ATbar International Terror and Anti-Semitism - Two Modern Day Curses: Is There a Connection?

International Terror and Anti-Semitism - Two Modern Day Curses: Is There a Connection?

16/02/2007 | by Karmon, Ely (Dr.)  

The article was first published by The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, in their Annual Anti-Semitism Report. 

This essay analyzes the correlation between antisemitism and the use of terrorism against Jewish communities and individuals worldwide.[1] It identifies the anti-Zionist and anti-Israel ideology and strategy of radical Islamist, as well as some ultra-leftist, ultra-rightist and anti-globalization groups, as the pretext for their murderous actions against Jews and Israelis. This trend emerged with the beginning of modern terrorism in the late 1960s but intensified after the 9/11 attacks on the United States and increasing globalization, bringing about some surprising antisemitic coalitions.

Antisemitism-based coalitions of the 1970s−80s

Racist and antisemitic preconceptions were influential factors predisposing some terrorist leaders at both ends of the European political spectrum − the radical left and the radical right − to espouse a policy of cooperation with Palestinian organizations and/or to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets. This trend was particularly evident in the case of the German Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion − RAF) and the Revolutionary Cells (Revolutionare Zellen − RZ), whose leaders attempted to legitimize their anti-Jewish attacks by incorporating antisemitic themes into their ideological and strategic tracts.[2]

The RAF document expressing support for the Black September terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 illustrates this trend. The operation was described as “an anti-fascist act [intended] to wipe out the memory... of the 1936 [Berlin] Olympics, Auschwitz, and Kristallnacht.” Further, Israel was blamed for the death of the athletes, as the Nazis were blamed for the death of the Jews.[3]

Horst Mahler, a RAF leader who wrote the above-mentioned document in jail, argued:

Macabre as it may seem, Zionism has become the heir of German fascism, by cruelly ousting the Palestinian people from its land, where it has been living for thousands of years.[4]

He insisted that any guilt feelings the organization might harbor toward the Jews should not blind it to the evils of “Zionist fascist aggression.” It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that years later Mahler crossed the lines to the far right and became a militant Holocaust denier.[5] In November 1999, at a meeting of Austrian extreme rightists, he spoke of the necessity of freeing Germany from “Judischen Prinzipien,” and from “Jewish money worship.” When asked in an interview about his transition from the extreme left to the extreme right, he said that his beliefs had not basically changed, since the enemy remained the same.[6]

RAF and RZ terrorists were involved in that period in some of the most lethal attacks against Jews and Israelis, including the attempt to blow up an El Al plane over Nairobi in 1975, the hijacking of an Air France plane to Entebbe, and the explosion of a bomb in a passenger’s luggage at Lod airport in 1976.

In 1969, a small anarchist movement, the Tupamaros-West Berlin (TW) attempted unsuccessfully to blow up the main synagogue in West Berlin on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, as a token of solidarity with the Palestinians. Members of TW claimed that the events of Kristallnacht were being re-enacted daily by the Zionists in the occupied territories, in refugee camps, and in Israeli jails.

German terrorist Hans Joachim Klein, who subsequently recanted, was shocked when he heard that his RZ comrades involved in the hijacking of the Air France plane to Entebbe had separated the Jewish passengers from the non-Jewish ones. For him, this act was reminiscent of Nazi ‘selections’ in Auschwitz. Klein considered the two German terrorists who had participated in the Entebbe operation more antisemitic than Wadi` Haddad, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) operational division, because they planned to assassinate Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.[7]

Similarly, the radical French leftist group Action Directe (AD) attempted to justify a series of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attacks in Paris in 1982 by comparing IDF actions against Palestinian units in Lebanon to Nazi and fascist actions; accordingly, the group set up ‘Jewish combatant units’ to fight ‘the Zionist state’ and the interests of the Zionist-Jewish lobby in France.[8] A leading AD terrorist, the rabidly antisemitic Marc Frérot asked the head of his organization for permission to “blow himself up together with the Jewish scum in the attack against the Leumi Bank, as an act of human dignity.” During his second trial in October 1992, he ranted against the “Jewish lobby” for ruling France since 1981 through the Socialists.

By contrast, Italian radical left organizations rejected the cheap brand of antisemitism espoused by their German and French counterparts. The strongly ideological Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse - BR), avoided antisemitic expressions when explaining its pro-Palestinian strategy or justifying its political and strategic opposition to Israeli policy in the Middle East.

In addition to antisemitism, solidarity between Italian radical right-wing organizations and Palestinian organizations was based on contradictory ideological considerations: identification with Third World liberation movements opposed to American imperialism and admiration for certain aspects of Islam, fueled by historical memories of cooperation between the Italian fascist and Palestinian national movements in the 1930s−40s.

In Italy and Germany antisemitism served in the 1970s–80s as a powerful cementing force between radical right-wing organizations and Islamists. The founders of the Italian revolutionary/nationalist organizations maintained close ties with the Khomeinist regime in Iran and admired the Lebanese Hizballah and the Algerian FIS (Islamic Salvation Front). Most of their publications were financed by Iran.

Although antisemitism was a basic component of the pro-Palestinian or pro-Islamic attitudes of Italian ultra-rightist organizations, it was never translated into physical attacks against local Jews or against Israelis. Perhaps the differing policies of the Italian, and the German organizations were historically and culturally determined – like those of their respective countries toward Jews during World War II.[9]

The Palestinian organizations’ usage of antisemitic images in their propaganda played a significant role in entrenching such motifs in the anti-Zionist ideology of the radical left. Historian of Islam and the Middle East Bernard Lewis attributes the radicalization of antisemitic attitudes in the Arab world to the 1956 Sinai campaign and the 1967 Six Day War. After these events, the Arabs and the Palestinians sought to justify their ignominious defeat by ‘little Israel’ and ‘the cowardly Jews’, as they had previously been depicted in the Arab media. Since there was no rational explanation for the defeat, they had to look beyond the bounds of reason; hence, the growth of Arab antisemitic literature.[10]

Hence, it suited Palestinian organizations to recruit radical German left-wing organizations to attack Zionists and Jews. Similarly, Fatah had no scruples about cooperating with the neo-Nazi Hoffmann Military Sports Group (Hoffmann Wehrsportgruppe – HW) or allowing members of the group to train in Fatah camps in Lebanon, despite the fact that simultaneously it was fostering close ties with the Communist bloc and with revolutionary left-wing movements throughout the world.[11]

Palestinian nationalists from Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP-GC) of Ahmad Jibril, Fatah – Revolutionary Command of Sabri al-Banna (Abu-Nidal − ANO) and even the Marxist-Leninist PFLP of George Habash all perpetrated murderous attacks against Jewish interests worldwide, targeting schools, synagogues, restaurants, shops, banks and commercial companies in Paris, Antwerp, Rome, Istanbul and many other places.[12] Perhaps the bloodiest of these incidents was the killing of 22 Jews at the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul on 6 September 1986 by ANO terrorists,[13] 17 years before Turkish Islamists linked to al-Qa`ida bombed it again, in November 2003.[14]

Islamist antisemitism and the Khomeinist revolution since 1979[15]

Islamic tradition provides the soil on which Islamist antisemitism has taken root. The spiritual mentor of Hizballah in Lebanon, Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlalla, declared that, “in the vocabulary of the Qur’an, Islamists have much of what they need to awaken the consciousness of Muslims because the Qur’an speaks about the Jews in a negative way, concerning both their historical conduct and future schemes.”[16]

For Muslim fundamentalists, Jews have come to represent an ‘eternal enemy’ of Islam since their intrigues against the Prophet in seventh century Arabia. According to Sayyid Qutb, the ideologue of modern radical Sunni Islamism, Jews invented the modern doctrines of ‘atheistic materialism’ (communism, psychoanalysis and sociology) in order to destroy the Islamic creed. However, fundamentalists blended their religious judeophobia with modern Western motifs of racist and political antisemitism, principally, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which provides a complete conspiracy theory of history in which satanic Jews strive relentlessly for world domination.[17] Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have published millions of copies of the Protocols in dozens of languages and contributed to the spread of antisemitism not only in the Muslim world but practically worldwide.

In their eyes, the loss of Muslim territories (wakf) as well as the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem during the Six Day War is viewed by Muslims with a sense of degradation, injustice and anger among Muslims, which have greatly intensified the demonization of Zionism and the Jews. As a result, fundamentalists now posit the conflict in terms of a struggle between Islam and the Jews – with a new vision of the Jews and of Israel as the supreme enemy and an existential threat.[18] Simultaneously, Israel is seen as a surrogate of Western neo-colonialism and its continued existence in the heart of Muslim territory as a permanent reminder of their inferiority.[19]

Shi`a Terrorism

The Khomeinist doctrine on which Iran’s religious regime is based requires the destruction of Israel: the closest ally of the United States in the region, “the lesser Satan,” implanted on sacred Arab and Muslim soil, and “the state of the infidel Jews that humiliates Islam, the Qur’an, the government of Islam, and the nation of Islam.”[20]

Using virulently antisemitic language, Ayatollah Khomeini regarded the Jews as an integral part of Western culture, the complete antithesis of Islamic culture, and its most dangerous ideological enemy. Khomeini claimed the Jews were preventing Islam from expanding worldwide. However, Khomeini did not act against Iranian Jews, accepting their status as a protected minority under a Muslim government.[21]

In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and after its victory over Iraq in the first Gulf War, the United States emerged as the only world superpower, determined to lay the foundations of a New World Order based on democratic and liberal values. One of its first moves toward the implementation of this new order was sponsoring the political peace process in the Middle East at the Madrid Conference in October 1991.

Iran perceived the peace process as a threat to its ideological and strategic interests. A peace agreement would entail recognition of Israel as a legitimate state in the Middle East; it would consolidate moderate Arab regimes but endanger radical Islamic allied movements such as Hizballah and lead to isolation of Iran regionally as well as ideologically.

Iran immediately convened a conference in Tehran, parallel to the Madrid event, reuniting all terrorist and radical organizations that were hostile to negotiations with Israel and were ready to continue the struggle under Iranian leadership. At the close of the conference, the regime made the strategic decision to support the ‘Palestinian resistance’ on the humanitarian, financial, political and military level.[22] The struggle in support of Palestine is thus one of the few areas where Iran’s ideological/revolutionary goals overlap its national/pragmatic interests. The decisions taken at that conference continue to be implemented today and explain the massive support, both direct and indirect, for the various Palestinian terrorist organizations.

This backing has included the escalation of weapons supplies to Hizballah, and financial support and training of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists in camps in Iran and in Hizballah’s camps in Lebanon. The climax of this subversive Iranian activity occurred during February-March 1996, when suicide terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and the PIJ practically brought the political process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to a halt and caused the fall of the Labor government led by Shimon Peres.

On the anti-Jewish front, the Iranian attitude has been more cautious. The Iranian regime is aware of the sensitivity of public opinion in the West, particularly the United States, to violent activity against Jews and Jewish communities. Thus it has preferred to strike covertly, through its proxies. Hizballah operatives, with the support of Iran’s intelligence network, carried out the bombing of the Jewish Community Center (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 18 July 1994, killing 85 persons and wounding 151 − the most deadly terrorist attack in the history of the South American continent.

On 25 October 2006, Argentinean Attorney General Dr. Alberto Nisman, presented the findings of the special team which investigated the attack. The report proved unequivocally that the decision to blow up the building was taken by the “highest instances of the Iranian government” and that the Iranians had asked Hizballah, to carry out the attack. On 9 November, Judge Corral adopted the attorney general’s recommendations and issued international warrants for the arrest of leaders of the former Iranian government: President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, Minister of Intelligence and Security Ali Fallahijan, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohsen Rezai, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Ahmad Vahidi, commander of the Qods Force, and Mohsen Rabbani, Iranian cultural attaché in 1994 in Buenos Aires. Also indicted was Imad Moughnieh, head of Hizballah’s External Security Service in 1994, and now military deputy to Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.[23]

A principal arena of Iranian terrorist activity has been Turkey, where Iran has supported Sunni Turkish Islamist groups in their attacks against Jewish sites, such as the Neve Shalom synagogue (March 1992), as well as against leading members of the community such as businessman Jack Kamhi (January 1993) and Prof. Yuda Yurum, president of the Jewish community in Ankara (June 1995). Iran has striven to weaken the secular Turkish regime, which views assaults on Jewish and Israeli targets on its soil as a threat to its stability.[24]

Sunni Terrorism

The first terrorist attack in the US by militants of a radical Sunni group under the leadership of Egyptian Shaykh Omar Abdul Rahman was the assassination of the Jewish extremist rabbi Meir Kahana in New York in 1990. On 26 February 1993 they carried out the first bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York. Following the arrest of members of this group in the wake of that bombing, it was revealed that they had also been planning to attack Jewish and American targets. These included planting a large bomb in the NY diamond sector, where many Jews live and work, attacking a Jewish summer camp in the Catskill mountains, and assassinating prominent Jewish and pro-Israeli personalities (such as Senator Alfonse Marcello D’Amato) as well as the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gad Yaakovi.[25]

In early 1994, the Algerian Groupe Armé Islamique (GIA) published a virulently antisemitic and anti-Zionist manifesto in Sweden, where it had its headquarters at the time. It accused the Jews and Zionists of responsibility for the tragic situation in Algeria. At the time there were 30–40 Jews living in Algeria.[26] This organization attempted to bomb a synagogue in Lyons, France, on 24 December 1994 as well as a Jewish school there in September 1995 (injuring several people), and sent a letter bomb to the editor of a Jewish paper in December 1996.

In his 1996 Declaration of War `Usama bin Laden, leader of what would later become known as the al-Qa`ida organization, stated:[27]

I feel still the pain [of the loss] of Al Quds [Jerusalem] in my internal organs. That loss is like a burning fire in my intestines… My Muslim Brothers of The World: Your brothers in Palestine and in the land of the two Holy Places [Saudi Arabia] are calling upon your help and asking you to take part in fighting against the enemy your enemy and their enemy the Americans and the Israelis.

Bin Laden, however, virtually ignored the Palestinian issue until the war in Afghanistan and was criticized in this regard.[28] Other Sunni terrorists were more active: the Jaysh Muhammad group, for example, planned to attack Jewish and Israeli tourists in Amman as well as visitors to Moses’ tomb on Mt. Nebo in December 1999 as part of ‘the millennium plot’.[29]

The 1998 fatwa of the umbrella organization created by bin Laden, the World Islamic Front against Jews and Crusaders (WIF), links its hatred of the US to that of Israel and the Jews:[30]

If the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

Even before the 9/11 al-Qa`ida attacks, an antisemitic trend had emerged among Chechen Islamist militants and their Afghani veteran allies, following the failed attack by Chechen guerrillas in Dagestan in August 1999 and the defeat by Russian troops of the Islamist forces that had ruled Chechnya since 1996. As of January 2000, the main Islamist website supporting the propaganda war of the radical Chechens stepped up its antisemitic messages. “America’s Jewish Secretary of State, Madeline Albright,” was accused of paying little attention to the plight of the innocent Chechens; The “Dunma [sic]” Jews were accused of attempting “to rule Turkey through their lap dog generals”; “Jewish fascists” controlling the Western media were “intensify[ing] the campaign to tarnish the image of Muslims.” This drive culminated in March 2000 when the Jews, accused of aiding the Russian war machine directly, were threatened with retaliation.[31] 

Anti-Jewish and anti-Israel terrorism in the WAKE OF the war in Afghanistan

In spite of repeated threats of bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other al-Qa`ida spokespersons to hit the heart of the United States and the Western world, from the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan until the Madrid bombings in March 2004, terrorist attacks targeted Muslim countries (and Muslim communities such as Mombasa, Kenya). Local or regional groups affiliated with al-Qa`ida were primarily responsible for these operations. These included Salafi factions in Tunisia and Morocco; Yemeni Islamists; and the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyya. Only the suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia in May 2003 were apparently related directly to al-Qa`ida. Notably, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, the economies of all these countries or communities (Djerba, Bali, Casablanca, Istanbul, Mombassa) were heavily dependent on tourism. 

Al-Qa`ida Plays the Palestinian Card[32]

Until his ouster from Afghanistan in winter 2001/2, the heart of the struggle for bin Laden was the US presence on the holy soil of Saudi Arabia, which he saw as the bridgehead of a corruptive non-Muslim culture. A predominant strategic goal can be traced in bin Laden’s public statements and declarations: the expulsion of the American presence − both military and civilian − from Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf region. Bin Laden and the WIF, the organization he created, could not forget what they saw as crimes and wrongs done to the Muslim nation: “the blood spilled in Palestine and Iraq…. the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon… and the massacres in Tajikistan, Burma, Kashmir, Assam, the Philippines, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia, Eritrea, Chechnia, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”[33] Yet, as noted, the Palestinian issue was given no special prominence. According to Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi, bin Laden “has been criticized in the Arab world for focusing on such places as Afghanistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and [he] is therefore starting to concentrate more on the Palestinian issue.”[34]

Following the destruction of al-Qa`ida’s bases in Afghanistan, the group’s leaders bin Laden and al-Zawahiri increasingly referred to the Palestinian issue as a top priority in the videos and audios they released; in parallel, there was a sharp escalation in attacks by jihadist groups against Jewish and Israeli targets.

The first major attack after the invasion was the suicide bombing on 11 April 2002 outside a historic synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The 16 dead included 11 Germans, one French citizen, and three Tunisians. Twenty-six German tourists were injured. The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites claimed responsibility. On 16 May 2003, 15 suicide bombers attacked five targets in Casablanca, Morocco, killing 43 persons and wounding 100. These were a Spanish restaurant, a Jewish community center, a Jewish cemetery, a hotel, and the Belgian consulate. The Moroccan government blamed the Islamist al-Assirat al-Moustaquim (the Righteous Path), but foreign commentators suspected an al-Qa`ida link.

On 15 November 2003, two suicide truck bombs exploded outside the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 persons and wounding at least another 300. The initial claim of responsibility came from a Turkish militant group, the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front, but Turkish authorities assumed an al-Qa`ida connection.

On 28 November 2002, at least 15 people died in the first suicide attack by al-Qa`ida against an Israeli target: an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombassa, Kenya. A large part of the Paradise Hotel was reduced to rubble and nine Kenyans and three Israelis were killed. A parallel attempt to fire two missiles at an Israeli holiday jet (a Boeing 757 of Arkia airline carrying 261 passengers) that had taken off from the city’s airport failed.

This sudden interest in Jewish and Israeli targets seems to have been a consequence of the attempts of al-Qa`ida and its associated groups to jump on the bandwagon of what was considered at that stage to be a very successful violent uprising (the second intifada) by Hamas, the PIJ and other Palestinian groups. While this activity enabled them to claim support for the Palestinian people, it also generated an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel terrorist campaign which would win solidarity from the Arab and Muslim masses and possibly attract young recruits to their ranks. More recently, in August 2005, four cruise ships carrying 3,500 Israeli tourists scheduled to dock at the Mediterranean Turkish resort of Antalya were rerouted to the island of Cyprus by the Israeli authorities due to fear of a terrorist attack. A Syrian citizen named Louai Sakra was arrested for plotting to slam speedboats packed with explosives into the cruise ships.

New ‘Anti-Global’ Alliances

The strategic choices of radical groups and movements active in the global arena today can be traced back to the model of the 1970s and 1980s. The actors during that period chose certain conflict areas as rallying points for solidarity, cooperation and coalition building: the US war in Vietnam and the armed struggle of the Palestinians against Israel (waged mainly through terrorist means). Revolutionary leftist organizations, nationalist and even radical rightist groups vilified and sometimes attacked the US, Western countries and NATO for the war in Vietnam and supported the Palestinians in their fight against Israel.[35]

Collaboration between the various groups as well as with the ‘victims’ was expressed through a flood of propaganda and information activity, including demonstrations and flyers, conferences, seminars, and publications.

A similar pattern was revived in the wake of the US-led coalition ‘war on terrorism’ following the 9/11 attacks, and intensified with the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The Palestinian issue has re-emerged forcefully since the collapse in October 2000 of the peace process, to which radical Islamists factions and their radical leftist and rightist supporters were in any case strongly opposed. The violent second intifada was then launched concurrently by all Palestinian political movements and terrorist groups.[36]

The main players opposing or fighting the US, the coalition countries, Israel, and NATO belong to several ideological trends:

Among radical leftist groups, anarchists are potentially the most dangerous because some could escalate from diffuse violence to terrorism.

The Italian Red Brigades, under the new names Partito Comunista Combattente (BR-PCC) and Nuclei Territoriali Anti-imperialisti (NTA), appealed to revolutionaries of the world to join Islamist terrorism and saluted “the heroic action of al-Qa`ida against American imperialism.” In a document of March 2003 claiming responsibility for the assassination of the advisor to Minister of Labor Massimo D’Antona, Nadia Desdemona Lioce, one of the organization’s intellectuals, invited the “Arab and Islamic masses… expropriated and humiliated, natural allies of the metropolitan proletarian” to “take up arms at the heart of a unique and international axis at the side of the anti-imperialist Front Combattant in the face of a new offensive by bourgeois government.” Lioce saw in “the Zionist-American aggression against Iraq… an imperialist will to cut down the principal obstacle to Zionist hegemony” and “to annihilate the Palestinian resistance.” The Red Brigades appealed during the war to the regime of Saddam, to “counter by all means Israeli-Anglo-American aims.”[37]

Radical rightist groups[38]

The leader of the English neo-Nazi movement, David Myatt (now Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt) appealed to all enemies of the Zionists to embrace jihad, the “true martial religion,” which would “most effectively fight against the Jews and the Americans.”[39]

David Duke, American white supremacist and founder of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), attacked Christian evangelists who support Israel and explained why Islam is closer to Christianity.

The truth is that there is no such thing as Judeo-Christianity. That would be like saying Satanic-Christianity…. Interestingly enough, Islam is much closer to Christianity than Judaism. The truth is that although Moslems do not share all Christian beliefs, Islam is far closer to Christianity than Judaism. I already quoted the obscene attacks made on Jesus Christ by the Jewish Talmud. How many American Christians even realize that the Holy Qur’an of Islam actually defends Jesus Christ and His mother Mary from the hateful slanders of Judaism?[40]

David Duke was an active participant in the Iranian-sponsored conference on Holocaust denial in December 2006.

Anti-globalization and radical single issue groups (social welfare, ecology, human rights, immigration, racism)

Having ‘discovered’ anti-Zionism, the anti-globalization movement seems to have diverted its attention from ‘globalization’/’capitalism’ to Israel and Palestine. In Italy, the center of the movement, leading anti-globalization organizations such as Ya Basta called, on 1 March 2002, for a boycott of Israeli products. Eight days later some 100,000 anti-globalization activists demonstrated in Rome “to support the intifada.” When the demonstration passed through the Jewish quarter, they shouted curses against the Jews.

On 17-19 September 2004, activists held an ‘International Strategy Meeting’ in Beirut under the title “Where Next for the Global Anti-War and Anti-Globalization Movements?” The main conveners were Focus on the Global South (Thailand) and the Civilian Campaign for Protection of Palestinian People (France). Some 300 individuals from 50 countries participated in the conference, representing various anti-war coalitions, social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other groups.[41]

Arab sponsors included progressive, secular and Islamist groups, such as Hizballah, the Lebanese Communist Party, and the Progressive Socialist Party of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. The decision to hold the meeting in the Middle East was part of a conscious effort to build closer links with anti-war and anti-corporate globalization activists in the region. Hizballah was described as “one of the leading welcoming organizations [and] an example of successful, targeted, and organized resistance.” Among other topics, there were debates about suicide bombing and the relative importance of local versus Middle Eastern struggles.

The goal of the conference was to highlight the Iraqi and Palestinian struggles in international solidarity work because, as one delegate put it, they are “fighting for the rest of us on the frontline of the global war; thus they should be garnering our priority support as a matter of strategy.”[42]

In light of the above, it seems that at least some important elements of the anti-globalization movement, which incorporates a wide range of disparate groups and interests, now seem willing to seek solidarity and cooperation with radical Islamist organizations and to accept their use of suicide terrorism. Superficially, these groups seem to be collaborating with each other increasingly, as is evident from the level of propaganda activity and extremist Internet use.[43]

A radical rightist anarchist website explains the rationale of this pragmatic approach:

Unity around simple, achievable strategies and objectives pushes preoccupation with theoretical niceties aside and focuses on areas where anti-Establishment activists from different backgrounds can work together in a rewarding way. If two people or groups from very different theoretical backgrounds can cooperate to achieve a goal that is useful to both of them, this increases the resource base of both groups and widens the armoury of strategies open to each.[44]

The European Marxist-Islamist coalition does not offer a coherent political platform. Its ideology is based on three themes: hatred of the United States, wiping Israel off the map, and the anticipated collapse of the global economic system. Europe’s hard-core left sees Muslims as the new under-class on the continent. “Are these not the new slaves?” asks Olivier Besanconneau, leader of the French Trotskyites. “Is it not natural that they should unite with the working class to destroy the capitalist system?” The French radical left alliance of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) and the Workers’ Struggle (LO) group counts on Islamist militants to help it win seats in the European Parliament. Arlette Laguillere, the “pasionaria [sic] of the Workers’ Struggle,” claims that “the struggle for Palestine” is now an integral part of the “global proletarian revolution.”[45]

Carlos Ramirez Ilitch, the notorious international terrorist ‘the Jackal’, who led numerous terrorist attacks in the 1970s in the ranks of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, perhaps best exemplifies the old/new alliances. Carlos was the main recruiter of German antisemitic radical leftists for PFLP’s terrorist operations during the 1970s. He was extradited from Sudan to France only in 1995. During his trial in 1997, he made many references to the ‘Jewish conspiracy’. In 2003 he published a book in French to announce his conversion to Islam and to present his strategy for “the destruction of the United States through an orchestrated and persistent campaign of terror.” Entitled Revolutionary Islam, the book urges “all revolutionaries, including those of the left, even atheists,” to accept the leadership of Islamists such as Usama bin Laden and so help turn Afghanistan and Iraq into the “graveyards of American imperialism.”[46]

Carlos’s book demonstrates how one ideology can serve as the antecedent to another, seemingly its opposite. Just as Carlos’s father made Marxist-Leninist ideology his religion, so Carlos turned his new religion into the ideology of ‘revolutionary Islam’. Carlos urges Islamist groups to conclude alliances with all radical elements, including Maoists and nationalists, in a joint campaign against the United States. Carlos claims Islam is the only force capable of persuading large numbers of people to become ‘volunteers’ for suicide attacks against the US. “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the US,” he says.[47]

The Islamists, for their part, are attracted to the European radical left because of its professed hatred of the United States and Israel. “We say to anyone who hates the Americans and wants to throw the Jews out of Palestine: ahlan wa sahlan [welcome],” declared Abu Hamza al-Masri, the British Islamist ideologue awaiting extradition to the US on various criminal charges. “The Prophet teaches that we could ally ourselves even with the atheists if it helps us destroy [the] enemy.” The first al-Qa`ida leader to advocate a leftist-Islamist alliance against Western democracies was Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy. In a message to al-Qa`ida sympathizers in Britain in August 2002, he also urged them to seek allies among “any movement that opposes America, even atheists.”[48]

Kaide, a magazine of the radical Turkish Islamist organization IBDA-C, even maintained that Subcomandante Marcos (aka Delegado Zero), leader of the Mexican Zapatistas in the Chapas province, had converted to Islam. IBDA-C claimed the group was in contact with Marcos and had provided him with books written by their leader, Salih Mirzabeyoglu. “The public must prepare for surprising developments regarding Marcos, the brave commander of the Zapatistas, after Carlos ‘the Jackal’,” the magazine declared.[49]

The second war in Lebanon triggered another ‘strategic conference’, sponsored by Hizballah, from 16 to 19 November 2006. The Beirut International Conference, organized by the Center for Strategic Studies of Hizballah, headed by Dr. Ali Fayyad, was attended by more than 450 political, ideological, academic and media representatives of political parties, trade unions and civil organizations from over 34 countries. Delegates from the European left and anti-war movements came from France, UK, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Denmark, Germany and Italy. There were also participants from Asia, including the Philippines and India, while Mexico was represented by the Zapatista Movement.

The main objectives of this meeting were to establish a process which would “create an active lasting collaboration between all international anti-imperialist groups at future events and improve the resistance capacity and strategy to face any new imperial attacks.” An additional goal was “to support the resistance in Lebanon [and] the steadfastness against the Zionist aggression.” It also discussed setting up a ‘strategy group’ to “address the current issues and show the willingness to meet the needs of the challenge and to draw lessons from the Israeli aggression, exploring the nature of its relation to other forms of aggression in the region.[sic]”[50]

Major anti-Jewish attacks foiled or failed since 9/11

Twelve men suspected of belonging to an ‘Arab-Mujahedeen network’ in Germany were apprehended in April 2002. This Palestinian-Jordanian group had been drafting plans for strikes against Israeli or Jewish institutions in Germany and, according to Interior Minister Otto Schily, the arrests were a milestone in Germany’s campaign against terrorism.[51]

In 2003 the German police foiled another plot to bomb a ceremony at a new Munich synagogue when they arrested at least ten neo-Nazis, including the well-known extremist Martin Wiese. Police seized 1.7 kilograms of TNT, 14 kilograms of explosives and two hand grenades. Bavarian Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein said they had also found a ‘hit list’ detailing other potential targets, including several Munich mosques, a Greek school and an unspecified Italian facility.[52]

In June 2005 an Antwerp court sentenced, in absentia, a 22-year-old Moroccan man identified only as Chbaba B., to six months imprisonment. Confronting a Jewish man in Statiestraat on 7 June 2004, the suspect had said: “I am Palestinian and I want to kill all the Jews.” He then brandished a knife in front of the victim. The Antwerp court ruled that B. was driven by deep contempt and by feelings of hostility to Jewish people. It was the first time that such a case of antisemitism had led to a trial and a conviction in Belgium.[53]

In August 2005 a Pakistani national identified as Hamad Riaz Samana, 21, of Los Angeles, was arrested in connection with an investigation of a possible terrorist plot targeting nearly two dozen locations in Southern California. The counter-terrorism case began when Levar Haney Washington, 25, and Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21, were arrested by police in connection with a string of gas station robberies between 30 May and 3 July. In their apartment in Los Angeles detectives discovered the addresses of two synagogues, the Israeli consulate and the El Al Israel Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, among others, as well as bulletproof vests and jihadist material. The case has opened a new and troubling front for counter-terrorism officials because of a possible connection to a radical form of Islam practiced by a group called Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh (Assembly of Authentic Islam). While little is known publicly about the JIS, as intelligence officials call it, the group has been around for several years and has adherents at Folsom State Prison. No connection between the men arrested in Los Angeles and any overseas terror network was found.[54]

In November 2005, an al-Qa`ida-linked Algerian terror cell was broken up by Italian police. The group had been planning to carry out attacks on targets in Oslo, Norway, including the city’s main synagogue. Anne Sender, president of Norway’s Jewish community, was informed by the local authorities shortly after the suspects were arrested that there had been a credible terrorist threat against the synagogue.[55]

In September 2006, four terrorists were arrested in Norway following a shooting at the Oslo Mosaic Religious Community’s synagogue. The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) charged a 29-year-old man of Pakistani origin (held briefly in Germany in June 2006 on suspicion of planning a terrorist act against the World Cup), a 28-year-old Norwegian-Pakistani, a 28-year-old Norwegian of ‘foreign’ origin, and a 26-year-old Norwegian (the son of an employee at the royal court) with “organizing an act of terrorism.” Israel’s ambassador Miryam Shomrat was also a target of the four suspects, who discussed beheading her.[56]

A month later an Islamist plot was uncovered to kidnap and kill Jews in Prague. According to unidentified intelligence sources, the terrorists had intended to hold the captives in a Prague synagogue, while the press reported that they had planned to make broad demands which they knew could not be met, and would then blow up the building, killing all those inside.[57]

In Venezuela, a group of fanatic followers of President Hugo Chavez fired at the Sheik Ibrahim Bin Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim mosque in Caracas, killing Omar Medina, its 58-year-old guard. Since the gang shouted “Death to the Jews” during the attack, it was considered an antisemitic attack: they simply confounded the mosque with a Jewish synagogue, their real objective. No Islamic institution in Venezuela protested the attack, knowing the real targets were Jews.[58]

The recent wave of antisemitism in Venezuela was analyzed at a conference on the Middle East conflict organized by Venezuela's Jewish community in Caracas in September 2006. Some participants feared that Chavez’s verbal attacks on Israel might lead to physical attacks on Venezuelan Jews. In fact, antisemitic graffiti had already been appearing on the Mariperez Synagogue with increasing frequency. According to Jewish activists, the official and pro-government media were responsible for inciting the wave of antisemitism. Chavez’s failure to rebuke the media and the graffiti scribblers, they asserted, represented the crux of the problem. In meetings between Jewish leaders and high level government officials, including Chavez himself, the government claimed its hands were tied. “We’ll do what we can, but we can’t deny people freedom of speech” was that response.[59]

Further, the antisemitic and anti-Israel atmosphere aroused in the country by Chavez’s alliance with the rogue regimes of Iran and Syria has radicalized leftist groups, transforming them into ‘Hezbollah Venezuela’.

The Case of ‘Hezbollah America Latina’

A website presenting itself as “the mouthpiece of Hezbollah Latin America,” in Spanish and Chapateka (a mixture of the Indian Maya language and ancient Spanish), became active on the net in summer 2006.[60] Although the website claims the organization operates in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico, the backbone is Hezbollah Venezuela. Calling itself Autonomia Islamica Wayuu (after a tribe living in the Guajira Peninsula of Venezuela and Colombia), it is headed by Teodoro Rafael Darnott, leader of the Latin American ‘network’. The second most active group appears to be in Argentina, while the other organizations appear to be practically inactive.[61]

Rather unusually, Hezbollah Venezuela began in 1999 as a Wayuu community project for micro farming, in an area northwest of Maracaibo, Venezuela. The leader of the small group, Teodoro Rafael Darnott, was a member of the tribe. Darnott traces the origins of Hezbollah Venezuela to a small Marxist faction, the Guaicaipuro Movement for National Liberation (Proyecto Movimiento Guaicaipuro por la Liberación Nacional − MGLN), which struggled against oppression of the poor indigenous peasants in the Valle de Caracas region. Darnott presented himself as Commander Teodoro, clearly emulating Mexican guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos. The MGLN could not withstand the pressure of the security forces and were forced to retreat to Colombia. After five years they returned to Venezuela and became Hezbollah, without a clear explanation for this metamorphosis.[62]

The group’s identification with the so-called Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela is significant. In one of its ideological editorials, the group expresses enormous respect and appreciation for the achievements of Hugo Chavez’s regime:

Hezbollah America Latina respects the Venezuelan revolutionary process, supports the policies of this process concerning the social benefices for the poor and the anti-Zionist and anti-American policy of this revolution.[63]

However, the group does not accept the Socialist ideology, not because they oppose it, but because Hezbollah’s philosophy is “theocratic and obeys divine rules.”

On 23 October 2006, local police found two explosive devices near the US embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. One of the bombs was found in a box containing leaflets referring to the Lebanese Hizballah. The police arrested Jose Miguel Rojas Espinoza, a 26-year-old student of the state-run Bolivarian University. “The idea was apparently to create alarm and publicize a message,” a police spokesman told reporters. The second device may have been intended to explode near the Israeli embassy but the suspect got nervous and dropped it near the American embassy. On 25 October an organization calling itself Hezbollah Latin America took responsibility for the aborted attack on their website and promised they would stage similar ones, in order to publicize the organization. The website presented Rojas as “the brother mujahedeen, the first example of dignity and struggle in the cause of Allah, the first prisoner of the revolutionary Islamic movement Hezbollah Venezuela.” Since the group had already threatened on its website on 18 August 2006 to explode a “non-lethal device,” it is surprising that no one appears to have taken any notice. The target mentioned in the August threat was “an ally of the US in a Latin American city” (presumably Israel), and the attack was intended to launch the “beginning of the war against imperialism and Zionism” and to demonstrate “solidarity with the Lebanese Hizballah after the July war in Lebanon.”

Hezbollah Argentina, as revealed on its website, is strikingly different from Hezbollah Venezuela. While the Venezuelan group originates among indigenous Wayuu Indians and is characterized by a strong leftist background and revolutionary rhetoric, the Argentinean group appears to include a mixture of radical rightist and leftist populist elements, and maintains close relations with the local Arab Shi’a community and the Iranian regime.[64]

The rightist influence is clear in the antisemitic, anti-Israel and anti-American articles of Norberto Ceresole, including, “Falsification of the Argentinean Reality in the Geopolitical Space of Jewish Terrorism,” and “Attacks in Buenos Aires a Product of the Infiltration of Jewish Fundamentalism into the Service of Israeli Counter-Espionage.” In fact, on the Hezbollah Argentina website, some photos from the suicide bombings at the Israeli Embassy (1992) and the Jewish Community AMIA building (1994) are sub-titled “Jewish Terrorism.” Interestingly, the Ceresole texts were probably downloaded straight from the antisemitic website of Radio Islam.[65]

Norberto Rafael Ceresole was an Argentinean sociologist and political scientist (died 2003), identified with Peronism. Originally active in the 1970s in the left-wing Argentinean terrorist groups ERP (Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo) and Montoneros, he became a neo-fascist, an antisemite, a Holocaust denier and viscerally anti-Israel. He was an adviser to leftists, as well as radical rightist politicians and military leaders in his country (such as Aldo Rico, Raúl de Sagastizabal and Mohamed Seineldín (aka ‘Carapintada’) as well as across Latin America. According to his own account, Ceresole made contact with the Iranian regime immediately after the bombing of the Jewish AMIA building in 1994, which he blamed on the Jews and the Israeli secret services. Ceresole visited Iran and Lebanon, where he met “an important, intelligent Arab movement, a patriotic group active in Southern Lebanon.”

In a letter to his “Iranian friends,” Ceresole tried to prove that there is a parallel between the Shi`a faith and what he calls “minority, pre-conciliar traditional Catholicism” (pre-Vatican II Council), which is theologically irreconcilable with Judaism. Ceresole considers Iran since the Khomeini revolution to be “the center of resistance to Jewish aggression” and the only state that has supplanted “the secular Arab resistance” in fighting the Jewish state. According to Ceresole, many would like to see the Iranian “counterstrategy” not only resist Israeli aggression but destroy “every piece of it,” one by one. Moreover, Ceresole states, “the struggle against the Jewish state cannot be circumscribed geographically only to the Middle East.”

The more popular leftist trend is present in the cooperation of Hezbollah Argentina with Quebracho, a small Argentinean militant group. The Patriotic Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Patriótico Revolucionario − MPR) Quebracho claims to be a political organization fighting for “a socially just, economically independent and politically sovereign country” for the “national anti-imperialist revolution.” Quebracho militants refuse to define themselves as leftist or rightist. They consider themselves “revolutionary patriots” in the framework of the Latin American liberation struggle “in which the national struggle has, however, a preeminent place.” The enemies of Quebracho are “imperialism and the great capital: the big financial monopolies, the IMF, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the US, the EU, Japan and Israel, among others [sic].” The group stresses its cooperation with the Hogar Árabe Argentino organization (Arab Argentinean Dwelling) of Berisso and the Asociación Argentino Islámica (Islamic Association of Argentina − ASAI) of La Plata, which they consider to be “permanently attacked by the Zionists.” Quebracho also expresses solidarity with the struggle of the Lebanese Hizballah and the Lebanese and Palestinian people against “terrorist attacks of Israel and the genocide of thousands of their people.”[66]

Although Hezbollah Venezuela’s first terrorist attempt might have been intended for propaganda purposes, several worrying aspects should be stressed. The permissive atmosphere prevailing in Venezuela could send a message to the group and to more dangerous terrorist organizations that their activities on Latin American soil or from Latin American territory would be tolerated, or even politically condoned.

The specter of the Iranian nuclear threat

Since October 2005 Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has targeted Israel obsessively in his speeches, presenting his vision of a world without Israel or the United States and urging that Israel be wiped off the map. At the “World without Zionism” conference held in Tehran in October 2005 Ahmadinejad portrayed Israel and Zionism as the spearhead of the West against the Islamic nation and emphasized the need to eradicate Israel.

During the Islamic Conference Organization meeting in Mecca in December 2005 Ahmadinejad complained that since the West was responsible “for what some describe as the Holocaust,” no one should demand that the Palestinians pay the price.

Ahmadinejad’s advocacy of Holocaust denial is neither a new nor a uniquely personal obsession, but an intensification of prevalent themes in Islamic Iran’s ideological discourse. He seeks to restore the regime’s revolutionary goals and ideals and advance Iranian hegemony in the Middle East using anti-Zionism and Holocaust denial as principal pillars of his policy.[67]

It should be stressed that this Iranian campaign has been orchestrated against the background of Tehran’s continuing support for Hizballah and Hamas, the two Islamist organizations which though not capable of destroying Israel themselves, are gradually undermining through terrorism any glimmer of hope in the negotiating process between Israel and the Palestinians; it has helped radicalize the Palestinian Authority due to Hamas’ victory in the January 2006 elections and sparked the July 2006 crisis with the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by the two organizations which led to the Second Lebanon war.

The major threat of the Tehran regime, however, lies in its nuclear ambitions. The first prominent leader of the Islamic Republic who openly suggested the use of nuclear weapon against the Jewish state was [former] Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani in December 2001 who told the crowd at traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.[68]

If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world [sic].

Ahmadinejad cleverly employs a selected set of issues to escalate international tensions, Iran’s nuclear build-up being the starting point of this strategy. The ‘Jewish factor’ includes both Israel’s security and the Holocaust as two extremely sensitive aspects defining Tehran’s relations with the US and with Europe.[69] The Iranian president’s threats are not merely rhetoric but represent a clear danger to the very existence of Israel, the only country targeted for a nuclear holocaust. For the moment there is no indication that international pressure or even sanctions would be effective. Thus, the president of a rich, powerful country openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, therefore completing the act that he claims did not happen in Europe.[70]

The comparison between Ahmadinejad and Hitler is analyzed by political scientist Waller R. Newell against the background of the ideological effects of Heideggerian Iranian philosopher Ali Shariati. Largely thanks to Shariati’s influence, the ideology that prevailed with Khomeini’s assumption of power was an Islam distorted by European left-wing existentialism and the romanticizing of violence. According to Newell, Shariati:

secularized the messianic strain that distinguishes Shiism from mainstream Islam and made it the vehicle for Heideggerian existentialist commitment, resolve, and willpower on behalf of the oppressed people. Messianism became the impetus for collective political struggle.[71]


There is a growing trend of solidarity between leftist, Marxist, anti-globalization and even rightist elements with Islamists. The fact that the Lebanese Hizballah sponsored two strategic conferences of anti-globalization groups and movements in Beirut (September 2004 and November 2006) is an indicator of this potentially dangerous coalition for the future.

The ‘globalization’ of the threat to Jews and Jewish communities is perhaps best expressed by Michel Wieviorka, a leading French sociologist, whom I take the liberty of citing extensively in closing my essay[72]: To say that hatred of the Jews is ‘global’ is to admit that it is at the same time worldwide, transnational and local, and to recognize a link between its more general, universal, aspects and a specific limited situation. It is, for instance, to think of an attempt to set alight a synagogue in a Parisian neighborhood taking into account local, international, mainly Middle Eastern facts.

The globalization of antisemitism lies in a double compression, of time and space. It amalgamates elements that originate in historically distinct surroundings. Everything can be found there: accusations of ritual crimes, as in the darkest times of anti-Jewish Christian Europe; references based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, this invention of the tsarist regime at the beginning of the 20th century; classic themes of modern racial antisemitism and Nazism; revisionism and denial of the Holocaust and the gas chambers at Auschwitz; denunciation of the Shoah-business to enrich Jews; or the more recent accusation that antisemitism is the result of lobbying activity in favor of Israel.

Globalization owes much to electronic technologies, which permit the instantaneous diffusion of propaganda texts, sounds and images through television and the Internet.

Finally, globalization of antisemitism has a center, the Middle East, and more precisely the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it organizes itself around the negation of the State of Israel.

According to Newell, “in Ahmadinejad’s flirtation with a nuclear Armageddon, the destruction of Israel plays the same role that the Nazis assigned to the destruction of European Jewry,” and Ahmadinejad’s promises of “a world without Zionism” must be taken quite literally and cannot be ignored.[73]

Thus, the use of terrorism in all its forms is allied with the threat of nuclear destruction in order to achieve the same goal: not only negation of the state of the Jewish people but its physical annihilation as a state of free people.

[1] This article is based on a keynote address at the Zionist Federation of Australia plenary conference in Melbourne, 28 Aug. 2005. 

[2] Ely Karmon, Coalitions of Terrorist Organizations: Revolutionaries, Nationalists and Islamists (Leiden, 2005).

[3] “The Black September Operation in Munich: The Strategy of the Anti-imperialist Struggle,” published in late 1972, in Texte der RAF, pp. 411−47. .

[4] See quotation from his speech shortly before his trial in CONTROinformazione 1−2 (Feb.-March 1974), p. 26.

[5] In March 2001 Mahler published on the Internet a fiercely antisemitic article, “Discovery of God instead of Jewish Hatred,” which was to be presented at the Conference of Revisionist Historians in Beirut, Lebanon on 3 April 2001 (subsequently prohibited by the Lebanese government). See the article in German Lecture Series on the Final Solution of the Jewish Question at

[6] Roni Stauber, “Continuity and Change: Extreme Right Perceptions of Zionism,” in Anti-Semitism Worldwide 1999/2000, Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, Tel Aviv University, at

[7] Ely Karmon, Coalitions of Terrorist Organizations, pp. 43, 47. Antisemitism among German terrorists was reportedly so deeply entrenched that they could not even bear to hear anyone whistling the theme tune of the film Exodus. In contrast, the Palestinians were far more tolerant.

[8] In fact, the AD had no ‘Jewish fighters unit’. The only Jewish AD militant identified, Michel Azeroual, was opposed to attacking Jewish targets. He later abandoned the organization.

[9] In this context, it is important to stress that Mussolini’s fascist regime was ambivalent toward the Jews and Judaism, and that antisemitism was not a sine qua non of its original fascist ideology. Two leading researchers, Renzo de Felice and Meir Michaelis, concluded that 1938 was a turning point as far as anti-Jewish policy and racist legislation were concerned, and that this was triggered mainly by the political pressures of the Rome-Berlin axis. See Renzo De Felice, Storia degli ebrei italiani sotto il fascismo 3rd ed. (Torino, 1977) and Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy, 1922−1945, Institute of Jewish Affairs, London (Oxford, 1978). Even during the fascist Salo republic under German occupation, the Italian regime tried – albeit unsuccessfully – to prevent the implementation of the Final Solution on the Jews of Italy. The disparity between the Germans and the Italians on racist issues was particularly evident in their policy toward the Jews in occupied countries. The Italian army refrained from harming Jews in the countries it subjugated, at least until Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943. See Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews, pp. 346 and 458, and Daniel Carpi, Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia, Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Series 17, (University Press of New England, 1994).

[10] Lewis traced the roots of modern antisemitism in the Muslim and Arab world back to the nineteenth and twentieth century Christian empires, whose influence spread to the Ottoman Empire. See Bernard Lewis, “Antisemitism in the Arab and Islamic World,” in Yehuda Bauer (ed.), Present-Day Antisemitism (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1988), pp. 61−6.

[11] Paul Wilkinson, The New Fascists (London, 1982), pp. 76, 101.

[12] UK Community Security Trust, “Terrorist Incidents against Jewish Communities and Israeli Citizens Abroad, 1968–2003,” 2004, at Report.pdf.

[13] Two ANO terrorists attacked the synagogue with grenades and machine guns, killing 22 members of the congregation and injuring four others during Shabbat morning prayers. Both attackers subsequently killed themselves after detonating belts containing explosives. Six years later, on 1 March 1992, two hand grenades were thrown into the entrance of the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul during the course of a wedding, injuring a man nearby. Members of Turkish Hizballah were later tried and convicted of the attack.

[14] Twenty-three people were killed and three hundred injured in consecutive car bomb attacks on the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues during Shabbat morning services. Although the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front initially claimed responsibility, al-Qa`ida subsequently admitted that it had carried out the attack.

[15] See also Ely Karmon, “Radical Islamic Groups and Anti-Jewish Terrorism,” in Dina Porat and Roni Stauber (eds.), Antisemitism and Terror (Tel Aviv University, 2003), pp.150−63.

[16] Cited by Martin Kramer, in “The Salience of Islamic Antisemitism,” a lecture presented at the Institute of Jewish Affairs in London and published in its IJA Reports 2 (Oct. 1995).

[17] Robert S. Wistrich, “Muslim Antisemitism: A Clear and Present Danger,” American Jewish Committee Publications, at

[18] Ibid.

[19] Magnus Ranstorp, “Terrorism in the Name of Religion,” Journal of International Affairs 1 (Summer 1996), pp. 41−62, at courses%20folder/POLS%20364%20Terrorism%20course%20folder/ranstorp_terrorism_in_the_nameof_ religion.htm.

[20] Ayatollah Khomeini in a speech given at Najaf, 19 Feb. 1978, cited by Amnon Nezer in Skira Hodshit (Tel Aviv, March 1998; in Hebrew), p. 28.

[21] Interview with Meir Litvak, “Post-Holocaust and Antisemitism. The Development of Arab Antisemitism,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs 5 (2 Feb., 2003), at

[22] Elie Rekhess, “The Terrorist Connection − Iran, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas,” Justice (Tel Aviv) (May 1995), p. 4.

[23] “Argentina accuses Iran of responsibility for the Hizballah terrorist attack which destroyed the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, 1994,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (CSS), 14 Nov. 2006, at eng_n/html/argentina _amia_e.htm.

[24] Ely Karmon, “Radical Islamist Movements in Turkey,” in Barry Rubin (ed.), Revolutionaries and Reformers. Contemporary Islamic Movements in the Middle East (State University of New York Press, 2003), pp. 41−67.

[25] El Sayyid A. Nosair, an American of Egyptian origin killed Kahana on 5 Nov. 1990. Police found in his home a list of Jewish public figures. However he was acquitted by the jury. Nosair was accused of this murder only after he was arrested for his involvement with the Islamist terrorist group under the leadership of Shaykh Abdul Rahman, responsible for the bombing of the WTC in 1993.

[26] Abdelkader(?), “About the Zionist Campaign against the Islamic Revolution in Algeria: A Statement by GIA (the Algerian Armed Movement),” Radio Islam manifest, 3−4 (1994; in Swedish). Radio Islam was a Swedish radio station, now a website, allegedly dedicated to “the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people against Israel,” and currently one of the most radical right-wing antisemitic websites on the net, espousing Holocaust denial and praising Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

[27] Osama bin Laden, "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places, 1996,” MidEastWeb, at

[28] See Ely Karmon, “Terrorism a la Bin Laden is not a Peace Process Problem,” PolicyWatch 347 (Oct. 1998), Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

[29] The terrorist organization al-Qa’ida encouraged attacks against Jordan and the United States on or around 1 January 2000. Although some attacks were planned, there is no evidence that they were coordinated in any way. Two of them were foiled by law enforcement agencies and a third was aborted after a mistake occurred.

[30] “Jihad against Jews and Crusaders. World Islamic Front Statement,” Washington Post, at On 22 February 1998 Usama bin Laden announced the creation in Pakistan of the World Islamic Front for the Struggle against the Jews and Crusaders (WIF), in association with radical groups from Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Other signatories to the February statement were: Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the Egyptian Jihad; Rifai Taha, head of the Egyptian Islamic Group; Mir Hamza, secretary-general of Pakistan's Ulema Society (Jamaat-ul-Ulema-i-Pakistan); Fazlur Rahman Khalil, chief of Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA) in Pakistan; and Shaykh Abd al-Salam Muhammad Khan, leader of the Jihad movement of Bangladesh.

[31] “Oh you who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians as friends and protectors, they [Jews and Christians] are friends and protectors of each other, whomsoever takes them as friends and protectors is one of them.” [Quran 5:51] Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiya said: “Whosoever takes wala from a Jew is in turn a Jew himself, whomsoever takes wala from a Christian is in turn a Christian himself.” These citations are taken from one of the 18 mirror English and multilingual websites belonging to Chechen Islamist militants active before 9/11.

[32] Ely Karmon, “Who Bombed Northern Israel? Al-Qaida and Palestine,” 1 Jan. 2006, ICT website, at

[33] Osama bin Laden, Declaration of War.

[34] Karmon, “Terrorism a la Bin Laden is not a Peace Process Problem.”

[35] Karmon, Coalitions of Terrorist Organizations, pp.71−2.

[36] Ely Karmon, “The Middle East, Iraq, Palestine − Arenas for Radical and Anti-Globalization Groups Activity,” paper presented at the NATO ARW (Advanced Research Workshop) on Terrorism and Communications – Countering the Terrorist Information Cycle, Smolenice, Slovakia, 8–11 April 2005 (forthcoming in a NATO book).

[37] Alexandre dell Valle, “The Reds, The Browns and the Greens or the Convergence of Totalitarianisms,” 6 Dec. 2004 at id_art=131.

[38] For instance in the 1970s and 1980s some Italian rightist terrorists and German radicals supported the Palestinians and even the Iranian Khomeinist regime; the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing in 1995 was a clear act of terror by rightist elements against the democratic liberal system in the US.

[39] dell Valle, “The Reds, The Browns and the Greens.”

[40] “Evangelicals Who Serve the Anti-Christ!” David Duke Online Radio Report, 25 Jan. 2003, at

[41] This paragraph is based on Ely Karmon, “Hizballah and the Antiglobalization Movement: A New Coalition?” PolicyWatch 949 (27 Jan. 2005), Washington Institute for Near East Policy, at

[42] Report on “Where Next for the Global Anti-War and Anti-Globalization Movements?” conference in Beirut, 17-19 Sept. 2004. Prepared by Iraq Solidarity Project, a grassroots collective based in Montreal, Canada, at, 18 Oct. 2004.

[43] Gabriel Weimann, “ − How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet,” United States Institute of Peace Reports, Special Report No. 116 (March 2004),, and David Talbot, “Terror’s Server,” (Feb. 2005), at friendly_article.aspx?id=14150.

[44] D. E. Michael, “Unity In Diversity. The Strategy of Divide Et Impera,” national-anarchist campaign, at

[45] Amir Taheri, “The Black-Red Alliance,” Jerusalem Post, 10 June 2004. See also Jean-Yves Camus, “The French Left and Political Islam: Secularism versus the Temptation of an Alliance,” at

[46] Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, dit Carlos (avec Jean-Michel Vernochet), L’islam revolutionnaire (Monaco, 2003).

[47] Ibid., pp. 89-97.

[48] Taheri, “The Black-Red Alliance.”

[49] “Kaide (‘Al-Qa’ida’), magazine published openly in Turkey,” MEMRI Special Dispatch Series No. 951, 7 Aug. 2005.

[50] Mukhtar Kabar, “Beirut Conference Shows International Solidarity,” Respect website, 9 Dec, 2006, at

[51] NYT, 5 Sept. 2002.

[52] Associated Press, 16 Sept. 2003.

[53] Dhimmi Watch, 25 June 2005, at

[54] Greg Krikorian, “Arrest Made in Possible Terror Plot,” Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2005.

[55] Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, 12 Sept. 2006.

[56] Yossi Lempkowicz, “Israeli Embassy Target of Oslo Synagogue Attackers,” European Jewish Press, 22 Sept. 2006, at

[57] “Czech Terror Alert. Plot Against Jews Reported in Prague,” Spiegel Online, 6 Oct.2006, at,1518,441131,00.html.

[58] See Wenceslao Cruz Blanco, “La mezquita atacada en Venezuela,” Nuncamas website, 16 Oct. 2006, at

[59] Jose Orozco, “Venezuelan Jews Fear Chavez-Iran Ties,” Jerusalem Post, 19 Sept. 2006.


[61] The citations from the different websites belonging to Hezbollah Latino America were translated from Spanish to English by this author.

[62] For a detailed analysis of Hezbollah Venezuela and Hezbollah Latino America see:

Ely Karmon, “Hezbollah America Latina: Strange Group or Real Threat?” ICT website, 14 Nov. 2006, at

Manuel R. Torres Soriano, “La fascinación por el éxito: el caso de Hezbollah en América Latina,” Jihad Monitor Occasional Paper, No 1, Oct. 17, 2006, at

Javier Jordan and Manuel Torres, “Considerations on the First (Frustrated) Action of Hezbollah in Venezuela,” Jihad Monitor Special Paper, November 2, 2006, at

[63] Hezbollah Venezuela, “Nuestra posición oficial respecto a la revolución venezolana. Editorial,” 3 Aug. 2006.

[64] On Hezbollah Argentina, see Karmon, “Hezbollah America Latina,”

[65] On Radio Islam, see note 25.

[66] See note 57.

[67] Meir Litvak, “What Is behind Iran’s Advocacy of Holocaust Denial?” The Center for Iranian Studies (CIS), Tel Aviv University, Iranian Pulse No. 3, 11 Sept. 2006.

[68] “Rafsanjani Says Muslims Should Use Nuclear Weapon against Israel,“ Iran Press Service, at

[69] Nicola Pedde, “Iran’s Nuclear Gamble,” Analisis Del Real Instituto Elcano, 7 Aug. 2006, at

[70] Amnon Rubinstein, “Iran: Suicide Bombing as a National Strategy,” Haaretz, 19 May 2006.

[71] Waller R. Newell, “Why Is Ahmadinejad Smiling? The Intellectual Sources of His Apocalyptic Vision,” Weekly Standard 5, 16 Oct. 2006.

[72] Michel Wieviorka, “La logique ‘globale’ de l’antisemitisme aujourd’hui,”; author’s translation.

[73] Waller R. Newell, “Why Is Ahmadinejad Smiling?”