How Nazi Anti-Semitism United Arabs against Israel

To most Westerners, there are two default explanations for the Israeli-Arab conflict: either it is a response to Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, or it is the product of ancient hatreds that stretch back to a time before memory. Neither explanation gets close to the truth, which Matthias Küntzel’s recent book Nazis, Islamic Anti-Semitism, and the Middle East seeks to expose by examining how so many Arabs came to hate Jews. Daniel Ben-Ami writes in his review:

It was the Nazis, Küntzel argues, who played the key role in bringing genocidal anti-Semitism to the region. Küntzel identifies several channels through which the Nazis exerted their influence. From 1937 onwards they gave financial backing and other forms of support to Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem. . . . The Nazis distributed large numbers of Husseini’s pamphlet, Judaism and Islam, first published in Cairo in 1937. For Küntzel, it was a seminal document, the first to link the Jew hatred of classical Islamic texts with the conspiratorial anti-Semitism that emerged in Europe in the late 19th century.

Finally, even when it was clear that the Nazis were losing the Second World War they still provided support for a forthcoming Arab war against Israel. This included an attempt to provide a large store of light arms for Muslims to use to fight the nascent Jewish state.

Yet, Ben-Ami observes, some of the seeds were sown even before Husseini and Hitler came on the scene:

Earlier developments had already prepared the ground for the Nazis’ ideological intervention in the region. Christian missionaries had already begun to export traditional European conceptions of Jews into the region in the 19th century. For example, the idea of the blood libel—that Jews drank the blood of non-Jewish children—was an import from Europe.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Anti-Semitism, Israel-Arab relations, Nazism


To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy