[This essay was written by Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. Rubin is also Middle East editor of Pajamas Media, and author of the new book, Israel: An Introduction - A.L.]
It is the year 2012, which seems to be going by very fast and is already one-fourth finished. People are walking around with smart phones and all sorts of electronic devices undreamed of not long ago. There has been what is called an “Arab Spring” stoking fantasies about instant democracy. An African-American was elected president of the United States, and that was after his party’s nomination, and thus probably the White House, almost went to a woman!
Times have changed.
Yet the hysterical hatred for Israel in the Arabic-speaking world and among Muslims in general has only increased; the philosophy of rejectionism is as strong as ever or, put another way, even stronger. Indeed, it is no longer safe, and certainly isn’t comfortable, for Jews in much of Europe and even, for those who support Israel, on American college campuses.
Two examples of how the lynch mobs are out in force in places where formerly they were least present.In previously moderate Tunisia, now under Muslim Brotherhood rule, thousands of Salafists paraded, chanting to kill the Jews in order to enter paradise. The new Tunisian constitution contains a provision that the country could never recognize Israel. Almost a half-century ago, Tunisia’s then leader was the first Arab politician to call for recognizing Israel. We’re still waiting.
In Morocco, perhaps the overall most moderate country in the Arabic-speaking world, a meeting of the Mediterranean Parliamentary Union was held. Israel, which has a parliamentary system and is on the Mediterranean (I can see the sea from my roof), is a member of this group. Consequently one Israeli attended the meeting. The result was a riot in which thousands of Moroccans assaulted the building and the leader of the ruling Islamist party complained at how the country’s soil had been tainted.
I won’t bother citing a thousand other examples. But with the triumph of revolutionary Islamists and the throwing down the memory hole of decades of disastrous Arab anti-Israel policies, the Arabic-speaking world is becoming more radical on this issue. It is now joined by Turkey and Iran.
They hate us; they despise us; they want to kill us.