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The Islamic world, in collaboration with non-Muslim socialist-Marxist political movements worldwide, has declared a hatred-driven genocidal war on the Jewish people. Muslims have rekindled Christian-based misojudaism - the hated of Judaism and of the Jewish people. Christian misoJudaism had produced the Nazi Holocaust. More than half a century earlier there were the Czarist pogroms in Russia and the Ukraine, instigated by the infamous, libelous, Russian-generated, Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Now a new holocaust is looming.
"MisoJudaism" (like misogyny - hatred of women, misogamy - hatred of marriage, misoneisn - hatred of innovation, or misanthropy - hatred of mankind) is a better descriptor of the widespread hatred of Jews ("sin'at Yisrael" in Hebrew) than "Judeophobia" (the fear of Jews). The haters of Jews are not afraid of them. The Nazis were not afraid of their victims, neither were the Russian or Ukrainian hooligans - they despised Jews but did not fear them. Further, the term "misoJudaism" is certainly preferred over "anti-Semitism." The latter commonly used term is a racist German phrase based on the biblical genealogy of Jacob and his sons (considering Jews as an ethnic group), or on the fact that Hebrew is indisputably a Semitic language. Although Hebrew is a Semitic language, Judaism is not "Semitic". The national culture of the Jewish people is a combination of Jewish religion, national history, literature, art, ethics and social behavior, in addition to the language of the Bible. Judaism has little in common with Assyrian, Babylonian, Phoenician or Arab national cultures, all of which have used Semitic languages. In fact, there is no "Semitic culture" and there never was one. Moreover, the Arabs are trying today to claim that their vitriolic misoJudaic rhetoric is not anti-Semitic by arguing, using faulty semantics that Arabs, who are considered to be linguistically Semites, cannot be "anti-Semites;" thus they manage to confuse the naïve Western public. To avoid this semantic trap, let us call hatred of Jews and Judaism - misoJudaism, which is a semantically precise descriptor. Misojudaism is associated with attempted genocide of the Jewish people.
There are different modalities of genocide - the eradication of a nation. Physical extermination of Jews as practiced by the Nazis and as advocated by Muslim extremists, is just one modality. Both the Nazis and the Muslims have "justified" this kind of genocidal action be relegating Jews to a sub-human status. The Nazis invented the Arian super-race defining the Jews as "Untermenchen" (subhuman beings), while the Muslim refer to the Qur'an that declares Jews as descendents of pigs and apes.
The elimination of an essential feature of a nationality, e.g. its religion, is an alternative modality of genocide. This was attempted against the Jews by the Syrian Hellenists before the Maccabean Revolt, by the Romans after the Bar-Kokhba Revolt and by Christians on numerous occasions. The Muslims, who forced in the past hundreds of thousands of Jews to convert to Islam, are attempting today to achieve a similar genocidal objective by denial of Jewish pre-Islamic history on which a major traditional Judaic cultural tenet - Zionism - is based.
"The Zionist ideology advocates the return of Jews to the land of their ancestors from which they were exiled by brutal military conquests. There were two such major exiles in Jewish history - in 586 BCE and six hundred fifty-eight years later, in 72 AD. Both exiles were associated with the total destruction of Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish capital, and the demolition of its temple. The eastern hill of Jerusalem where the citadel captured by King David once stood, near the Temple Mound, has been called Mount Zion. This name became synonymous with Jerusalem; hence Zionism."
Zionism was not invented by the end of the 19th Century. "Psalm 137 'Besides the streams of Babylon we sat and wept at the memory of Zion - Jerusalem, if I forget you, may my right hand wither, may I never speak again, if I forget you!' is a twenty-five hundred years old Zionist expression. Nehemiah, who came to Jerusalem about 440 BCE, giving up a high position in the Persian court, was a Zionist and so was Hillel who emigrated from Mesopotamia four hundred years later. So was Judah Halevi, the philosopher poet who wrote "Better a day in the land of God than a thousand on foreign soil, the ruins on the Holy mount than coronation halls. ..."; Halevi immigrated to Israel in 1141. So were hundreds of Rabbis who immigrated to Israel in 1211, followed by Nahmanides is 1267. And so were hundreds of other Jewish spiritual leaders and scholars and thousands of their followers who came to the Land of Israel over hundreds of years, long before the modern political Zionist movement was born."
For those who believe in the Bible literally, Zionism is based on the covenant with God and on Abraham's Promised Land; the Egyptian experience of Jacob's descendents was then the first exile of Israelis. Those who attend services regularly must know that the Jewish liturgy is full of Zionist supplications displayed on practically every page of the Jewish prayer book, the Sidur.
The identity of Judaism = Zionism has been recognized not only by Jews and historians by also by misoJudaists. The infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery, the current textbook of misoJudaism in the Islamic world (originally distributed to Arab countries by the USSR) was composed and published by the Czarist regime before the first Zionist Congress in Basel, where modern political Zionism was born.
Strongly coupled with Zionism is the Judaic hope for the Messiah. While Zionism implies return to the homeland, Jewish messianism is the hope for revival of Jewish sovereignty in its ancient homeland under the rule of a descendent of the Davidic dynasty. The messianic aspect of Jewish Zionism gave birth in the first Century CE to a new Jewish messianic sect that developed later into a different religion -- Christianity.
The New Testament documents an early version of political Zionism. According to Josephus, there were during that period several charismatic Jews who were executed by the Romans guilty of sedition -- for having been regarded by the people as the legendary anointed one (the Messiah in Hebrew = the anointed king). The Romans most probably regarded Jesus as another Jewish messiah - a Jew regarded by the masses as the legendary Davidic king. Hence we read in Matthew: "Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. ... and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews! ..." they said. ... Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Matt 27:11, 28, 37) At least from the standpoint of the Romans, Christianity seemed to have emerged as a political movement of Jewish masses, conceptually similar to current political Zionism.
Many Christians recognize today the Jewish roots of their religion and the meaning of Zionism in Judaism. Those who understand and identify with the Jewish desire for sovereignty in their ancient homeland have become Christian Zionists. Christian Zionism, which emerged in the 19th Century in England, has lately become a significant Christian movement, especially in the US.
In brief, Zionism is a non-separable, fundamental aspect of Judaism -- an aspect without which Judaism loses its meaning as a national culture. Eliminating Zionism and the hope for the Messiah leaves Judaism without its soul, leaving a dead skeleton of bare rituals. Practicing Judaic rituals without recognizing Zionism as a paramount fundamental part of Judaism is sheer hypocrisy. The Seder without Zionism, without the craving for freedom and self rule and without "next year in Jerusalem (i.e., Zion)," is a meaningless feast of gefilte-fish and matzots. Zionism is by far more fundamentally Jewish than the separation of meat from dairy products. An Anti-Zionist Jew is, therefore, an intrinsic contradiction of terms. An anti-Zionist Jew is a person of Jewish ancestry who denounces the most profound and essential premise of Judaism, second only to monotheism.
The physical and ideological assault of Islam on the West, which specifies the Jews as its first target, tries cleverly to denigrate Zionism so as to kill the soul of Judaism. Those Mulims know, better than many Jews, that without Zionism Judaism is inconsequential. In that onslaught, the devious Islamists count on collaboration of Christian misoJudaists, who brought about the Holocaust just half a century ago, and of anti-religious socialists and avowed Marxists (Jews and non-Jews).
Islam seems to succeed, as we witness all over Western Europe. The Islamists know that the Jews, who legitimately claim sovereignty over their homeland, are spiritually their most resilient opponents. This is why they hate the Jews more than people of any other nationality. This hatred dates back to the rise of Islam when the eradication of the Jews in Arabia by Mohammad was the first step in the subsequent Islamic violent expansion. Getting rid of the "Zionists," i.e., the Jews with their profound historical national convictions will embolden the Islamists to tackle the Christians and other "infidels." The current allies of Islamism in its assault on Judaism and Christianity, the godless Marxists with their relativistic value system and minimal convictions, will eventually be easy prey for the Islamistic fanatics.
Luckily, the USA, the strongest power in the Western world, has currently a non-compromising leadership with ethical and religious convictions. This leadership seems to realize that Jewish Zionism must be protected and bolstered by Christian Zionism. This leadership seems to realize that the demise of Zionism, i.e., the destruction of the State of Israel, by an Islamic onslaught entails a rootless Christianity - Christianity that is deprived of its Biblical origins. Such Christianity might lack the spiritual strength to withstand future assaults by Islamic zealots. The integrity of the Land of Israel must, therefore, be just as important to Christian believers as to Jews. This is why the US cannot tolerate an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel. Notwithstanding the global anti-Zionist alliance between Islamism and socialism, manifested at the UN, in the media and on many college campuses, the instinct of survival of Western civilization must guarantee the survival of Zionism, i.e., of Judaism.
1. M. Anbar, "Israel and its Future," iUniverse, Lincoln, NE, 2004, p.13
2. ibid. p.19
Thanks are due IsrAlert (www.isalert.com) for sending out this essay.
Michael Anbar, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biophysics and Chairman of the Dept. of Biophysical Sciences at the School of Medicine, University of Buffalo (1977-2002, now retired). Previously, he was Director of Technical Program Development at the Stanford Research Institute.
Thanks are due IsrAlert (www.isalert.com) for sending out this essay.
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