Jihad Watch Advisory Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald assesses the jihad against Israel:
What is surprising about the Jihad against the Infidel state of Israel is how transparent have been the attempts to disguise it for Western audiences, yet how successful those attempts have been, and not only in the outside world, but in Israel itself.
No discussion of anything in the Middle East, or elsewhere that involves Muslims, can take place without a thorough grasp of what Islam is all about. Is there a special unit in the Pentagon and the State Department made up of people well-versed in Qur’an, hadith, and sira (obviously not Muslims themselves, or non-Muslim apologists such as Sells and Esposito), and who furthermore have been adequately supported in their studies of the history of Jihad and of dhimmitude? Why not? Is there another entire parallel world of people who are trained, and who can be listened to instead of to the assorted PLO propagandists and antisemites who see “Likud” conspiracies everywhere — not to mention the leftists who see the cause of “Palestine” as a way to assert their third-world credentials (it’s getting awfully hard to depict the Arabs, who have recently received 5-6 trillion dollars in unearned and unmerited wealth, as part of the “Third World” — but since when did reality matter?) as well as a chance to beat up not only on Jews (leftist antisemitism is a powerful force) and but also upon the United States. Among the latter are Rashid Khalidi, Joel Beinin, Laurie Brand, Juan Cole — just to offer a list of the most recent presidents of MESA, the scandalous association of “Midde Eastern Scholars of America” which, for all I know, may have a few real scholars still in it. Just like the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, which broke away from the MLA more than a decade ago, surely the real scholars of Islam and the Middle East should make their case before the public and above all to Congress — which must not be fooled by the word “scholar” or by the invocation of various “prestigious” university titles or associations. These mean exactly nothing, except as an indication of how cleverly the real story of Islam has been pushed to one side by propagandists unfit to walk the halls where once Arthur Jeffery, Joseph Schacht, Richard Gottheil, and others once walked.
At Columbia, Georgetown, and various other places, when one compares the few real scholars of the past with the clowns who have usurped their places, one gets a melancholy Hyperion-to-a-satyr sense of things. Not so much lachrimae rerum as — Who engineered this? Who was not looking when the Middle Eastern Departments of this country were, most of them, transformed in such insidious fashion? What brave and intelligent administrators and university presidents and members of the faculty — members outside the Middle Eastern Studies departments — are going to make the investigation, based on a true understanding of Islam, and the subsequent cleaning-up their highest priority?
Imagine an English department that failed to mention Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Johnson, Keats, Dickens, or Joyce. Well, plenty of Middle Eastern departments are so busy with their courses on the “Arab-Israeli” conflict, and the “construction of Palestinian identity,” and most recently — sensing that something about Islam is in the air — with attempts to describe all talk about Islam as just so many varying “discourses” representing different political “agendas.” This is a transparent attempt to prevent any serious investigation of the tenets of Islam and their reception over 1350 years, and the remarkably similar ways, over those 1350 years and from Spain to eastern Asia, Muslims first conquered and then subjugated, and then slowly asphyxiated, all sorts of non-Muslim peoples: Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs (under the Mughals), Confucians, others. An unbroken record of mistreatment and violence. But if MESA has much to do with it, our attention will continue to fix on the essentially trivial example of the sliver of Infidel-controlled territory upon which many people believe that most ancient of Middle Eastern peoples, the Jews, have every right to re-establish their commonwealth. But of course, in the view of Islam, no Infidels anywhere have rights — except insofar as those “rights” may be generously granted by the dominant Muslims, “rights” that at any point can be removed at will.
Fascinating that a few British observers in the 1930s wrote about Jihad; that Shlomo Carlebach’s observations on the Jihad, preserved amusingly by Edward Said in his preposterous “The Question of Palestine” in the early 1950s, also showed an understanding; and that more and more scholars even in peace-hypnotized Israel are realizing, with clear-sighted alarm, that the Arab and Muslim opposition to Israel is not susceptible of “solution.” Or rather, that the only long-term “solution” that will not result in the disappearance of Israel and the seizure of the Holy Land by Muslims is that of Israel remaining overwhelmingly and obviously strong, which requires it not give up any more territory, so that the Arabs will be able to invoke “Darura” as the reason for not going to war in the military sense. Anyone care to take issue with that? Is anyone assuming that things will just be hunky-dory, if not for the Jews then at least for the Christians who might want free access to the Holy Land, if Israel disappears?
In all other senses — diplomatic, political, economic, demographic — the war will continue. It cannot but. The Muslim Arabs, or most of them (and one must make policy not on the basis of the handful of the enlightened or the plausible, but on the basis of the primitive unenlightened — those mobs in Gaza, for example) have to continue the Jihad. They simply must.
But the Israelis have to come to their senses. The late George Ball, an enemy of Israel, used to insist that we should “save Israel in spite of itself” He meant, of course, that we should force it to make suicidal concessions. The phrase, however, can be appropriated and put to better use.
And that “saving Israel in spite of itself” would require making clear that there is no “two-state solution” and indeed, no “solution” at all. The very idea of a “solution” to many of the world’s problems is itself a reflection of silliness, or naivete, or stupidity. The only “solution” is the one that worked for the United States in the Cold War: wait, and wait, and keep up the pressure, and keep up military and other kinds of warfare against an enemy that is active on all fronts, and hope that eventually the environment requires an end to the use of fossil fuels, or there is some gathering understanding, even if it is not expressed, by intelligent Muslims that they have far more to lose by going in for the kill against Israel than if they concentrated instead on constraining Islam. In that way the many failures — political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral — of the world of Islam might, to the degree that Islam is constrained, be undone, or remedied, and an otherwise hopeless situation ameliorated.