Archive for March, 2008

Nazism did not die in Hitler’s bunker

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

German chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Israel, and plans to discuss Germany’s “historical responsibility”.

Most people would understand this to mean something like “Germany’s debt to the Jewish People as a result of the Holocaust”. And some would argue that the debt has been paid, or the debt can never be paid, or that the guilty Germans are almost all dead now, or that they should or should not be forgiven.

But there is another aspect of this that I would like to talk about which is alive and contemporary. This is the way Nazi ideology became part and parcel of the Arab, and particularly Palestinian Arab world view, and how this has contributed to their position that any solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict short of another Jewish genocide is unacceptable.

In his book “History Upside Down: the Roots of Palestinian Fascism and the Myth of Israeli Aggression“, David Meir-Levi explains how Hamas’ parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, began a “political and military relationship with Nazi Germany” in the 1930’s, and how its leader Hassan al-Banna was inspired by Nazism.

Of course the most famous Palestinian Arab Nazi — who was closely connected to the Brotherhood — was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who helped raise Muslim armies for Hitler in the Balkans, and who intended to implement the Final Solution in Palestine. Matthias Küntzel writes,

The Mufti’s aim was to “unite all the Arab lands in a common hatred of the British and Jews”, as he wrote in a letter to Adolf Hitler. Antisemitism, based on the notion of a Jewish world conspiracy, however, was not rooted in Islamic tradition but, rather, in European ideological models.

The Mufti therefore seized on the only instrument that really moved the Arab masses: Islam. He invented a new form of Jew-hatred by recasting it in an Islamic mould. He was the first to translate Christian antisemitism into Islamic language, thus creating an “Islamic antisemitism”. His first major manifesto bore the title “Islam-Judaism. Appeal of the Grand Mufti to the Islamic World in the Year 1937”. This 31-page pamphlet reached the entire Arab world and there are indications that Nazi agents helped draw it up. Let me quote at least a short passage from it:

“The struggle between the Jews and Islam began when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina… The Jewish methods were, even in those days, the same as now. As always, their weapon was slander… They said that Muhammad was a swindler… they began to ask Muhammad senseless and insoluble questions… and they endeavoured to destroy the Muslims… If the Jews could betray Muhammad in this way, how will they betray Muslims today? The verses from the Koran and hadith prove to you that the Jews were the fiercest opponents of Islam and are still trying to destroy it.”

Küntzel shows how today’s virulent Arab antisemitism, as exemplified by the Hamas Covenant, was actually a melding of the “DNA” of anti-Jewish attitudes in traditional Islam with the genocidal hatred of Adolf Hitler (he also shows how the Muslim Brotherhood is the direct ancestor of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups).

The British, by the way, who elevated Husseini to his position in order to damage Jewish and French interests in the Mideast, and who helped Muslim facists escape after WWII (see John Loftus, “The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis, and Al-Qaeda“), also bear quite a bit of “historical responsibility” for what has happened to Jews in the Mideast since the war and what has happened to the US, Britain, Spain, and numerous other nations since 9/11.

The point of all this is that Nazism did not die in Hitler’s bunker in 1945. It lives on in Arab Jew hatred, and this perhaps explains why the Arabs and especially Palestinians have consistently been allergic to a solution of the conflict that leaves Israel in existence.

It also explains why Muslim Jew hatred today, as exemplified by Hamas and Hezbollah, is not limited only to the Jews of the Middle East, but extends to all Jewry everywhere.

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‘Courageous’ Palestinians murder Jewish ‘extremists’

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

No degree of hateful expression (or action) is forbidden to them:

The editor of a pan-Arab daily published in London says the terrorist attack on Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on March 6 attack was “justified” and that the religious seminary is responsible for “hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists.”

In his lead article last Sunday, Abd al-Bari Atwan, editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, chose not to condemn the shooting attack in which eight students were killed and nine were wounded, and said the celebrations in Gaza that followed symbolized the “courage of the Palestinian nation.” — Jerusalem Post

The Palestinian Arabs have always murdered Jews. When there were only a few Jews in the region, as in Tzfat in 1834, the Arabs raped and murdered them. Before the founding of the State of Israel, as in Hevron in 1929, the Arabs murdered Jews. During the so-called Arab Revolt of 1936-39, the Nazi-inspired and financed Palestinian Arabs murdered Jews.

When the UN partition resolution was approved in 1947, guess what the Arabs did? Yes, and they also did it in the period between 1948 and 1967, when ‘the occupation’ began and Yasser Arafat learned from his Soviet backers that he could get Western liberals on his side by recasting his racist, genocidal campaign as a ‘war of national liberation’, and the outnumbered Jews as a powerful colonialist oppressor.

Now everything is supposed to be about Palestinian human rights, occupation, and oppression, but we can get a clue toward what it is really about by looking at the Hamas Covenant, by noticing that the Arabs have refused every possible compromise that would leave Israel standing, by the fact that they continue to attack Israel from Gaza after the withdrawal, and — quite convincingly — simply by listening to them.

Israeli extremists and fundamentalists

Israeli extremists and fundamentalists murdered by courageous Palestinians

Top left: Avraham David Moses (16), Ro’i Roth (18), Neria Cohen (15), Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar (16); Bottom: Yochai Lifshitz (18), Segev Peniel Avihail (15), Yehonadav Haim Hirschfeld (19), Doron Meherete (26).

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The Iranian threat is not ‘future’ anymore

Friday, March 14th, 2008

The Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran is geographically the 18th largest country in the world and has more than 70 million inhabitants. It ranks third worldwide in proven oil reserves (after Saudi Arabia and Canada), and second in natural gas (after Russia).

Iran is governed by a radical Islamic regime which hangs homosexuals and stones adulterers, persecutes religious minorities and political dissidents, executes juvenile offenders, and arrests women for ‘improper’ dress (see: Human Rights Watch, Iran).

Crude oil futures yesterday closed at more than $110/bbl. and a gallon of gasoline in the US will shortly cost $4.00 (this especially benefits Iran, whose cost of production is greater than Saudi Arabia’s). As the American economy weakens — in part due to the increased outflow of dollars for petroleum — Iranian influence throughout the world increases.

One of the things Iran is doing with its huge windfall of oil profits is to develop nuclear bombs and missiles to deliver them. Some analysts say that Iran is likely to have a usable nuclear weapon by 2009. That’s next year, folks.

One of Iran’s goals is to dominate the Middle East, replacing Saudi Arabia as the predominant power. To this end it has allied itself with (or made a satellite of) Syria, through which it supplies Hezbollah, its proxy in the struggle for control of Lebanon.

Another goal is to destroy Israel, which has only 7 million people, an area 1.3% of Iran’s, and no oil reserves. The Iranian leadership is quite outspoken about this.

One strategy is to train and supply anti-Israel terrorists among the Palestinians and others. The rocket arsenals of Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas are bought and paid for by Iran. If you wonder how Hamas, allegedly “under seige” in Gaza, manages to fire tens of rockets a day and continuously attempt to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians near the Gaza/Israel border, wonder no longer.

This explains how the supposedly weak and oppressed Palestinians can present a real threat to Israel: Iran has their back.

There are multiple reasons for Iranian policy towards Israel, which include religious motives, the desire to earn propaganda points in the wider Arab and Muslim world, and their understanding that Israel is a base for American power in the Mideast which must be neutralized in order to expel Western influence from the region.

Unfortunately, many Westerners (like the Yale and Harvard educated cupcake discussed in the previous post and British PM Gordon Brown) ignore the last part, and assume that Iran is just Israel’s problem.

Yossi Klein Halevy writes,

So long as the international community tries to create a Palestinian state without seriously confronting the jihadists, Iran and its proxies will continue to make peace impossible–not by “derailing” negotiations, but by making those negotiations irrelevant.

And if the community does not succeed in stopping Iran’s anti-Israel program, the results will not be pretty.

Understandably, Israel has avoided a confrontation with Iran, which could result in the most devastating war Israel has fought. But as the siege around Israel’s borders tightens and as the Iranian nuclear program quickens, that direct confrontation becomes increasingly likely.

According to a just-released strategic assessment by the Israeli intelligence community, 2008 will be the “Year of Iran.” The Lebanese government, warns the assessment, could collapse in the coming months, allowing Hezbollah to take power. Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Hamas are considering a coordinated rocket assault on Israeli population centers, almost all of which are within rocket range of either group. And, according to the strategic assessment, sometime within the coming year, or by early 2009 at the latest, Iran will achieve nuclear capability. The threat that emerges from the intelligence assessment may well be the most acute that Israel has ever faced.

Western inaction will force Israel to act out of simple self-preservation. Maybe that’s the intention?

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Foreign policy ‘experts’ who are actually idiots

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Those who don’t get it — and there are many — should not style themselves “foreign policy experts”.

Ms. Power, meet Mr. Ahmadinejad…
By Barry Rubin

'Expert' Samantha Power

'Expert' Samantha Power (courtesy "Vogue")

A friend asked me about the meaning of the following quote from a now-former Obama advisor:

…Syria’s really tricky. I think if we could get our policy in Israel straight, then you get a sort of credibility to convene Arab governments that have a civil society with — hopefully, you still have a few allies in Europe and elsewhere — and actually start to have the difficult conversation about how one can liberalize. — Samantha Power

I understand what she means and it is very important. It is the most basic concept of many or most Middle East “experts,” politicians, and the media. It says: if we could move away from Israel and force it to surrender — oops, to make peace — working with all those smart European governments, then the United States could help lead the Arab world to be democracies. Israel’s policy is the cause of all the problems, even the lack of democracy in the Arabic-speaking world.

That is what it says very clearly. It is extremely stupid. But anyone who thinks of the Arab world in these terms is not only an idiot, but also a very good candidate to become a highly rewarded, well paid, frequently published, person who will get tenure/op-eds in leading newspapers, etc.

We are supposed to believe, in this conception, that these countries don’t really exist, they don’t have societies, their regimes don’t have interests, they don’t have issues, they don’t have histories or internal struggles or class systems or ethnic and religious tensions. No, everything in these lands are just reflections of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Of course if the “genius” in question knows nothing about those societies, regimes, ideologies, issues, interests, histories, and just plain human beings — this seems logical.

And this is why Western policy toward the Middle East is in such a serious mess and hasn’t worked. This will continue to be true unless they stop the Israel-centric explanation for everything in the region and take into account dictatorship, ideology, Islamism, Arab nationalism, traditional social structures, religious world views, imperialist ambitions and chauvinist attitudes, the treatment of women, economic systems. You know, all the stuff that counts everywhere else in the world.

But of course what this vision does is that it tells people that they should really hate Israel. After all, if Israel didn’t exist–or acted in a way so that it would not exist for much longer–we are to believe that the Middle East would be peaceful, democratic, moderate and pro-Western. If you believe this than you really do think that the world would be a better place without Israel. Ms. Power, meet Mr. Ahmadinejad.

. . .

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA). His latest books are The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan) and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

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Israel will not retaliate

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Mourners' tent with flags

Mourner’s tent for Merkaz haRav murderer, with flags of Hamas, Fatah, and Hezbollah

From Arutz Sheva:

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) gave the police an order Wednesday to destroy the home of the family of the terrorist who murdered eight yeshiva students last Thursday night. The order came after six days of deliberations and legal consultations.

My prediction: this will not happen. There will be the usual international outrage, and pressure will be applied “in order to not damage the peace process any further”.

Israel does not have the freedom of action of a sovereign nation in internal affairs — compare, for example, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Iran.

Dichter has said that there are no legal grounds to remove the murderer’s mourners’ tent. The family did remove Hamas and Hezbollah flags when requested to do so by police. In my opinion, there are grounds having to do with national self-respect that require the removal of the tent, and legal grounds need to be found.

So far, spokesmen from Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, the Sudan, and others have praised the murderous attack. Some called it ‘courageous’, others said that the victims (7 out of 8 were teenagers) were ‘dangerous extremists’, who learned to ‘hate Arabs’ at the Merkaz haRav Yeshiva. All saw it as a great victory for their side.

Mick Napier of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign — just one example from many similar organizations worldwide — called the yeshiva “a training centre for illegal occupation, murder and ‘Arabs to the Gas Chambers'”. He considers the attack justified retaliation for the ‘murder’ of Palestinians in Gaza.

He went on to ‘explain’ the philosophy of the yeshiva as follows:

The Mercaz HaRav yeshiva is based on contempt for all Gentiles, not only Arabs. … [the founder of the yeshiva, haRav Abraham Yitzchak haCohen] Kook’s classification of Palestinians as non-human allows the graduates of Mercaz HaRav to ignore those commandments that forbid stealing, murder and coveting.

Since non-Jews are similar to another species in the Kooks’ world-view, the very notion of human rights governing the relations between Jews and others is naturally repugnant to his followers…The Kooks’ primitive god is similar to that of their American Christian fundamentalist counterparts. Both groups of fundamentalists believe that the coming of the Messiah is imminent…they agree that the normal forms of human decency are no longer in force…

Napier’s source is a book on Jewish fundamentalism by Shahak and Mezvinsky, which is quoted frequently by right- and left-wing antisemites, including David Duke of the KKK and Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada. This kind of stuff is stock in trade for the massive hate-Israel industry.

Condoleezza Rice and British PM Gordon Brown, in their condemnations of the attack, managed to mention the importance of the [worthless] ‘peace process’. So I expect they will want to do their best to ‘reduce tensions’ by preventing any form of retaliation by Israel, even including the demolition of the terrorist’s house.

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