A review of Jewcentricity by Adam Garfinkle, Part 4 of 4: Islam

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In Jewcentricity Garfinkle claims that “Muslim societies today are the site of the most virulent and widespread anti-Semitism on the planet.” He traces the source of this anti-Jewish sentiment back to the origins of the religion itself, and notes how it “inheres in the sacred narrative of Islam.” The reasons for this sentiment in Islam are akin to the reasons for it in Christianity — the desire to separate the religion from its foundational rootstock of Judaism. He notes that “just as Christianity had to find some way to separate, distinguish, and distance itself from its foundation in order to justify its claims of superiority, so did Islam.”[1]

Muslims accept a differing account of the stories from the Bible that describes the binding of Isaac on Mount Moriah, the future Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and Isaac inheriting Abraham’s covenant with God. According to the Quran, and as Muslims have always understood it, “it is not Isaac but Ismail who is bound (and of course saved), and the place is the Valley of Arafat, in Arabia, not Mount Moriah in the Land of Israel.” So while agreeing with much that is related in the Hebrew Bible, in-the-tradition Muslims argue that, with regard to the events just described, Jews have distorted the record and that “the Hebrew Bible’s account of this critical event, the “binding” of Abraham’s son, is a post-Mohammedan fabrication.”[2]

The fact that Torah predates the birth of Mohammed by about a thousand years apparently offers no logical barrier to Muslims in making this assertion. The reality is the other way around — large sections of the Quran were lifted from the Torah and then altered. Garfinkle notes that:

Parts of the Quranic sura called Yusuf (Joseph), the twelfth sura for those keeping score, are taken largely verbatim from the Mishnah. … It is for this reason — that the Jews had the audacity to distort the revealed word of God Himself — if not for others, in-the-tradition Muslims have, it is fair to say, a disparaging attitude toward Jews and Judaism, despite the dependence of the Quran on so much of the Jewish narrative. [3]  

Mohammed also lifted material from the New Testament which is reflected in the eschatology of Sunni Islam which looks forward to the end-of-days when Islam will be universally triumphant. Similar to the Christian account of Armageddon, the Muslim end-of-days narrative includes a series of convulsive wars before Jesus finally returns and fights the anti-Christ or anti-Allah (called dajjal in Arabic). After this, as with the Christian account, all the good Jews will convert to Islam and all the bad ones will die. Garfinkle notes that

there is a statement near the end of the Hadith [sayings of the Prophet Mohammed] that goes like this: “The Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!” There is both more and less that meets the eye here. There is less in the sense that this statement bears a context, that of the end of history, or of normal historical time. This when the rock and trees will miraculously take on voices, telling the good guys how to find and kill the Jews to hasten the destiny of History. …

So killing Jews is not a religious obligation in the Islamic tradition, and the statement about talking rocks and trees does not come from the Quran. It is a prophecy about the “end of days,” and it carries what is for most Muslims the lesser authority of Hadith. Moreover, there are many offsetting verses in the Quran (and in Hadith) that forbid violence against non-Muslims, that set conditions as to when violence and war are permitted, and that bear special protection for other members of the Abrahamic tradition — Jews and Christians in particular.[4]

Muslims generally view Jews as having strayed from the true path of God, of having distorted God’s word, and of showing “traits of cunning, betrayal, and deception.” Yet while anti-Jewish sentiment has been normative within Islam since its inception, Garfinkle contends that until around a century ago “Muslim anti-Semitism as such did not exist.” The extent to which Muslim anti-Jewish sentiment has morphed into genuine “anti-Semitism” can only be ascribed to the malign influence of Europeans, with Garfinkle arguing that “contemporary Muslim anti-Semitism is not Islamic in its idiom or essence — it has been imported from Europe.”[5]

Because of European anti-Semitism having supposedly infected millions of Muslims, we now have a situation where “Negative Jewcentricity is virtually everywhere in the Muslim world these days; it has become the default view of Jews, not the exceptional view.”[6] According to the author, “Muslim anti-Semitism is mainly a European import, but its under-layer of anti-Jewish folklore gives it a vocabulary and a tone of its own.”[7] The fact that Islam has no native tradition of “anti-Semitism,” supposedly explains the very different experience of Jews in the Islamic world and in Europe.

Taken Together, these factors explain at least in a brief, simple way why the serial expulsions and mass murder Jews suffered in Europe over the centuries did not occur, virtually without exception and certainly with no major exception, in Islamic lands. This does not mean, of course, that Jews enjoyed a kind of extended golden age while living in the various climes and eras of Muslim history. Nonetheless, again, the religious and social prejudice Jews suffered within Dar al-Islam was nothing special: these were epochs in which toleration was at best relative, so whatever Jews may have suffered, others who were not part of the ruling group of the time suffered. This means that there was no Muslim anti-Semitism, strictly speaking, before about a century ago.

Contemporary Muslim anti-Semitism has been bolstered by the relics of European anti-Semitism, and not only of the ubiquitous text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in translation — available in any bookstore of significant size in the region, along with an Arabic translation of Henry Ford’s The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem. Also widely available in Arabic is the book that Ford influenced to the point of inciting plagiarism — Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. These are books, please remember, whose origins all lie in the West.[8]  

It is no news to regular readers of TOO that White societies are regarded by activist Jews weaned since birth on the victim narrative of the Holocaust as an undifferentiated and pathological whole ripe for radical deconstruction — and mass Islamic immigration is an important part of this deconstruction. Today, all Europeans are held by the Jewish elite to be proto-Nazis and collectively guilty of the “Holocaust,” with any hint of White ethnocentrism and group cohesion being regarded as a recrudescence of National Socialism, and a deadly threat to the prospect for Jewish group continuity. For a subset of ethnocentric Jewish intellectuals like  Garfinkle, Auschwitz is the culmination of Western culture, and the Muslim threat to Jews simply pales by comparison.

Garfinkle claims that the virulent “anti-Semitism” of Muslims today is exacerbated by the fact that “Insofar as most Arabs and Muslims get what we may charitably call news about other places, including Palestine, they get it from television, notably from the new group of Arab satellite TV networks. Most of these outlets are government-owned, and all, to one degree or another, heavily propagandize certain views.”[9] By unbiased media reports he ostensibly means the kind of reporting offered up of the various Jewish-owned and/or controlled media organs of the West — such as The American Interest, a magazine he edits. It is obvious to Garfinkle that control of the media in the Middle East is an important causal factor in the growth of Muslim hostility to Jews. Yet when White nationalists made essentially the same point — that Jewish control of the Western media has led to the proliferation of anti-White sentiment — they are immediately dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorists by the likes of Garfinkle.

With his relatively sanguine view of historical Islam Garfinkle offers us an insight into the thinking of the majority of Jewish leaders and activists throughout the West who have, to the great surprise of many, remained relatively sanguine about large scale Muslim immigration into Western nations. As Garfinkle notes, “not all Muslims are afflicted with fundamentalist attitudes, and not all are anti-Semitic in a clinical sense. Indeed, the vast majority in most countries probably still are not — their folkloric anti-Jewish sentiments have not yet mutated into actual anti-Semitism.”[10] The favorable regard that many Jewish leaders have for Muslims, at least when compared with Europeans, can, as mentioned, be traced to the Jewish interpretation of history. Garfinkle spells out this interpretation when he notes that:

As to the reality of Islamic tolerance for Jews over the centuries, this is unarguable. Given a hypothetical choice, no educated Jew would trade the Jewish experience within Islam for the one within Christendom. But it is easy to tolerate a protected Abrahamic minority, or any other kind for that matter, when the minority is both weak and often useful in one way or another. When a minority plays its part in bolstering the pride of the dominant group, it confirms the social cosmology of that dominant group; it works, it fits. It is another thing to show toleration when that minority has its own politically sovereign state in one’s midst, is stronger, more modern, and wealthier than one’s own states — as the State of Israel is in relation to all the Arab States. That has made all the difference.[11]  

Garfinkle is here hinting at the reality that Jews were tolerated in Muslim countries as long as they accepted a subservient status. In fact, Garfinkle would appear to be painting a positive portrait of Jews in the Muslim world in order to drive home his main thesis of the evil of the Christian West which he sees as a far more dangerous enemy than the Muslim world. As Kevin MacDonald notes in Chapter 2 of Separation and Its Discontents:

There were repeated instances of anti-Jewish attitudes and actions in Muslim societies from the time of Mohammed up to the modern era. Jews were an officially sanctioned dhimmi, which could live among Muslims but in a humiliated and subservient status—“never anything but second-class citizens in the Islamic social system” (Bosworth 1982, 49). “The Qur’anic words dhull and dhilla, meaning lowliness, abasement, abjectness, are often used by Muslim writers to denote the humility that was felt to be appropriate for the non-Muslim and more especially the Jewish subjects of the state” (Lewis 1984, 32). Jews were subjected to pogroms and riots, unpunished violence at the hands of individuals, sumptuary laws, corvee labor, wearing of distinguishing garments, compulsory ghettoization, walking barefoot in imperial cities, confiscatory taxes, laws restricting the size of Jewish houses and synagogues, curfews, signs of submission when near mosques, and attitudes of “an omnipresent air of hostility toward the ‘infidels’ ” (Stillman 1979, 73). There were also several examples of “highly ritualized degradation of the Jews” (Stillman 1979, 84).[12]

In general, the low point was reached in the period from the mid-18th century to the end of the 19th century, when there was the “unmistakable picture of grinding poverty, ignorance, and insecurity” (Lewis 1984, 164). Indeed, there is some indication that the Jews in Muslim lands were physically so intimidated by their Muslim hosts that they were extraordinarily fearful: A 19th-century British observer in the Ottoman lands contrasted the boldness of Jews in England with Ottoman Jews, whose “pusillanimity is so excessive, that they will flee before the uplifted hand of a child” (Lewis 1984, 164). In Morocco and the Ottoman areas even young children could spit on Jews or hit them with rocks without fear of retaliation, and a visitor to Turkey in 1836 noted that “there is a subdued and spiritless expression about the Eastern Jew. . . . It is impossible to express the contemptuous hatred in which the Osmanlis hold the Jewish people” (in Lewis 1984, 165). During this period, there were a number of expulsions and massacres of Jews throughout the Arab world.[13]

Significantly, Lewis (1984, 33) characterizes the Muslim attitude toward Jews as one of contempt, rather than hatred, fear, or envy, presumably because [unlike so often in Europe] the Muslim anti-Jewish customs generally prevented Jews from attaining a position that would result in envy, fear, or hatred. Violence against Jews occurred when Jews were “acting above themselves” (p. 53), indicating that contempt turned rather quickly to hatred if Jews attempted to change their second-class status.

Garfinkle’s attitude (that the historical record shows that Europeans are the main enemies of Jews in the West) is entirely normative with organized Jewry, and is grounded in a simple logic: the take home lesson of the Third Reich and the “Holocaust” is that all White people are incipient Nazis, and mass non-White immigration consequently makes formerly White nations safer for Jews. Jewish activists pose as moral paragons and humanitarians when their logic is nothing more than ethnic self-interest: demographically swamp White nations so that the political power of Whites declines, making the rise of an anti-Jewish movement among Whites less likely. The result of these Jewish anxieties and hatreds is to swamp the West with tens of millions of non-White immigrants which in the not too distant future will make Whites a powerless minority in the countries they founded and built.

MacDonald makes the point that: “Although multiculturalist ideology was invented by Jewish intellectuals to rationalize the continuation of separatism and minority-group ethnocentrism in a modern Western state, several of the recent instantiations of multiculturalism may eventually produce a monster with negative consequences for Judaism.”[14] This is despite the fact that multiculturalism, like neo-Orthodoxy and Zionism, is another Jewish response “to the Enlightenment’s corrosive effects on Judaism” which likewise involves the creation of a “defensive structure erected against the destructive influence of European civilization.”[15] It is an attempt to resolve the “fundamental and irresolvable friction between Judaism and prototypical Western political and social structure.”[16]

These drawbacks of Western multiculturalism for Jews (most prominently the rise of Islamic anti-Semitism alongside historically high rates of intermarriage) are ostensibly regarded by Jewish leaders and activists as prices worth paying in their quest to demographically, politically and culturally defuse supposedly potentially dangerous White populations. In the minds of Western Jewish leaders nurtured since infancy on the cult of the “Holocaust,” White nationalism is still the most ominous threat to the Jewish people. This is reflected in the unquestioning commitment of the vast majority of Jewish activists and intellectuals, including Garfinkle, to mass non-White immigration and multiculturalism in White nations — and only White nations.

*    *    *

It’s no surprise that Jewcentricity was lavished with praise from a wide range of Jewish academics and intellectuals. Leslie H. Gelb, a former columnist for the New York Times, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, and feeble critic of Mearsheimer and Walt claimed that in writing Jewcentricity, “Adam Garfinkle punctures the myth of the omnipotence of the Jews with such intelligence and reflective sweep that we still can go on discussing the ‘exaggerations’ forever.” Peter L. Berger, the director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University described Jewcentricity as a “brilliant book” that is “lucid, witty and very persuasive.”

The reality is that Jewcentricity is a book marred by weak argumentation and a conspicuous failure to consider all of the relevant aspects of the “exaggerations” he discusses. For instance, it is an egregious motion to fail to consider how knowledge of the role of organized Jewry in the demographic transformation of the West or knowledge of the role of the Israel Lobby in effecting the war in Iraq might account for a great deal of (quite justified) “negative Jewcentricity” on the part of people of European descent. Likewise, his claim that Judaism is not a “bloodline phenomenon” (and thus not a group evolutionary strategy) is simply untenable in light of the population genetic evidence that has accumulated over recent years. A conspicuous example of his weak argumentation is his falling back on the age-old deceit of claiming that that Judaism is just a religion to defend his feeble claim that Jews do not control Hollywood.

In Garfinkle’s guise of offering a fair-minded and rounded picture of Jews and their interactions with others, he effectively accepts many of the claims made by White nationalists: that Jews run Hollywood and dominate large parts of the American media, that they exercise effective control over the U.S. Congress, and that their activist organizations wield enormous financial and political power and use this power to reengineer American society in their own interests. Garfinkle concludes Jewcentricity by proposing that

everyone, Jews and non-Jews alike, could benefit from a little inattention to the wrong things. Non-Jews should pay less attention to Jews, and the Jews should pay more attention to themselves — meaning the state of their spiritual and communal life. Too many Jews spend way too much time worrying about and exaggerating the implications of what others think of them. By exaggerating what others think, they ascribe to it and thus create for it far more influence than would otherwise be the case. If Jews would become a little less Jewcentric themselves, especially in public, there is just a chance, if only a small one, that non-Jews will become less Jewcentric, too.[17]     

White people would certainly benefit from paying more attention to the right things, and nothing is more important than the future survival of their race. One cannot seriously address this issue without coming face to face with the role of Jews in leading the social, economic and cultural transformation of the West. Unfortunately, White people do not have the luxury of becoming less “Jewcentric” in a world where Jewish power remains our foremost problem.


[1] Adam Garfinkle, Jewcentricity: why the Jews are praised, blamed, and used to explain just about everything (Hoboken NJ: John Wiley, 2009), 243.

[2] Ibid. 249.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid. 250.

[5] Ibid. 244.

[6] Ibid. 245.

[7] Ibid. 246.

[8] Ibid. 258-59.

[9] Ibid. 226.

[10] Ibid. 260.

[11] Ibid. 256.

[12]. See especially Stillman (1979, 368–69; 416–17) for examples of ritualized anti-Jewish customs in Arab lands. Ritualized degradation was most common in Yemen and Morocco; in the former it continued without significant interruption for thirteen centuries until the Yemenese Jews left for Israel. See Patai (1986), Ahroni (1986), and Nini (1991) for discussions of the oppression of Yemenese Jews, apparently the most extreme oppression in the Moslem world.

[13] Kevin MacDonald, Chapter 2 of Separation and Its Discontents, p. 30-31.

[14] Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth‑Century Intellectual and Political Movements, (Westport, CT: Praeger, Revised Paperback edition, 2001), 313.

[15] Ibid., 316.

[16] Ibid., 320.

[17] Ibid. 178.

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