Upon his return to Ramallah from New York, Palestinian Authority Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by a crowd of several thousand well-wishers. They
applauded him for his speech at the UN. There, Abbas erased Jewish history from
the Land of Israel, denied Israel’s right to exist and pledged his commitment to
establish a racist Palestinian state ethnically cleansed of all
Many of Abbas’s supporters in Ramallah held posters of US President
Barack Obama. On them Obama was portrayed as a monkey. The caption read, “The
First Jewish President of the United States.”
The fact that the
Palestinians from Fatah and Hamas alike are Jew-hating racists should surprise
no one who has been paying a modicum of attention to the Palestinian media and
general culture. Since the PA was established in 1994 in the framework of the
peace process between Israel and the PLO, it has used the media organs, schools
and mosques it controls to spew out a constant flow of anti-Semitic propaganda.
Much of the Jew-hating bile is indistinguishable from anti-Jewish propaganda
published by the Nazis.
As for their anti-black bigotry, it is enough to
recall the frequency with which Condoleezza Rice was depicted as a monkey and a
devil in the Palestinian and pan-Arab media during George W. Bush’s presidency
to realize that the racist depiction of Obama was not a fluke. Moreover, and
more disturbingly, it is worth recalling that like its fellow Arab League
members, the PA has strongly supported Sudan’s genocide of black Africans in
To a degree, the willingness of African-Americans to turn a blind
eye to Arab anti-black prejudice is understandable. Since the mid-1960s, oil
rich Arab kingdoms led by Saudi Arabia have spent hundreds of millions of
petrodollars in outreach to African-Americans. This outreach includes but is not
limited to massive proselytization efforts among inner city blacks. The
combination of a strong and growing African-American Muslim population and a
general sense of amity towards Muslims as a result of outreach efforts
contribute to a willingness on the part of African- Americans to overlook Arab
Unlike African-Americans, Jewish Americans have been
targeted by no serious outreach campaigns by the likes of Saudi Arabia and the
rest of the Arab world. To the contrary, as Mitchell Bard documented in his book
The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in
the Middle East, these Arab nations have spared no effort in anti-Israel
lobbying in the US. Among the Arab lobby’s goals is to undermine the
legitimacy of American Jewish lobbying on behalf of Israel.
the anti-Jewish atmosphere in the Arab world is far more comprehensive and
poisonous than its anti-black prejudice. A Pew global opinion poll from 2008
showed that hatred of Jews is effectively universal in the Arab world and
overwhelming in non-Arab Muslim states. In Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, between 95
and 97 percent of respondents expressed hatred of Jews. In Indonesia,
Turkey and Pakistan between twothirds and three-quarters of respondents
expressed hatred of Jews.
Jew-hatred among Muslim minorities in the West
is less overwhelming. But Muslim antagonism towards Jews vastly outstrips that
of the general populations of their countries. According to a Pew survey from
2006, while 7% of British citizens express unfavorable views of Jews, 47% of
British Muslims admit to such views. In France, 13% of the general population
admits to harboring negative feelings towards Jews and 28% of French Muslims do.
Likewise in Germany, 22% of the general population acknowledges anti-Semitic
views and 44% of German Muslims do.
More dangerously, the quantity of
anti-Semitic attacks carried out by Muslims in the West far outstrips their
percentage in the general population. According to Pew data, in 2010
Muslims comprised just 4.6% of the population of the UK but carried out 39% of
the anti-Semitic attacks. Moreover, according to the Times Online, in
2006, 37% of British Muslims claimed that British Jews are legitimate targets
for attacks. Only 30% of British Muslims disagreed.
WITH THE overwhelming
data showing that throughout the Arab world there is strong support for
organizations and regimes which advocate the genocide of world Jewry, the
American Jewish community could have been expected to devote the majority of its
attention and resources to exposing and combating this existential threat. Just
as the American Jewish community dedicated itself in the past to causes such as
the liberation of Soviet Jewry and fighting neo-Nazi groups in the US and
throughout the world, it could have been expected that from the Anti-Defamation
League to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that major American Jewish groups
would be using the financial and human resources at their disposal to defend
against this violent, genocidal hatred.
But this has not occurred. Many
leading American Jewish organizations continue to be far more involved in
combating the currently relatively benign anti-Semitism of the Catholic Church
and Evangelical Christians than confronting the escalating dangers of Muslim
According to a Gallup poll released last month, 80% of
American Jews have favorable views of American Muslims. Seventy percent believe
that they are not supportive of al-Qaida. These data indicate that American Jews
are second only to American Muslims in their support for Muslim Americans.
Indeed 6% more American Jews than American Muslims believe that American Muslims
face prejudice due to their religion.
American Jewish championing of
American Muslims is disconcerting when compared with American Jewish treatment
of the philo-Semitic Evangelical Christians. Matthew Knee discussed this issue
in depth in a recent article published at the Legal Insurrection
In a 2003 Pew survey, 42% of American Jews expressed antagonism
towards Evangelical Christians. In a 2004 American National Election
Study, Jews on average rated Evangelical Christians at 30 out of 100 on a
“feeling thermometer,” where 1 was cold and 100 was hot.
A 2005 American
Jewish Committee survey found that Jews assessed that following Muslims,
Evangelical Christians have the highest propensity for being anti-Semites. And
yet, in the same 2004 American National Election Survey, Evangelical Christians
rated Jews an average of 82 on the 1- 100 feelings scale. Evangelical Christians
rated Catholics at 80.
Consistent survey data show that levels of anti-
Semitism among Evangelical Christians is either the same as or slightly lower
than the national average According to a 2007 ADL survey, the US average is
There is a clear disparity between survey data on anti-Semitism
among various American ethnic groups and American Jews’ assessment of the
prevalence of anti-Semitism among the same groups. The AJC survey found that
American Jews believed that 29% of Evangelicals are largely anti- Semitic. They
assessed that only 7% of Hispanics and 19% of African-Americans are
As it works out, their perceptions are completely
incorrect. According to the 2007 ADL survey, foreign born Hispanics, and
African-Americans, harbor significantly stronger anti-Semitic views than the
national average. Twenty-nine percent of foreign born Hispanics harbor very
anti-Semitic views. Thirty-two percent of African-Americans harbor deeply
Like Jews, Hispanics, African-Americans and Muslims
vote disproportionately for the Democratic Party. Evangelical Christians on the
other hand, are reliably Republican. A 2009 survey on US anti- Semitism
conducted by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research in San Francisco
found that Democrats are more likely to be anti-Semitic than
The Gallup survey from last month showing American Jews’
deep support for American Muslims is of particular interest because that support
stands in stark contrast with survey data concerning American Jewish perception
of Muslim American anti-Semitism.
THE 2005 AJC survey showed that
American Jews believe that 58% of American Muslims are anti- Semitic. That is,
American Jews are Muslim Americans’ strongest non-Muslim defenders at the same
time they are convinced that most Muslim Americans are anti-Semites. What can
explain this counterintuitive behavior? And how can we account for the apparent
pattern of incorrect Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism among Evangelical
Christians on the one hand and fellow Democrats on the other hand.
Knee argues, the disparity may very well be due to partisan loyalties. The
Democratic Party has openly engaged in fear mongering and demonization of
Evangelical Christians in order to maintain Jewish loyalty to the party. Knee
quotes then-Democratic national chairman Howard Dean’s statement that “Jews
should feel comfortable in being American Jews without being constrained from
practicing their faith or be compelled to convert to another
As for Muslims, Knee cites a press release from the National
Jewish Democratic Council from March attacking Congressman Peter King’s hearings
on the radicalization of American Muslims. In the press release, the council
claimed that such hearings “can and will” harm religious tolerance in America.
That is, the council implied that by investigating the radicalization of
American Muslims – and its concomitant transformation of American Muslims into
supporters of the genocidal Jew-hatred endemic among radical Muslims worldwide –
Rep. King is endangering Jews.
If American Jews are most concerned with
being able to maintain their loyalty to the Democratic Party, then it makes
sense for them to wildly exaggerate Evangelical anti-Semitism. It is reasonable
for them to underestimate African-American and Hispanic anti-Semitism, and
ignore the higher rates of anti-Semitism among Democrats than among Republicans.
Moreover, it makes sense for them to follow their party’s lead in failing to
address the dangers of global Islamic anti- Semitism.
None of this makes
sense, however, if American Jews are most concerned with defending Jews – in
America and worldwide – from anti-Semitic sentiments and violence.
Wednesday evening we begin our celebration of the New Year. Rosh Hashana marks a
period of soul-searching among Jews. We are called upon at this time to account
for our actions and our failures to act and to improve our faithfulness to our
people, to our laws and to God.
It is possible that American Jews are
simply unaware of the disparities between reality and their perceptions of
reality. But it is the duty of all Jews to educate ourselves about the threats
that reality poses to ourselves and our people.
At the UN last week,
Abbas received accolades and applause from all quarters for his anti-Semitic
assault on Jewish history and the Jewish state. Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s remarks were applauded by Israel-supporters in the audience in the
As Israel is increasingly isolated and Jews worldwide
are under attack, it is my prayer for the coming year that the American Jewish
community will come to terms with a difficult reality and the choices it
entails, and act with the majority of their fellow Americans to defend Israel
and combat anti-Semitism in the US and throughout the