Two events happened on Wednesday which should send a shiver down the spine of everyone concerned about the future of the American Jewish community. But to understand their importance it is important to consider the context in which they occurred.
On January 13, The New York Times reported on a series of virulently anti-Jewish comments Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made in speeches given in 2010. Among other things, Morsi said, “We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.”
He said that Egyptian children “must feed on hatred; hatred must continue. The hatred must go on for G0D and as a form of worshiping him.”
In another speech, he called Jews “bloodsuckers,” and “the descendants of apes and pigs.”
Two weeks after the Times ran the story, the Obama administration sent four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt as part of the implementation of a military aid package announced in December 2012 entailing the provision of twenty F-16s and 200 M1-A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt.
The Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and other prominent American Jewish groups did not oppose the weapons transfer.
With the American Jewish leadership silent on the issue, Israel found its national security championed by Senator Rand Paul. Paul attached an amendment to a budget bill that would bar the US from transferring the advanced weapons platforms to Egypt. Paul explained, “Egypt is currently governed by a religious zealot… who said recently that Jews were bloodsuckers and descendants of apes and pigs. This doesn’t sound like the kind of stable personality we [sh]ould be sending our most sophisticated weapons to.” Paul’s amendment was overwhelmingly defeated, due in large part to the silence of the American Jewish leadership.
The Times noted that Morsi’s castigation of Jews as “apes and pigs” was “a slur for Jews that is familiar across the Muslim world.” Significantly the Times failed to note that the reason it is familiar is because it comes from both the Koran and the hadith. The scripturally based denigration of Jews as apes and pigs is legion among leading clerics of both Sunni and Shiite Islam.
It was not a coincidence that the Times failed to mention why Morsi’s castigation of Jews as apes and pigs was so familiar to Muslim audiences. The Islamic sources of Muslim Brotherhood Jew hatred, and indeed, hatred of Jews by Islamic leaders from both the Sunni and Shiite Muslim worlds is largely overlooked by the liberal ideological camp. And the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish leadership is associated with the liberal ideological camp.
If the Times acknowledged that the Jew hatred espoused by Morsi and his colleagues in the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as their Shiite colleagues in the Iranian regime and Hezbollah is based on the Koran, they would have to acknowledge that Islamic Jew hatred and other bigotry is not necessarily antithetical to mainstream Islamic teaching. And that is something that the Times, like its …read more