Sep 2002 Journal

next article:An inexplicable void

Keffiyeh-clad heirs of Streicher (editorial)

The atrocities of September 11 drew less than a unanimous reaction from across the world. The West was divided between a horror-struck majority and a minority who deplored the deed but felt they could 'understand' the perpetrators. The East displayed a different sort of division. Some Muslims, exemplified by the ululating women caught on camera in the West Bank, rejoiced, while others professed to detect the hand of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad behind the atrocity. As proof, they cited the Saudi-manufactured mega-lie that 4,000 Jewish employees of the World Trade Center were absent from work on September 11 because they had been tipped off.

In the West there were, and are, those who argue that the 3,000 victims entombed beneath Ground Zero are outnumbered by Afghan civilians killed in US air raids - and quite dwarfed by the number of Third World citizens dying daily from malnutrition and disease. Westerners with that mindset coined the slogan 'Drop food parcels instead of bombs!' at the start of Allied air operations over Afghanistan last autumn. In fact, both things happened: US bombs paved the - admittedly bloody - path for the arrival of UN food supplies.

Now that the most urgent problems of empty stomachs in Afghanistan have been tackled, a more widespread problem affecting a billion Arabs and Muslims from the Atlantic to the Pacific forces itself upon the world's attention. It is the problem of empty minds - i.e. minds bereft of the power of informed independent reasoning - into which Keffiyeh-clad heirs of Streicher have been pouring antisemitic poison for decades.

"Millions of Muslims believe that September 11 was a Jewish plot," The Times stated in heavy type in its issue of June 28. The article, penned by ex-editor Harold Evans, talked of a "dehumanisation of all Jews manufactured and propagated throughout the Middle East and south Asia on a scale and intensity that is utterly unprecedented." Evans echoes our comments on the mobilisation of Muslim opinion expressed in pro-al-Qa'eda demonstrations from Palestine to Pakistan in the wake of the New York and Washington bombings. We wrote that it was not despair - as the let's-drop-food parcels-on-them lobby, and, latterly, Cherie Blair hypothesise - but sheer unadulterated hatred that fuelled the grisly manifestations of resurgent Islam.

Evans's copiously researched article proves beyond doubt that the Muslim world stands ready to re-enact the mind-boggling absurdities of Jew-hatred pioneered in the Third Reich. Thanks to what they read in their newspapers, see on TV, and hear in their mosques, the residents of 22 Arab countries (and of Muslim states from Iran to Indonesia) perceive Jews as "dirty, hooknosed, money-grubbing vindictive and scheming parasites. Israelis poison water, inject Palestinian children with HIV, and feed drug-laced chocolate to women to make them sexually corrupt." According to the Cairo-based Al-Ahram, the leading newspaper of the Arab world, Jews slaughter gentile children to make matzos for Passover. Cairo, the intellectual capital of the entire Muslim cosmos, boasts Ein Shams University. Here Dr Adel Sadeq, President of the Arab Psychiatrists Association, recently intoned this paean of praise to suicide bombers: "As a professional psychiatrist, I say that the height of bliss comes with the end of the countdown: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. When the martyr reaches 'one' and he explodes, he has a sense of himself flying, because he knows for certain that he is not dead. It is a transition to another, more beautiful, world. None in the Western world sacrifices his life for his homeland. If his homeland is drowning, he is the first to jump ship. In our culture it is different … this is the only Arab weapon there is and anyone who says otherwise is a conspirator."

But there is still worse to come. Palestinian intellectuals, who must be as familiar with Yad Vashem as Londoners are with the British Museum, actually deny that the Holocaust took place. Outdoing even the unspeakable Jean-Marie Le Pen, the official Palestinian newspaper dismissed the Shoah as "a Jewish hoax to promote their international marketing operations."

What, one is led to wonder, differentiates Arab Jew-haters from Hitler, Goebbels and Streicher? Precious little, except that the latter would never have called Jews Nazis - a term Palestinian spokesmen routinely apply to the Israeli Defence Forces. The more pertinent question is what do Al-Ahram and Al-Mayal have in common with the Völkische Beobachter and Der Stürmer? The answer is everything! Both the German and Arabic perverters of truth focus(ed) on Jewry as the bell-wether to be slaughtered in the assault on Western civilisation.

next article:An inexplicable void