For many years my husband and I were friends with an Egyptian man, Ali, who never failed to bring back a wonderful souvenir from his country on his return to the states. He was kind and generous but it was not until after September 11, 2001 did we discover how ingrained was his antipathy to Israel. Ali worked with my husband and during the chaotic months that followed the attacks he appeared to be as much in shock as the rest of us yet his explanation for the attacks was typical among many in the Arab community. "You know," he said, "the United States really has to rethink its support of Israel." What I always find shocking, however, is that this same absurd sentiment is being repeated by some Jewish rabbis and liberal commentators.
In 2007, I wrote a column condemning Mayor Bloomberg's proposed Arab language public school whose designated principal, Dhabah Almontaser had also blamed the attacks on U.S. foreign policy. She was quoted as saying that the 9/11 attack "can have been triggered by the way the USA breaks its promises with countries across the world, especially in the Middle East, and the fact that it has not been a fair mediator."
One of the first calls I received at the New York Sun was from a Rabbi who said he had worked with Ms. Almontaser and told me she "is a wonderful woman." When I told him what she had said about 9/11, he told me he agreed with her. "Are you saying that 9/11 was our fault?" I asked him. He said that in some ways it was because of our ties with Israel. My first thought was, "so much for that theory that Jews are smarter than any other group."
There have been recent studies claiming that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQ of any ethnic group for which there's reliable data, perhaps as much as a full standard deviation above the general European average. That theory obviously is flawed if we judge by the number of Jews who still don't know how important Israel is to this country and how dangerous it is to underestimate the threat by Islamic fundamentalism.
When Iran's president Ahmadinejad was coming to New York, most sane people objected to his visit and yet one group released a statement welcoming him. It read, "It has been our honor and privilege to meet with President Ahmadinejad ... we have found the Iranian President to be a deeply religious man, dedicated to a peaceful world, based on mutual respect, fairness and dialogue. Out of great respect to the Iranian Nation and their leadership we proudly welcome the Honorable President Ahmadinejad to New York, WELCOME!"
Who could have said this? Why the religious leader who said this was, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta which is a vehemently anti-Zionist group with roots in Satmar and other like-minded hasidic groups and in ultra-orthodox Judaism. I had never heard of this sect but apparently this cult believes that Israel is not a legitimate nation until the Messiah comes. So they welcome a man who hates Jews and wants to destroy Israel.
With all the turmoil in Egypt it's distressing to hear the mainstream media dismiss the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood as merely a secular society. Wishful thinking perhaps but the truth is far more frightening. Many Iranian dissidents are issuing warnings to Egyptians and reminding them what happened to their own country when the Shah was deposed. Their loathing for President Carter is monumental because he did nothing to prevent the mullahs from turning their country into a theocracy. They see the Muslim Brotherhood poised to take over Egypt. They call President Carter's actions during this period the "worst case of treason, disloyalty and betrayal in history of the Iranian people". Their case is stated plainly on the website iransara.info.
I cringe when I hear a supposedly intelligent political figure or journalist dismiss the warnings against the Muslim Brotherhood as right wing paranoia. If they did their homework they'd know that this organization promotes Sharia as the rule of law. The best word to describe this group is sneaky. On the surface they preach peace and community good will (The Ground Zero mosque imam was associated with this group) and ingratiate themselves by pretending they are secular but their ultimate goal is to establish a caliphate in this country.
Last July, Robert Spencer wrote an article in JihadWatch.org that warned about the group's goal in Egypt. He wrote, "The Islamic supremacist group known as the Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated, according to a captured internal document, to eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, has its best chance in years to take power in Egypt, with implications for the Middle East and beyond." Remember this was written last year.
The problems with militant Islam have been around since its creation. When Thomas Jefferson was ambassador to France he met with a Muslim ambassador to discuss a peace treaty and came away with the reason for the Muslim's hostility towards America. He wrote: "...that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."
In a letter written in 1843, historian Alex de Tocqueville wrote: "I studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. So far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself."
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and the Middle East and it is being called the new anti-Semitism because it is Jew hatred targeted at the State of Israel and is practiced by noted academics. Noam Chomsky, the darling of liberals, has been called the "intellectual godfather" of the anti-Israel campaign by Alan Dershowitz. Chomsky has called for the abolition of Israel and he's not the only Jew who likens Israel as evil as apartheid South Africa.
Here's the real deal, Mr. Intellectual. Israel is a tiny country surrounded by nations determined to wipe it off the face of the earth. Given the opportunity they'd wipe you out first. If you can't understand that you're not as bright as you think.