegration through immigra-
tion and, in the case of Libya and Uzbekistan, the actual immigration
Except for Aden, Yemen was an independent entity beginning in 1918
under the Imamate. Bat-Zion Eraqi Klorman’s essay, “Yemen: Muslim
and Jewish Interaction in the Tribal Sphere,” analyzes the striking resem-
blance of tribal dissension in Yemen and Arab-Berber unrest in southern
Morocco where local chieftains were resentful of the Sharifian Sultan-
ate and central authorities. In both Yemen and Morocco, there existed a
sizable Jewish minority that benefited from Muslim protection yet lived
a precarious existence. The partial exposure of Yemen to Europe in the
twentieth century—similar to the Moroccan situation—helped connect
the population to the world economy but weakened the economic foun-
dation of the tribes, Jews included. The study elaborates on the dhimmi
status of the Jews, the latter’s response to tribal customary law, and the
Muslims’ attitude toward Jewish religion and customs. Based on oral his-
tory and written sources, Eraqi Klorman provides the historical, social,
and economic background for the eventual Jewish immigration to Israel.
In his essay, “In Search of Jewish Farmers: Jews, Agriculture, and the
Land in Rural Morocco,” Daniel J. Schroeter connects with Eraqi Klor-
man’s conclusions about Jewish-Muslim life in rural Yemen. Although
both studies describe Jewish societies in a tribal setting destined to be
dissolved through immigration, Schroeter’s analysis centers on a coun-
try that was dominated by a French administration. For many decades
it was reported by different people—Israeli immigration emissaries of
the Jewish Agency, foreign travelers, and officials of the colonial admin-
istration—that major pockets of Jewish farmers existed throughout rural
Schroeter, a social historian who studied Moroccan rural society up
close, challenges what he regards as no more than a myth. True, there

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