Rhetoric, Arab Style
Interview of Dr. Aryeh Stav, editor of Netiv
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.
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.
wanted to hear Mr. Stav’s views of the situation, his assessment
and commentary of the degree and nature of Arab anti-Semitism.
Stav, people say that Arabs hate Zionism but not Jews themselves.
How much truth is there in that statement?
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.
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.
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.
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.
you give us examples of recent anti-Semitism?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Rabin was moving towards appeasing the Arab world, including the
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.
that how the Arabs understand it — that giving them land is part
of their plan of exterminating the Jewish people?
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
you’re saying is that we have a cruel enemy with the identical
ideas and plans as the Nazis?
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.
why were Israeli newspapers surprised by what the Syrian Tishrin
wrote, comparing them to Nazis?
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!
about the various Peace parties who support the Arabs — are they
treated better by the Arab press?
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
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
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.
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.
the Arabs have a connection with Neo-Nazis?
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.
they explicitly talk about another Holocaust of the Jews?
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
is getting ready to give away additional land to the Palestinian
Authority. How does Anti-Semitism express itself under P.A. rule?
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.
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.
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.
say that the Palestinian Covenant was nullified, and even
Netanyahu admitted to that?!
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.
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.
don’t we hear or read about all these shocking things you are
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.
these quotes go to the Foreign and Defense Ministries of Eretz
Yisroel. Are they simply fools who don’t understand what
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!
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...”
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.
the Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel are in the gravest of danger,
yet no one is paying any attention
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Israel the only country to return land to its enemies?
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.
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
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.
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
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.
you think that Barak will follow this path at all costs?
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.
least half the nation believes as you do, and understands
the danger. Why doesn’t this affect government thinking even
on the Right?
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.
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.
mentioned that giving away the Golan Heights raises questions
about the borders of ‘48. What did you mean?
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.
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.
you think that demonstrations help?
cannot cease protests and demonstrations. It’s a fact that an
organization like Shalom Achshav achieved a tremendous amount
is the magazine Netiv, which you edit?
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.
do you anticipate for the future?
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
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.
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.
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.