As I will demonstrate, the pillars of this continuous modern campaign of annihilationist antisemitism are the motifs from traditional Islamic Jew-hatred, 12 including Islamic eschatology, 13 grafted seamlessly to jihadism. 14 These deep-seated Islamic theological motifs are further conjoined to Holocaust denial and the development of a nuclear weapons program intended expressly for Israel’s eradication. 15

Understanding the Jihad Against Israel

At the height of so-called secular Arab nationalism, a fatwa written on January 5, 1956, by then-Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Hasan Ma’moun and signed by the leading members of the Fatwa Committee of Al Azhar University and the major representatives of all four Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence, elaborated the following key initial point: that all of historical Palestine having been conquered by jihad, was a permanent possession of the global Muslim umma (community), “fay territory” [booty], to be governed by Islamic law. Furthermore, quoting directly from the text, we the see the conjoined motivations of jihad and conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred (emphasis mine): 16

Muslims cannot conclude peace with those Jews who have usurped the territory of Palestine and attacked its people and their property in any manner which allows the Jews to continue as a state in that sacred Muslim territory.

[As] Jews have taken a part of Palestine and there established their non-Islamic government and have also evacuated from that part most of its Muslim inhabitants. … Jihad … to restore the country to its people … is the duty of all Muslims, not just those who can undertake it. And since all Islamic countries constitute the abode of every Muslim, the Jihad is imperative for both the Muslims inhabiting the territory attacked, and Muslims everywhere else because even though some sections have not been attacked directly, the attack nevertheless took place on a part of the Muslim territory which is a legitimate residence for any Muslim.

Everyone knows that from the early days of Islam to the present day the Jews have been plotting against Islam and Muslims and the Islamic homeland. They do not propose to be content with the attack they made on Palestine and Al Aqsa Mosque, but they plan for the possession of all Islamic territories from the Nile to the Euphrates.

There is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad, despite contemporary apologetics. The root of the word jihad appears 40 times in the Koran, and in subsequent Islamic understanding from Muslim luminaries — from the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam, including Abu Yusuf, 17 Averroes, 18 Ibn Khaldun, 19 Al Ghazzali, 20 and the Shi’ites Al-Hilli 21 and Al-Amili 22 — to ordinary people meant and means “he fought, warred, or waged war against unbelievers and the like.” 23 As described by the seminal Arabic lexicographer E.W Lane: “Jihad came to be used by the Muslims to signify wag[ing] war, against unbelievers.” 24 A contemporary definition was provided at the Fourth International Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research at Al Azhar, Cairo in 1968 by Muhammad al-Sobki: 25

The words Al Jihad, Al Mojahadah, or even “striving against enemies” are equivalents and they do not mean especially fighting with the atheists … they mean fighting in the general sense.

Muhammad himself waged a series of proto-jihad campaigns to subdue the Jews, Christians, and pagans of Arabia. 26 Numerous modern day pronouncements by leading Muslim theologians confirm that Muhammad has been the major inspiration for jihadism, past and present (see Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s, “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model” 27).