I would question the thesis that anti-Semitism caused the Arab Spring to fail. In as much as like any other transfer of power in the Arab world we in the west mistakenly call revolutions, the forces of secular democracy aren’t fighting the forces of tyranny. Instead it’s a group of Salafist extremists fighting quasi secular monarchies (including all those genetic presidents-for-life). The end result is generally another mutated form of authoritarian oppression. This one will be founded not on Nazism as was Michel Aflaq’s Baath party in Syria and Iraq, or Soviet communism as in Egypt but on Sayyid Qutb’s Islamic ideology that forms the basis of the Muslim Brotherhood and its even more extreme offshoots.
In short there never was an Arab Spring to succeed or fail. There were collapses of secular police states which discovered, just as we in the west did, that you can’t successfully fight someone fueled by fanaticism who’s willing to combine the worst aspects of Islam with Ho Chih Minh’s theory of guerilla warfare.
It was entirely predictable what happened in Egypt. Just as the Bolsheviks waited for the Mensheviks to claim power before they murdered them in Russia in 1918, just as Kohmeni waited for the seculars to try to grab power after the Shah before killing them, the Islamic fanatics waited for the facebook generation of seculars to march in Tahir square without much of a plan and then they sprang on them and pushed them out of the way.
Did anti-Semitism cause that? I would say no. I refer to Bernard Lewis’ “What Went Wrong” about the Muslim middle east’s turn away from modernity. Lewis focuses on the Ottoman Empire but the rules generally apply across the Maghreb. The Muslim middle east, after having suffered a few key defeats and being structurally unable to organize to confront the west, turned away. They satisfied themselves, much like Imperial China that xenophobia was a good thing and that the outside world was a barbarian wasteland. Hundreds of years of telling themselves they were more highly evolved, smarter, more enlightened caused them to slip further and further behind.
In this sense Jew hatred is one of many xenophobic bigotries that hold them back. A symptom really of what’s so catastrophically wrong with them overall. They hate Jews, they hate Christians. In Saudi Arabia women are barely tolerated to go to school. The Maghreb is home to honor cultures where success, initiative, information sharing, discipline, learning, tolerance are frowned upon. This is why Arab armies are terrible at their job. The princes want to be fighter pilots w/o having any training, and everyone else is treated like a slave. Honor cultures demand that leaders and chieftains rule ruthlessly with no regard for their underlings, with no regard for material success. What’s important is being appreciated as the Big Man. And with that comes a hardwired disgust and hatred of everyone else.
Yes of course dhmmitude harmed their societies overall just like slavery in the American south put a hold on industrialization and progress. But it goes wider than that. These are societies which fundamentally are looking inward. They see the root of their own failure in all of the wider world. The Jews happen to be in their crosshairs now. It’s a convenience for dictators to blame the Jews or anyone for why they’re backwards. Thus they have done for the last 500 years. Which is not to say that their anti-Semitism isn’t virulent and insane but I don’t believe it’s the reason for their failure.
Their failure is all their own.
Their failure is all their own.