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Modern Arab Propaganda has incorporated Nazi Propaganda

The charge of aggression by existence, however, was only the opening... The next phase was the charge of further aggression by expansion.

The Arabsí rejection of the Jewish state in any form was deepened and sharpened by another development. Though subjective and contrived, it held a momentous and ugly significance. As though to harden themselves and their people against any weakening of resolve, against any tendency to come to rational terms with Israel as an existing fact, the Arab intellectuals and leaders evolved a comprehensive creed, an ideology of hatred, to justify the physical destruction of the Jewish state, even the extermination of its people.

Little heed has been paid to this phenomenon outside the Arab states, even by the prospective victim herself. Just as the program outlined in Hitler's Mein Kampf was largely ignored and his prescription for the "solution of the Jewish problem" dismissed as the rantings of an unbalanced mind, so presumably has the stated purpose of the Arabs been treated as too incredible to be taken seriously, despite the frequency and the unanimity with which it is expressed in speech and in writing. As much of it as has been translated has apparently been assumed to be fringe literature. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This literature consists of hundreds of books published since 1948 in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, in addition to thousands of articles. They range from the vulgar and the primitive to the sophisticated and pseudo-scholarly. Their theme is that the liquidation of Israel is not only a political necessity, but also a moral imperative; that Israel and its people -indeed, the Jewish people as a whole-are by their very nature evil; that it is thus not only desirable, but even permissible, to destroy them. This doctrine has been compounded by a large measure of old-fashioned anti-Semitism. In comprehensiveness and absence of restraint, the Arab demonology probably goes farther even than the worst excesses by the German Nazis heralding their "final solution" of the Jewish problem.1

There were cases after 1948 where Arabs with a Western education were compelled to admit that, if Egypt was governing Gaza-which was certainly not part of Egypt-and if the government of Transjordan was governing eastern Jerusalem-which was not part of Transiordan-it did indeed seem to be the Arab states that had invaded western Palestine. Yet the Arab attack, they claimed, was an act of self-defense. For the establishment of the Jewish state was as such an act of aggression against the Arab people. Israel-was established in order to destroy Arab nationalism. This was a constant theme with Abdel Nasser. "we all know," he said, for example, on May 14, 1956, the eighth anniversary of the birth of Israel, "why Israel was established. Not only to set -up a National Home, but to be one of the factors in liquidating Arab nation.

Any Arab attack on Israel was therefore an act of self-defense, any act by Israel to defend herself against attack was a new act of Zionist aggression. Consequently, when Israel retaliated against Arab sabotage and murder across the Armistice lines, it was Israel that had committed a breach of the Armistice Agreement. Moreover, every achievement by Israel that strengthens her or improves living conditions in the state is considered an act of aggression against the Arab people-- the opening of the new Knesset building in 1966 was one such act of aggression. Any act of friendship toward Israel by any state or individual is a hostile act toward the Arab people.

The charge of aggression by existence, however, was only the opening of the Arabs' black charter. The next phase was the charge of further aggression by expansion. A considerable literature thus developed on Israelís plans to expand at the expense of the Arab states. A Syrian Ba'ath Party Conference resolution in October 1966 declared that Israel "serves as a solid base for attack, to secure the interests both of imperialism in the zone and of the reactionary regimes-- threatening constantly to swallow other portions of the Arab homeland and to destroy their Arab qualities."2

The forces at the disposal of Zionism throughout the world are capable, once they strike roots in Palestine, of threatening all the Arab countries and to be a frightening and constant danger to their lives. The means employed by the Zionist forces for growing and expanding will put the Arab world at their mercy, paralyse its vitality and prevent its progress and improvement in the scale of civilisation-if the Arab is allowed to continue to exist at all.3 It is thus an accepted belief throughout the Arab world that there is a map on the wall of the Knesset in Israel delineating the borders of Israel in accordance with the divine promise in the Bible: from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt.

The charge of expansionism was, however, not in itself enough. It was elaborated to read that it is not the desire for expansion that motivates Israel, but sheer hatred of the Arab people. Israel seeks to destroy their unity, she is the enemy of their liberation, their independence, their progress. "Israel has an abiding hatred of all that we do for our advancement," wrote one Arab author, "because our advancement spells death to Israel."

Distributed throughout Arabic literature is a substantial list of activities pursued by Israel to this end. Israel is said to have interfered in various international negotiations to prevent the grant of loans and other forms of aid to Arab countries, in order to keep them backward. Again, Israel has been fighting Arab culture. In order to minimise and distort Arab achievements and capacities, Israel executed a comprehensive plan for installing Israeli lecturers in American universities to teach the Arabic language and culture. This was done in such a way as to bring the Arabs into contempt. In Africa-so the Africans are told -- Israel has distributed falsified copies of the Koran and of various Christian writings.

Inevitably, considerable competition reigned among Arab writers and politicians in the composition of frightening descriptions of the state of the Arab minority living in Israel. Israel was depicted as enforcing a brutal oppressive rule over the Arabs, depriving them of all civil rights, even preventing them from making a living. Arabs in Israel, the story continues, had no recourse to civil courts, being tried only by military courts. Their lands and their water for irrigation-were taken from them. There was not a single Arab among the 35,000 civil servants. They were prevented from opening their own schools, where their children could be taught Arabic. They were prevented from celebrating their holidays. Special taxes were imposed on them. As for religion, they were simply prevented from going to their mosques. Moslem (and Christian) holy places were constantly under "attack" by the Israeli authorities.

Now the onslaught deepened. It was not only in relation to the Arabs that Israel was portrayed pejoratively. The people of Israel were said to be inherently evil. They were frustrated by failure, and as a form of compensation, they let the army rule them. They were cowards, quaking even during times of quiet at every sign of progress in the Arab countries. In battle they ran away at the very sight of the brave Arab fighter. Their victories in war were won for them by the imperialists.

The Israelis were corrupt. The government, the army, and the police, all co-operated with smugglers, thieves, drug peddlers, and white-slave traffickers. In fact, there was no government in Israel to speak of; the country was headed by a number of criminal gangs who had become a ruling class.

Yet the vilification of Israel and of its people was only a part, perhaps the smaller part, of the incredible demonic structure built around its image. The Arabs made a comprehensive effort to create around the Jewish people as a whole an atmosphere of hatred and contempt intended to smooth the path, when it becomes physically possible, to their extirpation.

At first the Arabs applied practical anti-Jewish measures: They extended their economic boycott of Israel to Jews as such everywhere. In the Arab states, trade with American companies, for example, is conditional on their owners, managers, and employees sent to serve in the Arab country being non-Jews. In at least one case, under pressure from the Libyan government, an oil company stopped using on its ships Swedish safety matches carrying a trademark similar to the Star of David.

The leaders of Arab thought gathered up all the well-worn and some long-forgotten themes of Western Christian horror stories about the Jews and added whatever was available in the Koran and other Moslem writings as well as pearls of their own wisdom and presented the finished brew as "well-known" facts. Throughout all these writings runs the common theme that all Jews are the lowest, most contemptible people in creation. They are arrogant, domineering, and cunning; they are treacherous and cowardly; they are mercenary and wanton; they are liars and swindlers. They used to destroy states from within by Communist subversion; though now, since the Arab alliance with Soviet Russia, they destroy them as capitalists and colonialists by lending money to governments at exorbitant interest. They hate each other and everybody else. They are parasites who hate hard work, which is why there are no Jewish farmers. They think of themselves as the Chosen People and interpret this as the right to commit any crime with impunity.

Their Bible is an immoral book, being an emanation of the Jewish spirit, which is intrinsically evil. The Talmud is no less immoral. By it the Jew, who is forbidden to steal, is yet permitted to steal from non-Jews; forbidden to commit adultery, he is permitted to take his neighbour's wife if the neighbour is not Jewish; forbidden to kill, he may yet kill a non-Jew.

This demonology gone berserk was further provided with frequent supporting quotations from Western anti-Semitic sources, such as Hitler or Rosenberg in Germany, Leese or Jordan in England; from ancient Moslem sources; sometimes, in imitation of the sophisticated Western anti-Semites, even from Jewish sources.

On the foundations thus laid, the Arabs proceeded, exactly as had the Nazis, to level the accusations of specific contemporary evil against the Jewish people which, in Europe, led logically to the "final solution" of the gas chambers. Thus (borrowing from the Nazis), they charged the Jews specifically with having corrupted the pure Moslem and Christian society in Palestine by bringing prostitution to the country. They borrowed from old Moslem literature to charge them with practising witchcraft to achieve their ends. Borrowing once again from Western sources, they held the Jews the eternal enemies of humanity, responsible also for two world wars.

The list is long; nothing is omitted. The Arabs do not hesitate to draw on the lowest depths of twentieth- century anti-Semitic incitement. They became the revivers of the blood libel. The accusation that the Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children for religious purposes, usually on the Passover, is disseminated as historic truth over a substantial range of Arabic literature since 1948. Everything that was ever written by European haters of the Jews in order to provoke pogroms, and by the Christian anti-Semites who, to the same end, introduced the blood libel into the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century, is now reproduced by the Arabs. A book designed to indoctrinate the blood libel was published under the authority of the Egyptian government in 1962.

Further, the Arabs having committed themselves to the purpose of annihilation, exploited the most notorious of all the Christian anti-Semitic fabrications: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which has long been a central pillar of the vast edifice of anti-Semitic indoctrination. More than any other book in the first half of the twentieth century, the Protocols provided the ideological justification for the physical destruction of the Jewish people. It was employed in Tsarist Russian anti-Semitism, it was one of the textbooks of German Nazism, and it has been called the "father of the Holocaust."4 The Protocols were taken up by the Arab leaders of thought as a major weapon in their campaign to prepare the ground once again for the ex termination of the Jewish people. No fewer than seven Arabic translations of the full text were published between 1949 and 1967. Harkabi lists five additional books containing précis of the Protocols and thirty-three in which the Protocols are quoted with approval.

Imperceptibly, as though it were self-understood, even this most comprehensive of anti-Semitic libels has been woven into the official "doctrine" of the Arab governments. The Prime Minister of Iraq, in an official letter sent on his behalf by the head of his secretariat, expressed his appreciation to the translator of one of the Arabic editions of the Protocols in 1967. More significantly, Abdel Nasser called the Protocols to the attention of a visiting Indian writer, assuring him that it "proved beyond any shadow of doubt that three hundred Zionists control the-destinies of Europe."5

To insure total and most fruitful insemination of their doctrine, the Arab leaders then compiled a curriculum of hatred for use by their children. The anti-Israel and anti-Jewish catalog became a basic element in the study of history in the schools, which began with teaching "ancient Jewish history" to ten-year-olds in the fourth grade. It was also injected, more subtly and insidiously, into subjects completely- unrelated to political or national affairs. Geography, grammar, literary readings, arithmetic, both in the classroom and in hundreds of textbooks, inculcated the theme of the Zionist or the Jew as the embodiment of evil, the ultimate bogeyman, the proper object for "killing" or "destroying."

Arab children are taught the blood libel. In 1962, the Egyptian government produced for use in the schools a reprint of an old text on the blood libel, Talmudic Human Sacrifices. The new edition contains an up-to-date foreword by Abdel Qati Jalal, which states: "The Talmud believes that the Jews are made of different material from the rest of mankind, those who do not share the beliefs of the Jews being animals devoid of sense or they are servants and chattels of the Jews.... Their wise men laid it down that there is no but their own desire, and no doctrine but their own They commanded their people to bring harm to the other peoples, to kill their children, suck their blood, and take away their wealth." This book, like others on the same theme, recounts the story of a number of the blood libels in history and presents them to the children of Egypt as proven truth. Nor did the education authorities overlook the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This is taught to Arab teenagers as a factual work, a Jewish admission of the conspiracy to dominate the world.

Under the auspices of the state, the new generation of Arabs is brought up to hate, despise, and fear the Jews; to believe not only that it is right and proper for every good and self-respecting Arab to fight the Jewish state, but that it is just and desirable and even vital to destroy it; that it is necessary not only to destroy Israel, but also to treat its inhabitants like an evil growth that must be extirpated.

The annihilation of Israel and of its people is thus not merely a convenient political objective. It has become a self-understood purpose demanded by the Arab future no less than by Arab history, by Arab honour and pride no less than by Arab pragmatic interest. It has become basic to all Arab thinking, and it is not kept secret. No Arab politician and-with the exception of one or two notable exiles6 -- no Arab m intellectual has expressed contradictory opinions.

1. The catalog of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attack is a very long one. So far only one scholar has ventured on the task of examining in detail this horrifying aspect of the Arab war on Israel. Yehoshafat Harkabi has made a study at once comprehensive and penetrating of the major part of this literature. What began as a doctoral thesis before 1967 developed into several major works. They are all presented with scholarly restraint and almost line-by-line documentation from thousands of publications and speeches, mainly after 1948. The people of Israel, and liberal-minded people everywhere, owe Dr. Harkabi (formerly a general on the Israel Defence Force General Staff) a debt of gratitude for the painstaking and tireless research which may arouse an awareness of the monstrous ideology of hatred that has been injected into the public mind in the Arab countries and beyond. The material in the following pages is based largely on Dr. Harkabi's central work, now available in English: Arab Attitudes toward Israel (Tel Aviv, 1972).

2. Harkabi, Fatah p. 30, quoting Anabtawi, Palestinian Documents, II, p. 481.

3. Constantine Zurayk, The Meaning of Disaster (Beirut, 1956), p. 69.

4. By Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of Zion (London, 1967). 

5. R. K. Karanjia, The Arab Dawn (Bombay, 1958), p. 330.

6. "The Algerian writer in exile Abdel Razek Kader has boldly championed Israel's cause. See his reasoned article, "Real Enemy of the Palestinian People" in the Jerusalem Post, January 8, 1969. 

This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst 
Brooklyn, New York 
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Source: "Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine" by Samuel Katz, 
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Copyright © 1973, 1977, 1978, 1985 by Samuel Katz.
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Portions Copyright © 2001 Joseph Katz