Is Islamic anti-Zionism comparable to Nazi anti-Semitism?

The fact Hamas would rather starve the children of Gaza than coexist with a Jewish neighbor epitomizes the degree to which Jew-hatred is a paramount value in the contemporary Islamic World.

Rafael Castro, | updated: 07:00

OpEds Rafael Castro
Rafael Castro
INN:RF

Many educated people believe that anti-Semitism is a regrettable, yet altogether recent phenomenon in the Muslim World. In their Islamophile view of history, Jews and Muslims lived peacefully together until Zionism ruined their idyllic coexistence.

This argument implies that Jews are to blame for anti-Semitism in the Muslim World. The corollary of this position being that the onus of restoring peace to the Middle East rests on Jews.

That prior to 1948, the Muslim World tended to be somewhat less inhospitable to Jews than Europe, is correct. Nevertheless, to extrapolate from this truism that Islamic tolerance was the forerunner of modern liberal democracies’ respect of religious minorities is an insult to the Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Alevites, Armenians, Yazidis and other religious minorities massacred in the name of Islam.

The establishment of the State of Israel has fueled a Jew-hatred in the Islamic World only comparable to that of Nazi Germany. The fact Hamas would rather starve the children of Gaza than coexist with a Jewish neighbor epitomizes the degree to which Jew-hatred is a paramount value in the contemporary Islamic World.

The viciousness of this hatred is often hard to fathom unless one takes the time and effort to view the pages of Prophet Mohammed’s followers on social media. Claims that Jews are the driving force behind ISIS, that Jewish bankers are to blame for the misery of Muslim countries and that Israelis treat Palestinians worse than Nazis treated Jews, interlace the posts of people who are far from being religious extremists.

In the light of the many instances of Muslims being massacred by non-Jews and fellow Muslims far more ruthlessly than Israel has ever done, it is intriguing to understand this mindset. Islamic benevolence towards Jews was historically conditional on the full subjugation of Jews to Islamic supremacy. Jewish docility to Muslim rulers from Marrakesh to Kabul reassured Muslims that Islam was the true and perfect religion.

The establishment of Israel shook Islamic self-confidence to its core. During Israel’s initial decades, many Muslims reassured themselves that Israel was an Anglo-American colonial venture which would eventually flounder and fail. These expectations were supported by Islamic scriptures deriding Jews for cowardly loving peace and avoiding bloodshed. Israel has however not failed. On the contrary, Israel grows in strength and wealth every year.


Both Hitler and the Muslim states which virtually unanimously support Hamas at the United Nations know that Israel's values are the greatest threat to their ideology.
Zionism’s successes have awakened the worst possible Islamic instincts. Instead of realizing that the Muslim World should learn from Israel and emulate Jewish values, the Muslim World has sunk to a foolish and irrational frenzy of Jew-hatred, which proliferates in social media and in everyday conversations in Muslim societies.

Leaders of Muslim countries like Oman and Saudi Arabia have recently made conciliatory gestures towards Israel. It would however be foolish to take their declarations delivered in English for foreign consumption as evidence of a regional diplomatic breakthrough for Israel.

The leaders of these countries curry favor with Israel because the current American administration is staunchly Zionist and because they have more reasons to fear Iran than they do to hate Israel. Their resentment towards the Ayatollahs is driven by the fear that Iran will develop nuclear weapons and use them before their own countries are able to develop these weapons. In other words, no regional leader wishes to cede to Shi’a Iran the honor and privilege of erasing Israel from the pages of history.

It is not far-fetched to compare Israel-hatred in the contemporary Islamic World to Jew-hatred in Nazi Germany. Both Hitler and the Muslim states which virtually unanimously support Hamas at the United Nations know that Israel's values are the greatest threat to their ideology. A world which embraces peace and justice as paramount values, where religious diversity is cherished and respected and where leaders, be they secular or religious, are openly subject to criticism and ridicule, is the greatest threat to their worldview.

That Islamic anti-Zionism has reached a genocidal frenzy should not scare us. Israel just needs to understand that its long-term survival hinges on its monopoly of nuclear weapons in the region and in the secularization of Islamic societies.

Pundits who claim that a few opportunistic statements by Muslim leaders are the dawn of an era of peace and prosperity in the Middle East should take the time to understand Islamic ethics before taking advantage of Jewish good faith.   




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