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The ways Zionism is attacked are identical to anti-semitism of the nazi eraAnti-Zionism and anti-Semitism were initially two distinct ideologies that over time (especially since 1967) have tended to converge.
The more radical forms of anti-Zionism that have emerged with renewed force in recent years display some striking analogies to fascist and racist anti-Semitism preceding the Holocaust. There is, for example, the call for a scientific, cultural and economic boycott of Israel, which arouses grim associations and memories among Jews of the Nazi boycott that began in 1933.
To this, we might add the ways in which Zionism and the Jewish people have been demonized in recent years that are virtually identical to the methods, arguments and techniques of Nazi anti-Semitism. Even though the current banner might be "anti-racist" and the defamation is being carried out in the name of human rights, the same desire to stigmatize and defame the Jewish collectivity is in evidence.
"Anti-Zionists" who insist on comparing Zionism and the Jews with Hitler and the Third Reich, are de-facto anti-Semites, even if they vehemently deny the fact. For if Zionists are Nazis and Sharon really is Hitler, then it becomes a moral obligation to eliminate Israel. That is the bottom line of much contemporary anti-Zionism.
The exhibit in Stockholm in which an Islamic Jihad bomber is idealized as Snow White sailing on a pool of blood has nothing to do with "preventing genocide." It is an invitation to perpetrate another massacre of Jews, whatever the artist might claim.
Israel is the only state on the face of this planet that such a large number of disparate nations, political groups and individuals (including self-hating Jews) wish to see disappear - a chilling reminder of Nazi propaganda in the 1930s.
The most virulent expressions of this exterminationist anti-Zionism come from the Arab-Muslim world, the historical heir of earlier 20th century forms of totalitarian antiSemitism in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It is echoed even by "moderate" Muslim statesmen like Mahathir Mohammad who publicly repeat the classic anti-Semitic myth that "Jews rule the world" without eliciting any objections in the Islamic world.
The more radical Islamists from Al-Qa'ida to the Palestinian Hamas fuse indiscriminate terror, suicide bombings and a Protocols-of-Zion-style of anti-Semitism with the ideology of jihad. They embrace a total demonization of the "Jewish other" as the "enemy of mankind." The same demonizing stereotypes can be found in "moderate, pro-Western" Egypt (home to the anti-Semitic soap opera Rider without a Horse) secular Baathist Syria, conservative Wahhabite Saudi Arabia and Shiite fundamentalist Iran. This is an ideological anti-Zionism that seeks both the annihilation of Israel and a world "liberated from the Jews" - the ultimate final solution.
The danger has become especially grave because such annihilationalist anti-Zionism is spreading under the mask of anti-Israelism and hatred of Ariel Sharon to Western Europe, America and parts of the Third World. It has found grassroots support in the Muslim diaspora among radicalized youth and strong echoes among anti-globalists, Trotskyists, and far-right groups not to mention parts of the mainstream Western media.
The mobilizing power of anti-Zionism derives primarily from its link to the Palestinian cause. Since the 1960s, the PLO has worked hard to delegitimize Zionism and this policy has largely succeeded. Palestinian anti-Zionism involves a negation of Jewish nationhood and any legitimate Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Israel; a denial of any historic link between Judaism and Zion, or of the very existence of two Jewish temples in Jerusalem. No wonder Israel has never existed on any Palestinian maps even during the Oslo peace process. Nor should it be forgotten that the Palestinian Authority has frequently combined anti-Semitic motifs - including Holocaust denial, updated blood libels and Jewish conspiracy themes - with a more general incitement to jihadist violence.
Palestinian anti-Zionism has helped to infect Europe with an old-new version of anti-Semitism in which Jews are turned into rapacious, blood sucking colonialists. They are depicted as alien, rootless and imperialist invaders who conquered Palestine by brute force. Zionists are modern crusaders with no legitimate rights to the soil - an alien transplant in the region, which cleverly manipulated Britain and then America to achieve its goals. This is an Arab anti-Semitic narrative of which Hitler might have approved.
The popularity of the Protocols is one of the most telling symptoms in the Middle East of the complete merger between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Zionism is also vilified in some mainstream Western media as being criminal in essence as well as in its behaviour - another classic anti-Semitic stereotype. This flows from the left-wing mantra branding Zionism as a racist, colonialist and imperialist movement - the only empire in history whose waistline is about 10 miles wide.
Israel's military actions offer Europeans the tantalizing temptation of saying that "the victims of yesterday have become the Nazi perpetrators of today," and the opportunity to present Zionism as heir to the darkest pages of Western colonial history - i.e. Algeria, Vietnam, South Africa.
Such comparisons are not always anti-Semitic in intention however false they are in practice. But through endless repetition they become an ideological rationalization for dismantling Israel. This is a major aim of "progressive" anti-Zionism that insists on its moral purity yet turns a blind eye to so-called suicide bombings that are literally crimes against humanity.
Such anti-Zionism is fundamentally discriminatory in negating even the possibility of a legitimate Jewish nationalism while idealizing the violent nihilism of the Palestinian national movement. The anti-globalist crusaders against Zion regularly justify the terrorism, jihadism and anti-Jewish stereotypes to be found in Islamic fundamentalism. For most of the Western left, Palestinians can only be victims. Hamas bombers are militants engaged in legitimate resistance. They are never perpetrators of any crimes or responsible for their actions. Only Israel is to blame.
On the far left as well as the far right, contemporary anti-Zionism freely exploits stereotypes about the "Jewish/Zionist lobby, Jewish criminality and Israeli warmongering" that are deeply anti-Semitic. This world-view has penetrated the mainstream debate to the point where 60 per cent of Europeans regard tiny Israel as the greatest threat today to world peace.
Anti-Zionism is not only the historic heir of earlier forms of anti-Semitism. It is also the lowest common denominator between anti-thetical political trends in Europe and the Middle East - the only point on which they can agree. It is a bridge between the left, the right and the militant Muslims; between the elites, including the media, and the masses; between the church and the mosque; between an increasingly anti-American Europe and an endemically anti-Western Arab-Muslim Middle East; a point of convergence between right-wing conservatives and left-wing radicals and a connecting link between the generations.
Anti-Zionism is no longer an exotic collection of radical chic slogans that somehow survived the debacle of late 1960s counter-culture. It has become an exterminationist, pseudo-redemptive ideology in the Middle East which has been re-exported to Europe with devastating effect.
Robert Wistrich is director of the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of AntiSemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
What does the name Abdallah Quran mean to you? Anything? If not, it should. Abdallah Quran should be a banner-sized headline in all news publications around the world, hard-copy and Internet.
Abdallah Quran is about 10 years old. His exact age is not 100% clear. Yesterday afternoon Abdallah, before making his way through an IDF checkpoint near Nablus, in Samaria, was made a tantalizing offer. Approached by some 'older people,' Abdallah was promised a great sum of money if he would do them a small favor. They requested that Abdallah act as a messenger and take with him, along with his school books, a backpack for some people waiting on the other side of the checkpoint.
Of course, little Abdallah agreed. Why pass up a chance to make some good money so easily.
At the checkpoint a border policewoman, examining all those crossing over, became very suspicious. The backpack was big and heavy, much heavier than would normally be used by a ten year old. The youngster was quickly questioned: "What is in this backpack?"
Never having been questioned by uniformed Israelis before, Abdaallah was frightened. "It's not mine. Someone gave it to me to take across the checkpoint, as a messenger."
The backpack was carefully removed to an isolated area, where an army sapper examined it and proceeded to explode it. Inside the backpack was a 6 - 10 kilo (about 15 lbs) bomb belt, hooked up to a cellular telephone.
It seems that the terrorists who provided the bomb to little Abdallah had planned on blowing him up, together with the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint, at the time of its examination. But the plan failed. The bomb didn't go off.
Had he managed to get it through the checkpoint undetected, it is most likely, according to Israeli intelligence-security forces, that the bomb would have been detonated on a bus packed with people, murdering Abdallah and the others on the bus.
As I wrote, you should know this already because this story should be headlining all news programs, radio, tv, newspapers and internet. But, it's not. As of this writing, this story does not appear on the homepage of CNN, Fox, or MSNBC.
Let's, for a minute, play one of my favorite games: Make Believe. Make believe, for a moment, that a ten-year-old from, let's say, Hebron, was found carrying a bomb on his back, attempting to kill some Arabs in Hebron. Or, maybe a little boy or girl from Yitzhar, who was trying to kill some Arabs somewhere in Samaria. Or, or or ...
Can you imagine the headlines? I mean, after all, one of the pictures of the year, a few years ago, was a photograph of a Hebron child pulling off an Arab woman's headscarf. That was a major international crime which made blazing headlines. But, a 10-year-old with a bomb, who was not only to be the killer, but also the target?! Why should anyone pick up the story? A 10-year-old Arab with a bomb - that's everyday stuff. What's it worth?
Only a couple of days ago 10 Israelis were killed in cold blood by two terrorists who managed to bypass the infamous 'wall' or 'fence' or call it whatever you wish - the magical barrier which would prevent any such infiltrations from Gaza into "Israel proper," in this case, the Ashdod port. That terror attack was billed as an 'almost mega-attack," due to the proximity of the terrorists to poisonous bromide tanks, which, upon explosion, could cause the deaths of thousands of people. But, here again, the terrorist detonated himself too fast, for one reason or another, and the 'big tragedy' was averted. This time. But, according to most news broadcasters, commentators and everyone else, it will (G-d forbid) happen. It's just a question of time. The Spanish attacks will seem like child's play in comparison.
In my opinion, mega-terror cannot be strictly measure by the number of people killed. Of course, numbers do mean a lot. But each and every individual person is just that, a person. And every loss is just that, a loss. To the families of victims, it is little consolation that their loved one was 'one of many.' When Mom or Dad, Brother or Sister, Son or Daughter is gone - they're gone and it makes no difference how many went with them.
In my opinion, the attempted use of Abdallah Quran, an Arab 10 year old child, is mega-terror. The vile, immoral, depraved use of a child to kill others, this is mega terror. Perhaps not in the quantitative sense, but certainly qualitatively.
Only the brilliant alertness of a young border policewoman saved many lives - lives of Israelis and the life of little Abdullah. Otherwise Abdullah Quran would have been labeled, for the rest of eternity, 'the little shahid' - the little martyr, who killed and died for his people, without his even knowing it, against his will.
When confronting an existential enemy -- an enemy that wants to terminate your very existence -- there are only two choices: appeasement or war.
In the 1930s Europe chose appeasement. Today Spain has done so again. Europe may follow.
One can understand Europe's reaction in the 1930s. First, it could almost plausibly convince itself that Hitler could be accommodated. Perhaps he really was only seeking what he sometimes said he was -- the return of territory, the unification of the German volk, a place in the sun -- and not world conquest.
Today there is no doubting the intentions of Arab-Islamic radicalism. It is not this grievance or that (U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia). It is not this territory or that (Palestine, Andalusia). The intention, endlessly repeated, is the establishment of a primitive, messianic caliphate -- redeeming Islam and dominating the world. They have seen the future: Taliban Afghanistan, writ large.
Moreover, Europe in the 1930s had a second excuse. The devastation of the first world war, staggering and fresh in memory (France and Germany lost a third of their young men of military age), had made another such war unthinkable. This does not excuse appeasement -- it cost millions more lives in the second world war -- but provides context and possibly humility. One has to ask oneself: Am I sure I would not have chosen the cowardly alternative?
Nonetheless, it was still the cowardly alternative. And today Spain has chosen it -- having suffered not Europe's 20 million dead of World War I but 200 dead in the Madrid bombings.
The Socialist Party placed the blame for the attack not on the barbarians who detonated the bombs but on the Spanish government that stood with the United States in its war against the barbarians. The Spanish electorate then voted into office the purveyors of precisely that perverse view.
Spain will now withdraw from Iraq, sever its alliance with America and, as Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has promised, "restore magnificent relations with France and Germany."
Nonetheless, Spain is just Spain. The really big prize is Europe. Which is why the most ominous development of the week was the post-Madrid pronouncements of Romano Prodi, the president of the European Commission.
"It is clear that force alone cannot win the fight against terrorism." Sounds reasonable until you hear Prodi's amplification of the idea just two days earlier. "We know that international terrorism wants to spread fear," he said. "Fear generates not so much justice but rather vengeance, which chooses war to answer the need of security. . . . We become prisoners of terror and of terrorists." In other words, making war on terror is unjust, fearful, mere vengeance and ultimately a victory for terrorism.
If not war, then what? A centerpiece to Prodi's solution to terrorism: a new European constitution. I'm not making this up: "to defeat fear we only have democracy and politics. . . . Today for us, politics means building Europe completely with its constitution and its institutions."
This is beyond appeasement. This is decadence: Terror rages and we tend our garden.
Prodi is right that the war on terror is not resolved by force alone. How is it won apart from hunting down terrorists and destroying terrorist regimes? By reversing the Arab-Islamic world's tragic collapse into oppression, intolerance and destitution, in which popular grievances are cynically deflected by repressive regimes and clergy into the virulent anti-Americanism that exploded upon us on Sept. 11, 2001. Which means trying to give desperate and oppressed people a chance at the kind of freedom and prosperity that we helped construct after World War II in Europe and East Asia.
Where on this planet is this project most engaged? Iraq, where day by day the U.S.-led coalition is trying to build a new civil order characterized by pluralism, the rule of law and constitutional restraints. Even a modicum of success in this enterprise would constitute a monumental strategic advance, a historic change in the very culture of the Middle East.
Spain's response to this challenge? Abandon the effort.
So when Zapatero and, more important, Prodi speak of nonmilitary means to combat terrorism, they don't mean draining the swamp by gradually building free institutions. They mean buying off the terrorists, distancing themselves from America and seeking a separate peace.
Sure, they will continue to track down individual al Qaeda terrorists. But that's no favor to anyone. They want to make sure there's not another Madrid, in case European appeasement is not quite thorough enough to satisfy the terrorists. But on the larger fight, the reordering of the Arab world that produced the terrorists, they choose surrender.
Why does the U.S. government not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital when, in fact, it has been the capital of Israel for 3,300 years – since the days of King David? The 104th Congress passed public law 104-45 – the Jerusalem Embassy Act – in 1995. This document officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Public Law 104-45 also allocates $25 million to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Why has this been postponed by a presidential waiver every six months since it was passed in Congress? The premise is that implementing the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing one of the oldest capitals in the world, would cause a national security threat in the United States.
In 1988, I confronted Yasser Arafat at the 43rd General Assembly in Geneva concerning the fact that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. In an uncontrollable rage, Arafat began to scream, "Shut up! Shut up!" Arafat refused to sign documents at Camp David that would have met the vast majority of his demands (including half of Jerusalem). Why? He would have had to recognize Israel's right to exist.
The real reason is plain and simple: Arab bigots do not want the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In doing so, it would constitute recognizing Israel's right to exist. These same bigots attacked Spain in an attempt to use terrorism as a weapon to force the Spanish government to pull out of the coalition in Iraq, and accept a doctrine of appeasement. It appears to have worked in Spain.
Why do U.S. presidents continue to sign a waiver that postpones the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act? The answer is simple: Blackmail by Arab bigots who refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
On Sept. 5, 1972, the entire world was shocked when one of the most despicable terrorism attacks in history took place at the Munich Olympics. Arab terrorists (later identified as Palestinians) took hostage and then murdered 11 Israeli athletes in an attempt to blackmail the Israeli government into releasing 200 Arab prisoners. The Palestinian terrorists who mounted the attack were, in fact, members of a PLO faction, Black September. Their murderous actions were approved, financed and celebrated by Yasser Arafat.
Amazingly, the official website of the Athens 2004 Olympic games on Feb. 29, 2004, under "Palestine" stated that the capital was Jerusalem. How in the world can a country that doesn't exist have a capital? After receiving a great number of complaints, the website was changed to read, "The State of Israel is part of the continent of Europe."
This is astonishing to anyone who understands geography. The U.S. State Department calls it "the Near East." Could it be that because Arab bigots refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, the Olympic Committee concurs? Why should we be surprised when the U.S. president and others refuse to acknowledge that Israel even has a capital? It is the theater of the absurd and a festival of hypocrisy.
The Egyptian-born Arafat has never stated in any document that he wanted West Jerusalem – it was always East Jerusalem (al-Quds). On the other hand, he has frequently said that the Palestinian flag would fly over all the churches and mosques of Jerusalem – referring to the entire city. In fact, the city of Jerusalem has never been the capital of an Arab state in the 1,400 years since the Quran was written, and is not directly mentioned in the Quran.
I am outraged that the Olympic committee recognized the capital of Cuba (Havana), the capital of North Korea (Pyongyang), and the capital of Iran (Tehran), but refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of our closest ally in the Middle East.
President Bush is a man of moral character and clarity. The second week of June, the Jerusalem Embassy Act will again be presented to Mr. Bush. He has a choice either to sign a national security waiver, or allow it to be enacted into law. It is time for him to stand up to Arab bigots, and refuse to sign another waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act. There is nothing in the Jerusalem Embassy Act that violates either U.S. or U.N. policy.
Each time the national security waiver is signed, we are saying to terrorists and bigots, "You win." America needs the blessings of God more than favor with Arab bigots. Mr. Bush needs to send a signal to all the would-be Osamas that the party is over. No longer will America allow terrorists to threaten our nation into choosing political expediency over moral clarity.
If Rudolph Giuliani had the courage to say, "No, thank you," to an Arab sheik that wanted to create linkage between 9-11 and Israel, President Bush needs to have moral clarity to do the same. America is in a state of moral decay. It is time for our president to let the godfather of world terrorism, the architect of the Munich massacre, know that the party is over. It is time to freeze the $1.25 billion dollars Arafat has stolen from the Palestinian people, and use it to build schools, hospitals, housing and a broadcasting network that does not glamorize and immortalize suicide bombers.
Michael D. Evans is the chairman of the board of the Corrie ten Boom Foundation in Haarlem, Holland. The foundation combats anti-Semitism. Most of the ten Boom family died fighting anti-Semitism during the Holocaust. Dr. Billy Graham produced a movie on their story, "The Hiding Place." Evans is also the author of "Beyond Iraq: The Next Move," an Amazon No. 2 and a New York Times best-seller, and founder of America’s largest Christian coalition praying for the peace of Jerusalem, Jerusalem Prayer Team.org, including Joseph Farah, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, John Maxwell and over 300 national leaders on the board of governors.
"At present their (the European neutrals) plight is lamentable; and it will become much worse. They bow humbly and in fear of German threats … Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear -- I fear greatly -- the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely."- from Winston Churchill's speech January 20, 1940, four months after Hitler invaded Poland.
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