Often, at critical moments in the millennial confrontation between European man and the Asiatic hordes, between Christendom and Mohammedanism, the Jew has played a critical role in helping the latter win. I’ve made many posts about the roles Jews played in facilitating the Muslim invasion and conquest of Spain. (link) Not long ago, I wrote about the Jewish role in bringing about the fall of Caesarea, a crucial victory in the early spread of Islam out of its desert home. (link).
Here is another example of Jews taking the side of the Muslims, to devastating effect, during the second siege of Rhodes by the Ottoman Turks in 1522. The first Ottoman siege had failed in 1480. Since then, the Knights Hospitaller, the crusading order that controlled the island, had considerably strengthened its defences. But it did them no good. The second time, the Turks won, helped, it seems, by secret intelligence about weak spots in the fortifications.
Although the 1480 siege had failed, the walls just happened to be breached at the exact location where the Jews lived. The Knights Hospitaller rightfully mistrusted the Jews and expelled them before the next attack came.
Some four hundred Jews were resident at Rhodes in the Twelfth Century; and under the Knights there was a Jewry in the south-east corner of the city. It was here that the walls were breached in 1480; and the Turkish shot destroyed their Synagogue. They obtained leave to rebuild this in the autumn. But in 1501 the Knights thought that they were no longer to be trusted, and that their quarter of the city ought to be filled with a combatant population : and in spite of the resulting loss to the revenue, their expulsion was decreed. On the 9th of January 1502 the order was given that all adult Jews of either sex in the dominions of the Knights in the Levant, who refused baptism, should be shipped off to Nice on the Riviera within forty days. During that time they might realize their property in land or goods : but if any remained longer, their property would be confiscated to the treasury and they would themselves be sold as slaves. And the Grand Master was empowered to baptize Jews of either sex, who were minors, in spite of their parents’ protests. The Jews were sent to the West to prevent them giving the Turks information about Rhodes.
During the siege itself, just as the Christians had feared, the Jews assisted the Muslims by firing out arrows to the besiegers with notes attached. The notes contained information that helped the Turks eventually prevail.
they received reports through Chios from a Jewish physician who had been sent to Rhodes by Sultan Salim. This man was baptized there and acquired
a good position ; and during the siege he kept the Turks well informed until he was seen shooting out an arrow and was duly executed.
…another baptized Jew, a servant of Andrea d’ Amaral the
Chancellor of the Order, was seen shooting out an arrow ; and
he stated under torture that this was only one of several arrows that he had shot out with messages to the enemy from his master. The Chancellor was forthwith arrested and sent to Fort S, Nicholas. The servant adhered to his statement, which was corroborated by a Greek priest who had seen him
shooting out a message and the Chancellor standing by ; and
there was the suspicious fact that a Turkish slave of the
Chancellor’s who had gone to Constantinople a year or so before as if he had been ransomed, had afterwards returned to his master at Rhodes. On such evidence the Chancellor was condemned ; and, his servant having first been executed, he was expelled from the Order, and then beheaded and quartered
at the place whence the arrow was shot. The Jewish
physician had died like a good Christian ; but Andrea
d’ Amaral was wholly impenitent, and scandalized the devout,
when they brought him a figure of the Virgin on his way to execution, by bidding them take away that log.
Following the Turkish capture of the island, the Jews returned and soon came to dominate the population.
On the capture of the city in 1522, the Turks compelled all the baptized Jews there to return to their old faith. In 1549 the city was chiefly peopled by Jews.
Rhodes was a critical bulwark against Mohammedan expansion. Its fall created all kinds of new vulnerabilities for Christendom in the western Mediterranean.
Note this book was written in the 19th century, before the age of political correctness. Due to Jewish domination of our public discourse, modern works of history often leave out entirely the role Jews played in facilitating the expansion of Islam.
For more on the long history of collaboration between Jews and Muslims, see the links at the bottom of this article: The Jew as Ally of the Muslim