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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The roots of anti-Semitism in the Middle East

Seth Mandel interviews German scholar Matthias Küntzel, author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 (Hat Tip: Linda C).
Küntzel is very disappointed with the response by Western leaders to the naked anti-Semitism and the presence of Nazi ideology in public statements by influential clerics like Qaradawi, such as when he praised the Holocaust.

“If the pope would do something like this, or some of those surrounding the pope in Rome, there would be an outcry throughout the world,” Küntzel said. “But if this kind of very important Muslim speaker does the same, there is silence. And the reason is that people underestimate and don’t know much about the roots of this anti-Semitism. The traditional way to analyze this is to say, well this is the result of the Middle East conflict so if Israel and Zionism would behave more correctly and we can finish with the conflict, then we can finish with anti-Semitism as well.”

This is what Küntzel calls the filter that exists between actual events and their interpretation. Anti-Semitism, or at least a certain strain of it, was imported into the Middle East, and is now being exported from it.

“We are just at the beginning of a change in the analysis of the roots of the anti-Semitism in the Middle East,” Küntzel said. “And I consider this a very important task also to educate Western governments that this is not just the outcome of a conflict caused by Jews who immigrated to Palestine, but that this is something very similar to Nazi anti-Semitism and has to be taken as seriously as the Nazi anti-Semitism was taken.”

Küntzel said he is trying to dispel the false assumption that anti-Semitism has anything to do with Jewish behavior—it doesn’t. Anti-Semitism stems from the mind of the anti-Semite, not with anything the Jews do. So to couch it in terms of a Jewish issue, he said, is completely backwards. It is the province of non-Jews, and therefore must be dealt with by non-Jews as well, not ignored. The Jews, he said, can’t do anything about anti-Semitism if it is not dealt with by society at large.
Read the whole thing.

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