This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2618
December 21, 2006
ABC News Analyst Fawaz Gerges Says Jews of the Holocaust, Palestinians Suffered "Similar Historical Injustices"
December 20, 2006
On the December 14 broadcast of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" devoted to discussing the recent Holocaust denial conference in Tehran, ABC News Consultant and Sarah Lawrence College professor Fawaz Gerges argued that the Holocaust and what he called the "tragedies of the Palestinians" were "similar historical injustices." Gerges was interviewed from Egypt, where he is a visiting professor at the American University in Cairo. Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, was also interviewed and strongly disagreed with Gerges's statements.
Gerges's last words on the show, hosted by Lynn Neary, were: "I really believe that both the Jews and the Palestinians, basically, are, have suffered from similar historical injustices."
Gerges is a consultant and analyst for ABC News and holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence. He made the comments near the end of the 35 minute program, during which time he consistently attempted to blame the Israelis for what he admitted were growing "anti-Jewish feelings" in the Middle East.
Gerges's tactic throughout the interview was to manipulate the discussion of why Iranian president Ahmadinejad held the conference, and why the Middle East is home to a rising tide of anti-Semitism, to blame the Israelis and to draw a moral equivalency between the Holocaust and the treatment of the Palestinians.
Here are a few choice pull quotes from my own transcription of the show. I have removed only "ums" and "ahs":
"I think it would be very misleading to see that, to say, as some people in the United States and the West argue, that anti-Semitism has migrated from its home base in Europe, particularly Germany and other counties, to the Muslim world."
"When I talk to Muslims and Arabs, the first question, you say, ‘well look, this, say we are Semites ourselves; how can we be anti-Semites?"
"And when we say anti-Jewish feelings, there's also a great deal of anti-Arab and Muslim feelings in Israel, as you know. There are tens of thousands of settlers who would basically ship the Palestinians, or would like to ship the Palestinians, overnight to their neighboring countries and basically enjoin the slogan, ‘kill the Arabs and the Muslims.'"
"There's a great tragedy in place, Lynn, I mean, you have military occupation, you have Palestinians are being killed on daily basis. The Palestinians live in the largest prison in Gaza. I mean, there's war."
"Lynn, there have been a great many Arab and Muslim scholars who have made it very clear that denying the Holocaust does great moral damage to the cause of the Palestinians."
"Look, you have tens of thousands of Palestinians who have been killed. You have hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been killed. Look at the history of colonialism. ‘How can the oppressed people,' they say, ‘Jews, turn around and do injustice to the Palestinians?' Why the Palestinians have to pay for the crimes committed by Europeans, after all?"
"While on the one hand, we can say that any kind of denial, any kind of second-guessing, is basically a moral crime, we also must acknowledge at the same time, that there is a crime being committed against the Palestinians. There is a military occupation taking place, that there are crimes committed in Iraq and in Palestine."
Further Analysis: Given the number of scholars and experts in the U.S. who could comment on the Middle East, it's remarkable that an organization like ABC News would turn to a man so willing to engage in moral and intellectual relativism. Whatever one thinks of the Palestinian question, or of Israel's policy toward them, to speak as Gerges speaks is to cheapen the horror of the Holocaust in an effort to deny Israelis any moral foundation for their state. It's also extremely sloppy history, especially for a scholar, and a clear attempt to use the past for contemporary political ends.
My friend Bruce Kesler suggests this quotation as a means of shedding futher light on the abuse of history, from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949):
"The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth."
Posted by Winfield Myers)
MIM: More proof of Gerges stealth Islamism is his association with Kamran Bokari the North American spokesman for Al Muhajiroun who like Gerges presents himself as an analyst for Stratfor. Gerges thanked Bokhari -who himself published a book on Jihad this year - for his help. Bokhari is still associated with Al Qaeda linked groups in the United States the AMSS (Association of Muslim Social Scientists and the IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought)
This posting reveals the true face of 'Stratfor Analyst' Kamran Bokhari.
For more on Bokhari see: http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/31
Ittaqallah Ya Abu Khadaja!!!!!!!!!
For Allah's sake stop attacking HizbutTahrir and Al-Muhajiroun and instead
attack these rulers in the muslim world that are responsible for the misery of
the uummmah and the world at large. These kufr regimes are the obstacles to
the rise of Islam as the dominant way of life in the world.
Springfield, MO, USA
"Kamran Bokhari, senior analyst at Strategic Forecasting, Inc., read the entire manuscript and made extensive notes throughout"
This book has been in the making since 1999 and is based on hundreds of interviews with Islamists, former jihadis, activists, civil society leaders, and opinion makers throughout the Middle East. I benefited greatly from a generous MacArthur Foundation fellowship and a Smith Richardson Foundation grant, which enabled me to spend two years in the region conducting field research, traveling widely, and spending countless hours talking to the rank and file, not just leaders, of the Islamist and jihadist movements. The interviews I conducted inform my analysis throughout the book and complement recently acquired primary sources. This book relies overwhelmingly on original material.
When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, I decided to wait until the smoke had dissipated before I concluded the writing of the book. I am glad I did, because the aftershocks of the September 11 earthquake have shed more light on the internal dynamics, tensions, and struggles within the jihadist movement. I also did follow-up primary research to bring the story up to date. My hope is that the book makes a humble critical contribution, not to the polemical and charged foreign policy debate, but rather to understanding the road to September 11 and its aftermath: how and why transnationalist jihadis brought the war to American shores against the wishes of the bulk of their religious nationalist associates who wanted to keep the struggle focused on the home front. And to what extent is this global war a direct product of the internal strife among jihadis themselves?
In researching and writing this book, I have incurred many intellectual debts to friends, colleagues, and strangers who sat down with me for countless hours and shared with me their insights and views. In particular, I cannot do justice to the hundreds of activists, students, and opinion makers in Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and elsewhere who took the time to meet with me and enrich my education on the unfolding struggles in the region. They welcomed me in their homes and offices, put up with my nonsensical questions, and provided me with precious primary sources. This book is as much theirs as it is mine, although they might disagree with my conclusions and are not responsible for any existing errors of judgment or fact.
A partial list of the people who went out of their way to help me includes Hassan Hanafi, Al-Sayyid Yassin, Nabil Abdel Fattah, Mustafa Kamal al-Said, Hazem Amin, Kamal Salibi, Bahgat Korany, Walid Kazeha, Galal Amin, Mustafa Hamarneh, Ahmad Thabet, Adel Hammad, Yosri Mustafa, Emad Eldin Shahin, Ridwan al-Sayyid, Ahmad Sobhi Mansour, Gameel Matter, Abul Ela al-Madi, Esam Sultan, Ahmad Abdullah, Omar Morsi, Tariq al-Bashri, Manar El Shorbagi, Ali Fahmi, Seif al-Din Abed al-Fattah Ismail, Nadia Mahmoud Mustafa, Abdel al-Azeez Shadi, Gamal al-Banna, Dallal al-Bezri, Adel Hussein, Hassan Ahmed Abu Taleb, Mohammed Salah, Dia' Rashwan, Montasser al-Zayat, Mohammed al-Maitami, Nasr Taha Mustafa, Nemat Guenena, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Enid Hill, Hala Mustafa, Anees al-Anani, Samir Marqus, Faisal Mokarram, Abdel al-Bari Taher, Wahid Abdel al-Majid, Abdu Mohammed al-Jundi, Hassan Zaid, Abdel Kareem Alkhwani, Mansour Azzandi, Gamil al-Ansi, Ghaleb al-Gershi, Najib Ghanem, Khaled al-Bojairi, Haseeb al-Oraiki, Mohammed Kahtan, Mohammed al-Yadomi, Yasin Abdel al-Aziz, Abdel Wahab al-Ansi, Ahmad al-Shami, Mohammed Mansour, Mohammed Mottahar, Mohammed Abdel Malak Almotawakel, Mohammed Abdel Wahab Jubari, Layth Shubaylat, Tariq al-Tal, Mohammed Suleiman, Rahil al-Gharaibah, Abed al-Lateef Araibat, Jameel Abu Bakr, Nahed Hattar, Muraywid Tal, Khair el-Din Haseeb, Nadim Mseis, Hicham Chehab, Haytham Mouzahem, Fares al-Sakkaf, Hani Hourani, Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Mona Makram-Ebeid, Nadia Abou El-Magd, and many others.
Colleagues and friends in the Middle East generously offered intellectual nourishment as well as friendship and hospitality. In particular, I would like to thank Tariq Tal and Jocelyn DeJong, Anees al-Anani, Bahgat Korany, Mustafa Hamarneh, and Mohammed al-Maitami for hosting me in their homes and welcoming me with open arms. I remain grateful.
I owe a special thanks to London University Professor Charles Tripp, who read an early draft essay of the book and was not discouraged by its lack of refinement. His critical feedback and insights forced me to contextualize the analysis and be more comparative. Needless to say, any remaining shortcomings are mine. Yezid Sayigh of London University also furnished me with conceptual and practical suggestions that helped me in revising the book. Kamran Bokhari, senior analyst at Strategic Forecasting, Inc., read the entire manuscript and made extensive notes throughout. The book is better thanks to his diligent efforts. Over the years Avi Shlaim of Oxford University has been and remains a source of inspiration and friendship. I also want to thank my friend J. Michael Mahoney, whose moral support has sustained me. I am grateful to Julie Kidd of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, which has been a generous supporter of Middle East studies and my work at Sarah Lawrence. I also want to thank my research students, Marie Webb and Anthony Fleming, for their assistance.
Special thanks go to Ms. Marigold Acland, Senior Editor at Cambridge University Press, for her patience and commitment to this book. Although my contract stipulated that I complete the book by 2002, she just gently nudged me to plug along. More important, her critical feedback enriched the overall analysis. I also want to thank Ms. Shari Chappell, my editor at Cambridge, for shepherding the book from its early conception until birth; Shari's magical editorial touch has transformed the book. The entire team at Cambridge has been most helpful.
Finally, this book belongs to my family. They invested as much time and energy, if not more so, in making it happen as I did. I could not have traveled for long periods or written the book without Nora's love and encouragement; her intellectual feedback has guided the project since its inception. My children's tenderness and affection also kept me sane during those hectic days of travel and writing. Hannah never let a day go by without reminding me that I should hurry and be done with the book. Laith wandered in and out of my study showering me with kisses. From the outset Annie-Marie never tired inquiring about "why did Al Qaeda attack America?" She motivated me to try to find intelligent answers to her question. Bassam helped me access key primary documents and listened closely and patiently to my chatter about the far enemy and the near enemy; he often had something critical to say. This book is a fruit of their love.
Fawaz A. Gerges
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2618