With the Advent of Zionism, Muslims Adopted the European View of Jews as Bearers of “Cosmic Evil”

In his long and prolific career, the great scholar of the Islamic world Bernard Lewis wrote two books on Jewish subjects: The Jews of Islam, on the history of Jews in Muslim lands, and Semites and Anti-Semites, on Arab anti-Semitism. Martin Kramer identifies Lewis’s own encounters with Arab anti-Semitism as the inspiration for both. To Lewis, Muslims for most of their history generally found Jews “contemptible,” but no worse than that, while their Christian contemporaries ascribed to Jews the “quality of cosmic evil.” All that changed with the rise of Zionism, when Arabs found Jews not to be the cowardly creatures of stereotype but brave and formidable. (Video, 40 minutes.)

Read more at Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, Bernard Lewis


Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict