Arab Anti-Semitism Grows

Here's an excerpt: “Historians, race-studies professors and sociologists agree that humanity, throughout its long history, has never known a race such as the Jewish race in which so many bad qualities — base and loathsome — have been gathered.

“The Jews had a quality which distinguished them from others: whenever they gathered in a particular place and felt comfortable there, they turned the place into a den of evil, corruption, incitement to internal strife and the spreading of wars,” the reserve wrote. “The Jews took advantage of the lack of attention by the people and rulers to the plots and traps designed by the Jews.”

Sweilem then retraces his version of “history” right up through the Holocaust, which he proclaims a “lie.”

“This is a huge lie which they managed to market around the world,” Sweilem writes.


Well, those kinds of claims have been made before by many prominent Arab leaders as Joan Peters documents so well in her history of the region,From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine.

But what is particularly noteworthy about the Sweilem slander is his use of false “quotations” about the Jews from America's founding fathers.

“The first American presidents warned against the danger of Jewish hegemony over American life,” Sweilem claims. “First and foremost was President George Washington who warned in 1788: 'It is troubling that the … nation has not purified its land from these pests. The Jews are the enemies of America's well-being and the corrupters of its prosperity.' Further, Washington writes about the Jews: 'They operate against us in a way much more effective than the enemy's armies. They endanger our liberty and our interests one hundred times more than the enemy. It is most troubling that the states have not begun long ago to follow them, because they are a plague (threatening) society.'”

Of course, anyone who has read the precious writings of George Washington can instantly recognize from the style alone, not just the substance, that this statement is a forgery through and through. But Sweilem continues to libel another of America's early statesmen.

“American President Benjamin Franklin said in his speech to the 1789 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia: 'A great danger threatens the United States — the Jewish danger,'” Sweilem writes. “'When the Jews settle down, we will discover that they are weakening the determination of the people, shaking up the ethics of trade and establishing a government. When they meet resistance, they will suffocate the nation economically.”

There's more, but you get the idea. You might be wondering which U.S. history textbook Sweilem used to find this quotation from Franklin, who, of course, never served as an American president. It turns out the forgery first appeared in 1935 in German in the Nazis' “Handbook on the Jewish Question.”

There's a rising strain of anti-Semitism in the Arab world's popular press, its schools and its official and unofficial rhetoric. As an Arab-American Christian, it repulses me — it offends me. Moreover, it makes me wonder how peace — true and lasting peace — can be achieved between Jews and adversaries with such enmity in their very hearts and souls.

As America nears Washington's birthday, it might be a good time to recall what Washington actually wrote about the Jews, a people whose history he studied in the scriptures for clues about building a new civilization in the New World.

In an August 1790 letter to Moses Seixas, the warden of the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I., the president wrote, “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent rights. For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

Washington then concluded with a quotation from Micah 4:4: “May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Sadly, that, of course, is a Washington quote you're not likely to see reproduced anywhere in the Arab world today.

(This article can also be found on

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