In the wake of the September 11th attack on America, much has been written, but little of it has given us much clarity or understanding into the nature of what is going on. Most of what has been written consists of superficial descriptions of the present day events – devoid of deeper historical information. The result of this has been a public that is confused, uncertain, and fearful. Large segments of the populace act as though we have been plunged into a chaotic and unstable sea, with terror and disruption looming behind every corner. Until we examine the roots of this Arab fanaticism, until we connect it to familiar historical parallels – there will be continued confusion and uncertainty. It is only by openly and courageously facing the truth about Muslim/Arab fanaticism and by discovering its historical parallels (regardless of considerations for political correctness) that we can finally nail down the nature of this threat and begin to see what has to be done to solve the problem.
Secondly, we must establish what this document is not about. We are not trying to judge a people or a culture. Human beings come with a long list of both positive traits and failings. Most cultures and peoples of the world also have their own characteristic strengths and weaknesses. In the course of the history of a culture, one will see many events that exemplify both the positive and the negative characteristics of its people. There are both periods of hatred and periods of unselfish giving in the timeline of a culture. Therefore, it is not the people, themselves, that we are scrutinizing, but rather the sources of the national characteristics that give rise to the hatred and evil. Another way to say this is by means of a story. Rabbi Meir once was praying that the robbers and thieves that were plaguing the neighborhood die. His wife, Bruria corrected him. “Don’t pray that the evil ones die, but rather that the evil in them die.”
This then is the point of this document. To describe the evil, cancerous ideology and philosophy that has attached itself in recent years to the Arab and Muslim people. To examine the nature of this disease independent of the people involved. To understand its roots and causes and to discover how it can be fought and conquered without injuring the patient. Indeed, how treating and exorcising this disease is actually the means to return the “patient,” i.e. the Arab and Muslim people, to their historic and healthy state.
Specifically, we are going to examine the parallels between the new Arab/Muslim nationalism and fascist German nationalism (Nazism). We are choosing Nazism not because the parallel is exact (indeed, there are many differences in the culture, personality, and ideology of these two peoples). Rather we are choosing Nazism because it is the most recent similar phenomena familiar to modern audiences. By showing the parallels we hope to remove much of the confusion, doubt, and uncertainty which have arisen since the September 11th attack. That is, we are not faced with some new unknown problem that we have no idea about or experience in curing. Rather, this is an old human disease, of which Nazism was only the most recent and most familiar occurrence.
Prior to the rise of the Hitler and the Third Reich, there were aspects of latent fascism in German history and culture. However, any reasonable assessment would conclude that German fascism in the 30’s and 40’s was an aberration in the long history of the German people and their relations with their neighbors. Till the rise of Nazism, the world opinion of Germany was that it was one of the most advanced western cultures. Germans were seen as lovers of the arts, sciences, learning, and poetry. There were only the faintest glimmers of the deep dark side of the German national psyche. Although there had also been elements of xenophobia in Germany, many foreign people were able to live there. Jews had a mixed experience with Germans. On the one hand, massive pogroms in the 13th and 14th centuries had decimated German Jewry. But, nevertheless, for more than 300 years prior to the 20th Century, German Jewry thrived. German Jews occupied prominent places in the military, arts and sciences. Some German Jews felt so completely integrated that they considered themselves Germans first and Jews second (they received a rude awakening in WWII).
A remarkably similar experience can be said about the history of the Arab and Muslim countries. For much of the Middle Ages, the Arab and Muslim world was far more civilized and advanced than their counterparts in Western Europe. The Arab world excelled in the sciences and mathematics. Today one can still see how much more advanced and sophisticated Moorish and Arab buildings of that period are when compared to their Western counterparts. Arab trade and commerce spread throughout the Far East, well in advance of Marco Polo’s journeys. The Arab world was also much more welcoming to foreigners than the West. Jews and Moors thrived in Spain until the 13th Century and the coming the Ferdinand and Isabella. Until the Catholics conquered Spain and expelled the Jews, Jews had been some of the most prominent scientists, doctors, and thinkers in Spain and Portugal. After the expulsion and subsequent bloody and brutal Inquisition, those Jews who survived escaped to Turkey and other Arab countries where they were readily accepted. This positive Arab acceptance of Jewish refugees stands in stark contrast to the United State’s rejection of Jewish refugees during WWII.
The German National Socialist party (Nazis) did not come to power via democratic means. In election after election, they never received the majority vote. However, they were able to overpower the “good Germans” and forces of civility and justice in Germany via a mixture of propaganda, lies, terror, and playing on past hurts and weaknesses in the German character. Some people the Nazis silenced by beatings and muggings at the hands of Ernst Roehm’s SA (storm-trooper) thugs (Roehm was subsequently killed by Himmler’s SS). Other’s such as Von Pappen and President Hindenburg, who were very refined Old World diplomats and generals, were deceived into appointing Hitler as Chancellor to be a figure of law and order – when in truth he was the force behind the street violence of the SA and SS.
Joseph Goebbels was Hitler’s master propagandist. Using the medium of radio and motion pictures, he crafted some of the most compelling propaganda theater of all time. Weaving together myths about the German Teutonic past, as well as exploiting traditional German xenophobia and anti-Semitism, he must be seen as one of the major fertilizing agents [manure] in allowing Nazism to take hold. Similarly, Adolph Hitler, who was one of the most charismatic German speakers, used his oratorical strengths to both vilify Jews, as well as to play on feelings of lost German pride after the “disaster” of WWI. It was this combination of negative propaganda (anti-Semitism, anti-west, anti-communist) as well as “positive” propaganda (The Nazi party as the tool for restoring the pride and fame and strength to the German folk) that was the key to toppling the forces of humanity, civility, and democracy in Germany.
Similar parallels exist in modern Arab and Muslim nationalism. Arab propagandists have a rich soil for spreading their lies. There are fears in the Arab and Muslim world about being swallowed in permissive secular western culture and about loss of identity. This is coupled with a deep sense of history and awareness of the fall of the Arab/Muslim world from its dominant position to one of subservience to the West. The Arab world, like the pre-war German world, is searching for a banner and champion to restore its lost pride and identity. The Arab propagandists are also aware of historic Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism, as well as the mythology of Jihad and its usefulness in mobilizing Arab xenophobia.
Today, in the Palestinian controlled areas, massive amounts of money are being poured into hate propaganda for television, the web, and the newspapers. Museum walk-through exhibits of the Sbarro restaurant terrorist attack (complete with fake bodies) are officially funded and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Deaths of Arab bomb makers in their own bomb factories are blamed on Israeli attacks. When Arab children are yanked out of school by PA “policemen” to act as human body shields in terror attacks and then are injured – it plays on propaganda radio as Israelis raiding Arab towns and killing children. Hitler employed the same propaganda techniques to reverse the truth of who was the aggressor. In 1939 he sent SS troops disguised as Polish soldiers to storm the German radio station at Gleiwitz. In a Reichstag speech the next day he used this to justify his attack on Poland, a claim that was accepted not only by the German populace, but also the New York Times which published this claim as fact.
Words and pictures are not the only tools of the Arab hate merchants. They also murder and terrorize. Thousands of internal opponents to Arafat’s leadership have been murdered under the guise of being “Israeli collaborators,” just as Hitler did to his enemies in Germany. Since 1980, any Arab suspected of selling land to an Israeli has been summarily executed.
All of this is exploited by the surrounding, dictator-led Arab countries. They replay and amplify these stories on their state-run presses to deflect tensions and hatred away from the inequities of their failing dictatorships and direct it toward the Jews and the West. The world press willingly replays these images and allows itself to be invited to staged “rock throwing” events which are nothing more than photo-ops for hate propaganda. The world shakes its head in disbelief when surveys show that 70% of the Arabs and Muslims feel that the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was really the work of Mossad (the Israeli secret service). But the message the world missed in these farcical claims is that Arab propagandists have succeeded in creating a false world-view in much of the Arab/Muslim world. The parallel with Nazi Germany is almost exact in this respect. In Mein Kampf, Hitler claimed that world Jewry was trying to take over the world. Hitler and Goebbels were able to exploit cultural and historic flaws in German culture to create a brutally xenophobic and anti-Semitic zeitgeist. Today’s Arab propagandists are doing the same thing by playing on Arab and Muslim biases. They use massively distorted and falsified cases of alleged Israeli “brutality” which finds fertile ears in many Arab countries. They then use Western support of Israel to show that it is not just Israel that is the enemy but the entire West.
One of the most outlandish lies spread by the Nazi propaganda machine was that of the persecution of the Ost-Deutch (East Germans). These were ethnic Germans living in Czechoslovakia and Poland. They had moved into these territories prior to the 20th century, and after WWI found themselves outside the boundaries of Germany. Hitler and his minions were interested in restoring these lands that had been lost to Germany after WWI. The Ost-Deutch were a useful tool in this effort. Hitler filled the German media with images and stories about alleged atrocities that were being committed by Poles and Czechs against the Ost-Deutch. Today, all historians agree that these were utterly fabricated events. Either the story was not true at all, or these incidents were incited by Nazi forces that slipped across the border to stir up violence and hate. However, at the time, Hitler and his party were able to effectively use the case of the Ost-Deutch to gain territorial concessions in Austria and Czechoslovakia.
We see the same trick being used today against Israel. Arabs wish to expropriate and control the land of Israel. To gain international support for their cause, they have created the myth of the brutal Israeli who attacks the defenseless Palestinian. Similar to the Nazis, the Arabs are using staged events to trigger responses from Israel. For example, they assemble bands of Arab youth, arm them with deadly rocks, fire-bombs and Molotov cocktails and attack Israeli villages and police stations. Prior to the event, Western news sources are informed where the event is to occur so that the news-starved press can get good film footage. Then the attack is carried out with the intent on getting a response from the Israeli police or army. The film footage, which is gladly picked up and broadcast throughout the West, is almost always from the viewpoint of behind the Arab lines, so that this appears as an unprovoked Israeli attack. The truth is that the press cameras are located at that vantage point since they were invited by the Arabs. The film footage finds wide distribution channels in Europe and America because of a combination of latent anti-Semitism coupled with a feeling that by presenting such footage the press is presenting a “balanced view” of the Middle East conflict.
Other examples of this sort of incitement include using ambulances to transport terrorists to and from sites where they are engaged in battles with Israeli forces. Film footage and press coverage make it look like Israel is shooting at or denying ambulances entry into Palestinian areas. Another trick is to place weapons and terrorist training bases in the heart of densely populated areas or in mosques so that attacks on them can be claimed to be attacks on civilians and on Islamic sites. However, the most insidious act has been the use of young Arab children as shock troops. Palestinian schools and summer camps have been turned into training camps for suicide squadrons. Young pre-teen children are trained in the use of arms, as well as shown a continuous dose of movies that glorify the pleasures that will come in paradise to those who die fighting Israel. Movies geared to the youngest children paint paradise as a continuous park-like play-land filled with toys. All of this is aimed at creating the propaganda footage which is being used to exert international pressure against Israel to get it to accede to the territorial claims of the terrorists who are behind this propaganda. [For this and further material see: www.israelnationalnews.com, www.eretzyisroel.org, http://www.gamla.org.il/english ]
Just as it was with the Nazis, these territorial claims are baseless. German presence in the lands to the east was the result of short term expansion in the years prior to WWI. Similarly, there was only a minor presence of Arabs in Israel 150 years ago. In 1867, when visiting Israel, Mark Twain described Israel an “unpeopled desert” and “desolate and unlovely” and characterized Jaffe (one of the largest Arab settlements) as “a village of a few Arab huts.” At that time Israel had negligible agricultural areas, no industry, and was a combination of arid wasteland and swamps with a tiny population. It was only after the massive Jewish immigration to Israel in the late 19th century and early 20th that the land was made habitable. Forests were planted, swamps drained, vineyards and agricultural lands established, and industries started. This induced a massive immigration of Arabs from surrounding areas to help work on construction projects and labor in agricultural areas. However, the Arab propagandists have created this myth of Jews who uprooted an indigenous Arab people and usurped their land to create Israel. It is this myth of the Western and Jewish usurpation of the “Arab state of Palestine” (a country and a people who never existed) that leads to the Arab mindset that the basic existence of Israel is illegitimate. Is it any wonder that over 90% of Arabs want to see the state of Israel dismantled and the Jews expelled?
Another aspect of similarity between Nazi Germany and today’s Arab radicalism can be seen in how Western democracies are responding. In the 1930’s the West was extremely risk-averse and shunned confrontation. The costs in blood and money from the battles of WWI were ever-present in the minds of both the leaders and the populace of the West. Hitler and his allies understood this. They understood that even though they were weaker both financially and militarily than the West, they could win confrontations with the West, because they knew that their opponents would back down if the threat of violence was raised. With each confrontation, they got confirmation of this. Mussolini was able to conquer Ethiopia. Franco, with the help of Germany and Italy, was able to take Spain. Without shedding any blood, Germany was able to conquer Austria then Czechoslovakia. Each time, Western leaders such as Neville Chamberlain would close their eyes to the true nature of Nazism and hope that these “sacrifices” would help them avoid confrontation. The truth of the matter, as historians discovered after the war in the Nazi archives, was that if the West had confronted the Nazis, the Nazis would have had to back down. The time to confront them was early on, when they were weak. By not standing firm to the truth and confronting this menace head-on, the cost of battling the Nazis was eventually much higher in both money and lives.
We are seeing a similar pattern of appeasement with Moslem and Arab radicalism. Initially, these groups were small and limited to a few countries. They were small groups without a base of operation, institutions, schools, training camps and the like. They were poorly equipped and their propaganda message was not media-savvy. That is no longer the case today. Because of appeasement by Arab leaders and those in the West, the radicals are now connected internationally. These terrorists now have bases in Afghanistan, Syria, Palestinian Authority areas (PA) and Iran, with well established training camps. Sophisticated television studios and web-design facilities in the PA produce slick propaganda movies, television, and literature. These groups already have taken control in Afghanistan and almost got control of both Jordan and Algeria. Networks of Islamic schools and aid societies have been subverted and employed to train and fund the growing propaganda effort and affiliated terrorist networks. The Nazi brown shirt movement was initially a small group which was ridiculed as outlandish and boorish by their fellow Germans – however in the end no one was laughing. The same is now true of these Moslem/Arab fanatics.
Today’s hate mongers have been given the space to grow because they too, like the Nazis, are good at spotting the weakness of their opponents. Cabinet members and Knesset members in Israel who dare to speak the truth are either killed or expelled as being racist. Wealthy Saudi princes, who are afraid of instability in their realm, are blackmailed to support “Islamic causes” that are paper-thin fronts for this vast amorphous movement. The Western press, in order to gain access to these countries and lands where “the action is,” allows itself to become a propaganda tool for the terrorists. For example, they let themselves to be led to staged events. Western values of fairness and equal media time are subverted to provide forums for sophisticated, smooth-talking hate speakers from the Arab world in prime-time television slots. To call these people what they really are “modern day Nazis” – is a sure way to be called racist. Yet it is clear that these people are only using the Moslem religion as a thin shield to hide their completely amoral campaign. There are hundreds of proof points of how these movements directly mirror the rise of Nazism and Fascism. Still, the Western “weaknesses” of fair play and equal time are allowing us to be cowed into not standing up clearly for the truth and calling this movement what it is.
As with the Nazis, each time the radicals see they can get away with the spread of their ideas it makes them bolder. The U.N. Durban racism conference clearly shows this. It is utterly ironic that a conference established to define racism, was dominated by a group of hateful, racist fanatics. The killing, terrorism, and tyrannical oppression of people occurring in Iran, Iraq, the PA, and Syria were not allowed to be questioned at this conference. Instead, these very oppressors tried to define the justifiable police actions in Israel and the United States as being racist. It really should come as no surprise that September 11th came within a month of the Durban conference. The success of the hate propagandists in one forum gave encouragement to other elements to push ahead in other attacks. Even the current military attacks in Afghanistan are really a symptom of weakness. On the one hand, the United States is being very punitive with the Afghani people who have only a peripheral connection with the Arab radical movement. On the other hand, we are clearly afraid to admit the truth that there is an international movement that needs to be dealt with. Like Medusa, chopping off one head will not hurt it. We need to uncover its core life force and attack it at its heart.
From all of the above, we can identify certain key characteristics of the modern day “fascism” of Arab/Muslim radicalism:
From this it should be clear that military and police actions against those actively engaged in violent acts is only a small part of the necessary battle. These people only constitute the smallest tip of the iceberg. The real worry must be the growing mass movement that aids and supports this movement. There are millions of Arabs and Muslims who are being duped by the propaganda of hate and lies. These Arabs are being radicalized and recruited into fanatical Muslim hate groups. Their numbers are swelling each time they see a Western military attack on their “Muslim brothers.”
The main thrust of our response must be to expose the lies and hate propaganda. It is the lies and falsehoods that are gaining recruits for this movement. We have to reveal the true nature of the Arabs who use false claims of “Israeli brutality” as an excuse for every terrorist act. We have to be brave enough to expose these “freedom fighters” and “liberation movements” for the terror rings that they really are. Instead of inviting and listening politely to Arab and Palestinian smooth-talking hate spokesmen and giving them equal time under the guise of fair play – we have to expose them publicly on our news shows as the monsters that they are. We will certainly be called racist, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and every other name in the book – they know our weaknesses and how we hate to be called these names. But, in fact, the true “anti-Arabs” are the terrorists themselves, and the true Arab liberation movement is one that frees the Arab people from these propagandists. The best weapon in this battle is to courageously speak the truth. For one only has to light one candle of light and truth in order to expel all the darkness of lies and slander.