Importing the protocols of the elders of Zion
Anti-Semitism in Islamic societies

by Thomas Schmidinger

Referat, gehalten auf der 13. Internationalen Sommerakademie des Instituts für Geschichte der Juden in Österreich, 30. 6. - 2. 7. 2003, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Österreichischen Institut für Internationale Politik und dem Israel-Palestine Project Vienna: "Cultures of Conflict - Reflections on Middle East Dilemmas"

Thomas Schmidinger ist Lehrbeauftragter am Institut für Politikwissenschaft Wien, Mitarbeiter der im Irak tätigen Hilfsorganisation Wadi und Redakteur der Zeitschrift "Context XXI".

Anti-Semitism in the Arab-Islamic world is mainly based on European references and not upon the Islamic religion or the Arab culture. It is a modern phenomenon which has to do a lot with the import of European ideologies into the Arab world and the political, social and economic changes within the Arab societies in the last two centuries, but it doesn't have the centuries old background, that anti-Semitism has in the Christian societies of Europe. Even though Islamic integralism, also a modern phenomenon, already had a strong anti-Jewish attitude in the thirties and forties of the 20th century, it was Sayyed Qutb who linked Islamic integralism and modern anti-Semitism in a systematic way in the sixties of the 20th century, and who systematically mixed the stories of the "protocols of the elders of Zion" with a specific interpretation of Islam.

Historically the tolerance of Islamic states towards other religions of the book, ahl al-kitab - mainly Christians and jews - was much stronger than in the Christian societies of Europe before the Enlightment. Contrary to western Christianity, Islam tolerated these ahl al-kitab - and only those - as Dhimmis, as charges of Islam.

Jews, Christians, Mandeans or Zarostrans in Iran, who were tolerated as Dhimmis, were not members of the umma, the Islamic community, but they were members of the state with reduced rights. They lived under an Islamic government and had to pay higher taxes. Official posts with souveranity over Muslims were prohibited for non-Muslims, they were not allowed to carry weapons or to serve in the army, but they could get some influence as intellectuals and advisers of Muslim rulers. In exchange for the acceptance of the Islamic government they could get some autonomy for their communities. They could have their own courts for cases only involving members of their own community and they could have their own law of legal status.

In exchange with higher taxes the Islamic state guaranted religious freedom to all sects of any ahl al-kitab. Especially for Jews and those Christian sects who were repressed by the official Byzantine state and church before the Muslim conquest, like the coptic church in Egypt or the syrian-orthodox and nestorian church in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic state brought more freedom than the pre-Muslim Christian Byzantine Empire. Both suffered under the Byzantine state, the Jews as "killers of Christ" and the Copts and Nestorians as heretics. So many of them welcomed the Islamic conquest as a liberation from Byzantine terror and profited from the Islamic state. That doesn't mean that they were treated equal to Muslims. They still had a subordinate status, but a status that was much better than their status under the Christian Byzantine empire and so the heydays of these oriental churches, of oriental judaism and also the Jewish sect of the Karaits, who developed in the 8th century in present day Iraq, were under Muslim rule. Jewish scientists, traders and doctors could in fact get an even stronger influence than they should have had in theory as Dhimmis. They were an integrated part of what we call the mediaeval Islamic civilisation.

There were also some acts of hostility against Jews and Christians, but they never reached the quality and quantity of religious anti-Semitism in mediaeval Europe. There were local acts of violance against Jews and Christians, cases of forced convertions or public labeling, within the Islamic world, but you can't compare them to the pogroms of the crusaders in the 11th century or the anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim policy of the spanish empire in the 15th century and later. Many Islamic rulers didn't even want the conversion of all Christians and Jews to Islam, because they would have lost a lot of taxes if all Dhimmis would have become Muslims.

This unequal coexistence with other people of the book has a long history in the Islamic ummah. Muhammad knew Christians from his work as a trader with Syria, but there is no evidence for the existence of Christian communities in the Hidjaz, Muhammads home-region with Djeddah, Mekkah and Yatrib - the present-day Medina. The next Christian communities lived in South-Arabia, Abbessinia, Syria and Egypt. However, a lot of Jewish people lived in the cities of the Hidjaz and as nomadic tribes in the desert. Many Arab tribes were Judaised in the first centuries of the Christian chronology. After the Himyaritic ruler Dhu Nuwas converted to Judaism in 517 the majority of the population of present day Yemen became Jewish. So it was not Christianity, but Judaism that represented the belief in one single god for Muhammad. This might be one of the reasons that Islam has much more parallels to Judaism than to Christianity, but also that there are slightly different attitudes towards Jews than towards Christians in the Quran and in the religious tradition of Islam.

When Muhammad acquired the position of a Qadi (a judge with also political functions) in 622 in Yatrib he was confronted with a partly Jewish population. His good relations with this Jewish population of Yatrib changed when they didn't accept the prophecy of Muhammad and didn't become a part of the early ummah of Islam. Muhammad was involved in series of local power struggles between the Jewish and non-Jewish population of Yatrib, which resulted in some anti-Jewish parts in the Quran, but there are also a lot of parts which call for tolerance towards both Christans and Jews. As with many holy books a lot of different interpretations of the Quran are possibly and so the question if Islamic anti-Semitism results from the Islamic religions is quite senseless. The Quran or some anti-Jewish hadiths, sayings of Muhammad which are not seen as the word of god, but as something that can guide Muslims, can't be the reason for an Islamic anti-Semitism, they can only be used by modern Islamic anti-Semites to "islamise" their thoughts and connect them with the Islamic history and religion. We shouldn't make the mistake to see the history of Islam as a reason for a development which happened 1.400 years later and was then used to construct a tradition of anti-Semitism from today back to the early history and the beliefes of Islam. This way we would fall in the trap to beliefe the constructions of groups like the Hamas or the Hizb Allah who connect their anti-Semitism directly with Islam and the struggle against Jews as a duty for Muslims.

We already saw that the historic reality of the golden age of Islam was different and dominated by the structure of the Dhimma for Jews and Christians. Islam had some negative attitudes towards Jews, but in contrast to Christianity the hatred against Jews was never a central part of Islamic theology. While the Christian anti-Semitism results from the idea of Jewish omnipotence that results from the story of the ability to kill god, both Jews and Christians were something like distant and misleaded relatives of Islam. As Christians abandoned the strict monotheism and the religious laws of the Jews, they always had to struggle with an inferiority complex concerning Jews. Even the continuing existence of Jews who kept the strict monotheism and their laws, was seen as a permanent provocation by Christians. As a Jewish sect they always had to show that Jews are not only wrong, but evil itself. This wasn't the case for Muslims. Islam was influenced by both, Judaism and Christanity, but it was not a sect of one or the other. It brought monotheism to pagan people at Mekkah and Yatrib/Medina, so it didn't have the problem of a permanent crisis of sense by the continuing existence of a "father-religion".

Also Freuds interpretation of anti-Semitism, who saw the deepest unconscious root of anti-Semitism in a castration complex of the non-circumcised Christians that is motivated by the fact that Jews are cirumcised (1), can't be a root for the anti-Semitism of the equally circumcised Muslims.

So, two important roots of the Christian anti-Semitism in Europe are inexistent in Islam. But this doesn't mean that there were no riots and persecutions of Jews in the Muslim world before the 19th century. There were local attacks against Jews, but also against Christians and other minorities. But they were never as brutal or systematic as the pogroms against Jews in mediaeval Europe.

So Muslim anti-Semitism is a modern phenomenon and it is a modern anti-Semitism which has to do a lot with the changes within the Muslim and Arab world from the 19th century onwards and with an import of anti-Semitic ideas from Europe, but not with Islam as a religion. The religion was later used to dress this modern anti-Semitism with Islamic clothes.

The Arab countries slipped into a deep crisis followed by a lot of political and economical changes in the 19th century. The decline of the Ottoman Empire opened the gates for European, French and British Imperialism. The economy of the middle east was more and more penetrated by western capitalism, but couldn't build up a fully developed capitalist economy. Even Egypt that could make a strong step forward in industrialisation under Muhammad Ali (1805 - 1848), the albanian founder of the modern egyptian national state, could not develop more than something like a partly industrialised feudalism. "Egypt had no class of bourgeois entrepreneurs, no 'free' working class, and no free market." (2) So the Middle Eastern societies were integrated into a peripherical capitalism with most of the negative consequences for the mass of the people, but without the development of a modern bourgeoise class with their political ideas of liberalism and democracy.

With the growing influence of imperialist powers who were partly secularised, but still somehow "Christian", many Christian minorities in the Middle East could get a stronger influence and economic power within the Muslim societies. European powers forced the change of the old Dhimma-System. The result of these changes was not a formal equalitiy of citizens like in modern national-states in Europe, but a system of capitulations of the Ottoman Empire which established European states as protectors over the Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire. After the collaps of the Ottoman Empire this continued to a situation where many non-Muslim Arabs could get the nationality of the colonial states, which was nearly impossibly for the Muslim subjects.

But even more important: It was much easier under the colonial rule for Christian and partly also for Jewish families, especially for example for Jewish families of European origin in Egypt, to get access to modern schools and European education, the base for economical and social rise. In detail these developments differed in many Arab states or European colonies with Arab subjects, but in a very extreme way you could see that in Algeria, which was part of the French "motherland". While Christians, mainly immigrants from France, Spain and Italy were citoyens with all rights of French citoyens, Muslims were only sujets, with nearly no political rights and no chance for an economic rise. Jews were later accepted as citoyens, even if they were not European, but of Arab origin, but Muslims only had this chance when they were totally Europeanized and then only in a few cases.

Such a political and economic situation was a good source for conspiracy theories of any kind. But these conspiracy theories were more directed towards Christians and Christian powers in the 19th century than towards Jews. However these conspiracy theories and the stereotyps against for example Armenian, Assyrian or Greek Christians in the late ottoman Empire, had already a lot of parallels to modern anti-Semitism in Europe. They were not primarily directed against Jews, but the projections on these goups as "parasitarian traders", as foreign elements within the Muslim, Arab or Turkish society, as parts of a powerful conspiracy against the own civilisation, as carrier of the abstract modernity, were already similar to the projections of modern anti-Semites in Europe towards Jews.

Even if the first goals of this new hatred were Christians, Jews became also victims of this mixture of new ideas that resulted partly on the changes within the Middle East, but also on the import of European Ideas, that came with the growing influence of Euopean Powers in the Arab world and the growing ability to read European political texts by Arab and Muslim intellectuals. In the 19th century nationalist ideas came mainly from France to the Middle East. French catholic capuchin monks were also involved in the Damascus Affair in 1840, the first big anti-Semitic incident in the Arab world.

On the 5th of february, 1940 father Tomaso, one of the capuchin monks in Damascus disappeared with his servant. A Jewish barber who was accused to have killed the two men confessed the murder after he was tortured. Now the monks declared that father Tomaso was a victim of a Jewish ritual murder. This declaration was supported by the strictly anti-Semitic French consul Ratti-Menton, wo asked the governor Serif Pasha to arrest a number of Jews. Serif Pasha fulfilled the wish of Ratti-Menton, the arrested Jews were tortured, and one of them died unter torture. The French consulate then forced an international campagne against the Jews of Damascus. This was the beginning ot the implementation of the Christian-European myth of Jewish ritual murders in the Middle East.

The Zionist settlements in Palestine were not the beginning of anti-Semitism in the Middle East, but with the beginning of the conflict between Zionists and Palestinian politicians a new focus of Arab anti-Semitism appeared. That doesn't mean that every action against the establishment of a Jewish state in the Middle East was motivated by anti-Semitism. In contrary to European anti-Semitism there was and still is a real conflict with real differences of interests existing between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. So Arab anti-Zionism was not in all cases just a projection, like anti-Semitism in Europe, but in many cases this anti-Zionism was mixed with anti-Semitism or - in the more extreme cases - was just a code for anti-Semitism.

In fact the hostility against the Zionist settlements in Palestine was not so hegemonial in the Palestinian society at the beginning as it seems today. At the beginning of the 20th century mainly the Arab-Christian communities and their newspapers were under the influence of French anti-Semites and catholic orders like the Jesuits who spread anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic propaganda in the Palestinian society. Even if the Balfour-Declaration was opposed by most Palestinians, many Arab Palestinians also saw a chance in the immigration of Jewish settlers in Palestine who were seen as an economic chance for the poor and rural Palestine.

At the beginning thirties of the 20th century the Palestinian society was a feudal society, ruled by influential families like the Husseinis, Nashashibis or Daganis. All of them wanted to reduce the Jewish immigration, but the Nashashibis wanted to find a way of coexistance with the Jewish immigrants. Mainly the Husseinis were not willing to make any compromise with the Zionists and when one of them who had close contacts to the Muslim Brothers of Hasan al-Banna in Egypt, Haj Amin al-Husseini, became the Mufti of Jerusalem they got more influence in the Palestinian society than the other families. However their uncompromising policy towards the Jews was still opposed by the Nashashibis who accepted the idea of a division of Palestine in a Jewish and an Arab state. The hardliners lead by Haj Amin al-Husseini reached hegemony only with the so called Palestinian uprising in 1936 - 1939. This uprising against the British and the Zionists was also a civil war within the Palestinian society. The supporters of the Mufti killed a lot of their innerPalestinian enemies, mainly Muslims who were willing to cooperate with the Zionists, supporters of the Nashashibis and Palestinians with druze religion. Altogether more Palestinians were killed in this internal civil war during the Palestinian uprising than Jews or British were killed.

In the thirties and forties of the 20th century the concept of "Nation" of Arab nationalists also changed under the influence of Nazi-Germany. While the early Arab nationalism was oriented on the French concept of nation defined by citizenship, the new Arab nationalism of the thirties and forties, represented by Haj Amin al-Husseini or the Ba'th-Party founded by Salah Bitar and Michel Aflaq saw the Arab nation in the German way, as a "Volk" (3), defined by a common descent and blood.

The Mufti of Jerusalem and the nationalist hardliners around him openly collaborated with the Nazi-government in Germany. This was not only a result of common enemies, Great Britain and the Jews, but also a result of ideologic proximity. After spending some time in Iraq Husseini went to exile to Berlin and helped the Nazis to export their ideology into the Muslim world. He helped to establish Muslim SS-Divisions with bosnian and albanian Muslims. He only opposed the Nazi-policy when he was afraid that Jews could flee from the Shoah to Palestine. For example when Himmler wanted to allow 5.000 Jewish children to escape from Germany in exchange for 20.000 German prisoners of war, the Mufti strictly opposed this deal and declared, that he "would prefer to see them all killed". (4) It is still not clear whether the opposition of the Mufti was the main reason that the exchange didn't happen and these children then died in the gas-chambers.

However the Nazis were not only popular in Palestine, the young Arab nationalists in Syria or Iraq also looked hopefully to Berlin. In Syria Hitler got so popular that you could hear the call "bala misyu bala mister, fi s-sama'Allah al-'ard Hitler" (Without monsieur, without mister, God in heaven, Hitler on earth). Sami al-Gundi, one of the founding leaders of the syrian Ba'th-Party described the athmosphere of the thirties like that: "We were all racists, we admired National Socialism, read its books and the sources of its ideas. [...] Who lived in Damascus at that time can understand the inclination of the Arab people towards Nazism, because it was the power who could become the pioneer of our Arab cause. And who is defeated loves the victorious."

Also in Egypt the group Misr al-Fatat ("Young Egypt") establisht a secular fascist movement and even the Muslim-Brothers founded by Hasan al-Banna in the twenties had their sympathies for the Nazis, who were mainly a result of their anti-Jewish attitude and their connections to Haj Amin al-Husseini.

Another center of this sort of Arab nationalism was Iraq. Supported by the Hashemit kings of Iraq many Arab nationalist intellectuals, politicians and religious leaders came to exile to Iraq. When Haj Amin al-Husseini went to exile to Iraq he became one of the most important protagonists of Arab nationalism beside Rashid 'Ali al-Kilani in Iraq. With the support of the German embassy in Iraq the anti-Semitic Arab nationalist Rashid 'Ali and his supporters could carry out a coup d'etat. The pronazi regime couldn't stay long in power and was overthrown by the British troops, but at the end of its regime the supporters of Rashid 'Ali killed about 180 Jews and destroyed at least 580 shops owned by Jews. This was the first big pogrom against Jews in the Arab world that followed the model of anti-Semitic pogroms in Europe and had no other reason than anti-Semitism. The large majority of Iraqi Jews weren't Zionists and had nothing to do with the conflict in Palestine. They were one of the oldest strata of the Iraqi population, spoke Arabic and felt as much as Arab Iraqis as any Muslim Iraqi. This pogrom, remembered as farhud, was the first big eruption of nothing else than the modern racist anti-Semitism in the Arab world.

After the foundation of Israel and the defeat of the Arab armies in 1948 the situation of most of the old Jewish communities in the Arab states got more and more difficult. Contrary to Europe, where the trauma of the Shoah convinced most Jewish survivors, even those who were non- or anti-Zionists before the genozide, were convinced by the Zionist idea of a Jewish state, most of the Arab Jews still felt as Arabs. Zionism was still a marginal political current within the Jewish communities of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen or in the Maghreb. But also these non-Zionist Jews suffered more and more under a hatred against Israel. While the Arab states were not able to destroy the new Jewish state, these states and the masses who were mobilised against Israel and the Jews could take their frustration out on the Jewish communities in the Arab world. In the following years 100.000s of Jews from Egypt, Yemen, Iraq and the Maghreb left their countries or were expelled from their homelands. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries was nearly equal to the number of Palestinian refugees who left or were expelled form Israel. Many of these Arab Jews were brought to Israel, others left to Europe, especially France, or to the United States. Only Syria changed its strategy and prohibited the emigration of Jews, because they didn't want to strenghen the Jewish state with new Jewish population. But because repression against Syrian Jews was not less strict than in other Arab coutries many of them left Syria illegally and after Syria opened its borders in the 1990s most of the about 10.000 remaining Syrian Jews left the country.

This anti-Semitic policy against the Arab Jews was not only a spontanous reaction of the Arab masses, but also a result of anti-Semitic propaganda, partly organized by German "Specialists" who had received their training in anti-Semitic propaganda under the Nazis. German Nazis like Johannes von Leers, who was the editor of the Nazi-newspaper Wille und Weg and worked under the name Omar Amin for the Office of Information of the Egyptian government, were working for the Nasser-regime in Egypt. SS-Standartenführer Leopold Leim, Gestapo-leader in Poland, organized the secret police in Egypt under the Name Ali Al-Nacher and was responsible for the observation of the Egpytian Jews. SS-Sturmbannführer Joachim Däumling became adviser of the Egyptian ministry of the interior. SS-Sturmführer Wilhelm Boekler worked for the Egyptian secret service in the division for Israel. SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Stellmann became adviser of the counterespionage. Others like Louis Heiden from the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, who translated Mein Kampf into Arabic or Hans Appler, who worked for the Islamic Congress, were also activ in anti-Semitic propaganda (5).

It is no surprise that this way also the denial of the Shoah became very popular in the Arab public. As the Shoah and the repressive reaction of other states towards Jewish refugees from Germany was the strongest argument for the necessity of a Jewish state, many Arab politicians and intellectuals saw the denial of the Shoah as a chance to undermine the claim for a Jewish state. Today European holocaust-deniers like Roger Garaudy or David Irving are also quite popular in the Arab world. You can find their books in most bookshops in Cairo or Damascus. The trial against Garaudy in France was used by many Arab intellectuals and journalists as proof for the lack of freedom of speech in European countries and the power of the "Jewish lobby". Garaudy was invited several times to speak at universities. His theories were even taught and discussed at the al-Azhar, the oldest and most respected Islamic University in Cairo. Although some voices of Arab intellectuals like Edward Said or the deputy of the Knesset Azmi Bishara often criticized this denial of the Shoah in the Arab public, it must be stated that the Arab world is nowadays one of - or even the - global center of the denial of the Shoah.

In the sixties Arab nationalism, Nasserism in Egypt and Ba'thism in Syria and Iraq, dominated the ideologic discourse of that Arab world. That began to change after the defeat of the Arab armies in the Arab-Israeli war in 1967. In many Islamic countries a variety of Islamic-integralistic groups could establish or re-establish their influence over the masses in the seventies and eighties. Most of these groups in the Arab world were descents of the Muslim Brothers, founded in the twenties by Hasan al-Banna in Egypt. They had close connections to Haj Amin al-Husseini in the forties. In the fifties many Muslim Brothers fled the Nasserist repression to Saudi-Arabia and connected their thoughts to the Wahabism of the Saudis. Over these connections they could also get access to the Saudi petrodollars and could spread their ideas over the Islamic world and even to Islamic communities in Europe, especially in Britain. With the import of Arabic teachers from Egypt to Algeria after the independence of Algeria, they could bring their ideas to the Maghreb. Hasan al-Turabis National Islamic Front (NIF) in Sudan, who established an Islamic military-dictatorship in Sudan since 1989, was inspired by the Muslim Brothers and the Palestine Hamas was found in the eighties by their Palestinian section.

It was one of the most important theorists of the Muslim Brothers Sayyid Qutb, who marked a new period in the struggle and theory of many of these groups who developed out of the Muslim Brothers. Sayyid Qutb declared in his book "Milestones", that the present Islamic states were no more Islamic. For Qutb they fell back into the jahiliya, a term that is used for ignorance, the time before Islam. And he declared that gihad should not only be fought against non-Muslims, but also against these regimes who claim to be Islamic, but fell - in his opinion - back to jahiliya. Qutb was executed by the Nasser-regime in 1966 before he could define what he exactly meant with that. So groups who declared gihad against the regimes, groups who went in a sort of new higra and wanted to prepare the Gihad, and groups who declared their gihad against the whole society except themselves all of them could appeal to the works of Sayyid Qutb. This fact stimulated a stronger differentiation and splits within the Islamic-integralist movement. Concerning anti-Semitism another work of Sayyid Qutb is more important than the "Milestones". Already in the fifties he linked modern anti-Semitism with the Islamic tradition and systematically islamised the ideas of European anti-Semitic works like "The protocols of the elders of Zion" in his book "ma'rakatuna ma'a al-yahud" ("Our struggle with the Jews"). In this book Jews are shown as a group that conspires against Islam since the time of the Prophet. For Qutb Jews were responsible for the cancellation of the Khalifat under Mustafa Kemal, for Zionism and the war against Islam. In his book he sees Jews supporting atheism, bestial sexuality, capitalism, modernity and the destrucion of the family. (6) Qutb declares that "Jews will not be satisfied until this Religion (that is, Islam) has been destroyed". (7)

This islamisation and systematisation of anti-Semitism by Sayyid Qutb became more and more important in the late eighties and nineties when the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians got islamised by the newly founded Hamas and several smaller islamist groups like the Palestinian Gihad-group. And it was also spread within the islamist movements by the internationalisation of the gihad in Afghanistan in the eighties and nineties, where more and more Gihadis from different islamist traditions from the Middle East and Pakistan came together in the Mujahedin-camps. On this bases highly terrorist groups like al-Qaida could begin their global gihad against the US, capitalism and last not least the Jews. The most spectacular result of this gihad were the attacks of September 11th. The anti-Semitic character of these attacks against a building that symbolizes not only capitalism to Islamic anti-Semites, but also other aspects they connect with Jews, like modernity and a city that is called "Jew York" not only by European neonazis, was widely ignored although Bin Ladin himself always gives the fight against Jews a prominent position in his declarations.

This massive militarisation of a wing of the Islamic-integralist movement was a result of the globalisation of the Gihadis who fought in Afghanistan and of a split within the islamist movement. While in most countries strong parts of these movements tried to normalise their relation to the state and tried to become political parties, a small, but highly militarised group drifted away from the masses. With the exception of Palestine, nearly everywhere the period of mass-militance ended at the end of the 1990s the split between the classic integralist groups and the gihadist fractions grew deeper. The gihadists lost more and more the contact to the populations of their countries and became internationally acting clandestine terrorist groups.

The modern anti-Semitism of such groups would have become already obvious during the 1990s, if only the texts of islamist groups were read. The first leaflet of the Hamas, issued in January 1988 declared: "Oh people, men and women, children: The Jews - brothers of apes, killers of the prophet, blood-suckers, warmongers - who kill you and steal your live, after they sacked your homeland and your houses. Only Islam can break the Jews and their dream."

In 1996 the egyptian gama'a islamiya, also a descent of the Muslim Brothers in the tradition of Sayyid Qutb, killed 18 tourists from Greece in a hotel in Cairo. They believed that these tourists were Israelis and declared their responsibility for the action in a written announcement with the title "On the Muslim earth of Egypt is no space for Jews". They justified this massacre as a "revanche against the Jews, the sons of apes and pigs and worshippers of deamons, for the blood of the martyrs who fell in Lebanon." (8) The most recent examples for this murderous anti-Semitism are the suicide bombings of the "al-Aqsa-intifada" against Jewish civilists or the killing of the journalist Daniel Pearl, who had to "confess" several times to be Jewish before his head was cut off, while a camera filmed the whole scene.

This increasing anti-Semitism is a clear and present danger not only for israelis or the few remaining Jews in Islamic countries. It is becoming also a danger for Jews in Europe and must be fought together with these Muslims who stand in opposition to this anti-Semitic mobilisation.


(1) In a footnote of "Analyse der Phobie eines fünfjährigen Knaben" Freud writes: "Der Kastrationskomplex ist die tiefste unbewusste Wurzel des Antisemitismus, denn schon in der Kinderstube hört der Knabe, daß dem Juden etwas am Penis - er meint, ein Stück des Penis - abgeschnitten werde, und dies gibt ihm das Recht den Juden zu verachten." (Freud, Siegmund: Gesammelte Werke Bd. VII, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 271)

(2) Beinin, Joel: Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East, Cambridge, New York 2001, p 41.

(3) The German word of Volk doesn't mean exactly the same as the english "people". A Volk is not just a population with a common history and culture, but is also seen as a community of common descent and blood, that is held together with a mythical destiny that is projected back into the history.

(4) Gensicke, Klaus: Der Mufti von Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, und die Nationalsozialisten, Frankfurt am Main 1988, p 156.

(5) Küntzel, Matthias: Djihad und Judenhaß, Über den neuen antijüdischen Krieg, Freiburg 2002, p 50f.

(6) Kiefer, Michael: Antisemitismus in den islamischen Gesellschaften, Der Palästina-Konflikt und der Transfer eines Feindbildes, Düsseldorf 2002, p 108.

(7) Nettler, Ronald L.: Past Trials & Present Tribulations, Jerusalem 1987, p 29.

(8) Kepel, Gilles: Das Schwarzbuch des Dschihad, Aufstieg und Niedergang des Islamismus, München 2002, p 351.

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