Saudi Arabia Is Ridding Its Textbooks of Anti-Semitism, but the Rest of the Middle East Has a Long Way to Go

For many years, the Saudi kingdom was the major exporter of religious extremism, including hatred of Jews and Israel, to the Muslim world. That that has changed dramatically is evidenced by the textbooks used in the country’s schools, which no longer teach children, for instance, that Muslims will one day receive divine help in slaughtering Jews en masse. Marcus Sheff discusses these changes in conversation with Hussein Aboubakr, and puts them in the context of trends throughout the Muslim Middle East—ranging from the United Arab Emirates, where textbooks praise tolerance as a virtue, to Iran, where they extoll the martyrdom of children, and Houthi-ruled areas of Yemen, where {imagined) Jewish malfeasance is an obsession. (Moderated by Sarah N. Stern. Video, 54 minutes.)

Read more at Endowment for Middle East Truth

More about: Abraham Accords, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Middle East, Saudi Arabia


The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland