President Joe Biden got it right when he lately said: “Let us get something straight here. Until the region says unequivocally that they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace”. This is the true root of the problem and not the “occupation”, which for a common person began in 1967 and for the anti-Semites disguised as anti-Zionists began in 1948, with the establishment of the State of Israel (for them, only the Jewish people do not have the right to self-determination).
The Muslim opposition to an independent Jewish State in the biblical Land of Israel (Palestine) is rooted in the religious teachings of Islam. Since the 7th century, as Arabs conquered vast lands in their expansion from Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, to the whole Middle East and the Mediterranean countries in Northern Africa, a doctrine was developed whose basic tenet was, and still is: lands conquered by Muslims belong to the Umma (the Islamic Community) and cannot be surrendered. Never. Non-Muslim residents in these lands can, at best, achieve the status of “dhimmi” – if they are “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians). Members of other religions were less fortunate: for them the options were conversion, expulsion or death.
The “dhimmi” status was formally bought by paying a special tax (“jizya”) that granted personal security (protection from the mob) and basic religious autonomy in return for constant submission. Submission was expressed in a variety of ways. Dhimmis could not testify against a Muslim in a court of law. Murderers of dhimmis were rarely punished, as they could justify their acts by accusing the victims of blasphemy against Islam. The case of a Pakistani Christian woman, Aasiya Noreen, is well known: In 2010 she was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court and sentenced to death by hanging. Public degradation and humiliation of dhimmis was commonplace. At times and places, dhimmis were required to wear special badges (yellow for Jews) and were barred from riding horses, considered too noble for dhimmis, and restricted to using donkeys. The threat of violence, individual or collective, against “dhimmis” was always present, and oftentimes actually implemented as a reminder of their inferior status. Just to indicate a few modern events prior to the establishment of the State of Israel: In June 1-2 1941, a pogrom in Baghdad, Iraq, ended up with over 180 Jews killed and around thousand Jewish homes destroyed. In November 5-7 1945, a pogrom started in Tripoli, Libya, and quickly spread to neighboring cities: at least 130 Jews were killed and hundreds of Jewish homes were pillaged or destroyed, including nine synagogues.
The “dhimmi” condition in the Islamic world, a state of constant legal, social and psychological submission, is often ironically hailed as an example of benign “tolerance” of the Islam towards the Jews.
Note: The above article is a chapter from my recent book “Boycott of Israel is Wrong: How to fight it”. The book was originally published in June 2021. The chapter “The Islam doctrine and the Jews” has been added to a Revised Edition of the book published this month, August 2021. You can read the complete book and download it for free from the ResearchGate website:
The book is also available at Amazon, in electronic and paperback formats.