Antisemitism: Rational or Irrational?

Antisemitism has been at times likened to a disease or a mutating virus.israel apartheid dry bones

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Laureate and Auschwitz survivor, made the remark, “The world has changed in the last 2,000 years, and only antisemitism has remained … The only disease that has not found its cure is antisemitism.” (1)

Where does antisemitism come from and why? Is antisemitism rational or  irrational. This is the sixty four million dollar question and the answer is: – “it is both rational and irrational”.

The Goals and Purpose of Antisemitism

To the propagators  of antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, antisemitism is understood to be a powerful psychological weapon in the interest of national policy.This is very rational and goal directed. Both Hitler and the current day jihadists/Palestinians, understand this very well. Hermann Rauschning, who claimed to be Hitler’s ‘confidant’, said in the mid-1930s:

“Anti-Semitism … was beyond question the most important weapon in [Hitler’s] propagandist arsenal, and almost everywhere it was of deadly efficiency. That was why he had allowed Streicher, for example, a free hand. The man’s stuff, too, was amusing, and very cleverly done. Wherever, he wondered, did Streicher get his constant supply of new material? He, Hitler, was simply on thorns to see each new issue of the Stürmer. It was the one periodical that he always read with pleasure, from the first page to the last”.[10]

 

And now here is the deceptive and irrational part exemplified by deceptive books and newspapers, such as the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Hitlers’ Mein Kampf (which was largely based on the previous book and Der Sturmer, the antisemitic German newspaper which began its publication in Germany in 1924. I quote from wikipedia: 

“Beginning in 1924, Streicher used Der Stürmer as a mouthpiece not only for general antisemitic attacks, but for calculated smear campaigns against specific Jews…Streicher orchestrated his early campaigns against Jews to make the most extreme possible claims, short of violating a law that might get the paper shut down. He insisted in the pages of his newspaper that the Jews had caused the worldwide Depression, and were responsible for the crippling unemployment and inflation which afflicted Germany during the 1920s. He claimed that Jews were white-slavers and were responsible for over 90 percent of the prostitutes in the country. Real unsolved killings in Germany, especially of children or women, were often confidently explained in the pages of Der Stürmer as cases of “Jewish ritual murder.”

One of Streicher’s constant themes was the sexual violation of ethnically German women by Jews, a subject which served as an excuse to publish semi-pornographic tracts and images detailing degrading sexual acts. These “essays” proved an especially appealing feature of the paper for young men. With the help of his notorious cartoonist, Phillip “Fips” Rupprecht, Streicher published image after image of Jewish stereotypes and sexually-charged encounters. His portrayal of Jews as subhuman and evil is widely considered to have played a critical role in the dehumanization and marginalization of the Jewish minority in the eyes of common Germans – creating the necessary conditions for the later perpetration of the Holocaust.”

Although Julius Streicher was able to escape the consequences of his writing during Nazi times. (He was frequently sued for libel but manged to evade guilty verdicts): in 1945 he was one of the nine Nazis tried and found guilty by the Nuremberg Tribunal. Julius Streicher was one of the nine Nazis who were convicted  for “Crimes against Humanity.” and died on the gallows.

Joshua Muravchik in his book “Making David into Goliath” documents the pro-Palestinian leanings of the EU. Is this political stance rational or irrational? Joshua Muravchik points to the policy of appeasement of Palestinian hijackers by European states in the wake of Palestinian terror attacks such as the plane hijackings which were so ubiquitous in the 1960’s and the Munich Olympics terror attack in 1973.

In an interview based on his book Joshua Muravchik  notes:

We know that several European governments made quiet deals with the Palestinians to keep the violence off their soil. One barometer of this was that in virtually every case – and there were dozens – where the perpetrators were taken into custody after a hijacking or terror act, they were soon released. This was sometimes in exchange for other hostages who had been seized by the terrorists and sometimes as part of some other diplomatic deal. This was a measure of how much governments, particularly European governments, didn’t want to be embroiled in a conflict with these groups and were inclined to make concessions to keep things quiet.

Thus for policy reasons, European nations have turned a blind eye towards the anti-Israel terrorism on their own soil and on Israeli soil. Of course, this policy has come back to bite them big time. As many have noted “antisemitism may begin with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews.”

These are the Rational Purposes of Antisemitism: What about the Irrational Aspects? What about those ideas prevalent since the middle ages and into the present time, that Jews use human blood to create matza (unleavened bread) for Passover. Can any rational person believe this? And then there are the even more outlandish internet videos on youtube that spew lies about Jews and Israel the following is just a very abbreviated list:•  

 ARE THE JEWS ALIEN LIZARDS ? I thought it was a crazy idea until I studied it by Neo triestowarnyou 124,198 views 
 1:20:59

•    Where have the Rothschilds disappeared to? by The Bilzerian Report 1,373,332 views 
 21:03

•    Michael Collins Piper vs Eric Jon Phelps – The Great Debate: Zionists or Jesuits? by Reasonable Doubtt 28,625 views 
 1:26:06

•    Should the British stop tolerating intolerance? (The Big Questions, 15/6/14) by Islam & Islamicate 58:50

(By the way I have not watched all of these but any brief look  at the titles will advise you of the nature of the content.)

And then there are the conspiracy theory antisemites highlighted inthese kinds of videos.

•    The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion by ZeroSixtyFive 40,721 views 
 3:21:38

•    Evidence that The Protocols of Zion are Genuine, 1of4 by TheRapeOfJustice 10,258 views 
 14:57

But we have not yet talked about the most significant driver of antisemitism, the emotional psychological driver. It is well known that emotional arguments suffused with fear and anxiety have a powerful hold on individuals both children and adults and take precedence over critical thinking. The best example of this is the claim that “Jews murdered Jesus”. This calumny is what motivated Christian antisemitic pogroms as it was promoted by the Christian church to the masses who then felt justified in hating and murdering Jews through many centuries of Christian church influence.

 

Sources of Antisemitism in Islam

Image

Arab protococols_egypt_1976What is the source of antisemitism in Islam? What is the cause of Muslim antisemitism? Why have Arab countries and the Palestinians been so adamantly against accepting and acknowledging the Jewish narrative, the continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land, and the Jewish state of Israel? Professor Mordechai Kedar, explains this very well:

This was one of a series of talks on antisemitism sponsored by  ISGAP – Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism at McGill University in January 2015.

Prof. Kedar explains that Mohammad borrowed extensively from the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians but when Jews and Christians refused to accept his doctrines, he systematically attacked their communities with his mercenaries for the denial of his message. Islam makes the claim that only the Islamic version of G-d is permissible anywhere in the world: That all messages of Jews and Christians are deceptive and invalid: That Islam is the one and only true religion i.e. the true version of reality. This very conveniently self serving doctrine has been followed up by Mohammad and his successors by the murder of Jews and Christians. This has been the source of Islamic precepts of Jew hatred and animosity towards Jews and Christians and Pagans throughout the centuries.

As Professor Kedar pointed out Muslims have a different view of history, and different values than those that have developed in the western democracies. Their concept of peace is “the peace of Sharia”, and Sharia can brook no compromise with other religions or cultures. For Westerners this is a hard lesson to accept: but it has to be faced if we are to understand the current state of conflict in the middle East between between Islam and the West, and between Islam and Israel, and between Islam and Jews.

In addition to the Islamic precepts demeaning Jews and infidels, European/Nazi ideas of Jew hatred have also permeated the Arab world via the Mufti of Jerusalem, an ally and friend of Hitler.

A living monument to European anti-Jewish hatred and misunderstanding is enshrined in the many publications of the forged Russian document: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion“. Prof. Kedar pointed out that this document is being widely published and disseminated all over the Arab world and has been published widely there since the 1920’s. Apparently, no one has told the Arabs of the Middle East that this was and is a forged antisemitic document published by the Russians. The Egyptians have been misguided to the point that when they opened the New Library of Alexandria in Egypt, The Protocols of the Elders was chosen as one of the two most important books representative of Jews and Judaism. It was only removed when the Israeli ambassador, who was present at the opening advised them about the origins of this book which never had any reality connection whatsoever to any living Jews in the world or to Judaism.

If you have never heard of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I quote below from wikipedia.

“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion or The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is an antisemitic hoax purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.[1] It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. The Protocols purports to document the minutes of a late 19th-century meeting of Jewish leaders discussing their goal of global Jewish hegemony by subverting the morals of Gentiles, and by controlling the press and the world’s economies.

Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the US in the 1920s. Adolf Hitler was a major proponent. It was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazis came to power in 1933,[2] despite having been exposed as fraudulent by The Times of London in 1921. It is still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by some proponents as a genuine document.”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other similar books such as Mein Kampf, written by Hitler himself formalized the rampant antisemitism of Europe in the 19th century and made it sound rational and authoritative. These two works formed the basis of the irrational Jew hatred (otherwise known as antisemitism) in Europe and Russia of the 20th century. These books disseminated irrational notions about “The Jews”  which lead directly to the acceptance of the genocidal murder of at least six million “Jews” identified as such by the third Reich. Publication of both texts has been banned in many countries due to their libelous and destructive nature.

This fraudulent book, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”  is considered to be G-d’s truth in the Arab World as evidenced by the many publications and republications in the last several years. Some of the covers of these publications are reproduced here:

:     

Even if you do not read Arabic, the cover pictures associating Jews and Judaism with snakes and worse is clear.

Alongside antisemitic publications, one can find hundreds if not thousands of videos on you-tube espousing these ideas.

As unpleasant as this is, it has to be faced if anyone wants to understand the sources of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment in the Muslim world, and also in the ranks of the non-Muslim, European, anti-Jewish, antisemitic ranks. This virulent antisemitism, finds its voice amplified and easily spread on the internet.

Sadly few Western pundits or journalists have faced this dark truth about Islam when discussing Israel or the Middle East.

Sir Rabbi Jonathon Sacks, essay “The Face of Evil” sheds some light on analyzing irrational hatreds and the most virulent power of irrational hatreds such as antisemitism. I quote,

When hate depends on a specific cause, it ends once the cause disappears. Causeless, baseless hate, – irrational hate – can last forever.”

After 9/11, when the horror and trauma had subsided, Americans found themselves asking what had happened and why. Was it a disaster? A tragedy? A crime? An act of war? It did not seem to fit the pre-existing paradigms. And why had it happened? The question most often asked about Al Qaeda was, ‘Why do they hate us?

Just like the surprised Americans who woke up the day after the 9/11 tragedies asking “Why do they hate us?” Jews have asked the same question – “Why do they hate us?”. Antisemitism, the hate unjustly directed at Jews can and has morphed to meet the political needs of various regimes and religious groups. It has become a cutting edge tool to advance aspirations for power and dominance. In the middle ages it was used as a tool by the Catholic Church: In Russia: It was used as a tool by the Russian Czar: in Nazi Germany, Hitler used it to advance his ideology, and Islam has also used it, since its beginnings to assert dominance. None of these tyrants knew or understood anything about Jews  or Judaism. They were all spinning their Jew-baiting tales as a means to an end.

As Ruth Wisse has so ably pointed out, “antisemitism has nothing to do with Jews: it has everything to do with the antisemites. Antisemitism has very little to do with the realities of Jews or of Israel. It has everything to do with the power of irrational hatred as a self aggrandizing tool, and as an instrument for political dominance. Ruth Wisse, below analyzes very well, antisemitism and its effects not only on Jews but also on how it affects those who practice antisemitism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GDDJrTuWos

 

 

 

Muslim Antisemitism: Rational or Irrational Enmity?

January 2015 has been a tough month for Europe and for Jews.

January brought us the Charlie Hebdo murders and the Paris Kosher Market murders. January 26th marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What have we learned in the interim between the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their Hungarian, Polish, Austrian, French, Belgian and Dutch collaborators? And What to make of the resurgence of Jew hatred in current times all over Europe, and Jew hatred in the Middle East which continues to threaten Israel and its inhabitants?

Just a few days ago Professor Mordechai Kedar of BESA the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies gave a seminar at McGill on the roots of Islamic hatred of Christians and Jews which goes back to the origins of Islam, the teachings of Mohammad in 609 AD. the very founding of Islam.

He explained that Mohammed borrowed extensively from the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians but when this was pointed out to him by Christians and Jews, he attacked them for the denial of his message. And further made the claim that only his, Muhammed’s message was the true one. The scriptures of the Jews and Christians were deception and void. A very convenient self serving doctrine which he followed up with murder of Jews and Christians, and with an insincere truce, followed subsequently by additional murders and forced conversions by the sword. This can be verified by any Islamic scholar or wikipedia.

The conflict between Shia and Sunni also goes back to the founding of Islam and the conflict over the succession to Mohammed. This continues to be the driving division between Sunni and Shia, each one calling the other “infidel”.

As Professor Kedar pointed out Muslims have a different view of history, and different values than those that have developed in the western democracies. I.e. their concept of peace is “the peace of Sharia”, and no compromise with other religions or cultures can be envisioned. This is a hard lesson to accept but it has to be faced if we are to understand the current state of conflict in the middle East between between Islam and the West, between Shia and Sunni, and between Islam and Israel which sees itself as a democratic but Jewish state.

In addition, to the anti-infidel hatred of Muslims, the hatreds of Nazi Germany in the twentieth century found fertile ears among the Arabs, specially the Mufti of Jerusalem. Professor Kedar in his talk, spoke about the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It has become a popular book in the middle east all over the Arab world. Apparently, no one has told them that this was a forged anti-semitic document published by the Russians; It was even one of the documents that the New Library of Alexandria, in recent times, chose as one of the two most important books representative of Jews and Judaism. (Until the Israel ambassador intervened when the library was opened.)

If you have never heard of the 

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

I quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

“The Protocols is a fabricated document purporting to be factual. Textual evidence shows that it was transcribed by a speaker of Ukrainian and could not have been produced prior to 1901…”

And it’s forgery was already uncovered in 1921:

“The Protocols is one of the best-known and most-discussed examples of literary forgery, with analysis and proof of its fraudulent origin going as far back as 1921.[9] The forgery is an early example of “conspiracy theory” literature.[10] Written mainly in the first person plural,[a] the text includes generalizations, truisms and platitudes on how to take over the world: take control of the media and the financial institutions, change the traditional social order, etc. It does not contain specifics.[12]”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other similar books such as Mein Kampf written by Hitler himself formalized the rampant antisemitism and made it sound ratuonal. It formed the basis of the irrational Jew hatred which lay behind the genocidal murder of at least six million Jews for the sole reason that they were “Jews” as identified by the Nazis. It’s publication has been banned in many countries due to its libelous nature.

This fraudulent book is considered to be G-d’s truth in the Arab World as evidenced by the many publications and republications. Some of the covers are reproduced here:     

 

Alongside other anti-semitic publications:

 

In addition one can find hundreds of videos on youtube espousing  conspiracy theories regarding Jews, Israel, Judaism and its supposedly demonic aims. One wonders who is the audience for these videos?

As unpleasant as this is, it has to be faced if anyone wants to understand the sources of anti-Jewish  and anti-israel sentiment in the Muslim world and even in the non-Muslim anti-Jewish ranks.

Sadly few Western pundits or journalists basing their ideas on “rational actors” and supposed “facts” has faced this dark truth about Islam and European antisemitism.

Fortunately most Europeans and Americans are aware of the deceptions involved in antisemitic tropes although many don’t understand how these tropes infiltrate anti-Israel attitudes and dogmas such as the Israel/apartheid calumny.

And Of course one always wonders how the theory accords with what actually exists on the ground in Islamic communities.  But now we have the cold hard facts about how Islamic communities on the ground think and feel. An extensive  Pew report on the views of Islamic people in different countries was just published:

The evidence is that the middle east where Islam is already the law of the land, are most supportive of Islam and sharia Islamic law.

“Indeed, the survey finds that support for making sharia the law of the land is often higher in countries where the constitution or basic laws already favor Islam over other religions.2 Majorities in such countries say sharia should be enshrined as official law, including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and Iraq (91%). By comparison, in countries where Islam is not legally favored, roughly a third or fewer Muslims say sharia should be the law of the land. Support is especially low in Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan 8%).3

I think this means that there are differences among Islamic communities in different parts of the world but we have to be aware of what the terms and ideas are in order to understand how to deal with them.