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Anti-Jewish Rhetoric, Arab Style
Interview of Dr. Aryeh Stav, editor of
Netiv Magazine
By Shai Gefen

Three weeks ago, the official Syrian mouthpiece compared Israeli citizens to Nazis, and even wrote that the Holocaust is nothing but the product of the Jews’ imagination. Israelis were shaken by this article, and Israelis of all political persuasions began deriding this sort of talk. Apparently, anti-Semitism among the Arab states surrounding Israel is worse than we thought.

Dr. Aryeh Stav, editor of Netiv magazine for 13 years, regularly probes political topics from varying angles. The greatest experts and researchers write for the magazine, on issues which have ramifications on Israeli-Arab relations. Mr. Stav also heads the research institute Ariel, and has published a book on the topic of anti-Semitism in the Arab world.

Beis Moshiach wanted to hear Mr. Stav’s views of the situation, his assessment and commentary of the degree and nature of Arab anti-Semitism.


Mr. Stav, people say that Arabs hate Zionism but not Jews themselves. How much truth is there in that statement?

As somebody who has researched this topic for many years, I can say with certainty that anti-Semitism in the Arab world, which is expressed clearly in their newspapers, is a replica of Nazi anti-Semitism. Though, it is much more widespread and less sophisticated. In other words, it is more poisonous and brutal.

Before the Nazis began murdering people, their anti-Semitism appeared only in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and only in one newspaper, Der Sturmer, which was published by Streichel in Nierenberg. The Arab anti-Semitism, on the other hand, is openly expressed in every newspaper, in students’ textbooks, and in all possible forms.

Another difference between the Nazis and the Arabs is that the Nazis cloaked their anti-Semitism in fancy rhetoric. The Arabs express their hatred with open arrogance, in attempt to divest a Jew of his humanity. This style of writing appears in all the established Arab newspapers, particularly in Egypt, which is the focus of international anti-Semitism today.

The Israeli pubic is oblivious. Either the truth is purposely hidden from them, or they don’t want to know what the Arabs really think of them.

Can you give us examples of recent anti-Semitism?

Arab anti-Semitism is ancient. It just intensified with the founding of the State of Israel. It isn’t just anger directed towards the state. It goes far beyond that. This hatred has all the elements of Nazi anti-Semitism – at the center of which is the desire to annihilate the Jewish people.

I will give you an example of one of the methods they use. A significant number of Arabs cannot read and write, thus messages are conveyed through caricatures. Caricatures are highly esteemed in the Arab world. Many newspapers are hung up on bulletin boards in central locations and passersby stop to look at them.

Their caricatures are full of loathing for the Jewish people. They depict Jews as monsters. Sometimes they portray Jews as scorpions and crabs, creatures people are frightened of and want to kill.

Another thing that frequently appears in their newspapers, particularly the Syrian newspapers, is the topic of Jews as Satan. There is a picture for example of Rabin, represented by a dancing Satan. Another image the Syrians like to use is a picture of Hitler standing on one side, and Rabin on the other side. Hitler says, “I decided to commit suicide because of the crimes I committed.” Under Rabin’s picture it says, “The crimes I committed are ten times greater than yours, but I have no intention of committing suicide.”

Yet Rabin was moving towards appeasing the Arab world, including the Syrians.

It’s naive to think like that. The Arabs regard the peace process as an opportunity to liquidate the State of Israel, which is why Rabin is depicted as Satan with Jewish symbols. Another example that appeared in Tishrin: Right after Chevron was given to the Palestinians by Netanyahu, a caricature appeared with the “Jewish monster’s” head being cut in two with an Arab dagger. Under the picture it said “Chevron.” They state explicitly that every piece of land we give them, brings closer their opportunity to liquidate the Jewish state.

Is that how the Arabs understand it — that giving them land is part of their plan of exterminating the Jewish people?

Yes, indeed. And I can bring endless examples to illustrate this. I also wrote a book on this topic which proves this conclusively. Here’s an example: every attack on a Jew in Eretz Yisroel is met with great joy and enthusiasm in the Arab world. When two Jews were murdered in the Central Bus Station, there was a caricature of two knives falling on two Jews. It said that this was the beginning of the eradication of the Jewish plague within the Arab nation. This picture appears constantly – how Jews are in the midst of the Arab nation, and how this malignant tumor must be excised completely.

What you’re saying is that we have a cruel enemy with the identical ideas and plans as the Nazis?

The Arabs were always in cahoots with the Nazis and collaborated with them, such as the mufti of Jerusalem (the uncle of Faisal Housseini, the one given the responsibility for Yerushalayim by the Palestinian Authority). The Syrians were also allies of the Nazis. The first translation of Mein Kampf into Arabic was published in Syria. Eichman’s senior assistant, Alexis Brunner, lives in Damascus to this very day. Hitler, Nazism, and the Iron Cross appear in Syrian caricatures all the time; so does Holocaust denial which appears prominently in Arab newspapers. They claim that Jews invented the Holocaust in order to get gentile money.

So why were Israeli newspapers surprised by what the Syrian Tishrin wrote, comparing them to Nazis?

The newspapers purposely withhold information. I wrote a comprehensive book on the topic of anti-Semitic Arab caricatures. The Israeli newspapers didn’t want to write about it at all. Some of them claimed that we drew the caricatures as part of the Israeli Right’s propaganda against the Arabs!

What about the various Peace parties who support the Arabs — are they treated better by the Arab press?

Good question. I will give you an example of how they portray Shimon Peres – the visionary man of peace – in the Egyptian newspapers, especially in El Aharam, Egypt’s official newspaper, described as the New York Times of the Middle East. They once had a caricature showing Peres arriving and receiving flowers. In the next scene, you see him being hanged on the flowers, and in the third scene, you see him breathing his last breath.

Another example: Peres’ book, The New Middle East, was translated into Arabic by El Aharam. On the back of the book, the publishers write that “we published this book of Shimon Peres in order to prove to everyone that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are indeed strong, as Peres’ book proves that Jews want to rule the world...”

It seems that the more we try to flatter the Arabs, the more they hate us. The Israeli Right is their usual enemy, but when the Left crawls to them and flatters them, the Arabs are sure that they are just being set up. They are sure that the Leftist Jew just appears to be their friend, and they hate him even more.

By the way, the director of the Syrian Writers Guild described Barak as a monster who sucks the blood of the Arab nation. He concludes by saying, “In order to get the Golan back so it can be a springboard to annihilate the Jews, I am even ready to sign a paper.” That appeared in Assad’s paper.

Do the Arabs have a connection with Neo-Nazis?

Definitely. All the infamous Holocaust deniers such as Grody, Paulison, and many others, present their ideas in Arab countries. Grody recently returned from a lecture series in Egypt, our “great friend.” Actually, views of the Holocaust can be divided into two: either they deny the Holocaust and say it’s a Jewish invention, or they say the Holocaust happened, but the Jews deserved it for their sins. In other words, they justify the Holocaust.

Do they explicitly talk about another Holocaust of the Jews?

Not only do they justify another Holocaust, but they base this on their religion. One of the tenets of their faith is their response to the following question: How is it that Allah placed the Jews in the midst of the Arab nations, something which is a deviation from the natural order? The religious wise men of Egypt convened and answered as follows: Allah in his greatness learned from Hitler, except that Hitler didn’t finish the job because of difficult logistical reasons, since the Jews did not all live in one place. On the other hand, the Jews are willingly arriving in Palestine and when they all come, we will destroy them. That is why Allah brings them all to Eretz Yisroel, in order to easily annihilate them, r’l.

Barak is getting ready to give away additional land to the Palestinian Authority. How does Anti-Semitism express itself under P.A. rule?

The Palestinian Authority is the one mainly responsible for stirring up hatred for the Jewish people, primarily through their school curriculum. They absolutely de-legitimize the Zionist State. They are educating their children with a deep hatred, and do so in a despicable fashion. One of the terrible things they teach them is the old blood libel charge. They write that Jews mix the blood of Palestinian children into their matzos.

The curriculum for grades three to ten includes anti-Semitic texts, most of which are taken directly from Der Sturmer in Germany. Der Sturmer had a supplement for children, and that is where they take whole texts from. We wrote a comprehensive review on this topic.

This hatred is also expressed actively. They take 7-8- year-old children and educate them in camps to annihilate the Jews. You also see it in the plays the children perform, about how they will free Palestine and Jerusalem from the Jews.

They say that the Palestinian Covenant was nullified, and even Netanyahu admitted to that?!

Just a year and a half ago, in August of 1998, the “law” of the Fatah movement was rewritten, a law that appears on its official Internet site. The opening lines of this law are to eradicate the Zionist presence in Palestine, economically and physically. They speak most openly of the annihilation of a nation.

You must realize that throughout the Middle East there is only one presence that is not Moslem, and that is the Jewish State. They see it as cancerous. The Jews were always under the protection and jurisdiction of Arabs, and then suddenly they formed their own state. Not only that, but they won every war. That is just too shameful for them to accept. They cannot forgive it until the Zionist presence is eliminated from the heart of the Arab nations, as they write in their articles. That is the basic principle that directs Arab thinking.

Why don’t we hear or read about all these shocking things you are telling us?

We don’t read a thing about it. Listen, we signed the Peace Accords with Egypt. The most poisonous anti-Semitism is to be found in Egypt. We signed an agreement with Egypt and we try to believe that it has some validity. We try to hide the truth from ourselves as a defense mechanism. It’s extremely difficult for someone to live with the feeling that everybody around him hates him, so we prefer to avoid thinking about it.

All these quotes go to the Foreign and Defense Ministries of Eretz Yisroel. Are they simply fools who don’t understand what they’re reading?

There’s an effort to avoid dealing with the truth. It’s much easier than knowing the truth. Why, for example, are they ignoring the fact that Egypt is preparing for war against Israel? The Egyptian defense minister said just a few months ago that they must prepare for war against Israel!

The Egyptian army has a military exercise each year called Badar, in remembrance of the Yom Kippur War. The “order of the day” from the chief of staff and the Egyptian defense minister for this exercise speaks about war against Israel. Even on the cover of the newsletter of the Egyptian military, “October” (after the Yom Kippur War which took place in October) you can see a boot of an Egyptian soldier trampling an Israeli flag. It says, “The October war wasn’t the final war, Jewboy...”

Unlike the Nazis who tried to hide their true intentions, the Arabs openly declare that the existence of the Arab nation is conditional upon the destruction of Israel.

So the Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel are in the gravest of danger, yet no one is paying any attention to this?

The greatest irony is that the establishment of the State of Israel was to ensure a safe haven for the Jewish people. In Herzel’s book, Medinat HaYehudim, he writes that as soon as there will be a Jewish state, anti-Semitism will cease immediately, and the Jewish State will have no need for an army. They will only have police.

What is actually the case is that Jews living in Eretz Yisroel are living in the most dangerous area for the Jewish nation. The number of all the Jews killed in terrorist attacks and wars is far greater than the number of Jews killed throughout the world in the last fifty years.

It’s not that I’m opposed to Jews living in Eretz Yisroel. On the contrary, there are appropriate solutions in order for Jews to live safely in our land. The problem is widespread disregard for the situation. We are living in a world of apathy.

Not only are people disregarding the true situation, but they continue following a road leading to danger. Take for example the Camp David Accords. We took Egypt, which was a beaten nation with a military armed with rusty, inferior Soviet weapons, and we asked the Americans for money for Egypt so that they could build themselves a military with the most sophisticated, modern weapons. Since that time, they receive $1.3 billion every year for their military. With our very own hands, we created a strategic danger of the first order on our southern border.

The same thing happened with the Oslo Accords. We established a Palestinian State that will be manned by 150,000 soldiers, and we supplied them with the best weapons. They are already saying that as soon as the official pronouncement about the Palestinian State is made, they will enact a draft. It is estimated that they will draft 150,000 soldiers for ongoing duty, pretty much on par with the I.D.F. – and they are on the border of Tel Aviv.

What we did in the south and center is being attempted in the north. We take a beaten army, armed with old Soviet weapons, and try to set it up so it becomes a serious danger to us. Then we want to give away the Golan, which they used three times to attack us to annihilate us.

Is Israel the only country to return land to its enemies?

International law states that a warring country that wins land in a defensive war is allowed to keep it. After World War II, Germany lost a lot of territory, as did Japan. Israel won far more land in 1948 than it had originally been allotted, and that is because of the defensive war forced upon it. The same thing happened in the war against us in 1967. If, chalila, Israel will give up the expanse of the Golan Heights, it will also be a precedent to reduce Israel to the borders of the partition, which are narrower than the territory in 1948.

With our very own hands, we are giving our sworn enemies who have killed 20,000 of us, land from which it attempted to wipe us out on three occasions. Boruch Hashem, they were unsuccessful.

The Arabs want to break us, piece by piece, step by step. They have two options: to start a war or to wait for the “peace process” to conclude. Then when Israel will be divested of its possessions, they will annihilate us, chalila.

Sadat, with whom we made peace at Camp David, was a great anti-Semite who admired Hitler. He also was a Nazi spy during World War II. He said the famous line, “Our goal is to push the Jews back to the borders of 1967. The next generation will do the next part...” They want to divest Israel of its possessions until it ceases to exist, and then when they go to war against us, we won’t stand a chance.

We must daven heavily for Moshiach. The situation we are in today is heading towards complete self-destruction, r’l. It comes from intermarriage and lack of Jewish population growth.

Do you think that Barak will follow this path at all costs?

You would have to ask Barak. I have long since stopped understanding Israeli leaders. We are steadily going downhill since Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Rabin, Netanyahu, and now Barak. This downward trend cannot be stopped.

At least half the nation believes as you do, and understands the danger. Why doesn’t this affect government thinking even on the Right?

In my opinion, it has to do with the collective history of the Jewish people. Think of someone who over the course of fifty years underwent churban after churban, war after war, attack after attack. Such a person would go crazy. A person could not endure such tragedies and remain sane.

The Jewish people collectively, since the destruction of both Batei Mikdash, lived through so much in its life, and is still in constant danger. As we speak, they are aiming 1,000 ballistic missiles towards Gush Dan; some of them armed with the capability of mass destruction. These are pointed at us from Egypt, Syria, and Libya. If we translate the individual situation to the circumstances of the nation, you can understand that after all we’ve been through, such an abnormal situation, we are ready to live in an unreal world of self-delusion.

You mentioned that giving away the Golan Heights raises questions about the borders of ‘48. What did you mean?

The Golan Heights is an area under Israeli sovereignty even according to the laws of the Knesset. Paragraph two of Israeli law says, “Whoever plans to do something that will cause a sovereign area of the State of Israel to be transferred to foreign rule, gets the death penalty.” Now what do we have? A prime minister arises – without the law being abolished – and he does whatever he can to give away the Golan Heights! One would never dream that the prime minister of any nation would give up on a sovereign piece of land for any reason whatsoever.

Imagine the Irish Underground building its parliament in greater London, a short walk away from the British Parliament. That is what is happening here. The P.L.O. is building the Palestinian Parliament in Jerusalem within walking distance of the Kotel.

Do you think that demonstrations help?

You cannot cease protests and demonstrations. It’s a fact that an organization like Shalom Achshav achieved a tremendous amount through protests.

What is the magazine Netiv, which you edit?

Netiv has been published for 13 years. It is an intellectual publication the Left can’t compete with, so we have never had even one review in the Israeli papers. They simply do not want to deal with the research we do. The research is done under the auspices of Machon Ariel, with the best researchers from around the world. The most comprehensive research in the world on the topic of defense against ballistic missiles was made by us. The research, which developed into a full-length book, was published by Yediot Acharonot, and is now published in London by the most exclusive publishing house in the world for military matters. To date, over 400 world famous experts have written for us.

What do you anticipate for the future?

It’s better not to talk about it. I came here at the age of 10 after the Holocaust, and lived here all my life. I try to change things, but unfortunately without much success. The public doesn’t know much since the sources of information purposely fool them. As I said earlier, to a certain degree, people don’t even want to know.

I went to a study group and explained every facet of the danger for Israeli citizens if the Golan Heights is returned. Would you believe that at the end of my talk, a woman got up and said, “I heard you, and it’s very interesting. But I don’t want my son to die in a war.” What can you say to that? It’s simply utter foolishness laden with a display of emotion. They just don’t comprehend that by making these agreements, they aren’t only sacrificing one son, but the lives of the entire nation. The will to carry on the fight to justify our approach and our continued existence has long since ceased.

I’d like to mention that I have read many of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s sichot. I’m currently reading Shalom, Shalom, V’ein Shalom, which brings many quotes from the Rebbe’s talks about shleimus ha’aretz. I can say with confidence that what the Rebbe contained in his little finger doesn’t exist in the entire political and security leadership of the State of Israel, from Begin’s times until today.

One of the most amazing things I saw was the Rebbe’s vision in terms of accurately assessing the situation as it really is. He saw the dangers back then, which we live through today. He saw this in the days when they signed the Camp David agreement and long before that. That is the vision of a leader of stature, whose only concern and interest is the Jewish people.


Arab anti-Semitism is openly expressed in every newspaper, in students’ textbooks, and in all possible forms.  





One of the terrible things they teach them is the old blood libel charge. They write that Jews mix the blood of Palestinian children into their matzos.




The Arabs regard the peace process as an opportunity to liquidate the State of Israel.




It’s extremely difficult for someone to live with the feeling that everybody around him hates him, so we prefer to avoid thinking about it.


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