Israel might be the first victim -- but not the last.
According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, “Islam these past two weeks has definitely been closing in on the Jewish state, with Israel’s ambassadors in the two major Middle Eastern states with which it had good relations, Turkey and Egypt, being sent packing.” Morris added, “It was Islam which gradually eroded secularism and brought down pragmatic, prudent governments in the region, which drove diplomats from their posts.”
As Morris sees it, the Arab Spring and the accompanying demonstrations in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East are to be opposed and not supported, as the Europeans and Americans governments have done.
As long as the current Islamic teachings prevail -- teachings in which Jews are portrayed as “devils” who must be eradicated and Israel is considered “an enemy of God” -- the talk about peace between Israel and the Arab-Muslim world, and the Palestinians in particular, is premature, if not futile. The efforts by the Obama administration and the Europeans at peacemaking, which compel Israel to make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians, can be best described as appeasement of the Arab-Muslim world.
No Israeli concessions, however, will satisfy the open aspirations of the Palestinians or, for that matter, the Arab world, to see Israel replaced by an Arab-Muslim entity that resembles their own arbitrary and oppressive regimes. Peace is meaningless in a climate (among the Arabs) that is driven by religious hatred, which uses the Koran and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” to justify genocidal hatred. That hatred is pervasive in today’s Egypt, as well as in Erdogan’s Turkey, as noted by recent actions in the capitals of each respective country.
Hate for Israel has been kept alive even while Egypt was regarded by world powers as “honoring” its commitment under the Camp David Peace Accords, which expressly called for an end to “hostile propaganda.” During the reigns of Sadat and Mubarak, Egyptian newspapers were replete with the most audacious charges against Israel, including the accusation of Israel being behind the destruction of the Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that Israel was exporting radiation contaminated food to Egypt and that Israel introduced most of the plagues that afflict agriculture and animal health. In Richard Landes’ book, "Heaven on Earth," he quoted an Islamic intellectual who explained why it is important to keep Muslim hatred of Jews alive: "The role of the Islamic stream is to keep the flame of hatred towards Zionism burning in their souls."
The new "hero" of the Egyptian and Arab masses is a 23-year old named Ahmed al-Shahat, who climbed up the Israeli embassy building in Cairo last week, removed the Israeli flag and replaced it with the Egyptian flag to the cheers of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators, who burned the Israeli flag while chanting "Allahu Akbar."
Ahmed al-Shahat is a by-product of the hate-filled anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Egyptian propaganda campaign conducted by Mubarak and his predecessors, which infected homes, the media, mosques, and schools. And with the Muslim Brotherhood now fully legitimized, physical attacks on Israeli targets (e.g. the gas pipeline to Israel and the Israeli embassy) can be expected.
Palestinian Media Watch translated a book by Mustafa Mashhur, leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (1996-2002), titled "Jihad Is The Way," which appeared in the Jerusalem Post on February 9, 2011. In it, Mashhur writes:
The problems of the Islamic world - such as in Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea or the Philippines - are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are the problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution cannot be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole, and therefore there is no other option but jihad for Allah, and this is why jihad is the way.
Columnist Richard Cohen wrote in the Washington Post in October 2001:
The Arab world is the last bastion of unbridled, unashamed, unhidden and unbelievable anti-Semitism. Hitlerian myths get published in the popular press as incontrovertible truth. The Holocaust gets minimized or denied…How the Arab world will ever come to terms with Israel when Israelis are portrayed as the devil incarnate is hard to figure out.
The so-called “moderate” imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood and a frequent commentator on Al-Jazeera, prayed during a January 2009 "Gaza Victory Rally" in Doha, Qatar, for the opportunity to kill a Jew before his death:
The only thing that I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah.
It is apparent that the secular West does not comprehend the triumphalist nature of resurgent Islam and its aggressive nature, which calls for jihad and the creation of a universal Islamic state governed by Sharia law. Not even the blatant and popular incitement against Israel by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which prompted hate-filled demonstrators to storm the Israeli embassy in Cairo (an act of war), or the provocations of Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan have made Western capitals realize that neither Turkey nor Egypt can be relied upon. Islam and Islamists are driving the agenda in both Ankara and Cairo.
Benny Morris has concluded that what the Arab Spring has delivered is the “ruination of responsible government, chaos, and a surge in, and possibly…a takeover by radical Islamism.” He added,
Unfortunately, the events in Egypt are part of a wider pattern, one episode feeding the next. In large measure it was set in train in 1979 with the Islamist Revolution's victory in Teheran (ironically, the year Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty). Since then, most of the anti-Israel fury and operations in the region have been orchestrated if not supported in one way or another by Teheran.
Israel might be the first victim of Islamist hatred, but not its last. American and European policymakers should recognize that appeasement of an Islamist Middle East will not stop its quest for dominance, just as Nazism killed the Jews first then proceeded to kill millions of Christians in the name of an intolerant ideology.