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Anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim World

Saudi News Site Compares Israel's Actions Against Palestinians to Kristallnacht

Posted: March 15, 2002

The following are excerpts from an article titled "Kristallmacht in Occupied Territories" comparing Israel's military actions against Palestinian terrorism as "Kristallnacht," which appeared March 14, 2002 on the Internet site of the Arab News, an English language news site based in Saudi Arabia. It is another example of anti-Semitism in the Arab press. Writers in Muslim and Arab countries frequently draw comparisons to the Holocaust in an effort to unfairly criticize Israel while diminishing the horrors of the Nazi campaign against European Jewry during World War II.

    In one day last week, that came to be known as Black Friday, Israeli forces bombed, shelled and rocketed Aida, a heavily populated refugee camp in the occupied territories. Then soldiers moved house to house, using circular saws, jackhammers, sledgehammers and explosives to burrow through people’s bedrooms to courtyards, and then on to other homes.

    Troops later occupied several houses in the camp, waiting silently for nightfall, when their work began again. Well over 40 Palestinians were killed, some bleeding to death from unattended wounds because the soldiers deliberately prevented ambulances from entering the camp.

    Similar military offensives took place all over the occupied territories last week, from Bethlehem to Jenin, and from Nablus to Gaza, that killed 100 Palestinians and gave terror a new name.

    Imagine this, if you will: The headlines in Europe and the US read, "Israeli forces mount a Kristallnacht against Palestinian communities. Said to be retaliation for the killing of five military trainees at the hands of a lone Hamas militant."

    The headlines would be accurate.

    Kristallnacht was that dreadful day, on Nov. 9, 1938, when Nazis attacked concentrations of Jewish communities all over Germany, rounding up “suspects,” destroying synagogues, smashing homes, burning shops and office buildings to the ground, and generally terrorizing people. Nazi soldiers even prevented fire trucks from entering these Jewish neighborhoods to put out the fires. Scores were killed and injured.

    The “excuse” the Nazis gave for Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) was that they were avenging the killing of a diplomat from the German Embassy in Paris 12 days earlier by a Polish Jew, whose family had been expelled from Germany earlier and dumped on the German-Polish border. (Several days after Kristallnacht, the US recalled its ambassador from Berlin).

    Israel’s own Kristallnacht last Friday - indeed, a Kristallnacht that, to be exact, began three weeks ago in Balata refugee camp outside Nablus where well over 30 Palestinians were butchered and dozens of homes bulldozed - was justified as revenge for the killing of those five military trainees last Thursday in the Jewish settlement of Atzmons in Gaza. ...

    Just as the Nazis had done before them, Zionists today have appropriated the language of the oppressed to define their condition. They are the victims, and Palestinians are the victimizers. They are only defending themselves. ...

    Along with all the devastation that Zionism has inflicted on Palestinians and their historic homeland over the last eight decades, has been this movement’s horrifying ability, like that of Nazism and Stalinism, to pilfer the language of the oppressed and project it as its own. Words like peace, freedom, security, democracy, and so on, have been turned on their heads and given a conceptual reach justifying the occupation of one people by another.

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