Dear Friend of FLAME:
Officially, Arab nations and politicians, such as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, complain about Jews because of what the state of Israel does
in the Middle East, specifically its "occupation" of the Holy Land, all of which the Arabs claim exclusively as their own.
Every now and then, however, these officials let slip their true attitudes about Jews, such as when Mahmoud Abbas was caught in an anti-Semitic rant
in Arabic, saying that Jews mustn't be allowed to desecrate Muslim holy places in Jerusalem "with their filthy feet."
Of course, Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism is rampant and well documented. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2014 conducted a survey of attitudes toward
Jews in over 100 countries and developed an "anti-Semitism index," which ranks national populations according to their beliefs in anti-Semitic
While the ADL found anti-Semitism in all parts of the world, not surprisingly it was greatest in the overwhelmingly Arab-Muslim MENA countries—Middle East
and North Africa. For comparison, the average overall ADL Global 100 anti-Semitic index is 26%—the percentage of respondents who believe that at least 6 of
11 negative Jewish stereotypes (e.g., "Jews have too much control over global affairs") are "probably true." In MENA countries, the index is nearly triple that—74% of the population harbors serious anti-Semitic attitudes.
Of the 16 countries with the highest index scores of anti-Semitic views—again no shock—all are in MENA countries. But the people who win first prize in bigotry, who have the world's highest anti-Semitism scores, are those in the West Bank and Gaza—with a score of
93%. (Iraq comes in a close second, with a score of 92%.)
Yet like most racists, anti-Semites find it more comfortable to hide behind rationalizations for why they hate. You'll get great insight into the Arab pathology of Jew-hatred in this week's FLAME Hotline featured article by Fred Maroun, a "left-leaning" Arab based in Canada, who
lived in Lebanon from 1961-1964. I think you'll find Maroun's astoundingly candid analysis of Arabs' irrational positions on Jews and Israel both
refreshing and—if you think about the author's safety—potentially dangerous for his health.
I believe that after reading this article you will have renewed hope that someday a true "moderate" Arab will arise, make peace with Israel and start
building a constructive society. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the change will happen with people like Fred Maroun.
In addition, I hope you'll also review the P.S. immediately below, which describes FLAME's current hasbarah campaign to articulate concerns I believe
you may share about possible unbridled immigration of Middle East Muslims to the United States.
Executive Vice President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
The Arabs' Real Grievance against the Jews: They Exist
by Fred Maroun, Gatestone Institute, May 7, 2016
As Arabs, we are very adept at demanding that our human rights be respected, at least when we live in liberal democracies such as in North America, Europe,
and Israel. But what about when it comes to our respecting the human rights of others, particularly Jews?
When we examine our attitude towards Jews, both historically and at present, we realize that it is centered on denying Jews the most fundamental human
right, the right without which no other human right is relevant: the right to exist.
The right to exist in the Middle East before 1948
Anti-Zionists often repeat the claim that before modern Israel, Jews were able to live in peace in the Middle East, and that it is the establishment of the
State of Israel that created Arab hostility towards Jews. That is a lie.
Before modern Israel, as the historian Martin Gilbert wrote, "Jews held the inferior status of dhimmi, which, despite giving them protection to
worship according to their own faith, subjected them to many vexatious and humiliating restrictions in their daily lives." As another historian, G.E. von
Grunebaum, wrote, Jews in the Middle East faced "a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms."
The right to exist as an independent state
Zionism stemmed from the need for Jews to be masters of their own fate; no longer to be the victims of discrimination or massacres simply for being Jews.
This project was accepted and formally recognized by the British, who had been granted a mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations. The Arab world,
however, never accepted the recognition formulated by Britain in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and it never accepted the partition plan approved by the
United Nations in 1947, which recognized the right of the Jews to their own state.
The Arab refusal to accept the Jewish state's right to exist, a right that carries more international legal weight than almost any other country's right to
exist, resulted in several wars, starting with the war of independence in 1948-1949. The Arab world still does not today accept the concept of a Jewish
state of any size or any shape. Even Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace agreements with Israel, do not accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and they
continue to promote anti-Semitic hatred against Israel.
The right to exist in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem
In 2005, Israel evacuated all its troops and all Jewish inhabitants from Gaza, in the hope that this would bring peace at least on that front, and to allow
the Gaza Strip, vacated by Jews, to be a flourishing Arab Riviera, or a second Singapore, and perhaps to serve as a model for the West Bank. The experiment
failed miserably. This is a case where Jews willingly gave up their right to exist on a piece of land, but sadly the Palestinians of Gaza took it not as
opportunity for peace, but as a sign that if you keep on shooting at Jews, they leave—so let's keep on shooting.
There are many opinions among Zionists as to what to do about the West Bank. These opinions range from a total unilateral withdrawal as in Gaza, to a full
annexation, with many options in between. At the moment, the status quo prevails, with no specific plans for the future.
Everyone, however, despite the treacherous UNESCO's rewriting of history, knows that before that piece of land was called the West Bank, it was called
Judea and Samaria for more than two thousand years.
Everyone knows that Hebron contains the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, within the Cave of the Patriarchs, and it is
considered the second-holiest site in Judaism. Every reasonable person knows that Jews should unquestionably have the right to exist on that land, even if
it is under Arab or Muslim jurisdiction. Yet everyone also knows that no Arab regime is capable or even willing to protect the safety of Jews living under
its jurisdiction from the anti-Semitic hatred that emanates from the Arab world.
East Jerusalem, which was carved away by the Kingdom of Jordan from the rest of Jerusalem during the war of independence, is part of Jerusalem, and
contains the Temple Mount, the Jews' holiest site. The Old City in East Jerusalem was inhabited by Jews up until they were ethnically cleansed by Jordan in
the war of 1948-1949.
Although Israel has twice in the past, first under Prime Minister Ehud Barak then under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, offered East Jerusalem as part of a
Palestinian state, that offer is not likely to be made again. Jews know that it would mean a new wave of ethnic cleansing, which would deny the Jewish
right to exist on the piece of land where that right is more important than anywhere else.
The right to exist in the Middle East now
During Israel's War of Independence, Jews were ethnically cleansed from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and in the years that followed, they were
ethnically cleansed from the rest of the Arab world.
Today, Israel's enemies, many of them Arab, are challenging its right to exist, and therefore the right of Jews to exist, on two fronts: threats of nuclear
annihilation and annihilation through demographic suffocation.
Iran's Islamist regime has repeated several times its intention to destroy Israel using nuclear weapons. Just in case Iran is not "successful," the
so-called "pro-Palestinian" movement, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has a different plan to destroy the Jewish state: a
single state with the "return" of all the descendants of Palestinian refugees. The refusal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor
Yasser Arafat to accept any two-state solution presented to them is part of that plan.
The right to exist elsewhere
Anti-Zionists claim that Jews are imperialists in the Middle East, as were the British and the French, and like them, they should leave and go back to
where they belong. This analogy is of course not true: Jews have an even longer history in the Middle East than do Muslims or Arabs.
Do Jews belong in Europe, which tried only a few decades ago to kill every Jew, man, woman, or child? Do Jews belong in North America where until a few
hundred years ago, there were no Europeans, only Indians?
Saying that Jews "belong" in such places is not reality; it is just a convenient claim for anti-Zionists to make.
The Jews will not give up
As Arabs, we complain because Palestinians feel humiliated going through Israeli checkpoints. We complain because Israel is building in the West Bank
without Palestinian permission, and we complain because Israel dares to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists. But how many of us have stopped to
consider how this situation came to be? How many of us have the courage to admit that waging war after war against the Jews in order to deny them the right
to exist, and refusing every reasonable solution to the conflict, has led to the current situation?
Our message to Jews, throughout history and particularly when they had the temerity to want to govern themselves, has been clear: we cannot tolerate your
Yet the Jews demand the right to exist and to exist as equals on the land where they have existed and belonged continuously for more than three thousand
In addition, denying a people the right to exist is a crime of unimaginable proportions. We Arabs pretend that our lack of respect for the right of Jews to
exist is not the cause of the conflict between the Jews and us. We would rather claim that the conflict is about "occupation" and "settlements". They see
what radical Islamists are now doing to Christians and other minorities, who were also in the Middle East for thousands of years before the Muslim Prophet
Mohammed was even born: Yazidis, Kurds, Christians, Copts, Assyrians, Arameans, and many others. Where are these indigenous people of Iraq, Syria and Egypt
now? Are they living freely or are they being persecuted, run out of their own historical land, slaughtered by Islamists? Jews know that this is what would
have happened to them if they did not have their own state.
The real Arab grievance against the Jews is that they exist. We want the Jews either to disappear or be subservient to our whims, but the Jews refuse to
bend to our bigotry, and they refuse to be swayed by our threats and our slander.
Who in his right mind can blame them?