TO PREVENT THE DISASTER
By Boris Shusteff
After the grisly murder on August 30 of Sharon Shteinmetz and Yechiel Finfiter, even before the murderer was captured, Commander Alik Ron who heads the northern district of the Israeli police said "when local Arabs in the popular tourist area saw the two hikers from the Haifa region, the decision was made to kill them, [since] the male victim wore a kippa and it was easy to discern he was Jewish." (1)
When he was apprehended, the 20-year old Israeli Arab who committed the murders confirmed Ron's prediction explaining that "on the day of the attack, [he] did not feel well and left his home deciding to kill Jews." (2)
No, this is not 1942. No this is not the time of Bogdan Khmelnitzky in the Ukraine. No, the Jews are not in Nazi concentration camps or in a Nazi-supervised ghetto. It is much worse. Just try to comprehend this: the Jews are murdered for being Jews in the Jewish state! The Jews are stabbed, shot, and bombed by the Jew-haters in a country that is supposed to be a safe-haven for them. The Jews are maimed and wounded by anti-Semites in the country with the strongest military in the Middle East.
Is it possible that the Israeli leaders do not see the Arabs' anti-Jewish rage? No, they definitely see it. They know, for instance, that the life of the Jews of Hebron is in danger. Otherwise, why would Minister of Industry and Trade Ran Cohen threaten to uproot the Hebron Jewish community "should its representatives not agree to reinforce school buses and vans with bullet-proof glass"? He said that he does not "want to be responsible for people who are willing to offer their children as sacrifices."
But this approach is absolutely wrong. If we follow Cohen's logic Israel should use the 1.3 billion dollars of American aid intended for "advancement of the peace" to reinforce cars, buses, and windows in Jewish houses all over the country with bullet-proof glass, since the Jew-haters are operate throughout Israel.
Or perhaps all the Israelis should follow the advice of the military commanders for the northern area residents and start spending time in bomb-shelters and safe rooms? Then, when the Arab terrorists switch from bullets to bombs the Israelis will be relatively safe. Although rabbi Raanan was murdered in his home, while preparing to go to bed. So apparently the Jews are not safe in their homes, either.
It appears that Ehud Barak has found an absolutely unorthodox way to fight Arab animosity towards the Jews. The Israeli government has decided to free 350 imprisoned Arab terrorists and rely on their word that they will not target the Jews anymore. Do not get the wrong idea. Some murderers of the Jews, for now, will remain in prison. Only the ones who have not spilled enough Jewish blood will be rewarded. Apparently it does not matter that they wanted to kill the Jews - as long as their victims are still alive, they can be freed.
It seems that the Israeli leaders do not understand that Arab Jew-hatred did not start in 1948 when the Jewish state was reestablished, nor in 1892 when the term Zionism was first used publicly in Vienna. The roots of this enmity can be followed to the very roots of Islam, during the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
Yossef Bodansky, in his recently published book, "Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument" enumerates countless examples of the Arabs' virulent anti-Jewishness and anti-Judaism. He writes that "the Qurannic depiction of the Jews and Jewish issues stresses that the main power struggles and fights the Prophet Muhammad had to endure before Islam consolidated its prominence and power, were against Jews."
If one reads Adil Salahi's book "Muhammad, Man and Prophet, a Complete Study of the Life of the Prophet of Islam," one easily notices that the Jews were the group of people especially mercilessly persecuted by the Muslims. If one were to go through the book and simply compare the numbers of Jews murdered and massacred by the Muslims with the numbers of victims among other groups with whom the Prophet fought, one would be shocked. During the battle of Badr the whole Quraish army (a former tribe of Muhammad's) lost 70 soldiers and during the famous conquest of Mecca the Quraish lost 20 soldiers and "the Prophet was keen not to shed a drop of blood." At the same time the only episode of a massacre that is described in the book is one during which the Muslims murdered from 600 to 700 Jews from the Quraitahah tribe.
Salahi's book is full of cases of "Jewish treachery." The Jews are depicted as "hardened enemies" who are geared towards "exterminating Muslims altogether." It is not surprising, then, that the Prophet dislikes the Jews. One episode deserves special attention. When Abdullah ibn Ubbai, one of the chiefs of Medinah, was close to death the Prophet visited him. Salahi writes "The Prophet realized that Abdullah ibn Ubbai was dying and said to him: 'I have told you not to love the Jews.'" So even if the dying man must not love the Jews, what must we expect from living Arab anti-Semites?
The Arab world is incurably infested with the virus of anti-Jewishness. Anis Mansour, editor of "October" and one of Anwar Sadat's closest advisers and friends put it simply: "The hatred of Jews is a spiritual national necessity for Arabs." (3)
This is why when the Jordanian authorities started a manhunt for senior Hamas officials, the Izzadin el-Kassim (the military wing of Hamas) issued a statement declaring "We will not hesitate to create torrents of Jewish blood in the streets of Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba and Tel Aviv if any of our leaders and our political and military figureheads are touched."(4)
This is why, on August 8, in the Egyptian newspaper Ahbar El-yum, which has a circulation of more than 700,000, an article appeared saying that the white supremacist Buford Furrow Jr. "has a goal: to annihilate the Jewish race in the U.S.'' The author of the article then added, "I ask God to assist him in his efforts to attain this goal. Let us all join together saying, 'May it be God's will.'" (5)
This is why in July,1998 Gazi Abu Mazer, a Palestinian Arab on trial in New York for plotting to blow up a Brooklyn subway stressed that his goal was "to kill as many, as much Jews as I could take." Therefore, it does not matter at all where the killer of Sharon and Yechiel comes from. What is important here is the group to which he belongs. And he belongs to the Arab people who, as Anis Mansour said, "cultivated hatred of the Jews." (3)
How is it possible that the Jews have forgotten what happens when this hatred is left unanswered? How is it possible that they have not learned the lesson of the Holocaust? Today the Arabs repeat verbatim the accusations against the Jews that Hitler and his followers used in their anti-Semitic propaganda. Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other similar anti-Semitic "literature" that was circulated in Nazi Germany has flooded the book markets in the Arab world. Everyone who wants to learn from history and still has common sense should understand what awaits the Jews next.
However, Israel still has time to prevent the disaster. Although it actions will be condemned by the UN and the world community, the Jewish state must use its formidable military power and instill such fear in the Arabs that they will not even dream of thinking about inflicting any harm on Israel.
The Palestinian Arabs cannot continue killing Jews while asserting their rights to equality. If they do not want to live as a minority in the Jewish state this does not give them the right to strive with all their might for its destruction. The enemy cannot be allowed to turn his anti-Jewish design into a reality. "No moral teacher has ever asserted, 'If one stands with a knife threatening to kill you, bare your heart for him to murder you.' There is no moral justification for self-destruction." (6). [09/04/99]
1. Israel Wire news service, 9/1/99
2. Israel Wire news service, 9/2/99
3. Yossef Bodansky, "Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument."
4. AFP news service, 9/1/99
5. Reiters news service 8/20/99
6. Abraham Joshua Heschel, "Israel, an Echo of Eternity."
Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.