Nazis, Islamic Antisemitism and the Middle East
CBN-News: Frightening Nazi Links to Modern Islam: Interview with Dale Hurd about “Jihad and Jew-Hatred”
Political scientist discusses anti-Semitism as roots of 9/11
by NICOLE DIFASI – Staff Writer
Political scientist and author Matthias Küntzel gave a lecture on Tuesday in the Center for Tomorrow, discussing his beliefs that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were caused, at least in part, by the strong anti-Semitism in the Middle East. The lecture, “Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism, and the Roots of 9/11,” was presented by the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East organization.
The author’s book, “Jihadist Terrorism and anti-Semitism: The Mission against Modernity,” won the London Book Festival Prize.
Ongoing warfare in the Middle East coupled with anti-Semitism, which Küntzel defined as the policies, views, or actions that harm or discriminate against Jews, were the main roots for the attack on 9/11, the author stated. “It is not about Islam as a faith but about certain groups who misuse Islam for malicious purposes,” Küntzel said.
According to an article by Küntzel published in The Weekly Standard in 2007, the idea of using suicide pilots to obliterate the skyscrapers of Manhattan originated in Berlin in the 1940s due to the fact that Hitler considered the US a Jewish state. The outcome of this mindset bled into present time where genocidal thoughts were turned into genocidal actions on 9/11. “It is very difficult to get along with an enemy who wants to sacrifice their own civilian population,” Küntzel said.
Küntzel stressed that the birth of radical Islam between the years 1928 and 1937, as well as the strong Nazi influence that followed, played a significant role in anti-Semitism. The strongly conservative religious views of the group caused a rebellion in Palestine in which modernity was resisted and Jews were to blame. The new Jewish immigrants’ aspects of life, such as equality for women, were seen as threatening. Nazi Germany financially supported the Islamic movement. “Early Islamic Jew hatred had become radicalized,” Küntzel said. “Early on everything Jewish was considered evil but now everything evil was considered Jewish.”
An excerpt from a sermon aired on Palestinian television in May 2005, along with many more examples of hatred for Jews available on the Internet, depict the impact of anti-Semitism. The sermon claimed that Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, that they are behind the suffering of the nations, and that they provoked Nazism, according to Küntzel. The Islamic Jew hatred and anti-Semitic propaganda was even being passed on to children.
Suicide bombings started as early as the 1980s. Children were given little plastic keys to “paradise” and then sent to run across bomb mines.
“Killing children extinguished basic human instincts,” Küntzel said. “To use human beings as bombs proved that the hatred of Jews was stronger than the fear of death.”
Source: The Spectrum, University of Buffalo, Vol. 57, Issue 72, 21 March 2008.
Jihad and Jew-Hatred
by Howard Kissel
Sometimes book titles leap out at you. “Jihad and Jew-Hatred” sure did. Its subtitle is “Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11.” When I was invited to a press luncheon for the author, Matthias Kuntzel, I felt I had to go.
Kuntzel is a German political scientist whose writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Times Educational Supplement in the U.K., Il Foglio in Italy and Le Meilleur des Mondes in France.
He is a research associate at the prestigious Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Jihad and Jew-Hatred” was the grand prize winner at the 2007 London Book Festival.
Kuntzel contends that the influence of Nazism on what has been called Islamofascism is a potentially important and relatively unexplored area of research.
A major source for his book was the recent discovery of the archives of Radio Zeesen, which, from 1939 to 1945, broadcast Nazi propaganda, with heavy doses of anti-semitism, from a radio station outside of Berlin. “Radio Zeesen,” he says, “is a ‘new’ story.”
An example of its importance is that an ardent listener to Radio Zeesen when he was young (because he was one of the privileged few to own a radio) was the man who would convert Iran from a fledgling modern state to a medieval theocracy, the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Kuntzel finds it interesting that Iran is now trying to build a similar broadcast network in Latin America.
The Middle East, Kuntzel maintains, is the one part of the world where Nazism was never repudiated. Its major exponent, the Mufti of Jerusalem (interestingly, a not-too-distant relative of Yasser Arafat), eagerly sought the help of the Nazis in the ‘30s because they were the enemy of his enemy, the British.
He spent the war in Axis countries, among other things helping to recruit a Moslem SS unit in Bosnia.
After the war he should have been tried as a collaborator, but both the British and the Americans acquiesced in his being spirited away to Egypt because they did not want to antagonize Arab leaders with oil reserves. In Egypt he continued to preach Nazi ideas at a time when the the rest of the world disavowed them.
Kuntzel acknowledges that the rational attitudes of the West are totally unsympathetic to the mentality of the Middle East.
“There is no doubt among many Moslems that the Koran is literally true,” he says. “For that reason there is no debating the assertion in the Koran that Allah can turn Jews into swine. The only debatable point is how long these pigs can live—long enough to breed? Or short lives where they will die out in three days? These things can be discussed because they are not dealt with in the Koran.”
Do intellectual points matter when you face an enemy that, as Kuntzel points out, cheers at the indiscriminate murder of innocents?
“Yes,” he says. “Auschwitz didn’t start with the laying of bricks. It started with words.”
This press luncheon was organised by The Israel Project. Source: New York Daily News, 14 March 2008
Speaker links Islamic anti-Semitism to Nazism
by Jaclyn Schiff
After a Palestinian gunman killed eight students earlier this month at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, most world leaders were quick to condemn the shooting. But in Gaza, Hamas issued a statement blessing the operation, while crowds of people celebrated in the streets.
There have been a variety of explanations for this reaction, but German scholar Matthias Kuntzel believes the most logical answer lies in the connection between Nazism and Islamic anti-Semitism—the topic of a talk he gave last week in Washington, D.C., based on his new book, Jihad and Jew Hatred.
Kuntzel spent about an hour explaining his argument to an audience of approximately 60 people. The event, which was sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and Holocaust Museum Watch, took place at JINSA’s office at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
At the beginning of Kuntzel’s talk, he played video excerpts from a sermon that Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris gave in May 2005 in Gaza. The sheik spoke in Arabic as English subtitles appeared on the screen. “This preacher is very aggressive, but this is not an isolated case,” Kuntzel said after the audience watched the sermon, which was riddled with anti-Semitic rhetoric and Holocaust denial. “Everything you have heard here can also be found in statements by the Iranian leadership and texts from al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas,” he added.
According to Kuntzel, Muslim anti-Semitism is often downplayed and many people react “as if hating Jews were a feature of the Oriental world, like hookahs or mosques.” Others claim that anti-Semitism among Muslims is justified as a side effect of the Middle East conflict. Both approaches are similar in that they assume that Muslim anti-Semitism differs from Nazi views and European anti-Semitism.
But, Kuntzel contends that it does not. It “was no accident” that the rise of Nazism and Islamism took place during the same period, the author argued, explaining that both movements tried to answer the world economic crisis of 1929 and the crisis of liberal capitalism. “However different their answers may have been, they shared a crucial central feature: In both cases, the sense of belonging to a homogeneous community was created through mobilizing against the Jews,” Kuntzel told the audience.
He called Radio Zeseen, a short-wave station that operated from 1939 until 1945 and targeted illiterate Muslims through daily Arabic programs, the “Nazis’ most important propaganda machine.” After the station stopped broadcasting, “its frequencies of hate” continued to reverberate in the Arab world, he said.
Kuntzel’s reading of history after World War II supports his idea that Islamic anti-Semitism is not the result of the Middle East conflict, but rather that anti-Semitism in the Arab world is the cause of violence in the Middle East.
Kuntzel acknowledged that only a certain faction of Muslims made common cause with the Nazis, but said that this pro-Nazi wing used terrorism to gain the upper hand over the Muslims who disagreed—before Israel was founded.
In Kuntzel’s view, these Muslims have viewed the world through the two “distorting filters” of early Islamic Jew-hatred and modern anti-Semitism, regardless of Zionism. “This distorted view is the reason why Hamas prioritizes weapons and war rather than peace and welfare,” he said.
As a number of audience members asked questions at the end of the talk, Kuntzel said he was happy with the lively question-and-answer session, although he prefers a more “controversial debate.”
Philadelphia’s Marilyn Stern, who has been a JINSA member since 1998, said that although she knew about the close ties between the mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler, she “wasn’t aware of the near total infiltration of Nazi ideology during the ‘20s and ‘30s in the Arab world, which morphed into the modern Islamism of today.”
Kuntzel’s argument, she said, shows that the “same Islamist forces that are targeting Israel, target the West as a whole.” America, she added, “ignores this warning at our own peril—we witnessed this on 9/11.”
Source: Washington Jewish Week, 26 March, 2008
Hate in Translation
By Rob Eshman, Editor-in-Chief
This week I received close to 1,000 copies of the same e-mail—a very disturbing notice that the Web site Facebook features many user-generated pages devoted to memorializing and supporting Arab terrorists.
One e-mail would have sufficed to alert me to this, but now, as I write this paragraph, seven more have just arrived. Terrorists make use of the West’s most cutting-edge technologies to mount a multipronged attack on Western lives and values, and what is all that most of us can do in response? Forward e-mails.
I have a different tack someone can take in the battle: Translate Matthais Kuntzel’s new book into Arabic.Kuntzel, a respected German academic, wrote, “Jihad and Jew Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11” (Telos Press, 2007). He barely found a German publisher, was fortunate to find a brave English-language press and won’t get an Arabic version unless somebody reading these words writes a very important check.
If you might be that someone, or know someone who could be, get it done.
Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in The New York Times, called Kuntzel’s book “bracing, even startling … bold and consequential.”
It is also, even for people who have followed the rise of Islamo-facism, revelatory.
We know that throughout the Arab world the press and popular media are given to vicious anti-Semitism. Syrian TV did a multi-part dramatization of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Bookstores throughout the Arab world still offer translations of Henry Ford’s screed, “The International Jew.” The propaganda of Hamas and Hezbollah make fantastic claims about world Jewish power that would strike any rational person as batty and incidental, if the effects of the hatred they inspire were not so readily apparent.
The common wisdom is that all this Jew-hatred arises from the Arab world’s reaction to Israel.
But what Kuntzel’s historical research establishes is that the anti-Semitism is not, as academia would have it, a post-1948 reaction to those imperialist Zionists, but rather a pre-World War II infestation of Christian anti-Semitism.
There is anti-Jewish sentiment throughout the Quran and in Muslim culture, to be sure, but it rarely if ever approached the virulence either of Christian anti-Semitism or of current Jihadist sentiment. Jews were second-class citizens during their stay in Muslim lands—defeated, tolerated, but far from feared.
Then came the Nazis. The Nazis knew the Middle East would be an extension of the European battleground. They wanted to turn the Muslim world against the Jews. They found willing collaborators in two individuals: the Egyptian Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem. Banna’s movement began as a reaction to modernism.
“Islamism was born in the ‘20s, not the ‘60s,” Kuntzel told me over breakfast in Westwood, while on a speaking tour here. “It was the reaction to modernism in Iran, Turkey and Egypt. There is always a connection between the fight against modernism and the fight against Jews.”
The Nazis cemented the connection. They provided much of the funding for the Brotherhood, which in turn established printing presses and distributed Arabic translations of “Mein Kampf” and the “Protocols” throughout the Middle East.
The mufti, who moved to Berlin during the war, was an even more eager Jew-hater; who fought Heinrich Himmler’s decision in 1943 to trade 5,000 Jewish children for 20,000 German prisoners. Eventually the mufti prevailed, and the children were sent to be gassed.
Meanwhile, Alfred Hess, brother of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, established a branch of the Nazi party in Alexandria, Egypt, and began distributing copies of “The Jewish Question in Germany” to the educated elites there.
Kuntzel’s book draws a direct line from the hatred these men promoted and the rhetoric of today’s jihadis.
“Osama bin Laden made so many anti-Semitic statements,” he said. New York for him was the center of finance, from where Jews pulled the levers of world power. “It is a genocidal anti-Semitism.”
Kuntzel can boast, if that’s the word, of true believer yichus. His father was a member of the Nazi party.
“Every child in my family had to play a musical instrument,” he recalled. “We would have our recitals in my grandmother’s living room. When Hitler came on the radio, we all stopped and gave the Nazi salute.”
Kuntzel let the image sink in: “It’s important to get to the roots and see how this could happen.”
Not everyone has been happy with Kuntzel’s research. Though he lectures at Stanford, Yale and other universities, his appearance at the University of Leeds in England was cancelled due to protest by Muslim students. He believes the fear of radical Muslims has prevented him from finding a major German publisher, much less an Arabic one.
But I believe the latter is crucial. Why? Because the Arab and Muslim world, especially its elites, need to understand what they are choosing when they go down the road of unmoored hate. They need to know with whom they are aligning themselves.
The moderates and reformers among them desperately need the intellectual proof texts to show how their religion and culture was infected by some jackbooted white Christian losers, whose own historic arc no sane person would want to emulate.
If our gas money is going to Arab governments who sanction anti-Semitic vitriol, can’t we spend a little to counteract the lies with truth?
Or do we just keep clicking the “forward” button on our e-mail?
To purchase Jihad and Jew Hatred click here.
To contact the author, Matthais Kuntzel, about funding an Arabic translation, send an e-mail to Rob Eshman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Rob Esman’s paragraph about my familiy refers to my father’s family.
Source: The Jewish Journal of greater Los Angeles, Vol. 23, number 6, March 28-April 3, 2008