Published prior to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict and the rise of ISIS, Mitchell Bard’s study of radical Islam’s war against the Jews is, nevertheless, very timely. Those who have closely followed the media’s treatment of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas may have noted how so-called “experts” have minimized the significance of the Hamas charter calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. Bard, the author of twenty-two books on the Middle East, and the creator and director of the “Jewish Virtual Library,” among many scholarly accomplishments, has provided a comprehensive history of how the growth of radical Islam’s call for Jihad against the Jewish state also pits Islamists against Jews around the world.
Bard notes that Israel’s enemies outside the Middle East, including the so-called ”Arabists” in the British foreign service and the U.S. State Department, have argued over the years that the root of all problems in the Middle East is the conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians which was, at first, over the creation of Israel and now Israel’s occupation of the disputed territories. (It is also true that those who accept this view of the conflict includes many on the Jewish left.) Bard argues that if Israel withdrew from 100 percent of the Golan Heights and departed from the West Bank, this would not alter the Jihadists’ belief that Jews occupy land that was given to them by Allah as promised in the Koran. The reality, as Bard perceives it, is that even if Israel withdrew to the 1948 lines, the Jihadists “would intensify their terrorist campaign, in their belief that if they could force Israel to withdraw that far, more violence would eventually force the Jews into the sea. This is one reason the Islamic- Jewish conflict will never end.” Furthermore, Bard states that the destruction of Israel is only a small part of the Islamist plan as witnessed by the murderous advance of ISIS, whose objective is to reconstitute the Islamic empire highlighted by the restoration of the Caliphate.
Just as Western leaders refused to take seriously Adolf Hitler’s public declaration to annihilate the Jews, Bard notes, the threats made by radical Muslims to destroy Israel and murder Jews worldwide are typically brushed aside. He also warns that the long-term danger facing Jews and Israel is the continued Islamization of Europe and the Middle East, made possible by the acquisition by Muslim extremists of weapons of mass destruction.