Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts
Volume 17, Numbers 3-4 (Fall 5766/2005)
THE FORGOTTEN NARRATIVE: JEWISH REFUGEES FROM ARAB COUNTRIES
Historically, there was an exchange of populations in the Middle East
and the number of displaced Jews exceeds the number of Palestinian
Arab refugees. Most of the Jews were expelled as a result of an open
policy of anti-Semitic incitement and even ethnic cleansing. However,
unlike the Arab refugees, the Jews who fled are a forgotten case
because of a combination of international cynicism and domestic
Israeli suppression of the subject. The Palestinians are the only group
of refugees out of the more than one hundred million who were
displaced after World War II who have a special UN agency that,
according to its mandate, cannot but perpetuate their tragedy. An
open debate about the exodus of the Jews is critical for countering
the Palestinian demand for the “right of return” and will require a
more objective scrutiny of the myths about the origins of the Arab-
EUROPEAN POLITICS: DOUBLE STANDARDS TOWARD ISRAEL
The relationship between Europe and Israel is complex, tense, and historically
loaded. A growing gap has developed between their political outlooks.
European political actions can continue to cause Israel so many
problems and harms that these in the longer run may increasingly dominate
all other aspects of the relationship.
One strong gauge of Europe’s negative political attitude toward Israel
is its voting record in the United Nations. Another is the frequent condemnations
of Israel from Brussels. A third is the financing the EU has
provided for a variety of activities directed against Israel. France has
been in the forefront of many European anti-Israeli initiatives.
The mood created by the political leaders of European countries
toward Israeli government officials often permeates their societies. Their
discriminatory attitudes are enhanced by many media, NGOs, and some
churches. These factors together help build an anti-Israeli atmosphere
in large parts of European society, which is expressed in opinion polls.
This is often accompanied by anti-Semitic positions.
ANNALS OF ISRAELI-ALBANIAN CONTACTS ON ESTABLISHING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
Albania, under its Communist regime, granted Israel formal recognition
shortly after Israel declared its independence in 1948. This act coincided
with the policy of all the East European Communist countries toward
Israel. Yet, unlike them, Albania declined to establish diplomatic, commercial,
and cultural relations between the two countries. After the Six
Day War, Israel gave up its endeavors in this respect, since all the
Communist countries - with the exception of Romania - now broke off
their diplomatic ties with Israel. It was only toward the end of its Communist
rule that Albania initiated the establishment of diplomatic, economic,
and cultural relations with Israel.
JOMO KENYATTA AND ISRAEL
An Israeli diplomat’s forging of ties with Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta
during Kenya’s pre-independence period in the early 1960s helped pave
the way to fruitful relations between the two countries. This period
already saw initiatives in the fields of pilot training, intelligence
cooperation, and assistance programs. Among the gains for Israel was
Kenyatta’s lasting, loyal support.
ASSESSING THE AMERICAN JEWISH INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE TO GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM
The new, global anti-Semitism presents a unique challenge because of
its emphasis on public campaigns to delegitimize Israel, the Jewish people,
and Judaism. The various responses of American Jewish organizations
display three levels of engagement - core participation, selective interest,
and minimal interest. Initiatives by these agencies in the European sphere
have sometimes prompted criticism, particularly by French Jewish activists
who allege presumptuous attitudes that put their own community in
a difficult situation. These frictions partly reflect the larger political
tensions between the United States and its European allies.
In general, the patterns of American Jewish involvement on this issue
resemble those observable in their activities within the United States.
THE NEW MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM: EXPLORING NOVEL AVENUES OF HATRED
Anti-Semitism is an inherent part of Islamic culture, and it was reinforced
over the centuries both by themes imported from Christian anti-Semitism,
such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the blood libel, well-poisoning,
and the like, and by the impact of the Arab-Israeli dispute.
Since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2001, a new element
of operationalization has been added to the old anti-Jewish stereotypes.
Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism has become more concrete, with the
Believers encouraged to take actual violent measures against the Jews
and Israel that have climaxed in the Islamikaze acts of terror.
This intensified anti-Semitism is manifested in pathological vilification
of Jews and Israel, in using Christians as a tool in the battle against
Israel, in resorting to Holocaust denial, and in libeling the Jews as global
conspirators bent on taking over or, alternatively, destroying the world.
ARAB AND MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM IN SWEDEN
Anti-Semitism is perceived as a minor problem in Sweden, restricted to
marginal neo-Nazi and other extreme-Right groups. Anti-Jewish ferment
among parts of the country’s Arab and Muslim population is largely
denied and ignored. Nevertheless, the phenomenon exists and manifests
itself among some Arab and Muslim pupils in suburban schools, on
Muslim websites in Swedish, and in attacks on Jews and their institutions.
This anti-Semitism has its roots in the Middle East, where it is widespread
in the countries of origin of many Arab and Muslim immigrants in
Sweden and reaches them through various channels such as satellite
television and the Internet. The exclusion of many Arabs and Muslims
from Swedish society fosters the spread of anti-Semitism in the segregated
suburbs of the major cities. The situation calls for seriously addressing
these groups’ problem of alienation.
KILL A JEW - GO TO HEAVEN: THE PERCEPTION OF THE JEW IN PALESTINIAN SOCIETY
Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook*
The Palestinian religious, academic, and political elites teach an ideology
of virulent hatred of Jews. The killing of Jews is presented both as a
religious obligation and as necessary self-defense for all humankind.
Palestinian Authority elites have built a three-stage case against
Jewish existence, much as a prosecutor might build a case demanding
a death sentence. As their expert witness, they bring Allah Himself, Who
is said to have sent a message through the Prophet Muhammad that
killing Jews is a necessary step to bring Resurrection. Stage 1 is characterized
by collective labeling of Jews as the enemies of Allah, possessing
an inherently evil nature. Stage 2 teaches that because of their immutable
traits, Jews represent an existential danger to all humanity. Stage 3
presents the necessary solution predetermined by Allah: the annihilation
of Jews as legitimate self-defense and a service to God and man.
ISRAEL IN THE AUSTRALIAN MEDIA
The Australian media focuses disproportionately on Israel and particularly
on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The bias in this coverage derives partly
from trends imported from international sources, especially certain “narrative
frames.” However, there are domestic influences within the Australian
media, especially among the public broadcasters and some of the
newspapers, that exacerbate the problem.
Beyond bias, certain themes emerging in the Australian media are
examples of the “new ant-Semitism.” These include the alleged financial
and media power of the Jewish lobby; an extreme demonization of Israel
and extravagant assertions about the supposed worldwide e.ects of its
policy toward the Palestinians; conspiracy theories about American Jewish
neoconservatives; and a tendency to claim that anti-Semitism is a
response to Jewish behavior and attitudes.
BARBARA TUCHMAN’S COMMENTS ON ISRAEL
Although Barbara Tuchman never devoted a book to Jewish or Israeli
history, her perspective on these topics can be gleaned from four articles
on the subject and from some passages in her other writings.
In one article she sought the historical meaning of the Nazis’ war
against the European Jews. The silence of the democratic countries
shocked her no less than the crimes themselves.
In 1966, Tuchman visited Israel for the first time, and she described
her impressions in a lengthy article. Her second visit took place a year
later and coincided with the Six DayWar, and her detailed and systematic
impressions were published in September 1967.
Tuchman’s writings about Israel reveal a high level of sympathy for
the young state and sensitivity to its achievements and problems.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE’S RECOGNITION OF THE JEWISH ORIGIN OF THE IDEA OF EQUALITY
Although Alexis de Tocqueville examined in depth the idea of equality
in his classic Democracy in America, and attributed its origin to Christianity,
he explicitly recognized its Jewish provenance in a letter to Arthur
de Gobineau of 24 January 1857. This finding is significant, because
Tocqueville’s pioneering study identified the central importance of equality
in modern democracy and described its benefits and dangers. This
year marks the bicentennial of Tocqueville’s birth (29 July 1805–16
THE SEVENTH-CENTURY CHRISTIAN OBSESSION WITH THE JEWS:
A HISTORICAL PARALLEL FOR THE PRESENT?
Rivkah Duker Fishman
In the seventh century, the Arabs embarked on the conquest of the world
in the name of Islam. The Caliphate replaced the Persian Empire and
Christian Spain and conquered much of the Byzantine Empire. The
latter, however, seemed to ignore the threat of the new invaders and their
religion. Instead, the Byzantine political and intellectual elite focused
increasingly on the Jews in tracts and legal measures. The situation has
certain parallels with the present.