Those pesky Jews are at it again, at least if we believe the Egyptian Supreme Command. At the end of the Wall Street Journal’s article on this weekend’s clashes in Cairo is a quote from a statement by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces explaining who, exactly, was behind the violence:
On Monday, an anchor on Egyptian state television read a statement from the SCAF blaming “the Zionist enemy” who it said was trying to “hit the army from within while it is not presented strongly on its borders.”
Those tricky Jews! How dare they instigate violence between Muslims and Christians and the Egyptian Army! Perhaps John Mearsheimer would defend them as anti-Zionists rather than anti-Semites given that the statement blames Israelis rather than Jews, but those less attuned than this formerly eminent professor to such subtle nuance will see this paranoiac and delusional statement as an example of anti-Semitism of the purest kind.It’s possible that in the press office of the Egyptian command this kind of paranoid idiocy is just boilerplate: the ‘blame the Jews’ graph goes at the end of every statement on every problem ranging from locust invasions to stock market gyrations.But the reality is that anti-Semitism is an ugly curse that impoverishes and diminishes a people afflicted by it. Arabs and others need to understand that malicious and misguided prejudice of this kind makes them appear weak minded and incompetent. It is the visible evidence of cultural dysfunction and a distorted political understanding.Anti-Semitism curses the Middle East in three ways. It prevents the development of pragmatic relations with Israel that more than any other single change would open the doors to greater prosperity for the masses (uniting Israeli entrepreneurs with the work force and markets of the region would have large consequences). It causes Middle Easterners to fundamentally misjudge the policies and intentions of the United States, systematically distorting their view of US political processes and both the sources and purposes of its support for Israel, among other things. And it reinforces the intolerance and simplistic views that undercut the possibility of effective capitalist development in many places.If you want your enemy to be weak, poor and contemptible, ask God to make him an anti-Semite.Anti-Semitism in its contemporary form is not just an unpleasant prejudice; it is a disabling mental disease. Overcoming this handicap is an important part of the development process that awaits the Middle East.