Monday, February 18, 2008

Islamic Antisemitism in a World of Globalization and Multi-Culturalism: An Essay in Interpretation

By  Raphael Israeli


2nd part of 2


The New Muslim Antisemitism ; New Avenues  of Hatred


The old and stale anti-Jewish stereotypes that appear in classic  European anti-Semitism, and have been copiously replicated in Arab and Muslim  anti-Semitic writings, have of late effected some new twists, concurrent with the enhanced anti-Semitic mood in the West. The main strata of inspiration have not changed dramatically, and they  sustain their drawing from Muslim sources (like dubbing the Jews the "descendants of apes and swines"), their borrowings from the Christian  themes of Blood Libel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the world Jewish conspiracy and the idea of "poisoning" in various forms; and their depending on the fortunes of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus parading anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism or anti-Israelism. The new twist consists in operationalizing the old stereotypes and the anti-Semitic vocabulary of old into concrete acts to counter the monstrous image attached to the Jews, and take action to check the "wild" and controllable conduct of the Zionists and the Israelis.


The areas where this new operationalization of anti-Semitism works are varied and widespread. Here we shall briefly address some five or six of them, before we reach some tentative conclusions. They are: firstly, using Christians, both in the Middle East and in Europe, both of whom have succumbed to the dhimmi state of mind,  to denigrate Jews and Zionism; secondly, to expand the range of Jew-haters and hate-mongers from obscurantist clerics to vast strata of mainstream intellectuals and professionals; thirdly, to encourage anti-Semitism as a legitimate tool to combat Israel; fourthly, to  prominently add to the old Christian themes also a pathological Holocaust denial as epitomized by Ahmadinejad; fifthly, to  "perfect" the theme of poisoning to new heights, in line with the world of hallucinations  where many Muslims dwell; and finally, instilling into  the vilification of the Jews such an extensive Islamic taste as to fill all crevices of the Muslim souls with  a paranoiac  contempt and disgust of the  Zionists and Israelis,  even when the overt Jewish appellation is sometimes  prudently circumvented.


Christians as a Tool

In an article published in the establishment  al Ahram in Cairo, an enlightened Coptic scholar, Dr Babawi, lambasted the American Congress for not stopping "Israel's artillery attacks on the Nativity and the Aqsa Mosque", and he urged American Muslims and Copts to demonstrate against "crazy Sharon, who began behaving like a madman after he was hit in his sensitive place by a bullet during the 1948 War, which left him with only one testicle, something that has affected him psychologically, and he has become a crazy psychopath, using power to hide his weakness…"[1]. This broadside, which in Arab tradition demeans the man by pointing to his sexual weakness, sought to twist the Nativity event, where Palestinians invaded the Holy Church at gun point, by imputing the moral wrong to Israel who tried to dislodge them from there. But no one could have missed the point: a Copt in Egypt, a member of a persecuted and dispossessed minority in an Islamic country, must be more Arab than his compatriots, to evince his loyalty, and there was evidently no better grounds for that exercise than an anti-Jewish attack.

The Bishop of the Assyrian Church in Lebanon followed suit by asserting that though the heads of the Church today are not Jewish, they are "led by Jews, whose faith is inimical to God, to the people and to Christianity". He cites Jesus as having said to the Jews: 'you are the sons of Satan, and you practice the will of Satan your father', to which they supposedly answered:' No, we are not the sons of Satan, we are the sons of Abraham'. But he insisted: 'Had you been the sons of Abraham, you would be acting in accordance with the precepts of Abraham… You are the sons of Satan"[2]. This wholesale discredit of the Jews, to gain favor with the thugs of Hizbullah, defies logic insofar as the dwindling Christian minorities in the Islamic world should have made common cause with the Jews, but  it is evident that Muslims exploit the persecuted and intimidated Christians to "prove" the universal disgust that they sense towards Jews.

Many of the anti-Jewish stereotypes among the Muslims are imported from Western Christianity while others are Muslim-made, but  both parties liberally borrow from each other, through the intermediary of the Eastern Christians in the Muslim world, who master both cultures and traditions, including as regards anti-Semitism,  and who have not been reformed by the far-reaching concessions made to Judaism by the Catholic Church. Furthermore, during the al-Aqsa Intifada  which has pushed to the forefront of Palestinian experience the Islamikaze  martyrs (shuhada), some Christians found them comparable  to Christ's martyrdom even as they invaded the Nativity at the height of their violence:

We kneel before the Palestinian people in the Nativity. He starves and thirsts, but he is steadfast. .. The one who said 'I am hungry' when he was on the Cross was our Lord Jesus himself… Our Palestinian people in Bethlehem died like a crucified martyr on the rock guarded by Israeli soldiers armed from head to foot, who have no compassion, love, life or tolerance… The Jew has a principle from which we suffer and which he tries to impose on people, and that is the principle of Gentiles. To him, the Gentile is a slave. They give the Palestinians working in Israel only a piece of bread, and tell them: 'this piece of bread that you eat is taken from our children, and we give it to you so you will live as free men in your land, but as a proletariat and a slave in Israel, to serve us…'. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are based on this principle, and anyone who reads the Protocols feels that we are in this period with the Jews[3].



Expanding the Scope of Hatred


When one peruses through Arab and Muslim  publications and media, one cannot help notice that  the scope of anti-Semitism has been expanding beyond obscurantist clerics or fanatically nationalistic elements in those societies, and has come to embrace also supposedly liberal, enlightened and professional  mainstream  milieus. In that discourse, the interchangeability between Jews, Zionists and Israelis is unmistakable when all three are alternately threatened of outright extermination. An Egyptian, Dr Adel Sadeq, a senior  psychiatrist by profession,  who often bashes President Bush and the West  for their ignorance of the Arab psyche, has no qualms about fighting Israel to the finish, more than two decades after his country signed peace with it. He wrote:

What is happening now indicates that Israel will not exist for ever.  We as Arabs must know that   this war will not end…, and anyone who deludes himself that that there will be peace must understand that Israel did not come to this region to love the Arabs or to normalize relations with them… Either the Israelis or the Palestinians, there is no third option…There are no Israeli civilians, they are all plunderers, for history teaches this. I am completely convinced that the psychological effect [of the Islamikaze] on the Israeli usurper will be his realizing that his existence is temporary…Remove the Apache from the equation, leave them one on one with the Palestinian people with the only weapon being dynamite, then you will see all Israelis leave, because there is not even one Israeli among them willing to don on a belt of explosives…We will throw Israel into the sea , there is no middle ground. Coexistence is total nonsense… The real means of dealing with Israel directly is those who blow themselves up. According to what I see in the battle arena, there is no other way but the pure, noble Palestinian bodies. This is the only Arab weapon there is, and anyone who says otherwise is a conspirator [4] .


If statements of this sort are made by mainstream opinion makers, often graduates of Western universities and bearers of PhD titles, especially in such "moderate" countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, how much more so in the Muslim fundamentalist circles where license is given to the most abominable Judeophobic rhetorics. At the heart of the Egyptian establishment and consensus , for example, is the weekly October,  founded and edited by the most virulent anti-Semites in the Arab world- Anis Mansur[5] who was a close associate of President Anwar Sadat, a retired general, Hasan Sweilem, had this to say:

Throughout history, since Emperor Justinian and down to Hitler, Europe's rulers had been trying to rid themselves of the acts of  violence, barbarism, corruption, conflict-mongering and other deeds that Jews were, and still are, in the practice   of perpetrating in European societies…. Like, for example, their domination of monetary systems, treasuries, banks, and commercial monopolies which  has caused widespread bankruptcy and economic destruction. They also disseminate drugs, prostitution, trade in women as sexual slaves, and alcohol . They have also monopolized the gold and precious stone trade, paid bribes to rulers and extorted them throughout history…

The Jews stood behind wars  and  internal strife, and that caused European rulers to expel them and kill them. For example, the Crusader armies, passing through the Rihine basin on their way east,massacred them and burned their houses as an act of repentance to their God. When the Crusaders entered Jerusalem, they assembled the Jews in a synagogue  and burned them live…Their kin in Russia suffered a similar fate… They were expelled from France, England, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Slovakia, Austria, Holland, and finally from Spain, after they underwent the Inquisition trials for their conspiracy to penetrate Christian society like a Trojan horse… The Jewish conspiracy to take over Europe generated civil revolutions, war and internal strife… The Cromwell Revolution failed in 1649 in England, following the Jewish conspiracy to drag England into several wars in Europe… Then the French Revolution broke out, which the Jews had planned, based on the first conference of their rabbis and interest loaners that had been convened by the first Rothschild   in 1773 in order to take over all the world resources… That conference adopted 24 protocols, including  the uprooting of the belief in God from the hearts of the Gentiles, distracting people by distributing among them literature of heresy and impurity , destruction of the family and eradication of all morality…[6]


The article further "credited" the Jews   with : putting  Napoleon on the throne and then causing his demise, the 1776 war between Britain and the nascent United States, establishing the Bank of America with a view of controlling America's wealth, and then instigating the American Civil War. Sweilem also says that the Protocols were written in 1770 by a German rabbi, financed by Rothschild, again "in order to destroy all governments and religions, spread anarchy and revolution, trigger wars, take over the wealth of nations  


               [1]  For some of his most harrowing condemnations of the Jews- see R. Israeli , Peace is in the Eye    

                  f the Beholder,  Mouton Publishers, Berlin and New York, 1985, especially the concluding   


                  [1] . October, (Egypt) ,17 June, 20  


    Raphael Israeli


                Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


[1] .Al Ahram, 25 April, 2002.

[2] .Al-Manar  Television,( Labanon-HIzbullah), 24 April, 2002.

[3] . Al Manar Television,  (Lebanon- HIzbullah), 24 April, 2002.

[4] . Iqra' Television (Saudi Arabia and Egypt) 24 April, 2002 . See Memri 373, 30 April, 2002.

[5]  For some of his most harrowing condemnations of the Jews- see R. Israeli , Peace is in the Eye of the Beholder,  Mouton Publishers, Berlin and New York, 1985, especially the concluding chapter.



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