Monday, January 17, 2011

Anti-Jewish Insanity in the Middle East Transcends All Previous Limits

By Barry Rubin

After more than 30 years working professionally on Middle East history and politics, I can still be astonished by things that happen in the region. Yet, precisely as William Shakespeare wrote in his play about Cleopatra:

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/Her infinite variety:"

Well, not exactly "infinite variety." It's just more of the same, to an infinite extreme. Who would have thought, say 20 year ago, that the Arabic-speaking world's obsession with demonizing Jews might go even further than where it was at that time?

For one thing, in the 1990s, history seemed to be moving toward moderation; for another thing, who could believe it could become even more intense.

But just at the moment when for the first time in all of history Americans are told that (some) Jews  object to the use of the term "blood libel" by someone falsely accused of murder, the same people are ignoring thousands of blood libels generated daily in the Middle East, many with fatal consequences.  

And now this, as reported by MEMRI:

Wael Ramadhan: "The [Roman] war against Cleopatra was Jewish in essence, and history repeats itself. The Romans had no territorial aspirations in Egypt in those days, and this is ignored by history and by many historians. The Romans were at war with the Parthians and the remnants of the Persian Empire, but they had no intention of waging war against Egypt."

Ramadhan has just made a television series on the Romans and Cleopatra.

There is a humorous side to all of this, but hatred and demonization of Jews is also a mania poisoning the Arab world (not to mention Iran and some other Muslim-majority) and blocking progress in dealing with all of its problems.

This plague has reached epidemic proportions, it shapes policy, prevents peace, paralyzes research and education, and unhinges religion. While an absurd debate rages in America about whether a non-Jew is allowed to use the phrase "blood libel" (something that no Jew has ever hitherto objected to in world history), they are ignoring huge numbers of actual, serious, deadly blood libels.

A sea of blood libels....And they will produce a sea of blood.

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