miércoles, 7 de enero de 2009


Indeed as Beverley Milton-Edwards explains in Islamic Politics in Palestine:
[T]he Hamas view of the Jewish people is not drawn solely from the pages of the Qur’an and hadith. Its myopia is also the product of Western anti-Semitic influences.
All the history I've read about Arab/Muslim politics in the twentieth century shows the influence of European-style antisemitism, specifically German and French. This holds true in secular movements, like Ba'ath and religious ones, like the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda. As far as I know, this didn't exist in the Arab/Muslim world before French and German colonization. Jews had lived under the apartheid-like restrictions of Islamic law, but weren't necessarily persecuted, much less the object of genocidal hatred. So Hamas is typical, not an exception.
Syrian state TV put on a multi-part dramatization of the Protocols some years back. One can find copies of the book for sale. Check out the MEMRI website some day. The image I've posted is a screenshot of the front page today. It shows links to articles published more or less in the past month. Two of them—the "apes and pigs" and the "Judgement Day" articles—draw their inspiration from the Koran. Two are inspired in Protocols-style antisemitism—the JFK assassination article by the Syrian economist and the "Columbus" articles. The Protocols are specifically mentioned here. You can see that articles are drawn from all over the Arab/Muslim world. Of course, as you say, there is no lack of evidence that Europeans commonly hold antisemitic beliefs that would shock most Americans.
/>I wonder why it's so hard for people to see that with this background, European "anti-Zionism" and support in general for the Palestinians—so evident today in the Palestinian flag-waving protests in European capitals—looks like an unfolding threat to Israelis and to Jews worldwide. It shouldn't take all that much imagination or empathy to see this. I wouldn't blame Jews for being even more pessimistic than this because European antisemitism is the direct cause of the Zionist movement in the first place. Jews were liberated from the feudal laws were expected to assimilate into the European culture. This was the first solution to the Jewish problem: they should just stop being Jews and become Frenchmen or whatever. That didn't happen. Jews wanted to keep their identity and it really beats me why. Who would want such a thing as a Jewish identity if he could avoid it? I guess that would have been bad enough, but they began to be successful—even to dominate in some places, like Vienna—in business, the arts, science, the professions, and in the academy, when a wave of Jew-hatred and massacres swept Europe. This was when the Zionist movement was founded. Some people just thought that it was hopeless to count on Europeans to make good on their liberal values when it came to them. If it hadn't been for this, today Jews would be living in Europe as they had been for centuries and the Arabs would still have Palestine, for all the good it would do them. For that matter, there wouldn't be any Jews in the US either, since the Jewish immigration was a much better bet for the many millions who escaped from European antisemitism 1880-1920 or so.

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