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Report: Arab Anti-Semitism 2004-5

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This is one of a series of reports prepared by the Stephen Roth Institute relating to Arab Anti-Semitism.

The Reports

Arab Anti-semitism 1997, Arab Anti-semitism 1998, Arab Anti-semitism 1999, Arab Anti-semitism 2001, Arab Anti-semitism 2002, Arab Anti-semitism 2003 Arab Anti-semitism 2004, Arab Anti-semitism 2005, Arab Anti-semitism 2006, Arab Anti-semitism 2007, Arab Anti-semitism 2008 

 

Report: Arab Anti-Semitism 2004-2005

A survey conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project in April−May 2005 indicated that support for terrorism, including suicide bombings, had declined in several Muslim countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan and Morocco. Subjects also shared the widespread belief held in Europe and North America that Islamic extremism represented a threat. However, a majority or a near majority believed suicide bombings against Americans or other westerners in Iraq were justified.[1] The findings were fully reflected in the debates over those issues in the Arab press, prompted by the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq and continuing Islamist terrorist activity in other Arab countries. The survey also showed that negative views of Jews persisted: virtually all those polled in Jordan and Lebanon and more than 70 percent in Pakistan, Indonesia and Morocco held unfavorable opinions of Jews. Indeed, “the tremendous extent of hatred [among Arabs] towards the Jews is baffling,” admitted Saudi columnist Husayn Shubakshi, who sought answers to the question, “Why do we hate the Jews?” Wondering whether hatred was merely the political outcome of the Palestinian problem, he concluded that it was the result of Zionism, which was responsible for despicable crimes. Pointing to the difference from Jews who had lived peacefully, with their monotheist creed, among Muslims in the past, he hoped that his article would introduce a constructive public debate on the issue.[2]

However, his call seemed to go unheeded. In Egypt the third anti-war conference on 24−28 March, brought together representatives of social movements from 25 countries, reinforcing the linkage between anti-globalization, anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. Although political orientations varied from Islamists to radical leftists, the conference demonstrated unity, which according to Jordanian Islamist Layth Shubaylat, chairman of the association for fighting Zionism and racism, was symptomatic of “growing global recognition that colonization, imperialism and Zionism are all faces of the same coin.” Egyptian expert on Jewish affairs and Zionism `Abd al-Wahhab al-Masiri considered globalization a US dynamic for hegemony, whose proponents were “also those who invaded Pakistan and Iraq, and blindly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”[3]

The decision of the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) in April to boycott Israeli universities (which was eventually cancelled as a result of public campaign − see also UK), was received favorably by Arab commentators. Palestinian Omar Barghuti, an independent researcher, and Lisa Taraki, reader of sociology at Birzeit University, both of whom are also founding members of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, considered the boycott a moral imperative.[4] In a similar vein, the Arab boycott office which met in May in Damascus issued a call to Arab countries to boycott the American Webster dictionary because of its alleged distorted definition of ‘antisemitism’, which has expanded the term to include anti-Zionism. According to the Jordanian Islamist weekly al-Sabil, the Arab Universities Association instructed its members to apply the boycott.[5]

There were no specific events in 2005 to trigger a change in the level of antisemitic manifestations or introduce new trends in the Arab antisemitic discourse. Existing themes discerned since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada at the end of September 2000 became further entrenched. These included increased preoccupation with the Holocaust, as well as intensified attacks on Zionism by leaders who sought to incite not only regional but worldwide public opinion (see ASW 2000/1, 2001/2). Especially noteworthy were the statements made by newly elected Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (on 24 June 2005). Incitement against Israel and Zionism persisted, as did Arab and Muslim belief in conspiracy theories in which Zionists and Jews play a major role. Almost every event, wherever it occurred, involving Arabs or Muslims − the disengagement from Gaza, the war in Iraq, the terrorist attacks in London, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Egypt, the assassination of Lebanese PM Rafiq al-Hariri or the publication of cartoons in a Danish paper perceived as bashing the Prophet Muhammad and Islam − was interpreted as a Zionist/Jewish plot against the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The year 2005 also witnessed the Islamization of antisemitism. The term Islamization is usually used to indicate the incorporation of Islamic antisemitic motifs derived from Islamic sources and tradition in the classical Christian antisemitism imported from the West. However, it also means the increasing prominence of antisemitic themes, including Holocaust denial, in the Islamist discourse, most conspicuously in the Iranian president’s statements. He represents a camp which uses antisemitic terminology and publicly threatens to carry out acts against Israeli and Jewish targets in and outside Israel.

This chapter consists of four parts:

  • Continued Belief in Conspiracy Theories and Traditional Antisemitic Motifs
  • Jews and Crusaders in the Jihadist Discourse
  • Perpetuating Resistance to Normalization: Egypt, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan
  • The Debate over International Holocaust Memorial Day and Ahmadinejad’s Statements.

 

Continued Belief in Conspiracy Theories

and Traditional Antisemitic Motifs

The continuing demand for Arab versions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf as well as for other antisemitic literature, ensured their repeated publication in various Arab countries and even their export to Britain. This is perhaps the clearest indication of the widespread belief in conspiracy theories in general, and the involvement of Jews and Zionists in plotting in particular. According to surveys prepared by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center during the year, those books were highly visible at the annual Egyptian International Book Fair in January. In addition to the two latest versions of the Protocols published in Egypt in 2002 and 2003 (see ASW 2002/3, 2003/4), the fair featured a Syrian version translated and annotated by Raja `Abd al-Hamid `Urabi, and published in 2005 with the approval of the Syrian Ministry of Information. The book claims to examine whether the goals and plots of the Protocols have been implemented and whether the collapse of Israel is imminent. Typically, the introduction attacks western colonialism for the ailments of today’s Middle Eastern societies – territorialism and confessionalism, and in particular, implanting the state of Israel in the heart of the Arab ‘homeland’ and the West’s continued support for Israel. The author purports to link ‘the Zionist Jew’, described as the catastrophe which befell the Arabs, to biblical roots and the Protocols, rationalizing renewed publication of the latter.[6]

Antisemitic books published in Syria were also displayed at the International Book Fair held in Qatar at the end of December. Three traditional themes were reportedly dominant in those books: rejection of Judaism as a monotheist religion; the Jews’ desire to control the world; the Jews as corrupt and bloodthirsty.[7] One of these books was Between International Zionism and American Imperialism by Ghazi Husayn. It dealt with an allegedly American plot, based on a Zionist initiative, to redraw the map of the Middle East in order to serve Israeli interests, and emphasizing the destructive and hostile nature of American-Israeli/Zionist relations to the Arabs.[8]

Traditional antisemitic motifs, the equation of Zionism with Nazism and the belief in Jewish plotting against Arabs and Muslims also repeatedly appeared in articles discussing current events, in caricatures and in television programs. The American act against antisemitism triggered a renewed discussion on Jewish roots and on Semitism, challenging the notion of the Jews being a nation.[9] Egyptian journalist Jamal As`ad called for the enactment of a parallel law against anti-Arabism, anti-Islam and anti-Christianity, in order to curb racist Israeli activities.[10]

Hizballah’s mouthpiece al-`Ahd al-Intiqad described in an article, entitled “The Zionist Talmudic Project and the Choice of the Guns,” the three basic pillars of Zionist political and ideological thought: the religious promise based on the divine promise of the land of Palestine; historical robbery based on guilt feelings for alleged crimes against the Jews perpetrated by the world, particularly Europe; and the mental and historical condition of the Jews, i.e., ‘the Jewish problem’, to justify the religious claim and the right of return as well as the use of violence.[11] It is worth noting that the article completely ignored the Holocaust, which is traditionally seen as a prime factor instigating a sense of guilt in the West, and its material exploitation. Another article referring to the same pillars appeared in al-Mujahid, the Islamic Jihad monthly in the PA, which analyzes the poetry of Israeli poet Shaul Chernikhowski and claims that his chauvinistic worldview “gave license to kill and spill the blood of the other.”[12]

Saudi Iqra’ TV aired during February a Jordanian series entitled “Stories from before the Verses Came Down,” which accused the Jews of distorting the Torah, cursing Muhammad, rejecting his message and vowing to destroy Islam. In November, it broadcast an Egyptian-produced series about Muhammad and the Jews of Medina, which also dealt with the Jews conspiring against the Prophet and Islam.[13] The Kuwaiti daily al-Siyasa published in January an article by Muhammad Yusuf al-Malifi about “demonic spirits and American documents,” referring to the forged Nazi document claiming that US President Benjamin Franklin had warned of the Jewish danger and called for the expulsion of the Jews from the country lest Americans become their hostages a hundred years later.[14]

The Saudi paper al-Madina published an eight-part article by Najah Bint Ahmad al-Zahhar, entitled “The Viper around our Neck,” introducing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion “for the sake of our children.” Realizing that her students were unfamiliar with them, the author decided to demonstrate international Zionism’s persistent hostility to the Arabs and its scheming to obtain its goals, as they appear in the Protocols. She accused Zionism of conspiring to control the world, in order to destroy all religions except Judaism and to corrupt societies by violence and terror.[15] In the Saudi daily al-Riyadh, columnist Gahzi al-`Uraydi accused Israel of using Arab detainees and prisoners for medical experiments in violation of all international laws and human values. Moreover, he maintained, Israeli doctors used to remove healthy parts from Palestinian civilians who underwent surgery in Israeli hospitals, for implanting in the bodies of needy Israeli civilians.[16]

As in previous years, conspiracy theories also flourished in relation to specific events (see ASW 2001−2004). Israel and its intelligence arm, the Mossad, sometimes in collaboration with the US, were implicated in most of these events. Consequently, Israel − regarded as the main beneficiary of the deteriorating situation in Iraq and post-September 11, and as manipulating Arab affairs by impelling Islamist movements to perpetrate suicide bombings − was blamed for the assassination of Lebanese PM Rafiq al-Hariri.

Immediately after the assassination, Syria pointed an accusing finger at Israel. “The only one to profit is Israel, which does not want stability to prevail in Lebanon,” declared Syrian Defense Minister Hasan Turkimani. Syrian commentaries as well as other Arab editorials in, for instance, the Egyptian daily al-Jumhuriyya, the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat, Qatari al-Sharq and UAE’s al-Khaleej, shared this assessment, adding that the operation recalled the methods of the Mossad and that it was aimed at setting the conditions for further American occupation in order to satisfy the Zionist will. On 31 October, the Syrian parliament criticized the report on the assassination prepared by the international commission headed by Detlev Mehlis for being politicized and for turning a blind eye to those who played a role in the crime and stood to gain from it. The murderers should be sought in Tel Aviv and Washington, which seek to harm Syria, it was claimed.[17]

These accusations were additional links in a chain of charges based on similar reasoning which were attributed to Israel and Zionism on lingering problems in the Middle East as well as new developments. “Israel is the chief beneficiary of the occupation and dismantling of Iraq,” wrote Nawaf al-Zaru in al-Sabil, and its involvement there is part of a conspiracy to accomplish its “political Zionist biblical Jewish goals.” The Mossad’s presence, he claimed, was everywhere, in the television station, the republican palace, the archive of old Jewish books, the interrogation rooms of American prisons, and it was also to blame for the bombings at Christian and Shi`i worship sites with the purpose of sowing further chaos and intensifying American occupation.[18]

“The Zionist entity” continued to be blamed for the events of September 11 and their aftermath. It fully exploits them, wrote Muhammad al-Sayyid Habib on 10 September in al-Sharq al-Awsat, to prove that it fights terrorism, and proceeds “with its barbaric massacres, liquidation and annihilation operations” against the Palestinian people with the tacit support of the US.[19] A similar view was voiced a month previously by Egyptian Prof. `Abd al-Sabur Shahin, head of the Shari`a faculty at al-Azhar University, in an interview to Saudi television on 8 August. Shahin, who still believes that Muslims had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11, insisted that “a dirty Zionist hand carried out this act,” and that Zionism has taken the opportunity to escalate the war in Palestine.[20] Those attacks, explained Egyptian retired General Muhammad Khalaf in an interview to the Egyptian channel al-Mihwar, were part of a comprehensive American plan to remain the only superpower, and therefore, it released “a series of lies, which have not ceased.” Egyptian researcher Zaynab `Abd al-`Aziz also claimed that the US was responsible for them, having been delegated by the World Council of Churches and the Vatican to destroy Islam. In order to give the world respite from terrorism, added Egyptian columnist Ayman Hamam in al-Akhbar, the American president should begin with destroying the biggest terror organization, the CIA. His view was shared by a Turkish professor Mahir Kaynak, who even asserted to the Turkish daily Radikal that there was no such thing as al-Qa`ida, and that it was a code name for the CIA.[21]

‘Zionist fingerprints’ were allegedly found in the major terrorist attacks that occurred during the year in Saudi Arabia in May; in London and Egypt in July and in Jordan in November. The Mossad was accused of penetrating Islamist organizations, including al-Qa`ida, and perpetrating those attacks. “Why does al-Qa`ida not carry out any operations against Israel and [why does it] apologize that there is no jihad in Palestine?” was a frequent question of Saudis, to prove the close cooperation between the Mossad and al-Qa`ida.[22] “Igniting civil strife and using the tools of war and destruction is the habit of the despicable Jews and Christians of the ancient nations, and the Qur’an has already deplored them for that,” declared a UAE preacher in a Friday sermon after the London bombings.[23] There was no doubt that Zionists were involved in that operation, claimed the mufti of Mt. Lebanon, Muhammad `Ali al-Juzu, explaining that “they want to distort the image of Islam in Britain and Europe, and to drive a wedge between Muslims and the West.”[24]

Following the attack in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Shaykh, similar opinions were expressed by some Egyptian officials and journalists, such as Supreme Court of Appeals Attorney General Usama Halawa, Advisor to the National Center for Middle East Studies General Salah al-Din Salim, editor-in-chief and columnist of the opposition weekly al-Usbu` Nabil `Umar, who suspected that by such attacks Israel sought to thwart the peace process and harm Egypt’s security and economic interests.[25] After the suicide attacks on three hotels in Amman, people on the street there agreed that whoever committed such an act could not be a Muslim and therefore they must have been carried out by Israeli agents. “People don’t blame Israel out of a vacuum,” said Rami Khouri, Jordanian political commentator based in Lebanon to Michael Slackman of the New York Times. “There is a very strong historical reason, because Israel has caused a lot of grief for Arab people this way or another.” As in previous cases these beliefs were premised on two ideas, as Slackman explained: the first is the logic that says those who benefit must be behind the deed; and the second is that Arabs are not clever enough to have carried out such an effective attack.[26]

 

Jews and Crusaders in the Jihadist Discourse

The war on terrorism, the ongoing war in Iraq and continuing Israeli efforts to combat Palestinian militant and Islamist movements did not bring any change in the agenda of international jihadist groups identified with al-Qa`ida and other Islamist trends. Their global aims included an unrelenting war against the Jews and Crusaders, on both the military and cultural fronts. The war against the Jews as a people and not only against Israelis − was justified by pointing to the encounters between Jews and Muslims in the period of the Prophet Muhammad to prove the Jews’ inherent cunning and hostility toward Islam, as well as to the Jewish scriptures which were allegedly replete with aggression and terrorism.[27] “The road to Jerusalem starts in Baghdad,” said Sayf al-Din al-Baghdadi, political spokesman of the Islamist resistance group Squadrons of the Revolution of the Twenty (kata’ib thawrat al-`ishrin), in Iraq, in an interview to the Jordanian al-Sabil.[28] This statement, which reflects the common attitude of all Islamist movements, is intended to stress that the war in Iraq does not mean the neglect of the Palestinian cause. Al-Qa`ida second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri reiterated several times during the year “that the expulsion of the invading Crusaders and Jews from the lands of Islam…will only be accomplished by fighting for the sake of Allah.”[29] In a letter addressed by him to Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi (the leader of the terrorist resistance in Iraq at the time) in July and found in October during a raid by American forces on insurgents in Iraq, he elaborated the battle plan, which included four stages, beginning with the expulsion of the American military, the establishment of a militant Islamic caliphate across Iraq, and then to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, and finally a war against Israel.[30]

According to the ideology of Hizballah and Hamas, resistance is the only option until all of Palestine is liberated. Islamist perceptions of terrorism and suicide bombings were evident in their targets, statements, Internet sites and newspapers, as well as in the continuing debates over Islamic legitimacy of such attacks (see ASW 2004, 2003/4). As in previous cases of terrorism in Arab countries which threatened to destabilize them, a broad discussion erupted following each of the bombings mentioned above, revealing mixed reactions toward the use of violence and the involvement of Islamist movements. Two conferences to counter terrorism and dispel the image of the Arab and Islamic worlds as hotbeds of terrorism were held in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of February, and in Sharm al-Shaykh in August, just after the suicide bombing there. Both gathered religious scholars, politicians and academics. Yet, despite criticism of acts of terrorism against innocent people and the realization that terrorism was not just a western concern, the charge against the Jews as the source of evil and terror prevailed. Speakers accused the Jews of being behind bin Ladin, and justified jihad in Iraq and Palestine.[31] Shaykh al-Azhar Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi claimed that “he who blows himself up commits suicide and is not a martyr,” except for operations carried out by the Palestinians.[32] However, the most authoritative figure legitimizing jihad in Palestine and Iraq at the Sharm al-Shaykh conference was Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered the most popular spiritual leader of Islamist movements. Although he condemned the bombings in London, in the US (11 September 2001) and in Madrid (March 2004), he supported the acts of martyrdom in Palestine and Iraq, and refused to see them as suicide attacks. Religious scholars should stand firmly against the Zionist and American classification of the resistance to the occupation as terrorism, since it is the right and legal duty of those whose land has been occupied to defend their land, which is the land of Islam, by force or by suicide operations, “the weapon of the weak in confronting the arrogant strong,” he said.[33] Al-Qaradawi expressed this view about the resistance, lending his full support to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as his belief in the final victory of Islam and Muslims, on several other occasions during the year.[34] Islamists even considered Hurricane Katrina which devastated the southern American shores in August as the beginning of justly deserved divine punishment.[35]

 

Perpetuating Resistance to Normalization:

Egypt, the PAlestinian authority and Jordan

“The regime in Egypt does not try to stop antisemitic manifestations, and sometimes instigates them according to its political needs,” claimed former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Elie Shaked, in an interview to Ynet in January. “When it suits the regime,” he said, “it lowers the flames of incitement, but then lets them rise again.”[36] Antisemitic motifs appear in articles in mainstream papers such as al-Ahram and al-Akhbar, and particularly in opposition papers such as al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the new Wafd Party, and al-`Arabi, which represents the Nasserist Arab Democratic Party. The uprooting of the olive trees in the West Bank by Jewish extremist settlers reminded Badr al-Din Adham of the first courts established in Spain to try Jews charged of poisoning wells. But the Palestinian cry remained unheeded and no court was established to try the perpetrators.[37] The Jewish involvement in conspiracies against Islam and the Jewish manipulation of American policy were frequent themes in al-Wafd. Henri Kissinger, who was accused in al-Wafd of being one of the architects of democracy in Egypt, was described as one of the leaders of the Elders of Zion and a staunch enemy of Muslims and Arabs, in an article of 27 May. Bush was said to be an agent of the Jews on 9 January, whereas the weekly al-Usbu` even charged the US with meddling in the Egyptian presidential election campaign at the instigation of the Jewish lobby.[38] “The Discreet Blood Secret,” was the title of an article dealing with the alleged instructions of the Talmud to spill the blood of Muslims, while the section on “Israeli Affairs” in the weekly October, by Asma’ Sayf, discussed what she defined as “the phenomenon of non-Jewish immigrants to Israel.” Referring to Israeli efforts to discover lost Jewish tribes and coerce people in poor, remote areas of Africa to become Jews, she claimed that half of the Jews in Israel were not Jewish.[39]  

Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mahdi `Akif discussed the organization’s election platform, in an interview to al-Ahram Weekly: “I declared that we will not recognize Israel which is an alien entity in the region. And we expect the demise of this cancer soon…if they want to live with us as normal citizens sharing our rights and duties then we don’t mind. But to remain an occupying tyrannical country, then this will not happen, God willing.”[40] This statement did not deviate from the traditional Brotherhood’s perception of Israel, which in fact reflects that of larger segments of Egyptian society, especially intellectuals who continued to lead the resistance to any normalization of relations with Israel despite intensified efforts of President Husni Mubarak to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians, expedite the return of an Egyptian ambassador to Israel and develop closer Egyptian-Israeli economic relations. Hundreds of Egyptians demonstrated in universities and at the headquarters of professional unions in Cairo, Alexandria and Zaqaziq on 7 and 8 February, shouting anti-Israeli slogans and burning Israeli flags in protest against Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s visit to Egypt.[41] Following a meeting between Minister of Culture Faruq Husni with the newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Egypt Shalom Cohen, al-Ahram al-`Arabi conducted an interview with several leading Egyptian intellectuals, such as author Faruq `Abd al-Qadir, head of the Writers Association Muhammad Salmawi, and chief editor of the daily al-Qahira Salah `Isa, to express their opinion on the meeting. Husni rejected any cultural normalization with Israel, a stand which typified most of the speakers, who realized that some limited degree of normalization was required due to the peace treaty. Although none of them advocated abolition of the treaty they did not consider it as obligating them as intellectuals and resisted any form of reconciliation with Israel, “a land soaked with blood that cannot grow flowers.”[42] A storm of controversy raged over an edict supporting normalization issued in September by Shaykh al-Azhar Tantawi after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The proclamation was rejected by al-Azhar scholars who saw it as a political rather than a religious ruling, which reflected and justified government policies. According to Jordan’s al-Sabil a counter-ruling was issued by those scholars, banning any kind of normalization with the ‘Zionist entity’.[43] Similarly, in her presidential campaign feminist activist Nawal al-Sa`dawi even called on Egyptians to fight Israel and the US.[44] Normalization seemed to arouse fears of Israeli penetration into Egypt through land purchase, corruption of Egyptian youth and spreading Zionist values on its way to dominate the world.[45] A caricature in the leftist weekly al-Ahali depicted two bearded and hooked-nose Jews with a swastika-adorned flag on their hats, leaning on a big suitcase. One of them carried a sack and the other asked him “Why didn’t you bring a suitcase like this?” The caption was: “Israeli businessmen want to enter the Egyptian market.”[46]

This hostile atmosphere toward Israel and the Jews was also reflected in books published in Egypt and in conferences held there during the year. Two books, one by Ahmad Ra’fat Bahjat on the Jews and Egyptian cinema, and the other by `Awatif `Abd al-Rahman on the secret history of the Jews in Egypt, dealt with the Jewish community in Egypt. According to reviews, they showed that the Jews were an integral part of Egyptian social, economic and cultural life and were treated with great tolerance. However, the books apparently emphasize Jewish domination and monopoly of the economy and culture, and especially the fact that they took advantage of their wealth to take over the fledgling cinema industry. Referring to a short-lived literary monthly al-Katib, owned by a Jew and edited by renown author Taha Husayn, `Abd al-Rahman, criticized the latter for feeling sympathy toward Jewish refugees and refraining from taking a stand on the Palestinian problem.[47] Indeed, Taha Husayn’s impressionist article on a trip to Lebanon in 1946 aboard a boat which carried Holocaust survivors aroused angry reactions at the time and was mentioned in other studies on the Jews of Egypt.[48]

Another book published in Egypt was The Trinity of Evil: Zionism, Nazism and Antisemitism by several authors. The book, according to the Syrian daily Tishrin, comprises six sections: “The Jews in History,” “Zionism and anti-Zionism between Truth and Confusion,” “Justifications for Zionism,” “Zionism and Nazism, “The Mayhem over the Holocaust,” and “The Law against Antisemitism.” On 20 August a workshop took place in Cairo to discuss the book. Among the participants were, among others, Egyptian expert on Jewish affairs and Zionism `Abd al-Wahhab al-Masiri, who wrote the introduction, the head of the Jaffa Center for Palestinian Studies, Rif`at Sayyid Ahmad, and Palestinian historian `Abd al-Qadir Yasin, who composed the last section and edited the book. In the discussion al-Masiri spoke of the oft-repeated claim that today’s Jews are the descendants of the Khazars, and that their history is the history of the regions they lived in, whereas Yasin attacked the American act against antisemitism which allegedly turns every critic of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians into an antisemite. Researcher Ahmad Zakariya wondered why the world defended the Holocaust whereas it ignored Arab blood currently being spilled in Palestine, in Iraq and in other parts of the Arab world, which is “a holocaust” perpetrated by the Zionists and “exceeds what was perpetrated on the Jews by the Nazis.” Another speaker, Mahmud `Abduh, maintained that Hitler slaughtered the Jews but refrained from killing Zionists, whereas `Abada Kahila, who while saying that Arabs should not deny the Holocaust, asserted that the term referred not only to Jews, since half a million Roma had died in the Nazi concentration camps and only one million Jews, as Roger Garaudy had established. In conclusion, the article quoted a speaker who reiterated that the Palestinian problem was an Arab problem, and no ruler should ever be allowed to make any decision concerning it without consulting the entire Arab ‘umma.[49]

Another book published in Egypt, Zionism and Nazism and the Problem of Peaceful Co-existence with the Other, dealt with the similarities between the two movements − a traditional motif in Arab antisemitic discourse. According to the review in al-Sabil, the book, written by Nadiya Sa`d al-Din, describes how the victim acquired the image of “the imaginary executioner” and why Zionism is worse than Nazism.[50] Egyptian academician Safa Mahmud `Abd al-`Al, who researched 16 Israeli textbooks, published her findings in the book Racist Culture in the Israeli Curriculum. She established the presence of racist motifs in the Zionist/Israeli perception of the Promised Land and the right to retrieve it from its inhabitants, as well as in the negative image of Arabs and Islam.[51]

The US global antisemitism act continued to be debated, and the report on antisemitism worldwide issued by the American State Department on 5 January drew Egyptian as well as other Arab attention.[52] Arabs Against Discrimination (AAD), an organization founded in December 2003 to monitor racist activities and statements of Israeli and Zionist organizations (see ASW 2003/4) issued its own report at the beginning of the year, and initiated a three-day conference on the repercussions of the act in collaboration with Cairo University’s Center for Political Research and Studies (CPRS) and the Egyptian Society of International Law (ESIL). Among the questions raised for discussion were: Will the act muzzle freedom of expression in the Arab and Muslim world? What is the law's exact definition of antisemitism, and why does it not include criticism of Israel and Zionism? And how can Arab countries stand up to it? ESIL secretary-general Salah `Amir branded the US law “terror of thought,” “racist” and “discriminatory against other religions.” There appeared to be a general consensus among the experts that it was designed “to gag critics of Israeli crimes, and underline US global hegemony” as well as target Muslims and Arabs. The act “is a blatant violation of international law,” according to which “no country has the right to enact punishment on another country for violating human rights, or committing antisemitic acts,” said Cairo University assistant professor Muhammad Shawqi. `Abd al-Wahhab al-Masiri suggested that the Arabs should start their battle against the US legislation by formulating a clear definition of antisemitism, in order to avoid confusion between ‘Judaism’, ‘Zionism’ and ‘Israel’. “If we make the distinction clear, then we will be able to define resistance and terrorism. But that mix has made our political discourse sound antisemitic.” Encouraging antisemitism, he continued, would only serve the Zionist colonial project and drive more Jews to Arab lands. Comparative international law professor `Ali al-Ghatit explained that the act’s requirement to remove antisemitic references from Arab school and university textbooks “was meant to distort history, brainwash youth and alienate them from their culture.” The participants agreed to take action to resist the law’s application, and to start by raising public awareness of its perils, especially in the West. The first step in this direction was the opening of an AAD branch office in Washington to help reach out to the American public and join forces with experts, intellectuals and human rights activists “to find ways to stop this clampdown on freedom.”[53]

In Jordan, too, popular resistance to normalization contrasted with the reconciliatory approach of the regime. At the beginning of March the Jordanian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir submitted a letter to the parliament warning of the danger of maintaining relations with “the Zionist enemy.” Particularly vociferous against such relations was the Islamist mouthpiece al-Sabil, which regularly reports the activities of anti-normalization groups. In May, for example, it announced the foundation of a Palestinian committee for combating normalization and published a leaflet calling to boycott Zionist and American products. The leaflet showed the American flag with a Star of David instead of the stars representing the 50 states, attached to a pole composed of skulls. Two months later it reported on the protest of the Association against Zionism and Racism (AZAR) against the screening of an Israeli film, The Wall, in Amman, and in September it published the Jordanian Islamic Front’s denouncement of meetings between Arab officials and PM Sharon during the UN General Assembly.[54] Relying on Islamic sources the weekly’s editorials were filled with references to the Jews’ deceitful nature and aggressive personality, as well as their hostility to Muslims, their evil intentions to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque and control the world with the coming of their Messiah, and their conspiracy to loot Jordanian wealth.[55]

Antisemitic manifestations appeared in mainstream papers, although less frequently. Israel was depicted as an octopus and snake, whereas Palestine was portrayed as a boy crucified on a Star of David, in al-Ra’y.[56] Referring to the Sharm al-Shaykh conference in February, which brought together President Mubarak, Jordanian King `Abdallah, PM Sharon and newly elected PA President Mahmud `Abbas, George Haddad predicted its failure because of the primordial plans of “international Zionism… to enslave the people of the world.” Only then would the conditions for peace materialize according to Prophet Isaiah’s vision, he wrote. In May, another article accused Israeli leaders of not honoring agreements, likening them to the Jewish tribes at the time of Muhammad who betrayed him and violated their promise to him.[57]

One of the most alarming antisemitic phenomena in Jordan, perhaps, was the screening of the Syrian-produced series al-Shatat (The Diaspora) − which had been aired in 2003 on Hizballah’s channel al-Manar and in 2004 on Iranian television − by the Jordanian station al-Mamnu`. Based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the series purports to describe the history of the Zionist movement, and revolves around the plots and deeds of the ‘secret Jewish government’, which sought to control the world and was responsible for the major disasters of the 20th century. It also incorporated scenes on Jewish ritual slaughter of Christian children and other libelous motifs (see ASW 2003/4). Twenty-two episodes out of 29 were broadcast during the month of Ramadan before it was banned on 25 October by the Jordanian authorities following a MEMRI report, and then an appeal by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and a letter of protest sent to King `Abdallah by 24 American rabbis.[58]

Following his election as president of the PA on 9 January, Mahmud `Abbas (Abu Mazin) launched a move to reopen dialogue with Israel, end the armed Palestinian intifada (which he had resisted all along), bring about a truce between the warring factions and domestic reconciliation, and restore law and order in the PA. He also promised Israeli officials to put an end to incitement to violence and hatred in radio and television programs, including broadcasts of Friday sermons. He even decided to impose censorship on mosque preachers who receive their salaries from the PA Ministry of Islamic Waqf Affairs. However, despite a decline in incitement in the official media, dissemination of anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda continued in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

On 4 February, Ibrahim Mudayris, a prominent preacher notorious for his venomous denunciation of Israel (see, for example, ASW 2000/1), spoke in a sermon broadcast live on television about the expulsion of the Palestinians by the treacherous Jews and vowed they would return to the beloved homeland.[59] A wave of incitement was launched in the two weeks before 15 May, Israel’s Independence Day, which is marked by the Palestinians as the Day of the Nakba (catastrophe). This included systematic charges against Israel for allegedly planning to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque (a fear instigated by Islamists) and using radiation poisoning against Palestinians; and the publication of cartoons promoting violence and the murder of Jews, dehumanizing them and depicting them as controlling the world. On 13 May, Shaykh Mudayris who led the prayers which were broadcast live reiterated his mantra about the “treacherous and unreliable” Jews, who are “the people most hostile to the believers… killed their prophets, distorted the Torah and sowed corruption throughout their history.” He described Israel as a cancer and “a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers,” and called for a holy war against it and America.[60] He also accused the Jewish people of causing World War II by provoking Nazism to wage war against the whole world. The Palestinian Minister of Information Nabil Sha`at decided to suspend him and prevent him from delivering further Friday sermons. According to the New York Times, the PA removed a translated version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion from an official website in response to an ADL complaint.[61] However, negative perceptions of the Jews appeared to have permeated so deeply that they continue to surface repeatedly in various radio talks, television programs, sermons and caricatures, and the image of Israel as an illegitimate state which usurped Palestinian land is still being inculcated in young generations through the school curricula and educational programs encouraging martyrdom.[62]

Hamas’ ideological stand remained firm. Although the movement agreed to a temporary truce and to halt suicide operations within Israel, it rejected a permanent two-state solution and any compromise of its right to armed resistance.[63] Hamas leader Mahmud al-Zahhar explained in interviews in October after the Israeli disengagement from Gaza that “military resistance, the tunnels, the explosions of Israeli military posts… caused Israel heavy damage,” and therefore resistance remained the Palestinians’ only tool and means to get rid of the occupation, whereas the remnants of the Oslo accords should be eliminated.[64] The same message was expressed in the movement’s website: “We will not abandon the way of jihad and shahada [martyrdom] as long as one inch of our holy land is in the hands of the Jews… Our flag will fly on the minarets of Jerusalem, and the walls of Acre, and the quarters of Haifa.”[65] The Israeli disengagement was perceived by Hamas not only as a victory of the Islamic resistance but as a victory of Islam over the Jews. During that week their radio station, Sawt al-Aqsa, interspersed its programs with anti-Israel incitement.[66]

 

the Debate over International Holocaust Memorial Day and Ahamdinejad’s Statements

Two events out of several linked to the Holocaust during the year 2005 (among them, commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel,[67] David Irving’s trial in Austria in November,[68] and the visit of American Holocaust denier David Duke to Syria in November[69]) triggered wide-ranging discussions, reflecting diverse attitudes toward it: the UN special session in January 2005 commemorating 60 years to the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps followed by the UN decision to designate 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, as Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s statements denying the Holocaust at the end of the year.

The UN initiative to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII was supported by several Arab and Muslim countries, such as Jordan, Morocco and Pakistan.[70] But the decision to commemorate the Holocaust was met with reservations and rejection. The Egyptian Parliament, for instance, unanimously rejected it and the Muslim Council of Britain, the umbrella organization of British Muslim representative organizations, headed by Iqbal Sacaranie, refused to take part in the official British Holocaust Remembrance Day unless it included the ‘holocaust’ of the Palestinian intifada.[71] This mixed reaction was fully reflected in the two waves of debate which evolved in the media in January and November, revealing once again that the Arab discourse on the Holocaust is less monolithic and more complex than it used to be. Yet, it still fails to separate the human aspects of the Holocaust and the perceived resultant political gains of the Zionists, and persists in linking the Jewish tragedy to the plight of the Palestinians. Undoubtedly, the liberation of the concentration camps was an important historical event, wrote Ghida Fakhri in the London-based daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, but does it really represent the end of the war? Why did the UN General Assembly decide to commemorate only one aspect of the horrors, which caused millions of death in Europe, Asia and Africa? Why it did not commemorate a year ago, ten years to the genocide in Rwanda? “It is clear,” she concluded, “that this initiative conceals the agenda of President George Bush’s administration.”[72]

Many other commentators agreed that the UN decision reflected an American dictate and handed a victory to Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, who would seize the opportunity to continue his “aggressive and murderous policies” toward the Palestinians. By continually spotlighting the Holocaust, they added, Europe would continue its indecisiveness in response to the Palestinian problem.

In an editorial entitled “Auschwitz and Palestine,” al-Hayat editor `Abd al-Wahhab Badrakhan linked the two. It was natural for the UN to engage in memory of the Holocaust, which concerned all humanity, he wrote, but its exploitation to exonerate Israel’s “bloody record” was a different matter. Any confusion between Israel and the Holocaust was a manipulation of its memory and detrimental to its lessons. Israel considered worldwide solidarity with the Jews in remembrance of the Holocaust as sympathy for its crimes against the Palestinian people, he contended, and complained that the event and Kofi Annan’s failure in his speech to mention the Palestinians, who had paid the price of Israel’s ascent from the ashes, constituted an organized denial of the Palestinian catastrophe. Lebanese commentator Muhammad al-Sammak in al-Mustaqbal went further, accusing Israel of turning the West Bank and Gaza into a second Auschwitz. Sammak, who asserted that the enemies of Nazism were equally culpable for the genocide at the concentration camps for not attacking them and for closing their doors to Jews trying to flee, saw “those same countries which one day failed to stand up to Nazi crimes against the Jews, failing again to confront Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.”[73]

Several Egyptian writers also accused Israel of exploiting Holocaust memory and slighting other persecutions, including African slavery and the persecution of non-Jews by the Nazis, and assessed that the UN decision reflected the change in the global balance of power and a victory to Israel. The Israeli governments in the last six decades, claimed Nawwaf al-Zaru who denied the Holocaust in Jordan’s al-Dustur, had “succeeded in exploiting ‘the Holocaust’ in a Shylockian racist and imperialist manner which exceeded any reason, logic and justice.” Why had Annan decided to commemorate the “so-called” Holocaust when so many scholars and European researchers doubted it and when the Palestinian nakba was totally ignored, he wondered.[74] The same UN which “a few years ago had denounced Zionism as a racist movement,” wrote Egyptian ambassador Sayyid Qasim al-Misri in the mainstream daily al-Akhbar, had not only revoked its decision but succumbed to Zionist pressures. Even leftist intellectual Muhammad Sid Ahmad, who fully supported the preservation of the memory of the German death camps, viewed the commemoration events as attesting “to Zionism’s ability to mobilize public opinion at the global level.” In an article in al-Ahram Weekly, he lamented that the message of the triumph of the values of humanity over the dark forces unleashed by Nazi ideology had not been conveyed in the ceremonies. Jews were entitled, he claimed, “not to be persecuted by reason of their ethnic identity,” but were “not entitled to exploit their victimization by the Nazis to justify depriving the Palestinian people of their basic human and political rights.”[75]

Liberal Lebanese writer Hazim Saghiya justified Arab writers who criticized Israel’s exploitation of the Holocaust, in an editorial entitled “In the Margins of Auschwitz’s Liberation.” Their concern, he said, was understandable in view of ignorance of Palestinian suffering. However, the link made either by Israel or the Arabs between the Holocaust and the conflict in the Middle East was unacceptable. Saghiya referred to another aspect raised in the discussion when he added that today’s Europe desisted from seeing the Jew as ‘the other’. “‘The other’ today is first of all the Muslim and then non-European immigrants and minorities.” The lessons of the Holocaust had led to the unification of Europe, especially in regard to human rights values and pluralism. Sanctification of the Holocaust in Europe was a spiritual need which transcended religion, he wrote, and its political and material exploitation should not cancel out the rich and valid findings about the Holocaust that were continually coming to light.[76] In a similar vein Syrian columnist Bathina Sha`ban contended in Tishrin that the slogan “Never again” was important but manifestations of discrimination, aggression and violation of human rights continued in the European continent against Muslims, who were considered a security threat.[77]

Islamists, on the other hand, mostly denied the Holocaust. Hizballah’s mouthpiece al-`Ahd al-Intiqad referred often to “alleged” massacres of “large numbers” of Jews in gas chambers and crematoria in Auschwitz, and to western revisionist historians persecuted because they were trying to demonstrate that “the so-called Holocaust” was invented to perpetuate European feelings of guilt toward the Jews and to cover up “unprecedented crimes” against the Arabs, and in particular against the Palestinians. Commemoration of the 60th anniversary had no symbolic meaning, the paper added, while the Paris-based Lebanese journalist Hayat al-Huwayk `Atiyya considered it “hysteria” in the Islamist Jordanian weekly al-Sabil.[78] “Today the world celebrates the security of Israel,” asserted Jordanian Islamist Ibrahim `Allush in the same paper. Notorious for his ideational support of Holocaust denial, `Allush defined the Holocaust as “an invented lie” and “a global ideology” of the Zionist movement. Jews died in WWII like the other 45 million who perished due to the war, hunger and disease. If we accept that Jews were exterminated in gas chambers, as a result of a predetermined policy that caused the annihilation of six million out of 15 million Jews, then we acknowledge the “amazing Holocaust story.” Each of these three claims, he concluded, was refuted by revisionist scholars.[79] Islamist academic Ahmad Nawfal complained that like the international community which failed to commemorate other holocausts, “the paralyzed” Muslim world failed to mark “the special holocausts” in the Muslim past and present. Munir Shafiq, a Jordanian-based Palestinian Islamist scholar, who considered that the UN decision was aimed at rallying support for exonerating Annan from corruption accusations, claimed in the same issue of al-Sabil that the Palestinian people sympathized with the Nazi victims more than any other people because they were exposed to similar atrocities, despite the differences, by the state of Israel, its army and leaders. Therefore, he did not understand how Kofi Annan “dared” say that ‘Israel’ had emerged from “the Holocaust ashes,” inferring that he not only sympathized with the Holocaust but linked it to the establishment of the state, “forgetting history altogether.” This showed that the project of state building had started before Nazism and the Holocaust.[80]

A second wave of discussion of the Holocaust took place following the actual adoption of the UN resolution on 1 November.[81] Similar motifs were reiterated. Most articles did not deny the occurrence of the Holocaust but rejected its uniqueness and compared it to other human tragedies, specifically the Palestinian one, and accused Israel and Zionism of racism and manipulating its memory.[82] “Yes to humane commemoration, no to racism”[83] and to “the Holocaust industry,”[84] were typical titles and themes. Egyptian permanent representative at the UN, Ambassador Majid `Abd al-Fattah, demanded that another day be designated for the commemoration of other genocides, such as those in Rwanda, Bosnia and Cambodia, and called to “set up a comprehensive agenda for combating ideologies and extremist national movements, as well as violence against foreigners and hatred of Islam and other religions.”[85] The Palestinian Islamic Jihad mouthpiece al-Mujahid described the resolution as “a new crime,” which reflected the Zionist campaign to control the minds and judaize the world. The real Holocaust was World War II itself, said one article, “a European war launched by European peoples against each other and involving others. Not only the Jews were afflicted by it …but Zionist deceit monopolized the Holocaust and expropriated the discourse on its behalf.” Doubting the Holocaust was forbidden and whoever denied it would be brought to trial, whereas in the name of freedom of speech one could doubt religion and any scientific proven truth, the paper said, alluding to attitudes toward Muslims in the West.[86]

Holocaust denial appeared in statements made by Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad on two occasions: in an interview to Iranian TV during the Islamic Conference Organization meeting in Saudi Arabia on 8 December and on 15 December. “We do not accept the claim” of some European countries, he said, that during the war Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and sent them to concentration camps. The Holocaust was “a legend” invented by the Jews who held it in higher esteem than religion, he explained. Linking the Holocaust to the Palestinian cause, he wondered why innocent Palestinian people had to pay the price for a crime they had not committed, and proposed that western countries allocate part of their lands for the establishment of the Jewish state. Similarly, at a student conference “A World without Zionism,” held on Jerusalem Day (instituted by Ayatollah Khomeini on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan), 26 October, he called for Israel to be wiped off the map.[87]

Why does the Iranian president engage in such rhetoric? Is it intended solely for domestic consumption? Is it a response to the pressure of international opposition to Iran’s development of nuclear weapons? Might these statements be the indiscretions of an inexperienced president? The answers to these questions are beyond the scope of this analysis, yet there is no doubt that Ahmadinejad is a fanatical ideologue, loyal to his revolutionary upbringing and to the Islamist worldview, in which the liberation of Palestine is a major tenet and antisemitic motifs are intertwined. Arab reactions to these statements demonstrated support, on the one hand, and rejection, on the other. Naturally, Islamist movements such as Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian Muslim Brothers, as well as Egyptian opposition papers, such as al-Wafd, identified with Ahmadinejad’s vision and goals. Khalid Mash`al, head of Hamas political bureau, praised him, while Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Muhammad Mahdi `Akif supported his claims.[88] “We have had enough of lies and falsification of facts,” wrote Egyptian columnist Hisham `Abd al-Ra’uf, asserting that the most serious lie was the Jews’ Holocaust.[89] “He said out loud what millions of Muslims think,” was a recurring theme. Ahmadinejad’s argument was hardly a surprise to the Arab audience, wrote Rasha Saad, in an article in al-Ahram Weekly, quoting `Abd al-Wahhab Badrakhan’s editorial which considered the statements a reminder to the West and Israel “that the historical facts do not match up to the image they have been portraying and which they work hard to sustain.”[90] Ahmadinejad had only spoken the truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict and did not retract his words, despite angry reactions, applauded Islamist Yasir Za`atra in al-Dustur. The Iranian president “drove us to rethink why the Jews came to our lands,” added `Isam Kamil in al-Jumhuriyya.[91] Moreover, asserted Egyptian Islamist intellectual Fahmi Huwaydi in al-Sharq al-Awsat, Palestine had been erased from the map with the consent of the same countries that had been upset by the Iranian president’s statements. Western reactions were “the epitome of terrorism, hatred and hypocrisy,” concluded Rakan al-Majali.[92]

Worldwide condemnation of the Iranian president’s declarations was seen by other commentators as serving Israel’s interests, and although they agreed with his message, considered his tactics to be unrealistic and even potentially detrimental to Iran itself.[93] Perhaps Arabs, Iranians and Muslims wanted to wipe Israel off the map, concluded Salah al-Qallab in al-Sharq al-Awsat, but they were incapable of doing so. The president’s statements were a mere expression of will without the solid backing of competence.[94] Egyptian peace proponent `Abd al-Mun`im Sa`id maintained that such messages represented a complete reversal. Since the Madrid peace conference the conflict had substantially changed and questioning Israel’s legitimate right to exist had been superseded by acknowledgment of the Palestinians’ right to their own state. Also referring to Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust, Said mocked “the Iranian hero from Tehran” for his pretensions and warned of a forthcoming catastrophe in the wake of his deeds.[95] An al-Ahram editorial categorically rejected the statements, fearing that they could only lead to further disasters. Israel was a UN member and an established entity, which could not be changed by such declarations, claimed another editorial on 10 December, whereas the issue of the Holocaust was determined by the international organization in its special commemoration resolution.[96] Saudi ambassador to the US Turki al-Faysal as well as the Washington-based Saudi Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CDHR), refuted Ahmadinejad’s statements.[97] Acknowledging that the Holocaust was a despicable historical fact, Jerome Shahin thought that “like any other fact of history,” it must be “conducive to objective scientific analysis if need be.” He also wondered how the Arabs could make the West understand that “while exterminating the Jews was wrong, so was expiating the guilt of the Holocaust at the expense of another people.”[98]

Rejection of Ahmadinejad’s approach to the conflict and to the Holocaust was in some cases intertwined with criticism of Arab society, regimes and culture, and particularly Islamist movements. Hazim Saghiya, who since the mid-1990s has advocated a new approach toward the Holocaust, deplored the fact that Ahmadinejad’s words had been received enthusiastically by many Arab writers and expressed his disappointment that Holocaust denial had become “a disease” that infected Middle East rulers, whereas in the past it had been confined to the fanatic margins of society.[99] Holocaust denial warned Ahmad al-Rabi`i exonerated Adolf Hitler and was antithetical to Islamic values. “We should differentiate between the innocent Jews who were exposed to death and the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionist movement… Islamic political contentions about the Holocaust aim at pandering to people’s sentiments, while damaging our reputation and moral standing.”[100] Similar views were voiced by Palestinian intellectual George Catan, Lebanese writer Nissim Dhahir and Egyptian Murad Wahba, who acknowledged its significance as a moral lesson for all humanity in dealing with contemporary human tragedies.[101]

The widespread belief in conspiracy theories and extremist religious indoctrination and terrorism were also targeted. “We are fed up with the media that tells us that all Arab crises are caused by the Jews and the Americans,” wrote al-Sharq al-Awsat editor Tariq al-Humayyid in an article blasting the Arab media.[102] Discussing the “Conspiratorial Worldview in Contemporary Arab Culture,” Kuwaiti author Muhammad al-Ramihi concluded that it turned the quest for progress into an unattainable goal.[103] The terrorist bombings had prompted liberal intellectuals to blame the state for failing to tackle social and cultural problems, for having curricula that encouraged fanaticism and for allowing religious Islamist movements to flourish and live in the mentality of the past. They denounced suicide bombings as un-Islamic, and wondered why there had been no fatwa to kill Bin Ladin. “It’s about time we liberated ourselves and our peoples from this suicidal practice,” wrote Lebanese writer Karim Muruwwa, who considered democracy and pluralism the only way to solve Arab predicaments.[104]

 

 


 

[1] New York Times, 15 July.

[2] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 16 May.

[3] Al-Ahram Weekly, 24, 31 March.

[4] Al-Ahram Weekly, 16 June.

[5] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 7 May; al-Sabil, 22 Nov.

[6] The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Newsletter, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Still a Hit on the Egyptian Book Market,” 26 Jan. (in Hebrew); idem., “The New Syrian Version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (2005), 1 March (in Hebrew); idem., “The Exportation of Antisemitic Publications to Britain,” 6 Oct. (in Hebrew).

[7] The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Newsletter, “The Hate Industry,” 2 March 2006.

[8] Al-Sabil, 5 April.

[9] Al-Watan, 27 April.

[10] Al-Akhbar, 31 May.

[11] Al-`Ahd al-Intiqad, 8 April. Another article on the “‘Holy Land’ in the Jewish religious thought,” by Husayn Salama was published in the Lebanese monthly al-Wahda al-Islamiyya, Oct.

[12] Al-Mujahid (PA), June.

[13] MEMRI, Series on Saudi Iqra TV, Special Dispatch, Nos. 915, 1026, 1 June, 18 Nov. For another discussion on the distortion of the Torah, see: al-Sharq al-Awsat, 4 June.

[14] Al-Siyasa, 16 Jan.; MEMRI, Special dispatch, No. 863, 14 Feb.

[15] Al-Madina, 26 July, 9, 16, 23, 30 Aug., 27 Sept., 4, 18 Oct.

[16] Al-Riyadh, 27 Nov. − ADL, Arab Media Review: Antisemitism and Other Trends, July-Dec.

[17] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 15 Feb.; Tishrin, 16 Feb.; al-Jumhuriyya, 17 Feb.; C. Jacob, “Reactions to Former Lebanese PM Al-Hariri’s Assassination” − MEMRI, Inquiry and Analysis, No. 210, 24 Feb.; al-Ayyam (PA), 21 Feb.; al-Sabil, 22 Feb.; al-Ahram Weekly, 31 March; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Syria, No. 1021, 8 Nov.

[18] Al-Sabil, 15 June. See also: al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 13 July, which referred to a book on the war in Iraq which was supposed to be published and considered it first and foremost an Israeli war; al-Ahram Weekly, 29 Sept.

[19] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 10 Sept.

[20] MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Saudi Arabia, No. 954, 9 Aug. See also: MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Lebanon, Nos. 938, 946, 20, 29 July.

[21] MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Egypt, Nos. 920, 999, 10 June, 3 Oct.; al-Akhbar, 2 Sept.; MEMRI, Special Report, Jihad and Terrorism, No. 38, 8 Sept.; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Turkish Media Project, No. 974, 31 August.

[22] Al-Ahram al-`Arabi, 8 May.

[23] MEMRI TV Monitor Project, 8 July. See also: MEMRI TV Monitor Project, 7 July;

[24] MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Lebanon, No. 946, 29 July. See also: MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Lebanon, No. 938, 20 July.

[25] Al-Usbu`, 25 July, 1 Aug.; al-Ahram al-Masa’i, 25 July; al-Ahram, 26 July; A. Shefa, “Egyptian Press Reactions to the Sharm al-Shaykh Bombings,” MEMRI, Inquiry and Analysis, No. 233, 10 Aug. See also: al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 24 July; al-Hayat, 25 July.

[26] New York Times, 12, 17 Nov.; al-Ra’y, 17 Nov.

[27] See for example: Al-Sabil, 8 Feb., 1 March; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 1054, 22 Dec.

[28] Al-Sabil, 18 Jan.

[29] MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 925, 19 June; New York Times, Washington Post, 18 June.

[30] New York Times, 7 Oct. For more threats against the West and the Jews, see MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 979, 2 Sept.

[31] Al-Hayat, 7 Feb.; al-Ahram Weekly, al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 10 Feb.; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Saudi Arabia, Nos. 859, 860, 8 Feb.

[32] Sada al-Balad (Lebanese daily), 31 July.

[33] “Al-Qaradawi’s Speech at the Sharm al-Shaykh conference,” 23 Aug. – www.qaradawi.net/site; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 971, 26 Aug.

[34] Al-Ahram al-`Arabi, 7 May; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Nos. 1017, 1045, 1051, 3 Nov., 9, 18 Dec.

[35] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 5 Sept.; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Nos. 977, 993, 1, 23 Sept.; PMW Bulletin, 19 Sept.

[36] Ynet, 31 Jan. – www.ynet.co.il.

[37] Al-Akhbar, 29 April.

[38] Al-wafd, 9 Jan., 27 May; al-Usbu`, 21 March. See also: al-wafd, 8 May, 15 June.

[39] Al-Mujtama` (weekly, Kuwait), 9 July; October, 18 June.

[40] Al-Ahram Weekly, 15 Dec.; Daily Times (Pakistan), 16 Dec.; al-Ahram, 28 Dec.

[41] Al-Ahram Weekly, 10 Feb.

[42] Al-Ahram al-`Arabi, 23 July.

[43] Al-Ahram Weekly, 22 Sept.; al-Sabil, 20 Sept.

[44] Al-`Arabi, 9 Jan.

[45] Al-Wafd, 4 May, 15 June; al-Usbu`, 12 Sept.

[46] Al-Ahali, 13 April.

[47] Al-`Arabi, 22 May.

[48] October, 7 May.

[49] Tishrin, 20 Aug. See also a review of another book in a similar vein: al-Ahram, 22 May.

[50] Al-Sabil, 15 March.

[51] Al-Ayyam (PA), 10 April; al-Mujtama`, 7 May.

[52] Akhbar al-Yawm, 22 Jan.; al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 16, 17 Feb.

[53] Al-Akhbar, 9 March; Al-Ahram Weekly, 10 March; Hurriyyati (weekly, Egypt), 13 March. On the AAD report, see: October, 29 Jan.

[54] Al-Sabil, 8 March, 3 May, 5 July, 20 Sept.

[55] See for instance: Al-Sabil, 15 Feb., 10 May, 31 Aug., 20 Sept., 28 Dec.

[56] Al-Ra’y, 19 March, 24 April, 5 Nov. For more caricatures conveying antisemitic messages, see al-Ra’y, 3 Aug.; al-Dustur, 20 July, 12 Sept.

[57] Al-Dustur, 5 Feb.; 26 May.

[58] MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 1001, 21 Oct.; Special Announcement, No. 33, 28 Oct.; PMW Multimedia Bulletin, 23 Oct.; Jerusalem Post, 26, 28, 31 Oct.; US Newswire, 26 Oct. – releases.usnewswire.com.

[59] Michael Widlanski, Abu Mazen Watch, Israel Resource News Agency, 4 Feb.; Jerusalem Post, 9 March; Jerusalem Report, 11 July.

[60] Michael Widlanski, Palestinian Media launches anti-Israel and anti-US campaign, Israel Resource News Agency, 13 May; al-Hayat al-Jadida, 5, 8, 9, 13 May; PMW Bulletin, 16 May, 15 June; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 908, 17 May.

[61] Ha’aretz, New York Times, 19 May.

[62] Al-Ayyam, 3 Feb.; Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace Newsletter, Feb.; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 957, 23 Aug.; PMW Bulletin, 14 Sept., 29 Dec.; Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, The Distribution of Virulent anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic hate Propaganda Continues, 5 Dec.

[63] Al-Ayyam, 16 Jan.; al-Ahram, 30 March – MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 894, 19 April; al-`Arabi, 29 May.

[64] WorldNetDaily, 10 Oct. – WorldNetDaily.com; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 1028, 18 Nov.

[65] Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Hamas Election Video: “Armed Struggle until Destruction of Israel,” PMW Bulletin, 12 Dec.

[66] Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Disengagement News Update, No. 2, 17 Aug.; PMW Bulletin, 18 Aug.

[67] Al-Ahram Weekly, 12 May; al-Hayat, 25 May; al-Mujahid, May.

[68] Tishrin, 21 Nov.; October, 17 Dec.

[69] Jerusalem Post, 30 Nov.

[70] Al-Hayat, 13 Jan.

[71] Sunday Times, 23 Jan.

[72] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 21 Jan.

[73] Al-Hayat, 27 Jan., al-Mustaqbal, 31 Jan.

[74] Al-Dustur, 27 Jan. See also: al-Dustur, 30 Jan.

[75] Al-Akhbar, al-Ahram Weekly, 3 Feb.

[76] Al-Hayat, 29 Jan.

[77] Tishrin, 31 Jan.

[78] Al-`Ahd al-Intiqad, 24 Jan.; al-Sabil, 18 Jan.

[79] Al-Sabil, 1 Feb. See also an interview with `Allush aired on al-Jazira TV on 23 Aug.: MEMRI Special Dispatch, No. 976, 31 Aug.; al-Sabil, 8 Nov.

[80] Al-Sabil, 1 Feb.

[81] Ha’aretz, 2 Nov.

[82] See for example: al-Sabil, 8 Nov.; al-Dustur, 16 Nov.; Tishrin, 22 Nov.; al-Badil (Jordanian bi-weeekly), 3 Dec.; al-Hayat al-Jadida, 18 Dec.; al-Mustaqbal, 19 Dec.

[83] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 5 Nov.

[84] Al-Khalij, 7 Nov.

[85] Al-Ahram al-`Arabi, 12 Nov.

[86] Al-Mujahid, Dec.

[87] ABC News, 8 Dec.; Ha’aretz, 9, 11, 15 Dec.; Reuters, The Independent, 9 Dec.; Die Welt, 14 Dec.; Washington Post, 15 Dec.; David Menashri, “What Lies behind Ahmadi-nejad’s Hat Speech?” Tel Aviv Notes, No. 155, 21 Dec.

[88] Ha’aretz, 16, 25 Dec.; al-Hayat, 23, 24 Dec.

[89] Al-Masa’, 12 Dec. – MEMRI, Special Dispatch, No. 1052, 20 Dec. See also: al-Jumhuriyya, 12 Dec.

[90] Al-Ahram Weekly, 15 Dec. See also: al-Dustur, 30 Oct.

[91] Al-Dustur, 31 Oct., 20 Dec.; al-Jumhuriyya, 12 Dec.

[92] Al-Dustur, 1 Nov.; al-Sharq al-Awsat, 2 Nov.

[93] Al-Dustur, 29 Oct., 1, 3 Nov., 11 Dec.; al-Sharq al-Awsat, 1 Nov.; al-Hayat al-Jadida, 7 Nov.; al-Ayyam (PA), 11 Dec.; al-Jumhuriyya, 14 Dec.

[94] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 3 Nov.

[95] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 9 Nov., 28 Dec. See also Daily Star, 8 Nov.

[96] Al-Ahram, 30 Oct., 10 Dec. See also: al-Jumhuriyya, 10 Dec.

[97] “CDHR Condemns Iranian President’s Call to Destroy Israel,” 4 Nov. – www.cdhr.info; Yediot Aharonot, 18 Dec.

[98] Al-Mustaqbal, 20 Dec.

[99] Al-Hayat, 24 Dec.

[100] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 24 Dec.

[101] George Catan, “The Jewish Holocaust: Reality or Myth” – www.metransparent.com/texts/george_catan, 25 May; al-Hayat, 8 Feb.; al-Musawwar, 25 March.

[102] Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 1 Nov.; MEMRI, Special Dispatch, Reform Project, No. 1029, 22 Nov.

[103] Al-Hayat, 27 April.

[104] Al-Ahram, 11 April; al-Hayat, 17 May. See also: al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), 19 July; al-Siyasa (Kuwait), 23 July; al-Raya (Qatar), 25 July; MEMRI, TV Monitor Project, No. 783, 26 July.

 

Source -http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2005/arab.htm

 

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