We need to face up to Islamic Jew-Hatred....
This is the real issue that stops a settlement in the Middle East....
For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine - much as Mecca is the religious shrine - of the global Muslim community. Al Azhar University and its mosque represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education.
A front page New York Times story published Saturday Jan. 10, 2009, included extracts from the Friday sermon (the day before) at Al Azhar mosque by Egyptian-government appointed cleric Sheik Eid Abdel Hamid Youssef. Referencing well-established antisemitic motifs from the Koran (citations provided, below), Sheikh Youssef intoned:
"Muslim brothers, God has inflicted the Muslim nation with a people whom God has become angry at [Koran 1:7] and whom he cursed [Koran 5:78] so he made monkeys and pigs [Koran 5:60] out of them. They killed prophets and messengers [Koran 2:61/3:112] and sowed corruption on Earth. [Koran 5:33/5:64] They are the most evil on Earth. [Koran 5:62 /63]"
In authoritative classical and modern Koranic interpretations, the Koran's central antisemitic theme - its eternal curse for "prophet killing" and violating Allah's commands - is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60 and 5:78, which describe the Jews' transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been "...cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son" (5:78). The Muslim prophet Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (sacred collections of Muhammad's words and deeds).
Moreover, just before subduing the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza and orchestrating the mass execution of their adult males, Muhammad invoked Koran 2:65/7:166, addressing these Jews, with hateful disparagement, as "You brothers of apes." Finally, Islamic end of times theology teaches that the dawning of the messianic era cannot begin until the Jews are violently exterminated en masse. Both Shiite and Sunni Muslims invoke the infamous hadith attributed to Muhammad: "The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: 'Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.'" Each Friday this genocidal hadith is quoted in sermons across the Islamic world, including among U.S. Muslim communities.
In February 2008, Franco Frattini, the European Union official responsible "for combating racism and antisemitism in Europe," revealed that Muslims - who comprise 4% of the European population - were responsible for fully half (50%) of the documented antisemitic incidents in continental Europe. Thus, on a population percentage basis, Muslims in Western Europe already accounted for roughly 25 times the number of Antisemitic incidents as their non-Muslim European counterparts.
When the late 23 year-old Parisian Jew Ilan Halimi was being tortured to death in February 2006, his Muslim captors reportedly phoned his family and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Koran, interspersed with Ilan's background screams of agony. In the heart of Western Europe, Halimi's torturers-murderers did not invoke any non-Islamic sources of anti-Jewish hate - only the Koran.
Unless and until we confront the menace of theologically-motivated Islamic Jew hatred, we are missing the point. Despite continuous interfaith dialogue sessions, Jewish leaders in Europe and America never demand a mea culpa from their Muslim interlocutors for the living legacy of doctrinal Islamic Jew hatred, whose ugly consequences are evident on a daily basis. Their dereliction of duty is shameful.