Rafed English

The Errors of Radical Jews

On 25 February 1994, Baruch Goldstein unleashed a vicious attack on the Abraham Mosque in al-Khalil (Hebron) in the West Bank. This settler, a member of a radical Jewish organization claiming to be following in the footsteps of Meir Kahane, entered the mosque and, under the protection of Israeli soldiers, walked to its center and opened fire with his M-16 assault rifle on the 500 Muslims performing their morning prayers, repeatedly changing magazines.

Sixty-seven Muslims died on the spot; a further 300 were wounded. The Israeli administration announced that this was a frenzied attack by an individual. However, the facts that he entered the mosque with his rifle, passed Israeli soldiers protecting the mosque, and fired on the worshippers for a long enough time to empty many clips prove that this statement was questionable. If nothing else, the Israeli soldiers had given him passive support.

In reality, this was only one of the many attacks carried out by radical Jewish groups. In 1980, the same groups tried to blow up Muslim places of worship in Jerusalem (e.g., al-Aqsa Mosque and the Qubbat as-Sakhrah) in order to rebuild the temple of Solomon. The radical Jewish settlers who walk around with their weapons and launch bloody attacks on Palestinians are members of these groups.

The most radical of them is the Kahane faction, to which Goldstein belonged. Founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane, this organization is well-organized in both Israel and America. It is totally committed to Rabbi Kahane's fanatical doctrines and operates in Israel under the name of Kach and in America under the name of the Jewish Defense League. Kahane believed that Jews are superior to all other races, which he considered to be some sort of animals (goyim), and that all Arabs in the occupied territories should be subjected to ethnic cleansing. This organization expressed its rationale as the only good Arab is a dead Arab. His organization survived his assassination in 1990 in New York, and reorganized, particularly in Israel, under such names as Kahane Chai (Kahane lives). Followers of Kahane are responsible for many more massacres besides the one mentioned above.

Another strange aspect of the al-Khalil massacre was the widespread support it received from certain sections of Israeli society. Israel Shahak, one of Israel's critical voices, wrote that Goldstein's attack received the support of "a disturbing level of approval" of Israelis. 17 A poll conducted after the massacre revealed that 40 percent of Israelis supported the massacre or at least understood his motives. Among young people, 30 percent supported it and another 35 percent understood him.

Shahak also wrote that this support was not limited to the al-Khalil massacre, but that the group's doctrines received the support of a frighteningly large proportion of society. Polls revealed that 39 percent of young people totally shared Kahane's views. When his views were put to young people without mentioning his name, this number increased to a whopping 66 percent. This majority believed in forcing the Palestinians living in the occupied territories to migrate. As Shahak said, a considerable proportion of Israelis regarded the Arabs as Amalek, an Arab tribe mentioned in the Old Testament as a people who were ordered to be killed, including their women and children. It says:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys." (1 Samuel, 15:2-3)

All of these events and attitudes prove the existence of a real danger: Jewish radicalism. We have scrutinized this radical ideology and its consequences in earlier publications. We can summarize them as follows:

There is a radical tendency in the Jewish world to promote hate and animosity toward non-Jews and advocate the harshest and most unforgiving treatment of Palestinians. This tendency has strong support within Israel and plays an important role in forming and continuing its aggressive, uncompromising, and occupying 50-year attitude against Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. No doubt, the Kahane organization and such militants as Baruch Goldstein are a small minority within the Israeli Jewish community (also among all Jews around the world). However, there is a radical culture, albeit less radical, that provides ideological support and continues to threaten Middle Eastern and world peace.

Let us state here that these radical Jews are not part of a presumed global Jewish conspiracy and that the majority of Jews, especially those outside of Israel, oppose this movement and wish to live in peace with other religions and nations. It must also be remembered that many Jews who oppose these radical Jews and their views, often with religious content, are religious themselves or are even rabbis.

The sources of this Jewish radicalism must be analyzed in order to understand this issue correctly. There are two main sources: the hostility toward non-Jews within Jewish tradition based, in particular, on the misinterpretation of some fanatical views in the Talmud; and political Zionism, which was founded in the nineteenth century and inspired by the contemporaneous Social Darwinist and other imperialist ideologies.

The first source has been comprehensively studied in Israel Shahak's Jewish History, Jewish Religion. As Shahak clearly establishes, the Jewish diaspora, beginning in the first century AD, exposed the Jews to many centuries of Christian oppression and tyranny, and gradually caused certain circles to develop a deep hostility towards non-Jews. This misplaced hostility came to be reflected in the Talmud, part of the Jewish tradition. Talmud writers often misinterpreted or distorted Old Testament passages and decreed that it was legitimate to cheat or harm non-Jews. These erroneous decrees developed into traditions that even today cause certain Jewish groups to regard non-Jews with distrust or even hatred.

The second source consists of political Zionism, a movement founded at the end of the nineteenth century to create a Jewish nation-state in Palestine. This can be considered a perfectly legitimate project, for the Jews had no homeland, were mainly treated as second-class citizens, and suffered from anti-Semitic attacks and oppression. But Zionism went beyond this legitimate right, as it became a project of acquiring the whole of Palestine by driving out all of the Arabs. As stated above, this is a consequence of the influence exerted by the Social Darwinist and imperialistic ideologies that dominated Europe at the time. In the 1920s and 1930s, Revisionist Zionism appeared on the scene. This movement was led by the fascist ideologue Vladimir Jabotinsky, who was inspired by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and thus brought an element of fascism into Zionism.

More dangerous than all of this, however, was how certain Zionist thinkers twisted ideas that sought complete world domination and support the oppression of non-Jews in the event that this came about. Again, it needs to be made clear that the Jews are perfectly justified in wishing to live in peace with Muslims and Christians in Palestine, the land of their ancestors. If, however, that justification turns into a despotic policy that takes away from Muslims and Christians their right to live and exist in the region, then it is natural that all sincere, devout Jews, Christians and Muslims should object and engage in intellectual moves to redress the situation.

We may set out what is necessary for the revision of Jewish radicalism as follows:

1- Jewish religious figures should cleanse Jewish tradition of the fanatical, superstitious teachings of certain circles that encourage hostility toward non-Jews and replace it with the Old Testament's moral approach of love, respect, justice, and compassion. Many Jewish religious figures are working toward this end. Those rabbis who criticize Israeli state terror on the grounds that it is incompatible with the Jewish moral code are a hope for the future.

2- Zionism must be moderated in a political sense. Of course Israel has the right to exist and protect itself, but it has no right to force a whole nation to live under occupation for over 50 years. It must not be forgotten that this land is the ancestral home of the Palestinians as well, who have lived there for centuries. There are as many sites sacred to Muslims and Christians in this land as there are to the Jews. This land is sufficiently large to allow all the peoples to live together in peace. For this reason, Israel must withdraw from all of the territories that it has occupied since 1967, recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and make peace with the Palestinians as well as the Arab world by entering a friendly and constructive dialogue with them.

In addition, it is very important that religious Jews follow God's advice and invite all Jews to abide by the moral conduct ordained by Him. For this, the claim of supremacy must be dropped. The Qur'an reveals that the Israelites were at one time rewarded by God and given rule over other nations. Some of the verses in this regard are as follows:

O Tribe of Israel! Remember the blessing I conferred on you, and that I preferred you over all other beings. (Qur'an, 2:47)

We gave the Book, Judgment, and Prophethood to the tribe of Israel; provided them with good things; and favored them over all other people. (Qur'an, 45:16) However, these verses do not speak of being preferred in the sense that the Jewish radicals understand it. Many Prophets have been chosen from the Jewish nation, who at one time reigned over a large geographic area. They were granted superiority, as they ruled the worlds. With the end of Prophets Solomon's (pbuh) and David's (pbuh) rule, however, this Jewish privilege came to an end.

Radical Jews read a racial attribute of superiority into various Old Testament passages. They then developed a misguided theory of Jewish superiority at birth, according to which the Israelites are eternally above all other races. This view led to even greater errors, for example, the above-mentioned massacre by Baruch Goldstein, who murdered Muslims while they were praying. In other words, radical Jews deduce from this claim of superiority that they should subject other nations to violence.

Often, they try to justify their views with passages from the Torah (as was the case with the Amalek tribe mentioned earlier). Accordingly, these Jews have no qualms about cheating non-Jews, plundering their property and possessions, or even killing their women and children. But God commands Jews, just like Christians and Muslims, to be just and honest, protect the rights of the vulnerable, and be loving and peaceful. Killing women, children, and the elderly is against the morality of the Qur'an, in which God reveals the promise of Jews to be virtuous and not to cause mischief:

Remember when We made a covenant with the tribe of Israel: "Worship none but God, and be good to your parents, relatives and orphans, and the very poor. Speak good words to people, perform prayer, and give alms." But then you turned away - except a few of you - you turned aside. And when We made a covenant with you not to shed your blood and not to expel one another from your homes, you agreed and were all witnesses. (Qur'an, 2:83-84)

It also must not be forgotten that radical Jewish fanaticism contradicts other passages from the Torah, such as: Who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil (Isaiah, 33:15). Fanatics have created a belief based on hate and aggression, disregarding all condemnations of violence and barbarism contained in the Torah in the belief that they will acquire world dominion in this way. In reality, no ideology that sanctions violence and aggression, and disrupts law and order, can succeed. Violence always brings only loss. Preventing such destructiveness necessitates the exposure of the fanatics' deceptions and errors, which also will prevent their influence over any other people as well as help them to see reason.

Jews who genuinely believe in God must abide by the Torah's true principles and advocate for peace in order to prevent others from embracing radicalism. Some of the Torah passages that recommend peace, love, compassion, and virtue are as follows:

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life... Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself... (Leviticus, 19:15-18)

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. (Micah, 6:8) You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house... (Exodus, 20:13-17)

Peace-seeking citizens of Israel, as well as Jews living in other countries, must oppose radicalism and be fiercely critical of Israeli state terror. Jews of genuine faith must bear in mind that the Torah prohibits murder, committing injustice, taking revenge, and bloodshed, and should become leaders in the ideological and cultural struggle against fanaticism in solidarity with all conscientious Christians and Muslims. The ideological warfare against Jewish radicalism is one of the most important means of finding a lasting and peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue. Only then will Jews and Muslims - as well as Christians - be able to live with each other in peace.

Tranquility, love, and peace will only grace Palestine and Israel when true religious morality is practiced. It must be remembered that both Jews and Muslims have suffered the greatest damage in their history at the hands of irreligious ideologies. The Old Testament is full of accounts of the cruelty inflicted on Jews by idolaters. The genocide and tyranny against Jews by atheists is well documented (e.g., the Nazis and Stalin's officially encouraged anti-Semitic racists, and communists). These irreligious forces hated and terrorized Jews because of their faith in God. Muslims and Jews must join forces against these anti-religious entities and disregard the radical propaganda that could prevent such an alliance.


17. Israel Shahak, "Poverty, Religious Instruction Breed Xenophobia in Israel," Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July-August 1994.

Adapted from: "A Call for Unity" by: "Harun Yahya"

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