Zionists, and the Jewish people in general, should accept the extended hand of friendship from wherever it comes. That is what all peoples do, and the Jews are no different. When the USSR supported the creation of Israel in 1948 and offered arms in addition to political support, nobody thought of saying "No." And nobody, except anti-Semites in the US State Department, believed that Zionists were all communists because Israel enjoyed, for a brief time, the support of the USSR. Similarly, we need to welcome the friendship of people of all religious faiths and of no religious faith, without implying that we support their political or religious ideas on all other matters.
The anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders is an avowed friend of Israel, and we must welcome his support as we welcome the support of any political or religious leader. It is understandable that there are those Zionists who are also tempted to make his cause, radical Islamophobia, into our cause, an instantiation of the proverb, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." But too close an association with Geert Wilders and the policies he advocates is neither moral nor wise.
Radical Islamism poses a threat to European democracy and to Jews in particular. Those who deny this in the name of a misguided "political correctness" are helping to perpetuate a clear and present danger.
By now we should all be sadly familiar with the demonstrators carrying placards that say "Europe is the Cancer, Islam is the Answer," "I hate Juice" (meaning "Jews" - a way of getting around the ban on racist signs) and similar manifestations, the people chanting, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas," the Mullahs preaching Jihad in the mosques and the terrorists who occasionally get caught trying to practice what is preached - or not getting caught before it is too late. The lax attitude of European governments to most of this noxious activity is deplorable.
Geert Wilders faces prosecution in Holland in part because his film, Fitna, claims that terror and Jihad
are rooted in the Quran
. The Quran is a complex and contradictory document, written in archaic Arabic, and is open to different interpretations. Wilders may be right and he may be wrong. But the doctrine that the Quran
makes violent Jihad
incumbent on Muslims did not originate with Geert Wilders. It originated with radical Islamism
as preached by radicals like Sayyid Qutb
and Hassan al Banna
. Their radical disciples in Europe. like Anjem Choudary, preach the same doctrine, and insist that violent Jihad is a duty commanded by the Quran. Nobody has ever been arrested just for preaching this doctrine, yet Wilders is on trial for making precisely the same claims!
Wilders is also on trial allegedly
because he "has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.". Is this hate speech? In Egypt, it might be considered a compliment. In Al Akhbar of April 18, 2001, a government sponsored newspaper, columnist Ahmad Ragab wrote
"Thanks to Hitler, blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians, revenged in advance, against the most vile criminals on the face of the earth. Although we do have a complaint against him for his revenge on them was not enough."
If Hitler is such a great hero to some in the Arab world, then comparing the Quran to Mein Kampf might be considered a compliment by some. In undemocratic Egypt, nobody punished Ragab for glorifying genocide, though it was clearly "hate speech." Nobody has punished European politicians and clergyman for insisting that the IDF are like Nazis, and nobody punished European journalists for alleging that Jews murder people in order to steal their body parts for illegal organ transplant traffic. How, if so, can it be justified for Holland to punish Wilders for his allegations against Muslims?
Partly thanks to his trial and the publicity surrounding it, Wilders has become a political force to be reckoned with in Holland. His Freedom party (PVV) shows promising gains in election polls. Wilders' popularity cannot be ascribed to his trial alone. He addresses justified fears of many Dutch people. The dangers he points out are not just theoretical. People have been murdered by Islamist extremists in Holland.
The prosecution of Wilders is unjustified, but that doesn't mean we have to support Wilders or his views, any more than we should support the demented racists who allege that the IDF are like the SS. Though he has pointed to a real problem, Geert Wilders' recommended prescription for the illness of radical Islamism matches extremist bigotry with equal and opposite extremist bigotry. Wilders insists that the problem is not confined to Islamist extremissts, but is rather inherent in the Muslim faith itself and in the Quran>a>. He is quoted as saying:
"It is an absolute necessity that the Koran be banned for the defence and reinforcement of our civilisation and our constitutional state."
He told the Dutch parliament,
"Islam is the Trojan Horse in Europe. Stop all immigration from Muslim countries, ban all building of new mosques, close all Islamic schools, ban burkas and the Koran ... Stop Islamification. Enough is enough!"
Jews, of all people, know that it is morally wrong to ban people because of their religion, to forbid religious books and to practice discrimination against entire groups of people on any grounds. Moderate Muslims may be a minority, depending on what one means by "moderate," but they certainly do exist. Even the most appalling poll results show that a sizeable group of Muslims rejects suicide bombing, violence and calls for Jihad. Irshad Manji, the Sheikh Palazzi in Italy, Salahuddin Choudhury in Bangladesh, are more than moderate Muslims. They have risked extreme censure and even physical danger to espouse reform of Islam, friendship with Israel and other unpopular doctrines. They often base their views directly on the Quran - the same Quran that Wilders condemns as an inspiration to terrorism and violence. Would these Muslims, and those like them also be banned from immigrating to Holland under Wilders' program? Is it wise to insist on making every Muslim into an enemy, whether they want to be enemies or not?
Geert Wilders claims that he is not a Fascist or a racist, and that may be so. But the showing of Wilder's film in the House of Lords attracted a demonstration of support from the English Defense League. That is hardly the sort of political organization that Jews can or should support. The closer self-appointed Zionist spokespeople get to Wilders, the easier it will be to claim that "Zionism is racism."
We insist that criticism of Israel is legitimate only as long as it criticizes Israeli policies. "Criticism of Israel" becomes noxious when it insists that the foundations of the state are themselves illegitimate, that Zionism is "racism," and worse, as in anti-Semitic discourse, that "the Jews" learned their evil ways from the Talmud and that Judaism must be condemned because it is inherently evil. In fairness, we must use the same standards in judging "criticism" of Islam.
It may or not be true, as Wilders and some others claim, that Islam is incapable of reform. What is certain is that the task of reforming radical Islam or containing it in European society cannot be the task of Zionism, nor can Zionism or Zionists adopt the position that Islam is inherently evil and violence-prone. It is an immoral doctrine because it automatically demonizes all members of a faith. It is an impractical and dangerous position because it insists that there is no room in the Middle East for both Islam and Zionism, and that every Muslim must be an enemy of decency and of the Jewish people. It joins Islamic radicals in inaugurating a "war of civilizations." Europe may or may not adopt of the policies of Geert Wilders, but we Israelis do not live in Europe. We live in the Middle East. Since there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and an overwhelming Muslim majority in the Middle East, and there are only about 14 million Jews in the world, the results of this war can be forecast in advance.
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Replies: 8 Comments
Far More reaching. This is an astonishing topic. It shows how Jews are supporting the extermination of Muslims.
Isreal will end up soon and The immigrated Jews from Europe and America should be soon back to thier homelands
No more Isreal on the FACE of Earth.
Muslim, Tuesday, May 25th
I am happy to hear of the friendly feelings Kurds have towards Israel. When Iraq's Jews were fleeing Saddam Hussein's pogrom in the 1970s, it was the Kurds who helped many of them to escape to safety.
May your people be rewarded with a fully sovereign state, free of sectarian violence, and soon.
Lynne T, Friday, April 9th
Israel and all jews should know that the only friend for jewish people and Israel in Middle East is KURDs in Kurdistan, because jews lived in kurdistan for about 3000 years through that time kurds and jews mixed together in such way that the genatic of kurds and jews is mostly same as The Hebrew University proved that, and Kurds suffer and still being killed by the same enemies of jews, the jews of kurdistan were live in peace while jews of Saudy arabia were killed in Khaibar, Bani quraydah, Bani Natheer by muslim Arab.
kurds always appriciate and respect Israel , in Kurdistan of Iraq we publish Israel-Kurd magazine to begin relation with jews.
We as kurd wish to have direct relation with Israel dispite of whate muslim say,it is our destiny
Azad MIRAN, Friday, April 9th
I think it is a big mistake to say we should accept support for Israel from wherever it comes. Although some of the issues Wilders exploits are real issues, he is unacceptable because his political positions are racist, discriminatory and dangerous for what I really do hope will be obvious reasons. It is absurd for we Jews (be we in the Diaspora or in Israel) to think we can accept his support without correctly being seen to either agree with his nasty positions or at the least to be indifferent to those positions.
Let's completely reject his support, not because Israel doesn't want support, but because we do not want it from people who look, feel, sound and smell like Neo-Nazis who just happen to have selected different targets than the original Nazis. Such a rejection of his support will still leave us free as individuals and indeed as a people to say what we think about radical Islam. But let's not be tainted by any association with this nasty racist.
Andrew Halper, Monday, April 5th
I find it interesting that the header of your site reads: "ZioNation - Progressive Zionism and Israel Web Log" and you use the type of very dangerous language about Islam being a "faith" (when it is in fact a complete social, political and economic system), and speak as if you represent "Zionists" as a whole, yet your definitions page presents no definition for the term "Progressive Zionism".
Tell us, what exactly is "Progressive Zionism"?
What sis Zionism need to "Progress" out of? And into what?
NerShel, Wednesday, March 24th
who says Islam is a religion?
did Charles Manson have a religion?
did Jim Jones have a religion?
Is there such a thing a moderate pedophilia?
you intend well, but you have used dhimmi language.
it isn't rocket science. their scriptures are more violent the the works of Adolf Hitler. Do you deny that Adolf had a belief?
is an old document a reason to allow people to think they have the right to kill Jews?
should I justify virgin sacrifice because of some ancient religion that I resurrect?
what a slippery slope you are on with your terms
Noah David Simon, Wednesday, March 24th
Geert Wilders says all muslim immigration must cease. I agree with him as a UK resident. Yes it is wrong to ban people because of their religion, but I also agree with Wilders that islam is not a religion but a totalitarian ideology no different than Communism or Fascism. I have read Mein Kampf and the Quran and would say they they were both written by the same author, give or take 1500 years. Islam wants to dominate the world, and kill Jews and Christians, we would be utter fools to tolerate that kind of policy. Discriminate against me for my views, but not against my telling you the truth!!!
Arthur, Wednesday, March 24th
It is not surprising that Gert Wilders finds a ready audience for his views in a number of states around the world. He simply exploits a failure in leadership at international, national and community level. The ďliberal left-wingĒ with its apologist stance and demand that minority identities may not be subject to scrutiny or criticism has contributed extensively to this. Even where those minority cultural characteristics run counter to the values and in some cases criminal codes of the countries that Muslims live in. As too has the profoundly introspective and disconnected Muslim leadership. The Muslim community has been successful in demanding reforms to suit their religious needs, such as special provisions at public swimming baths, forming temporary alliances when needed to achieve these goals. But in UK at least it has not sought meaningful integration in UK and absorption of the very values they claim protection under.
Muslims in UK have asserted the right, in common with everyone else, to challenge political and social ideas. They have been highly resistant to being subject to the same scrutiny and criticisms themselves. Although they have known that individuals propagating religious and racial hatreds have moved amongst them quite freely, they have dome little to prevent this. Neither have they sought to actively explain to non-Muslims why certain elements of the Quran have been set aside. As a consequence they have left a void into which the ďextremistsĒ have stepped and provided leadership.
There is a prevailing sense across certain Muslim websites of a well-established notion of divinely inspired superiority in which the interest of non-Muslims are subordinate to those of Muslims. From this emerges an aggressive stance towards those who challenge them. The lack of support from UK politicians for Muslim supremacist beliefs is explained away with claims that Zionists or some nebulous Jewish cabal control British politics. According to MPACUK (an organisation that regards itself as the equivalent of AIPAC) and its contributors every British party, with the exception of Respect, is in the thrall of Zionist control and that Israel effectively determines the direction of British political life. This Muslim organisation is highly influential among young Muslims, and very active in the community. Despite its claims that it supports British political values, it fosters an environment where anti-Semitism and Islam are closely woven and propagated. It also fosters a profoundly simplistic view of the world that is incapable of acknowledging complexity and the perspectives of their opponents.
Gert Wilders provides a challenge to the Muslim community as a whole, and not just a handful of liberals, to provide a clear statement that the adjuncts in the Quran that conflict with the values of the UK are redundant. I am sure that we all acknowledge that this is a profoundly difficult step for them to make, as it requires acknowledgement of that conflict and the hegemonic origins of Islam, it must be done if the likes of Mr, Wilders are not to gain even more credibility.
Rod Davies, Monday, March 8th
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