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We Should Have Heeded the Warning Signs of Islamist Antisemitism

Friday, May 17th, 2013

With the rise of Islamist regimes following the Arab Awakening, we are seeing an increase in religious repression across the Middle East. That repression was predictable had we only read the tea leaves of Islamist antisemitism.

Islamism is an all-encompassing political, religious, societal, and cultural philosophy which believes that all citizens derive their rights not individually from God but from their national leader’s interpretation of Islam enacted on behalf of God. Islamists, in effect, reject the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and instead enact the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines, among other supremacist Islamist doctrines, blasphemy and apostasy laws. Egypt’s ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, put this on full display during their recent public rejection of the UN Charter on Women as being “anti-Islam.”

We have for too long tacitly accepted the synergy between Islamism and antisemitism. Had we heeded the warning signs, we could have at least been prepared to confront head-on the ascendancy of Islamists across the region. We would have understood that we first need to empower our natural allies on the ground—liberals and anti-Islamists. The Obama Administration abandoned our friends of the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 and now, again, in Egypt in 2011. Throughout history, antisemitism has long been the “canary in the coal mine” for threats against all people, all faiths, and liberty.

The demonization of Jews is not just another symptom from the radical fringe of militant Islamist groups. It runs much deeper across Islamist thought, and is in fact pathognomonic (distinctive of a disease) of a far more pervasive societal and tribal fascism also mirrored in the Arab secular left. Arab national socialist movements like the Baathists of Syria and Iraq, or the NDP of Egypt, share with Islamists a common dominant strain of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Jew-hatred.

Beneath Islamist antisemitism is a more dangerous pan-national global supremacism that exploits all minorities, whether Jewish, Christian, or atheist, or minorities from within the faith like the Shi’a, Ahmediyya, Isma’ilis, or dissenting Sunnis. Islamist run media like Al Jazeera provide the vehicle to plant conspiracy theories in the fertile minds of susceptible Muslims. Our challenge in the United States is to either help their antagonists, non-Islamist reformers, domestically transform that soil through alternative media—or we can sit back and watch the Islamists in Egypt (the Muslim Brotherhood), Tunisia (Ennahda), Saudi Arabia (Wahhabis), Iran (Khomeinists) or Pakistan (Deobandis) fertilize and till the hate-filled soil into an even greater imminent threat.

Make no mistake—the departure of Arab fascist dictators in the Arab awakening was a long overdue step forward. But we cannot expect dysfunctional tribal societies with rampant anti-Semitism, a dominant victim mentality, high illiteracy rates, and a deep seeded hate of western democracy to resemble genuine democracies. Already, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is buckling down on free speech and blasphemy against Islam in a systematic fashion far worse than even under the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak.

While Islamist movements are frighteningly popular, with support recently peaking at 35 to 40 percent of the Egyptian population, they are still not a majority movement. However, the antisemitic hate in Egypt is a majority sentiment. Islamists were able to come to power by finding common cause with otherwise divided secularists around the language of hatred of the West and of Jews.

A poll conducted in 2006 by the Pew Global Attitudes Survey revealed that “anti-Jewish sentiment” is endemic in the Middle East across faith groups. “In Lebanon, all Muslims and 99% of Christians say they have a very unfavorable view of Jews. Similarly, 99% of Jordanians, large majorities of Moroccans, Indonesians, Pakistanis and six-in-ten Turks also view Jews unfavorably.” This is a cultural byproduct of what is messaged in many Muslim news media, textbooks, literature, sermons, and entertainment. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan recently referred to Zionism as a “crime against humanity.” Meanwhile, Egypt’s Brotherhood finally allowed a documentary on the disappearance of the “Jews of Egypt” to be shown, after long being held up by government censors.

In 2006, Pew reported that Muslims in Europe also hold a far more unfavorable opinion of Jews than the general population. In Britain, 47 percent of Muslims held an unfavorable view of Jews versus 7 percent of the general public. In France, 28 percent of Muslims held an unfavorable view of Jews versus 13 percent of the general population.

Anti-Semitism on the Internet: Jewish State as Uber Nazi (VIDEO)

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Hooray for America, the First Amendment, the ability to learn almost anything almost instantly: we live in the Internet Age.

But sometimes freedom has a dark side, and the Internet certainly has that.  Ya’akov Eilon, an Israeli news broadcaster for many years, is now the news director at Keshet Broadcasting, an Israeli broadcasting company.  Keshet, in collaboration with a Canadian company, has produced and released an important new film.

This film, “The New Anti-Semitism,” is one that every Jewish child, parent and grandparent should watch.  This documentary takes information many others have already recognized: that anti-Zionism is the updated and more fashionable disguise anti-Semitism often wears these days. But Eilon’s video goes one important important step further – it shows how this new form of anti-Semitism gets played out in the ubiquitous, and almost entirely unpoliced forum of the Internet.

The 40 minute film covers a lot of ground, but of special significance is watching the mutation of bald-faced lies.  One example is that the Jewish owner of the Twin Towers building masterminded the catastrophic attacks on 9/11 – why?  Why, to collect the insurance money, of course.

But as with all conspiracy theories, lies uttered with a straight face and, especially, in front of a room full of rapt listeners, filmed and spliced in with swelling scores and impressive statistics, turns what in print would be obviously ludicrous into a whisper down the lane of possible truths and “I heard that….” Once such a sequence shows up on multiple websites, it gains the patina of truth and then metamorphoses, for those already predisposed or simply neutral and ignorant, into a hardened fact.

The classic theories of Jews controlling the media, the banking and the financial industries are part of the new anti-Semitism, but there are several twists.  For example, the film interviews Americans who believe Jews are responsible for U.S. immigration policy – the goal of which is to pollute the white race – and the “explanations” that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Brevik acted on orders from Jews.  Naturally, many of the theories ultimately end up with Jews as the Jewish State really being uber-Nazis, thereby minimizing the harm of the Holocaust or of any current insult or assault.

So, nearly seventy years after the end of World War II, Jew-hatred has found not only a new costume, but a new stage on which to perform.  Your children may have learned to recognize the warning signs of anti-Semitism, but their classmates, professors, politicians, and future employers who haven’t, are susceptible to this new strain.  And so it is this new mutation of the ancient hatred with which we must learn to cope.

“The New Anti-Semitism” was aired for the first time in Israel on the eve of Yom HaShoah, April 7.

This film should be shown at schools Jewish children attend – whether or not they are Jewish schools.  It is one more essential inoculation against anti-Semitism that is now available, and is now necessary.  Keshet Broadcasting has provided this novel and necessary arrow which must be added to their quiver.

The Samira Ibrahim Affair

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

This isn’t a big story, but it has some interesting aspects.

In observance of International Women’s Day today, Michelle Obama and John Kerry will be recognizing 9 International Women of  Courage, including — posthumously — the anonymous victim of the infamous Delhi rape.

There were to be ten honorees, but one of them, Samira Ibrahim of Egypt was caught sending several vicious tweets, one calling the terrorist bombing of a bus full of Israelis in Bulgaria “sweet news,” one quoting Hitler approvingly, and even one celebrating the anniversary of 9/11. When the State Department put her award on hold, she at first (unconvincingly) claimed her account had been hacked, but then said “I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.”

Despite hating Jews and the United States, Ibrahim certainly was courageous. She was originally picked because she sued the Egyptian government when they performed a degrading “virginity test” on her after she was arrested for protesting in Tahrir Square, and forced them to end the “tests.” And of course, she is not  afraid of the “Zionist lobby” either.

If we include Ibrahim, five out of the initially ten women selected are Muslims, possibly illustrating the importance the State Department attaches to establishing good relations with the people who, more than anyone else in the world, want to kill Jews and Americans.

But it is not surprising that — especially in Egypt — they had a hard time finding someone who did not share the common prejudices.

Let’s understand that Egypt, which has rendered itself almost entirely free of Jews (it’s estimated that there were less than 100 in 2004), is nevertheless a nation obsessed with hatred of Jews.

When non-Jewish journalist Lara Logan was swarmed and sexually attacked in Tahrir Square in 2011, the crowd shouted “Jew!” They also decorated pictures of Hosni Mubarak with the star of David. Egyptian T.V. often casts Jews as villains, and recently presented a series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hitler’s Mein Kampf, in Arabic, is a bestseller in Egyptian bookstores (I mentioned that one of Ibrahim’s tweets quoted Hitler).

It isn’t just Egypt. They would have had a hard time in the “advanced” nation of Turkey, too:

A study by Turkey’s Hrant Dink Foundation has found that Jews have become the main object of hate speech in the country, followed by Armenians, Christians, and Greeks.

I bet it would have been much easier to find a courageous Israeli woman, perhaps one who lives in the southern part of Israel and who has been subjected to rocket bombardments day after day and year after year, who doesn’t hate Arabs, Egyptians or Turks. But that wouldn’t help the message, which is that the U.S. is a friend to the oppressed; and by definition an Israeli can’t be oppressed, she can only be an oppressor.

One more interesting connection: The New York Times blogger Robert Mackey, known for his anti-Zionist take, asked Samuel Tadros, who originally broke the Ibrahim story, whether he was a Coptic Christian and if this could have influenced his reporting.

The mind boggles. If a Coptic academic sees and translates a Jew-hating or anti-American tweet, is his reporting thereof invalid? Is everything now ethnically relative?

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Jew-Hatred in Egypt and Britain

Monday, January 28th, 2013

There’s lots of excitement in the Jew-hatred department lately. First, of course, is the not so stunning revelation that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi thinks that Jews are “bloodsuckers, warmongers, the descendents of apes and pigs” and that Muslims should “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.

Morsi iced the cake in a recent meeting with several members of the U.S. Senate:

“He was attempting to explain himself … then he said, ‘Well, I think we all know that the media in the United States has made a big deal of this and we know the media of the United States is controlled by certain forces and they don’t view me favorably,’” [Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del] said.

The Cable asked Coons if Morsy specifically named the Jews as the forces that control the American media. Coons said all the senators believed the implication was obvious.

“He did not say [the Jews], but I watched as the other senators physically recoiled, as did I,” he said. “I thought it was impossible to draw any other conclusion.”

“The meeting then took a very sharply negative turn for some time. It really threatened to cause the entire meeting to come apart so that we could not continue,” Coons said.

Multiple senators impressed upon Morsy that if he was saying the criticisms of his comments were due to the Jews in the media, that statement was potentially even more offensive than his original comments from 2010.

“[Morsi] did not say the Jewish community was making a big deal of this, but he said something [to the effect] that the only conclusion you could read was that he was implying it,” Coons said. “The conversation got so heated that eventually Senator McCain said to the group, ‘OK, we’ve pressed him as hard as we can while being in the boundaries of diplomacy,’” Coons said. “We then went on to discuss a whole range of other topics.”

Although it took the NY Times several weeks after the story broke to notice it, there is nothing surprising about this attitude, as a Muslim Brother, as Andrew McCarthy explains:

Contrary to the fairy tale weaved by apologists for Islamists on both sides of America’s political aisle, Jew hatred is not a pathogen insidiously injected into Islam by the Nazis (with whom Middle Eastern Muslims enthusiastically aligned). Nor did the ummah come by it through exposure to other strains of anti-Semitism that blight the history of Christendom. Jew hatred is ingrained in Islamic doctrine. Consequently, despite the efforts of enlightened Muslim reformers, Jew hatred is — and will remain — a pillar of Islamist ideology.

You may recall hearing this little ditty from the Hamas charter — often echoed by ministers of the Palestinian Authority and in the preachments of Brotherhood jurist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, on whose every word millions hang weekly on al-Jazeera (or is it al-Gore?):

The Day of Resurrection will not arrive until the Muslims make war against the Jews and kill them, and until a Jew hiding behind a rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: “Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!”

Again, these are not sentiments dreamt up by “violent extremists” waging a modern, purely political “resistance” against oppressive “Zionists.” The prophet’s admonition that Muslims will be spared the hellfire by killing Jews is repeated in numerous authoritative hadiths (see, e.g., Sahih MuslimBook 41, No. 6985; Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, No. 791).

Hadiths, it is worth emphasizing, are the recorded actions and instructions of Mohammed, who is taken by Muslims to be the “perfect example” they are to emulate. And in case you suppose, after years of listening to Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama, that the prophet must ultimately have come around on the Jews, you might want to rethink that one. Another hadith, relating Mohammed’s dying words, recounts his final plea: “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, No. 427.)

This incident is interesting as a litmus test for our officials and politicians: will they continue to pretend that Brotherhood and Morsi are ‘moderate’ and worthy of our support and ignore the evidence that they are a bunch of racist, atavistic, megalomaniacs, and Jew- and Christian-haters? So far, the Obama Administration hasn’t done so well, rewarding Morsi with a gift of completely unneeded (except to attack Israel) F-16s and Abrams tanks.

Well, after all, Morsi is Egyptian (even if he does have a Ph.D from USC). What do you expect, that he should have the same enlightened consciousness as a Westerner? Like, for example, British MP David Ward, who compared Israeli “atrocities [inflicted] on the Palestinians” with the Holocaust (never mind that there were no such “atrocities”).

And, for another example, cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, whose cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain:

sunday times cartoon

Hmmm, nothing anti-Jewish here, just “criticism of Israel,” right? In case you really don’t get it, note the exaggeratedly ‘Jewish’ physiognomy of the caricature of Netanyahu, as well as his posture and expression, his claw-like fingers, the implication of murderous malice. And then add the bloody ‘mortar’, and you see that this is a classic expression of Jew hatred.

As politics, it doesn’t make sense. Jonathan S. Tobin writes,

In the face of slanders such as this cartoon about Netanyahu, the facts are almost beside the point. The cartoon will be defended as fair comment about Israel’s security fence that the Palestinians and their foreign cheerleaders depict as a war crime. That this strictly defensive measure was made necessary by the Palestinians’ campaign of suicide bombings that cost the lives of a thousand Jews in the last decade goes unmentioned.

The willingness of Israel-bashers to appropriate the Holocaust to promote a new generation of anti-Semitic imagery is rooted in a worldview in which the actions of the Palestinians, or their consistent refusal to make peace are irrelevant. If even a fence to keep out suicide bombers can be seen as criminal then it is obvious that no terrorist outrage or act of hateful incitement (such as the Egyptian president’s belief that Israelis are the “descendants of apes and pigs”) is worthy of censure so long as Israelis are standing up for themselves and refusing to be slaughtered as the Jews of Europe were 70 years ago.

In order for it to be considered a defensible point of view about the Middle East, you’d have to believe the artist and the editors who condoned its publication know nothing of why Israel built a security fence or that the terrorist campaign that it was built to stop was preceded by repeated Israeli offers of a Palestinian state that were refused and answered with war.

As Tobin says, where Israel, Jews or ‘Zionists’ are concerned, the facts are beside the point.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/jew-hatred-in-egypt-and-britain/2013/01/28/

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