Skip to comments.The Elephant of Jew Hatred
Posted on 04/21/2012 5:34:00 AM PDT by Kaslin
Hatred of Jews is the central animating feature of the political and strategic reality of the Middle East. It is hatred of Jews that dictates the legal regimes, foreign policies, military aspirations, cultural mores, educational themes and even public health policies of our neighbors from Ramallah to Tehran.
Despite the centrality of Jew-hatred in all aspects of public life in the Arab and Muslim world, our neighbors' unrelenting and irrational abhorrence for Israel and the Jewish people remains a dirty secret that you aren't supposed to mention in polite company. From Washington to Brussels, talk of the policy implications of Arab and Muslim Jew-hatred is prohibited.
Omar Abu-Sneina, a convicted terrorist murderer, is one of the thousand Palestinian terrorists that Israel released from prison in order to secure the release of Israeli hostage IDF Sgt.- Maj. Gilad Schalit. Originally from Hebron, Abu-Sneina was released to Hamas-controlled Gaza.
This week the IDF announced that since his release Abu-Sneina has returned to the terror business. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intercepted a computer memory card he sent his family in Hebron with instructions for how his fellow terrorists should go about kidnapping and holding IDF soldiers hostage. The instructions demonstrate how for Abu-Sneina, Israelis don't even deserve to be treated like animals.
Among other things, he discussed how to hide a hostage. As he put it, "Avoid hiding [the captive soldier] in desolate places, tunnels or forests, unless the aforementioned [captive] is a corpse or a severed head. If the aforementioned is a live human, that must be visited at least once a week and provided with food and drink, it is best to hide him in a house, an agricultural farm, a workplace, etc."
Abu-Sneina's coldblooded cruelty and rejection of the inherent value of the lives of Israelis is not simply a function of the fact that he is a terrorist. It is a reflection of the values of Palestinian society. Those values are continuously expressed and reinforced by Fatah- and Hamas-controlled media outlets, cultural and educational institutions and religious authorities. The ubiquitousness of Jew-hatred in the daily lives of Palestinians is so overwhelming it is difficult to imagine any facet of Palestinian life that isn't inundated by it.
Take grammar lessons. According to a translation provided by Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority's Arabic language matriculation examinations for high school students include questions such as "Punctuate the underlined phrase: Do not view the occupier as human." And "Punctuate the underlined phrase: We shall die in order that our land may live."
THIS WEEK, a Palestinian court sentenced Muhammad Abu Shahala to death for selling a home in Hebron near the Cave of the Patriarchs to Jews. Shahala was arrested shortly after several Jewish families moved into the house last month. He was reportedly tortured and quickly tried and sentenced to die by a PA court.
The PA was established in May 1994. The first law it adopted defined selling land to Jews as a capital offense. Shortly thereafter scores of Arab land sellers began turning up dead in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in both judicial and extrajudicial killings.
Leaders of the Jewish community of Hebron wrote a letter to international leaders this week asking them to intervene with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and demand that he cancel Shahala's sentence. They addressed the letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the director-general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, as well as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. In it they wrote, "It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a 'capital crime' punishable by death.
"The very fact that such a 'law' exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages."
They went on to make the reasonable comparison between the PA's law prohibiting land sales to Jews to Nazi Germany's Nuremburg laws that constrained and finally outlawed trade between Jews and Germans. The letter concluded with the question, "Is the Palestinian Authority a reincarnation of the Third Reich?"
The Palestinians of course are far from unique in their obsession with hating Jews. Their hemorrhage of hatred, their obsessive need to reject any move towards peaceful coexistence with Israel, or what the renowned late Palestinian poet Yousuf Al Khatib referred to picturesquely as "the Jewish filth of Europe," is matched in every Arab land. And of course, it is the primary obsession of the Iranian regime.
The parallels between Nazi laws and the laws of the PA and the Arab states that outlaw all cooperation with Israel and make such cooperation a capital offense are obvious and straightforward. Yet generally speaking, anyone who points out this fact is automatically dismissed as an alarmist or an extremist. Given the PA's relative military weakness when compared with Israel and the Arab world's current lack of interest in waging active war against Israel, noting their inarguable ideological affinity with the Nazis is considered socially and even intellectually unacceptable. The fact that they lack the ability to implement their ideology renders it improper to mention it.
The social prohibition on drawing parallels between the threats facing Israel today and those that faced the Jewish people 70 years ago is not limited to the discourse on the Arab world's conflict with Israel. It also extends to polite society's discourse on Iran's nuclear program, which the Iranian regime has repeatedly made clear is aimed at destroying Israel.
In his address to the nation at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took aim at that taboo when he attacked those who accuse him of belittling the Holocaust by comparing the annihilation of European Jewry to the threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Netanyahu said, "I know there are also those who believe that the unique evil of the Holocaust should never be invoked in discussing other threats facing the Jewish people. To do so, they argue, is to belittle the Holocaust and to offend its victims.
"I totally disagree. On the contrary. To cower from speaking the uncomfortable truth - that today like then, there are those who want to destroy millions of Jewish people - that is to belittle the Holocaust, that is to offend its victims and that is to ignore the lessons.
"Not only does the prime minister of Israel have the right, when speaking of these existential dangers, to invoke the memory of a third of our nation which was annihilated. It is his duty."
NETANYAHU IS right, of course. Unfortunately for Israel, raising the Holocaust in the context of a discussion about contemporary threats to the Jewish people is the rhetorical equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb. Just as no one is allowed to use a nuclear bomb, no one is allowed to mention the Holocaust. And that means that there is ultimately no way to speak about the violent hatred that animates our enemies in every aspect of their policy making. From the seemingly anodyne issue of property sales to the existential issue of nuclear weapons programs, the Jew-hatred that lies at the foundation of their actions is out of bounds for discussion.
Actually, the situation is both better and worse than that. Netanyahu's rhetorical boldness in drawing the parallel between Iran and the Nazis is arguably the only reason that the EU and the Obama administration have taken any actions against Iran. No, as their feckless negotiations with the mullahs, their foot-dragging in implementing economic sanctions, and their outspoken opposition to military action against Iran make clear, they do not really mind the prospect of Iran acquiring the ability to wipe out the Jewish state. The only reason they have adopted sanctions at all is because Netanyahu's Holocaust rhetoric made them fear that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear installations if they didn't.
On the other hand, when it comes to their direct dealings with Jew-haters, Westerners not only fail to confront them about their prejudice. They enable it. For instance, at a townhall meeting during her visit to Tunisia last month, Hillary Clinton was asked how US leaders can be trusted when during elections, "most of the candidates from both sides run towards the Zionist lobbies to get their support."
Rather than reject the anti-Jewish premise of the question - that Jews exert inordinate control over US politics or that there is something wrong with candidates expressing support for Israel - Clinton treated the question as legitimate.
She said, "A lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention."
Clinton even congratulated her anti-Jewish questioner, saying, "I think it's a fair question because I... sometimes am a little surprised that people around the world pay more attention to what is said in our political campaigns than most Americans."
Similarly, a report on the behind the scenes goings on at last weekend's nuclear negotiations with Iran published by Al-Monitor described the friendly discussion that took place at a dinner Friday night between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili. According to a European diplomat, the conversation was aimed at breaking the ice. And it included a discussion of "political party funding in the US."
It is hard to imagine that such a discussion involved anything other than a group tongue-clucking session directed against the inordinate impact of "Jewish money" on US electoral politics. That is, it is all but impossible to imagine that the discussion involved anything other than Ashton attempting to build a rapport with her Iranian counterpart based on shared hatred or contempt for Jews.
The fact that the West refuses to consider the policy implications of the most powerful force in Arab and Iranian policy-making and political life does not mean that Israeli policy-makers should necessarily expand their discussion of the topic - although it would probably not hurt for them to do so. What it means is that the general policy debate in the West about the nature of Middle Eastern politics is completely divorced from reality.
Because the Americans and the Europeans refuse to acknowledge the elephant of Jew-hatred in the middle of the room, they cannot be trusted to make reasoned or rational policy decisions. And since they cannot be trusted to act rationally, Israel cannot rely on the Americans or the Europeans as allies or partners when it confronts threats from its Jew-obsessed neighbors.
Believe what you will. Islamic Spain was a golden age for Jewry. Major philosophical works were written and new liturgy developed. Also, it was a time where, unlike the rest of Europe, individual Jews could work their way up in society... and did not live in fear of persecution.
As for the Ottomans, where to you think many European Jews fled to when Spain expelled all their Jews after the Reconquista (which, I might add, was not revoked until 1968, yes... 1968) and when the Spanish Inquisition kicked into high gear? As the Sultan of the time stated, “Ye call Ferdinand a wise king he who makes his land poor and ours rich!”
It wasn’t until the 18th century that the Ottoman empire became a place that wasn’t very welcoming for Jewry.
Point taken, but Rambam is a bad example. He fled Spain as a boy to escape fundamentalist Muslims who had taken power and were persecuting/forcibly converting Jews. However, on your point, he did not go to Christian Europe. Instead, he went to Morocco and eventually Egypt - where more tolerant Muslims afforded him freedoms that would have been unheard of in Europe at the time.
Thanks for the Jewish history lesson.
It still makes no sense to base tribal hate and love on what happened in history while ignoring what is happening now. That is why they call hate insane.
True, but he is the most famous.
But yeah, as the Reconquista got more and more successful, things got worse and worse for Jewry in Islamic Spain.
He's built his entire life on it, beginning as a collaborator with the Gestapo in Hungary as a young man.
One, the distrust of Southern evangelicals is misplaced. Antisemitism was foreign to the South, whose Confederate government elevated Judah Benjamin to Jefferson Davis's cabinet. Southerners did not imbibe antisemitism the way tony Northeasterners did after the Civil War, and only began to be cross with Jews after liberal and Communist Jewish lawyers started showing up at defense tables in notorious cases of black-on-white rape, the very worst offense under Jim Crow, to perform a conspicuous mitzvah at the expense of the defeated South. Before that, antisemitism was nonexistent below Mason-Dixon.
Two, the evangelicals and fundies (I am neither) have offered Israel and the Jews the most steadfast support and respect of any group or subgroup in America, but according to you they deserve no credit for that, because they respect their own faith, too.
If that really is the case, that Jews prefer the company of Moslems to that of Christians, then the obvious solution is for all Jews to become residents of the West Bank. The Moslems can go crazy killing Jews, the Jews can rejoice in their tolerant neighbors, and the American Christian community can look on in befuddlement, but no longer despised because no longer neighbors. Would that make everyone happy, do you think?
I would say that's a pretty good reason why Muslims hate the Jews!
Just two things:
1. WTF? Where did you see anything about American anti-semitism in my posts, north or south?
2. What made you think that an explanation of how past Jewish history influences current Jewish thought equals that Arab Moslems are tolerant of Jews? Seriously, dude... WTF?
It’s no more than explaining why the Mongol invasion of Russia created a situation where Russians today don’t much like the Mongols... despite the fact that Mongolia hasn’t been a thorn in Russia’s side for nearly a thousand years.
Seriously, your train of thought makes absolutely no sense to me.
Dang, I wish this place had an edit button.
Meant to write:
1. WTF? Where did you see anything about Southern anti-semitism in my posts?
Your comment about Christians -- American Christians. In context, you couldn't have been talking about anybody else, since you didn't specify "Christians except for American ones."
I was pointing out that your comment re Christian antisemitism is false at least in part and offering the argument, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.
You're describing a Jewish community in the States (what we were originally talking about) that overgeneralizes about American Christians, imputing to them the impulses of the German and Russian Christian pogroms of the High Middle Ages, and the Spanish Inquisition and the forced conversion of the moriscos.
I was pointing to the fact that Southerners, Christian almost to a man historically, have been remarkably free of animus toward Jews -- something Jews don't acknowledge according to you -- except on those few occasions when the ACLU or someone equally pink sent Jewish lawyers south to annoy the locals.
You keep saying that, as if I'd said something really stupid. Knock it off, you know exactly what I mean.
You said that, despite the fact that Southern Baptists and other fundies and evangelicals are some of the most stalwart friends Israel could have, that American Jews -- or is that all Jews? -- prefer Moslems as neighbors.
I tested your commitment and fidelity to your statement by suggesting that Jews who prefer the company of tolerant Moslems try the West Bank, whose denizens are, as you said and not I, more pleasing to Jews, who distrust and fear those Christians.
Am I getting this right, or is there a piece missing, something you forgot to tell us, about Jewish aversion to strongly religious Christian believers?
Are you telling us that Jews would prefer to live among amoral materialists and people who indulge the practices of Egypt?
No, I said that, in the living past, American Jewry experienced discrimination, most clearly showed with college, hospital, and country club admissions. And gave proof with an example of why you can find hospitals with names like "Mt. Sinai..." or "Beth Israel...".
Which influenced how they raised their children.
And I showed that, in the past, it was far better for a Jew to live in places like Islamic Spain or the early Ottoman Empire... as compared to Christian Europe, where... for the most part, you could expect blood libels, confiscation of wealth, and expulsion - if you were lucky.
And somehow you conflate that with a general Jewish desire to live with current Arab Muslim nations.
All this was an just an explanation of past history that has shaped the culture of those who actions you puzzle over. Which is why I brought up the Russians vis a vis the Mongols. It's the same thing, an explanation of why they act the way they do on certain issues. (for the Russians... their reactions to the Mongols)
Well, that is what I was contesting w/r/t the South. I don't think there was anything like the persistent antisemitism that grew up in the resort country of New York and the drawing rooms of our leading cities 140 years ago. You don't have Jewish colleges, hospitals, etc., in the south. In New Orleans, though -- it's been abandoned now for many years, but it still stands -- you had a very big turn-of-the-century synagogue to testify to the presence and activity of the New Orleans Jewish community.
I can understand keeping memories of the former discrimination, which is gone now; but the Calvinists of the South were never Jewry's problem and are their friends now. Maybe American Jews could come to recognize that -- and quit voting for secular Marxists and supporting the Marxist-materialist-postmodernist beatdown of America's authentic Jacksonian values, as they survive in the South?
We are doing world class gymnastic back bends daily in this country because people of African descent were once kept as slaves.
Yet American blacks were never targeted as a group for mass murder. They were never hated en masse and put in death camps.
Now no one publicly admits that Jews are such targets, historically and TODAY. We are afraid to blame a violent black boy for his death by shooting, because he was black, and descended from victims, and this is huge politically, but Jews targeted for extermination is not really news or a big public deal.
. In a recent survey published on Becks web site last week, 90 percent of Jews said they perfer Muslims over Christians.
Ridiculous. I know not one Jew, no matter how liberal, who feels that way. We know who our enemies are.
Most liberal Jews I know or have recently talked to want to vote for Romney. They no longer want Obama and they are pretty firm about it.