Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam's War Against the Jews

by Mitchell G. Bard

Book, 2014

Barcode

123462667

Call number

662 BAR

Publication

St. Martin's Press (2014), 288 pages

Description

For more than a century, much of the attention given to the Middle East has focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The rise of a Palestinian offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, transformed the nature of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. According to Bard, the dispute, in the view of Hamas, is not over a division of Palestine, but rather about Jews ruling over Muslims and the presence of Jews on Islamic land. However, this Islamic-Jewish conflict is not simply confined to the Middle East. Muslim terrorist attacks have been directed at Jews all around the world, from Europe to Asia to Latin America. Radical Muslims in European countries are becoming more brazen, particularly in France, where the Muslims constitute nearly ten percent of the population. In just the last year, there have been several Muslim attacks on Jews throughout France.Death to the Infidelsdocuments the growth of radical Islam in the Middle East and how, from the author's interpretation, it has transformed what had primarily been a political conflict into a one-sided religious war limiting the prospect for peace, particularly in Israel.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member meldridge
I wish I had read this book before the summer. It is not a story-like book, but reads like a history book. It is very informative and covers a lot of history that brings us to present day. It was especially eye opening to read example after example confirming that Muslims will never agree to any
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agreement of peace with Israel as the ultimate goal of Muslims is to eradicate Jews which includes Israel. It is fair to say that the book comes from a pro-Israel bias but that doesn't mean that it doesn't accurately convey many valid points regarding the war on Jews by Muslims.
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LibraryThing member Ron_Gilbert
One sentence captures the essential problem in world affairs in regard to the followers of Mohammed: "the jihad will not end until the Islamists remake the world as they believe Allah intended." (p. 246)
Mitchell Bard’s book, "Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews" is an
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excellent read for anyone who wants a 10,000 foot look at the history of conflict in the Middle East, for anyone who senses a sympathetic connection with Jews but wants to know more about why that may be justifiable, and for anyone who who may desire to oppose the misinformation constantly spewed in the media regarding Israel. We may know little of the Israeli=Palestinian conflict, but this book is one way to find our way about it.
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LibraryThing member WCHagen
In an often rambling and repetitive manner, Bard restates the case that Jews and Moslems cannot coexist anywhere in the world let alone in the Middle East. The historical evidence he presents is voluminous and facts undisputable although the truths may be selective truths given his unabashed
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biases. There is nothing new in those assertions.
In a nutshell, the book is depressive. The most critical point the author makes is that the conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians is not about land or politics. It is a religious conflict and theological arguments cannot be resolved by negotiation. But framing the problem as religious does little to advance the peace process. A religious war is not winnable by either side as long as one believer is left standing. By default, Bard suggests that a religious war is inevitable—the end game is apocalyptic with the Jews waiting for their messiah, the Moslems waiting for their final Caliph and the Christians waiting for the Second Coming. Other than survival, there is no incentive to avert the inevitable.
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LibraryThing member davemac
An excellent, balanced overview of the history and undercurrents of the current situation in the Middle East, this book explains why there is little hope for a lasting peace under current circumstances.
LibraryThing member GaryKbookworm
If you are looking for a fair, balanced overview of the current Middle East conflict, I suggest you look elsewhere. The real situation, as it is in any complex situation, is far more nuanced than Bard seems to paint it. His entire perspective is from the Jewish viewpoint. He picks and chooses
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quotes from the Koran and from Muslims to further his own agenda. I am no expert on the Middle East but I know a one sided diatribe when I read it. We can spin any tale from the Torah or the Christian bible to create any point of view we would like to make. My point is not to defend terrorists who have as their ultimate goals the extermination of anyone who does not follow their religious views. Bard also does present many facts in his book but he leaves out those which would discredit his points of view.

The following quote from is from Ben Cohen, editor of The Daily Banter.
"A grievous crime was committed against Palestinians when their land was forcefully taken from them in 1948. They had committed no crimes against Jews, and were not consulted when their land was given away. European nations had systematically slaughtered Jews for centuries, then laid the burden on the Palestinians, a fact that the West would rather forget. The Palestinians will never get their land back, just as Native Americans won't get theirs. But at least we can acknowledge what has happened to them, and work seriously for a lasting solution. The Palestinians are an oppressed people, and to blame them for their own predicament is simply inexcusable. "

The first step if there is any hope of a lasting peace is to settle the Palestinian problem. The answers to radical Muslims who want total destruction of Jews and Christians throughout the world is more problematic since new generations are being raised to hate! There has to be a psychological shift in thinking for which I have no solutions.

My fear is that books like this only makes the problems we are facing more dangerous because it fosters prejudice and hatred. We can only hope that by the grace of God, the future of generations that follow is more hopeful than the current one we live in.

"Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them". Koran(4:90)
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LibraryThing member Kunikov
"Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam's War against the Jews" is a polemical work written by a non-academic trying to describe the current situation that Israel faces and the 'threat' that 'radical Islam' poses to not only Israel but the world. The author has utilized some of the more recent
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literature on various topics dealing with Israel and the Middle East and created, in some ways, a synthesis for an updated discussion about the current situation in the Middle East. There is no question that this is not an objective work. There are few, if any, works written on the Middle East that can be objective. The author here clearly has a bias and it shows. But that in and of itself doesn't invalidate some of the points he makes or the issues he brings up.

Bard takes the reader from the beginning of the creation of Israel and highlights the fact that not only were many Jews immigrants to the land but so were many future 'Palestinians', a fact often overlooked. The various wars Israel was involved in are also discussed as are the numerous terrorist phases (Intifadas) that were unleashed against Israel on the flimsiest of pretexts. The last few chapters of the book also look into the 'Arab Spring' the issues modern Europeans face with their growing Muslim populations.

There is no question that there exists a double standard when it comes to Israel and her history, especially when discussed on the international arena. The author points out numerous instances where Israel has been held accountable for questionable policies and acts yet similar situations go unnoticed when perpetrated by other states. In the end, I can't say this is a highly original piece of literature. There are not enough endnotes, context is at times missing, but the point of a polemic is to be engaging and controversial and in that respect Bard has done a good job. Any reader who takes up this volume will at least walk away wanting to learn more and better educate themselves on the topic(s) covered.
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LibraryThing member homericgeek
Mitchell Bard's Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam's War Against the Jews, is an information packed history of the Israeli/Arab conflict. Bard makes the argument that Muslim states, particularly those who are radical will stop at nothing to see Jews wiped from the face of the Earth. I was gripped
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with the intensity with which the Israeli Jews fear for their lives.

The book is useful; I would have liked a few more sources, especially for those areas speaking against Israel's enemies. I know I can search online, but when I'm in the middle of a book, the last thing I want to do is to go online and get distracted while trying to find some piece of information that I expect to be in a book like this. Bard includes several sources, but there are a few places where he doesn't—and in those places they would do a lot to strengthen his side of the argument. As I pointed out, Bard includes a fair number of sources; a bibliography would facilitate the further study of these issues.

Bard argues that the conflict is at that bottom a religious one rather than a political one. It could be political using religion to carry our its ends. It wouldn't be the first time and that interpretation can be gathered from Bard's book.

I'm reminded while reading Death to the Infidels to try to look at both sides of the issue. When so much smoke and mirror propaganda and spin is being used by both sides of the issue, it's very difficult to know where to stand. From my view, which is not in the thick of it, I can see that both sides have done atrocious things to the other; that many people: soldiers, as well as non-military fighters, as well as civilians not involved in the fighting—innocent men, women, and children have died in this conflict that goes on for so long that media in the West stops covering because it's no longer news.

My heart breaks for the Israeli Jews who just want a homeland and it breaks for the Palestinians who want the same thing. It breaks for all those who are caught in the middle of this religio-political melee.

It's difficult to read/research both sides because each side has its own suffering and each side has its spin-doctors. I tend to agree with what Daniel Gilbert writes in Stumbling on Happiness, “When pro-Israeli and pro-Arab viewers [of news] are shown identical samples of Middle East news coverage, both proponents claim that the fact clearly show that the press was biased against their side” (168). They also claim that the other side started it. Gilbert later writes: “Alas, the only thing these facts clearly show is that people tend to see what they want to see” (168, emphasis in original). Bard has made it easier to see the Jewish side, and the fear that keeps the Israelis from giving in to the demands of the Palestinians.

According to Bard, every time the Israelis have given an inch, the Palestinians have taken a mile and have continued to bring terror in the form of firing rockets and suicide bombings. He makes the point, however, that when Israel fires back in defense, they are reprimanded by other nations. It's also interesting that each side claims that the West, especially the U.S. is aiding the other side: the Palestinians say that the U.S. helps Israel; Israel says the U.S. helps Palestine. Books like Bard's are important; he's not afraid to go against the current “politically correct” flow and to tell it like he sees it. He pulls no punches in saying that those who want Israel's and especially the Jews' demise are not moderate and radical, but should rather be called radical and more radical. He quotes (with sources) several who call for the decimation/annihilation of the Jews even if it takes centuries. Because of the lengths to which these radicals are willing to go, Bard argues, Jews and Israel have a long, hard road ahead of the them.

Bard covers a lot of information in a short book, and all of it is important. Read this if you're interested in this heart-wrenching conflict that has cost so many lives and will cost many more before it's over, if it will /can ever be over. I for one hope (probably foolishly) that Bard is wrong, even a little. Alas, it's not very likely: just look at the new escalation that is in the news right now (18 July 2014).
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LibraryThing member gmicksmith
Politics nor poverty explain the Islamist's hatred of the Jews so the question Bard poses is: how has a political dispute evolved into religious warfare? Bard analyses the Middle Eastern region in terms of the central conflict: religion. The Islamist position is not in favor of a Palestine but the
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eternal conflict of Jews ruling over Muslim territory. Islamism has now spread beyond the confined walls of the Middle East to the ends of the earth particularly in largely non-Muslim areas such as France. The prospects for peace are not likely and a global Islamist state, or Caliphate, can not be ruled out.
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LibraryThing member Savta
this is an uncorrected, Advance Reader's Edition, received free thru LT for review. As the title alludes to, the conflict over the Palestinian fate is more one of religion than of politics. There will not be a 'happy' ending to the Muslim rejection of a Jewish state of Israel because the Islamic
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believers who are stirring up the pot of conflict, claim that they are to "combat the threat posed by Jews thru jihad" (p.91) so there will only be an end when the Jews are no more. Pursuing a peaceful end to the hostilities isn't a realistic achievement. Mr Bard presents decades of facts to back this up. This book is more about a reality check than it is about telling the reader anything new. He makes it very clear, that Islam will not tolerate any dissension and it will not stop with the Jews. I read this while ISIS was establishing control in Iraq, there were horrible kidnapping/murders in Israel and Hamas had stepped up its barrage of rockets into Israel, just in case I didn't believe how serious the Islamists are about 'death to the infidels'.
The writing is a little uneven, but perhaps the final version will even that out. There are plenty of references and it isn't so long that one grows weary of the bad news.
I will be reading this one again, the timeline of events is helpful.
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LibraryThing member hystrybuf
If you are looking for a scholarly treatment of the anti-Semitic bent of “radical” Islam, then you may want to keep looking. Mitchell Bard’s book, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews is a compendium of second hand thoughts and secondary source material. In fact, his
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footnoted material includes Wikipedia and his own website (thejewishvirtuallibrary.org). The reader should expect more from someone with a Ph.D in political science, but what they get, however, is something that might be written by Bill O’Reilly.

While the books is readable, much of his source material is from secondary sources. In fact, in his first chapter, “Islam and the Jews”, he discusses a May 2002 television program which he (alleges) has children describing Jews as “apes and pigs” (9). However, Bard does not appear to have even watched the program, rather, he found mention of it in a work by Aluma Solnick, “Based on Koranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals” which appears on the website memri.org (261). On page 5 of the work he lists a “handful of examples” of Jews-as-descendants-of-apes-and-pigs meme. Four bullet points, with four separate footnotes – all lifted from one source: memri.org.

Essentially the work is simply red meat for those on the right – but it isn’t even a good piece of red meat – there is nothing in the book that isn’t just reprocessed from the same small group of sources. Pass this book by.
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LibraryThing member marilynsantiago
Powerful book about the religious war between the radical Islamists and the Jews. Mitchell Bard explains the conflicts and the problems with extracting peace in the Middle East and how it cannot happen unless the silent majority of Muslims speak out against the radical Muslims and stand up for
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peace.
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LibraryThing member hredwards
Won this through the Early Readers program and was looking forward to reading it to get a better understanding of the Mideast and the struggles between Muslims and Jews.
Started out very interesting and clearly but I soon got bogged down. there are so many different groups on both sides I could not
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keep them clear. I'm sure this was more of a problem on my part than on the author.
I'm sure it is a struggle for anyone to keep all the factions clear. Seemed like it took me forever to read because I couldn't keep everyone straight. I'm sorry I didn't enjoy it more.
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LibraryThing member fdholt
Mitchell Bard's book, Death to the infidels is an in depth look at Jewish-Muslim relations, especially the last century. Well covered is the creation of Israel and the many wars which followed. Major differences in the Arab world versus other Muslim states are noted as well as the U.S.'s shifting
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positions on Israel and the Palestinians.

First, it must be noted that this is not a balanced account of the conflict, but written from the Israeli point of view. Bard writes in a scholarly tone and he uses end notes to cite his many sources. In my advanced reader’s copy, there was no index (and I could have used one many times to go back to previous chapters) but one will be included in the final version of the book.

In today's increasingly anti-semitic world where even the terrible comments of a representative in the U.S. House were not censured, it is important to know what has happened in the past so we can reconstruct a future that is fair to all participants: Muslim, Jew and Christian. This book goes a long way in understanding the Israeli point of view and allows the reader to grasp the fundamentals necessary understand today's world.
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LibraryThing member JoanneCampbell
An excellent and detailed account of Islam's historic hatred of the Jewish people. The book gave much historical information I had forgotten or never knew. This book helped me to understand how critical it is for the US to remain a strong ally for Israel. I would highly recommend it.
LibraryThing member MichaelLynnSr
Mitchell Bard's "Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam's War Against the Jews" is a strong defense of Israel and the Jews who have built that beleaguered nation. As such, don't expect to find here a neutral, dispassionate, academic study. The central theme is that what was once a political dispute
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between Israelis and Arabs has now become a religious fight to the death between Jews and Muslims. The group that is insisting on this fight is radical Islam. They are determined to win no matter how long it takes, and feel certain of victory because it is Allah's will. Solving the Palestinian issue will not have any effect on their long-term plans because they wish to destroy Israel completely. Bard's warning is not just of the danger to Israel, but extends to all unbelievers. Once the Islamists have destroyed Israel, they will continue their march toward world conquest, not stopping until all worship Allah.
While I am far from being a specialist in this area, I have followed the affairs of the Middle East with great interest for well over thirty years. So there is little for me here that was new or unexpected. Bard is at his strongest in retelling the story of the founding of Israel and the conflicts this created with the Arab world. For anyone unfamiliar with this history I would recommend this work as a factually accurate overview, written, of course, from a Jewish perspective.
Bard also deals with the attitudes of Muslims toward Jews and Israel. He uses recent polling data to show this animus. I found myself skipping over most of this data because it only reinforces what is well know, that there is deep and widespread anti-Semitism in the Arab world. He also points out that this unfortunate fact is unlikely to change in the near future due to the indoctrination of young Arabs by governments in the region, especially by the Saudis.
I have always been puzzled by the phenomenon of anti-Semitism. How this tiny, persecuted religious minority that spread around the world looking for safe haven could be blamed for so many of the ills of history defies reason. As Bard shows, this prejudice is still prevalent in many places, including "enlightened" Europe.
I am not sure I agree with the author's premise that the Arab-Israeli conflict was a political one that has been transformed into a purely religious one. In some sense this enmity has always been religiously generated, but his position is certainly arguable.
His mood and tone are rather pessimistic, which given the realities of the current state of affairs in the Middle East, is also understandable. But events have a way of moving independently of human prediction. We are clearly in a period of religious fundamentalism. Islam is not the only religion with fanatical adherents, nor is this the only time in history that the intolerance of unbelievers has held sway. Christianity had its own centuries of religious warfare in which differing sects sought to force their beliefs on others. One of the hazards of religion is that once one feels divinely inspired, virtually any act, no matter how horrific it seems to others, can be justified in the mind of the believer.
How long the current phase of Islamic fundamentalism will last is anybody's guess. The key lies in the hands of the vast majority of Muslims who are not engaged in jihad. When they grow weary of unending religious war it will end, or at least slow to a manageable pace. This is cold comfort to Israel which has, more than any other country, had to bear the brunt of Islamic fanaticism. What the West shares with Israel is the desire for a free, democratic state in which individuals matter. What radical Islam offers is a religious totalitarianism that is dismissive of the idea of freedom and views the individual only as an instrument of God's will. In the coming decades we need to remember that Israel is on our side in this battle, and Bard helps to clarify that relationship with this work.
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LibraryThing member conniemcmartin
I'm liking this book so far. I'm only about halfway through but wanted to get started on my review since I am an "early reviewer." It's taking me a little longer to get through because there is so much to try to retain, and for other reasons (mainly health-related) I just haven't been in the right
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mindset.

Bard does a great job in making sense out of the complex history, but I am coming from a place of very little knowledge, so it's just, well...a LOT all at once. I actually appreciate that there is a bit of redundancy because it helps me to assimilate the material as names and events come up again. Much of the history in the first half was before my time. I knew some history, but there have been some things that have also really surprised me, and overall shed more perspective on the current events in the middle east.

So far the only thing that could be improved in this book would be to add some maps. I often don't care to reference maps, but since the geography is so crucial, and with territories changing, I think it would be quite helpful.
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LibraryThing member cheetosrapper
A decent book on the struggle between the Jewish state and radical Islam. While nothing really new is here it is a good summary of has been transpiring for almost 100 years. I support a Jewish state and was curious about this book. While it did a good job of laying the foundation of why there is a
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conflict, I felt that this matter has been covered before and that Bard brought very little to the table for new discussions.
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LibraryThing member liberquid
Very interesting and relevant book as the West struggles to grapple with the horrors of ISIS, Boko Haram, and other groups. It requires a very different philosophical and ethical understanding to imagine where such radicals are coming from, and this book helps the reader bridge some of that gap to
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better understand their enemy.
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LibraryThing member elleayess
Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam's War Against the Jews by Mitchell G. Bard is a complex book that examines exactly what the title implies. My historical knowledge of this particular subject is a simplified one that was echoing in my brain while reading through the pages of the book. If one is
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not familiar with this topic, this book would certainly help to one to understand. My knowledge of this topic, as mentioned before, is a very simplified understanding rooting back to Abraham and as I read the book, that kept resounding in the back of my mind and the conclusion kept coming back to that.
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LibraryThing member jec27
Not a quick read for all the historical details involved in telling the story with a conclusion that peace in the Middle East is not going to happen by natural or humanly-devised means. When one side throws down the gauntlet and says the other must be driven into the sea and destroyed, what
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trustworthy "peace agreement" is left to devise? Bard presents strong and compelling case for Israel based on claims of historical fact; any opposition worthy of consideration should deal with the facts he has laid out, to prove them to be true or false.
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Language

Original language

English

Physical description

288 p.; 9.53 inches

ISBN

1137279079 / 9781137279071
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