Wednesday, May 16, 2018


The argument that the Arabs, being themselves Semites, cannot be antisemitic is only a quibble, for antisemitism means hatred of the Jews and not of the Semites. 

The fact that Arabs could see the moral havoc antisemitism has wrought
in Germany, and still not be inhibited, indicates the vehemence of their antisemitism. True, the Germans destroyed millions of Jews, but after reading what Arabs write about Israel I cannot escape the impression that many Arabs also harbour such a dream. It may be that such desires are more prevalent and central in Arab society than they were in the German society. 

Arabs have gone far in their vilification of Israel and the Jews, and the way back is not short.

There is now a tendency in some Arab quarters to give an Islamic form to Arab antisemitism. Many examples are found in the monthly magazine of Al-Azhar, the oldest and principal Islamic university in Cairo. In its October 1968 issue,
a religious dignitary evokes a tradition (hadith) according to which Muhammed declared that a Muslim slaughter of the Jews will precede the day of resurrection. The learned sheik asserts the authenticity of this tradition and its importance
as a gospel. He explains that killing Jewish minorities, whose position in the Arab countries was low, was unbecoming. (This illustrates the basic attitude toward the Jews. The Koran decreed(KK, 58; III, 108) that they should be in a low and miserable position.) Thus, God ordained that the Jews would get an aggressive
state and attain power, so that henceforth the hadith may be realized. The hidden meaning of this tradition, he argues, will thus unfold. Theological justification is given to politicide genocide and a comforting explanation to Arab defeats. Had there been a similar article in Christian publication, there would have a been an uproar of protest.

Professor R. I. Al-Fruki has given a series of lectures in the Arab League Institute of High Arab Studies on "The Origins of Zionism are in the Jewish Religion", in which he analyzes Judaism disparagingly. 

Arab efforts to differentiate between Judaism and Zionism usually founder. Both are too frequently described in Arab writings as identical (sinwaan), or else Zionism is said to be only "the executive mechanism" of Judaism. "World Zionism" and "world Jewry" are treated as identical. 

Thus it is no wonder that anti-Zionist Jews are stigmatized as hypocritical and fraudulent.

I do not argue that Arab antisemitism has social or religious roots; its origins are mainly political. Nevertheless, it is not an accidental growth in the Arab stand against Israel. The need to substantiate the evil of Israel, as. a state that deserves a death verdict, produced an inclination to present its evil as profound.

CrossRef citations to date


A note on Arab antisemitism

Page 4 | Published online: 28 May 2010


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