Manifestations of hatred of Jews and Israel have risen over the last few decades in the Arab and Muslim world. This hatred is demonstrated in many ways: in speeches and writings of religious, intellectual, and political leaders; in school textbooks and mass media; and in horrific suicide bombings and other terrorist actions. Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, al-Qa'ida leader Osama Bin Ladin, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizballah all have repeatedly called for Israel's destruction. But is such hatred the result of Islamic anti-Semitism, as widely claimed? Or does it have other roots and reasons? This book sets the record straight by explaining that while anti-Semitism is the credo of fanatic groups and regimes, such an attitude is not representative of traditional and contemporary Islam. For centuries, Muslim attitudes to Jews were ambivalent - contempt and antagonism alongside tolerance and cooperation. In fact, Jews under Islam were better off than their Christian neighbors, and much better off than their Jewish brethren under Christianity. A similar pattern of relations has developed over the last several decades between Muslim nations and the Jewish State of Israel - hostility and violence, mostly by Muslim Arabs, but also dialogue and cooperation by and with many other Muslims. These complex relations are discussed by Muslim and Jewish scholars - from Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the US, Palestine, and Turkey - who analyze the religious, cultural, political, and economic factors that have shaped Muslim attitudes to Jews and Israel. Ideas and suggestions are put forward to improve Muslim-Jewish relations, the theme of which was first conceived at an international conference organized by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Divinity School of Harvard University.
"Ma'oz has done an outstanding job giving us a timely compilation of essays. Considering the current uprising across the Arab Muslim world and its open expression of rage against its own dictators as well as with Israel and the Jews, his book is at the forefront and must be read with great urgency. Indeed the attitudes of a people will determine the outcome of any conflict. The word 'attitude' is defined by Webster as: 'a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior.' In ballet the term calls to mind a particular ballet position 'attitude.' Think of the arabesque, which means 'in the Arabic style.' There are more than one positions for it and it is not a far cry from what Ma'oz attempts to do, that is map out the contours of such positions by Arabs and Muslims towards Jews and Israel." --Citizen Times
"The volume has a strong point in providing a very informative overview of Muslim-Jewish relations in various parts of the world. The most interesting articles are looking more in depth at Muslim attitudes toward Jews and Israel through societies, publications, and interviews; nevertheless, the majority of the articles look at the diplomatic relations between states under scrutiny and Israel, which makes the volume slightly inconsistent. Overall, this is a good source for historians and scholars of politics and religion, a work that has more questions than answers." --Digest of Middle East Studies
Preface; Introduction by Moshe Ma'oz; Modern Myths of Muslim Anti-Semitism; The Image of the Jew/Zionist/Israeli in the Arab World; The Breakdown of Arab-Israeli Peace: Research from Remote, Reciprocal Stereotypes & Anti-Normalization - The Case of Jordan; Islam & the Question of Peace with Israel: Jad al-Haqq's Fatwa Permitting Egypt's 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel; Saudi Arabia & Israel: The Essence of Strategic Pragmatism; Myth, History & Realpolitik: Morocco & its Jewish Community; Babylon versus Zion: Changing Iraqi Perceptions of Israel; Azerbaijani Public Perceptions of Jews & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Turkish Policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Dancing in the Dark: Pulling the Veil off Israeli-Pakistan Relations; Indian Muslims & the Three Js: Jews, Jerusalem & the Jewish State; Indonesian Muslims' Perceptions of Jews & Israel; African Islam: Its Attitudes towards Israel & Judaism; "The Triangle": Europeans, Muslims, Jews; An Examination of Current Attitudes of Muslim Americans Toward Jews, Israel & Jerusalem; Index.