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How long has the hatred existed?

Reader comment on item: How Central Is Muslim Anti-Semitism?

Submitted by Philip Bill (United States), Jul 2, 2002 at 06:25

First distinguish between Muslim hatred of Jews in the middle east from elsewhere. Only 15 % of the world's Muslims are Arabs. My wife is Indonesian and there, Jews are not widely hated at all and the press until very recently there had almost nothing to say about them (Indonesians reserve their pogroms for their Chinese minority I am sad but obligated here to say). But while the vast population has no ill feeling toward Jews, I must report that in Indonesia (and probably elsewhere in the Muslim world outside of the middle east) a disturbing number of Saudi citizens have shown up recently trying to convert a basically civil society into Wahhabis. While most Indonesians are too decent for that sort of philosophy it only takes a few radicals to create the perception that the whole country is going back to the 13th century.

Second I think we should recognize that, as Mr. Pipes said, anti-Semitism has largely been a Christian phenomena. It has only spread to the Muslim world, become widespread in Arab countries, and gaining a foothold elsewhere, because of the Palestinian-Israeli land war. For centuries Islamic countries have been, on balance compared to Christian countries, benign toward Jews. But the endless parade of violent scenes begs any disinterested observer to take sides. That's human nature. And of course Muslims are generally going to side with other Muslims if that is how the participants are always characterized. But note that Europeans and most of the non-Muslim world also, in a general way, while decrying "terrorism", still sympathize primarily with the Palestinians. The problem is that despite the way we in America usually hear the conflict (terrorism versus a beseiged democracy) most of the world sees it as a rich country occupying and provoking a refugee people to do monstrous things.

My thought here is that for the sake of American security, the problem in Palestine needs a solution based on separation. Separate lands. No settlements, no occupations, and even no Palestinian Arabs flowing into Israel to work. No check points. Build the wall. Historically, negotiation has been the salvation of the Jewish people in diaspora. But negotiation requires a desire to contract and that does not exist. Better to totally separate, as this will stop the flow of violent pictures from circulating around the world, causing people to choose sides, usually to the detriment of Israel and by extention now the USA. The hatred of Jews has a long history, but the current virulent strain is only fifty years old and to prevent it from spreading, a solution that includes disengagement must take effect.

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