Not only Osama Bin Laden, and those secretly or openly sympathizing with him, longed to bring about the destruction of New York. Albert Speer, Hitler´s Minister of Armaments and War Production, already wrote about Adolf Hitler in his Spandau diaries:
“I recall his ordering of burning London, of the sea of flames over Warsaw, of exploding convoys, and the rapture with which he watched those films. But I never saw him so worked up as toward the end of the war, when he in a kind of delirium where he pictured for himself and for us the destruction of New York City in a hurricane of fire. He described the skyscrapers being turned into gigantic burning torches, collapsing upon one another, the glow of the exploding city illuminating the dark sky. Then, as if finding his way back to reality from a frenzy, he declared that Saur must immediately carry out Messerschmitt’s scheme for a four-engine long-range bomber.”
Although Speer is indeed a questionable witness, there is a map from the year 1944 outlining a German attack on Manhattan and the damage to it that could be expected.
The quotation and this map are eerily reminiscent of 9/11; in fact, the attack on the Twin Towers could be interpreted as a late fulfillment of a passionate National Socialist wish. Nevertheless, the ideological relationship of the 9/11 assassins to National Socialism is largely denied.
Osama Bin Laden had already become a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in his school days, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, was an ardent admirer of Hitler and Mussolini, who supposedly had “lead their people to unity, order, renewal, power and glory”. Al-Banna was also enthusiastic about the Germans and by Hitler’s broadcasts; while he criticized the “Westernization” and “softening” of the Egyptians, who unfortunately had acquired a “love of worldly life and a hatred of death”.
The slogan “you love life, we love death” became known through the Madrid bombers from 2004. In truth, however, it belongs to the standard repertoire of anti-Western Islamists’ pronouncements. In a 1996 Fatwa directed toward the Americans,, Bin Laden spoke of his young supporters as follows: “These young men love death as much as you love life.” That the Jews in particular “tend to love life”, whereas “we” – the Palestinians – “tend to love death” can even be heard from normal dwellers in the Palestinian territories from time to time, and various high-ranking Hamas leaders, such as Fathi Hamad and Ismail Haniya, have expressed themselves similarly.
The most important of Bin Laden’s spiritual godparents was the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, one of the most influential Islamist theorists in the Muslim Brotherhood. In his essay, “Our Struggle With the Jews”, published in 1950, Qutb wrote: “Allah brought Hitler to rule over them. And once again today the Jews have returned to evil-doing, in the form of ‘Israel’ which made the Arabs, the owners of the Land, taste of sorrows and woe. So let Allah bring down upon the Jews people who will met out to them the worst punishment, as a confirmation of His unequivocal promise.”
Now in regard to Osama Bin Laden, much of European society has not even realized that he might have something against the Jews. The rather detailed Wikipedia entry on him, for example, hardly mentions Bin Laden’s anti-Semitism (and the German version doesn’t even waste one word on this), even though it occupied a central position in his ideology and his texts are bursting with it. “The current Jewish enemy”, he explained in 1994, “is an attacking enemy and a corrupter of religion and the world.” One year later he named the “Palestinian cause” “the mother of all Islamic causes”. In November of 2001, he said in a video message: “How can the poor mothers in Palestine bear the murder of their children at the hands of the oppressive Jewish policemen, with American support, American airplanes and tanks? Those who distinguish between America and Israel are true enemies of the umma.” In his “Letter to America” from November 2002, he wrote: “Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people, who hold sway in their political parties, and fund their election campaigns with their gifts. Behind them stand the Jews, who control your policies, media and economy.” (This could have also originated from the quill of the National Socialists, who likewise saw only Jews behind the Allied Forces.) In April of 2004, in his letter “to the peoples of Europe”, Bin Laden ultimately explained: “President Bush and leaders in his sphere, big media institutions, and the United Nations which entrenches the relationship between the veto masters and the General Assembly slaves, are all instruments in deceiving and abusing people. All of them are a fatal danger to the world, and the Zionist lobby is their most dangerous and difficult member”.
People from the Hamburg milieu of Mohammed Atta, the most significant of the nineteen assassins of September 11, outrightly attest to his “National Socialist world view”. In his opinion, the Jews were the “puppeteers of the media, of the economy, of politics”, and naturally they were behind the wars in the Golf, on the Balkan, in Chechnya and so on. Atta wished for a State of God from the Nile to the Euphrates, meaning: the destruction of Israel. According to Atta, the Jews ultimately wanted to eradicate Islam, and the “center of world Jewry” was in New York. Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was part of the 1993 attack on the Twin Towers, had already been under the delusion that most of the people working inside the World Trade Center were Jews.
Nevertheless, particularly among large parts of the political Left, one earns disapproving head shakes at best if one points out the anti-Semitic character of 9/11. It is not uncommon that such indication is even rejected as denunciation of the brave fighter Osama bin Laden, who at least “objectively” has to be seen as an anti-imperialist. In other words: the anti-Semitic world view of the 9/11 perpetrators is denied or played down – just like the political Left in the Weimar Republic trivialized the anti-Semitism of the Nazis all too thoughtlessly (for example, as a “side contradiction”). Bin Laden’s interviews as well as the abundant other anti-Semitic statements of other Holy Warriors are hardly acknowledged; just like during Weimar times when the Europeans, including the Left, didn’t deem it necessary to actually read Mein Kampf and make a scandal of it.
Essentially all anti-Semites focus their hate against the idea of the individual’s emancipation from the constraints of nature, and even more so from society; enemies of Jews are perpetual enemies of individual freedom and spirit. It is not the individual with all his needs that is in the foreground, but a religious or national collective: what used to be Christianity is now the umma or the homogeneous autochthon national body (“Volksgemeinschaft”) attached to its soil. This is also reflected in the current anti-Zionist slogans: seldom is there a call for the “freedom for the Palestinians”, but more frequently for the “freedom for the Palestinian nation“. Anti-Semites are conditioned by their fear of losing the nest warmth found in their collective, by their fear of freedom with its inevitable uncertainty and its necessity for intellectual effort. Delegating every decision to an authority or collective, however, leads to intellectual debility.
Consequently, anti-Semites are in a truly servile state of mind toward their own paternalistic collective, and, for self-confirmation, the Jews, as a (supposedly) religious – or Israel as a national – counter-collective, are regularly perceived as resistant to uniformization. They are hated for this (but simultaneously secretly envied) because they subconsciously remind the anti-Semite of his own pitiful existence in his voluntary submission under his own community. It is as if the faceless lemming would accuse the Jews, “You love life, we love death!”
However, all of this is not just relevant in relation to Israel, but more or less also to America. A tell-tale sign is the name “Great Satan”, given to the USA and particularly used in Islamic areas (next to “Little Satan” to refer to Israel), because it is precisely the figure of Satan who leads one into temptation, who radiates a secret (but of course denied) attractiveness. For the Holy Warriors and their European friends, whether secret or professed, America is suspected of representing modernity, “soulless” materialism, the equality of women, spiritual as well as sexual liberty and individual rights of freedom. And America has been suspected of this since its formation, completely independent of a possibly good or bad American foreign policy.
The United States is also eyed with distrust by many “blood-and-soil” obscurantists because it is not a “blood nation”, not really based on a common ancestry (or at least a common religion) and is not “attached to their soil”. In contrast to some European and Arab states, whose national bodies are perceived as genuine and autochthon, the USA is fantasized as “artificial”, multicultural, and sometimes even Judaized. It is precisely the characteristic of artificiality that also Israel is accused of, as is evident in the derogatory term “Zionist entity” for Israel.
The anti-Semites’ aggressive wish to get rid of the Jews as disturbers of the peace – their own peace of the graveyard – ultimately condenses into the call for elimination. This is what Freud described as the subconscious process of projection; anti-Semites are therefore mostly incapable of reflecting on their emotions. Thus, anti-Semitism is nothing less than a mass psychosis.
To hide their own aggression, the anti-Semites hallucinate the Jews as attackers. Not too long ago this resounded as “Germans! Resist! Do not buy from Jews!” Today, Israel is made out to be the aggressor, the state that endangers world peace like no other and that tortures Palestinians, even though Israel has been attacked and endangered for over 60 years and although the Palestinians who live in Israel – the Israeli Arabs – have incomparably more rights and freedom than the Palestinians in any Arabic state.
But since May 8, 1945, there have been no more anti-Semites in Germany; now there are only “critics of Israel “. But just as anti-Semitism, in Adorno’s famous dictum, is “the rumor about the Jews”, so to, anti-Zionism is the rumor about Israel.
The Jews, the so-called enemies of the people, the gays, the intellectuals, but also anyone else who is suspected of making their own happiness a criterion of action, were “corrosive” – so it is said. “Corrosive” here means to dissolve a collective into its individual parts. Someone who does not submit to the collective, whose very existence proves that one must not bow down to social pressure, is often seen as a (national) traitor or a foreign-controlled spy. Not only Leftist dissidents have had to fear this accusation time and again, so too, for example, have those Palestinian Arabs who would rather work to live a good life themselves than for the death of the Jews. In the last decades thousands of them were murdered, accused of collaborating with Israel.
But others, too, are accused of being agents in foreign employ. Muslim fanatics also suspected Taslima Nasrin, an author from Bangladesh, of being a Jewish spy because she criticizes Islam and is committed to women’s rights. Likewise, representatives of the Left, as well as the Right, who opposed Stalin were regularly denounced as “agents of imperialism” or of a Jewish world conspiracy. Similar accusations were also made against Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Theodor W. Adorno, and also (e.g. in the infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”) the adherents of the French Revolution. We have already seen an analogous phenomenon in the European witch hunts, in which women regarded as witches were viewed as being controlled by a higher foreign power – the so-called Devil. And today, those within a Left social milieu who are in solidarity with Israel are also not uncommonly assumed to be controlled by a foreign power: formerly one would call after them “Jew lackey”, today it is preferred as “toady of imperialism” or “marionettes of the Israeli government”.
The tiny brain of these people cannot encompass the idea that, out of conviction and good reason, one can take a position that is so far from what has been tacitly agreed upon; for at least latent anti-Semitism is, if you will, a constant component of European culture. What must not be, can’t be – and so these small minds incapable of reflection regard one, as an agent to an overpowering, imagined institution. One’s own knowledge, acquired independently and regardless of widely held notions, is denounced as foreignly controlled, whereas resentments and the lowest instincts from the dregs of society are celebrated as genuine identity. In short: The genuine counts as foreign, the foreign counts as genuine.
The writer is a lawyer in Germany and recently published the book “The Eternal Scapegoat: Holy War, ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ and the Dishonesty of the So-Called Left in the Middle East Conflict”.
(Translation: Miriam Orschel)