“Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty four hours and too little on the last six thousand years.” — Will Durant
We are forever hearing the Muslim world using the term “Crusader” in reference to the West when accusing us of every evil that has ever befallen them, as though we had invented colonialism and exploitation or the acquisition of booty in the pursuit of empire.
One of the most prevalent characteristics of the jihadist—when he’s not using the religion of Islam to justify his savagery—is his habitual revision and/or obfuscation of actual Middle Eastern history. Always careful to avoid turning back the pages far enough to reveal how Islam’s religious parvenus actually pioneered the very idea of imperialism and colonial rule, the jihadist must overlook the fact that long before there was a Palestine “occupied” by a State of Israel, there was also a Palestine when Jews lived absent the presence of religiously intolerant Arab Muslims. Today’s “pro-Palestinian” protester vehemently refuses any discussion regarding the awkward historical truth defining who is actually occupying who in the land of Israel.
Efraim Karsh has noted, “Contrary to the conventional wisdom, it is the Middle East where the institution of empire not only originated (for example, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Iran, and so on) but where its spirit has also outlived its European counterpart.” We are now accustom to seeing anti-Zionism placards at any event arranged for the purpose of protesting against the State of Israel, as though any Jew should be ashamed of admitting to being a Zionist. Unlike the Islamic imperialist (read: jihadist), the Zionist doesn’t want to rule the world and hold indigenous captives under his thumb. Rather he simply wants to return to the land of Israel, his ancient homeland, and live there in peace, safely out of reach of the Islamic imperialist.
But the jihadist will travel back in history only so far as Jabotinsky and Herzl, as though Zionism began with them. Never mind the fact that Jabotinsky and Herzl and their Zionism saved many Jews from the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Sobibor, or repatriated into Israel those Jewish survivors who walked out of the darkness of Eastern Europe at the end of WW2, the jihadist, in his madness, erroneously sees only a mirror image of himself and Islam’s imperialistic tendencies in the Zionism of the Jew. This is why the nefarious Protocols of the Elders of Zion has become the Arab Muslim’s most popular proof for his vitriol against the Jews of Israel. Never mind the ancient history of Zionism, that this same Zionism predates even the Muslim Arab invasion of ancient Israel, the Islamist sees only Jabotinsky and Herzl and the Jewish refugee fighting (and winning) his way back into what had been for so long a preponderant Arab Muslim Palestine.
The Arab Muslim, the original jihadist, has never been willing to tolerate a sovereign Jewish state, regardless the evidence of a perpetual Jewish presence in the land of Israel. As Jamil Mardam, Syria’s Foreign Minister, told Herzl’s friend Moshe Shertok back in 1943, “You won’t find a single Arab leader who would voluntarily acquiesce in your becoming the majority in Palestine…there can be no mutually agreed settlement as no Arab statesman will accept a Jewish majority.”* Islam’s jihadist is willing to look only so far back into the history of the Middle East as serves his religion’s imperialistic dictates. About the fate of the Jews, even Jews running from the Holocaust, he couldn’t care less.
For every European and American kingmaker who travelled to the Middle East “to do the impossible for the ungrateful,” to borrow a phrase from Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, there was always an Arab Muslim waiting there who dreamed of empire and was more than willing to accept their money, even at the expense of the common Arab who was simply trying to raise a family and live in relative security. The reasons given today to justify Islamic jihad are simply born of a religiously taught hatred of everything Western but have no valid connection to the real history of the Middle East and therefore no credence when used to inculpate the West for the volatile instability of the region.
Arab Muslim empires rose and then came crashing down long before Western powers took their turn at exploiting the Middle East’s natural resources. One has only to take a short read into the history of Islam’s many kings and caliphs to realize that the jihad waged back then, with Arab Muslim killing Arab Muslim, was not at all dissimilar to the jihad waged today, with Arab Muslim killing Arab Muslim, Jew and Christian: jihad, not because there is any sense to it, or because there is an end that could possibly justify the means, but only because Islam and its tenets advocate jihad and for no other reason. The jihadist is not interested in ancient history and how that history can never justify his crimes against humanity. The jihadist is only interested in the last twenty four hours and the measure of harm he has loosed into the world.
*from Efraim Karsh’s ‘Palestine Betrayed’
Michael Devolin has been a member of JDL Canada since the 1980s, and has served as the personal bodyguard to Meir Weinstein, National Director of JDL Canada, at several high-profile trials, including the Jim Keegstra hate crimes trial and the Imra Finta war crimes trial.