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The Dönmeh: The Middle East’s Most Whispered Secret (Part I)

By Wayne Madsen | 25 October 2011

STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION — There is a historical “eight hundred pound gorilla” lurking in the background of almost every serious military and diplomatic incident involving Israel, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Greece, Armenia, the Kurds, the Assyrians, and some other players in the Middle East and southeastern Europe. It is a factor that is generally only whispered about at diplomatic receptions, news conferences, and think tank sessions due to the explosiveness and controversial nature of the subject. And it is the secretiveness attached to the subject that has been the reason for so much misunderstanding about the current breakdown in relations between Israel and Turkey, a growing warming of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and increasing enmity between Saudi Arabia and Iran…

Although known to historians and religious experts, the centuries-old political and economic influence of a group known in Turkish as the “Dönmeh” is only beginning to cross the lips of Turks, Arabs, and Israelis who have been reluctant to discuss the presence in Turkey and elsewhere of a sect of Turks descended from a group of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th and 17th centuries. These Jewish refugees from Spain were welcomed to settle in the Ottoman Empire and over the years they converted to a mystical sect of Islam that eventually mixed Jewish Kabbala and Islamic Sufi semi-mystical beliefs into a sect that eventually championed secularism in post-Ottoman Turkey. It is interesting that “Dönmeh” not only refers to the Jewish “untrustworthy converts” to Islam in Turkey but it is also a derogatory Turkish word for a transvestite, or someone who is claiming to be someone they are not.

The Donmeh sect of Judaism was founded in the 17th century by Rabbi Sabbatai Zevi, a Kabbalist who believed he was the Messiah but was forced to convert to Islam by Sultan Mehmet IV, the Ottoman ruler. Many of the rabbi’s followers, known as Sabbateans, but also “crypto-Jews,” publicly proclaimed their Islamic faith but secretly practiced their hybrid form of Judaism, which was unrecognized by mainstream Jewish rabbinical authorities. Because it was against their beliefs to marry outside their sect, the Dönmeh created a rather secretive sub-societal clan. […]

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1 Comment on The Dönmeh: The Middle East’s Most Whispered Secret (Part I)

  1. THE JEWISH CHAMELEONS
    For thousands of years Jews have enjoyed their DIASPORA by changing into the culture, religion and politics wherever they went!
    And when you think of it, this has been their means of controlling the world.
    You don’t need THE PROTOCOLS OF ZION, because Disraeli makes it clear who it is who rules the world!

    CONINGSBY
    (excerpt of Disraeli’s novel published in London, 1844)

    In his novel Coningsby (London, 1844) Disraeli draws a picture from life of the Jews ruling the world from behind thrones as graphic as anything in the protocols of Nilus.

    The passage in which Rothschild (Sidonia) describes this runs as follows:

    “If I followed my own impulse, I would remain here”, said Sidonia.
    “Can anything be more absurd than that a nation should apply to an individual to maintain its credit, its existence as an empire and its comfort as a people; and that individual one to whom its laws deny the proudest rights of citizenship, the privilege of sitting in its senate and of holding land; for though I have been rash enough to buy several estates, my own opinion is that by the existing law of England, an Englishman of Hebrew faith cannot posses the soil.”

    “But surely it would be easy to repeal a law so illiberal.”

    “Oh! as for illiberality, I have no objection to it if it be an element of power.
    Eschew political sentimentality. What I contend is that if you permit men to accumulate property, and they use that permission to a great extent, power is inseparable from that property, and it is in the last degree impolite to make it in the interest of any powerful class to oppose the institutions under which they live.

    The Jews, for example, independent of the capital qualities for citizenship which they possess in their industry, temperance, and energy and vivacity of mind, are a race essentially monarchical, deeply religious, and shrinking themselves from converts as from a calamity, are ever anxious to see the religious systems of the countries in which the live, flourish.
    Yet since your society has become agitated in England and powerful combinations menace your institutions, you find the once loyal Hebrew is variably arrayed in the same ranks as the leveller and the latitudinarian, and prepared to support rather than tamely continue under a system which seeks to degrade him.

    The Tories lose an important election at a critical moment; ’tis the Jews come forward to vote against them.

    The Church is alarmed at the scheme of a latitudinarian university, and learns with relief that funds are not forthcoming for its establishment; a Jew immediately advances and endows it.
    Yet the Jews, Coningsby, are essentially Tories. Toryism indeed is but copied from the mighty prototype which has fashioned Europe. And every generation they must become more powerful and more dangerous to the society which is hostile to them.

    Do you think that the quiet humdrum persecution of a decorous representative of an English university can crush those who have successfully baffled the Pharaons, Nebuchadnezzar, Rome, and the feudal ages?

    The fact is you cannot destroy a pure race of the Caucasian organization. It is a physiological fact; a simple law of nature, which has baffled Egyptian and Assyrian kings, Roman emperors, and Christian inquisitors.

    No penal laws, no physical tortures, can effect that a superior race should be absorbed in an inferior, or be destroyed by it.

    The mixed persecuting races disappear, the pure persecuted race remains.
    And at the moment, in spite of centuries, or tens of centuries, of degradation, the Jewish mind exercises a vast influence on the affairs of Europe. I speak not of their laws, which you still obey; of their literature, with which your minds are saturated, but of the living Hebrew intellect.
    You never observe a great intellectual movement in Europe in which the Jews do not greatly participate.

    The first Jesuits were Jews: that mysterious Russian diplomacy which so alarms Western Europe is organized and principally carried on by the Jews; that mighty revolution (of 1848) which will be in fact a second and greater Reformation, and of which so little is as yet known in England, is entirely developing under the auspices of Jews, who almost monopolize the professorial chairs of Germany.

    NEANDAR, Founder of spiritual Christianity and who is Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Berlin is a Jew.

    Benary, equally famous, and in the same university is a Jew.
    Wehl, the Arabic Professor of Heidelberg, is a Jew.

    Years ago, when I was in Palestine I met a German student who was accumulating materials for the history of Christianity and studying the genius of the place; a modest and learned man. It was Wehl; then unknown, since become the first Arabic scholar of the day, and the author of the life of Mahomet. But for the German professors of this race, their name is legion. I think there are more than ten at Berlin alone.

    I told you just now that I was going up to town to-morrow, because I always made it a rule to interpose when affairs of state were on the carpet. Otherwise, I never interfere. I hear of peace and war in newspapers, but I am never alarmed, except when I am informed that the sovereigns want treasure; then I know that monarchs are serious.

    A few years back we were applied to by Russia. Now there has been no friendship between the Court of St. Petersburg and my family. It has Dutch connections which have generally supplied it; and our representations in favour of the Polish Hebrews, a numerous race, but the most suffering and degraded of all the tribes, has not been very agreeable to the Czar.

    However circumstances drew to an approximation between the Romanoffs and the Sidonias (Rothschilds). I resolved to go myself to St. Petersburg. I had on my arrival an interview with the Russian Minister of Finance, Count Cancrin; I beheld the son of a Lithuanian Jew.

    The loan was connected with the affairs of Spain. I resolved on repairing to Spain from Russia. I travelled without intermission. I had an audience immediately on my arrival with the Spanish minister, Senor Mendizabel; I beheld one like myself, the son of a Neuvo Christiano, a Jew of Aragon.

    In consequence of what transpired at Madrid, I went straight to Paris to consult the President of the French Council.; I beheld the son of a French Jew, a hero, an imperial marshal, and very properly so, for who should be military heroes if not those who worship the Lord of Hosts?”

    “And is Soult a Hebrew?”

    “Yes, and others of the French marshals, and the most famous, Massena, for example; his real name was Mannaseh: but to my anecdote:

    The consequence of our consultations was that some northern power should be applied to in a friendly and medative capacity.

    We fixed on Prussia, and the President of the Council made an application to the Prussian minister, who attended a few days after our conference. Count Arnim entered the cabinet, and I beheld a Prussian Jew.

    So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”(pp. 294-252)

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