July 17, 2006
Apocalyptic Muslim Jew-hatredBy Andrew G. Bostom
There are short—term reasons behind the attacks on Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas. But underlying all the geo—strategy is a solid foundation of fanatical Jew—hatred, dating back to the founding of Islam. There is literally nothing Israel or Jews can do to appease those who seek to annihilate them.
Dr. Walid Phares, a perspicacious expert on modern jihad terrorism, has elucidated the practical, short—term considerations that likely motivated Hizbollah's aggressive actions across Israel's internationally recognized northern border with Lebanon (kidnapping of Israeli soldiers; katyusha rocket attacks on Israeli civilian populations), which precipitated the ongoing conflagration:
Phares argues that Hizbollah's strategic solution was, not surprisingly, open resumption of the jihad against Israel. Ultimately, this chronic, annihilationist jihad being waged against Israel by both Hizbollah and Hamas, is driven by orthodox Islamic theology, and eschatology.
Georges Vajda —in a seminal 1937 essay  (long before the establishment of the State of Israel)—provides an overall assessment of the portrayal of the Jews in the hadith collections (the putative words and deeds of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, as recorded by pious transmitters), complemented by Koranic verses, and observations from the earliest Muslim biographies [or 'sira'] of Muhammad.
Vajda's research demonstrates how Muslim eschatology emphasizes the Jews' supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjāl—the Muslim equivalent of the Anti—Christ—and as per another tradition, the Dajjāl is in fact Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions state that the Dajjāl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjāl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered— everything will deliver them up except for the so—called gharkad tree. Thus, according to a canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985), if a Jew seeks refuge under a tree or a stone, these objects will be able to speak to tell a Muslim: 'There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!'
As Vajda observes,
But it is the Jews stubborn malevolence, Vajda further notes, that is their defining worldly characteristic:
Examples of this archetypal Jew hatred from the sacred Islamic texts, sira, and main early Sunni historiographical accounts, include:
— Koranic verses labeling Jews as malevolent enemies of Islam (5:82);
— disobedient slayers of their own prophets who suffered justifiable abasement (2:61), including, for some, transformation into apes and swine (5:60);
— the more profoundly hateful narratives (in the hadith, sira, and early histories, for example by Tabari) which maintain that the perfidious Jews fomented sectarian strife in early Islam by promoting heresies—including Shi'ism itself—that threatened the unity of the Muslim community (umma);
— and the canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim Book 026, Number 5431) that the Jews caused Muhammad's protracted, excruciating death from poisoning:
Vajda's analysis indicates that all these archetypes in turn justify Muslim animus towards the Jews, and the admonition to, at best, 'subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination', as dhimmis, treated 'with contempt', under 'humiliating arrangements'.
Hizbollah and Hamas have constructed core ideologies based upon this Islamic theology of Jew hatred, which one can glean readily from their foundational documents, and subsequent pronouncements, made ad nauseum. Hamas further demonstrates openly its adherence to a central motif of Jew—hatred in Muslim eschatology—Article 7 of the Hamas Charter concludes with a verbatim reiteration of the apocalyptic hadith alluded to earlier:
Both jihadist terror organizations believe they can now take advantage of their political gains in Lebanon (Hizbollah), and the Palestinian controlled areas of Gaza and the West Bank (Hamas), and succeed in their goal to destroy Israel—motivated by a primordial hatred of Jews, sanctioned in Muslim theology and eschatology.
Hizbollah's name, 'The Party of Allah' derives from Koran 5:56:
In a public statement issued February 15, 1986, Hizbollah conceived of itself as a 'nation' linked to Muslims worldwide by '...a strong ideological and political bond, namely Islam.' Expressed in the political language of the Koran, Hizbollah's ideology encompasses, triumphally (as per the slogan adorning the party emblem, 'The Party of Allah is Sure to Triumph') at least three major objectives: transforming Lebanon into a Shari'a state; destroying Israel; establishing regional, followed by international Islamic hegemony, i.e., bringing the region, then the world under Shari'a law.
Demonizing Israel and Jews—via motifs in the Koran and hadith—Hizbollah views the jihad against the 'Zionist entity' as an annihilationist war intrinsic to broader conflicts: the struggle between the Islamic world and the non—Muslim world, and the historical struggle between Islam and Judaism. The most senior clerical authority for Hizbollah, Husayn Fadlalah has stated,
Fadlallah repeatedly refers to anti—Jewish archetypes in the Koran and the hadith: the corrupt, treacherous and aggressive nature of the Jews; their reputation as killers of prophets, who spread corruption on earth; and the notion that the Jews engaged in conspiratorial efforts against the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Fadlallah argues, ultimately,
Hizbollah is viscerally opposed to Judaism and the existence of Israel, stressing the eternal conflict between the Jews and Islam. Eradicating Israel represents an early stage of Hizballah's Pan—Islamic ambitions, and its jihad against the rest of the non—Muslim world.
Since 1989, historian David Littman has made repeated appeals to the UN Human Rights Commission alerting its members to the dangers inherent in the binding Hamas Charter (circa 1988). Recently Littman elucidated some of key the motifs of Islamic Jew—hatred contained in this document which amount to no less than a 'direct and public incitement to commit genocide,' punishable under article 4 of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
Article 7 of the Hamas Charter contains the apocalyptic hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985) referred to earlier—reflecting the annihilationist Jew hatred of Islamic eschatology. As Littman observes, Article 8, '...a blueprint for jihadist terrorism,' is the slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas:
Article 28 targets all Jews:
The Charter in its preface quotes Hassan al—Banna, founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as saying:
The conclusion has a subheading: The Islamic Resistance Movement is Composed of Soldiers stating that the Islamic Resistance Movement
Finally, this transcript from the June 22, 2006 pronouncement by Yasser Ghalban, a Hamas terrorist leader makes clear how, as with Hizbollah, the liquidation of Jews in Israel by jihad is linked to Hamas' own universal ambitions:
Unfortunately, the orthodox Islamic archetypes of Jew—hatred promulgated by Hizbollah and Hamas, are also being disseminated by the most respected, mainstream Islamic institutions. For example, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi wrote these words in his 700 page treatise rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred, Banu Isra'il fi al—Qur'an wa al—Sunna [Jews in the Koran and the Traditions], originally published in the 1970s, and then re—issued in 1986:
Tantawi was apparently rewarded for this scholarly effort by being named Grand Imam of Al—Azhar University in 1996, a position he still holds. These are the expressed, 'carefully researched' 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 90% of the world's Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi has not mollified such hatemongering beliefs since becoming the Grand Imam of Al—Azhar as his statements on the Jews as 'enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs', the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews, or 'dialogue' with Jews (just below), make clear.
Tantawi's case illustrates the prevalence and depth of sacralized, 'normative' Jew hatred in the contemporary Muslim world which can no longer be ignored.
The neutered compromise statement of the G—8 Summit leaders on 'Middle East violence', despite being a far better pronouncement than the predictably craven dhimmitude of Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, or the miserable immoral equivalence of official Vatican spokesman Cardinal Angelo Sodano, is a poor substitute for the moral clarity desperately needed now. Although this memorable December 2002 jeremiad by Oriana Fallaci 'I Stand With Israel. I Stand With The Jews' surely fits the bill, never could such words be uttered in public by the current generation of rather dull—witted, and fortitude—challenged world leaders, Western and Eastern alike.
Until such a moral awakening occurs (if ever), perhaps it is best for Israel to heed the existential, street—wise advice of songwriter extraordinaire Bob Dylan:
 Georges Vajda. Juifs et Musulmans selon le hadit [Jews and Muslims according to the hadith]. Journal Asiatique, 1937, Vol. 229, pp. 57—129. English translation by Susan Emanuel.
 Ibn Sa'd. Kitab Al—Tabaqat Al—Kabir. Volume 2, New Delhi, 1993; pp. 249—252. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar
3. Banu Isra'il fi al—Qur'an wa al—Sunna [Jews in the Koran and the Traditions], 1986. English translation by Dr. Michael Schub
Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad, and a frequent contributor to The American Thinker.