Does Israel Cause Arab Anti-Semitism?

(Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council) Colin Rubenstein - Jews across the Middle East suffered violent hatred well before Israel and Zionism emerged on the agenda. In 1912, the Jewish quarter in Fez was almost destroyed in a mob attack. In the 1930s and 1940s pogroms and other attacks on the Jews were widespread in Iraq and Libya. Pro-Nazi Arabs slaughtered dozens of Jews in the "Farhoud" pogrom in Baghdad in 1941. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, probably the most popular Sunni cleric in the Arab world, has described the Holocaust as "divine punishment" for the Jews and expressed the hope that "Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the [Muslim] believers." He also stated he wants to die a martyr in the process of killing "Allah's enemies, the Jews." To imagine this traditional anti-Semitism is going to evaporate if Israel signs a peace deal with the Palestinians is fantasy. The pervasiveness of Muslim and Arab anti-Semitism is a significant barrier to a lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

2012-01-13 00:00:00

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