Do You Speak neo-Aramaic?

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If the Mideast isn't complicated enough for you, try looking at it from the point of view of Iraq's Assyrians. The descendants of ancient converts to Nestorian Christianity, they are non-Arab Semites who still speak a form of Aramaic. Jonathan Eric Lewis, a specialist in Mideast minorities, describes them as "the indigenous people of Iraq," and recounts their difficult modern history, including massacres at the hands of the Turks and the Kurds and cultural annihilation under Baathism. Their contemporary political and cultural goals remain hampered by a 16th-century religious schism that split the community.

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  1. kevin is an anarchist, property for jews is theft

    (but ok for arabs)

  2. Sorry to break it to the “Any Criticism of Israel is Anti-Semitism” crowd, but given that most Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank are financed by the Israeli government and the land acquired through eminent domain actions, opposition to them would appear to be the principled libertarian position.

  3. Jack,

    The “anti-semitism” response to any criticism of Israel (aka “the only democracy in the Middle East”) is as automatic as a dog salivating at the sound of a bell. I call the time interval a “neosecond.” In this case, a neosecond is 29 minutes.

    It’s as much a reflexive response as Jesse Jackson’s squeal of “racism” when he (or his sons) is caught with his hand in the jar.

  4. funny how the first person to mention anti-semetism here was the anti-anti-semite brigade.

    funny how they were the first ones to also yap about the dreaded “neos”

    also funny how anytime anyone mentions “tinfoil” kevin reflexivly freaks out.

    amusing.

  5. Burn all the religious books. Let’s start over.

  6. No, courageous anonymous troll–they didn’t mention “anti-semitism” by name. They just made a couple of references to “keeping the Jews out,” implying anti-semitism. Of course, if Ken and Anon 0115 DIDN’T mean to imply that, they’re welcome to step in.

    Personally, I think it’s “amusing” that whenever someone makes a negative comment on Israeli policy or Zionism, it’s only a matter of minutes before somebody brings up the straw-man of “blaming everything on the Jews.”

    And it seems to me that “anytime anyone mentions ‘tinfoil'” pretty much equates to anytime anyone criticizes Bush administration foreign or internal security policy, since that term tends to appear in response with the regularity of clockwork.

    I know you can’t be that stupid, Anon 0452. You’re just being disingenuous–pretending not to understand what someone says so you can score demagogic points.

  7. great, this is exactly what we need — a shred of evidence that the “indiginous people of Iraq” are a downtrodden sect of very ancient christians.

  8. what–you didn’t get this link from Glenn Reynolds?

  9. Well, by applying Palestinian logic, I guess its time to drive all the non-Assyrian Iraqis into the sea.

  10. or be like the indians and set up casinos.

  11. wow, a group of people who keep their beliefs and religion after centuries of oppression.

    I bet they are really running the world! They forced the US to attack iraq just to free themselves!

  12. “…a lapse of fourteen hundred years and sixty years to contend with..”

    Were not jews continually resident in the middle east?

    “…total ethnic cleansing…”

    Would this be similar to the expulsion of the jews from arab countries.

  13. R.C. Dean,

    Although there’s the minor difference between a lapse of fourteen hundred years and sixty years to contend with. Not to mention that the building of settlements goes on, and that total ethnic cleansing of the West Bank is a serious alternative to people like Bibi and the Butcher of Sabra.

    I guess we could take the Israeli tack instead, and say that there’s no such thing as the Assyrian people, they all moved in after Arabs started creating economic opportunity for them, and anyway, the Assyrian homeland is in Russia.

  14. Right Kevin, no settlements allowed! Keep the jews out. Aren’t there any deed restrictions in those neighborhoods?

    BTW, doesn’t the absolute bottom line on most land titles read “by right of conquest”?

  15. Serves those Assyrian bastards right! They were real butchers back in the day.

  16. The article on the Assyrians was terrific — very informative and interesting. I passed it along to my Assyrian-American friend in Arizona and her Jewish husband. The love they show is just the perfect antidote to the poisonous Kevin Carson and his vitriolic ravings.

  17. The article on the Assyrians was terrific — very informative and interesting. I passed it along to my Assyrian-American friend in Arizona and her Jewish husband. The love they show is just the perfect antidote to the poisonous Kevin Carson and his vitriolic ravings.

  18. Kevin, how dare you give a shit about Palestinians?

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