On Faith: Anti-Semitic behavior is all over

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' apostle of transparency, "exposed" a cabal of international Jewish conspiracists, whom he charged with making common cause to smear him and attack his website.

He was piqued over personal e-mails being published by some newspapers. Oh, the irony that something he intended to be private was made public! When told that the object of his wrath, the editor of Britain's Guardian newspaper, was not Jewish, Assange countered that he was "sort of Jewish" because he had a Jewish brother-in-law.

I wonder if those of you who have a Jewish relative know that you are "sort of Jewish." Welcome! Kind of!

John Galliano of Dior proclaimed his "love" for Hitler, whose fearsome looking uniforms no doubt appealed to the designer's fascistic mentality. Of course, Charlie Sheen, loathe to be left behind in the fierce competition to be crowned world-class loon, peppered his recent diatribes with anti-Semitic innuendos (something Sheen now denies).

My personal favorite is Iran's recent entry in this race to the bottom, as the head of Iran's Olympic Committee complained that the logo for London 2012 spells out the graphic "Zion." Previously, Iranians revealed their discovery that the Starbucks' logo features the Jewish heroine, Queen Esther, obviously a coded signal that Starbucks' founder Howard Schwartz's aim is world Jewish domination through pretentious sounding names for cups of coffee.

All of these can be lampooned as the rantings of the unhinged. But let's get serious. What cannot be dismissed is the multitude of Egyptians in Cairo's Tahrir Square who sexually assaulted and beat Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for CBS News, while screaming "Jew, Jew."

The Egyptian lovers of freedom, most, if not all, Muslim, could think of no more vile and contemptuous insult to accompany their savagery than to call their victim a "Jew."

Though Logan is not Jewish, all the mob needed was the belief that she was. Underreported, as well, were the chants calling President Mubarak an "Israeli traitor," and the several effigies depicting Mubarak as a vampire with a Star of David scrawled on his forehead that help make the demonstrations so inspiring.

Andrew G. Bostom writes that "virulent Muslim Jew-hatred is inspired by the core, profoundly anti-Semitic motifs of Islam's foundational texts, the Koran hadith, and sira."

Bostom refers to the late Sheikh Tantawi, Grand Imam of Al Azhar University, the pre-eminent Islamic religious institution, who justified Muslim anti-Semitism in his magnum opus, "Jews in the Koran and the Traditions," saying: "The Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people's wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness...only a minority of the Jews keep their word...All Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not."

These, Bostom comments, were the "views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a Pope, the head of the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam, which represents some 85 to 90% of the world's Muslims."

The Sheikh spouted centuries-old mainstream Islamic ideology. It should occasion no surprise when Pew studies found that almost 100% of Egyptian Muslims currently view Jews "unfavorably."

Nearly 100%! We would not require the adjective "nearly" when surveying the populations of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq or Iran. When "Mein Kampf" and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are best sellers throughout the Muslim world, it isn't hard to realize that most Muslims, including those who celebrate "democracy," hate the Jewish people.

In a new book, the Pope renounces New Testament anti-Jewish teachings in the interest of truth and in the pursuit of peace. By contrast, thousands upon thousands of Muslim clerics worldwide embrace the anti-Jewish slanders of the Koranic traditions, extol their denunciations of Judaism, and incite their co-religionists to hatred of the Jewish People. It is a straight line from the texts to the preachings to the hundreds of Egyptian Muslims who shrieked "Jew, Jew" as they brutalized Logan.

Changes are coming to the Muslim world. What will not change, because it is systemic, pandemic, and endemic, is Muslim anti-Semitism.

MARK S. MILLER is the senior rabbi at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach.

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