Report analyzes Muslim anti-Semitism
By HAVIV RETTIG
Muslim anti-Semitism is growing in scope and extremism, to the point that it has become a credible strategic threat for Israel, according to a 180-page report produced for Israeli policymakers by the semi-official Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) and obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post ahead of its Tuesday release.
According to the report, by educating generations of Muslims with a deep animus toward Israel and Jews, this anti-Semitism, actively promulgated by many states in the region, holds back the peace process and normalization efforts between Israel and Muslim countries. It also forms the intellectual justification for an eliminationist political program.
"This isn't ordinary prejudice," explained ITIC director Col. (res.) Dr. Reuven Erlich, formerly of the IDF's Intelligence Directorate, who heads the team of researchers that produced the report. "This prejudice is evil because it isn't theoretical. It is ideological incitement by states and organizations with the practical means of translating it into action."
Following on a similar study produced in 2004, the report is a comprehensive examination of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, with emphasis on Iran and Arab states.
It is also an insight into the perception of the threat within the Israeli intelligence establishment. The ITIC operates under the aegis of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center (IICC), the official commemoration agency for the fallen of Israel's intelligence services. The IICC is chaired by former Mossad head Efraim Halevy and maintains close contact with Israel's intelligence community. The ITIC's reports are widely read among Israeli policymakers.
Among the report's most worrying findings is the growth over the past three decades of uniquely Muslim roots to older European versions of anti-Semitism. Without discounting classical Christian Europe's canards regarding secret Jewish conspiracies, the ritual slaughter of non-Jewish children and other allegations of Jewish evil, anti-Semitism in the Muslim world increasingly finds its own, Islamic reasons for anti-Jewish hatred through new interpretations of Islamic history and scripture.
From the Koranic story of a Jewess who poisoned Muhammad, to the troubled relations between Muhammad and the Jewish tribes of Arabia, radical Islamist groups and thinkers have been using extreme anti-Semitic rhetoric that has grown increasingly popular with the Muslim public, particularly in Iran and the Arab states. Using well-known Koranic texts, these groups have been mapping out the Jews' "innate negative attributes" and teaching a paradigm of permanent struggle between Muslims and Jews.
The goal of this "Islamified" anti-Semitism, according to the report, is to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a national territorial contest which could be resolved through compromise to a "historic, cultural and existential struggle for the supremacy of Islam."
The study examined books, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts and Internet sites, along with studies of groups following anti-Jewish discourse in the Muslim world, such as MEMRI and the ADL.
1) Report analyzes Muslim anti-Semitism