Saudi Arabia Is Purging Anti-Semitism from Its Textbooks

When Islamic State established its own schools in Iraq and Syria, it used textbooks produced in Saudi Arabia, and over the past decades educational materials coming from the kingdom have encouraged hatred of Jews and Israel, among other ills, throughout the Muslim world. Finally, that situation may be changing, writes Kimberly Dozier:

The kingdom’s latest batch of textbooks has for the first time removed sections calling for non-believers to be punished by death, and predicting an apocalyptic final battle in which Muslims will kill all Jews. . . . That said, the books, which are used in the public K-12 curriculum and made freely available throughout the Arab world, still characterize Jews and Christians as “enemies of Islam.” They say that infidels “do not have any good deeds” and will spend eternity in hell.

This is the second major revision of the nation’s textbooks during the Trump administration. Last year’s version dropped many of the worst racist and anti-Semitic references but was still “suffused with extremism,” Marcus Sheff, [an expert on the subject], says. . . . The reforms of the 2020 textbooks include removing most references to jihad. . . . Just a decade ago, [by contrast], the curriculum centered around preparing students for jihad and martyrdom.

The texts, [moreover], no longer include the anti-Semitic trope that “Zionist Forces” run the world and are plotting to expand Israel’s territory from the Nile to the Euphrates. . . . And for the first time, a key Saudi religious teaching has been deleted that describes an end-of-days battle between Muslims and Jews in which all the Jews would be killed.

Read more at Time

More about: Anti-Semitism, Jewish-Muslim Relations, Jihad, Saudi Arabia

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology