By happenstance, just when Muammar Gaddafi staged his recent Muslim-supremacy
spectacle (significantly) in Rome, Israeli actors refused to stage anything in
well-within-national-consensus Ariel. On the face of it these events were
Neither did the resounding refusal from Ramallah to even
vaguely recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state seem linked to the
in-house boycotts promulgated by those showbiz poseurs and their literati
The Gaddafi extravaganza was all but overlooked by our
media as a no-account eccentricity. The Ramallah reiteration of immutable
nay-saying was mentioned in passing as an almost acceptable, incontestable fact
of life. The out-of-left-field onslaught on Ariel, however, was ballyhooed by
leftist scribblers and talking heads as heralding the moral imperative of
further shrinking (anyhow precariously tiny) Israel.
Those who ignore or
downplay the news from Rome and Ramallah, yet amplify the anti-Ariel offensive,
obscure the fundamental connection. The aforementioned are all jigsaw pieces in
the same puzzle. The removal of any piece leaves a gaping void which renders the
picture meaningless. Separating and isolating constituent elements distorts the
context. The upshot is that, systematically blinkered, we’re left
LET’S TRY to piece together the puzzle despite the assiduous
efforts of our enlightened pseudo-intellectual cliques to limit our vision to
Libyan strongman Gaddafi did in Rome what would have
instigated barbaric lynching and savage rioting in Tripoli, to say nothing of
Mecca. Gaddafi arrived at one of Christendom’s iconic centers, literally near
the Vatican’s doorstep, to throw a “convert-to-Islam” party to which he invited
hundreds of top-model wannabes, who were handsomely recompensed for their
He proclaimed that Christianity was “an inconsequential
religion” and that Jesus himself was Muslim.
The details don’t matter.
What matters is that Gaddafi assumed he could come to a pivotal Christian
capital and thumb his nose at the locals, as if they have no sensitivities or,
if they do, that these sensitivities are misplaced and hence don’t
Gaddafi’s impudence betrays anything but the pluralistic ethos
espoused so ardently by postmodern Western ideologues. Gaddafi shares none of
our moral relativism.
He’ll never argue that all beliefs are of equal
value. In his world there’s only one exclusive, exclusionist and overriding
truth – his own. He says so openly, in our face.
The fact that we refuse
to listen is willful self-delusion.
Gaddafi’s oddball flamboyance
shouldn’t distract us.
He’s not the exception to the Muslim rule. He’s
its authentic voice, his preposterous pomposity notwithstanding.
isn’t the only Arab headliner with undisguised designs to subjugate us all to
his creed. Others assert the same only with less fanfare. We prefer to pay no
heed to any of Islam’s boosters, whether their message is delivered with
flourish or with matter-of-fact resolve.
THERE’S NO Gaddafi-like
grandiosity in the performance style of Doha-based Egyptian-born Yusuf al-
Qaradawi, head of the World Council of Muslim Clerics, a supreme authority in
the Sunni world and one of Islam’s most popular and influential luminaries. His
Al Jazeera program Shari’a and Life made him a household preacher in the
A self-proclaimed moderate, he only condones
suicide bombings against Israelis (of all genders and ages – even unborn
fetuses), maintaining that there are no innocent noncombatants among them.
Indeed many of his conservative coreligionists have condemned Qaradawi in fiery
oratory for being too soft on the West.
But is the ultra-popular
theologian any more tolerant than Gaddafi? Enjoying Qatari hospitality, Qaradawi
declares that “Islam is poised to take over the world. The harbinger of Islamic
triumph will be the conquest of Rumia [a.k.a.
Rome]. Islam will return to
Europe as the victorious conqueror, after having been twice ousted from
In Qaradawi’s eyes, as in Gaddafi’s, there’s only one perfect
It’s only historic justice that Islam vanquish all other
religions. Against this backdrop, perhaps it’s Gaddafi who is the moderate, as
for now he merely seeks to advance Islam via a chosen audience of bribed
beauties rather than a full-blown jihad.
Needless to say, whatever goes
for Rome applies a thousand-fold to Jerusalem. To quote Qaradawi again, “Jews
who claim that they have a long history in what they call Israel are liars. The
Arabs, on the other hand, were present in Palestine since the days of the
Jebusites and the Canaanites, 30 centuries before Christ. Before the advent of
Islam, there were no Jews in Palestine. The Jews’ claim to al-Buraq [the Western
Wall] dates back only to recent times.”
It’s not only ancient history
Qaradawi rewrites. In a 2009 sermon on Al Jazeera he explained why the Holocaust
occurred (while simultaneously diminishing its proportions): “Throughout
history, Allah had imposed people upon the Jews who would punish them for their
corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the
things Hitler did to them – even though the Jews exaggerate this – Allah managed
to put the Jews in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah
willing, next time the Jews will be punished at the hands of the
Qaradawi’s message is threefold: The Jews got their just
deserts, they weren’t punished as much as they allege and another
should be visited upon them, this time, he hopes, it will be perpetrated
THIS ISN’T incidental esoterica. These are commonplace
perceptions throughout the Arab/Muslim world, and most especially in the
fiefdoms of Ramallah and Gaza. Such views aren’t the far-out preserve of
handful of fanatics. These are the messages sounded too often to count
mosques – even within Israel. Moreover, these messages are broadcast on
TV throughout the reputedly moderate PA.
But these aren’t idiosyncratic
quirks in an exclusively religious idiom either. They’re the broad
postulates that underlie all Palestinian positions. They’re taken for
and hallowed as self-evident even in Ramallah’s more secular quarters.
self-respecting Palestinian politician, leastways not one who desires to
alive, would dare dispute Yasser Arafat’s contention that the Jews have
connection to and no history in this land and that no Jewish temple ever
Concomitantly, Holocaust denial is curiously combined with
blaming on Jews whatever belittled bloodletting is sometimes grudgingly
acknowledged in some select Palestinian narratives. For this mishmash
need go no further than the doctoral dissertation PA chieftain Mahmoud
submitted to the People’s Friendship University of Moscow and never
What we have to contend with, reluctant though we are to admit
it, are threats – explicit and implicit – of another Holocaust. No less.
would serve us all to recall that Arabs and Muslims under the leadership
still-revered Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini were avid Nazi collaborators
It would particularly serve our outwardly artier
compatriots to realize that they embolden enemies who don’t merely
presence in Ariel, but in Tel Aviv no less. Life-preserving awareness is
indispensable for all Israelis, including puffed-up thespians and
guardians of other people’s consciences.www.sarahhonig.com