No way out

For Muslims, there is no escape from anti-Semitism

Muslims pray in front of soldiers, Egypt_521 (photo credit: Reuters)
Muslims pray in front of soldiers, Egypt_521
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Jerusalem Post published an article by Manfred Gerstenfeld on February 20. His column, headed “Muslim anti-Semitism in Western Europe,” eerily echoed a diagnosis I had been researching that paralleled his learned words.
My thoughts began by considering the grotesque actions of Hamas rocketeers who deliberately aim their missiles at innocent Israeli civilians. I came to the conclusion that their motivation was less one of Palestinian nationalism but rather one of Islamic hatred of the presence of a Jewish state in their midst.
There is nothing new in Palestinian anti-Semitism as being the root cause of their anti-Jewish attitude to anything related to Israel.
Most of us are familiar with the emotional embrace of Hitler and Nazism by Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and his desire to adopt Nazi tactics to implement the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem in the Middle East. It continues to today not only with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists but also with the deeply disturbing anti-Semitic philosophy and background of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, our perceived “mod- erate” peace partner.
His scholarly Moscow academic thesis that Zionists (read “Jews”) participated with the Nazis in the killing of Jews is notorious. He claimed that “less than one million” Jews were killed and raised doubts that there were any gas chambers. The aim of the Zionists, according to Abbas, was “to facilitate the widespread destruction of Jews to attain larger gains” after the war, and to “divide the booty,” thus portraying his perspective of Jews as bloodthirsty profiteers with a dangerous agenda.
That was back in 1982, but as recently as January 21, 2013, Abbas repeated his allegations. In an inter- view with the Hezbollah-affiliated TV station Al- Mayadeen, he challenged anyone to deny the rela- tionship between the Zionists and the Nazis before World War II. This is the same Palestinian leader who has declared that a future Palestinian state must be Judenrein , clean of Jews, and that selling land to Jews is a criminal offense.
Where my conclusion converges with Manfred Ger- stenfeld’s is that the Muslim brand of anti-Semitism is a dangerous mixture of religious, cultural and politi- cal hatred that has been brewing for a long period and has more recently been expressing itself in Pales- tinian nationalistic terms.
What is at the deep heart of their hatred is the cul- tural anti-Semitism that pervades the Islamic world in the Middle East. It is omnipresent, it is incessant, and it has been rooted in their psyches for generations. It is a cultural and religious hatred that lies at their core and infects every aspect of their society. It is taught in their mosques, in their schools, incited by their reli- gious and political leaders. It finds voice in their newspapers, their religious texts, and their TV pro- grams.
This constant incitement to hate and despise Jews infects their thoughts and words. It motivates them to lethal action. This is where they differ from the mindless mob member of Western street gangs.
There, the poorly educated hooligan uses poverty and boredom to justify his anger, but poverty and a bad education are not the reasons for the European-based Muslim sociopaths who express their rage through anti-Semitic language and action.
The two educated young Muslim terrorists who flew from Britain to blow up people in Tel Aviv’s Mike’s Place on April 30, 2003, did not do so out of resent- ment at the harsh reality of life in Britain. They were not Palestinian Arabs. They originated from Pakistan.
Yet they targeted young Jews in distant Tel Aviv.
Palestinian Arabs who fired hundreds of missiles may not admit it, they may not even be aware of it, but they own a double-layered motivation for their actions. “Occupation” and “Oppression” may be the metaphorical names of their rockets, but the fuel that launches them, and keeps them flying, is Jew hatred.
It is the war against the Jew that gives them the thrill of going out and doing it again and again. With shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” they think they are striking out in a holy war against the Jew.
There is no denying that Gaza is replete with rival terror groups. Their threatening behavior may be more deadly than their unruly co-religionists in Euro- pean cities but they are both criminal and violent thrill seekers, similar in their core malevolence, gra- tuitous violence and destructive attitude toward other people’s life and property. What brings the criminal acts of both Muslim communities together is a mutual hatred of Jews.
Surrounding the launch areas of Palestinian and Lebanese terrorism are a sea of brethren who share their anti-Semitic passion, though their violence may be muted by distance. Hence their vocal support. The evidence of this is broad and open to scrutiny. It is seen in the anti-Semitic hooliganism in places like Malmo, Sweden, where Muslim young men taunt and bully local Jews. Or in Paris, where a Jew can be grabbed, tortured and left to die by Muslim youths out for a bit of fun. It has deep roots among the Mus- lim immigrant population throughout Europe. They have imported this ageless hatred with them from their mother countries.
THIS WAS confirmed recently by Abdelghani Merah who, in his book My Brother, the Terrorist: A Man Denounces Islamism emphasized that the critical moti- vation behind his brother’s murderous attacks in Toulouse was the hatred and racism of anti-Semitism.
The anti-Semitism of Mohamed Merah, his terrorist brother, who killed a rabbi and three young Jewish children in two cold-blooded attacks in March 2012, was “cultural.” Abdelghani denounced his mother and father for raising an anti-Semitic “monster.”
According to him, this cultural hatred of Jews predes- tines people like his brother to “delinquency and, at worst, terrorism. We are programmed to become ‘out- laws.’” His sister, Souad Merah, in an interview filmed by French TV channel M6, said she was proud of her brother for murdering the Toulouse Jews. “I am proud of my brother – proud, proud, proud.”
There is an unbroken cord linking French Algerians, the Arab street and Islamic terrorists. That cord is Jew hatred.
The recent visit of leading French imams to Jerusalem was a good sign, but they have an enor- mous task to convey respect for Jews to the rank-and- file French Muslim youth whose anti-Semitic atti- tudes are formed prior to their arrival in France and other countries.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah in Lebanon, infamously said, “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say the Israeli.” Tell me this is not anti-Semitism from a leader of one branch of our sociopathic enemy.
Qatar hosts conferences that demonize Jews. In Doha, Friday sermons often call Jews “parasites.” They claim the Jewish Temple Mount is “a conspiracy.”
In Saudi Arabia anti-Semitic references are rife.
Egypt perpetuates Holocaust denial while The Proto- cols of the Elders of Zion remains a constant best-seller and was a top-rated TV show. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was recently highlighted for urging Egyptians to “nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for Jews and Zionists.”
Muslim anti-Semitism has become historically genetic. It is fed into them with their mother’s milk.
It is inculcated at all levels, family, religious, cultural and political. It demands a high level of personal resolve and courage for an individual Muslim to break out of this festering prison of Jew-hatred. Yet to do so leaves that individual open to ridicule, hatred and retribution if he or she remains in that environment. This is the worrying swamp which, for many, there is no escape.The writer is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. He is also the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative