I am an Arab who openly supports Israel, but I am only one among many. The war on Israel is actually a war on Jews, an attempt to deny Jewish history and to extinguish the Jewish national identity. In this blog, I talk about that war, about the Arabs used as pawns, and about the Arabs who see through the anti-Zionist rhetoric and who are not afraid to speak up.
Antisemites have largely transferred their hate from Jews to Israel.
In addition to the old antisemitism that still exists, there is now a new antisemitism that consists of targeting Israel in the same way that the old antisemitism targeted Jews. Anti-Zionism is now an intrinsic part of antisemitism, and the two are practically indistinguishable.
The old antisemitic accusations (lying, blood libel, organ harvesting, control of media, control of banks, control of the world, control of wars, dishonesty, causing antisemitism, feelings of superiority, …) are now also attributed to Israel. Lies and exaggerations are used widely and routinely to accuse Israel of all this and more.
While in the past Jewish individuals were the victims of lies, discrimination, isolation, and violence, today the Jewish state is the victim of the same. In today’s world, blatant antisemitism against the state of Israel is accepted and even expected.
Under the pretense of addressing a Palestinian problem that was created in order to demonize Israel, Antisemites have largely transferred their hate from Jews to Israel. Anti-Zionist Jews are endorsed by the antisemites as the only “good” Jews. Antisemites want the Jews severed from Jewish history and severed from a national identity; they want Jews who are no longer Jews.
Antisemites have succeeded in making antisemitism acceptable again by presenting it through the prism of hate against Israel.
An international hate culture
In 2009, the Anti-Defamation League remarked that “the Internet is a powerful and virulent platform for anti-Semitism […] The perniciousness of anti-Semitism on today’s Internet is that the more one sees it, the more one is likely to consider it normal, and acceptable. Good people are numbed by the proliferation, and daunted by the task of responding. And others consider it a reflection of what is acceptable in society.”
Facebook is an antisemitism haven even though it is heavily regulated to remove or suspend users who break its rules. Facebook is generally willing to remove blatantly antisemitic pages, with some notable exceptions like “Jewish Ritual Murders”, but it does not remove antisemitic pages disguised as anti-Israel pages, of which there are thousands, with names like “I hate Israel” or worse.
For example, in the Facebook page “I do hate ISRAEL !!”, which has over 90,000 followers, one caricature posted on July 14, 2014, shows Prime Minister Netanyahu swimming in a pool of blood with the shape of Gaza and slaughtering women and children while President Obama protects Netanyahu, the world looks in horror, and the UN and Arab regimes ignore it. Despite the blatantly hateful nature of this caricature, and the fact that it reflects the traditional antisemitic accusations, Facebook does not consider that it constitutes hate speech because it is couched as hate of Israel. It was “liked” 270 times and re-posted 241 times, and it is just one small example among millions on Facebook which has become a major hub of antisemitic hate.
On the Internet, on Facebook, in the media, and in everyday life, antisemites have succeeded in making antisemitism acceptable again by presenting it through the prism of hate against Israel. While hate against individual Jews is usually condemned, hate against the whole Jewish people is ignored and often encouraged.
The neo-fascist left, including George Galloway (who Christopher Hitchens describes as a “fascist pimp and prostitute”).
The antisemitic coalition
The coalition against Israel is powerful, and it is composed of a number of players, each with a large scope of operation:
- The Arab regimes which are the original members of the coalition, the ones who refused to accept the UN partition plan of 1947. Since then some of them have reached a tense peace with Israel, but most are still hostile although they are no longer militarily engaged in the war.
- The Islamists which include the Iranian regime, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and a number of other Islamist groups in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
- The neo-fascist left, including George Galloway (who Christopher Hitchens describes as a “fascist pimp and prostitute”) and Naomi Klein (who Hillel Neuer accuses of “Goebbels-like venom”).
- The right-wing antisemites, such as France’s Marine Le Pen and America’s Pat Buchanan.
While many members of this coalition would not otherwise agree with each other on much, they all gleefully promote antisemitism against Israel, often in coordination with each other. There is indication that some of the Arab regimes are starting to lose their enthusiasm for anti-Zionism, but it is so systemic and governments have relied on it for so long that dismantling it will take time.
They see Arabs as weak-minded savages who are fueled by hate.
The pawns of this war are the average Arabs. They gain nothing from the obsessive war against Israel. It makes the lives of Palestinians worse since it robs them of dignity and a state that they can call home, and it makes the lives all Arabs worse since it involves them in wars, and it deprives them of economic opportunities in trading with Israel.
The antisemitic coalition also uses Arabs as pawns in their own internal wars, pitting Shiites against Sunnis, Muslims against Christians, Muslim extremists against Muslim moderates, and so on. While Israel would be a formidable ally for Arab moderates who are fighting the likes of ISIS, antisemitism prevents Arab regimes from openly working with Israel.
The members of the antisemitic coalition claim to speak for Arabs, but they don’t. They only speak for themselves, and they use Arabs to further their own goals. When individual Arabs refuse to play along, the antisemites use coercion, intimidation, and violence to bring them back in line. They see Arabs as weak-minded savages who are fueled by hate and who cannot think for themselves.
There is an urban myth in the West that says that democracy and human rights are a Western value. Don’t believe it. Most Arabs want to live in peace. They want to vote in elections that are not rigged. They want to not be harassed, beaten, and jailed every time they dare speak up against their regimes. They want economic opportunities, growing families, and the pursuit of happiness. If one takes away the fanatical brainwashing inflicted on many Arabs, they have the same goals as everyone else.
Many Arabs have become dissidents and have chosen to openly support Israel.
The antisemitic coalition has been very successful at manipulating Arabs to work against their own best interests, but they cannot manipulate us all. Despite the stigma attached to supporting Israel, many Arabs have become dissidents and have chosen to openly support Israel, sometimes at a high personal risk. The reason for this support is clear to me: we do not hate Jews, and we support Israel’s right to exist.
I make no secret of my support for Israel, but many other Arabs also publicly support Israel, including: Abdel Bioud, Abdullah Saad Al-Hadlaq, Aboud Dandachi, Ahmed Meligy, Anet Haskia, Bassem Eid, Brigitte Gabriel, Bouhaddou Jamal, Christy Anastas, Father Gabriel Naddaf, George Deek, Hussein Aboubakr, Ismail Khald, John Calvin, Jonathan El-Khoury, Joseph Farah, Joujou, Khaled Abu Toameh, Lucy Aharish, Maajid Nawaz, Mahdi Majid Abdallah, Maikel Nabil Sanad, Mithal al-Alusi, Mohammad Zoabi, Mossab Hassan Yousef, Mudar Zahran, Nonie Darwish, Orim Shimshon, Robert Werdine, Sheikh Ahmad al-Adwan, Tawfik Hamid, Wafa Sultan, and Walid Shoebat.
There are also a number of non-Arabs Muslims or former Muslims who openly support Israel, including: Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Abdurrahman Wahid, Adnan Oktar, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ed Husain, Hasan Afzal, Irshad Manji, Kasim Hafeez, Khaleel Mohammed, Mohammed Mostafa Kamal, Muhammad Al-Hussaini, Naveed Anjum, Qanta Ahmed, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, Salim Mansur, Sinem Tezyapar, and Tarek Fatah.
In addition to these Arabs and Muslims, many others want normalized relations with Israel and a peaceful Middle East. Despite what antisemites and too often the mainstream media would like you to believe, Arabs are not all violent radicals who hate Israel. Such a distorted image benefits the antisemitic coalition, but it does not represent the nuanced reality of the hundreds of millions of Arabs across the world.
We must speak up against those who promote hate against Jews in our name.
Fighting back against exploitation by the antisemitic coalition is not easy, particularly for Arabs living in the Middle East. Those who have done it have paid a price. Palestinian Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi was forced to leave his post at Al Quds University after months of death threats, riots, and intimidation; Daoudi had committed the crime of trying to promote understanding of the Holocaust. Israeli Arab teen Mohammad Zoabi was forced into hiding after receiving death threats; Zoabi had dared to condemn the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens. And there have been many others.
This is why Arab individuals who live in the West, where their freedom of speech is protected, must speak up in favour of peace with Israel. We must demand that Arab regimes reverse their traditional anti-Zionist policies, stop the antisemitic rhetoric, and accept the existence of Israel. We must force the mainstream media to notice that we exist and that our opinion matters.
The war against the Jews is unfair to Jews and it is unfair to Arabs, and it is devastating for both, especially Arabs. We must speak up against those who promote hate against Jews in our name and who use us as pawns against each other and against Israel. If there is to be any hope of peace in our homeland, we can no longer hide our admiration and support for Israel.