- To read this article in Hebrew in Yedioth Ahronoth, press here
How nice of them. All they want is a fairer policy that's just a little less Zionist. And so while it is true that Europeans fund countless anti-Zionist NGOs, and while this horrific propaganda and these “balancing activities” claim the lives of numerous innocent victims, Schocken is providing justifications.
We could simply dismiss these comments. We could argue that the Haaretz publisher has gone off the rails. The thing is, though, that crazy opinions are the product of a constant and regular consumption of self-made ideological junk food. When poison is frequently injected into one’s veins, as a matter of routine—that Israel is akin to 1930s Germany, that Israel is an apartheid state, that Israel deserves to be boycotted, that people should vote for the anti-Zionist Joint List party—the result is that terrorism is justified, and it’s all because of Israel.
This isn’t a slip of the pen; it’s a well-organized doctrine. In the past, Schocken tweeted that “colonialism showed that there is no freedom for the occupied and the dispossessed apart from the path of terror.” Freedom? The Palestinians have rejected every single peace proposal that would have given them a state and have chosen terrorism instead. The perpetrators of terror are not peace activists. They are not seeking an end to the occupation. They are seeking Israel’s destruction. But don’t worry: They will always have the Schockens to provide justifications.
The newspaper and its publisher have a deep problem with Zionism. Only last week, the first page of that same paper contained a report about “Jews’ emigration to Israel.” Emigration—not immigration or aliyah.
This is not an open letter to Schocken. That would be a waste of time. I am writing this to those who may not have lost their mind like Schocken just yet, but who are telling themselves that maybe, just maybe, there is something in what he is saying. That jihad, which is targeting Stockholm and Nice, Brussels and Paris, may be the result of the European support of Zionism. Perhaps it really is an unconquerable urge, which every enlightened person must understand and maybe even justify. After all, Schocken isn’t alone. He has thousands standing by his side, members of the “forces of progress,” who are spreading similar ideas.
Well, for the sake of the others, those who are still open to the facts, we should note that jihad—in its new format—is the result of a years-long investment in Islamist education. Pakistan and Afghanistan were not enlightened and liberal countries in the 1960s and 1970s, but photographs from those years present women in western clothing, without a burqa and even without a hijab, hanging out in public places. That is no longer the case. Everything has changed. It happened because a huge amount of Saudi capital flowed into those countries in the 1970s and 1980s, for the purpose of creating a network of Islamic colleges, or madrasas. In 1971, there were 900 madrasas in Pakistan. Several years later, there were already 8,000 official madrasas, and 25,000 unregistered ones, as Prof. Vali Nasr of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies elaborated in his research.
The enormous project was a success. The madrasa graduates became the soldiers of jihad. They were not the majority. After all, it’s never about the majority. But they set the tone. At an early stage, even the United States helped their first reincarnation, the Mujahideen, which acted against the Russian occupation. There were huge Saudi investments in Africa as well and in mosques all around Europe. But the situation got out of hand. Saudi Arabia is now afraid of this situation more than it is afraid of its greatest enemy, Iran.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which did to Egypt what Saudi Arabia did to Afghanistan and to Pakistan, was in the background too. Its chief ideologist, Sayyid Qutb, was known for his deep hatred toward the West, which he saw as “the absolute evil,” and the Jews (he wrote an anti-Semitic essay titled “Our struggle against the Jews”). Qutb’s ideas were incorporated in the establishment of Hamas and the jihad founded by Osama bin Laden.
These ideas were also spread in the West. Britain, out of goodwill, created a network of “centers for Islamic studies,” in a bid to moderate the Muslim students. Prof. Anthony Glees of the University of Buckingham discovered that the Saudis had infused £233 million to these centers. The result, Glees wrote, is the radicalization of young Muslims in Britain. Billionaire Waleed bin Talal donated £8 million to an Islamic center at Oxford University, $20 million to Harvard, $20 million to Georgetown University and to other academic centers as well—for similar purposes. The results are scary. Different polls have indicated that the student generation is becoming increasingly radical.
I can go on. I doubt there is a single jihad movement in the world which did not develop on the background of Saudi capital and education. Schocken, however, will point a finger at Zionism.
The terrorists—regardless of whether they are people who were educated in mosques or small criminals who became Islamist, mainly in the incubator of France’s prisons—are not striving for freedom or equality. They are not against the West because of what it does, but because of what it is: Democratic, free, liberal. They don’t want to make Europe more “balanced.” They want to impose their unenlightened regime in every place they set foot. Their massacres are directed mainly at Muslims. It’s an “industry of death,” like the title of an article written by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Any place reached by cells of the radical Islamic cancer—from Libya to Nigeria, from Iraq to Syria and Somalia and Gaza—is a place where there is destruction, death and wreckage. This also applies to Turkey, which is becoming more and more Muslim. It supports Hamas, yet it is hit by terror. According to Schocken, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is apparently a Zionist too. How did we not know that?
Among the Muslims themselves, there is a heated argument between the moderates and the radicals. The moderates are against any understanding or justification of violence and terror. They are the ones who exposed a significant part of what I have written here. The Schockens stand by the radicals. The moderates are in favor of adopting universal values. The radicals in insist on an unenlightened world. The Schockens provide them with justifications.
We have been in this situation before. The unenlightened of the past—yes, the Nazis—blamed the Jews for Europe's troubles. That was the old anti-Semitism. Today’s unenlightened, mostly on the left, argue that the Jewish state is also responsible for Europe's troubles. That is the new anti-Semitism. Schocken, might I add, defines himself as an opponent of terrorism and a “Zionist.” And with “Zionists” like him, who needs enemies anyway?
This article was published in Yedioth Ahronoth.