“In the attempt to establish whether ‘moderate’ Muslim attitudes are truly moderate, there is one infallible litmus test that can be used. It is the attitude to Israel and the Jews.” [Melanie Phillips, 2006]
“In dictatorships, you need courage to fight evil; in the free world, you need courage to see the evil.” [Natan Sharansky, 2006]
At this time, with the emergence of “The Squad” and specifically 2 of its Muslim pro-BDS supporters, the WSJ’s Opinion piece dated July 22, 2019 is of particular interest. Authored by the internationally renowned Somalia professional, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it is titled, “Can Ilhan Omar Overcome Her Prejudice?”
Ali, who had ultimately celebrated triumph over immense adversity is undoubtedly well qualified to investigate the given topic. Her introductory statement displays both honesty and integrity. She informs us that she grew up amid pervasive Muslim anti-Semitism. This is followed up with a remarkable statement. “Hate is hard to unlearn without coming to terms with how you learned it.”
She quotes freely from Quranic verses and the Hamas Charter to demonstrate the extent of hatred directed at the Jews. By way of the essence of Muslim anti-Semitism, she shares with us a statement from Mohammed Morsi, the longtime Muslim Brotherhood leader, who died recently and had been Egypt’s president for a year commencing in 2012. “We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews”.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali notes that Islamists understand well how to merge Muslim anti-Semitism with the American left’s vague notion of “social justice.” Theirs is an agenda in the progressive framework of the oppressed verses the oppressor. Their identity politics and victimhood culture also provide Islamists with the vocabulary to deflect their critics with accusations of “Islamophobia”, “white privilege” and “insensitivity.” This readily explains the manner in which Ilhan Omar and “the squad” were able to rework a House resolution condemning her anti-Semitism into a distorted “intersectional” rant resulting in Muslims emerging “as the most vulnerable minority in the league table of victimhood.”
Answering the accusations concerning Jewish wealth and the “Jewish lobby”, Ali recalls journalist Armin Rosen’s observation in AIPAC’S 2018 total of $3.5 million being less than either the American Association of Airport Executives or the Association of American Railroads spending on lobbying. More importantly, AIPAC”s influence has to do “with the power of its arguments” rather “than the size of its wallet.”
As regards demographics, Ali notes that for each Jew world-wide, there are 100 Muslims. In many European countries – including France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK – The Muslim population far exceeds the Jewish population, and “the gap is widening. American Jews still outnumber the Muslims but won’t by 2050.” However, if one deducts J Street’s numbers and those of other leftists, the situation becomes that much worse.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s conclusions undoubtedly leaves us with much cause for concern. She notes that the problem of Muslim anti-Semitism is far greater than Ilhan Omar. Sadly, condemning her , expelling her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, or “defeating her in 2020 won’t make the problem go away.”
The real question is what, if anything, can be done to check the advance of the mass movement that is Muslim anti-Semitism. Absent, a world-wide Muslim reformation, followed by an Islamic enlightenment, “I am not sure I know.”
In her appearance on the podcast Skullduggery, Rashida Harbi Tlaib promoted the argument that her Palestinian ancestors suffered “in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews “after the Holocaust. She also said she got ” a calming feeling” when thinking about the Holocaust because, in her words , “I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven] – right? – in many ways.”
But, as many critics pointed out , Tlaib’s revisionist account of history conceals and upends what actually happened. In the Atlantic, historian Benny Morris reminds readers that , far from “providing” shelter, the Palestinian leadership violently opposed a safe haven for Jews, and even collaborated with Hitler. His account follows:
The Palestinians indirectly, and in some ways directly, aided in the destruction of European Jewry. After Hitler’s accession to power in Germany in 1933, German and then Eastern European Jews sought escape and safe havens. But all the Western counties, including the United States and Britain and its dominions, closed their doors to significant Jewish immigration. Palestine emerged as the only potential safe haven. In 1932, the British allowed 9,500 Jews to immigrate to Palestine. In 1933, the number shot up to 30,000, and in 1935, it peaked to 62,000.
But from 1933 onward, Palestine’s Arabs – led by cleric Muhammad Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – mounted a strident campaign to pressure the British, who governed Palestine, to bar all Jews from entering the country. To press home their demand, in 1936 they launched an anti-British and anti-Zionist rebellion that lasted 3 years. Apart from throwing out the British, the rebellion’s aim was to coerce London into halting all Jewish entry into Palestine.
Moreover, the anti-Jewish violence, which claimed the lives of hundreds of Jews and wounded many more, itself served to deter would-be emigrants from seeking to move to Palestine. British entry certificates for Jews to Palestine declined to 30,000 in 1936, 10,000 in 1937 and 15,000 in 1938. Those who couldn’t get in were left stranded in Germany, Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere. Almost all died in the Holocaust, which the Germans unleashed in 1941.
But the Palestinians’ contribution to the Holocaust was also more direct. Husseini, having fled Palestine during the revolt, helped pro-Nazi generals launch an anti-British rebellion in Iraq in 1941 [which itself engendered a large-scale pogrom against Baghdad’s Jews, the Farhoud].
When that rebellion failed, he fled to Berlin, where he was given a villa and a generous monthly salary , and lived in comfort until the end of the world war. During the war , he helped recruit Muslims from the Balkans for the German army and the SS, and in radio broadcasts exhorted Middle Eastern and North African Arabs to launch jihad against the British and to “kill the Jews.”
“Rashida Tlaib is either completely ignorant of the history or is a deliberate liar,” Benny Morris, the Israeli historian, also told Haaretz. Palestinians “did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Jews at Nazi hands. Rather, the opposite: The Arabs of [British Mandatory] Palestine, during the whole period — and supported by the neighboring Arab states — did all they could to prevent Jews trying to escape Nazi hands from reaching the (relatively safe) shores of Palestine.”
David French is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, an attorney [concentrating his practice in constitutional law and the law of armed conflict]; and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His “The Anti-Semitic BDS Movement Advocates Illegal Discrimination” was published in National Review on July 18, 2019.
In the body of this well expressed Op-Ed, he provides the Standard definitions of anti-Semitism which include denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”That’s BDS in a nutshell: It’s a vile movement, from the ground up. There is no moral ambiguity here.”
He recognizes that the underlying intention of Omar’s actions in proposing the subject resolution in support of BDS was an “opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a non-violent movement, which is the BDS movement.” To which David French reminds supporters of BDS, they must reckon with some inconvenient facts and some rather important laws: The movement’s anti -Semitism often leads to advocate violations of the law.
John Podhoretz , editor of Commentary, penned his articulate “Magnanimity, Thy Name is Tliab” [A prejudice exposed cannot be ignored] on May 14, 2019.
In his brief essay, John Podhoretz focuses on 2 statements uttered by Rashida Harbi Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American of “The Squad”, i.e. “—-:given what Jews went through, I feel less enraged and, indeed, even a little ‘calmed’ when I think of the evil they did to my people – my people who welcomed and helped them!”
To which, he responds , “I think she was trying to be nice. Or, if not nice, magnanimous—or what she believed to be magnanimous.” But, he argues that by intention, she fails in that she cannot be, given that her essential view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is distorted, wrong and mendacious. He then provides a short insight into established history, including the Grand Mufti’s alliance with Hitler and the UN Partition Plan of 1947,only to be rejected outright by the Palestinians. With this rejection, joined by allied Arab countries, they then set about Israel’s destruction.
As for Tlaib’s other statement concerning mass murder and land expropriation by Israel verses “—-how wonderful my people were to have been so open to you”, Podhoretz regards this as being magnanimous and likens it to saying “nice boy” to someone she had just referred to as being evil. In fact, he should have been much stronger in his reply.
Podhoretz poses the following questions:
[a] Have we fallen so far that people are to be praised for merely acknowledging the fact of the Holocaust?
[b]Are we supposed to overlook the essential meaning of what people say when they intend to be nice?
[c]Are we supposed to overlook the essential meaning of what people say when they intend to be nice?
He concludes with Tlaib having no idea how to say something about Jews and Israel that isn’t vile, even when she tries really, really hard.” So yes, probably she was trying to be nice.”