Monday, September 15, 2014

Professor Says There Is No Anti-Semitism In Middle East

Hillary Mann Leverett, the Senior Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Service at American University, told MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry recently that anti-Semitism doesn't really exist in the Middle East. No, really... she said that.

"Well, you know, if you look at Jewish communities in other places around the Middle East, there certainly was, after the creation of the State of Israel – and especially after the '67 war – an emigration of Jews from many of these Arab countries to Israel. But there still are Jewish communities. So, for example, there's a thriving Jewish community in Iran. And when I've talked about that, people say, 'Oh, that's so terrible. How can you say that? Of course, they're suffering.' Well no, I've actually been there. I've been to the kosher restaurants. I've been to the Jewish hospital in Iran."

"There is not this deep-seated Arab/Jewish or – you know, Muslim/Jewish animosity. There's not an anti-Semitism in the Middle East the way that there was in Europe, which is based on race; which is based on color; which is based on genes and biology. That doesn't exist in the Middle East. There's no history of that in the Middle East."

She was correct about one thing. There is not a deep-seated animosity between Muslims and Jews - on the Jewish side. The Jews just want to live in peace. If Muslims would leave them alone they would leave Muslims alone. The Palestinians would live in peace in Gaza if Hamas wasn't constantly attacking Israel.

Melissa Harris-Perry, being the brilliant host that she is, followed up Leverett's comments with "As horrible as it is, I somehow feel somewhat more optimistic, if this is a problem rooted in 1967, and not in the beginning of time in some way."

OK. Good point. No, wait...  what?

Professor Leverett obviously doesn't pay much attention for someone whose faculty page at the university says "her research primarily focuses on 'politics and international relations of the Muslim world, U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Asia, diplomacy, international negotiation, and conflict resolution.'"

Does she not see, in her research, the verses in the Quran that condemn Jews? Does she not hear (past) leaders of Egypt and Iran, Mohamed Morsi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who voiced their desire to "wipe Israel off the map"? Did she not hear Morsi once say Egyptians should "nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for Jews and Zionists"?

Soon after taking office in 2013, Iran's new President, Hasan Rouhani said: "In our region there's been a wound for years on the body of the Muslim world under the shadow of the occupation of the holy land of Palestine and the beloved al-Quds (Jerusalem).  The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed."

Does Leverett not know of the charter of the terrorist group Hamas? Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, "The Hamas credo is not just anti-Israel, but profoundly anti-Semitic with racism at its core."

"Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors," says one line of the actual charter. While that particular line itself doesn't contain anti-Semitic language - what other reasoning would Leverett give for Hamas wanting to destroy Israel? Perhaps she believes it's because Israel "occupies" the Palestinian State - the one that doesn't exist.

Various speeches have been made by Muslim scholars and preachers in recent years that call for the destruction of Israel, if not by Allah then "at the hand of the believers."

In January, 2009. Egyptian Muslim scholar and preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated:

"O Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. O Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. O Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. O Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them, O our God. ... O Allah, do not spare a single one of them. O Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

A few weeks later al-Qaradawi expressed his views on Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust:

"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers."

Palestinian preacher Ibrahim Mahdi said in a sermon:

"Palestine will be, as it was in the past, a graveyard for the invaders – just as it was a graveyard for the Tatars and to the Crusader invaders, [and for the invaders] of the old and new colonialism.... A reliable Hadith [tradition] says: 'The Jews will fight you, but you will be set to rule over them.' What could be more beautiful than this tradition? 'The Jews will fight you' – that is, the Jews have begun to fight us. 'You will be set to rule over them' – Who will set the Muslim to rule over the Jew? Allah ... Until the Jew hides behind the rock and the tree. But the rock and tree will say: 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, a Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.' Except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews. We believe in this Hadith. We are convinced also that this Hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the land.... O Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heavens.... O Allah, show the Jews a black day.... O Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters.... O Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land.... O Allah, forgive our sins...."

On another occasion Madhi stated:

"O beloved of Allah ... One of the Jews' evil deeds is what has come to be called 'the Holocaust', that is, the slaughter of the Jews by Nazism. However, revisionist [historians] have proven that this crime, carried out against some of the Jews, was planned by the Jews' leaders, and was part of their policy.... These are the Jews against whom we fight, O beloved of Allah. On the other hand, [what is our belief] about the Jews? Allah has described them as donkeys."

Ahmad Bahr, Deputy Speaker of the Hamas Parliament, stated in a sermon

If the enemy sets foot on a single square inch of Islamic land, Jihad becomes an individual duty, incumbent on every Muslim, male or female. A woman may set out [on Jihad] without her husband's permission, and a servant without his master's permission. Why? In order to annihilate those Jews.... O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. O Allah, destroy the Americans and their supporters. O Allah, count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one.

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Professor Leverett apparently doesn't. She visited one Jewish settlement and a hospital in Iran and decided there is no such thing as anti-Semitism in the Middle East. One can't help but wonder what her definition of anti-Semitism is.

At least she was on the right network...

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