Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What Would We Do without Middle Eastern Blood Libels?

Here is the latest from honorary Hedgehog and friend of this blog Ralph Kostant:

The blood of the victims of the Sharm el-Sheikh bombs had hardly dried on the streets before Egyptian "security experts" were spreading a 21st century blood libel, charging that Israel and the Jews were behind the atrocities, as this article from the July 23, 2005 Jerusalem Post demonstrates. In the United States, legitimate security analysts such as Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes are frequently pilloried by the Left and Moslem apologists for merely stating the truth, that most acts of terrorism in the world today are perpetrated by Islamic extremists. In contrast, the Arab world, including official media outlets in Egypt, whose content is closely controlled by the Egyptian government, have in the past not only downplayed the role of Islamic extremists, but also have almost hysterically blamed the Israel and the Jews, as well as the United States and India, not for only terrorist attacks, but also for natural disasters such as the Southeast Asian tsunami, as evidenced by this January 5, 2005 story from the Jerusalem Post.

Hedgehog Blog readers may also recall the hit song (and music video) by an Egyptian pop singer, Shaaban Abdel-Rehim, “Hitting Iraq,” which presented the invasion of Iraq as a Bush-Sharon conspiracy, and blamed the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center on Israel. Its sales apparently matched the same singer’s earlier mega hit, “I hate Israel.” Here is a favorable review of “Hitting Iraq” and “I Hate Israel” from the leading, main-stream Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, as reproduced on the official Egyptian State Information Service website! The Arab press has circulated many stories to the effect that Israel gave advanced warning of the 9/11 attacks to Jews, who all stayed home from work. The sad truth, of course, is that many, many Jews lost theirs lives on 9/11, in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon and on the hijacked planes.

My impression is that, incredibly, these ridiculous charges are not merely disinformation of the old Communist propaganda variety, but are actually believed by many of the Arabs who spread the stories, even as they make the libels up themselves. Fouad Ajami once wrote a book called The Dream Palace of the Arabs, which in part describes the hold that fantasy and paranoia have on Arab political thought. This mindset makes the struggle against Islamic extremism only that much harder.

Ralph B. Kostant

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