Month: July 2012

Protect the Temple Mount

Friends of Israel are being urged to support a campaign that aims to stop the desecration of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Among the groups campaigning to end the vandalism are the British Israel Coalition, British Muslims for Israel and Anglican Friends of Israel.

The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the trust that controls and manages the Temple Mount, is accused of desecrating Judaism’s holiest site. Illegal digging has destroyed historical remnants of Jerusalem’s Jewish history. Since the mid-1990s, the Waqf has carried out excavation work, drilled into ancient stones and painted over rare Jewish works at the site.

The Waqf has allowed illegal digging through the use of tractors, and thrown away valuable artifacts from the two Jewish Temples. Archaeologists have sifted through Waqf-sanctioned rubbish heaps and found decorated utensils from the King Solomon era, as well as coins and clay dating back to the second Temple.

Other Jewish religious sites under attack include Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) and the 3,000 year-old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The Waqf also denies Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors to visit and worship freely on the Temple Mount. Jewish worshipers are discriminated against and harassed on a regular basis by the Waqf. The threat of anti-Jewish violence has left the Israeli authorities with little choice but to prevent Jewish worship on the Temple Mount.

Earlier this year, a young British Jewish student was accosted by Waqf officials, who demanded that he remove his yarmulke, which they said they found to be “offensive.” The student later told reporters that while he has experienced anti-Semitism in England, he “never thought that in Judaism’s holiest site I would be subjugated to such discrimination.”

It is clear that the Waqf is attempting to disconnect the people of Israel from its inheritance by either denying the presence of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem or destroying evidence of its existence. This attempt to de-Judaize the Temple Mount cannot be allowed to continue.

Meanwhile UNESCO has done nothing to prevent such blatant cultural and historical vandalism. Not only is this shameful, it is a violation of its promise to “create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.”

Historical treasures such as the Temple Mount must be protected regardless of politics and religious identification. The inaction of UNESCO in the face of this concerted vandalism of Jewish holy sites is utterly unjustifiable.

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The Palestinianization of Yehuda and Shomron

The recent news that UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, has approved a Palestinian bid to list the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a World Heritage Site is a significant development in the ongoing project to Palestinianize Yehuda and Shomron. UNESCO’s approval effectively  endorses the absurd notion that there is a Palestinian heritage distinct from the history of Israel.

This has echoes of the October 2010 UNESCO declaration that the Tomb of the Hebrew Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are “an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories.”  Astonishingly, the UN body admonished Israel for registering the shrines as national heritage sites, citing that “any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law.”

UNESCO’s  decisions are either rooted in ignorance or malice. Either way, the cultural agency is doing a good job of disconnecting the people of Israel from its inheritance. As Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2010, “If the places where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation are buried […] some 4,000 years ago are not part of the Jewish heritage, then what is?”

The Palestinian Authority also wants UNESCO to list other religious sites, including Mount Gerizim near Shechem (Nablus), which is sacred to the Samaritans. So not only is Jewish culture being Palestinianized, but Israelite heritage in general is being (mis)appropriated for the political purpose of delegitimizing Israel’s claim to the land.

UNESCO’s decision regarding Bethlehem is hardly a surprise. It is yet another step in the Palestinian appropriation of the Judean town, which is famous for being the birthplace of King David and Jesus. When Arafat made his first Christmas appearance in Bethlehem in 1995, he invoked the Christian nativity by crying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.” To which the crowd responded, “In spirit and blood we will redeem thee, O Palestine!”

Bethlehem obviously held a special place in Arafat’s heart. Not because he had any special love for Christianity but because it was a political rallying point. Bethlehem, according to Arafat, was the “birthplace of the first Palestinian Christian, Jesus Christ.” Arafat also proclaimed Jesus as “our Lord the Messiah.” While this is an astonishing statement for a Muslim to make, it is evidence of an overwhelming desire to Arabize the history and legacy of Israel and Judea. This, of course, has precedent in the Quran, which not only appropriates Isaac, Moses, David and Elijah, among others, but rewrites them from an Arab point of view.

Perhaps taking their cue from the replacement theology of the Quran, the Palestinian Arabs are experts in the rewriting of Eretz Yisrael. Hence, Israel is Palestine; Jerusalem is al-Quds; Yehuda and Shomron are the West Bank; Bethlehem and Hebron are Palestinian heritage sites; and Jesus the Jew is resurrected as Jesus the Palestinian. Some Palestinian Arabs deny the presence of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. Then there are absurd claims made by some Palestinian Arabs that they are the descendants of the biblical Jebusites or Canaanites, or even the true offspring of the ancient Israelites.

That Eretz Yisrael is Jewish should be beyond dispute. All archaeological and historical evidence points towards a sustained Jewish presence. In contrast, there is no evidence of a long-term Palestinian culture, which is hardly surprising since the Palestinian Arabs are late-comers to the land.

In short, the Palestinian Arabs are effectively de-Judaizing the heritage of Eretz Yisrael and substituting their own pseudo-history. UNESCO’s participation in such blatant cultural and historical vandalism is shameful and is a violation of its promise to “create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.”

The Rights of Settlers

The Palestinian Liberation Organization has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The PLO wants to UN member states to table a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. In a statement, the PLO said the rise in settlement activities is “proof of a dangerous Israeli government plan to undermine the two-states solution.”

The majority of UN member states will no doubt relish the opportunity to help the PLO condemn the Jewish state. But it is a common misperception that the building of settlements is an impediment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In truth, the primary obstacle to peace is the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and the unwillingness to allow a Jewish minority in a Palestinian state.

The legality of the West Bank

In 1920, the San Remo Conference assigned to Britain a mandate to establish a Jewish national home on territory covering what would become Israel, Jordan and part of the Golan Heights. In early 1921, Britain made a distinction between Palestine as a  national home for the Jewish people, and Transjordan as a home for the Arabs.

The Mandate of Palestine, which was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922, formalized the creation of a Jewish national homeland, as well as Transjordan. The Mandate incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which endorsed the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The Mandate legalized the immigration of Jews to Palestine and encouraged close settlement of the land.

Two years after the Second World War, the British handed the Mandate to the UN, which recommended (rather than enforced) the partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs. The Jews accepted the partition but the Arab states rejected it and declared war on the Jewish homeland, which resulted in the annexation of the West Bank by Jordan. At the insistence of the Arabs, the 1949 armistice line was “not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary.”

In 1967, Israel won control of the West Bank after a war of self-defence. UN Security Council Resolution 242 recommended Israeli withdrawal from territories in return for the right “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Unfortunately, the Arab states once again rejected the UN’s proposal. Moreover, the second article of the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to the West Bank because it pertains only to cases of occupation of a sovereign entity. Jordan was never a recognized sovereign of the West Bank, which means Israel is not an occupier.

The legality of the settlements

Legally, the West Bank is unclaimed Mandate land and should be referred to as “disputed” territory. As such, the settlements are entirely legal as long as they are in the parameters of the 1922 Mandate, which has never been superseded in law, not even by the 1947 partition plan. Israel’s capture of the West Bank in 1967 merely restored the territory to its legal status under the Mandate of 1922. The settlers are simply enacting this mandate.

Even if it could be proved that Israel is an occupant, many of the Jewish settlements are still permitted under international law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Protocol does not prohibit Israeli civilians from acting on their own initiative by settling among the Palestinian Arabs. Other settlements are there for security reasons. Building up the areas around east Jerusalem reduces the risk of the capital falling to an Arab army invading from the east.  Again, this is permissible under the Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Protocol.

The fact that the Palestinians and the Arab states collaborated with Hitler, and then proceeded to invade Israel on three occasions between 1948 and 1973, seriously undermines any moral claim to establish a state on the West Bank. Besides, the West Bank, traditionally known as Judea and Samaria, is historically and religiously Jewish. It is home to several sacred sites and two of Judaism’s holiest cities (east Jerusalem and Hebron). Jerusalem was under Islamic control for centuries, but on no occasion did any Muslim entity declare it as their capital.

Moreover, non-Jewish powers cannot be trusted to protect Jews or Jewish sites. Until 1948, Jews had lived in Judea and Samaria for hundreds of years. During the Jordanian occupation, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated and synagogues destroyed. In addition, Jews were forbidden from praying at their holiest place – the Western Wall. And let’s not forget that Hebron was ethnically cleansed of Jews by the Palestinian Arabs in 1929. Following the 1967 war, many Jews were eager to commemorate the massacre by settling in Hebron.

 An impediment to peace?

Between 1948 and 1967, there was not a single settlement in Gaza or the West Bank. But the Arab states refused to make peace with Israel. Nor did the Arab states attempt to establish a Palestinian state on the West Bank and in Gaza between 1948 and 1967. Furthermore, the dismantling of Jewish homes and the withdrawal of Israelis from Gaza in 2005 should have led to a cold peace. Instead, the Palestinians elected Hamas, which resulted in an upswing in terrorism. In short, a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never been about the settlements.

Of course, it is a reasonable assumption that the settlements will play a part in final negotiations. And if a two-state solution is reached, it must be possible to allow a Jewish minority to remain in a Palestinian state, in the same way that one in five Israelis are Arabs. After all, many of the Jews in the West Bank were born there. As such, Palestinian demands for UN condemnation of the settlements is both racist and illegal.

State of Judea

Israel’s defence minister has just revealed that he favours a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank. It is unlikely to happen in the near future, but if and when it does happen, what will happen to the Jewish settlements?

A withdrawal of troops would probably result in the forced evacuation of some settlements, especially if they are nowhere near the Green Line.

The Israeli government will be reluctant to leave any settlers in the West Bank if they are not protected by troops.  But following the unpleasant Gaza disengagement in 2005, any attempt to dismantle or abandon the settlements is likely to stimulate a wave of violence.

But if the settlers were to remain in the West Bank, how would they fare under a Palestinian government? PA president Mahmoud Abbas has already said that not a single Israeli (i.e. Jew) would be allowed to live in an independent Palestine.

The creation of a Judean state

Another alternative to either Israeli or Palestinian rule in the West Bank is the creation of an independent State of Judea.

In January 1989, several hundred activists announced their intention to create an halachic State of Judea if Israel withdrew. The most prominent activist was Michael Ben-Horin, a member of the New York-based Kach movement, headed by Rabbi Mei Kahane.

Ben-Horin, declared: “We will not allow the heart to be torn from the body of the Land of Israel.” Judea and Samaria, he said, “will always remain Jewish,” before adding: “No Israeli state will ever be permitted to expel Jews from their homes or their land.”

 

Above: two competing designs for a State of Judea flag

The idea of a Judean state was revived following the unilateral disengagement  from Gaza in 2005, which resulted in the forcible withdrawal of Jewish settlers.

And in 2007, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo called on his supporters to make preparations to secede from the State of Israel in the event of Israeli withdrawal.  Speaking to the Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Wolpo said: “Why should we wait until soldiers come to people’s homes.”

Of course, the threat to create a State of Judea may just be a way of frightening the Israeli government into annexing the West Bank and creating a unified country. But there is evidence that some settlers believe the State of Judea is already a political reality.

In 2011, Israel Today reported that some of the younger settlers do not see themselves as Israeli. An unnamed source told the magazine: “More and more [settlers] understand that they are here despite the Israeli establishment, and they see more and more differences between themselves and the Israelis.”

The Palestinians, too, see the creation of a Judean state as a burgeoning reality. Earlier this year, PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo opined that Israel is seeking to create a “settler state” in Judea and Samaria.

He claimed that Israel was continuing to build in settlements “so that it could establish a state for settlers, and not for Palestinians, in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Is an independent State of Judea viable?

For a start, separating Israel and Judea would enable secular Jews to enjoy life in Israel, while those who want to live according to halachic law would have the option of moving to Judea.

Indeed, the two states would provide very different types of experience.  According to a 2008 survey by Ariel University Center, 92.3 per cent of Jewish settlers  are satisfied with their lives, compared with 83 per cent in the State of Israel. The standard of living and quality of life was also reported to be better in the settlements.

The survey also revealed that the income of a family living in the settlements is about 10 per cent higher than the national average. At the time of the study, unemployment was less of an issue in Judea than it was in Israel.

On the downside, the crime rate in Judea was 22 per cent higher than in Israel proper. This may be explained by hostilities between Jews and Arabs.

Establishing a viable Jewish state in Judea and Samaria has precedent. Ancient Israel comprised two kingdoms, also called Israel and Judea.

Most religious Jews will agree that Judea is the biblical and spiritual heartland of Eretz Israel.  Hebron, home to the Cave of the Patriarchs, is the second holiest Jewish city. It would be a travesty if there was a repeat of the ethnic cleansing that took place in 1929. Rachel’s Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem is the third most important Jewish holy site. Jericho, the place of the Israelites’ return from slavery in Egypt, is also a crucial location and is home to some historic synagogues.

To give up Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley would be an absurd act of cultural suicide. If the State of Israel is not prepared to annex the West Bank, then perhaps the settlers should declare independence.

Under Jordanian rule, the Arabs went to great efforts to erase Jewish history. Despite the fact that Jews had lived in Judea and Samaria for centuries, Jordan pursued a Judenrein policy by changing the name of the territory from Judea and Samaria to the “West Bank.” After 1948, Jews were not allowed to pray at the Western Wall. The Jewish graveyard on the Mount of Olives was desecrated and all but one of the thirty five synagogues in the Old City were destroyed.

It is clear that abandoning Judea and Samaria to the Arabs is not an option.

But would a Judean state be able to live alongside an Israeli state? After all, the Hebrew scriptures are full of stories about the love-hate relationship between the two kingdoms.  To prevent a repeat of biblical hostilities, some kind of Davidic federation would have to be established to loosely unite the two nations. After all, both Israel and Judea would have the same enemies and would need to cooperate in terms of security. Trade and labour agreements would have to be worked out, too.

The downside

There is one major flaw in the concept of a Judean state and that is the Jewish settlers form a minority. There are two million Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank (about 80 per cent of the population). Only half a million Jewish live in the West Bank, nearly half of whom live in East Jerusalem. Although East Jerusalem forms an important of the Judean geography, it is unlikely that the State of Israel would relinquish the East Jerusalem settlements, as this would divide the city.

As things stand, much of the area of the West Bank closest to Jerusalem has already been incorporated into the Jerusalem District and is under Israeli civilian rule. It is excluded from the administrative structure that is the Judea and Samaria Area.

By subtracting East Jerusalem from the equation, there would be a mere 300,000 Jews left to face the wrath of two million Palestinian Arabs. But the numbers could be even worse if Israel withdraws from the West Bank but annexes small amounts of territory around the Green Line. This would dramatically reduce the number of disenfranchised settlers to around 80,000.

Would the State of Israel leave the Judeans and the Palestinians to fight a civil war, or would it provide arms and/or troops to the settlers? Would neighbouring Arab states come to the assistance of the Palestinians? One thing’s for sure, even if the settlers did win a civil war, they would receive no international recognition, possibly not even from Israel itself. And how would 80,00 (or 300,000) Jews rule over two million Palestinians? You would end up with a South African scenario and accusations of apartheid would be substantial.

So, are there other options?

It is possible that PA president Abbas changes his mind and agrees to a single binational state in which Palestinians and Israelis share full political rights. At the very least, settlers might be able stay on the West Bank at the discretion of the Palestinian government but without any citizenship rights.

One possibility that might work is the establishment of “parallel states,” within the West Bank in which Arabs and Jews share the territory but owe their allegiance to separate parliaments. But it is unlikely the Palestinians would agree to a further division of territory.

The truth is, the creation of a Judean or Palestinian state next to Israel is not realistic or feasible.  The only credible option is for Israel to annex the West Bank and recognise Jordan as the de facto Palestinian state.

Jordan is Palestine

The main obstacle to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict is the persistent claim that the Palestinians are a nation without a land. The Palestinian Arabs were actually given their own state decades ago. In 1922, Transjordan (Jordan) was carved out of land earmarked for the Jewish state.

Above: division of Eretz Israel in 1922

Israel, the US and the EU must press for the recognition of Jordan as the Palestinian state. After all,  Jordan’s population is already 70 per cent Palestinian. Removing the ruling  Hashemite dynasty and developing democratic institutions in Jordan would greatly benefit the majority. Once the groundwork for democracy is laid down, the Palestinians would, by right, have the greatest say in how the country is governed. No longer would be they be discriminated against by the Bedouin minority.

Once this has been achieved, Israel can formally annex the West Bank and give the Palestinian Arabs living there the option of either swearing an oath of allegiance to the Jewish state or giving them Jordanian citizenship. Those Palestinians that wish to leave the West Bank would be free to move to Jordan.  Those who want to stay in their homes on the West Bank but nevertheless wish to hold Jordanian citizenship should be allowed to do so. Once Israel is in full control of the West Bank, non-Jewish immigration must be halted in order to prevent the return of Arabs who claim refugee status.

Developing democratic institutions in Jordan and uniting the land of Israel under Jerusalem would not only ensure Israel’s security and demographic advantage, it would enable the Palestinians to establish sovereignty in the heart of the Middle East and put an end to this decades-old conflict over the status of the so-called occupied territories.

Jewish Nakba

Nakba: Arabic for “catastrophe.”

One of the untold stories of the upheaval in the Middle East is the Jewish nakba, the massacres and expulsion and/or flight of between 850,000 and 1,000,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim countries in the months and years following the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in November 1947. Many of the expelled Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East dated back 2,500 years. That’s around two millennia before the rise of Islam.

The violence against Arab Jews was deliberate and vicious. Massacres, mutilations, rape, property confiscation and deportations were commonplace. Millions of Jews had no choice but to seek shelter in Israel or elsewhere. The Jewish nakba has been largely forgotten, partly because most refugees were absorbed by Israel and partly because Arab states have chosen to ignore it. Today, about 50% of Jews in Israel have Arabic ancestry because of the exodus. Not surprisingly, Jews who have experienced Arab violence and Muslim anti-Semitism are hostile to the idea of a Palestinian state. As such, they tend to vote for Likud, the major right-wing party in Israel.

Today, there are fewer than 9,000 Jews in the Arab and Muslim world. In Libya, for example, the Jewish community no longer exists.

There is evidence that shows the Jewish nakba was a deliberate and planned act of ethnic cleansing. According to the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, the Jewish exodus was a policy decision taken by the Arab League. This view has been endorsed by the Jewish advocacy group Justice for Jews from Arab Countries.

Even before the UN vote in 1947, the Arab League had endorsed the persecution of Jews. The fact that riots and massacres broke out across the Arab world on the same day (30th November 1947) also suggests a degree of planning.

Indeed, the Arab League met in Syria in 1946 and Lebanon in 1947, and agreed a draft plan to rob their Jews of their property, threaten them with imprisonment and expel the impoverished Jews.

In May 1948, the Arab League drafted a series of recommendations for all Arab and Muslim countries on how to take action against their Jewish populations. The New York Times of 16th May 1948 contained details of an Arab plan based on Nuremberg laws to ‘ethnically cleanse’ their Jews.

 

Above: The New York Times reveals danger facing Jews in Muslim lands

 The Arab armies in the 1948-49 war also encouraged the Palestinian to evacuate while they fought their war of extermination against the Israelis. The refugee crisis was not engineered by Israel, nor did Israel systematically expel the Palestinians.

At least 120 UN resolutions deal with the 600,000 Palestinian refugees. But not one resolution refers to the Jewish nakba.

Individual countries 

Iraq

Iraqi and Kurdish Jews were encouraged to leave in 1950 by the Iraqi Government. A year later, Iraq ordered “the expulsion of Jews who refused to sign a statement of anti-Zionism.” By 1949 Jews were escaping Iraq at a rate of 1,000 a month. Between 1950 and 1952, 130,000 were airlifted from Iraq. In 1969, the remaining 50 Iraqi Jews were executed.

Egypt

In July 1948, Jewish shops and the Cairo Synagogue were attacked, killing 19 Jews. Hundreds of Jews were arrested and had their property confiscated.  By 1950, 40% of the Jewish population of Egypt had fled the country.  In October 1956, 1,000 Jews were arrested, 500 Jewish businesses were seized by the government, Jewish bank accounts were confiscated, Jews were barred from their professions, and thousands were ordered to leave the country. They were allowed to take only one suitcase and a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations “donating” their property to the Egyptian government. In 1967, Jews were detained and tortured, and Jewish homes were confiscated.

Bahrain

In November 1947, Arab mobs in the capital of Manama attacked Jews, looted homes and shops, and destroyed the synagogue. Over the next few decades, most Jews left for other countries, especially England.

Algeria

In the early 1960s, Algerian Jews were declared non-citizens. Many left the country in 1962-63.

Morocco 

After the pogroms of 1948, 18,000 Moroccan Jews left for Israel. This continued until the 1960s.

Above: Moroccan Jewish refugees

Yemen

In 1947, rioters killed more than 80 Jews in Aden. The Israeli government evacuated 44,000 Yemeni Jews in 1949 and 1950. Emigration continued until 1962, when the civil war in Yemen broke out.

Judea and Samaria / West Bank

In May 1948, the residents of Kfar Etzion, a kibbutz located outside the borders of Israel, were massacred. Despite surrendering to the Arab army, 129 Palestinian Jews were murdered and the kibbutz destroyed.

Following Jordan’s annexation of Judea and Samaria in 1948, all but one of the thirty-five synagogues in East Jerusalem were destroyed. Israelis were forbidden to pray at the Western Wall. The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated and tombstones used for construction, paving roads and lining latrines. Palestinian Jews were exiled. This was the only time in over 1,000 years that Palestinian Jews were forbidden to live in Judea and Samaria.

Tunisia

From 1956, Tunisian Jews emigrated because of anti-Jewish policies. Half fled to Israel and the rest went to France. More attacks in 1967 accelerated Jewish emigration.

Libya

In June 1948, rioters in Libya killed 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes. Between 1949 and 1951, almost  31,000 Jews fled Libya and headed for Israel.  During the 1950s and 1960s, the remaining Jews were put under numerous restrictions, including laws which curtailed freedom of movement. A further 18 Jews were killed in 1967. Following this, 7,000 Jews were evacuated to Italy. In 1970 the Libyan government confiscated all the assets of Libya’s Jews and refused to compensate them. In 2003, the last remaining Jew in Libya was finally allowed to leave to Italy. Israel is now home to about 40,000 Jews of Libyan descent

Syria 

In November 1947, the Jews of Aleppo were attacked, leaving 75 dead. Some 300 houses, 50 shops and many synagogues were destroyed. The violence prompted half of the Aleppo Jewish community to flee. However, the Syrian government imposed severe restrictions on Jewish emigration. In the early 1990s, the USA pressured the Syrian government to ease the restrictions. In 1992, the Syrians began granting exit visas to Jews but prohibited them from emigrating to Israel.

In August 1948, rioters in Damascus killed 13 Jews, including eight children.

Non-Arab Muslim countries

Turkey

In September 1955, Greeks, Jews and Armenians were attacked, resulting in the exodus of 10,000 Jews.

Iran

Between 1948 and 1953, over 30% of Persian Jews emigrated from Iran to Israel. Another 15% of the Persian Jewish community fled to Israel between 1975 and 1991 because of religious persecution. The exodus of Iranian Jews peaked following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The proto-Nakba

In the years and the decades before the UN partition vote in November 1947, Arab violence against Jews was widespread in British-ruled Palestine and across the Middle East/North Africa. A lot of the violence was the direct consequence of an informal alliance between pro-fascist Arabs and the Nazis. Both parties were motivated by extreme anti-Semitism and a desire to terminate British influence in the Middle East.

Tunisia

In 1942, the Tunisian Arabs Army assisted the Nazis in the genocide of 2,500 Jews in North Africa.

British Palestine

On 24th August 1929, 67 Palestinian Jews were massacred in Hebron. Dozens were wounded. Some of the victims were raped, tortured or mutilated. Jewish homes and synagogues, as well as a hospital, were ransacked. Sir John Chancellor, the British High Commissioner, wrote: “The horror of it is beyond words. In one house I visited not less than twenty-five Jews men and women were murdered in cold blood.” The survivors were evacuated by the British authorities. Many returned in 1931, but almost all left again between 1936 and 1939.

Above: a survivor of the Hebron massacre

Despite having been the home to a Jewish community since 1000 BCE, Safed was the scene of a pogrom that took place on 29th August 1929. The main Jewish street was looted and burned. 20 Palestinian Jews were killed and 80 wounded. Some of the victims were hacked and stabbed to death. Witnesses say that children in a local orphanage had their heads smashed in and their hands cut off.

In April 1936, riots broke out in Jaffa, the start of a three-year period of violence known as the Arab Revolt. The leader of the Palestinian Arabs and notorious Nazi collaborator, Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, led a campaign of terror against Jewish and British targets. The Tiberias pogrom took place in October 1938 during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt. Dozens of armed Arabs set fire to home and killed 19 Jews in Tiberias, 11 of whom were children. More than 415 Palestinian Jews were killed by Arabs over the three-year period.

During the 1920 Jerusalem riots, an Arab mob ransacked the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, attacking pedestrians and looting shops and homes. About 160 Jews were wounded and five killed. Hundreds of Jews were evacuated.

Egypt

The exodus of Egyptian Jews began after the 1945 Cairo pogrom.

Iraq

At the behest of Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs, pro-Nazi Arabs slaughtered 180 Jews in Baghdad in 1941. 240 were wounded. Hundreds of Jewish businesses and homes were destroyed. The Farhud or “violent dispossession” was the beginning of the end of the Jewish community in Iraq, a community that had existed for 2,600 years.

Libya

In November 1945, an outbreak of what has been described as “bestial violence” took place in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. During a 50-hour rampage, Jews were tortured and dismembered. More than 140 Jews (including 36 children) were killed and hundreds injured. Synagogues, homes and businesses were looted and/or destroyed. In the aftermath, 4,000 Jews were homeless. The pogrom, which was the culmination of anti-Semitic legislation, resulted in an exodus of Libyan Jews.

Muslim abuse of Jews before the 20th century 

Since the Muslim conquest of Spain and the Middle East, Jews were dhimmis  or second-class citizens. Depending on the time and the place, Jews were barred from public office and made to wear distinctive clothing, both of which foreshadow Nazi legislation. And like the Nazis, Muslims had the option of simply killing the Jews en masse, which is exactly what happened in Granada in 1066, when 4,000 Jews were massacred.

Maimonides, the great 12th century Jewish scholar, was shocked by the level of violence and discrimination meted out by Muslims. Islam, he said, had done the most harm to the children of Israel. “None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us,” he wrote in an epistle to the Jews of Yemen.  His letter cites the “imposed degradation,” “the lies” and “their absurdities,” which are “beyond human power to bear.” He continues:

“We are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness and their outbursts at any time. On the contrary, the more we suffer and choose to conciliate them, the more they choose to act belligerently toward us.”

Fast-forward to the 18th and 19th centuries when Jews were systematically expelled and/or massacred by Muslims. Between 1770 and 1786, Jews were expelled from Jedda in Saudi Arabia. Massacres took place in Morocco (1790), Baghdad (1928), Iran (1839, 1867), Syria (1840, 1848, 1850, 1875, 1890), Lebanon (1847, 1862, 1874), Jerusalem (1847), Egypt (1844, 1870, 1871, 1873, 1877, 1882, 1890, 1891, 1901–08), and Turkey (1864, 1866, 1868, 1870, 1872, 1874).

There were also innocuous – but still shocking – incidents that deprived the Jewish people of dignity. One symbol of Jewish degradation was the phenomenon of spitting and stone-throwing at Jews by Muslim children. The victims of these abuses were in no position to retaliate.

*

There is a long history of Arab and Muslim violence against Jewish communities. Before the 20th century, the treatment of Jews was the consequence of anti-Semitic statements in the Quran and other Islamic literature. From the 1920s, Arab Muslims became increasingly enthralled by Hitler’s lust for power and his anti-Semitic ideology. Many Arab leaders and regimes actively collaborated with the Nazis and sought to enact his vision of a world without Jews.

Above: Palestinian leader Husseini and Hitler

In the 1940s, the Arab League conspired to rob and harass their Jewish populations. This soon turned into a wholesale act of   ethnic cleansing, peaking between 1947 and 1949. The multi-pronged military attack on the nascent State of Israel should be seen in this context. Ironically, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab lands actually strengthened Israel’s hand. Not only did the new arrivals boost Israel’s population, it gradually pushed Israeli politics towards the right, making it less likely that there will ever be a rapprochement between Jews and Palestinians.

Sinister Intentions: the Left’s attitude towards ‘the Jews’

[This article is about anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist discourses on the left of the political spectrum (usually referred to as ‘the Left’). More specifically, it focuses on gentile hatred/fear of the Jews and the State of Israel. It is not my intention to examine the Israeli Left, which is far less anti-Zionist than its European and American counterparts. It is also beyond the scope of this paper to look at the various socialist philosophies of Jewish intellectuals in the 1920 and 1930s, some of whom were Zionists. Finally, the strange phenomena of Jewish self-hatred espoused by people like Gilad Atzmon is not discussed.]

“With their own nationalisms off limit, many Europeans […] embrace vicariously the nationalisms of others – particularly Palestinian nationalism, which, in its most radical versions, allowed Europeans to reconnect with a discredited strand of European nationalism, anti-Semitism.” (Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe)

“[The Left is] indulging anti-Semites to an extent that is alarming and dangerous.” (Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism)

In the beginning

In the first half of the 20th century, there was a handful of British leftists who supported the idea of an independent Jewish state. In 1917, the Labour Party advocated the right of Jews to return to their ancestral homeland, a position that was  soon echoed by the Balfour Declaration, which favoured “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Chaim Weizmann, who became president of the British Zionist Federation in 1917 and helped formulate the Balfour Declaration, was on friendly terms with Guardian newspaper editor C. P. Scott. The paper supported the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Despite occasional words of support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, the Labour Party betrayed Israel at the earliest opportunity. Post-war British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, who believed he was the victim of a Jewish conspiracy, embargoed arms shipments at a time when Israel was fighting for its life and refused to lift restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine.

In 1948, Bevin negotiated the “Portsmouth Treaty” (never to be implemented), in which Britain agreed to provide the Iraqis with weapons to destroy the impending Israeli state. According to then-Iraqi foreign minister Muhammad Fadhel al-Jamali, “the British undertook to withdraw from Palestine gradually, so that Arab forces could enter every area evacuated by the British in order that the whole of Palestine should be in Arab bands after the British withdrawal.” The post-war Labour government also sided with the Egyptians in the Arab-Israeli war. The British sent five reconnaissance aircraft to scout for Israeli positions but were shot down by the Jewish airforce.

Bevin was convinced that he in particular – and the British people in general – were the dupes of a Jewish conspiracy. Bevin’s paranoia was not unusual. Even before anti-Zionism became fashionable, left-wingers in the UK and Europe had a tendency to espouse outlandish theories and/or champion unpleasant ‘solutions’ to the ‘Jewish problem’. Here are some examples:

Karl Marx, author of ‘A World Without Jews’, stated that money was the “worldly god” of the Jews and that usury is the “object of the Jew’s worship.”

In the late 19th century, the Social Democratic Federation – the forerunner of the British Socialist Party – accused the Jews of being in control of every Foreign Office in Europe.

Marxist theorist Friedrich Engels claimed that he understood French anti-Semitism, “when I see how many Jews of Polish origin and with German names intrude themselves everywhere, arrogate everything to themselves and push themselves forward to the point of creating public opinion.”

The 19th century French Socialist Charles Fourier, who coined the word ‘feminism’, wrote: “Every government having regard to good morals ought to repress the Jews.”

French socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, wrote in 1847: “This race poisons everything by meddling everywhere without ever joining itself to another people […] Abolish the synagogues; do not admit them to any kind of employment, pursue finally the abolition of this cult [… ] The Jew is the enemy of the human race. One must send this race back to Asia or exterminate it.”

Pierre Leroux, who invented the term ‘socialism’ in the 19th century, opined: “When we speak of Jews, we mean the Jewish spirit, the spirit of profit, of lucre, of gain, the spirit of commerce.”

The term “anti-Semitism” was coined by radical leftist Wilhelm Marr. The word appears in his tract, ‘The Way to Victory of the Germanic Spirit over the Jewish Spirit’, published in 1880.

H.G. Wells, writing in 1940, said: “The hostile reaction to the cult of the Chosen People is spreading about the entire world to-day […] Until they [the Jews] are prepared to assimilate and abandon the Chosen People idea altogether, their troubles are bound to intensify.”

Interestingly, 35 years before the establishment of the State of Israel, Lenin expressed indignation that there were some Jews who were rejecting the class struggle in favour of a national identity. In ‘Critical Remarks on the National Question’ (1913), Lenin stated: “Whoever directly or indirectly puts forward the slogan of a Jewish ‘national culture’ is (whatever his good intentions may be) an enemy of the proletariat.”

The USSR and Zionism

There is a theory that much of today’s left-wing anti-Semitism stems from the Soviet Union. Although the Soviet Union voted in favour of partitioning ‘Palestine’ in 1947, Stalin’s paranoid anti-Semitism, which masqueraded as a campaign against the so-called ‘rootless cosmopolitan’ and the Zionists, is also well-documented. And like Hitler, Stalin was preoccupied with extracting Jewishness from society. Before he died, the Soviet leader was considering deporting two million Jews to Siberia.

In 1946, dozens of Jews were killed in the Polish city of Kielce, after Soviet-backed communist security forces spread a (false) story of Jews ritually killing children. Local people, joined by communist party workers, police and army personnel, savagely attacked the Jewish community, murdering around 40 people, including women and children.

Soviet-sponsored anti-Semitism also influenced communist attitudes towards the Holocaust. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Jewish victims in east Germany were considered less deserving than their communist brethren. The left-wing authority in east Germany was reluctant to recognise the severity of the Holocaust. Moreover, anti-capitalist sentiment was still closely tied to anti-Semitic prejudice. The debate in east Germany as to who should be granted “victim-of-fascism” status, for the most part, excluded the  unique suffering of the Jewish people. In fact, there was a widespread belief that the Jews were somehow responsible for their suffering because they  did not actively resist the Nazis. (This claim was not only unjust, it was also untrue.)

The Soviet Union kick-started an international campaign against Zionism when it broke diplomatic relations with Israel following the Six-Day War. Zionism was both a proxy for American imperialist interest and a modern incarnation of Nazism, according to the Soviets. Of course, this was during the time of the Cold War and the Soviets needed to win over the support of Arab regimes and reach out to socialists in the West. This was clearly evident in the Soviet’s support of the infamous ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution by the UN in 1975 (and rescinded in 1991).

It is well documented that as well as courting Arab leaders, the USSR also armed and trained the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) during the 1970s. Hezbollah and Hamas also had links with the USSR. But according to James Simpson, writing in the Washington Examiner, Russia is still waging a covert war against the West by backing Islamic radicals. He bases this assumption on a number of claims made by Russian dissidents, the most notable being Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium in 2006. Litvinenko apparently asserted that Ayman Al-Zawahiri, now the current leader of al-Qaeda, was recruited by the KGB. It is unclear, however, whether Al-Zawahiri is still working for the Russians.

Even if this is the case, the Russians themselves have been victims of terrorism. The two most notable examples are the seizure in 2002 of a Moscow theatre by Chechnyan militants and the Beslan school massacre in which 1,100 people were taken hostage, the majority of whom were children. Over 380 people died in what was perhaps Russia’s equivalent of 9/11. This has not stopped the Russian leadership being on friendly terms with the equally dangerous Hamas.

Putting aside the situation in modern-day Russia, it is true to say that Soviet-sponsored anti-Semitism did not disappear with the collapse of the USSR but continues to manifest itself in left-wing grassroots organisations, the trade union movement and anti-imperialist organisations, all of which seek to justify Islamic radicalism and violent Palestinian nationalism.

The New Left: Apostles of (in)tolerance

“Recently we have witnessed the rise of the New Left which identifies Israel with the establishment, with acquisition, with smug satisfaction, with, in fact, all the basic enemies … Let there be no mistake: the New Left is the author and the progenitor of the new anti-Semitism.” (Abba Eban, Foreign Minister of Israel, writing in the American Jewish Congress Bi-Weekly in 1973.)

In the 1960s, the New Left was born. Suspicious of both Soviet authoritarianism and Western post-war establishment values, this new generation of socialists drew much of its power from the counter-culture, the campuses, black radicals such as the Black Panthers, and the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Although many Jews were involved in social activism and the civil rights movement, Zionism was getting an increasingly bad press, especially after 1967. Israel’s astounding victory in the Six-Day War, especially the capture of East Jerusalem, was proof that the Jewish State was a force to be reckoned with.

This was too much for the Left’s anti-war ideologues, who were becoming increasingly distrustful of Western foreign policy. But what really upset the Left was the fact that Israel was no longer prepared to “lay down and die while his door is kicked in”, as Bob Dylan put it. The New Left’s commitment to helping (or patronising) the oppressed peoples of the world had taken a massive knock. The most persecuted people in history – the Jews – had executed the most impressive military operation since World War II.

The Jewish people had broken free of their chains, effectively rejecting the victim status imposed upon them during and following the Holocaust. Now that Israel had lost its ‘moral innocence’ by carrying out a pre-emptive (but necessary) strike against the Arabs and capturing territory beyond the 1948 border, the Jewish State was now considered animperialist oppressor like the USA. In a return to the anti-Semitic tropes of pre-war Europe, the Zionist was portrayed as the parasite, the victimiser, the monied manipulator of power.

This meant that the Left needed a ‘new Jew’ to patronise. And what better than the newly-identified Palestinian people? The invention of Palestinian nationalism was a stroke of genius. Arab anti-Semites, like the Cairo-born Yasser Arafat, were able to whip up anti-Jewish feeling by fabricating an ethnocentric national liberation movement that had never existed until the 1960s. It is important to note that the Palestinians are not an indigenous ethnic sub-group but are Arabs and are no different from the Jordanians or the Syrians. The Palestinian refugee population comprises of immigrants from neighbouring Arab countries, many of whom came to the Holy Land after the Jewish settlers arrived to drain the swamps and redeem what was largely empty land. The PLO has readily admitted that Palestinian nationalism is a faux ethnicity designed to undermine Jewish claims to the land of Israel.

The Left swallowed the invention of the Palestinian people hook, line and sinker. Over the years, the Palestinians managed to convince the Left – and the rest of the world – that they had, in fact, always existed, even before the time of Mohammed. In fact, some Palestinians claim that their people existed on the land of Israel before the Israelites. Hence, the highly dubious claim that the Palestinian Arabs are the offspring of the biblical Jebusites and Canaanites.

The red-black alliance

It is hard to establish whether the relationship between the Left and Islamic radicalism is deep and long-standing, or a temporary marriage of convenience. As things stand, the Left and Islam are both at loggerheads with the dominant culture and so for now at least seek ‘solace’ in each other. As Caldwell asserts, in his book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, “Anti-Israel rhetoric not only unites Muslims with each other. It also unites them with an important segment of native Europeans, particularly on the political left. In an odd way, it is an avenue of integration.”

It is self-evident that alliance between the Left and Islamofascists is one of mutual convenience. The mutual desire to overthrow Western democracy and dismantle Israeli statehood has thrown the two parties together, despite the fact that both partners hold completely different views on the status of women, gays and the role religion in public life. This red-black alliance is not about creating peaceful conditions on the ground but eroding the Judeo-Christian values of the West, as well as destroying Israel’s reputation and undermining its security.

The desire to undercut American hegemony was made clear by British socialist firebrand George Galloway at the start of the Iraq War. He stated it was “vitally necessary” that the Left ally itself with radical Islam. This is possible, he said, because both “have the same enemies”. These enemies include the “Zionist”, American and British “occupation of poor countries mainly Muslim countries.” Both the Left and Islam share the same goal of opposing the “savage capitalist globalization which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world”, he added. Likewise, the far left journalist John Pilger endorsed the killing of American troops by the Iraqi resistance for the simple reason that the US was an occupier and that the Left “can’t afford to be choosy” in obtaining allies.

Lynn Stewart, who works for the left-leaning National Lawyers Guild, was more explicit about the need to cooperate with Islamists. Stewart, who was convicted of smuggling messages to Islamic radicals, said: “They [extremist Islamic movements] are basically forces of national liberation. And I think that we, as persons who are committed to the liberation of oppressed people, should fasten on the need for self-determination.”

Caldwell offers another explanation as to why the Left is pandering to Muslim anti-Semites. Ironically, it is born out of a well-meaning but misguided attempt to avoid another genocide in Europe. Caldwell believes that the need to avoid racism at all costs following the Holocaust has resulted in a contest for the prize of top victim. Sections of the Muslim community have manipulated left-wing sympathy and the political elite into believing that Muslims are the victims of Islamophobia and of Israeli and American policy.

The European political elite’s unwillingness to integrate immigrant Muslim populations, as well as its obsession with political correctness, have become “the means through which anti-Jewish fury was re-injected into European life”, state Caldwell. He continues: “Far from forgetting the lessons of the Holocaust, anti-Semites and anti-Zionists were obsessed with them. They were a rhetorical toolkit. If the Muslims were the new Jews, apparently, then the Jews were the new Nazis.”

Left-wing racism

Most people don’t associate the Left with racial discrimination, but it is clear socialists are engaging in anti-Israel discrimination and a subtle form of Third World racism, as well as outright anti-Semitism.

One of the ways the Left is racist is because it singles out Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena, expecting it to conform to an impossibly high moral standard that would endanger Israel’s well-being. When Israel inevitably falls short of these impossible standards, it is accused of indefensible behaviour. In contrast, the Palestinians, who have the backing of around 1.6 billion Muslims and several Arab armies, are not held up to any standard at all.

No other nation in the world is singled out for criticism the way Israel is. Israel is condemned for human rights abuses even when such allegations are proved to be untrue (e.g. Jenin). It is accused of ethnic cleansing when it builds Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem. It is dubbed an apartheid state even though Israeli Arabs have full voting rights. It is accused of being an occupier even though Jews had lived on the West Bank for hundreds of years before they were evicted by the Jordanians. It is accused of doing nothing to promote peace when it is the Palestinians who have turned down the opportunity for statehood on numerous occasions (1948, 1967, 2000, 2008).

At the same time, the Left, along with the United Nations, treats the Palestinians like children (the child is the victim par excellence). Such children, of course, don’t know any better and should not be punished or chastised for their mistakesbecause nothing is ever their fault. This shades in to a form of neo-primitivism, where Third World populations are allowed to (literally) get away with murder. The Left, along with the mainstream media, have adopted the racist stance that when the Palestinians kill each other or kill Jews, it is a legitimate expression of a Third World ‘will to power’ and are therefore absolved of responsibility. When Israelis take military action or assassinate a terrorist leader, it is dubbed fascist or racist.

The Left does not view the Palestinian as a full human being, with all the rights and responsibilities this entails, but is regarded as some kind of special case. In general, the Left has been uninterested in the emancipation of Arabs. The gathering of Stop the War protestors in London prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq, with their “not in my name” placards, reveals much about the left-wing mentality. The opportunity to free the Iraqis from one of the worst tyrants in modern history was dismissed by the Left, who cynically used the impending war as a way of lambasting George W Bush and Tony Blair. If Blair and Bush had caved in to this pressure, Saddam would still be in power and the Iraqi people would still be oppressed and tortured. Despotic and cruel regimes in the Muslim world are of no interest to the Left, except when they are forced to defend them. (Notably, the date chosen by the Stop the War coalition for one of their demos was 28th September 2002, the second anniversary of the second intifada. This was the march where some of the protestors chanted “death to the Jews” in Arabic and where there were placards that juxtaposed the Star of David with the swastika. Coincidentally (or not) the September 2003 Stop the War demo took place on the Jewish festival, Rosh Hashanah.)

But when it comes to Palestinian freedom, the Left is positively drooling. Why? Because it fits the anti-American and anti-Israel narrative. If the Palestinians were being “oppressed” by the Egyptians or Jordanians, you wouldn’t hear squeak from the Left. (In fact, when Jordan and Egypt annexed the West Bank and Gaza respectively, neither the Left nor the Palestinian Arabs talked of ‘occupation’. That’s because the Jordanians and Egyptians are Arabs, not Jews.)

So the Left wants a free Palestine. Putting aside the fact that the Palestinians have rejected a state of their own on several occasions (twice in the past 12 years), does the Left really expect Palestine to be a place of tolerance and equality, with functioning democratic institutions and trade unions? If the Left wants these things for the Palestinians, why is it so cosy with Hamas, which considers homosexuality to be a moral sickness, when it imposes a strict Islamic dress code on women and executes those whom it considers traitors. Hamas, which has turned Gaza into a one-party state, espouses Holocaust denial on its website, diverts humanitarian aid from those who need it most and uses civilians as human shields.

Anyway, why should the Left condemn Hamas? Hamas represents exactly what the hard Left relishes. Violence! Extreme ideology! Anti-Semitism! Anti-Americanism! Of course, if this means suspending its commitment to gay rights and gender equality, then so be it. The fetishization of Arab and Muslim violence is one of the Left’s hallmarks. And it works both ways. Islam expert Olivier Roy believes that Al-Qaeda’s tactics of abducting and beheading persons via live broadcasts were inspired by extreme left-wing antics in the 1970s. Both the Left and Islamic terror groups share the same penchant for undermining stability and intimidating their enemies.

As things stand, the Left does not expect the Palestinians to do anything to resolve the crisis. Everything depends on Israel, which means Israel is always to blame. But what more can the Israelis do? The Palestinians have had several chances to build a state on the West Bank and Gaza and on each occasion they either turned it down or just simply walked away. As recently as 2008, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians almost all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem (in addition to Gaza). Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, received the plans but never got back to Olmert. Yet it is Israel that is being subjected to boycotts and international criticism.

When the Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005, did the Palestinians make an effort to build a state? No, they destroyed the infrastructure left behind by the Israelis. When the Gazans send rockets into southern Israel, does the Left criticise Hamas? No, they blame Israel for the blockade, which is only in effect because of the rocket attacks. Does the Left hold the Egyptians accountable for their blockade of Gaza? No, because it doesn’t fit the anti-Israel narrative.

The Left also holds some unsavoury racist attitudes regarding white people, even if they are white themselves. The Left’s fetishization of black and/or Arab power, combined with a disgust of the West’s colonial past, has resulted in a bizarre white guilt complex. This may explain why the Left supports the nationalisms of Third World peoples – aborigines, native Indians, the Palestinians – but actively seeks to deconstruct the nationalisms of Europe, Israel and the US. (It’s an interesting turn of history that the Jews and Israelis are now considered fully paid-up members of the ‘white’ race.) This dismantling of the nation state in Europe is in large part due to lax EU immigration laws. America-bashing is also a fun sport for the Left, which considers most white protestant males to be uncultured, unintelligent, hamburg-munching reactionaries. The smearing of George W Bush, who was actually a well-read compassionate man who boosted AIDS funding in Africa and had several ‘black’ people in his government, is a case in point. Unfortunately, his folksy demeanour and cowboy swagger, and the fact that he was a Christian Republican, made him a figure of fun for self-proclaimed intellectuals and atheists around the world.

The British experience

In the UK, the centre-left media constantly bleats on about Zionism and the supposed influence of the Jewish lobby on American and British policymakers. In 2003, the Independent published a cartoon that depicted Israeli leader Ariel Sharon eating a baby (thus drawing on the ancient blood libel). The Guardian, which has abandoned its support for Israel and now takes a staunchly pro-Palestinian line, is reviled by large parts of the Jewish community. The Guardian’s Comment is Free website is so notorious for its anti-Semitism that an organisation called Cif Watch has been established to monitor both the newspaper and its comments website. Mark Gardner, in his excellent ironically-entitled essay, ‘The Zionists are our Misfortune’, cites an example from 2006. One remark on Comment is Free ran: “Zionists, like Nazis in the past will be brought to their knees. Zionist sympathisers are nothing more than devil worshipers, they like to suck your blood dry.” He rightly cites this as an example of how “unrestricted groupthink” is infiltrating “supposedly respectable spaces such as the Guardian’s Comment is Free.” The growing trend for members of the public to leave comments on news sites has led to the normalisation of hate speech, with the “onus for policing the limits” of acceptable speech “transferred from the publisher to the victim.”

It is surprising how many column inches are devoted by the media to what is actually a minor land dispute and yet the newspapers treat it is as a global issue of the utmost importance. The blame for this lies largely with the Arab world’s inferiority complex. The Arabs have never forgiven Israel for re-establishing a homeland in the middle of the IslamicUmmah (empire) and have done everything possible (usually terrorism) to turn the spotlight on Israel. This has the unfortunate consequence of putting the Jewish state back in the limelight of history and reawakening old prejudices about the Jews. Even the Guardian has conceded that it “may” be disproportionately preoccupied with Israel. The BBC, too, has privately acknowledged that it is biased against the Israelis.

The hysteria is not confined to the media. During this period, the Left’s continued to make use of outdated anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money. In 1979, the Workers Revolutionary Party accused Britain of selling out the Palestinians to “Zionist money power”. Labour MP Tam Dalyell once claimed that Tony Blair’s middle east policy was being subverted by a Jewish “cabal.” Or there is ‘Perdition’, a play performed by Scottish branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which alleges Zionist collaboration in the Nazi genocide of Hungarian Jews. Or there is Liberal Democrat Jenny Tonge’s claim that the Israeli rescue team in earthquake-hit Haiti was only there to harvest body parts. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone and George Galloway MP have also made unpleasant comments. Livingstone, who made a point of inviting an anti-Semitic Muslim cleric to Britain, once likened a Jewish reporter to “a concentration camp guard.” Galloway has made a career of courting Muslim voters, lambasting Israel and cavorting with Jew-haters, including his Respect Party colleague Carole Swords, who once wrote on Facebook that Zionists are “cockroaches” who “hide in the dark and try to create havoc where they lay their eggs.”

In 2006, a parliamentary inquiry reported that “contemporary anti-Semitism in Britain is now more commonly found on the left of the political spectrum than on the right.” Historian David Cesaeri told the inquiry that anti-Semitism is “masked by or blended inadvertently into anti-Zionism, and because it is often articulated in the language of human rights.” Panel chairman Denis MacShane believes that singling out Israel for boycotts, while ignoring non-democratic regimes, is hypocritical and contributes to an atmosphere in which Jews in Britain feel like “second-class citizens.”

Scapegoating the Jews (again)

One of the mysteries of history is why anti-Semitism is so prevalent, even in countries where there are barely any Jews (e.g. Japan). If anything positive came out of the Holocaust, it was the realisation that racist language can have devastating effects. Following the horrors of the Nazi genocide, the mainstream public and the media rejected anti-Semitism as a dangerous and discredited mode of discourse. Even the Catholic Church apologised for its role in demonising the Jews. But a generation after the Holocaust, there were anti-Zionist murmurings on the Left, which soon became full-blown hatred for Israel. Slowly but surely, anti-Zionism shaded into anti-Semitism, a trend which was encouraged by Muslim hatred for the Jews. Nowadays, it is distressingly common to read or hear anti-Semitic language from people who should know better. Take, for example, the ramblings of American left-wing analyst and self-styled revolutionary James Petras.

Petras, who has contributed articles to the Guardian and the New Left Review, has labelled American Zionists “Israel’s fifth column” and stereotyped the American Jewish community as “primarily defined by their entrepreneurial capacities” and “upholders of a doctrine of offensive wars.” In his book, The Power of Israel in the U.S., Petras states: “The worse crimes are committed by those who claim to be a divinely chosen people, a people with righteous claims of supreme victimhood. Righteous victimology, linked to ethno-religious loyalties and directed by fanatical civilian militarists with advanced weaponry, is the greatest threat to world peace and humanity.” He has also blamed the global economic crisis on Zionists and accused the American-Jewish community of being “bloodthirsty” for war and controlling the media. President Obama is criticised for capitulating to “the Zionofascists” and is a “greater war monger on issues involving Israel than even Bush.” Not only do the Zionists “rule the White House”, they also have control of the entire political apparatus “to silence, insult, witch hunt and isolate any critic of their agenda.”

It is obvious that Petras is not engaging in legitimate criticism of Israel but is demonising “Zionists” and more worryingly, American Jews in general. Some of his language would not be out of place in a Nazi tract: Jews are a “fifth column”; they are capitalists who control the media and the banks; and they are “bloodthirsty”. It is extremely alarming that so-called progressives think it is acceptable to employ such terminology. What’s worse is that most of them actually deny that the Left has been tainted by anti-Semitism. The Left’s inability to confront this problem not only calls into question their judgement, it is indicative of a depressing decline in the quality of public discourse. It is also an example of what Irving Louis Horowitz has described as left-wing fascism: the tendency to find faults “everywhere and always in an imperial conspiracy of wealth, power or status.”

While Zionists – both Jewish and non-Jewish – are trying to make the case for Israel and defeat anti-Semitism, the Left is undermining Israel’s legitimacy and adding to the sickness that is anti-Semitism. Of course, not everyone on the Left is anti-Semitic, although most are anti-Zionist. Jews who identify with the Left are critical of some of Israel’s policies, but they do not usually deny its right to exist. Confusingly, the Left often makes the point that it can’t be anti-Semitic because it has Jewish supporters. But this misses the point. There are individuals on the Left who are most definitely anti-Semitic; and taken as a whole, the Left is undoubtedly blurring the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Not everything the Left believes in is bad. The right to engage in same-sex relationships and for women to be treated fairly in the workplace are just two examples of positive socialism. The trouble is, such beliefs are being submerged by the Left’s perverse alliance with people who kill gays and mutilate women. Add the problems of anti-Semitism and street violence into the mix and you have a situation where the Left is no longer progressive but fascist. Even when individuals on the Left act in good faith, their intentions, in the words of poet John Milton, “do not make good deeds”; neither can good intentions “prevent the consequences of bad deeds from being bad.” One should be able to hold progressive views about homosexuality and gender equality without identifying with the Left. The Left, after all, is totalitarian philosophy with a terrible track record for backing despots and justifying the murder of millions in Soviet Russia and Maoist China.

Left-wing fascism: terror and ‘brown shirt’ activism

There is a growing number of scholars, sociologists and political philosophers who believe fascism is alive and kicking on the left of the political spectrum. Jonah Goldberg, Richard Wolin, Bernard-Henri Levy and Irving Louis Horowitz are among those who believe the Left is sowing all the hallmarks of European fascism: irrational, emotional, anti-Semitic, engaged in violent confrontation with democratic institutions.

Eager to shake of the so-called Judenkomplex, (i.e. Holocaust guilt), left-wing groups in the late 1960s onwards latched on to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis as a way of absolving their generation of guilt-by-association by casting the Israelis in the role of the new Nazis. Driven by an extreme anti-imperialist ideology, these left-wing extremists carried out a number of terrorist acts against Jews, including the placement of a bomb in the Jewish Community Centre in West Berlin on November 9th 1969 (the anniversary of Kristnallnacht).

The Red Army Faction, a violent revolutionary cell which operated in Europe until 1990s, held anti-Semitic views, culminating in the explosion of a bomb near a bus filled with Russian Jewish émigrés on their way from Budapest to Israel. Significantly, Ulrike Meinhof, co-founder of the Red Army Faction, equated anti-Semitism with anti-capitalism, and came very close to justifying the Holocaust: “Auschwitz meant that six million Jews were killed, and thrown on the waste-heap of Europe, for what they were considered: money-Jews.” (Interestingly, Meinhof’s contemporary, Horst Mahler, a founding member of the Red Army Faction, later became a neo-Nazi and was tried in Germany over charges of Holocaust denial.)

Across the Atlantic, the Weather Underground was responsible for bombings during the 1970s. The founding document of the movement called for “the destruction of US imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism.” Interestingly, the founders of this group went on to establish the Free Gaza movement, which has attempted to breach the Egyptian-Gaza border and break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. The most notorious incident was the Gaza Flotilla debacle in 2010, which resulted in several Israeli commandos being shot, beaten and stabbed by so-called peace activists .

While acts of left-wing terror have largely disappeared, the Left has legitimised a political style reminiscent of ‘brown shirt’ fascism by waging a Kulturkampf (culture war) against Israel. The malicious boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign has done inestimable damage to Israel’s reputation. Inexplicably, Israel is now considered to be on a par with apartheid South Africa. A growing number of universities, trade unions and businesses have decided to boycott not only Israeli products, but also individual Israelis (usually academics), as well as Israeli orchestras and theatre groups. In the past month, Unison prevented an Israeli speaker attending an NHS event, while the Co-operative has extended its boycott of Israeli producers. Grassroots socialists in the UK regularly stage daft demonstrations outside Marks and Spencer’s because of its links with Israel.

In 2011, Australian pro-Palestinian groups targeted the Israeli-owned business Max Brenner in Melbourne.  Nineteen activists were arrested during the protest, most of whom were charged and bailed on offences including assaulting police and riotous behaviour. Indeed, the BDS movement has clear affinities with the thuggery of anti-globalisation protestors who like to smash up Starbucks because the company is viewed as a symbol of American capitalism and because its founder, Howard Shultz, gives money to Jewish causes. As Ben Cohen points out on his blog ‘Z Word’, the elevation of a local conflict between Israelis and Palestinians into a global one “is what unites the movement to boycott Israel with the thugs who vandalized a synagogue in Caracas and the advocates of a boycott of Jewish-owned business in countries as far apart as Italy, South Africa and Argentina.” Again, this is reminiscent of the Nazi brown shirts who indulged in acts of violence and boycotts against its political enemies.

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz has stated that those who advocate boycotts and divestiture “will literally have blood on their hands” because they “encourage terrorism and discourage the laying down of arms.” In 2011, LUSH, a leading luxury handmade cosmetics company, announced that it was giving a share of its profits to an anti-Israel organization called “OneWorld”, a group set up by various recording artists who released an anti-Semitic song titled “Freedom for Palestine.” More troubling was the fact that OneWorld was supported by several organisations that were sympathetic to terrorism. Luckily, the ‘Lush supports Hamas’ backlash damaged the company’s reputation, causing one of its shops to close.

Conclusion

If the Left ever had any genuine sympathy for Jewish self-rule, it has completely dissipated. Soviet Russia’s short-lived pro-Israel stance in the late 1940s was an aberration, born out of the common struggle against the Nazis. It was only while the Jewish people were considered victims of the Nazis did some aspects of the Left express momentary support for a Jewish homeland.

Once the Jewish people had rid themselves of the Nazis and had shown the Arab world that they would not be driven into the sea, the Left saw no further use for Jewish nationalism and reverted to its pre-war anti-Semitism, with the Jewish people once again portrayed as the evil bloodsucker. Over the past few decades, the Left has absorbed the Far Right’s obsession with Jewish lobbies and secret Zionist conspiracies. Thanks to its alliance with Islamists, whose outrageous anti-Semitic rhetoric is commonplace, the Left has managed to popularise anti-Semitism on the campuses and in the media. Whereas the Far Right was conscious of its anti-Semitic tendencies, the Left is so blinded by self-righteousness, it is seemingly oblivious to its own obscene rhetoric. Quite often, the Left is apoplectic when accused of anti-Semitism. The trouble is, the Left does not know – or pretends not to know – the difference between the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism (and there is a very fine line between the two). Although not every criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, the Left’s disproportionate obsession with Israel amounts to a global assault on Jewish self-determinism.

Thanks to the Left, Zionism is now a dirty word. Once Zionism was a noble aim. It was the ultimate expression of Jewish identity and sovereignty. Today, the Left and its fellow travellers use the word ‘Zionist’ as an insult, in the same way it hurls the words ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ at anyone who dares to disagree with them. Even in the media, the word ‘Zionist’ has connotations of ‘oppressor’ and ‘racist’. Zionism – both as word and as concept – needs to be reclaimed by those who support Israel.

It is a curious turn of history that the Left, which prides itself on its progressivism, has joined forces with illiberal Islamists. But in a sense, they are perfect bedfellows. Both movements are violent, anti-American and anti-Semitic. The Left has always put its faith in dubious causes (the Black Panthers, IRA and the PLO) and downright evil regimes (the French Revolution, Stalinist Russia and Mao’s China). During the Cold War, the British Left tried to convince us that communism was about peace and nuclear disarmament. All the while, Russia and China were oppressing and murdering millions of their own people. Today, the Left tries to convince the world that Islam is a religion of peace and that Israel is the world’s greatest threat. Why does the Left get things so wrong?

Socialism is essentially the philosophy of the juvenile. It is a philosophy that views history in terms of black and white. This dialectic manifests itself in crude one-dimensional binary opposites: Israeli/Palestinian; rich/poor; fair/unfair; ‘the West’/Muslims; justice/injustice; strong/weak. From these few examples, you can see how the Left develops its narrative. The Israelis are rich, powerful Westerners. The Palestinians are poor, defenceless Muslims. This type of narrative, far from being progressive, is actually reactionary. It leads to situations where the Left finds itself supporting the likes of Saddam Hussein or Stalin for the simple reason that both were anti-American (and anti-Zionist). As Nietzsche pointed out, socialism is the “younger brother of an almost decrepit despotism.” According to the philosopher (who was contemptuous of anti-Semites), socialism can only exist “by means of the most extreme terrorism.” Not only that, the Left drives the word justice “like a nail into the heads of the semi-educated masses, to rob them completely of their reason.” What the Left is doing – in collusion with Islamists – is eerily reminiscent of what the Nazis did in Germany. Hitler polluted public discourse with stories about how terrible and how dangerous the Jews are to society. And we all know how that ended.

The only hope is that the Left eventually realises it has been on the wrong side of history. Since the collapse of communism, most socialists have come to realise it was immoral to support Stalin and Mao. But it still clings to the belief that its support of Hamas, the IRA and dangerous student radicals is a good thing. Like the Left’s support for the black supremacists in the late 1960s, the Left of today is desperate to gain approval and support of violent Islamists in order to boost its anti-imperialist credentials. Maybe in fifty years’ time, after Israel has imploded from the pressure of a hostile world or is blown to bits by the Iranians, it will understand why it was indefensible to single out Israel for unwarranted condemnation and make amends for its unquestioned support of Jew-hating Islamofascists.

IslamoNazism: Why Hitler’s war against the Jews hasn’t ended

[Note: the term ‘Palestine’ refers to the British Mandate, i.e. a geographical area in the Middle East, not to a state or nation. The term ‘Palestinians’ refers to the Arabs who lived under the British Mandate and the Arabs who live in Judea-Samaria and Gaza.]

The Palestinians on trial

Part 1

“The National Socialist movement of Greater Germany has, since its inception, inscribed upon its flag the fight against the world Jewry. It has therefore followed with particular sympathy the struggle of freedom-loving Arabs, especially in Palestine, against Jewish interlopers. In the recognition of this enemy and of the common struggle against it lies the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between the National Socialist Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims of the whole world.”

–          Telegram from Himmler to Haj Muhammud Amin el-Husseini sent on November 2nd, 1943.

Palestinian nationalism, with all its connotations of violence and intransigence, has its roots in the Islamic clerical fascism of the post-Ottoman era. Defined almost entirely by its opposition to secular Jewish self-determination,  Palestinian nationalism was a religious and Judeophobic response to Zionist immigration and settlement in the 1920s and 1930s, only fully emerging as a coherent terrorist movement in the 1960s.

What is fascinating about Palestinian nationalism is its ability to appeal to such a wide range of people. Liberals, left-wing Christians, Muslim radicals, far-right activists and trade unions are all drawn to the so-called plight of the Palestinians. The secret of its success lies in its ability to present itself as a liberation movement, a casualty of imperialism and the victim of Zionist aggression.

The Palestinians have done this through deliberate acts of deceit, disinformation, media manipulation and historical revisionism. But their greatest triumph is their success in concealing – or at least radically downplaying – their role in the Holocaust.

Palestinians never miss an opportunity to refer to the Israelis as Nazis. But the irony is that it was the Palestinian leadership in the 1930s and 1940s that colluded and collaborated with Hitler. And it wasn’t just their leaders who admired the Nazis. The Palestinian people and the Arab media were enthusiastic supporters of Hitler and his virulent brand of anti-Semitism.

Moreover, the Palestinians, with the support of belligerent Muslim states and terrorist groups, are continuing Hitler’s war against the Jews and are responsible for destabilising the entire Middle East.

Part 2

In 1938, French magazine Marianne published an article revealing the Palestinians’ incredible enthusiasm for Hitler. The magazine reported that in the town of Nablus, the Arab population “received British troops with shouts of ‘Heil Hitler’.” Marianne also revealed to the French public that a number of Arab journals were regularly publishing racist editorials but also large portraits of Third Reich leaders.  According to the magazine, the Arab newspapers “do not even try to conceal the fact that they have become pupils of the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin.”

This wasn’t the first display of Palestinian affection for the Fuehrer. When Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935, a number of Palestinians sent telegrams congratulating him. Two years later, on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, photographs of Hitler and Mussolini, as well as Nazi flags, were carried by Arab demonstrators in Palestine.

The man who did most to bring Nazism to British Palestine and the Middle East was Haj Muhammud Amin el-Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem and spiritual leader of the Palestinians.  Nicknamed the Arab fuehrer, Husseini collaborated with the Nazis to an astonishing extent during the 1930s and 1940s, and met Hitler on several occasions. His alliance was so successful that the Nazis declared their readiness to eradicate the Yishuv, the Jewish National Home in Palestine.

Husseini was behind the anti-Jewish riots in 1920-21 and the Hebron massacre a few years later. He believed it was a religious impossibility for Muslims to share the land with Jews.  Even areas where Jews formed a majority were considered to be a defilement.  In 1929, Husseini distributed pamphlets saying: “O Arabs, do not forget that the Jew is your worst enemy and has been the enemy of your forefathers.” He also announced that the Jews had “violated the honour of Islam.” This led to a pogrom in Jerusalem and a massacre in Hebron, where 60 Jews were killed and the town ethnically cleansed.  The British attributed the attacks to “racial animosity on the part of the Arabs.”

This wasn’t the first time the British had encountered Muslim animosity towards the Jews. Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled over Palestine for centuries but had lost the First World War, international law recognised that the Jews in Palestine were there “by right.” The British took control of Palestine in 1917 and some years later established the first Palestinian state of Transjordan. The Jews living in this part of Palestine were told to leave. It soon became clear that any Jewish presence in any part of Palestine was not favoured by  the Muslims. Aref Pasha Dajani, the mayor of Jerusalem, declared that it was “impossible” to live alongside the Jews  because they “suck the blood of everybody.”

It was as early as 1933 that Husseini was in contact with the new regime in Germany. Within weeks of Hitler’s rise to power, the German consul-general in Palestine sent a telegram to Berlin reporting Husseini’s enthusiasm for Nazism and for the spread of fascism in the Middle East. When Husseini and several Arab sheiks met with the consul-general a few weeks later, he expressed his approval of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany.

Very soon, the Husseini family had set up the Palestinian Arab Party, which was nicknamed the “Nazi Scouts.” Husseini’s brother, Jamal, was chairman of the Palestine Arab Party and a delegate to his brother’s Arab Higher Committee. It was this committee that led a led a campaign of boycotts and terror against Jews, and the bombings of British offices between 1936 and 1939.

In 1937, Husseini visited the Jerusalem German Consul, where he met with Eichmann to discuss “the Jewish question.” This meeting resulted in the Nazis agreeing to finance Husseini’s pogroms against the Jews in Palestine.

Hitler publicly expressed his support for the Palestinian Arabs. This support was motivated by anti-Semitism and a suspicion of Britain’s colonial rule in the Middle East. In a speech made before the Reichstag in 1939, Hitler opined that Palestine is “occupied not by German troops but by the English,” and he accused British troops of oppressing the Arabs for “the benefit of Jewish interlopers.”

Not surprisingly, Husseini was keen to capitalise on the Fuehrer’s sympathy. Under the Mufti’s influence, the Nazi regime gave the go-ahead for the conversion to Islam of 25,000 Nazis in 1939. The newly-formed Jamait-e-Muslimin (“Muslim group”) were sent to Cairo to assist Nazi operations in Egypt, Palestine, Sudan and Transjordan. In the spirit of cultural exchange, a number of young Arabs were given training in Germany and Italy.

Husseini used his influence to promote Arab nationalism in Iraq. Pro-Nazi Muslims, at the behest of Husseini, slaughtered dozens of Jews in Baghdad in 1941. The Farhud or “violent dispossession” was led by the Hitler youth-modeled Iraqi-Arab Futuwwa paramilitary group under the pro-Nazi Iraqi minister of education, Saib Shawkat. The massacre was the beginning of the end of the Jewish community in Iraq, a community that had existed for 2,600 years.

The Mufti travelled to Berlin in November 1941 to meet Hitler and his foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Hitler, apparently impressed by Husseini’s blond hair and blue eyes, believed that “in more than one case the Mufti’s ancestors must have been Aryan.” In his meeting with the Fuehrer, the Mufti stressed that “the Arab peoples are Germany’s natural friends fighting common enemies.” Husseini pressed for a solution regarding the elimination of Jews in Palestine. Hitler, in response, stated “that Germany is committed to the uncompromising struggle against the Jews.”

During the war Al-Husseini spent most of his time in Berlin. The Nazis paid him huge amounts of money, some of which was used to fund the Arab war against the Jews in 1948. He also petitioned the Nazis leadership on several occasions to prevent thousands of Jewish children leaving for Palestine.

In 1941 Husseini began recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Nazi cause. In a visit to Bosnia, he convinced Muslim leaders that a Muslim S.S. division would be advantageous to Islam. The Bosnian Muslims were organised into several divisions of the Waffen SS and other units. The largest was the 13th Hanzar division, which had more than 21,000 members. Declaring himself the “protector of Islam,” Husseini and his recruits were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Serbian Christians and Jews.

In a speech to his Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS Division in 1944, Husseini declared that his Bosnian division was an “example for Muslims in all countries”. He continued:

“Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course […] Further, National Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry […] There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism, namely in the affirmation of struggle and fellowship, in stressing leadership, in the ideas of order, in the high valuation of work.  All this brings our ideologies close together and facilitates cooperation.”

Muslim soldiers not only helped the Nazis deport Jews in east Europe, they were also involved in the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943. On another occasion, Husseini dispatched his soldiers to Palestine in order to fight the Jews.

The Palestinians were willing recipients of Nazi funding and propaganda. On July 7th, 1942, the Voice of Free Arabism aired a program titled, “Kill the Jews Before They Kill You.” Husseini was allowed to broadcast from Berlin. One on occasion in 1944 he urged Arabs to “kill Jews wherever you find them for the love of God, history and religion.”

Operation Atlas was eerily prescient of contemporary fears of terrorists obtaining biological weapons. In 1944, at the behest of Husseini, Hitler ordered a five-man team to dump a lethal toxin in the water supply of Tel Aviv. Luckily, the unit, which comprised three Germans and two Arabs, was caught by police in Jericho before they had chance to execute their plan. It is estimated that a quarter of million people would have died if the plot had succeeded.

As well as petitioning the Nazis to halt the emigration of Jewish children to Palestine, Husseini was also complicit in the mass killings of Jews in Europe. According to Klaus Gensicke, who has studied the relationship between the Mufti and the Nazis, Husseini must have known the full extent of the Holocaust. He cites a radio broadcast made on September 20th, 1944. In this broadcast, Husseini urged the Arabs to give up 11 million Jews. The total number of Jews at the beginning of the war was 17 million. Therefore, Husseini must have known that 6 million Jews had already perished at the hands of the Nazis. Gensicke also points out that Husseini used very similar language when referring to the mass murder of Jews. While the Nazis spoke of a “Final Solution,” Husseini referred to  a “Definitive Solution.”

Indeed, Husseini made several visits to the camps. He is known to have visited Auschwitz at least once, as well as Sachsenhausen and Majdanek. Husseini was apparently impressed by what he saw and gloated over the deaths of the Jews. He deliberated the possibility of building a concentration camp in the Palestinian town of Nablus.

It could be argued that it was Husseini’s fanatical hatred of Jews that encouraged the Nazis to press on with their plan to make Europe Judenrein (“Jew free”). According to testimony given at Nuremberg by Dieter Wisliceny, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy, the Mufti “was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan […] He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.”

There is no doubt that had the war gone Hitler’s way, Husseini would have been able to execute his ‘Definitive Solution’ in Palestine, probably starting with a concentration camp in Nablus. The fact that his first task in Europe was to press Mussolini, and then Hitler, for their support in his vision of a Jew-free Palestine strongly suggests that the Holocaust would not have ended in Europe in 1945 but would have continued for several more years across the Middle East and North Africa. It goes without saying that a world run by Hitler and Husseini would not be a world in which the State of Israel exists.

In his memoirs, Husseini wrote: “Our fundamental position for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a befitting our national and racial aspirations, and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: ‘The Jews are yours’.”

Part 3

Husseini’s legacy is considerable. Having escaped to Egypt, Husseini used his influence to persuade the Arabs to reject the UN’s partition plan, the source of today’s Israeli-Palestinian crisis. He also encouraged the participation of Egypt in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Hassan Al-Banna, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (which went on to form Hamas in 1987), hoped that Husseini would continue Hitler’s war on the Jews.  He wasn’t disappointed. The Arab League, co-founded by Husseini, was involved in all major wars against Israel, as well as the two Intifadas.

Husseini also had disciples who would continue his work. Husseini’s nephew, Yasser Arafat, began working for the Mufti when he was 16. Arafat was involved in the Mufti’s covert terrorist network and assisted in the smuggling of weapons to attack Jewish settlers in Palestine.  Arafat, who went on to become the chairman of the PLO and president of the Palestinian Authority, considered Husseini to be a hero of the Palestinians.

Another of Husseini’s disciples was Albert Huber, a Swiss-German journalist who converted to Islam in 1962 and became  increasingly sympathetic to both Arab nationalism and Nazism. Like Husseini, Huber believed Nazism and Islam shared the same ideologies and he spent much of his life advancing the Nazi-Islam axis. Huber not only admired Osama bin Laden, he also met with bin Laden sympathizers in Lebanon before 9/11. Two months after the attack on New York, Huber was accused by the US government of funding Al Qaeda.

Husseini was the Middle East’s answer to Hitler. He had the support of fellow Muslim leaders and the backing of the Palestinians, who were very amenable to Nazism. Palestinian scholar Edward Said, who is no friend of Israel, has conceded that Husseini  “represented the Palestinian Arab national consensus.” He had “the backing of political parties that functioned in Palestine,” and was “recognised in some form by Arab governments as the voice of the Palestinian people.”

There is no doubt that Husseini’s pathological hatred for Jews and Zionism, as well as his admiration for Nazism, left a deep impression on his followers. His influence can be detected in the rejectionist policies of the PLO and Hamas, the violent uprisings of 1987 and 2000, and the anti-Semitic hate speech of radical clerics that permeates the airwaves in the Palestinian territories.

The Muslim-Nazi Axis

Part 1

“It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion […] The Mohammedan religion […] would have been more compatible to us than Christianity.”

–          Adolf Hitler, August 1942.

It is no secret that most contemporary Muslim states and Islamist radical groups  are quasi-fascistic and anti-Semitic. Oppressive, violent, irrational and pathologically obsessed with destroying the Jewish state,  these modern-day fascists have inherited a great deal from the Nazis.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Mein Kampf and the notorious anti-Semitic tract Protocols of the Elders of Zion were translated and widely read in Arab countries. These books are still very popular in the Middle East.

In his day, Hitler was celebrated in large parts of the Arab world, with some newspapers likening him to Muhammad.

The Syrians were particurlarly susceptible to the influence of Nazism. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) pressed for the establishment of a single Syrian nation state spanning the present day Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, Cyprus, Kuwait and the Sinai, as well as parts of Turkey and Iran. Hitler had a similar expansive vision for Europe. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party’s emblem, the red hurricane, was taken from the Nazi swastika.

The political philosophy that has dominated Syria and until recently Iraq is Ba’athism. A secular Arab nationalist ideology , Ba’athism endorses a one-party state that enforces itself on the masses by means of authoritarianism and repression. The Ba’athists were fascinated by Nazism and translated Mein Kampf into Arabic. Sami al-Jundi, Member of the Syrian Ba’athist Party admitted the Ba’athists were racist. “We were immersed in reading Nazi literature and books […] Anyone who lived in Damascus at that time was witness to the Arab inclination toward Nazism.” Indeed, several shops in Syria in the early months of the second world war displayed posters declaring, “In heaven God is your ruler, on earth Hitler.” After France’s defeat in 1940, Arabs in Damascus were heard chanting, “Allah’s in Heaven and Hitler’s on earth.”

According to his own memoirs, Anwar Sadat, who later became president of Egypt, willingly collaborated with Nazi spies. In fact, Sadat was a member of the Arab ultra-nationalist Young Egypt Party which consciously modelled itself on Nazism. The paramilitary wing of the party was known as the Green Shirts, in tribute to Hitler’s Brown Shirts and Mussolini’s Black Shirts. The Young Egypt Party, which  owed its raised arm salute and its slogan, “One Folk, One Party, One Leader”, to the Nazis, pressed for the boycott of Jewish businesses and abuse of Egypt’s Jewish communities. Gamal Abdel Nasser,  who was president of Egypt from 1956 until 1970, was also a member of the party. It was Nasser who, with the assistance of former Nazi officers and officials, drove Egypt into a unsuccessful war with the Israelis in 1967.

Many Arab leaders in the 1930s and 1940s sought alliances with Hitler and the Nazis. One example is the alliance between the Tunisian Arabs army and the Nazis, who between them murdered hundreds of Jews in North Africa. There were Nazi-inspired pogroms in Algeria in the 1930s, and massive attacks on the Jews in Iraq and Libya in the 1940s.

Hitler admired Islam’s partiality for violence and colonial expansion.  According to the Nazi leader, the Muslim religion is “perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament” and described it as a cult that “glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone.” What is less well known is Hitler’s support for the Palestinian Arabs. This support was motivated by anti-Semitism and a suspicion of Britain’s colonial rule in the Middle East. In a speech made before the Reichstag in 1939, Hitler opined that Palestine is “occupied not by German troops but by the English” and accused British troops of oppressing the Arabs for “the benefit of Jewish interlopers.”

Part 2

It cannot be doubted that Nazis ideology had a profound effect on Arab and Muslim behaviour in the Middle East. But did Islam exert an influence on leading Nazis?

At least one Muslim theologian has claimed that he influenced Hitler. Before the creation of Pakistan, Muhammad Inayat Allah Khan wanted a separate state for Indian Muslims. In 1926 – several years before Hitler’s rise to power – Khan met Hitler in Berlin. According to Khan,  Hitler “discussed Islamic Jihad with me in details.” Khan also claimed that Hitler’s Brown Shirt movement was modelled on Khan’s own vision for an Islamic grassroots movement called the Khaksars.

Himmler was particularly struck by Islam and he wasted no time in exploiting Muslim anti-Semitism in the Middle East to further the Nazi cause and undermine British rule.  He was impressed by Islam’s attitude towards war, which made Muslim jihadists natural allies of Nazi soldiers. The creation of a Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS division also appealed to Himmler, partly because Bosnian Muslims provided the missing link between National Socialism and Arabism. Under the guidance of Husseini,  the 13th Hanzar Division of the SS was created in 1943 and was largely comprised of Bosnian Muslims.  The Hanzars participated in the massacre of Serbian Jews and Christians, and volunteered to join the hunt for Jews in Croatia.

Hitler, like Houston Stewart Chamberlain before him, was a great admirer of Islam, which he believed was vastly superior to Christianity. According to Albert Speer, Hitler imagined an alternate history in which Islamized Germans would have been the crowning glory of the Muslim empire. The dream of a German-led Islamic caliphate may explain his own drive to create a Greater Germany, a kind of Nazi Ummah without any Jews.

Once Hitler came to power, he set about stripping the Jews of their citizenship. Since the Muslim conquest of Spain and the Middle East, Jews were dhimmis  or second-class citizens. Depending on the time and the place, Jews were barred from public office and made to wear distinctive clothing, both of which foreshadow Nazi legislation. And like the Nazis, Muslims had the option of simply killing the Jews en masse, which is exactly what happened in Granada in 1066, when 4,000 Jews were massacred.

Maimonides, the great 12th century Jewish scholar, was shocked by the level of violence and discrimination meted out by Muslims. Islam, he said, had done the most harm to the children of Israel. “None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us,” he wrote in an epistle to the Jews of Yemen.  His letter cites the “imposed degradation”, “the lies” and “their absurdities,” which are “beyond human power to bear.” He continues:

“We are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness and their outbursts at any time. On the contrary, the more we suffer and choose to conciliate them, the more they choose to act belligerently toward us.”

Fast-forward to the 18th and 19th centuries when Jews were systematically expelled and/or massacred by Muslims. Between 1770 and 1786, Jews were expelled from Jedda in Saudi Arabia. Massacres took place in Morocco (1790), Baghdad (1928), Iran (1839, 1867), Syria (1840, 1848, 1850, 1875, 1890), Lebanon (1847, 1862, 1874), Jerusalem (1847), Egypt (1844, 1870, 1871, 1873, 1877, 1882, 1890, 1891, 1901–08), and Turkey (1864, 1866, 1868, 1870, 1872, 1874).

There were also more innocuous – but still shocking – incidents that deprived the Jewish people of dignity. In Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, Benny Morris writes that one symbol of Jewish degradation was the phenomenon of spitting and stone-throwing at Jews by Muslim children. The victims of these abuses were in no position to retaliate.

Pogroms, humiliations, expulsions, massacres. Islam’s disregard for the Jews was a shocking precursor to the Third Reich’s treatment of the Jewish people. However, such similarities do not prove that Hitler’s genocide hatred was directly influenced by Islam.

Part 3: The Armenian example

“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

–          Adolf Hitler, August 1939.

It has already been argued that Hitler’s attitude towards the Jews was partly influenced by the rabid anti-Semitism of Haj Muhammud Amin el-Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem and spiritual leader of the Palestinians. Husseini not only urged Hitler to spread fascism in the Middle East, he also stands accused of helping to initiate the Holocaust, if testimony given at Nuremberg in June 1946 by Dieter Wisliceny can be trusted.

But would Hitler have carried out the ‘Final Solution’ in the first place if there hadn’t been a recent precedent? It is impossible to answer, but the fact that Muslim colonialists had succeeded in wiping out more than a million Armenian Christians just a couple of decades ago, must have had some effect on Hitler’s vision for a Jew-free Europe. And the fact Husseini was an Ottoman staff officer during the Armenian genocide may also have played a part.

The Armenian Christians had come largely under Ottoman rule during the 15th and 16th centuries. Like the Jews, the Armenians were second-class citizens and were subject to the cruel urges of their oppressors. British ethnographer William Ramsay writing in the late 1890s after having visited the Ottoman Empire, described the conditions of the Armenians:

“Conceive the inevitable result of centuries of slavery, of subjection to insult and scorn, centuries in which nothing belonged to the Armenian, neither his property, his house, his life, his person, nor his family, was sacred or safe from violence – capricious, unprovoked violence – to resist which by violence meant death.”

Even before the disaster of the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian people were being slaughtered.  Between 1894 and 1909, around 250,000 Armenians were murdered by Muslim Turks.

During and just after the first world war, Ottoman Turks systematically killed up to 1.5 million Armenians in what has been dubbed the forgotten Holocaust.  Starting in 1915, the Ottomans systematically uprooted Armenians from their homes, forcing them to march for hundreds of miles, without food and water, to what is now Syria. Not surprisingly, many Armenians died on the journey or in the Syrian desert. Rape was commonplace.

The massacres were horrific. Mass burning, drowning and poisoning were among the methods used by the Ottomans to eliminate the unwanted Armenians.  Other forms of torture were employed, too gruesome to mention. In a grim foreshadowing of the Nazi atrocities, the poisonings were carried out by doctors and sometimes involved the use of gas.  The Turks also prefigured the Nazis in the use of infrastructure. Many  Armenians were crammed into cattle cars and sent away. Many were kept in concentration camps.

And it wasn’t just the Armenians who were targeted. In 1914, ethnic Greeks were uprooted in order to make room for Muslims from the Balkans. Torture, rape and forced conversions were routine. Between 1914 and 1925, as many as 750,000 Assyrians were slaughtered by the Ottomans and their Turkish successors. This led to a large-scale migration of Assyrian people into Syria, Iran, and Iraq, where they were to suffer more violence at the hands of Arabs and Kurds.

The hatred of the Armenians and other minorities is eerily prescient of how the Nazis treated the Jews and other ‘inconvenient’ populations. The desire to create an exclusive Muslim-Turkish empire in Asia Minor presages Hitler’s attempt to create an Aryan empire in Europe. The Armenians (and Greek and Assyrians) were robbed of their dignity and subjected to terrible acts of cruelty. And in the end, they were victims of the world’s first systematic case of ethnic cleansing.

How could Hitler have failed to be impressed?

Part 4

 “Thanks to Hitler of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians, revenged in advance against the most vile criminals on the face of the Earth. Although we do have a complaint against him for his crime was not enough.”

–          Ahmad Ragab , in his daily column for Egyptian paper Al-akhbar, April 20th 2001, the anniversary of Hitler’s birthday.

The shared ideology of Nazism and Islamism did not disappear after the 1940s. There was an influx of several hundred SS and Gestapo officers  into Arab countries following the war, including Eichman’s deputy, Alois Brunner. Following the Second World War, Nazis war criminals collaborated with Arabs in Cairo and Damascus in an effort to reverse Israel’s independence. Husseini was also involved in providing safe havens to former Nazis. He was visited three times after the second world war by Francois Genoud, the Swiss financier of the Third Reich and the ODESSA, the Organization of Former SS Members. The purpose of the ODESSA was to facilitate the escape of SS members to South America and the Middle East. (Genoud set up a sham import-export company in Morocco and Egypt that circulated anti-Semitic propaganda.)

The Egyptian army made full use of Nazi expertise.  With the aid of Luftwaffe pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel and SS commando Otto Skorzeny, the army recruited Nazi fugitives who went on to fill key posts in Egypt. According to the Israelis, around 80 former Nazi officials military experts and SS officers, were active in the Egyptian military and police. Another 200 scientists from Germany and Austria were employed at an aircraft and missile centre in Egypt.  In 1956-57, 4,000 Jews were expelled from Egypt and many more were stripped of citizenship. Three years later, many synagogues – as well as Jewish orphanages, schools, hospitals – were shut down. In 1967, Jews were barred from public office.

Having escaped to Egypt, Husseini used his influence to persuade the Arabs to reject the UN’s partition plan. He also encouraged the participation of Egypt in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

On June 1st, 1946, US intelligence in Cairo sent a report to Washington about a statement made by Hassan Al-Banna, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, to the Arab League. Banna praised Husseini as a “hero who challenged an empire and fought Zionism, with the help of Hitler and Germany. Germany and Hitler are gone, but Amin Al-Husseini will continue the struggle.”

As the world’s attention shifted to the US standoff with the Soviets, the legacy of the war against the Jews in Europe had gone underground in the Middle East, only to re-emerge gradually in the 1960s, reaching a crescendo in the first years of the 21st century.

The absorption of Nazi themes, literature, propaganda and personnel before, during and after the war has had a disastrous effect on stability in the Middle East. The multi-pronged attack on Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973 were all motivated by Arab nationalism and anti-Semitism. Even today, newspaper cartoons throughout the Muslim and Arab world rely heavily on Nazi propaganda. Editorial cartoons routinely depict Jews (not just Israelis) as spiders, vampires and octopuses. Another frequent depiction is that of the bearded Orthodox Jew with a hooked nose and dressed in black, which is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. Jews are depicted as inhuman and an enemy of both Islam and humanity. Some cartoons repeat the well-worn canard that the Jews killed God. Another motif is that Jews are in control of the United States and the media. Other themes include the rich Jew, the blood-drinking Jew, and Jews as killers of children. All of these motifs can be found in Nazi literature.

In May 2013, a Nazi flag was waved over a mosque in the village of Beit Omar near Hebron, shocking many Israelis who felt like they had been transported back to the 1930s. But Walid Shoebat, a Palestinian who used to a PLO terrorist, claims that such an action should not be a surprise. “Islamic fundamentalists and Nazis are like-minded,” he said. “That a Nazi flag would be flying over a Palestinian village near a mosque should actually be less shocking than the fact that so many are shocked by it.”

In the Palestinian territories, Hitler’s Mein Kampf is ranked as one of the best-selling books.  So it is no surprise that in 2009 the US State Department reported that many Palestinians  and Muslim religious leaders regularly publics expressed anti-Semitic opinions.”  (There are even Palestinians whose first name is Hitler.) Earlier this year, a spokesman at a Fatah anniversary celebration declared that “war with the descendants of the apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith.” Nader Tamimi, the Mufti of the Palestinian Liberation Army, stated on Al-Jazeera television that “the Jews have a sadistic mentality derived from the Torah.”

Even in Israel itself, there are some Arabs who hold disturbing views. During a speech in 2007, Israeli-Arab Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread. ”

Holocaust denial among the Palestinians is also something that refuses to go away. Mahmoud Abbas, now the president of the Palestinian Authority, has written a book called The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism in which he suggests that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust was “less than a million.” In July 1990, the Palestinian Red Crescent published an article in its magazine Balsam claiming that Jews had fabricated “the lie concerning the gas chambers.” In August 2009, Hamas denounced the Holocaust as a lie and referred to Holocaust education as a “war crime.”

In neighbouring Jordan, 100% of Jordanians hold “somewhat unfavourable” or “very unfavourable” attitudes towards Jews, according to a 2005 survey conducted by Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which is funded by Iran, makes no distinctions between the Israelis and Jews in general. Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah declares: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.”

In Egypt, Islamic scholar Muhammad Hussein Yacoub, delivered a speech on television, in which he said that the fight against the Jews is “eternal.”

Saddam Hussein, another Arab who espoused conspiracy theories, once said that “international” Zionists and “the wicked Jews” are among those who wish “our people ill and our nation harm.” Israel, he opined, was an “accursed freak entity.”

Mahathir bin Mohamad, who served as Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, wrote in his 1970 book, The Malay Dilemma: “The Jews for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.”

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest exporters of terror,  is guilty of institutional anti-Semitism. Saudi king Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud once said that “for a Muslim to kill a Jew or for him to be killed by a Jew ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven.” Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the leading imam of the Grand mosque in Mecca, has referred to the Jews as “the scum of the human race.” In 2001–2002, Saudi Arabia’s Arab Radio and Television produced a 30-part television series that contained dramatizations of the anti-Semitic forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion. A May 2006 study of Saudi Arabia’s curriculum discovered that schoolchildren were being taught that some Jews worship the devil.

Muslim anti-Semitism is not confined to the Middle East but is increasingly common in Europe.  A government study in 2006 estimated that 39% of the Muslim population in Sweden harbour strong and consistent anti-Semitic views. Four years later, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation revealed that anti-Semitism was common among Norwegian Muslims, with many students holding favourable views of Hitler. And in the Netherlands, Muslim football fans frequently shout: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”

France and Britain also have issues with Muslim hatred of Jews. The situation in France is so bad that between 2001 and 2005, around 12,000 French Jews fled to Israel, with many citing Muslim anti-Semitism as the reason for leaving France. In the UK, it has been discovered that some schoolchildren are being taught to hate Jews.  Two years ago, the BBC revealed that Muslim religious schools were teaching children as young as six that Jews are descended from “monkeys” and “pigs,” and that Zionists are conspiring to take over the world. The textbooks that contained these anti-Semitic slurs came from Saudi Arabia.

Islam and the Far Right

It is well documented that Islamic radicals have tacit and overt support from certain elements in the European Left. What is less well known is that Muslim extremists and Islamic regimes have been forging links with European neo-Nazi organisations and Holocaust deniers for several decades. Both camps share  the belief that Zionism is the predominant force in the world. Both share strong anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian views.  There is also mutual hatred of US policymakers.

In the 1960s, George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party (ANP),  expressed (ironic) admiration for black supremacists Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, the main players in the extremist Nation of Islam organisation.  The ANP and Nation of Islam came to an agreement that both parties should challenge the civil rights movement, which was considered a Jewish conspiracy to integrate “white” and “black” people.

German neo-Nazi  Willi Pohl provided weapons and fake passports to Palestinian terrorists who kidnapped and murdered Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Pohl was arrested the same year but only served a two-year sentence. Before his arrest, German police believed Pohl intended to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of the Palestinians.

An increasing number of neo-Nazis are converting to Islam or are coveting a close relationship between the two ideologies.  In the 1980s, Louis Beam, an American neo-Nazi, called for an alliance between the Far Right and Muslim terrorist groups. The aforementioned Albert Huber, the journalist who converted to Islam in 1962 and changed his first name to Ahmed, became  increasingly convince that Islam and Nazism shared the same ideological platform. Another example is David Myatt, a neo-Nazi who converted to Islam in 1998. Myatt, who has referred to the Holocaust as a “hoax”, called for an international jihad against Jews.

In the last few years, the neo-Nazi/Islam pact has manifested itself at street level. In the aftermath of 9/11, German neo-Nazis dressed in Palestinian headscarves burnt an American flag. More recently, members of the Aryan Guard marched alongside supporters of Hamas at an anti-Israel rally in Canada. One of the newest radical organisations is the extreme-right Bosnian National Pride Movement. Bosnian National Pride, which venerates the cooperation between Nazis and Muslims during World War II, has overwhelming majority of Muslim members.

In 2009, the extreme right National Democratic Party planned a “holocaust vigil” for Gaza in support of the Palestinians. The Central Council of Jews in Germany remarked that “joint hatred of everything Jewish is unifying neo-Nazis and Islamists.”

In 2011, the Neo-Nazi German People’s Party urged its followers to take part in Berlin’s celebration of al-Quds Day, an Iranian-backed anti-Israeli event.

Far Right politics is not limited to grassroots organisations. Saudi Arabia, for example, hired an American neo-Nazi in the 1970s to lobby political decision makers in the US. Iran, another state sponsor of terror, has courted neo-Nazis.  In December 2006, the Iranian regime hosted a two-day event called the “International Conference on Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision.” The conference was a deliberate exercise in Holocaust denial and/or revisionism. Among the attendees were American David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan leader;  Bendikt Frings from the far right National Democratic Party of Germany; French writer Georges Thiel, who had been convicted under Holocaust denial laws in France; Fredrick Töben of Australia who had been imprisoned in Germany for three months in 1999 for Holocaust denial; and Michele Renouf, the wife of Holocaust denier David Irving.

 

Islamofascism

The term “Islamofascism” is included in the New Oxford American Dictionary. It is defined as a term “equating some modern Islamic movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth century.” Celebrated journalist Christopher Hitchens defines the rhetoric and activities of some Muslims as “fascism with an Islamic face.”

A fundamentalist, violent and apocalyptic interpretation of Islam is what characterises Islamofascism.  Hitchens dubbed the phenomena as a “cult of murderous violence” that glorifies death, terror and destruction. The similarities between the fascism of the 1930 and 1940s are not hard to miss. Hostility to modernity, a nostalgia for a lost golden age and fixation on real and/or imagined humiliations are common to both movements.  Both share a paranoid fear of “the Jews,”  both repress free expression, both hate homosexuality, and both claim to have implacable enemies that must be eliminated. Like the Nazis, al-Qaeda  is anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-democratic and xenophobic. Like the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, the Palestinian Authority is skilled in the art of disinformation, historical revisionism and spreading anti-Semitism.

Both fascism and radical Islam are populist ideologies.  Both are expressions of perpetual outrage. There is the same tendency to submerge logic in favour an irrational and overheated emotionalism.  There are also common motifs. Hezbollah and Fatah use the straight arm Nazi salute at their gatherings. Instead of chanting “Heil Hitler” or “Sieg Heil” the mesmerized followers of radical Muslim clerics shout “Allahu Akbar” over and over again.

A perfect example of contemporary Islamofascism is Hamas, which currently has control of Gaza. Hamas was formed in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which itself established by an admirer of Hitler and the Nazis and received funding from the Third Reich. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine branch was led by none other than Husseini. Hamas’s 1988 charter calls for the replacement of Israel and the Palestinian Territories with an Islamic Palestinian state. According to the charter, Hamas members are Muslims who “raise the banner of Jihad.” Much of Hamas’s ideology relies heavily on Nazi themes. The charter, which incites violence against Jewish people, states that “our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious”. In support of this call to action, the charter cites anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, the thrust of which is that Zionists are responsible for all kinds of disasters, including the French Revolution.

While Hitler was bent on reviving a Greater Germany and cleansing Europe of the Jews and Slavs, many fundamentalist Muslims want to revive the Caliphate in which non-Muslims are either killed or demoted to second-class citizenship. Muslim fundamentalists hold the racist doctrine that the presence of non-Jews (especially Israelis) in the Ummah or hoped-for caliphate is a violation of Islam.  It is particularly infuriating to the Islamofascists that Arab regimes have been unable to dislodge the State of Israel.

At root level, Islamofascism has absorbed anti-Jewish statements in the Quran, which contains descriptions of Jews being transformed into apes and pigs as punishment for not obeying  Allah. Another source of contemporary hatred is the hadiths, a collection of Islamic traditions attributed to Mohammed. The hadiths characterise the Jews as ritually unclean, as well as liars and murderers. The most notorious – and perhaps the most widely-quoted hadith, is this one:

“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Belief in this hadith, which is enshrined in the Hamas charter, is widespread among the Palestinian Arabs. A 2011 survey by the Israel Project found that three-quarters of Palestinians accept this teaching. At an event earlier this year marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, the current Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Hussein, reiterated the Islamic belief that murder of Jews is one of the aims of Islam.

The attitude towards the Jews in Islamic tradition is neatly summed up in Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present by Frederick M. Schweitzer and Marvin Perry. The authors assert that in the hadiths, the Jews are “debased, cursed, anathematized forever by God and so can never repent and be forgiven.” The hadiths characterise the Jews as ritually unclean, and as liars and murderers.

There are a number of anti-Semitic slurs in the Quran.  Several verses describe the transformation of Jews into apes and pigs as punishment for breaking the Sabbath or “worshipping evil.” Before ordering that every adult male of a particular Jewish tribe be killed, Mohammed referred to the Jews as “brothers of monkeys.” The slaughter of Jews in Granada in 1066 was motivated by a poem that included the line. “Many a pious Muslim is in awe of the vilest infidel ape.” So it is no surprise that today’s Islamists refer to Jews as the “descendants of apes and swine”, or why Hamas says that contemporary Jews are sub-human.

This background of Jew-hatred and violence helps explain why opposition to Jewish immigration in the 1920s and 1930s was so strong, and why Hitler found such a willing audience in the Muslim world. It also demonstrates that Muslim and Arab anti-Semitism is the cause,  not the consequence, of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Hatred of the Jews  and violence against Jewish immigrants was an issue in the Middle East well before the State of Israel came into being.

Conclusion

Part 1

“War is deception. Deceive! Camouflage!”

–          Holy Land Foundation president Shukri Abu Baker.

Although Hitler succeeded in destroying two-thirds of European Jewry, some Muslims like the journalist Ahmad Ragab are disappointed that Hitler’s “crime was not enough.” Paradoxically, other Muslims claim the Holocaust is a Zionist hoax. Others claim they are paying the price for Europe’s sins, while others say the Holocaust was a Nazi-Zionist collaboration.

By adopting all these positions simultaneously, Muslims are either the victims of cognitive dissonance or it is a deliberate misuse and misapplication of history.  Exclaiming their disappointment that Hitler did not go far enough is a disgusting view, but it at least shows they believe the Holocaust actually happened. Those who claim that the Holocaust is a hoax invented by Zionists to generate global sympathy are attempting to delegitimize the unique suffering of the Jews and claim that suffering for themselves. Those who claim they are paying the price for European anti-Semitism are glossing over their own significant part in the Holocaust. Finally, the assertion that the Nazis colluded with the Zionists to create a homeland for the Jews is not only cheap and dishonest, it ignores the fact that many Jews were forbidden by Husseini to leave for Palestine.

In an attempt to offend Jewish sensibilities, the Palestinians zealously portray the Israelis as Nazis, a tactic which involves drawing the swastika on the Israeli flag and comparing Gaza with the Warsaw ghetto. To some observers, this seems like an act of psychological projection on the part of the Palestinians.

Apart from the fact that Nazism has more in common with Palestinian nationalism and Islamic extremism, it is clear that the Palestinians are denying their history of Nazi collaboration and projecting this inner darkness onto the Israelis. Furthermore, it is easier to demonise the Israelis than admitting that their plight is entirely self-inflicted.

Part 2

“This is the war technique. Politics is also war and deception.”

–          Omar Ahmad, CAIR founding chairman.

The biggest fraud of the 20th century is the commonly-held belief that colonialist Jews invaded a country called Palestine and displaced its inhabitants. The second biggest fraud is that the war against the Jews ended in 1945.

For decades, the Muslim world has been in a state of war with the Israeli people. The widespread desire to see Israel wiped off the face of the map is a continuation of Hitler’s vision of a world without Jews. Due to the malevolent influence of Husseini and other Nazi sympathisers in the Middle East, the spirit of Hitler lives on. Palestinian nationalism, in particular, is not only historically intertwined with the Nazis, it is Nazism’s immediate successor. The Palestinians are on the frontline in the against the Jewish people. The Palestinians are unable to make peace with Israel because that would mean their jihad had failed.

All things considered, the Palestinians have done rather well. Having been on the losing side in two world wars, and in the two Arab-Israeli wars (1947-49, 1967), the Palestinians have received millions of dollars in aid, are able to make demands on Israeli and US policymakers, have been offered a state of their own on several occasions, and are a cause celebre on the Left and in the liberal media.

The Palestinians’ unwillingness to admit their Nazi past is perhaps not surprising as it would destroy their credibility as victims, a status they have been honing for several decades. The Nazis, too, claimed they were the victims of the Jews.  The astonishing tirade of anti-Semitic abuse and disinformation in the Arab (and Iranian) media is also indicative of Nazi influence. The growing alliance between Muslim extremists and the Far Right is not paradoxical but entirely natural, given that both movements share the same source. Finally, the Islamofascists who commit acts of terror in the hope of undermining Western and Israeli morale, show clear affinities with the atrocities committed by the fascists in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.

Islam is at war. It is a war has been going on for decades, but it is only since 9/11 that the West has started to wake up to the gravity of the situation. This clash of civilisations has not arisen in a vacuum, but stems in large part from the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and the relationship between the Nazis and the Muslim world in the 1930s and 1940s. The persistence of anti-Semitism in the Middle East, the belligerence of Muslim states and the growth of Islamofascism, are the end results of a pervasive sense of defeat and betrayal, a lust for past glories and a desire for revenge.  These are the same emotions that festered in the heart of Hitler following Germany’s ignoble defeat in 1918.