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Pham on Küntzel on Islamist Antisemitism

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J. Peter Pham has reviewed Matthias Küntzel’s Jihad and Jew-Hatred, in the journal American Foreign Policy Interests. The review is available here (in PDF format).

Two points emerge from Pham’s discussion. First, Islamist antisemitism inherits its vitriol from Nazi influence. In other words, what might have turned into just a “normal” anti-colonial, anti-British movement, directed against the major occupying power in the Middle East, turned into a race war against a minor population group. One might argue in fact that Nazi influence prevented the development of a mature Arab anti-colonialism by turning those impulses into antisemitism. Hence the difficulty of state formation in the post-colonial Arab world (in contrast, say, to parts of Africa and Asia).

The second point involves Pham’s insistence on the significance of ideology in political affairs. The Middle East will not be solved by bringing together policy wonks from all sides to hammer out a technical agreement. The fire that burns in Islamism will not be extinguished by some peace agreement. Küntzel explains where this hatred comes from.

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