Moslems' attitude towards Jews should be as ordained by the Quran. God reveals in the Qur'an that Jews, like Christians, are part of the people of the book. Moslems as well as Jews believe in the same God and follow the examples set by the prophets sent by Him with due love and respect. Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon (peace be upon them all) are as important to Moslems as they are to Jews. Moslems address the Jews and the Christians as follows in the Qur'an: "We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him." (Qur'an, 29:46) All forms of social relations between Moslems and Jews must be within a framework of justice, peace and security, and Moslems' attitude towards Jews must always be reconciliatory, forgiving and tolerant.
At various times in their history, Jews suffered oppression and genocide. The main culprit behind such atrocities is anti-Semitic ideology, which led to many tragic events in the 20th century. The true meaning of the term is hatred of Semites, although it is generally understood to mean hatred of Jews. It expresses a hatred for people of Semite descent or the Semitic race. The underlying reason for this hatred for the Semitic races is the hatred felt for the divine religions revealed to them. In other words, Nazism's and other fascist movements' hostility towards Jews is in reality a hatred of religion. Anti-Semitism is therefore a pagan teaching that cannot be adopted by any Moslem. People who advocate and incite anti-Semitism are often revealed to be people who also advocate a return to idolatrous practices and war, who enjoy merciless bloodshed, and who are uncontrolled and barbaric. Such people oppose the peace, modesty, love and compassion of true religious morality taught by the prophets. Moslems and Jews are on the same side against such tyrants. Islam aims to bring justice to the world and condemns anti-Semitism, as it does all forms of racism.
Moslems support the right of the Jews, like all other people, to live in peace and security. Moslem principles have throughout the course of history guaranteed refuge in Moslem lands to Jews fleeing persecution at various times. Jews exiled from Spain were welcomed by the Ottoman Empire, and thousands of them settled down there. The anti-Semitic sentiments often seen in Christian countries never developed on Moslem soil. Jews and Moslems in Moslem lands have lived side by side in peace and security for centuries. It was Islamic principles that created this secure environment.
A Moslem must always bear these facts in mind in his thinking and behaviour regarding Jews. However, Judaism and atheist Zionism must be distinguished between. The ideology of Godless Zionism is principally responsible for the years of endless conflict and war, bloodshed and tears in Palestine. However, atheist Zionism and its real plans are not well known in the West. Many people in the West have been conditioned to believe that atheist Zionism is an ideology which advocates a homeland for the Jewish people and are therefore sympathetic to this ideology, although the reality is altogether different.
There are two varieties of Zionism today. The first of these is the Zionist conception of the devout Jewish people, who wish to live in peace and security in Israel alongside Muslims, seeking peace and wishing to worship in the lands of their forefathers and engage in business. In that sense, Muslims support Zionism. We would fully back the devout Jewish people living in peace and security in their own lands, remembering God, worshipping in their synagogues and engaging in science and trade in their own land.
The Zionist belief held by a devout Jew and based on the Torah does not in any way conflict with the Qur’an. The Jews’ living in that region is indicated in the Qur’an, in which it is revealed that God has settled the Children of Israel on it:
Remember when Moses said to his people, “My people! Remember God’s blessing to you when He appointed prophets among you and appointed kings for you, and gave you what He had not given to anyone else in all the worlds! My people! Enter the Holy Land which God has ordained for you. Do not turn back in your tracks and so become transformed into losers.” (Surat al-Ma’ida: 20-21)
It is the "irreligious, Godless Zionism" that we as Muslims condemn and regard as a threat. These Godless Zionists, who do not defend the existence and oneness of God, but, on the contrary, encourage a Darwinist, materialist perspective and thus engage in irreligious propaganda, are also a threat to devout Jews. Godless Zionism is today engaged in a struggle against peace, security and moral virtue, and constantly produces strife and chaos and the shedding of blood.
It is true that Zionism seeks the creation of a homeland for Jews and that Zionists work to that end. This struggle, however, has been turned by certain circles that we refer to as the "atheist Zionists" into probably the most unjustified, cruel and merciless ever waged. Zionism developed in the 19th century to create a homeland for the Jews, and its adherents' chosen land was Palestine, also regarded by Jews as their holy land. Atheist Zionists turned what began as a legitimate and just cause into an ethnic cleansing and ruthless colonising project that totally disregarded the native Moslem Arab population. Atheist Zionist slogans such as "unpopulated land for a landless people" were no more than misleading propaganda, as the Jews were not homeless, nor was the land they sought unpopulated. The migration movement to Palestine started by the Zionists was the beginning of the chaos in the Middle East, as some of them drove people from their homes and land instead of cohabiting with the native population.
Had the atheist Zionist leaders ensured that the Jews they brought to that land lived together in peace with the other peoples living in Palestine, this chaos would not have erupted. They failed to do that, however. Atheist Zionists totally disregarded the other religions and nations, and aimed to bring a wide region, described by them as the Promised Land, under their domination. They therefore resorted to the most ruthless methods. Moreover, atheist Zionism's ambitions are not just restricted only to the Middle East. Atheist Zionism is an irreligious and racist ideology that seeks world dominion and therefore represents a threat to world peace. The map which atheist Zionist ideology drew up for the Jews consisted of a very large area.
Theodore Herzl said in his speech at the Zionist congress of 1897 in Basel that, "The northern frontier is to be the mountains facing Cappadocia (Asia Minor), the southern, the Suez Canal." (1) The founding father of the Israeli state, David Ben Gurion, defined the purpose of Zionism as follows:
The present map of Palestine was drawn by the British mandate. The Jewish people have another map which our youth and adults should strive to fulfill-From the Nile to the Euphrates. (2)
As we have seen, if Godless Zionism really only aimed to secure a homeland for the Jews it would be a justified movement. However, irreligious Zionism distanced itself from that lawful demand by evolving into a colonialist and exploitative project.
In the same way that Islam rejects anti-Semitism, a racist ideology, it also rejects atheist Zionism, another racist ideology. It must not be forgotten, however, that not all Jews are such Zionists. Indeed, there are many Jews who oppose the crimes against humanity of atheist Zionism, fiercely criticise these, maintain that Israel must immediately withdraw from all the occupied territories, and wish Israel to be a free state in which all nations and identities can live together as equals. As Moslems rightfully oppose atheist Zionism, therefore, they must bear these truths in mind and be aware that the criticisms are aimed at Godless Zionism, not at Jews. For someone to criticise and hurt innocent Jews on account of the crimes of atheist Zionism is a violation of justice. If he condemns the various Jewish communities in the world on account of the unjust occupation by and attacks of atheist Zionism, he again contravenes justice and commits a grave error. If he perpetrates terrorist actions against those who support the aggression and occupations of atheist Zionist ideology and aims these at Israeli civilians, he turns away entirely from the path of justice, and commits a grave sin by targeting innocent people.
It is revealed in the Qur'an that the Jews are a blessed people from the line of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and descended from the worthy prophets of God. There is no doubt that the Jews' efforts to migrate and build a homeland for themselves wherever they desire in the world is a most lawful demand. For that reason, it is the Jews' most natural right to wish to live in their own holy lands. Their ancestors lie buried in these lands, which are of the greatest significance to them. Indeed, God reveals in the Qur'an that He has settled the Jews in those lands they live in:
They say, 'If we follow the guidance with you, we shall be forcibly uprooted from our land.' Have We not established a safe haven for them to which produce of every kind is brought, provision direct from Us? But most of them do not know it. (Qur'an, 28:57)
As revealed in the verse, God has settled the Jews in these lands, and Jews have the right to live freely on Palestinian territory, as do Moslems and Christians. However, this objective, which was so far perfectly reasonable and justified, lost that justification with the total disregard by certain circles of the Moslem Arab people living in Palestine. It has turned into a destructive ideology based on violence and led to people being forced out of their homes and land, which they had lived in for hundreds of years. Those who have refused to leave their lands have been ruthlessly slaughtered. That is what makes atheist Zionism unlawful.
1- Herzl, Theodore; In The Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl, Vol. II, (New York: Herzl Press, 1960), p. 711.