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Sunday, November 2, 2003

WHAT EXPLAINS THE NEW ARAB AND WIDER ISLAMIC JEW-HATRED? 4th of 4 Articles

This is the last of a four article mini-series on Arab and wider Islamic Jew-Hatred: its nature, its variation across Islam, and the multiple causes of its fairly recent emergence and rapid spread . . . especially in the Arab world. The four articles are closely connected. They form a tightly knitted coherent argument, and to grasp its overall thrust and conclusions, you should read the articles in sequence.

What follows is a number of summing up observations, systematically set out in each sub-section, without any attempt to unfold a new argument. If you want, regard these observations as mainly a series of clarifying points and new sources of evidence for the main themes stressed in the previous three articles.

Part I: A SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT UP TO NOW

 

Taken together, the three previous articles showed . . .

* How anti-Semitism has become rife in the Arab countries and to an extent in the wider Muslim world, part of popular culture in a taken-for-granted way.

* How this vicious Jew-hating racism has to be understood against the background of blocked or retarded modernization and the tenacious resistances to it in especially the Arab world, and for a host of reasons: political despotism, corruption, and nepotism; winner-take-all politics; economic backwardness; dysfunctional education and widespread illiteracy; pervasive crony clientele networks that channel social advancement into mutual back-scratching services and block such advancement for almost everyone else, however qualified; and a shame-honor culture, particularly prone to a sense of rage and humiliation with the weakness and power of Islam in the world --- and more specifically, repeated defeat at the hands of tiny Israel in several wars. Nor is that all. Simultaneously, a population explosion over the last generation has left half the 280 million Arabs under the age of 15, and their numbers will likely double in the next two decades or so. Along with pervasive economic failures, this explosive demographic advance has generated mass unemployment in all 22 Arab countries: roughly 25.0 - 30.0% on an average for men alone . . . worse in some of the countries, slightly better in others.

* How, for decades now, these humiliating defeats at Israeli hands and the pervasive failures and social turmoil in the Arab world have combined to produce a non-stop series of jarring, emotionally charged psychic dislocations: above all bewilderment, scarred pride, and a blaze of resentments and high-pulsating rage. A good five times --- in his notorious speech at the Islamic Summit Conference on October 16th, 2003 that repeated Nazi conspiratorial world-views of Jewish power --- no one less than Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, mentioned the rife, raging sense of wide-spread humiliation that has gripped all the Muslim world, not just the 22 Arab countries:

"I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation," Mr. Mahathir said. "We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. . . . Today we, the whole Muslim [community], are treated with contempt and dishonor. . . . There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right." He added: "Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly."

--- Sidebar Note: On shame-honor cultural influences in the Arab world, and the related sense of rage and humiliation that has ensued from repeated defeats in war with tiny Israel --- whose 5 million Jews were traditionally regarded as members of a puny subject people, Dhimmi, who should know their place in dealing with triumphant, powerful Muslim peoples and rulers --- see David Gutmann, a social-psychologist. For a wider interpretation, see this review of David Pryce-Jones' impressive book, Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs, which was published in the late 1980s and then in 2001 in a new edition. On the more specific ways that cultural influences impede the modernization of Arab militaries, making them vulnerable to defeat by even a tiny state like Israel with a highly professional, technologically advanced military, see the first-hand observations of an American Colonel who has trained Arab officers for decades: Colonel De Atkine





The Outcome of All This?

Easy enough to specify and document, including with survey data where available. In particular, the argument in the earlier articles tried to establish . . .

* How, from the 1970s on, a series of raw, interrelated conspiratorial paranoid interpretations of the Arab peoples' problems, failures, and mental dislocations was adopted and made popular by radical Islamist agitators and mouthpieces, then forged into the programmatic imagery and symbols of large fundamentalist social movements that the existing secret-police tyrannies have allowed to flourish --- even have lavish access to the state-controlled, state-censored media --- provided the resentments and frustrations of the mentally unhinged masses are energetically and repeatedly directed outward, away from the home-grown causes.

* How, oppositely, any efforts to challenge the existing secret-police ruled despotisms and the status quo will be immediately crushed with ruthless force: the fate of fundamentalist challengers in Syria, Egypt, and Algeria in graphic, mass-murdering ways.

* How, at the same time, two Islamic police-states ruling by terror have been particularly influential in the export of radical Islam to other Arab states, the wider Muslim world, and even the West: Shiite Iran since 1979, and almost immediately as a riposte, the Shia-hating Wahabbi Saudi Arabian regime . . . an oil rich Mafioso of 4000 royals who have, together, squandered nearly $3 trillion worth of oil-revenue in 2002 dollars, leaving their country with a per capita income one-third of its 1980 level and unemployment among men around 30%. [Small wonder that 95% of Saudi men between about 20 and 40 years of age, surveyed secretly in a poll carried out by the secret police, enthusiastically voiced support for bin Laden after the 9/11 terrorist massacres on American soil. Small wonder, back in Iran for that matter --- another oil-rich country but with 70 million people as opposed to Saudi Arabia's 20 million --- that unemployment is about 45-50% among men and poverty more and more widespread. In both states, evoking the turnip ghost of evil foreign forces as responsible for all the home-grown ills and misery is about all the secret-police ruled regimes have going for themselves. For a good symposium on Saudi - US relations, see this link. See too the extensive comments of James Woolsey, our outspoken former CIA head.]

* How, more generally in all the Arab countries --- with some minor variation across them ---scapegoating foreign devils of a furtive, all-powerful sort has become essential to the world-views of radical Islam and the related fundamentalist social and terrorist movements like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, while spreading to the Arab street. The specific devils singled out and repeatedly demonized? Jews, Israel, globalizing capitalism, and America, with Jews the puppet-masters of all these diabolical menaces.




How Jews Allegedly Rule the World

And how do Jews, a tiny people 12 million in number world-wide, manipulate the 6 billion people of the world, including those in the 57 Islamic countries, and rule over their fate? No one less than Mahathir Mohamad, the demagogic Prime Minister of Malaysia offered an intriguing answer at the recent Summit Conference of Islamic Countries, the despotic heads of states (save for secular Turkey) rising to their feet at the end of his Nazi-like conspiratorial explanation, "We are . . .

" up against a people who think. They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong so that they can enjoy equal rights with others."

And So?

And so, with these points established, all backed by abundant evidence of various sorts, the following two conclusions emerged:



1) With blatantly dysfunctional educational systems at all levels and the highest illiteracy rates in the world --- worse even than in much poorer Tropical Africa --- the bewildered, mentally frazzled Arab masses have been particularly easy prey for jihad extremists from one side and, from the other side, the manipulative use of wild Islamist lunacies by the despotic regimes for their own demagogic, self-serving purposes. The upshot? Rabid anti-Semitism of the worst racist and Nazi sort is now part and parcel of popular Arab culture everywhere, purveyed daily on the state-controlled, state-censored media in the 21 Arab countries besides post-Saddamite Iraq: in TV, on radio, in films, in newspapers and other journalism, and even in music . . . not to mention the daily gab-fests on the Arab street and in hateful weekly sermons preached by radical Islamist imams, full of jihad fervor.

--- Among the major Nazi-like rantings, one that stands out was voiced by the Defence Minister of the brutal, blood-swamped Baathist Party dicatorship of Syria, a blatantly bankrupt country ruled by a tribal-clan for decades along principles of Italian- and Nazi-fascism. The occasion? The Pope had just visited Syria's President-For-Life, Bashar Assad, during which chat Assad urged the Pope to forge a Christian-Muslim alliance to wage war against The All-Powerful World Jewry. According to the wire dispatch,

--- The Syrian Defence Minister went further. Soon after the Pope left, he publisly urged Muslims to kill Jews on sight. "We live a tradition of martyrdom," Tlas said in an interview on Lebanese TV. "When I see a Jew before me, I kill him. If every Arab did this, it would be the end of the Jews."



2) More recently, as Mahathir's wild ramblings at the Islamic Summit Conference indicated, this paranoid scapegoating has then radiated outward to the wider Islamic world. Small wonder. Some 34 countries in all besides the Arab ones, all of them --- save secular Turkey and Malaysia and Bangladesh and maybe Indonesia if it holds free elections next year --- are similarly backward and ruled by cabals of corrupt despots and crony clienteles backed by the military and secret police. In such circumstances, the same drummed-on anti-Semitic discourse --- charged with hatred and kinetic demonizing also directed at the US --- has found an increasingly receptive audience too . . . much to the delight of the dictators in power, only too happy to direct the raw frustrations and resentments of their people outward onto these foreign devils too. Is the vicious scapegoating as powerfully embedded in popular culture in these non-Arab Islamic countries and communities as in the Arab world? The answer: most likely not. It is widespread all the same.



Two Related Theme

3) Anti-Semitism, dormant for decades, has revived in West Europe, where good survey studies find a rapidly swelling number of Europeans --- up to 40% in some countries like Germany, France, and Spain, far less in Holland, Denmark, and Britain --- now express noticeable anti-Semitic views. Increasingly, the influence of swiftly growing Muslim communities --- now 10% or more of France's population, among others --- is being felt here, especially given the strong thrust toward radical Islam in those communities among the alienated, poorly educated, and increasingly unemployed youth.

4) Anti-Semitism almost always goes hand-in-glove these days with rabid anti-Americanism and fierce hot-wire anti-Globalism. The links here were carefully set out and clarified earlier, especially in article 3 of this mini-series. Recall what we said about those links. Someone can be hostile to the US --- its policies, even its people and influence generally --- without being anti-Semitic or even anti-Globalist. Similarly, a person can be active in protesting globalizing tendencies without being either anti-Semitic or anti-American. What is clear is that you will not find many --- or maybe none --- who are anti-Semitic without being full of hostility to the US and globalization, the latter seen as dominated by America, and it in turn under the control of world Jewry.

 

PART II. Anti-Semitic Racism and Biases Against the US and Globalism: The Links Further Clarified

As just noted, the reasons for the linkage here and the abundant evidence were set out in the earlier buggy articles. No need to cover the same ground again. What follows are two up-to-minute analyses of the linkage, the first example particularly apt . . . a good illustration of the lunacies that prevail in the Arab media. The second is more scholarly: it is an analytical piece in the latest issue of Foreign Policy entitled Anti-Globalism's Jewish Problem. The argument is straightforward. It needs no elaboration here, and those interested can click on the link and read it at the Foreign Policy online site.

 

The US Ambassador and Rabid Screwloose Hysteria in the Egyptian Press, November 2003

The following fruitcakey excerpts from the Egyptian press ensued after several protests that he had made, publicly, critical of the hot-wire conspiratorial hokum that infests the state-controlled, fully censored Egyptian media . . . the country itself, a recipient of $2 billion dollar annually of US foreign aid since 1979, ruled by a typical gangster President-For-Life Hosni Mubarak, actively grooming his son as his replacement, like Junior Assad now ruling the blood-splattered Baathist regime in Syria and, had Saddam stayed in power, as one of his two sons would have ruled in the future (assuming they hadn't bumped one another off in the fierce palace intrigues that succession would have probably entailed). As with all the state-controlled media in the 22 Arab countries except post-Saddamite Iraq, the regime has let radically rabid fundamentalist racism and paranoia enjoy full access provided the edgy, high-coiled rage and resentments of the masses are carefully directed outward . . . against foreign devils: invariably, Jews, Israel, and the US, the three depicted as inseparable. Any effort to focus the hot-wire emotions at the political status quo will, by contrast, lead to instant murderous retaliation by the secret police or military.

Keep in mind that besides receiving massive US foreign aid --- part of the deal worked out when President Carter brokered the Camp David accord --- Egypt also has a formal peace with Israel and hence is regarded as a "moderate" country in foreign policy.

"The Egyptian Press Against Ambassador Welch: 'The Arrogant [U.S.] Ambassador Representing the Imbecile Bush'

"The American Ambassador to Egypt, David Welch, has criticized the Egyptian press several times. On the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, he published an op-ed in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram in which he criticized conspiracy theories in the Egyptian press. [1] Recently, Ambassador Welch met with Jalal Daweidar, editor of the daily Al-Akhbar, and complained about the paper's extreme positions (such as the article accusing American forces in Iraq of cannibalism.) [2] On October 20, 2003 [3] Ambassador Welch delivered a speech at the American University in Cairo in which he again addressed the conduct of the Egyptian press that celebrates martyrdom attacks and blamed the U.S. for the Najaf bombing in Iraq. [4] The following are excerpts of the Egyptian media's response:

'Egypt is Not a U.S. State Ruled by the Pentagon'

Al-Gumhuriya columnist Gamal Badawi wrote "… Egypt is not one of the American states which are ruled by the Pentagon, and it is not subject to the influence of the Zionist gang that dominates the White House. Instead of frequenting coffee-houses and clubs, the American Ambassador should have analyzed the content of the Egyptian papers, because they accurately reflect the rage and fury that are simmering in the popular cauldron against America's policies. He should have related [the missive] to his country… Maybe he thought that he could perform in Egypt the same role that Bremer is performing in Iraq, or that he could act like Cromer the British Governor who used [in the early 20th century] to manage Egypt's affairs as if it were a British ranch…" [5]

'The Arrogant [U.S.] Ambassador Represents the Imbecile George W. Bush'

Columnist Jamal Fahmi wrote an article in the pro-Nasserist opposition weekly Al-Arabi titled, "The Ambassador from Hell in Cairo." He wrote: "The American Ambassador in Cairo, David Welch deserves to be punished for being the representative of the gang that escaped from the Trash Museum of the Old Colonialism and entrenched itself in the White House. 'Brother' Welch has the arrogance that befits an ambassador representing that imbecile in Washington, George W. Bush. The latest deplorable act of the honorable ambassador was his abhorred attack against the Egyptian press, especially Al-Gumhuriya, because that paper described the recent martyrdom operation in Haifa as a Fedayeen operation and not a terrorist one, which is what the ignorant President would have liked, based on the instruction of the blood-spilling Nazi, Sharon."

'The Egyptian Press won't be Silenced in Cursing the Neo-Nazis in D.C. and Tel Aviv'

"Even though the audacious Ambassador, contrary to his President, does not lack the necessary intelligence to understand the difference between the behavior and statements of a respected ambassador and those of a jailer in Guantanamo, and even though – undoubtedly – he knows that his audacious act against the Egyptian press will not be helpful and will not make it [i.e. the press] take a stand contrary to the feelings of the Egyptian people and describe the heroic acts of the Palestinian people as terror. Despite all this, Mr. Ambassador does not want to abandon his terrorism and his disgrace, hoping to fulfill the desires of the murderer Sharon and [hoping] to be promoted from the ambassadorship to the position of a Zionist caretaker in charge of shackling and silencing us, so that we do not curse the neo-Nazis in Washington and Tel-Aviv…" [6]

Under the headline "Two Israeli Ambassadors in Cairo," Adli Barssoum wrote in Al-Gumhuriya: "Sometimes, Ambassadors go to the government of the country in which they work and declare war with a smile on their faces… Mr. Welch thinks that part of his responsibility is to smack the hands of Egyptian journalists to teach them a lesson in discipline…"

All Egyptian Papers Support Martyrdom (Suicide) Operations

"Mr. American Ambassador knows very well, just like us, that the American press… is a press carefully orchestrated from above. In contrast, the Egyptian press is guided only by the national conscience, and when it determines that martyrdom operations [i.e. the suicide bombings] for the sake of liberating Palestinian territories are acts of courage – it is an historical testimonial… Al-Gumhuriya does not pretend to be the only paper describing the heroism of the Palestinian martyrs; this is the position of all the Egyptian papers because it accurately reflects the feeling of the Egyptian people…" [7]

In Aqidati, the religious weekly magazine published by Al-Gumhuriya, columnist Bassyouni Hilwani wrote: "… It is surprising that the U.S., 'the sponsor of democracy in the world,' wants the world, and especially our Arab world, to praise its crimes in Iraq… and [wants] the media to describe these honorable Fedayeen operations against the criminal occupiers [in Iraq] as terrorist acts that should be condemned… This is the lie that the U.S. is demanding from the Arab media. But it will not get it here in Egypt… where the blood is boiling in its son's veins, who witness every day the aggressions in Iraq and Palestine and the crimes [committed by] American weapons in the hands of the savage warriors ['Ulouj - the nickname for the American soldiers, coined by the former Iraqi information minister Muhammad Said Al-Sahhaf] on Iraqi land, and by the Zionist pigs on Palestinian land." [8]

The Ambassador's

Criticism is a Badge of Honor Al-Gumhuriya columnist Lutfi Nassif added: "… What David Welch did is in harmony with the new American media policy following September 11, 2001. Since then, the American media took a new direction that has nothing to do with objectivity and impartiality. It persists in supporting the American strategy to dominate and impose it hegemony on the world, so it distorts the image of the rest of the nations… The ambassador's statements concerning the editor of Al-Gumhuriya are a badge of honor to Samir Ragab [the editor] [9] …"


 

PART III. A Historical and Comparative Perspective On Jew-Hating Racism in the Islamic World

1) Anti-Semitism in the Western Sense Is Largely Absent in Traditional Islam

At one time, roughly for a thousand years until Jews were given citizenship in the liberal and moderates states of Northwestern Europe in the 19th century --- Britain, Scandinavia, Holland, and France (plus later in the century Italy) --- Jews in Arabic countries and the Ottoman Empire were generally not subject to the same degree of discrimination and anti-Jewish sentiments that prevailed in Europe until then. Not that Jews were treated as equals in those Islamic countries. They weren't. Along with the Christian minorities, they were considered Dhimmi: tolerated but inferior minorities, who weren't considered worthy of equal regard or treatment by the dominant Muslim communities. In the upshot, they couldn't commingle freely on social terms with Muslims, couldn't hold certain occupations, and were forced to pay special taxes to the Muslim rulers. On traditional Muslim discrimination against Jews, see Daniel Pipes

Still, Jews weren't expelled from Muslim countries as they had been in virtually every European country, off and on, from the 12th century on; weren't hounded, tortured, or killed by an Inquisition as in Spain and Portugal; weren't slaughtered in frenzied pogroms as in Germany and East Europe and Russia, and could generally count on surviving their lifetimes without being murdered by their neighbors. By contrast, it has been estimated that even before the Holocaust, half the Jews in Europe between 1000 and the Nazi regime had been killed that way, by neighboring members of the same regional or national communities. For a good history of anti-Semitism in Christian Europe, see this article. It's part of a wider series on Jew-hatred and discrimination historically: see series.

 

2) The New Racist Anti-Semitism in the Arab World

Nor, until the 1960s, was there much equivalent in the Arab world of the pseudo-Darwinian racism that began to flourish in Europe by the late 19th century, grafted onto traditional anti-semitism and then worked out as part of a cosmic ideological explanation of all of Germany's problems by Hitler and the Nazis after WWI . . . a simplistic system of beliefs and fantasies, shot through with conspiratorial paranoia, which found Jews simultaneously dominating Bolshevik Russia, Wall Street America, and poor Germany and Europe through a secret, globe-spanning cabal, not least by means of contaminated Jewish thought and art --- aka, modernity and modernism. All this, alas, has changed dramatically since then.

For the last three decades, the Arab world has been rife with Jew-hatred of the most putrid racist sort, including the sale of Mein Kampf and the forged Elders of Zion and blood-libel charges at international hotels anywhere in the Arab countries. The state-controlled media in all those countries too regularly vents such racist filth, day-in-day out. Here is one such sewer-laden stuff, which appeared in the Egyptian Government Daily, an ode and appeal to Hitler. See gordon-newspost May 2002 for the source.

Remember, this is not just a state-controlled, state-censored newspaper. Such censorship is pervasive in all the Arab countries, save American-occupied Iraq now. There is no intellectual freedom, no civil liberties in any meaningful sense in any of those other 21 countries or Iran --- something, to repeat, the recent UN Arab Human Development Report 2003 documented one more time, assuming any more documentation were needed. About all one can say is that the degree of censorship, repression, violence, and secret-police crackdowns vary somewhat across these Arab countries, again with Iraq now an exception, where hundreds of freely published newspapers now flourish. Again, for a good brief analysis, see Daniel Pipes.

 

Columnist for Egyptian Government Daily to Hitler:'If Only You Had Done It, Brother'

The following are excerpts from an article by Fatma Abdallah Mahmoud titled "Accursed Forever and Ever," which recently appeared in the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar:

"They are accursed in heaven and on earth. They are accursed from the day the human race was created and from the day their mothers bore them. They are accursed also because they murdered the Prophets. They murdered the Prophet John the Baptist and served up his head on a golden platter to the singer and dancer Salome. Allah also cursed them with a thousand curses when they argued with and resisted his words of truth, deceived the Prophet Moses, and worshiped the golden calf that they created with their own hands!!"

"These accursed ones are a catastrophe for the human race. They are the virus of the generation, doomed to a life of humiliation and wretchedness until Judgment Day. They are also accursed because they repeatedly tried to murder the Prophet Muhammad. They threw a stone at him, but missed. Another time, they tried to mix poison in his food, but providence saved him from their treachery and their crimes. Allah cursed them when they carried out the criminal massacre of the peaceful Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla."

"They are accursed, they, their fathers, and their forefathers… until Judgment Day, because they burst into Al-Aqsa Mosque with their defiled, filthy feet and violated its sanctity."

"Finally, they are accursed, fundamentally, because they are the plague of the generation and the bacterium of all time. Their history always was and always will be stained with treachery, falseness, and lying. Historical documents prove it."

"Thus, the Jews are accursed - the Jews of our time, those who preceded them and those who will come after them, if any Jews come after them."

"With regard to the fraud of the Holocaust… Many French studies have proven that this is no more than a fabrication, a lie, and a fraud!! That is, it is a 'scenario' the plot of which was carefully tailored, using several faked photos completely unconnected to the truth. Yes, it is a film, no more and no less. Hitler himself, whom they accuse of Nazism, is in my eyes no more than a modest 'pupil' in the world of murder and bloodshed. He is completely innocent of the charge of frying them in the hell of his false Holocaust!!"

"The entire matter, as many French and British scientists and researchers have proven, is nothing more than a huge Israeli plot aimed at extorting the German government in particular and the European countries in general. But I, personally and in light of this imaginary tale, complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, 'If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so that the world could sigh in relief [without] their evil and sin.'"

"Since their birth, the Jews [have amassed] hatred and hostility towards Islam and the Muslims. They have always laid traps for the Muslims, woven conspiracies and crimes against them, and been biased in favor of their enemies and occupiers…"

"They always try to warp and distort everything fair and beautiful!! Basically, they are a model of moral ugliness, debasement, and degradation. If only Allah would curse them more and more, to the end of all generations. Amen." [1]


 



PART IV. Some Further Historical and Comparative Comments on Jew-Hating Racism in the Arab World

 

Arab Anti-Semitism Further Clarified

(i.) As these commentaries have frequently noted, the small Jewish communities in the Arab world after the initial Arab conquests and expansion in the 7th and 8th centuries were left in a subordinate position of subject-peoples, along with the Christian minorities: Dhimmis, discriminated against, considered inferior, and forced to pay yearly taxes if they were to live among the Muslim majorities. This discrimination and subject status persisted for the next 1200 years or so, until the creation of the state of Israel and the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Iran and the Arab countries after 1947 . . . a larger number of impoverished refugees, by the way, than the Palestinian refugees who fled Israel.

Even so, as these commentaries have noted, the Arab world --- and Islam generally --- was historically free of the vicious anti-Semitism that flourished in Europe in the middle ages and onto into the modern world. Despite their Dhimmitude, Jews and Christian minorities lived peacefully in all Arab countries and Iran while brutal anti-Semitism infected almost every European country for 1600 years --- until the emergence of liberal moderate democratic states in parts of West Europe in the 19th century, which gave Jews full citizenship. And there was never anything remotely --- until recently --- equivalent to the racist versions of Jew-hatred that flourished in Europe, again with some exceptions of a small groups of moderate liberal democracies (not, alas, France where modern racist anti-Semitism began with Count Gobineau in the late 19th century), culminating in the Holocaust where the Nazis and their fanatical devotees elsewhere in Europe systematically resorted to factory-extermination and killed 6 million Jews. Had the Nazis won WWII, they would have been able to exterminate another 5 million in Russia as well.

Alas, all this has changed in the Arab world. And it is important that all Americans and all the world know what kinds of hatreds and vicious racisms are afoot there and elsewhere in Islamic countries.

 

(ii.) In particular: the worst forms of Nazi propaganda --- including the earlier Elders of the Zion --- are now vented all over the Arab countries, including the state-controlled media (where nothing of significance is every printed that the secret police and the censors oppose).

And this brutal racism hooks up with the surging anti-Westernism, anti-Americanism that has been spread by the rapid growth of radical Islamist fundamentalist groups and terrorist networks associated with them in the Arab and other Islamic countries the last 30 years. The causes? No doubt many. Still, this much can be said: such vicious racist attitudes are part of that conspiratorial outlook --- rife in large sectors of societies and abetted by the thuggish governments --- that blames the outside world. especially Jews and Americans (at times, Hindus and Russians and just the West as a whole), for the rampant troubles and related psychological dislocations and resentments that flourish in the authoritarian kleptocratic and thug-o-cratic Arab and Islamic states run by worried autocrats and dictators -- some our good-guy autocrats, others extraordinarily brutal --- who are bent on diverting the bone-grinding grudges and hatreds and resentments onto scapegoats as a systematic diversionary tactic.

 

(iii.) We mentioned earlier the murderous wish for Jewish extermination voiced openly by the Defence Minister of Syria in April 2001, not long after the Pope visited the ruthless Baathist Party dicatorship and found himself urged by the dicator-in-charge to form a Muslim-Christian alliance to wage war against the diabolical Jewish foe everywhere. Nothing really unusual, when you get down it, this jihad call for total war and extermination --- except that it's rare to see a major governmental minister so openly vent such Nazi lunacies. Otherwise, it's common in the Arab media to find recurrent cruel slurs against Jews as vampires, monkeys, predators, blood-suckers . . . the whole Nazi litany, with Herr Goebbels --- the Nazi propaganda minister --- do doubt very pleased with his following in the Arab and Islamic world out of his scorching residence in Hell.

For a ongoing effort to track many of these vicious hateful racist attacks in the Arab and other Islamic media, go to the web site of the Mideast Media Research Institute



 

PART V: Hatred of Christian minorities expressed openly too as Jihad fervor has spread?

Yes, unfortunately, and persecution too . . . though not nearly so much or so ugly as the vicious Jew-hating filth.

For three decades now, this anti-Christian reaction has gone hand-in-glove with the spread of fundamentalist extremism. The result has been an increasing number of assaults and other forms of discrimination --- always practiced anyway in Islamic societies --- directed at the tiny Christian minorities. It does vary across Arab countries, say: much worse in the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran (non-Arab of course), where the sharia Muslim law is applied or honored, and less so in Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria or the tiny Gulf states . . . which have even tinier Christian minorities anyway.  

Sources, Evidence, and Further Observations:

1) For the Vatican's latest views on the persecution of Christian minorities that has been on the increase in the Muslim world for three decades now, see this article by Robert Spencer, October 2003. In it, he notes at the outset:

The semi-official Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica has done nothing less than shock the world by publishing an absolutely scathing criticism of the mistreatment that Christians suffer in Islamic societies. Why so shocking? It's a sharp break with Pope John Paul II's long-standing policy toward Islam, which some have characterized as "dialogue to the point of extremism." Nothing is published in La Civiltà Cattolica without the approval of the Vatican Secretary of State — so this blistering article presumably corresponds to the views of some very high placed Vatican officials, if not the ailing Pope himself.

2) For an unusually perceptive, up-to-date symposium on all these points, see Frontpage Online this last October, 2003. Here is just one selection from it:

Interlocutor: Welcome to Frontpage Symposium ladies and gentlemen. Let's begin with the question that will build a foundation to this discussion: how widespread is the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world?

Marshall: Very widespread, there are few Muslim countries where it does not occur.

It takes four forms. First. there are direct, violent attacks by extremists on Christian communities. These occur in Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Phillipines, Nigeria, Indonesia (the list is not exhaustive). In most of these cases the Government is either unable or unwilling to stop the attacks.

Second, there is civil war and communal violence where the Christian community has resisted the spread of radical varieties of Islam. Since the National Islamic Front (formerly the Muslim Brotherhood) took power in Sudan in the late 1980's two million people have been killed, mostly Christians and animists. In Nigeria some 11,000 people have been killed in the last three years over the introduction of Islamic sharia law. There is a similar death toll in eastern Indonesia, where paramilitary militant organizations such as Laskar Jihad, allied to international terrorists, have slaughtered local populations.

Third, there is widespread discrimination against Christians in Muslim countries. They are frequently at a disadvantage in marriage, custody and inheritance cases, are forced to subsidize Islam through taxes, are severly restricted in building and repairing churches, and are often excluded from government positions. This happens in most Muslim countries. In some cases, as in Pakistan or Iran or Nigeria, the testimony of a Christian counts less in a court case.

Fourthly, blasphemy and apostasy laws disproportionately target minorities. In Saudi Arabia, Christianity is entirely forbidden.

Bat Ye'or: The persecution is difficult to assess for several reasons. (1) The situation is not the same in all the Muslim countries, there are more dramatic cases in countries that apply the shariah, like Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, etc.-- or acknowledge, like Egypt, that the shariah is the source of jurisdiction. Sometimes the government is more liberal, but the population is intolerant and harass the Christians. (2) The Christians themselves are reluctant to speak either because, as dhimmis, they are not conscious of being discriminated against, since it is the only condition they have known for centuries (dhimmitude); or because they fear Muslim reprisals.(3) The Western media and Western governments usually overlook the discrimination against Christians to avoid irritating Muslim governments, but also to protect Christians from more attacks, since they were often massacred by Muslim mobs under the pretext that they were protected by the infidels.

Phares: Let's refine our definitions. First we're addressing the cases of persecution of Christians in the Muslim world, which specifically means the countries with either a Muslim majority or under an Islamist regime. So, we are addressing all cases where Christian communities or individuals are under any form of suppression as a result of their identification as non-Muslims -and in this case as "Christians"- by regimes or organizations within the confines of these above countries. Second, there are two types of persecution of Christians in the countries with Muslim majority or regimes. One is religious persecution of Christians per se, which would be the most severe, the other is political oppression of Christian communities.

Both types are against Human Rights and should be sanctioned by international law. a) Religious persecution was obviously practiced in Afghanistan, but is now institutionalized in Saudi Arabia for example, where by law you cannot be Christian to start with, nor convert to the Christian faith. Following the Wahabi teachings, Islamists around the Muslim world have conducted a variety of documented aggressions against Christians (and other Muslims as well) such as in: Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc. b) Community persecution is a wide spread phenomenon. It takes the shape of ethnic oppression, examples: Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, etc. but also Egypt and Indonesia. In sum, the suppression of Christians in the Muslim world is an international problem.

Malik: In very few spots throughout the Islamic world where Christians live in Muslim-majority states do we find them enjoying an equal status with their Muslim counterparts. They are more often than not reduced to second-class status, or dhimmi status. In the Arab world, for example, the only place where native Christians have managed for centuries to avoid the dhimmi humiliation is in Lebanon. But even here matters have been deteriorating since the war in the country, which began in 1975 and since Syrian occupation and Islamist resurgence. All other Middle Eastern Christian communities (Copts, Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqis, etc.) are quintessential dhimmis. So if dhimmitude represents a recipe for slow and gradual liquidation of the targeted community, then this is the most subtle and most insidious form of persecution and it is quite widespread.




 

PART VI. How Perilous Is The New Anti-Semitism?

(i.) Fortunately, as I mentioned, the situation of most Jews in the world isn't perilous in the face of this rampant vicious racist Jew-hatred in the Arab and Islamic media and in sermons that can be found preached by the Imams against Jews in parts of the Islamic world (in Teheran every Friday, the prayer sessions including the chant DEATH TO THE JEWS, DEATH TO ISRAEL, DEATH TO AMERICA).

For one thing, Israel has the military power --- jet planes, armor, hundreds of nuclear warheads, hundreds of missiles, submarines --- to destroy any Jew-persecuting state in the world. Half the Jews born since the year 1000 have been killed, it's estimated, by their neighbors (mainly Europe) . . . this before the Holocaust, when the Nazis were able to introduce their systematic factory-killings with German thoroughness and modern science, finding enthusiastic Jew-haters throughout Europe to collaborate in the extermination.

For another thing, there is our wonderfully tolerant, decent country --- whose President immediately, within two days of the Sept 11th attack, met publicly with the leaders of the US Muslim community and urged tolerance by everybody (a gesture not echoed anywhere in West Europe), a sentiment I have repeatedly underscored in these commentaries.



(ii.) Remember here: fortunately, the US is also powerful economically, technologically, and militarily without rival in world history. its people overwhelmingly identify with a fellow western-oriented democracy in Israel, whose people --- while numerous Palestinians were jubilantly cheering the news of 3000 American and American-resident deaths in the streets of PA-controlled areas --- flew their flags at half-mast to shown sympathy and commiseration with us.

Unlike France and most of our EU allies, the US does not practice automatic appeasement of every vicious Arab or Islamic or Christian or Shinto or Confucian or pagan or animist or atheistic or New Age dictator . . . nor do our leaders, again in contrast to the EU governments, pretend in self-delusive ways (abetted by the EU dominant pc-media) that the best way to deal with explosive crime and terrorist groups on their soil and rapidly growing anti-Muslim racism (as well as militant fundamentalist sentiments in the immigrant communities there) is by pretending nothing bad is happening and that they live in some sort of peachy-creamy social-democratic world full of social justice. The US government, by contrast, stands by its democratic allies. It will not abandon democratic Taiwan, however much it might be bullied or threatened. And it will not abandon Israel either.

That's not the way our government and people operate, whatever else goes on in the EU or Japan.

And so? And so, the vicious Jew-haters in the world, not least those swelling in number in the Arab and Islamic countries --- whatever their actual size and percentage of the populations (something only poll data could establish, and something the thug-o-cratic regimes won't permit) --- need to be on guard. This time, they'll be meeting with a far different kind of response. This time, their racist filth will lead to a much quicker, surer destruction than Hitler met with . . . should it come down to that.

 

(iii.) Anti-Semitism, as we noted earlier, is also making a noticeable return in West Europe, not least among the rapidly growing Islamic populations there. See the ADL links and studies. As we noted at the outset of this article, two ADL sponsored scientifically sound opinion surveys in the EU in 2002 found that about 40% of West Europeans held various kinds of anti-Jewish prejudice. It did vary across countries. It was much worse in Spain and Germany and France, where more than a third of the populations were found to hold strongly anti-Semitic racist views, and much lower in the traditionally tolerant countries of Holland and Denmark.

 

PART VII. The Middle East Conflict and The Palestinian Plight

Over the years, in my writings and class, the buggy professor has

* Repeatedly praised the great cultural creativity of the Arab peoples, not least in their empire in Spain and Portugal across North Africa and the Levant through Persia after the start of the 8th century and down until roughly the 12th century . . . after which the creativity, artistic and intellectual, of the Arab people rigidified into orthodoxies of a fundamentalist dogmatic sort and led to their steady decline in influence, wealth, intellectual discovery, and eventual conquest and rule by the Ottoman Turks and later the Europeans.

* Repeatedly indicated sympathy with the plight of the Palestinian people,victims above all of an astonishingly inept and overreaching unrealistic Palestinian leadership stretching back to WWI:


 

(i.) Some Clarification

The latter point about the Palestinian right to a national homeland and state deserves to be clarified here, especially its inept and astonishingly overreaching leadership throughout the last century. Consider the evidence:

* Starting with support for the Ottoman Empire in WWI, then, in the interwar period, energetic support for the Nazis by the spiritual head of the Palestinians, the Mufti of Jerusalem ---he lived in Nazi Berlin during WWII and was condemned as a Nazi war criminal in the Nuremberg Trials --- the Palestinian leadership repeatedly and recklessly backed the wrong side in two World Wars. It did the same during the 45 years of the cold war, when the leaders and eventually the PLO --- which emerged as an organization in the 1960s --- no less recklessly backed the Soviet Union throughout those decades --- non-stop. Nor was that all. The PLO showed it learned nothing from this disastrous history. It continued to back morally monstrous losers. In the 1991 Gulf War with Saddam Hussein, the PLO backed Saddamite Iraq, and the support proved costly to the Palestinian people. In particular, several hundred thousand Palestinian workers were quickly forced out of Kuwait and the other Gulf States, losing their wages. Simultaneously, the subsidies from those states to the PLO also abruptly stopped.

And it gets worse.

The sad, lengthy litany of leadership folly and flight into delusive violent fantasies of ultimate triumph and revenge has showed up in other reckless ways over the decades, a record of non-stop disaster.

* It includes the repeated line of failures of the PLO leadership to accept compromises of peace with the Jews and later Israel after 1947, even when the terms were highly favorable. By then, that was nothing new. The perverse, self-destructive rejectionism stretched back to the 1937 British Peel Commission's offer to partition British-governed Palestine --- where no Arab regime had ruled for several hundred years --- by roughly 70-75% in favor of the Arabs. The Jewish leadership accepted the offer; the Palestinian leaders refused it. Repeated adjustments by the Peel Commission in favor of the Palestinians did nothing to change the intransigence. For some maps that trace the Peel Commission's adjustments, see this link.

* The same bullheaded, flight-into-illusions materialized again in 1947 when the UN partitioned the land in ways highly favorable to the Palestinian Arabs. Egged on by the neighboring Arab states, the local Palestinian councils refused all compromises, and 5 Arab states invaded the new Israeli state and were pasted. That's when the Palestinian refugee problem emerged. A similar exodus, slightly larger, was forced upon the Jewish minorities who had to flee Iran and all the Arab states with nothing but the baggage they could carry. The same self-destructive rejectionism materialized after the 1967 Six Day War. Attacked by Syria and Jordan from the east while fighting Egypt in the West, the Israelis destroyed Jordanian control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank . . . which the Jordanians had occupied since 1947, never allowing any Palestinian political expression of any sort. Immediately after the war, the Israel Labor government offered to change all the conquered land for peace and recognition by the other Arab states; they refused, as did the PLO, and in fact stressed the three infamous No's: no negotiations, no peace, no recognition.

* The latest rejection of a compromise --- another two-state offer from the Israeli government in the Oslo peace process --- has proved catastrophic, no other word for it. It emerged in the months following President Clinton's efforts to mediate a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Camp David in July 2000. Thanks to the strenuous role of our Mideast Envoy, Dennis Ross --- who probably knows Yasser Arafat better than any Western diplomat --- an accord was worked out in which the Palestinian Authority, as it was now called, received the best offer it ever would. Signed by Prime Minister Barak of Israel in early December 2000 --- at a time when the Israeli peace movement enjoyed a huge lead in public opinion polls (more than 60% of the population) --- the US-mediated offer would set up a Palestinian state with 95-97% of the West Bank; it also offered a corridor carved out of Israeli land to link the West Bank to Gaza, shared rule over Jerusalem, the elimination of all Israeli settlements save those immediately contiguous to Jerusalem, and $31 billion of compensation for Palestinian refugees.

The outcome?

Several members of the negotiating Palestinians urged Arafat to sign it. It was the best deal they would ever get, and they knew it. The autocrat not only refused, but according to Ross, never came up with counter-offers or explained the terms to his people. He preferred, as Ross lamented afterwards in several interviews and writings, to continue as a violent revolutionary nationalist, hoping for outcomes that were never remotedly likely to materialize. See also this article by Ross. On the specific contents of the December 2000 accord, see Ross's lenghty interview on Fox News, April 21st, 2002.

* Then there's the blatant mismanagement of the Palestinian economy by the corrupt, nepotistic Palestinian Authority since it took over the governance of the Palestinian areas in 1996, again as the Oslo Peace Accord required. Even before the recent surge of new violence encouraged by the PA in September 2000, the economy was in a nosedive --- this, despite the fact that in 1996, thanks to integration with the Israeli economy after 1967, the Palestinians had one of the best economies in the Arab world: one of the highest per capita incomes, the highest levels of literacy, a flourishing university system, hard Israel currency flowing into the Palestinian areas daily as 25% of the Palestinians worked in Israel, and a more broad-base to the economy than in any other Arab country save probably Tunisia. On the subsequent economic crash, see the buggy article published this last winter: it includes an analysis by a World Bank labor economist who specializes in the Middle East of the flourishing Palestinian economy after 1967, when the Israelis took over the West Bank --- until then a backwater area of the backward Jordanian economy --- and what has happened since 1996.

The dismal record goes on.

*Don't forget the PLO leadership's efforts to start a bloody and lost civil war in Jordan in 1970, which led to huge suffering among the Palestinians there and the PLO's expulsion to Lebanon. As if that weren't destructively foolish enough, the PLO then immediately helped precipitate the bloody and prolonged civil war in Lebanon; twice, as a result, Arafat and the PLO were expelled in the 1980s by hostile Lebanese, Syrian, and Israeli forces, each time requiring that they be rescued by outside countries --- the US included. Not to overlook the giant error of supporting Saddam Hussein in 1991 . . . capped by the Gulf States then expelling several hundred thousand Palestinian workers, enjoying decently paid jobs there until that point. And then, the peak of self-deluded folly, there's the new self-defeating, self-destructive violence since September 2000, right down to a glorification of murderous suicide terrorists among the Palestinian masses . . . the last thing they need if they're to have any future at all.


 

(ii.) Israeli Power and The Link with Anti-Semitic Scapegoating

As the argument in the first three chapters showed, there is a direct connection between Israeli staying power and its military triumphs in several wars over numerous Arab armies. Historically, unlike Christianity that existed for three centuries with no state support --- just the opposite in the Roman Empire until Constantine's conversion in the early 4th century --- Islam was born and spread as a militarized conquering religion. Soon after Mohammed's revelations, the formidable Arab cavalry poured out of the Saudi peninsula soon after Mohammed's revelation and within a few decades had conquered the Persian Empire, the Christian Middle East and North Africa, and in Europe southern Italy and Spain and Portugal. Similarly, a few centuries later, the Muslim Tatars overran Russia and ruled it for two centuries; the Ottoman Turks destroyed the Byzantine empire and ruled over large Christian populations in the Greece and the Balkans, while repeated invading the Austrian Empire; and the Muslim Moguls conquered Hindu India in the 16th century and ruled there until the far more powerful British destroyed that rule and took control.

All this Islamic imperial expansion, which extended into the Pacific and in the slave trade into tropical Africa, was identical in its mode of conquest to Christian expansion, its main rival for 14 centuries: by means of the soldier and sailor, the cleric, the trader, and the missionary.

Unlike the Christian states that emerged out of medieval Europe, however, Islamic societies never effectively modernized: they didn't create modern centralized states, foster a unifying national identity, protect private property and spread markets, industrialize, nurture technology and science in their university systems, and eventually --- with tremendous domestic conflicts and violence as will as through nationalist and ideological upheavals in war --- democratize and subject political power-holders to a rule of law. By 1800, the Ottoman Empire was considered the sick man of Europe. Simultaneously, European powers began to conquer the Arab countries of North Africa and eventually the Middle East as well. It was Britain and France that drew up the boundaries, arbitrarily, of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the small Gulf States, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and that simultaneously put the ruling sheiks and kings in power there.

Later, it was the United Nations that in 1947 split Palestine into a Jewish states and an Arab state. The refusal of the local Palestinian councils to accept the partition, egged on here by the surrounding Arab states, then led to a series of continual war with Israel that led to the humiliating defeats, one after another, of the warring Arab states.

 

(iii.)The Consequence of Islam's Steady and Blatant Decline in Power and Prestige?

The Arab peoples, along with other Muslims, had become accustomed to a 1000 years of military and imperial expansion and triumph --- after their initial conquest of the Persian empire and weak Christian societies in the Middle East, North Africa, the Iberian peninsula and southern Italy, and later the Balkans, to say nothing of Hindu India --- to associating the truths of their faith with political and military success. The decline of Arab power has been especially traumatic in the 20th century, above all in the repeated defeat at the hands of tiny Israel, some 6 million people, but an advanced, powerful western democracy. A pervasive sense of shame and humiliation festers in Arab life at these defeats, especially against the wider background of Arab backwardness and weakness. Essentially, in culturally unhinged societies full of illiteracy and dysfunctional educational systems, the only way for the man-in-the-[Arab] street to make sense of this recurring humiliation is by means of a conspiratorial understanding, shot through with paranoid fantasies about hidden, all-powerful Jewish control of the world.

In its origins, these paranoid delusions are an outcrop of radical Islamist extremism and its rapid spread in Arab life. Eventually, though --- since the early 1980s or so --- the despotic rulers and their secret-police henchmen have been eager to let fundamentalist fantasies and imagery about nefarious, Jewish world-conspiracies and the use of American power to further Jewish global dominance flourish in their state-controlled, heavily censored media. What could be a better way to manipulate and divert the frustrations and anger in Arab life? In the upshot, as the previous articles showed, Jew-hating racism of a Nazi-sort --- imported into Arab life in the 1930s and 1940s --- is now embedded deeply in Arab popular culture. It salves badly dislocated psyches and the raw emotional rage and humiliation, while fostering high-pulsating hopes for eventual revenge: Saddam Hussein will be the avenger, or Bin Laden, or Hamas or Hezbollah terrorists, or an Islamic nuclear bomb . . . only one of which, so the rumor makes the rounds in the Arab street everywhere, will put an end to Israeli existence and force the despised if all-powerful Jews back into a state of subordinate and servile dhimmi status.





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PART VIII. Where Are the Arab Critics of Racist Jew-Hatred That Flourishes in The Middle East?

And yet, to repeat what I've said before: have never had any member I know of in the UCSB Middle Eastern Association --- nor any of the students in my classes or elsewhere who have been unhappy with my commentaries (to which criticisms, if solid and not insulting, I always try to reply in detail with evidence) --- ever, ever, denounced this vicious racist filth that is on the upsurge in the Arab and Islamic world.

* Are they embarrassed or humiliated by it?

* Do they not care?

* Do they use blatant and vicious double-standards?

* Do they endorse such vicious racist filth?

* Do they hope that if they bury their heads in the sand and say nothing, this ugly brutal racism will simply fade away soon?



The above brief queries were written a year and half ago. Apparently, to judge by the stony silence in the Islamic world --- or from all major Islamic organizations in the US, save one --- in reaction to the Mahathir Nazi-like ranting about Jews, the cult of intolerance has gotten worse, not better: