The shared antichrist of the Global Progressive Left and Jihad
Richard Landes, Boston University, History Department
From: The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel, edited by Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm (2014), chap. 20.
(available in Kindle; and in Polish, thanks to Malgorzata Koraszewska)
Abstract: In the aughts, the “global, progressive, left” (GPL), adopted a secular version of the Jihadi apocalyptic scapegoating narrative in which Israel and the US are the “great and little Satan” (or vice-versa). This overlap between two ostensibly completely different value systems has served as the basis for mobilizing a common struggle against the US and Israel over the last decade or so. In so doing, the Left has welcomed within its “anti-imperialist” mobilization, one of the most ferociously imperialist movements in the long and dark history of mankind, one which opposes not merely Israeli and American “imperialism,” but also targets the very culture of progressive values – human rights, peace, tolerance for diversity, human freedom – that GPL champions. BDS is a flagship (and symptom) of this self-destructive disorientation wherein progressives join forces with their worst enemies.
This essay is not written to persuade the reader that BDS is a movement unworthy of support by anyone committed to progressive principles. Anyone who compares Israel’s human right’s record – even the Palestinian version! – with the behavioral norms of Arab political culture, could not possibly take as sincere, the Arab insistence that Israel be put on the global docket for human rights violations. This is all the more true, when one scrutinizes the list of accusations made against Israel, and realizes how many accusations are not only false, but in some cases, indicate the exact opposite of their claims.[i] This essay is written rather to explain to those who want to understand how such an absurd inversion of moral and empirical reality could have made so much headway in the Western public sphere.
I write this essay as a scholar of millennialism who has been studying the emergence in the last fifteen years, of an active, cataclysmic, apocalyptic movement (the most dangerous kind). I also write it as a Jew who began his academic career believing in a self-sustaining, self-critical democratic public sphere and assuming the fundamental maturity and commitment of its participants. I write in defense of that sphere: for the maturity (and now, courage) of the academic community and, not coincidentally, in defense of my people who are being (successfully) slandered by hypocrites and war mongers. To those who believe they should listen to the “other,” I formally request an audience. My tale is not pretty.
Imagine all the people…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one… (John Lennon, 1971)
Imagine there are no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Something to kill and die for
And one religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life under our peace… (Jihadi Joe, 2015)
Welcome, Woodstockers, to the 21st century.
The Jihadi Apocalyptic Narrative: World Conquest and the Great and Little Satan
An apocalyptic narrative is a cosmic/global story, or scenario, about how, at some point in the future, the forces of good and evil will enter into a final stage of conflict, and the good will emerge on the other side, to live and share in a just, abundant, peaceful society, while the bad are cast out. The most destructive form of apocalyptic narrative sees a massive battle between the forces of good (us) and evil (them). In the Book of Revelation, for example, the battlefield is littered with the corpses of the slain, upon which the birds of carrion feast– from kings to slaves. In passive apocalyptic scenarios (e.g. Revelation) divine forces carry out the destruction, not humans; in active scenarios, the believers themselves become the divinely appointed agents of that cataclysmic violence. In these latter “active” scenarios, the “them”– the apocalyptic enemy – embody evil; and their elimination/extermination brings redemption. Historically, when a movement with such a violent apocalyptic scenario gains power, they have proven capable of wholesale massacre and genocide. In the worst cases (five in the last two centuries), this has produced mega-death in the millions, indeed tens of millions of human lives.[ii]
Despite the spectacular attacks on the West, most Westerners have little familiarity[iii] with the Jihadi narrative that animates the movement across a broad range of groups, a narrative that made its first “real-world” appearance in Khoumeini’s Iran.[iv] It varies significantly in some ways from traditional Muslim apocalyptic thought, which focused on a Last Judgment at the end of the world. Instead, this apocalyptic scenario focuses on a this-wordly millennium (messianic era) envisioned as the global victory of Islam: when all of Dar al Harb becomes Dar al Islam.[v] Those who join this movement fight in an apocalyptic battle in which the Jews will be slaughtered, and the rest of the harbi, would be subjected, either by conversion or accepting the dhimma contract of submission[vi]: a “Second Global Islamic Kingdom.”[vii] Globally. In the battle, no mercy should be shown to those who resist Islam’s dominion. Everything to kill and die for: suicide martyrs goes straight to heaven; their victims, straight to hell.
Muslim apocalyptic believers hold that virtually all traditional great and small “signs of the end” have been fulfilled in our day with the advent of modernity. The ever-growing power of the godless West has grown so great, that it threatens Islam with annihilation. With its progressive values of tolerance and equality for all, including women, the West incarnates the rebellion against Allah’s will, the triumph of diabolic forces, including women misbehaving?[viii] And is not that one of the most fatally poisoned “gifts” of gender-transgressing modernity?
But behind the scenes of this global battle with a modernity that aggressively presses for a civil, tolerant, global community of universal “human rights,” lies a second more important battle. The US and the rest of Crusader Christianity (i.e. European West) are mere pawns in a more cosmic drama where the Jews have duped and manipulated them. They now serve the Jewish conspiracy to degrade and enslave all of humankind. First the Jews got the Christians to take the tendered bait (democracy), and now they bow to every Jewish whim. And now these Jews, with their duped Crusader Christians, want to similarly degrade Islam.
…the Zionist world government, which governs the entire world… the Zionist American government… the United Nations and the Security Council… the Zionist world government, which are managed from behind the curtain by the Antichrist and Satan, just as the book of Revelation [sic!] points out.[ix]
While this “apocalyptic enemy” working to destroy Islam takes many forms, from military invaders to the NGOs spreading the gospel of “human rights” and “women’s equality”, none of the enemies loom so central to contemporary Muslim apocalyptic imagination than the Jews. Israel constitutes the most unbearable of the mortal insults to Islam of the modern world. It is an unbearable blasphemy – an independent dhimmi state in Dar al Islam, a beachhead of Western decadence (including women’s liberation), an infuriatingly small group of (historically cowardly, i.e. unarmed) Jews who hold their own in wildly asymmetrical fight with Arab might and honor, the headquarters of the conspiracy to exterminate Islam.
But Israel itself is only the visible tip of a vast Jewish conspiracy to enslave mankind, which has already subjected and degraded the Christian World:
Thus the Jewish slap on the faces of the Christians continues, who apparently enjoy and allow this sort of humiliation and attack, and give them their other cheek so that the Jew can continue to slap the Christians – just as we see – ruling them in Europe through the Masons who dig the grave of Western civilization through corruption and promiscuity. The Crusader West continues like a whore who is screwed sadistically, and does not derive any pleasure from the act until after she is struck and humiliated, even by her pimps – the Jews in Christian Europe. Soon they will be under the rubble as a result of the Jewish conspiracy.[x]
And having accomplished that, it now manipulates Christians into inflicting the same subjection onto the Muslim world. Israel is the “Great Satan.”
Traditional Muslim apocalyptic writing has little on the Jews since, for most of Islam’s fourteen-century long existence, the Christians presented the military foe. With the advent of Israel, however, everything changed: for Muslims the world over, and especially for Arab Muslims neighboring her, Israel posed the most terrifying threat. The embodiment of a modernity that has repeatedly eluded the other countries in the Middle East, tiny Israel has managed to win war after war with a vastly more powerful enemy. The humiliation, on a global scale, embodies the catastrophe (Naqba) of history gone wrong.
Muslim apocalyptic literature responded with a previously rarely invoked hadith that declared that the Day of Judgment (i.e. the day of Vindication for the true followers of Muhammad and Allah), will not come until Muslims kill every last Jew.
The day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the trees and the rocks will say, “O Muslim, o servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
Hamas cites this hadith as a call to action in its charter (¶7); and its theologians developed the justification for “Shahid operations,” even though Sharia forbids suicide, as a sacred duty in the apocalyptic battle.[xi] Most recently, a Hamas official has expressed his dual preference for the fate of the Jews: dead in Palestine, dhimmi elsewhere.
We must massacre [the Jews]… to prevent them from sowing corruption in the world… We must restore them to the state of humiliation imposed upon them… They must pay the jizya security tax while they live in our midst… However, in Palestine, where they are occupiers and invaders, they cannot have the status of dhimmis.[xii]
In short, Jihad views its path to global domination via a genocide against Jews in Israel.
Nor will Allah abandon his faithful in this time of need. He only asks that those true faithful take up Jihad and strive with every fiber of their being for the promised victory: the global Caliphate. Now is the time when one must fight back. Now is the time to destroy the conspiracy. Now is the time to restore Islam to its rightful place, dominating the world.[xiii] Indeed, the very process of modern globalization that has so terribly humiliated Islam, will become the vehicle for Islam’s global domination. Western global hegemony is the Praeparatio Califatae.[xiv] The day will come when Muslims will have uprooted Israel, when the green flag of Islam will fly from the White House, when the Queen of England will wear a burkah.
The current generation of apocalyptic Jihadis agree that virtually all preliminary signs of the Last Days have been fulfilled in our day.[xv] They live in apocalyptic time; and they have identified the apocalyptic enemy against whom they fight in this final war of extermination. The overwhelmingly choice in the literature – to the point of monotony –is some combination of the US and Israel: “the Great and Little Satan.”[xvi] And it is the sacred task of the Jihadis to destroy that enemy in order to redeem the world by the global imposition of Sharia.
Implementing Jihad while Militarily Weak: Cognitive Warfare
But world history abounds with dreamers, some haters, some lovers, who saw the brave new world on the other side of present excruciating suffering, and never got beyond the suffering, rather, ended up amplifying it. Millennial studies is littered with the cases of believers suffering tribulations at the hands of their enemies that they had, only recently, so confidently predicted for their enemies.[xvii] Jihadi plans, however compelling, however desirable for some, was more than a tall order. In the 20th century, when the West dominated the globe, it seemed a ludicrous quest. It meant conducting an asymmetrical war of conquest in which you must convince your enemy, whom you could never defeat in an open fight, to surrender without using his vastly superior strength. For a movement with so appalling an ideology, to succeed in a world committed to human rights for all, seemed improbable, indeed unthinkable.
Thus, looking into the future from the 1990s (1410s AH), when global Jihad was still on the margins of the even Muslim world (if only because it was so implausible), a Jihadi warrior, intent on destroying the godless West and imposing a Shariah-ruled dar al Islam on the world was just a dreamer, if not the only one. Practically speaking (from the Western point of view), no asymmetrical conflict could be more lopsided than the one Jihadis waged against them, and Westerners reacted with amusement if not disdain at the news of Jihadi laughable intentions.
So, at least in its initial stages, the Jihadi strategy in the West had to be circumspect. It was far too soon for any kind of military invasion. Global Jihad had first to conduct a cognitive war that convinced the infidels whom they invaded, not to use their superior power and resist, not to fight back, but to submit, to act like dhimmi even before the conquest, to cooperate with the Jihadi occupation of their lands. In Jihadi terms, this is Da’wa or “summons” to convert or submit to Islam without the necessity of conquest. As one of the major figures in Islam today, Sheikh Yussuf al-Qaradawi, put it: “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da’wa.”[xviii] Thus, were the Jihadi in the year 2000 to formulate a prayer of beseeching to Allah to further His divinely appointed global endeavor, it might have run as follows.
Jihadi Prayer to Allah for Useful Infidels
Oh Allah, the all Merciful, give us enemies who…
…help us to disguise our ambitions, even our acts of war, blinding themselves to our deployment targeting them.
…accept those of us who fight with da’wah as “moderates” who have nothing to do with the violent “extremists.”
…chose these false “moderates” as advisors and consultants in intelligence and police services, as community liaisons.
…verbally attack anyone, including Muslims, who criticize Islam as Islamophobes.
…believe that, “tiny minority aside,” the “vast majority” of Muslims are moderate and peaceful; a “Religion of Peace”
…adopt our apocalyptic enemy as theirs, so that they join us in an attack on one of their key allies.
…legitimate our terrorism as “resistance” and denounce any recourse to violence in their own defense, as “terrorism.”
…respect the dignity of our beliefs even as we heap disdain on theirs.
…believe us when we invoke human rights to defend Jihadis and attack them.
…introduce our intimidating “Street” in the heart of their capital cities.
And may those who so act, play prominent roles in their public sphere. Amen.
On the face of it, from the view of the last decade of the 20th century, it’s hard to imagine that such an implausible prayer could be answered. Granted there have been “useful idiots” in the West – indeed some of the West’s greatest minds, like Shaw and Sartre – but they were blinded by a dazzling promise of true freedom and equality proffered by Marxism, they fought for a progressive dream however twisted by the totalitarian impulse implementing it. Surely now, after both the Holocaust and the revelations of the tens of millions(!) of people killed by Communism, any sane progressive would refuse the demand to empower another, even cruder, round of people aspiring to mega-death wars and Jewish genocide.[xix] And were there some such useful infidels among the progressive left, surely they’d be a tiny minority, not a critical mass capable of promoting and adopting suicidal policies that played into the hands of so terrible an imperialist enemy.
And yet, beginning in the new century, from October 2000 more specifically, there emerged a widespread, programmatic “anti-imperialist,” “anti-war” alliance between the GPL and the GJR.[xx] This alliance displayed itself on many occasions during the aughts (‘00s), most prominently in the massive global demonstrations denouncing the US and Israel, in journalism, in academia, in international NGOs, and in the various forums of UN sponsored globalization.[xxi] BDS is one of the more sustained initiatives of this alliance in which, while progressives imagine they stand shoulder to shoulder with other global anti-imperialists in opposing war, racism, and xenophobia, their Jihadis comrades in arms can not believe how easily they dupe progressives into supporting their imperialist war: the 21st century Jihadi does indeed face the foe of his dreams and prayers.[xxii]
When Bin Laden struck the twin towers, for example, Jean Baudrillard, French post-modern intellectual and “theorist,” spoke for many who rejoiced at the blow to an American hegemony, so “unbearably” oppressive, so suffocating:
…the prodigious jubilation engendered by witnessing this global superpower being destroyed; better, by seeing it more or less self-destroying, even suiciding spectacularly [sic]. Though it is (this superpower) that has, through its unbearable power, engendered all that violence brewing around the world, and therefore this terrorist imagination, which — unknowingly — inhabits us all. …In the end, they did it; we wanted it.[xxiii]
Rather than what many (especially in the US and Israel) thought, namely that the attack would lead to a strengthening of the transatlantic alliance, and a resolve to oppose Jihad, 9-11 actually produced widespread anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism,[xxiv] which only grew stronger over the course of the aughts,[xxv] including the spread of conspiracy thinking about 9-11 that literally absolved the Jihadis and indicted the US and Israel as part of a most insidious right-wing plot.[xxvi]
By the time the collective voice of global morality, in the tens of millions world-wide, protested Bush’s war in 2003, the image of the GPL’s Antichrist had taken shape: a combination of Nazism, Capitalism, US Imperialism and Zionism.
Some years later, Judith Butler, reigning queen of post-modern theory, mistook imperial anti-americanism for anti-imperialism and, despite being a pacifist, agreed that Hamas and Hizbullah belonged on the GPL. And by 2009, speakers and protesters of the IDF’s “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza, shouted “We are Hamas!” Had you told a signer of the paranoid, genocidal Hamas Charter in 1988, that within twenty years, anti-war Western infidels would march in the streets of European capitals shouting “Victory to Hamas!”[xxvii] he would have laughed out loud, and responded, “Only Allah can make someone that stupid.”
But, you object, this is only the crazy left, the most extreme “revolutionaries.” And in its most absurd formulations, as above, that may be true. The problem arises from the use of the word “only.” While most disavow the more extreme formulations, they have nonetheless been drawn into the orbit of a more powerful vortex, either by sins of commission or omission. As Norman Cohn noted:
It is a great mistake to suppose that the only writers who matter are those whom the educated in their saner moments can take seriously. There exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures, and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people, who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility. And it occasionally happens that this underworld becomes a political power and changes the course of history.[xxviii]
How and when does this happen, do such unsound – and deeply destructive – beliefs surge from the primordial muck of human ambition and hatred and move to the center of a public sphere? In the aughts, Jihadis invaded the West most successfully via its soft underbelly: Anti-Zionism.
Anti-Zionism, the Soft Underbelly of the West: Lethal Narratives, Moral Schadenfreude, and Radical Disorientation
For the West, especially for the anti-imperialists, nothing could be more catastrophic than a Jihadi victory over Israel. For Jihadis, Israel’s demise would signal a victory of immense symbolic power, far greater than taking over Iran or chasing the Russians from Afghanistan. It would decisively change the direction of sacred and global history.[xxix] The destruction of Israel would revive Arab pride and Muslim confidence that their religion will dominate, even as it would reveal the weakness of the West, which, in failing to defend Israel, sacrificed an ally to curry favor with an enemy. It would sound a clarion call to the whole world that Jihad was “the strong horse.” It would encourage a new round of recruiting, a new round of intimidating public behavior targeting infidel civilians, a new round of terrorist attacks be they planned or rogue outbursts. And this increased aggression would target a weakened West.
Getting the West to adopt so self-destructive a policy would not be easy. While the Jihadis may have made friends with some of the more radical elements in Western culture, there were still important areas of resistance, where the right of Jews to exercise sovereignty and not depend on the good will of others, was a mainstay of the moral political order. Where Europeans felt a debt of guilt to a people they had despised and violated for over a millennium, anti-Semitism was one of the worst accusations one might throw at a public figure. And America, both politically and socially supported Israel in profound ways.
For the Jihadi, then, he had to succeed in two ways: first convince Westerners that they were neither anti-Semitic nor aggressors, and second convince Westerners to embrace a narrative in which the conflict was entirely Israel’s fault, and peace impossible without its elimination. Without affecting decision-making elites, who, in democratic countries, would need the support of an important body of public opinion, Jihadis could not expect the West to sacrifice Israel in an effort to curry Arab favor, especially as that behavior became more aggressive. Somehow, they had to convince more moderate progressives and liberals to abandon Israel, if not in one fell swoop, at least in salami tactics that fatally weakened her. A tall order.
And yet, in the course of the first years of the 21st century, the Jihadis won signal victories in this anti-Zionist battle, victories whose momentum continues to carry them forward, largely unopposed. The mechanics (or dynamics) of those victories work along the following lines: Western journalists working in the Middle East, responding to the stick of intimidation on the one hand, and the carrot of advocacy journalism on the other, repeatedly mainstreamed as news, Jihadi war propaganda against Israel, framed in the post-colonial narrative of the aggressive, imperialist Israeli Goliath against the plucky, resisting Palestinian David.[xxx] Some of these lethal narratives had an electric effect: during the “aughts,” angry demonstrations repeatedly filled the streets of Western and Muslim capitals denouncing Israel in the most lurid terms and affirming full solidarity with their Jihadi enemies. International “human rights” NGOs supplied journalists with lethal narratives who in turn amplified their harsh criticisms. Academics pressed the conflict into the procrustean bed of post-colonialism, in which Israel was the last remnant of evil, racist, Western imperialism. And Jews, even Jews claiming to be “pro-Israel,” made loud and public protestations of their horror at Israeli behavior. Western intellectual elites showed an almost insatiable appetite for stories about Israel behaving badly… very badly.
The key moment when the GPL lost its moral bearings occurred in late 2000. A voice that had previously had limited impact on the larger discussion, now came suddenly and powerfully to the fore, to the center of the discourse: virulent Anti-Zionism. While some marginal voices on the extreme edges of both right and left had adopted the Palestinian claim that they were the new Jews and the Israelis the new Nazis,[xxxi] and while under combat conditions, journalists found it tempting to liken Israel to Nazi Germany (however ludicrous the comparison),[xxxii] not until the new century did the narrative that Israel was a racist, Nazi state bent on the genocide of the Palestinian people, find much traction in the Western public sphere.
There is nothing intrinsically apocalyptic about the image of Muhammad al Durah, a twelve year old boy allegedly shot to death, allegedly in the arms of his father, allegedly by IDF troops, at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip on September 30, 2000.[xxxiii] As a piece of war propaganda, designed to stir hatred and a burning passion for revenge, it was well played and skillfully manipulated by Palestinian authorities. PA TV played the footage with martial music in the background, spliced tape of an Israeli soldier firing a rifle into the footage just before Muhammad al Durah “dies,” thus identifying the IDF criminal targeting the boy.[xxxiv]
The image, however, rapidly took on mythical proportions in the Muslim public sphere: a symbol of the Al Aqsa Intifada, and a fabulous recruiting device for global Jihad. Music videos by the most popular singers and poets called on other children to join him in martyrdom. Poets sang the martyr’s praises. Osama bin Laden seized upon the tale as a central element in his recruiting video for global Jihad, thrusting before the viewer the images, even as a tremulous voice recited poetry condemning the Jews for the death, and excoriating Arab rulers for failing to take vengeance.
Jihadis seized this war propaganda and made it into a blood libel: “In killing this child, the Israelis have [revealed their intention to have] killed all the children in the world,” Bin Laden declared.[xxxv] Muhammad’s “murder” offered a warrant for apocalyptic genocide. The first suicide terrorists invoked his vengeance, and their approval ratings among fellow Palestinians shot from the 30% to 80%. Even “moderate” Imams who forbade suicide martyrdom, granted its legitimacy against Israel. During the Jenin operation against that all-out terror campaign, Sheikh Ibrahim Mahdi referred to the genocidal hadith of “the rocks and trees”:
We believe in this Hadith. We are convinced also that this Hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the land… Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters… Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land… Oh beloved, look to the East of the earth, find Japan and the ocean; look to the West of the earth, find [some] country and the ocean. Be assured that these will be owned by the Muslim nation, as the Hadith says, ‘from the ocean to the ocean.’[xxxvi]
From genocide of the Jews to conquest of the world.[xxxvii]
The most surprising, most powerful symbolic response, however, came not from Muslims, but from Europeans, who enthusiastically embraced this tale as true, and deeply meaningful, as the emblem of Palestinian suffering and Israeli merciless killing of the innocent. Indeed, completely independently of the real conflict, the Al Durah icon had the mythical power to reshape historical narrative. It “proved” the substitution theology whereby the Israelis are the new Nazis, and the Palestinians the new Jews, and permitted progressives in the West to shift allegiances fully to the side of the subaltern, to help him disseminate propaganda for a war in which they themselves were prime targets.
It explained everything: why Muslims hated Jews, and why Jews deserved that hatred; what was the problem – Israel – and how to fix it. Perhaps precisely because it was under the apocalyptic radar, not weighed down with explicit and ridiculous symbolism of UFOs under the Bermuda Triangle, but rather dressed up as a news item about something that really happened, and something that “fit” perfectly into the post-colonial paradigm, it played so pivotal a role in mainstreaming the most virulent anti-Zionism among the Western GPL. In Paris, organizations with progressive names like Mobilization against Racism (MRAP) joined groups of North African immigrants waving Hamas and Hizbullah flags and holding aloft a great banner using al Durah to equate Israel with the Nazis, and shouted “Death to the Jews!” for the first time in Europe since the Nazis. The leftist participants neither distanced themselves from that genocidal cry, nor did they denounce the wave of attacks on European Jews that continued for years.[xxxviii]
Were one to use the language of medieval religious movements, “le petit Mohamed” as the French call him, was the patron saint of a secular replacement theology in which Israel became the new Nazis (for post-war Westerners, the embodiment of evil), and the Palestinians the new Jews, and the pious act that commemorated his holy memory, was suicide terror. Nor did such extravagant symbolic rhetoric remain on the fringes. Catherine Nay, respected Europe 1 news anchor, spelled out the meaning of that graphic: “This death [sic],” she intoned “replaces, erases, the picture of the boy in the Warsaw Ghetto.” Thus the image of a child reportedly killed in a war zone replaced an image that symbolized the deliberate murder of one million children. Despite the staggering disorientation involved in such a moral judgment, Nay spoke for many.[xxxix]
One can find no single incident, no single symbol more apt to identify the folly of Europeans embracing this icon of hatred. Even as they repeatedly waved the image, a “get out of Holocaust guilt” card, before their audiences on TV, they unwittingly waved the flag of Jihad before the eyes of their restive Muslim immigrant population. Within years, their streets were filled with rioters who firebombed churches, synagogues and cars by the thousands yelling “Allahu Akhbar,” and their prisons filled with Jihadis whose first call to arms came when they saw images of Muslim suffering run on Western TV.[xl] How often in history have nations energetically diffused the war propaganda of their deadliest enemies, much less, warmly embraced them? How often have civilizations adopted an apocalyptic narrative that targeted them?
Lines of Diffusion: From Durban to BDS
One of the key elements in this tale is the role of “human rights” NGOs. In August of 2001, the UN held a global conference dedicated to combatting racism and other forms of discrimination in Durban, South Africa. The conference rapidly descended into an orgy of hatred directed not at the world’s current practitioners of slavery and genocide, but the USA and Israel who, inundated with hostility, withdrew from the conference rather than accord it legitimacy. Yassir Arafat brought Jamal al Durah with him in his personal jet, and Al Durah, paraded in effigy, presided as patron martyr of the gathering.
At Durban, NGOs from the West and the “third world” gathered to denounce Israel as a racist state, and although the final drafts of resolutions watered down some of the most extreme language, they resulted in “the Durban Strategy.”
The Durban conference crystallized the strategy of delegitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation based on the South African model. This plan is driven by UN-based groups as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which exploit the funds, slogans and rhetoric of the human rights movement.[xli]
At Durban the two unlikely allies, progressive Westerners and Jihadi imperialists agreed upon a global strategy to destroy Israel.[xlii] Knowingly or not, the GPL had adopted the Jihadi Dajjal as their enemy.
One group that formed in the immediate aftermath of the Al Durah incident, half a world away at the University of California, Berkeley, home to a (near) venerable tradition of radical politics, called themselves “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP). They and their allies would serve on campus as the cutting edge of the Jihadi cogwar: spreading lethal narratives about Israel, mobilizing support for its ostracization, allying with other radical Islamic groups, a strategy which took on new proportions with the inauguration in 2004, of Israel Apartheid Weeks. They subsequently spread to every major college campus, and constitute the most militant segment of the BDS movement. They are the ones whose latent violence keeps the direction of hostility focused on the Israelis, even among some who find themselves in the middle of a movement that is being hijacked yet fear, with good cause, to say something. They are the violence lurking behind the “summons.”
And the key to their success is moral outrage over Israel: Israel is so evil, so beyond the pale of moral discussion, that even to defend her is heinous and blameworthy. Shout down such terrible creatures.[xliii] This attitude, which first appeared in more radical circles in the early aughts (from Al Durah 2000 to Durban 2001), rapidly went mainstream. In 2002 the BBC’s equivalent of Larry King had a discussion on the topic: “Whether Israel is a morally repugnant society.”[xliv] Now, on campuses across the country, the answer is in: it is so repugnant that no one should dare try and defend her.
This is, of course, the Israel of Palestinian war propaganda disseminated and amplified as real news by lethal journalists – the child murderers, the slaughterers of civilian populations, the ruthless enemies of mankind, the Dajjal. This moral outrage targeting a scapegoat is classic fascism (in the sense of what was worst about the fascists). One should not appease such demands, especially in the case of scapegoating the Jews. Given the long and complex history of the West’s handling of the Jewish “other,”[xlv] one might expect some circumspection here before leaping to such conclusions, indeed, one might expect enough people to be courageous enough to challenge those making that leap.
Alas, this narrative about an evil Israel beyond the pale, has been fully adopted and tirelessly purveyed by the GPL over the last fifteen years: the ruthless, colonial, racist, imperialists, the post-colonial Antichrist.[xlvi] If one wants to gauge how deeply the Israel=Nazi=Dajjal apocalyptic trope has penetrated the Western public sphere, look for the degree to which this loud, incensed moral indignation dominates the BDS discussion, justified in the name of “freedom of speech”: after all, who could defend the Nazis.[xlvii] Here, the civic guerrilla tactics of the sixties, operate in alliance with, or in the service of, the worst enemies of civil society imaginable. These progressives, who think that by bringing Israel low they can then move on to further “human rights” victories, actually empower their enemies. Once Israel eliminated, they are the low-hanging fruit, not the rest of the world’s human rights abusers and racists.[xlviii] In a remarkable and terrifying way, at least where Israel is concerned, the GPL has turned into the dhimmi soldiers of global Jihad.
On Jewish Self-Criticism:
Of course, no Jewish text written for a larger audience, especially a text critical of non-Jews, can go out without some words of criticism for Jews. So let me identify one of the greatest contributors to the ability of the Jihadis to enlist the progressive left in their ranks, one that permits the false consciousness of good intentions – this is for peace! – to operate far longer than it should among people who unintentionally but consistently contribute to war. In leadership positions both within the BDS movement and supporting it from without, there are a host of Jewish progressives who want to show their commitment to world redemption by accepting the lethal narratives about Israel, and thus prove their bona fides. Scholars have extensively chronicled this old and disturbing phenomenon that goes back at least a millennium.[xlix]
In the wake of Al Durah, for example, a new contingent of such Jews cropped up with particular vigor in France, people who had made the careers as successful, if invisible Jews, all of a sudden feeling they must, “as a Jew…” denounce the heinous crimes of the Israelis. These “alter-juifs” as their critics call them, dominated the public discussion in the aughts.[l] In Anthony Julius’ apt phrase, they’re “proud to be ashamed to be Jew.”[li] Anyone who had the slightest whiff of communautarisme (partisanship), got sidelined.[lii] Among such Jews, we find Judith Butler, who applies her most stringent standards of pacifism to Judaism (thou shalt not exercise sovereignty) even as she accepts Hamas and Hizbullah into the “anti-imperialist” global progressive left.[liii] Indeed, one might even identify an actual religious movement among such Jews, a tikkun olam (reparing the world) that believes that in sacrificing Israel, Jews will contribute to global peace.[liv]
This is a messianic syndrome, a kind of masochistic omnipotence fantasy in which, since everything is our (we Jews’) fault, if only we could change, we could fix everything. It invokes the prophetic tradition to insist on moral perfectionism, although the prophets did not write their scathing (and rhetorically inflated) criticism for a non-Jewish audience. It’s not enough for these Jewish critics that Israel matches or surpasses every marker of the most “advanced” armies for respect for enemy civilian lives, for civic and human rights to populations in wartime, for tolerance of criticism… No. Israel must live up to its own exalted standards. And anything short of that standard, deserves loud and public denunciations in the most heated and uncompromising rhetoric.[lv]
We end up with a post-modern moral inversion. If the tribal attitude is “my side right or wrong,” and the civil attitude is “whoever’s right, my side or not,” then the post-modern position has become, “their side right or wrong.” Some Jews have become leaders in the poisonous marriage of pre-modern sadism – “you, the imperialist, racist whites are evil and we must kill you” – and post-modern masochism – “you, the subaltern indigenes, are right; we deserve it.” Hence, Jews, even Israelis, who compare their own people to Nazis.
Of all the Western answers to the Jihadi prayer for allies, none has proven so valuable: they gave legitimacy to his lethal narratives even as they attack as “Israel-firsters,” those who resist. Of all the people duped by Jihadis, one might argue, these are the most lamentable. Those Jewish academics and public intellectuals who have consistently and loudly denounced Israel, who are suddenly alarmed at the hostility on campus to not just Zionism but to Jews, need to ask themselves how much they, in ignoring the forces and work, in dismissing their critics as “right-wing fanatics” and in obsessing publicly on Israel’s crimes, actually fueled that hostility.[lvi]
But leave the Jews aside. Why on earth would sound non-Jewish minds want to take such troubled advocates as guides either to morality or to empirical reality? On the contrary, I’d argue that the only way for the democratic, multi-cultural, tolerant, self-critical, progressive West to survive the Jihadi attack, is to resist those juicy morsels of moral Schadenfreude about Jews behaving badly, and the unconscious racism of moral expectations involved, even (especially) when offered up by Jews. All the more reason to resist the temptation when the lethal narratives are not only inaccurate, but wrapped up as descriptions of an apocalyptic evil.
Ironically, to save itself, the West must genuinely renounce its long romance with Judeophobia which, right now, constitutes its single greatest vulnerability.
[i] A serious examination of the validity of the accusations used by BDS advocates against Israel would probably find over 85-90% of them either untrue or seriously distorted.
[ii] Landes, Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience (New York: Oxford, 2011), chaps. 7 (Taiping), 11 (Communism) and 12 (Nazism). Estimates for deaths resulting from Soviet and Maoist efforts to complete the “revolution” range from 50 to over 100 million dead, Jean-Louis Panné et al., The Black Book of Communism (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).
[iii] Ironically, for all the calls “to listen to what the ‘terrorists’ [sic] have to say,” pronounced by open-minded Westerners (here, Neal Ascherson, “September 11,” London Review of Books, 23:19 [October, 2001]; http://www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n19/nine-eleven-writers/11-september), this call has served mostly as an occasion to project one’s own critiques of America onto the Jihadis. Most people, especially on the GPL, have no idea what the ‘terrorists’ have to say. See, e.g., Ross Caputi, “The Vicious Cycle of Jihadism and Patriotism,” Common Dreams, May 2, 2012; https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/02-1. This is true on the “right” as well as the “left”, Dinesh D’Souza, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and its Responsibility for 9-11 (New York: Doubleday, 2007).
[iv] The following discussion is based on the following works on the apocalyptic dimension of Islam in the current period: Timothy Furnish, Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden (New York: Praeger, 2005); Laurent Murawiec, The Mind of Jihad (New York: Oxford, 2006); David Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008); Landes, Heaven on Earth, chap. 14; Jean Pierre Filiu, Apocalypse in Islam (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2011).
[v] Dar al Islam means the land/realm of submission to Allah, i.e., lands where Muslims rule and Sharia governs the lives of both Muslims and Dhimmi (“protected” infidels); Dar al Harb means the land/realm of the sword, i.e., the land of war, where (Kufar) infidels are independent (harbi = inhabitants of Dar al Harb, destined to the sword). Although these concepts and their view of the world are already implied in many Qur’anic surahs and hadith, they only become formalized in the writings of al-Hanafi, in the early 2nd century of Islam (8th century CE). Despite ups and downs throughout Muslim history, Jihadis have revived them in our day.
[vi] For a recent case of Jihadis imposing the dhimma contract on kufar, see the case in Northern Syria: Mark Mouvsesian, “In Syria, the Dhimma Returns,” First Things, March 2014; http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/03/in-syria-the-dhimma-returns.
[vii] The words of Bassem Jarrar, Palestinian apocalyptic writer, immensely popular with Hamas, on Yusef al Qaradawi’s website, cited in Dore Gold, The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West and the Future of the Holy City (Washington DC: Regnery, 2007), p. 237.
[viii] Role of women in “signs of the end,” see Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, 52-54. For a current example, see the writings of Imran Nazar Hosein, “Ten Major Signs of the Last Day – Has One Just Occurred,” http://www.imranhosein.org/articles/signs-of-the-last-day/76-ten-major-signs-of-the-last-day-has-one-just-occurred.html.
[ix] H. ‘Abd al-Hamid, 1996, 64; Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, 199-20. Cook points out how modern Muslim apocalyptic borrows extensively from Christian apocalyptic literature from the Bible to Hal Lindsay.
[x] Arif, Nihayat al-Yahud, 85, cited in Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, 220.
[xi] For the best description of this apocalyptic matrix for shahidah, see Anne-Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg, The Road to Martyrs’ Square: A Journey into the World of the Suicide Bomber (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).
[xii] Hamas MP Al-Astal, March 6, 2014, on the Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV, broadcasting from Gaza, MEMRI translation; http://www.memri.org/clip_transcript/en/4202.htm.
[xiii] “Islam is the religion that will dominate over all others,” Quran Tafsir Ibn Kathir: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2563&Itemid=64. Not all Muslims believe this, and still fewer believe that dominion should come about through violent imposition, but it is unquestionably a belief within Islam, and lies at the heart of the current Muslim millennial dream: global Sharia. The belief that there is no such thing as an innocent infidel, and that terrorism can legitimately target infidel civilians, derives from this teaching of absolute superiority. See Anjem Choudhary in response to the BBC’s Steven Sackur’s attempt to get a condemnation from him of the London 7-7 bombings: “Look, at the end of the day innocent people, when we say “innocent people” we mean Muslims. As far as non-Muslims are concerned they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God.”; http://keeptonyblairforpm.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/transcript-anjem-choudary-hardtalk-interview-77-london-bombings/#transcript.
[xiv] In the period just before the “conversion” of the Roman Empire to Christianity, one of the major ideologues of that development, Eusebius of Caesaria, wrote a book called Praeparatio Evangelici, the preparation of the Gospels, in which he argued that the Roman Empire, traditionally viewed as an apocalyptic enemy (The Whore of Babylon), was actually, unwittingly, the vehicle for the spread of Christianity: its ‘global’ imposition of ‘peace’ allowed the salvific message to spread to the four corners of the world, and set up the Christian take-over of the very empire that persecuted it. On the notion of hostile outside forces proving to be vehicles for one’s own redemptive movement, see Sefi Rachlevsky, Hamoro shel Meshiach [Messiah’s Donkey] (Tel Aviv: Yediot Aharonot, 1998), where he analyzes both Rav Kook’s attitude towards secular Zionism, and Christian premillennialists’ view of Jewish Zionism.
[xv] Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, 49-58.
[xvi] Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, chap. 2, 9 (Israel) and chap. 7 (US).
[xvii] For a tragic example, see the case of the Xhosa “cattle slayers”, in Landes, Heaven on Earth, chap. 4.
[xviii] Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Speech as Muslim Arab Youth Association, Toledo Ohio, 1995; http://www.investigativeproject.org/profile/167. On Da’wa, a term most Westerners do not know, see David Bukay, “Islamic Da’wah for Dummies,” American Center for Democracy, March 5, 2014; http://acdemocracy.org/islamic-dawah-for-dummies/. See also, McCarthy, The Grand Jihad, chap. 5.
[xix] Landes, “From Useful Idiot to Useful Infidel: Meditations on the Folly of 21st Century ‘Intellectuals’,” in Intellectuals and Terror: the Fatal Attraction, ed. Anna Geifman and Helena Rimon, special issue of the journal Terrorism and Political Violence, 25:4 (2013): 621-34.
[xx] In the following discussion, I will refer in this essay to the broad range of groups that engage in apocalyptic Jihad, whether overt or covert, as the Global Jihadi Right (GJR), since their values correspond closely to what we in the West consider extreme “right-wing” tendencies – killing, domination, hatred and contempt for the “other”. In the same vein, I refer to the Global Progressive Left (GPL) to designate that cluster of progressive groups who treasure the opposite values – nurturing, egalitarian freedoms, empathy for and openness to the “other.”
[xxi] Most of the documentation of this alliance is profoundly hostile to it (understandably), and too easily dismissed by progressives as “right-wing.” Whatever one feels about the conclusions, and however painful the material and occasionally grating some of the rhetoric, these studies are important to read for their extensive documentation. See David Horowitz, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left (Washington DC: Regnery, 2004); Jamie Glazov, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror (New York: WND Books, 2009); Andrew McCarthy, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (Encounter Books, 2010); Richard Cravatts, Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews (Shermon Oaks, CA: David Horowitz Freedom Center, 2012).
[xxii] Landes, “Final Battle,” Tablet Magazine, August 21, 2011; http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/76511/final-battle/.
[xxiii] Jean Baudrillard, “The Spirit of Terrorism,” Le Monde, November 2, 2001 (tr. Rachel Bloul [http://www.egs.edu/faculty/baudrillard/baudrillard-the-spirit-of-terrorism.html]. Richard Wolin, “September 11 and the Self-Castigating Left,” South Central Review 19 (Summer, 2002), pp. 39-49. John Miller, “When terrorist response is justified – an interview with Osama Bin Laden”; http://www.justresponse.net/Bin_Laden3.html.
[xxiv] See, for example, the series of responses to 9-11 in the London Review of Books, summed up by one reader as “America had it coming.” “11 September,” Vol. 23 No. 19 · 4 October 2001; http://www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n19/nine-eleven-writers/11-september. Olivier Roy argued that Bin Laden “Islamized a latent anti-Americanism,” cited in Taguieff, Nouvelle judéophobie, p. 116, n. 185.
[xxv] The literature on Anti-Americanism is vast, in particular since 2000. For a good bibliography, see Keith Beattie And Ian Gordon, “Anti-Americanism: Recent Sources,” Australasian Journal Of American Studies, 2004; http://www.anzasa.arts.usyd.edu.au/a.j.a.s/Articles/2_03/Beattie%20Gordon.pdf. See also, Andre Markovics, Uncouth Nation (Princeton University Press, 2007). Recent sober reflection by John Loyd, “How anti-Americanism betrays the left,” The Guardian (March 16, 2014); http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/mar/17/world.comment.
[xxvi] The tale of Western “left” conspiracy thinking about 9-11 is long and complex. On the spread of the Protocols analog thinking, see Chip Berlet, “Protocols to the Left, Protocols to the Right: Conspiracism in American Political Discourse at the turn of the Second Millennium,” in Paranoid Apocalypse: : A Hundred Year Retrospective on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, ed. Richard Landes and Steven Katz (New York: NYU Press, 2011), chap. 14; more broadly, Landes, “Jews as Contested Ground in Post-Modern Conspiracy Theory,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 19:3-4 (2007): 9-34.
[xxvii] The Workers Revolutionary party remarked, “Another banner on the march proclaimed ‘We are Hamas’, demonstrating the mass support for the elected Palestinian government in Gaza by both the Palestinian people and people all over the world.”; http://www.wrp.org.uk/news/3873; and by George Galloway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJccllIxeEU. Speakers on the podium shouted, “Victory to Hamas!” to rounds of applause: Peter Tatchell, Guardian, February 18, 2009; http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/feb/18/hamas-palestine-israel-human-rights.
[xxviii] Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), 14; cited by Nick Cohen, What’s Left? How Liberals Lost their Way (London: Fourth Estate, 2007), 17. For an excellent analysis of the moral disorientation of the “anti-war” rally of 2003, see Cohen’s discussion, What’s Left?, chap. 7.
[xxix] “The Jews whom the Messiah [Jesus] will kill on that day are those who come with the Antichrist… at that time al-Aqsa Mosque will be in the hands of the Muslims and Jerusalem will be the capital of the Caliphate, all of which is incompatible with the present situation.” Hawwa, 1985, 6:3041; Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, 111-12.
[xxx] Stephanie Gutman, The Other War: Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy (New York: Encounter Books, 2005); Landes, “Meditations on Reutersgate: What’s Going on in the Media,” Augean Stables, August 10, 2006; http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2006/08/10/meditations-on-reutersgate-whats-going-on-in-the-msm/; Landes, “Lethal Journalism and Al Durah Journalism,” http://aldurah.com/lethal-journalism/.
[xxxi] Early examples of secular replacement theology arise within the context of Soviet-Palestinian coordination: Joel S. Fishman, “The Big Lie And The Media War Against Israel: From Inversion Of The Truth To Inversion Of Reality,” Jewish Political Studies Review 19:1-2 (Spring 5767/2007); http://www.danielpipes.org/rr/4465.php; Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 2013), chap. 14.
[xxxii] During the Israeli siege of southern Beirut in 1982, Newsweek compared Beirut to the Warsaw Ghetto, Joshua Muravchik, “Misreporting Lebanon,” Policy Review, 23 (Winter 1983): 14.
[xxxiii] This is not the place to explore the extensive evidence that this scene was staged, hence pure war propaganda, and the role of lethal journalists in not only spreading it, but resisting any criticism as an infringement on the “freedom of the press.” For evidence, see Aldurah Project: http://aldurah.com/the-al-durah-incident/the-evidence/; for lethal journalism, see http://aldurah.com/lethal-journalism/.
[xxxiv] No single piece of evidence better illustrates the gap between the principles of Western and Palestinian journalism than the response of the news editor responsible for this “editing”: “it’s an artistic way to tell the truth, and we never forget our journalistic commitment to tell the truth and nothing but the truth”; http://youtu.be/E2xHB35umcU. Some Western “progressives” defended this “higher truth,” see Jeff Weintraub’s critique: “The Truth of Mohammed al-Dura – If iconic imagery makes for powerful propaganda, should we treat questions of historical truth or falsehood as irrelevant?” May 20, 2013; http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.co.il/2013/05/the-truth-of-mohammed-al-dura-if-iconic.html.
[xxxv] Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, ed. Bruce Lawrence (London: Verso, 2005), 147-8. The brackets fill in the gaps between reality and dream state so easily jumped over by apocalyptic thinkers. The lethal core of the blood libel, whether a ritual murder done in secret, or a murder done by armed soldiers in public, is the claim that this story is part of a larger project of mass murder.
[xxxvi] Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi at the Sheikh ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza City, broadcast live on April 12, 2002, PA TV.
[xxxvii] See Dore Gold, “Jerusalem as Launching Pad for Future Global Jihadism,” Fight for Jerusalem, 239-43.
[xxxviii] Pierre Andre Taguieff, Rising from the Muck: The New Anti-Semitism in Europe (Chicago: Ivan Dee, 2004); Shmuel Trigano, “Les juifs de France visés par l’Intifada?” Observatoire du monde juif, 1 (November 2000); http://obs.monde.juif.free.fr/pdf/omj01.pdf, and subsequent issues treating various aspects of the phenomenon.
[xxxix] After a decade of lethal journalism, almost half the population of Germany and Great Britain believes that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians: Intolerance, Prejudice and Discrimination: A European Report (Forum Berlin, 2011), 57; http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/do/07908-20110311.pdf.
[xl] Farhad Khosrokhavar, Quand Al-Qaïda parle: Témoignages derrière les barreaux (Paris: Grasset & Fasquelle, 2006). A large body of Muslims in the diaspora “alienated and alone, bonded over a feeling of Muslim victimhood as observed on television and in pictures of wars involving Muslims.” Marc Sageman, Understanding Terror Networks (Philadelphia: Penn Press, 2005), chap.3. See also: “Identification with the traumas of others and secondary traumatization occurring by “witnessing,” over the internet or television, vivid images of injustices enacted on others with whom one identifies as fictive kin, (i.e. the brotherhood of Muslims) may also resonate with individual feelings of being disaffected.” Anne Speckhard, “Understanding Suicide Terrorism: Countering Human Bombs and Their Senders” in Topics in Terrorism: Toward a Transatlantic Consensus on the Nature of the Threat” (Volume I), Eds. Jason S. Purcell & Joshua D. Weintraub Atlantic Council Publication, 2005 [http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/alumni/news_items/speckhard/uanderstanding%20_suicide.pdf].
[xli] Gerald Steinberg, “The Durban Strategy,” Jerusalem Post, September 11, 2005; http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/_the_durban_strategy_.
[xlii] Gerald Steinberg, “The Centrality of NGOs in the Durban Strategy,” Yale Israel Journal, Summer, 2006; http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/_the_centrality_of_ngos_in_the_durban_strategy_.
[xliii] Among the many examples, Adam Kredo, “Pro-Israel Students Called ‘Kike,’ ‘Dirty Jew’ at University of Michigan,” Washington Free Beacon, March 24, 2014; http://freebeacon.com/issues/pro-israel-students-called-kike-dirty-jew-at-university-of-michigan/.
[xliv] Douglas Davis, “The BBC is quickly becoming one of the world’s ‘kosher’ purveyors of hate,” Jewish World Review, July 24, 2002; http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0702/davis_bbc.html.
[xlv] Most recently, David Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (New York: W.W. Norton, 2013).
[xlvi] Robin Shepherd, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem With Israel (London: Orion Books, 2009).
[xlvii] For a list of such intimidating tactics on campus, see “A Toxic Campus Environment,” BDS Cookbook, http://www.stopbds.com/?page_id=4. The response has been to invoke academic freedom and accuse those who object to these tactics as racists and censors.
[xlviii] “The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel [i.e. first] is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.” Klein, “Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction.”
[xlix] Sander Gillman, Jewish Self-Hatred (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986); Barry Rubin, Assimilation and Its Discontents (New York: Times Books, 1995), chap. 6. See also Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal.
[l] Alter-Juif, ed. Trigano; also known as “asajew”, or “Theobald Jew” (for the Jewish convert who first promoted the blood libel in 12th century England); see “The Guardian’s anti-Israel Jews, and a letter to my teenage nephew,” CiF Watch, August 11, 2010; http://cifwatch.com/2010/08/11/the-guardians-anti-israel-jews-and-a-letter-to-my-teenage-nephew/. For the prominent role of such anti-Zionist Jews in promoting BDS, see Gerald Steinberg and Yitzak Santis, “On Jew-Washing and BDS,” The Jewish Week, July 24, 2012; http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/opinion/jew-washing-and-bds.
[li] For a description of this at work, see the sardonic novel of Jacobson, The Finkler Question (London: Bloomsbury, 2010); and more analytically in Nidra Poller, Al Dura: Long Range Ballistic Myth (Paris: authorship international, 2014).
[lii] See the remarkable case of Alain Finkielkraut who had the nerve to question the orthodoxy that the riotsof 2005 had nothing to do with Islam: “Finkielkraut’s Plain Talk On Race,” New York Sun,
November 29, 2005; http://www.nysun.com/opinion/finkielkrauts-plain-talk-on-race/23689/.
[liii] On the controversy concerning Butler and the Adorno Prize in 2012, see Landes, “Judith Butler and the Adorno Prize: A Preliminary Annotated Bibliography, Augean Stables, September 13, 2012: http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2012/09/13/judith-butler-and-the-adorno-prize-a-preliminary-annotated-bibliography/. See also climate-change activist Naomi Klein, endorser of BDS, “Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction,” The Nation, January 26, 2009; http://www.thenation.com/article/israel-boycott-divest-sanction.
[liv] For a critique of “tikkun olam,” see Landes, “Does Burston really think it’s legitimate to view BDS as Tikkun Olam?” Augean Stables, December 18, 2010: http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/12/18/does-burston-really-think-its-legitimate-to-view-bds-as-tikkun-olam/. Good illustration of this phenomenon is the “Jewish Voice for Peace” (http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/), prominent proponents of BDS.
[lv] Note that while these critics of Israel invoke their role as modern-day prophets, they do what no prophet would have done, which is take their scathing criticism of their own people, itself a form of flagellating rhetoric (you are as bad as Sodom), and publish it among their people’s enemies. For a good discussion of the phenomenon and its effects, see Alvin Rosenfeld, “Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism.” AJC, NY, 2006; http://www.ajc.org/atf/cf/%7B42D75369-D582-4380-8395-D25925B85EAF%7D/PROGRESSIVE_JEWISH_THOUGHT.PDF); for a critique of the liberals who attacked Rosenfeld and defended the radicals, see Landes, “Jewish Hypercritics of Israel Criticized: How Dare You?” Augean Stables, February 1, 2007; http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2007/02/01/jewish-hypercritics-of-israel-criticized-how-dare-you/.
[lvi] One of the more interesting cases of this phenomenon is Phillip Weiss, one of the most prolific injection points of lethal narratives about Israel into the public sphere. Having witnessed the behavior of the BDS supporters at Vassar, he wrote: “No, the spirit of that young progressive space was that Israel is a blot on civilization, and boycott is right and necessary,” Weiss, “Ululating at Vassar: the Israel/Palestine conflict comes to America,” Mondoweiss, March 20, 2014; http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/ululating-israelpalestine-conflict.html.