Muslim Anti-Semitism. A Clear and Present Danger

Making Sense of Antisemitism
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That humiliating loss was not just a blow to Arab pride, machismo and national ambition but a reflection for many Muslims of the crisis of Islam, of a lethargic, backward society and culture defeated by a powerful, modern, technologically-advanced and highly motivated Zionist enemy. The secularist pan-Arab nationalism and Arab socialism that had previously held sway were in part discredited. In their place came the new trend towards seeing Islam as being engaged in a fateful battle for civilization.

Shortly after the disaster of June , more conservative fundamentalists exacerbated and sharpened the traditional image of Zionism and the Jews into something so utterly vile and perverse that it could only merit being total eradication. Their State was the illegitimate culmination of allegedly immutable and permanently depraved characteristics.

Among the friends of Satan — indeed, among the foremost friends of Satan in our present age — are the Jews. Hence it is commonplace to see Israeli leaders portrayed as monsters in Arab caricatures, whether it be former Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Nazi regalia, hands dripping with blood, or Ariel Sharon rising out of a coffin with a swastika on its side. The popular TV station Al-Jazeera regularly brings this kind of incendiary incitement into millions of Arab homes, 66 providing images of a demonic Israel which deliberately spreads drugs, vice and prostitution into the Arab world, gasses Palestinians or deliberately poisons their food and water.

This is a criminal nation led by a bloodthirsty cannibalistic ogre who devours Palestinian children every morning for breakfast. Indeed, in recent years this has become one of the central planks of Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism. One of the attractions of Holocaust denial to Arabs clearly lies in its radical challenge to the moral foundations of the Israeli state. This debunking critique is what motivated Mahmoud Abbas better known today as Abu Mazen , who later emerged as the chief PLO architect of the Oslo peace accords.

Against this historic background, it is no surprise to find the present-day leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, claiming:. There is evidence which shows that Zionists had close relations with German Nazis and exaggerated statistics on Jewish killings. There is even evidence on hand that a large number of non-Jewish hooligans and thugs of Eastern Europe were forced to emigrate to Palestine as Jews The Jews are using this issue, in many ways, also to blackmail the Germans financially The Holocaust is protecting Israel.

Other Palestinians have also become explicitly defamatory in recent years about the Holocaust. In another ten years, I do not know what number they will reach As you know, when it comes to economics and investments, the Jews have been very experienced even since the days of The Merchant of Venice. They concocted horrible stories of gas chambers which Hitler, they claimed, used to burn them alive.

The press overflowed with pictures of Jews being gunned down The truth is that such persecution was a malicious fabrication by the Jews. The Nazis did not expel a whole nation nor bury people and prisoners alive, as the Zionists did. It is all too characteristic of this fanatical mind-set that the real Nazi Holocaust inflicted upon the Jews should be so strenuously denied by those that would repeat it. First, there is the vitality of the Holocaust-denial anti-Semitism right across the Muslim and Arab worlds.

The binding ideological cement behind this outpouring of solidarity was a Protocols -style anti-Semitism which regards it almost as a self-evident truth that the Holocaust was indeed a Zionist invention. It is no less revealing that Palestinian intellectuals, clerics and legislators have themselves shown great reluctance to incorporate any aspect of the Shoah into their teaching curricula, fearing that it might strengthen Zionist claims to Palestine.

This fundamental premise has been aggravated by an education relentlessly directed towards hatred of Israel and the Jews. In this propaganda, Israel is the scapegoat for the continuous Arab inability to achieve political unity, economic development or other national goals.

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But there are some Arab rulers like Saddam Hussein who go further than this in both their rhetoric and actions. There is an implicit as well as an explicit anti-Semitism that underlies this exclusivist nationalist rhetoric so visceral in Arab caricatures and sharpened by what has become a completely dehumanized portrait of Israelis.

Muslim Anti-Semitism: A Clear and Present Danger

They are branded as murderers, criminals, riff-raff, the scum of the earth. Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism have always had a sharp political edge which derives from the intensity of the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the Palestinian territorial dimension should not blind us to the fact that anti-Semitism also has an autonomous dynamic of its own. The historic resentment against Western colonialism and imperialism as well as the bitterness provoked by successive defeats at the hands of Israeli Jews, greatly intensified this frame of thought.

What was driven home with such shocking clarity by the Six Day War was the fact that the previously powerless and defenceless Jewish dhimmis had not only successfully risen up and created an independent Jewish state as in but were now able to decisively crush several Arab armies on the battlefield. One can perhaps best explain the peculiar emotional rage behind Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism as an attempt to deflect the unresolved traumas which this unexpected Israeli military and technological prowess inflicted on the Arab psyche.

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There was a deep sense of humiliation over the loss of Islamic territory in and the capture of the holy city of Jerusalem by the Israelis. Not by accident, fundamentalists now posed the conflict much more sharply in terms of a struggle between Islam and the Jews — a battle of culture, civilization and religion.

The fear and rage behind much of Islamic and Arab anti-Semitism has led it ever more closely towards the Nazi paradigm of Jew-hatred — making it seem particularly dynamic, volatile and even genocidal in its implications. Israel and the Jews are described not only as a military, political and economic threat to the Arabs and Islam. Another conspicuous feature of contemporary Arab-Islamic anti-Semitism is the fixed, almost static quality of its underlying stereotypes.

They would devour the flesh of a living person and drink his blood for the sake of robbing his property. It was in response to such defamation that the historian Bernard Lewis — a leading authority on Middle Eastern history — chillingly observed in The volume of anti-Semitic books and articles published, the size and number of editions and impressions, the eminence and authority of those who write, publish and sponsor them, their place in school and college curricula, their role in the mass media, would all seem to suggest that classical anti-Semitism is an essential part of Arab intellectual life at the present time — almost as much as happened in Nazi Germany, and considerably more than in late nineteenth and early twentieth century France.

Lewis believed, however, that this Arab hatred lacked the visceral and intensely intimate quality of Central and East European anti-Semitism. This assumption, in my view, was overly optimistic and intellectually questionable even at the time that it was made. In recent years this has become ever more apparent as the anti-Semitic virus has taken root in the body politic of Islam to a shocking degree.

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In the year , it is no less clear that while very little has changed in the basic repertoire of Islamic Judeophobia, it has unfortunately become more widespread, intense, radicalized and militantly religious in character. The horrifying recent murder of the Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, cruelly exemplified the existential threat that this violently anti-Jewish ideology represents. To be born a Jew has become for many Islamic fascists, as it was for Hitler and the Nazis, an a priori reason to be executed.

Our enemies [i. Israel] think that they scare our people. We tell them: in as much as you love life — the Muslim loves death and martyrdom. There is a great difference between he who loves the hereafter and he who loves this world. The Muslim loves death and [strives for] martyrdom See Robert S. Lewis emphasizes that it was the Arab leadership that initiated approaches to Nazi Germany between and See Ronald L.

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Atallah Abu Al-Subh. Either the Holocaust never happened, or if it did, it was on a small scale and—some add—the Jews brought it on themselves. Another favorite line is that the Zionists were the collaborators and successors of the Nazis. This remarkable version of history commands increasing Arab support, as is evidenced by the reception accorded to Roger Garaudy, a French ex-Communist convert to Islam who has published a book entitled The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics.

Garaudy's sources include apologists for Hitler, post-Zionist Israeli revisionists, and European anti-Americanists. Garaudy's Middle East tour in the summer of was a triumph. In Lebanon he was received by the prime minister and the minister of education, in Syria by the vice president and several other ministers.

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He gave a number of highly publicized lectures and interviews in both countries and was welcomed by major literary and other intellectual bodies. In Jordan and Egypt he was not officially received but was welcomed with the same or greater acclaim in literary circles. The government-sponsored Arab Artists Union elected him an honorary member—the first since the Federation was established more than twenty years ago. The editor-in-chief of Egypt's semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper conferred a press prize on Garaudy in recognition of the "fresh air" that he had contributed to the debate.

He was even invited to contribute a series of ten articles to an Arabic weekly published in London by BBC's Arabic service.

Garaudy's welcome, however, was not unanimous. Some fundamentalists, while approving his views on Israel, questioned his understanding of Islam. In Morocco he was acclaimed by some newspapers, but his public appearances were canceled. Jews as Nazis. Denying or minimizing the Holocaust facilitates another favorite theme—that Jews, far from being victims of the Nazis, were their collaborators who now carry on their tradition. Cartoons depicting Israelis and other Jews with Nazi-style uniforms and swastikas have now become standard. These complement the Nazi-era hooked noses and blood-dripping jagged teeth. The memory of both the Jewish victims and Arab admirers of the Third Reich is totally effaced. To maintain this interpretation of history, some measure of control is necessary, extending even to entertainment. Schindler's List , a film portraying the suffering of the Jews under Nazi rule, is banned in Arab countries.

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Even Independence Day , which has nothing to do with either the Nazis or the Middle East, was denounced in Arab circles because it has a Jewish hero, and that is unacceptable. The film won approval for release in Lebanon only after the censors had removed all indications of the Jewishness of the hero—the skullcap, the Hebrew prayer, the momentary appearance of Israelis and Arabs working side by side in a desert outpost. A Hizbullah press liaison officer explained his objection to the film.

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Muslim Anti-Semitism: A Clear and Present Danger. Introduction. 1. Muslim- Jewish Relations in History: Not All "Golden". 5. Conspiracy Theories: The Protocols. Muslim anti-semitism: a clear and present danger [Robert S. Wistrich] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

You are releasing false images about them. While visits to Arab bookshops or to religious bookshops in Turkey reveal a wide range of anti-Semitic literature, any kind of corrective is lacking. The Arab reader seeking guidance on such topics as Jewish history, religion, thought, and literature will find virtually nothing available.

Some material on modern Israel e.