Letís play ìWho Wants To Be An Anti-Semitic Millionaire.î Last week, a world-famous person called attempts to ìJudaizeî Jerusalem a cancer and received a pledge of $42 million to fight it. Letís see, was it Louis Farrakhan? Holocaust denier (diminisher, actually) David Irving? Syriaís Assad? Austriaís Joerg Haider? So many bad people to choose from. Answer and details below.
Wait a second. You mean to tell me that in the media center of the world, with subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post and CNN and all-news radio, this story wasnít reported?Aside from Syriaís highly publicized spree of Holocaust denial, Israelís image in the Arab world has been in free-fall. In one typical episode last month, Israel released 25 Lebanese prisoners as a goodwill gesture, and thatís the way the Israeli and Jewish media reported it. Lebanonís Daily Star (Jan. 14) had a totally different reaction: ìIf Israeli officials expect an outpouring of gratitude. … they are in for a rude awakening. The furrows of resentment dug by their bombs and missiles run deep here.îOver in Egypt, The Cairo Times (Jan. 5) review of something as trivial as a TV drama led to this item: ìThe surge in pan-Arab, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli feeling ó which hasnít ebbed since the demise of former Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu ó no doubt played a role in bringing this [show to the] small screen.
And thatís just the TV page. Well, maybe thatís just Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. What about Jordan? A front-page story in The Boston Globe (Feb. 14) quoted Prince Hassan ó brother of the late king and adviser to the new one ó telling how the three ìAbrahamic faithsî have to get along because peace is enhanced by ìinterreligious dialogue,î an idea that no doubt has American readers nodding in approval. However, a scan of the Jordanian papers reveals that Hassanís goodness faces major opposition in Jordan, something youíd never know from The Boston Globe.For example, the Islamic anti-Semites in Jordan have launched a campaign against ó Saturday? A deadly fatwa, or edict, against Jordanians who take Saturday as a day off because that would be tantamount to practicing Judaism. The Saturday holiday was condemned by the Presidents of the Professional Associations, as reported in the Jordan Star (Feb. 10). Is the problem Zionism or is Judaism hated, too?
The liberal editors of the Jordan Times (Feb. 1) were brave enough to object: ìWhile we do not want to enter into religious squabbling … should we then abandon [all those positive] elements that also exist in the Judaism? … Is everything all right in our country that we can indulge ourselves in an issue that is so insignificant compared to all our ailments?îMaybe things are better in Morocco; we always hear how the Moroccan kings are so benevolent to Jews and Israel.Well, Arabic.Com (Feb. 14), an Arab news service, reports that Moroccoís King Mohammed warned last week that Israeli measures to Judaize Jerusalem by changing its demographic character ìwill not serve peace.îActually, Jerusalem is not being Judaized, itís being de-Judaized: the Jewish population there has slipped to under 68 percent, the lowest number since Jerusalem was united.Nevertheless, the governing board of the Jerusalem Fund of the Organization of Islam Conference (with the same governmental representation as in the Arab League) heard Nobel Peace Prize-winner Yasir Arafat get up and say ó according to the Jordan Times (Feb.15): ìPalestinian-Israeli [peace] negotiations are revolving in a vicious circle manufactured by the Israeli government.î The Israeli government, he went on, should be told ìto take its hands off Jerusalem. Your support is essential … to free Jerusalem and Palestine from this cancerous Judaization.îAnd Moroccoís king handed over a check to Arafat for $3 million and a promise for $39 million more.nHas Israelís ideal of peace through strength been replaced by the resignation of ìpeace through humiliationî? Yossi Klein Halevi asks that in The New Republic (Feb. 21), noting that the Lebanese death toll touches upon Israelís ìobsessive fear of being played for a fool. … Israelis may have lost their enthusiasm for military glory and for proving that Jews can fight as well as anyone else, but they donít like being taken for suckers, either personally or collectively.îHalevi writes, ìIsraelis waited for Barak, who is leading the international boycott of Austria over Joerg Haider, to denounce Syriaís new status as the worldís first Holocaust-denial state. But he swallowed that insult, too, only days after heíd publicly praised Assad yet again as a strong leader and a man of his word. And now it appears Assad has engineered the escalation in Lebanon.îZeíev Chafets, the wry leftist columnist for The Jerusalem Report (Feb. 28), says that, in a world of political madness, he has a hard time finding anything to fear from Austriaís Haider. ìI have found no evidence that Joerg Haider is a uniquely evil figure, one worthy of Israelís vitriolic condemnation. … The damage [Austria] can do to the Jews has already done, and it poses no real threat to Israel.îThere are other threats, such as Arafatís plan to fight cancer ó the cancer of you.