uploaded : Thursday 21st Mar 2002 at 13:24
by : Jeffrey Dunetz
Sometimes I have an uncontrollable urge to run up all 102 floors of the Empire State building, shimmy my way up the TV antenna and start screaming, begging, pleading as loud as I can: "Wake up, world! The war in Israel is not just about land! It's also about hatred of the Jewish people!" Barak offered Arafat the land two years ago, and he responded by unleashing this latest rash of terror.
Most American Jews will probably think I'm paranoid, a person who finds a pogrom coming out of every closet. But if we look at the words and deeds of Islamic activists -- in the Mideast and beyond -- we see virulent ant-Semitic messages being distributed regularly to a broad audience.
A few hours of Internet research came up with hundreds of examples of Arab leaders and official press attacking Jews. They don't attack Israel on how it deals with Palestinian issues; this state-sponsored anti-Semitism drudges up ancient stereotyping and blood libel. And this rhetoric has expanded into Europe, the U.S., and the UN.
For starters, the Palestinian media has called for the killing of all Jews.
In October 2000, after two Israeli solders were lynched in Ramallah, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya gave a sermon on official Palestinian Authority television:
'Have no mercy on the Jews no matter where they
are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them - and those who stand by them...' (translation by memri)
Doesn't sound like purely a land battle to me. Let's look at Israel's neighbors. During the Pope's trip to Syria last year, President Assad said,
'They (the Jews) tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ in the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.' (ADL, October 2001)
Maybe the moderate Saudis are a little more reasonable? In December 2001, the Saudi government-controlled newspaper, Al-Watan, published a report entitled, "The Jewish organizations are implementing their strategic and hellish plan to take over the world":
'The Jews act by means of the control of the media, politics and the economy in order to weaken the non-Jewish groups and bring about their disintegration.' (translation by memri)
In the Saudi government daily Al-Riyadh, columnist Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma of King Faysal University in Al-Dammam, wrote last week (March 10, 2002) on "The Jewish Holiday of Purim." (Excerpts of the article may be read in the section above this one.)
Egypt, the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, recently ran a TV series called "Horseman Without a Horse," a 30-part series based on the anti-Semitic forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
Sheikh Muhammed Abd Al Hadi La'afi, responsible for Religious Teaching and Instruction in the Office of the Wakf, wrote in the official P.A. newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (May 18, 2001):
'The battle with the Jews will surely come... the decisive Muslim victory is coming without a doubt, and the prophet spoke about in more than one Hadith and the Day of resurrection will not come without the victory of the believers [the Muslims] over the descendents of the monkeys and pigs [the Jews] and with their annihilation.
These hate-filled teachings proliferate even in America.'
The Washington Post reported (March 2002) on Muslim elementary and high schools in the U.S.:
[One] 11th-grade textbook, for example, says one sign of the Day of Judgment will be that Muslims will fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees that say: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.' Several students of different ages, all of whom asked not to be identified, said that in Islamic studies, they are taught that it is better to shun and even to dislike Christians, Jews and Shi'ite Muslims... [In addition,] maps of the Middle East hang on classroom walls, but Israel is missing.
Beyond the traditional anti-Semitic slurs, there is a new strategy that strikes at the heart of our Jewish heritage, seeking to deny our history. Remember the dismantling of Joseph's Tomb, the attack on Rachel's Tomb, and the ancient Jericho synagogue that was destroyed by the Palestinians? Their purpose was to turn Jewish history into a myth. The Mufti of Jerusalem has said of the Temple Mount:
'There is not the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on this place in the past.'(Boston Globe, April 2001)
The Mufti's comments have been echoed by Arafat's cabinet, and much of the official press of the Arab world. In some sort of kow-tow, even The New York Times described the Temple Mount as what 'Israel claims to have been the site of the first and second Temples.' The Temple is mentioned in the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible, the Koran, and every history book of the past 3,000 years. But it is now just a claim.
And let's not forget how, throughout the Arab world, the World Trade Center attack was reported as a Jewish-led conspiracy.
At a meeting in Damascus in October 2001 with a delegation from the British Royal College of Defense Studies, Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass said the Mossad planned the ramming of two hijacked airliners into the WTC towers. He also told the British visitors that the Mossad had given thousands of Jewish employees at the towers advance warning not to go to work on September 11. (Jerusalem Post, October 19, 2001)
The slander took hold. Paknews.com, a sophisticated English-language news site based in Pakistan, found that 71 percent of its readers believed the report of a September 11 'Jewish conspiracy.'
The Holocaust is another point to examine. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, lived in Berlin from 1941-45. He was in charge of supervising Axis propaganda to Muslims all over the world. When Jews fleeing Hitler's ovens were able to obtain emigration visas to Palestine, the Mufti was instrumental in getting those visa cancelled. He met several times with Hitler, and personally recruited 20,000 Muslims in Bosnia to serve in the Waffen SS.
This tradition continues today. "Mein Kampf," previously banned by Israel, has been allowed by the PA and was sixth on the Palestinian best-seller list. A senior commander in Arafat's personal bodyguard is Fawzi Salem al-Mahdi (known as "Abu Hitler"), whose two sons bear the first names Hitler and Eichmann. **
The official Arab mouthpieces are among the ranks of the most stubborn Holocaust deniers. And American neo-Nazi and white supremacist parties have found in Muslims a new audience to advance theories discredited in the west for more than 50 years.
Anti-Jewish sentiments are spreading far beyond the Middle East. France has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and is also one of least hospitable to its Jewish residents. CRIF (an umbrella group of Jewish organizations in France) reported that between September 2000 and November 2001 there were 330 anti-Semitic incidents in metro Paris alone, nearly one per day. The study also reported that the perpetrators are primarily young Arab immigrants. (ADL, January 2002)
Britain's Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks, has said that Jews of his country are suffering from the worst anti-Semitism since the Holocaust. The contributing factors of this anti-Semitism have been the rise in Islamic fundamentalists who use the Israeli-Arab conflict as an excuse to create open displays of anti-Semitism. (Simon Weisental Center, February 2002)
In December 2001, the largest neo-Nazi march since World War Two took place in Berlin.
At the world conference on Racism in Durban this past September, literature with hook-nosed Jewish caricatures were distributed inside while thousands of South African Muslims marched outside carrying banners saying that Hitler should have finished the job. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, December 2001)
Copies of the libelous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are selling fast in Malaysia and Pakistan. "The Bulawayo Chronicle," which supports the government of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, recently published a 3,000-word article alleging Jewish responsibility for the ongoing economic problems facing the country.
America is not exempt, either. In the year 2000, 73 percent of all reported hate crimes on the basis of religion were against Jews, according to FBI figures.
The spreaders of hate have a strong ally in the press. Organizations such as the BBC, The New York Times and the once-proud CBS News, have subtly manipulated terminology and provided unbalanced reporting. When Israel suffers a terrorist attack and retaliates by targeting the terrorists, it is called the "cycle of violence" -- drawing a moral equivalency between civilians and terrorists, and dehumanizing civilian victims.
Let's not forget how the press uses the word "terrorist." If a military action is targeted toward civilians anywhere in world, it is 'terrorism,' but somehow when it targets Jewish civilians, it is 'militancy,' 'activism,' "freedom fighting,' or as The New York Times prefers: 'What Israel claims is a terrorist act.'
Make no mistake about it -- this is a war about much more than land. It is being waged by Islamic zealots who corrupt the name of religion to spread hate. The anti-Zionist rhetoric is just a front for deep anti-Semitism.
During an appearance at Harvard University, a student stood up and asked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to address himself to the issue of Zionism. The question was clearly hostile. King responded, 'When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.' (San Francisco Chronicle, January 21, 2002)
We need to wake up before it's too late.
Recognize what is going on and take action. Write your government; tell them to take action against anti-Semitism in your county. Take notice of what is being said in the media. Write letters about their inaccuracies and omissions -- not only in letters to the editor, but also to their advertisers. Sign up to www.honestreporting.com. Visit Israel or at least buy Israeli products; support the economy of our brethren who are on the front lines.
Prior to coming to power in Germany, Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf" which outlined many of his plans, including a discussion of the 'Jewish Problem.' His horrible goals were laid out in black and white. Despite the forewarning, most people had their heads in the sand and were surprised when Hitler followed through on his plans.
Seventy years ago, we did not take Hitler at his word. Will we take today's anti-Semites at their word?
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Jeff Dunetz is a 20-year marketing veteran,and a freelance writer. He is married and the father of two children who ask lots of questions about being Jewish that he can't answer. Jeff has been active in Jewish organizations since his USY days.
** See ‘Arabs “Idolise Hitler”’ by Jack Bloom in All Africa.com 2 October 2001