Casablanca synagogue --targeted by terrorists
Numbers of Jews in the Arab world don't lie: there is unfathomable antipathy toward not merely Israel but Jews, writes David J Michaels in the Jewish Journal. That kind of dehumanisation would not be tolerated against other groups.
Sadly, there can be little dispute of the ubiquity and intensity of
anti-Semitism in Arab and other Muslim-majority lands. After all, these
are the societies where remarkably many folks continue to believe that
9/11 was a Zionist plot, that the Holocaust is a fabrication, that a
now-despised native son such as Muammar Gadhafi was Jewish and that Jews
are fated to violent subjugation as the “sons of apes and pigs.” It
then becomes a bit more understandable, if no less frightening, that two
random Israeli boys, happened upon by random Palestinians, could be
stoned to death in 2001.
The relative paucity of Jews has also not disincentivized terrorist
attacks over recent years at synagogues and other Jewish sites in
Istanbul, Turkey; Casablanca, Morocco; Khashef, Yemen; and Djerba,
Tunisia, let alone Hezbollah’s atrocities as far away as Argentina.
People expressing reasonable, measured criticism of Israel cannot, of
course, be considered anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. However, animus to
Zionism itself—simply the existence of the democratic Jewish
state—frequently betrays denial of Jews’ basic rights and history.
Natan Sharansky has identified three elements that signal where
criticism of Israel crosses over into bigotry: delegitimization, double
standards and demonization. In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on
Racism and Xenophobia (now known as the European Union Agency for
Fundamental Rights) essentially echoed these terms. The Vatican, too—in
its official dialogue with Jews in 2004 and, more subtly, in the
document “The Church and Racism,” distributed at the United Nations’
now-infamous 2001 Durban conference on racism—has recognized the clear
correlation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
While anti-Semitism has existed in many regions, the modern Arab
world stands out with the dramatic flight of its Jews. The Jewish
population in Arab countries has dropped from some 800,000 six decades
ago to perhaps 6,000 today, not to speak of the exodus from neighboring
non-Arab Muslim countries. These numbers don’t lie. The Pew Global
Attitudes Project has confirmed unfathomable antipathy toward not merely
Israel but “Jews” both in Arab states and non-Arab Muslim states far
removed from any territorial dispute with Israel. In all but one of the
seven nations surveyed, 96 to 98 percent of respondents had negative
views of Jews; in Indonesia, a slightly less commanding 91 percent
shared this outlook.
Needless to say, the kind of dehumanization to which so many
mainstream Arab opinion-shapers subject Israelis and Jews would not be
tolerated against other groups.
Read article in full