An investigative reporter, Kenneth Timmerman has written for Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Insight Magazine, and Reader's Digest. His books include the best-selling Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson (Washington, D.C: Regnery Publishing; 2002). Since 1987, Mr. Timmerman has operated Middle East Data Project, Inc., a small business that provides investigative support and policy guidance to government agencies and private companies on three continents. He helped establish the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI) in 1996, which helps keep Congress and the public informed of the ongoing repression and support for terrorism by Iran's leadership. He addressed the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia on April 21, 2004.
My two most recent books, Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America and The French Betrayal of America are a reporter's journey through the Middle East, including meetings with "preachers of hate" and "ayatollahs of intolerance" in both the Middle East and France.
A Familiar Kind of Hate
Preachers of Hate is a book about anti-Semitism written specifically for non-Jews to gain a better understanding of what has been pervading the Middle East and Europe. Americans of all faiths need to realize that when Jews get attacked around the world, it puts all Americans at risk, both abroad and even in the United States. September 11 taught the lesson that America is at war with radical Islam. Islamists hate the United States, the first liberal empire in the history of the world, because it is free. They believe it must be destroyed.
The roots of this hatred lie in works such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which, despite being a forgery, is believed to be true even by intelligent Islamists. These radicals believe Jews are attempting to take over the world, rule the banking, sex, and film industries, and are responsible for both world wars. The Holocaust is termed a work of fiction that was exploited by Jews to create the racist, Zionist state of Israel.
Anti-Semitism in the Middle East
As fears of Jewish plots become increasingly accepted in Muslim societies, so too does the idea among Muslims that Jews do not have the right to exist in Israel or anywhere on earth. Organizations that represent this way of thinking are steadily growing in strength; Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are just the most obvious examples.
The phenomenon of anti-Semitism is obviously not new. Jews are often the first to be attacked, particularly when there are no other major targets. The saturation of anti-Semitism in the Middle East is the source from which Osama bin Laden and his terrorists have emerged. A disturbing and not well-known fact is that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hitler's voice in the Arab world during World War II, also served as Arafat's mentor.
The Western media devotes little coverage to the opposition to Arafat in the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat and other terrorists do not have great and overwhelming support among their "people" and a large population of voiceless people exists in the territories. Many Arabs wonder if the Western media is a pawn of Arafat by virtue of the fact that his abuses are so little reported.
Spreading Freedom in the Middle East
While Palestinian allies of the US are less noticeable, the U.S. has great and potentially powerful friends in Iraq that must not be betrayed. If these allies are assisted they can incubate freedom in the region. The incredible current potential for democracy in Iraq is the reason why Iran is sending fighters across the border to harass the U.S. forces.
Iran is one of two state sponsors of anti-Semitism, a major state sponsor of terrorism, and a source of anti-American hatred in the Middle East. There is, however, tremendous animosity in Iran from the younger generation against the government. If democratizing Iraq succeeds, it is likely that Iranian regime will fall.
Libya is another example of a state-sponsor of terrorism that has changed, in large part because of U.S. actions in Iraq. The Saudis offer a much more dismal picture. Saudi Arabia fosters a cultural of hate. The kingdom provides a strong case for the invasion of Iraq because it shows that even great wealth will not diminish terror. Terrorism does not have as much to do with economics as it does with hate. Creating jobs will not stop terrorism.
Why has France Embraced the New Anti-Semitism?
There has lately been a strong and unsettling resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. In France particularly, anti-Semitism has become virtually institutionalized under President Jacques Chirac. He presided over a vicious 18-month span of anti-Semitic attacks that were virtually ignored, most noticeably by he himself.
Chirac is an old partner of Saddam Hussein, and the French president along with his ministers worked vociferously at the U.N. to undermine and mislead the United States. Chirac personally told President Bush in the fall of 2002 that no matter what he said to the French public, he would support the U.S. in Iraq and would send a French general to assist in the planning of the coalition. This turned out to be untrue.
France had $100 billion in oil contracts with Iraq that would have gone into effect had Saddam remained in power and U.N. sanctions eventually lifted. The U.S. and France had been reasonably close allies during the Cold War, despite the French withdrawal from NATO. Chirac's France, however, is not with the United States in the war against Iraq.
Some French leaders have an epic scheme to regain France's lost historical power. These leaders, including his former foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin (who venerates Napoleon), believe they cannot compete with the United States unless it returns to a more authoritarian form of government. France's actions and fabrications at the U.N. were political moves in this grand design.
This summary account was written by Patrick J. Murphy, research assistant at the Middle East Forum.