The “Unclean” Jew in the Crosshairs

Summary: Antisemites calling Jews “unclean” is their first step towards calling for purifying them from the world. How should the world respond?

There have been a number of political leaders who have called Jews “unclean”:

  • Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (1925): “The moral and physical cleanliness of this race [Jews] was a point in itself. It was externally apparent that these were not water-loving people, and unfortunately one could frequently tell that even with eyes closed. Later the smell of these caftan wearers often made me ill. Added to this were their dirty clothes and their none too heroic appearance. 
  • Hamas Charter (1988):The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of Moslems who have given their allegiance to Allah whom they truly worship, – “I have created the jinn and humans only for the purpose of worshipping” – who know their duty towards themselves, their families and country. In all that, they fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors, so that they would rid the land and the people [Jews] of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils.”
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (2013):Israeli regime, this sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region
  • Acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (2014): “Keep the settlers and the extremists away from Al-Aqsa and our holy places. We will not allow our holy places to be contaminated.


It did not take long for these leaders and parties to move from their initial anti-Semitic positions, to calls to eradicate the Jews:

  • Hitler’s Nazi party gradually stripped Jews of their citizenship in the early and mid-1930’s once the gained power, pushed them into ghettoes and work camps by late 1930’s and began their annihilation by the early 1940’s.
  • Hamas called for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel in the very same 1988 charter: “rid the land and the people [Jews]“, “there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” and “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people.”  The Palestinian people voted for Hamas into 58% of the Parliament in 2006.
  • Iran’s leader was quite clear in 2014: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated
  • The Fatah party of the Palestinians was led by Yasser Arafat who said: “We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilt to redeem our land!”” His successor, Mahmoud Abbas declared In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.

One can call Abbas a “moderate” in comparison to those around him in that he has not openly called for killing Israelis (he prefers the indirect method of honoring and celebrating those that do kill Israelis).

President Obama commented about ISIS (2014) that “the world must never cease in seeking to defeat their evil ideology.” Such evil ideology is the open platform in the Iranian and Palestinian leadership.

As Obama is actively engaged in dialogue and negotiations with both of those parties, does he think

  • that the Iranian and Palestinian platforms are not “evil ideologies
  • that they are exceptions that do not need to be defeated, or
  • his process of negotiation and placating them is a method of “defeating” them?

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

The Palestinians War Against the Jews

Palestinian anti-Semitism surpasses Nazi Germany

Before recognizing a Palestinian State, Recognize what the Palestinians are saying

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Roger Cohen penned a piece in the New York Times Op-Ed on July 15 that suggested the pathway to peace in the Middle East is that “Jews should study the Nakba. Arabs should study the Holocaust.” Putting aside the naiveté of the suggestion, the comparison is disgusting in itself.

The Holocaust was a genocide of a people. It was a deliberate attempt of an elected government to commit genocide against a select group of its own citizens. As Nazi Germany conquered more territory, it continued to implement its plan of eradicating the Jews – which it deemed an inferior life form – in those additional lands. Not satisfied with only killing millions of innocents, the Nazis tortured and performed medical experiments on these unarmed men, women and children. It was one of the darkest periods of mankind.

The Palestinian Nakba was a civil war over control of land. Arabs in Palestine protested to the ruling authority (the British) to block the establishment of a Jewish national homeland as called for by the League of Nations (the precursor to the United Nations). The Arabs themselves initiated the fight to stop the implementation of international law, and launched multi-year riots and then a war to destroy Israel. Their Nakba was that they were not allowed to return to homes in the country they just sought to destroy.

How are these two events remotely comparable?

  • One was about life; one was about land.
  • One was about a government wiping out its citizens; one was about citizens fighting the government.
  • One was about passive unarmed civilians; one was about warring parties.
  • One left survivors scattered around the globe; one left survivors a few miles from their homes, living with the same people in a land that they wanted, which the UN had proposed to split anyway.
  • One made the United Nations call for human rights all over the world; the other had the UN create a special niche entity just for the losing party to perpetuate their civil war.

The events could not be more different. The only things they have in common is that they occurred around the same time in history and both involved Jews.

But Israel was not born from the ashes of the Holocaust and planted in the ground of a Palestinian Nakba. The only “fruit” of the Holocaust was the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The preamble of the UDHR clearly stated that the “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous act which have outraged the conscience of mankind,” – the sickening actions of the Holocaust created the declaration meant to benefit all mankind.

Regarding Palestine, Jewish history in the land predated the Holocaust by thousands of years. The Ottomans welcomed Jews and they moved throughout the region from 1800 to 1914 at rates that dwarfed all other groups. After the Ottoman Empire broke apart, the League of Nations sought the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” in 1920, decades before WWII. The Arabs rioted in 1920 and 1929 against the action, and in 1936 began what has become a 78-year running civil war to prevent – and later eradicate – the Jewish State. The Arab “Nakba” – their grievance about homes destroyed and left behind – is because they lost the battle they initiated. The “fruit” of the Nakba was the establishment of UNRWA by the United Nations which has encouraged the Arabs to never abandon their civil war. The rotten fruit has left the Palestinians to fester and subject to abuse by their host countries, including Lebanon and Syria. It has benefited no one.

Perhaps the first person to learn about the Holocaust and the Nakba is Roger Cohen.

The Times should be reprimanded for continuing to print pieces that give legitimacy to those who compare Israel to Nazi Germany and Netanyahu to Hitler. It gives cover to anti-Semites in Europe and the world who paint the Jewish state in Nazi colors. The term “Never Again” born from the massacres of innocents in the Holocaust means more than not allowing genocides to happen again. Civilized people should not trivialize evil. For a global paper like the Times to do so specifically against the Jewish State is reprehensible.