While the Arabs have never been able to defeat the Israel militarily, they have achieved more success spending billions to turn Western public opinion against Jews in general and Israel in particular. Recent opinion surveys indicate that about 200 million Europeans (and a lot of Americans) consider Israelis the new Nazis for refusing to give in to the demands of the Palestinians (who want Israel destroyed in Arabic media but are more moderate in other languages). This shift in attitude has led to a dramatic increase in European anti-Semitism, most violently practiced by the rapidly growing Moslem population in Europe against a rapidly shrinking Jewish population.
Consider the basic numbers. There were nine million Jews in Europe before World War II. The Nazis murdered six million of these and many more fled Europe for the Americas or Israel after the war. Now there are only about two million Jews in Europe. Meanwhile, the Moslem population more than doubled. Much of that growth came from migration, particularly to West Europe where there are now sixteen million Moslems, more than five times as many as before World War II. These new Moslems are less educated and more anti-Semitic than Moslems who had been in Europe for centuries and had learned to get along with non-Moslems.
The Arabs, particularly Saudi Arabia, have spent billions of dollars in the last four decades to make Westerners more comfortable with Islam and key Arab beliefs, especially anti-Semitism. This has been a hard sell, because in Saudi Arabia no other religion can be practiced and Islamic clerics openly preach hatred of other religions and justify the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. To overcome this and change Western attitudes the Arabs hired a lot of Western PR experts and media advisors and learned to be discreet, persistent, and generous to the right people and institutions. That effort has paid off, especially in Europe, which has a long history of violent anti-Semitism that the Arab effort revived in a big way.
Many Europeans are now calling for diplomatic, economic, and legal moves against Israel for "war crimes" involving the Palestinians. The decades of Palestinian terrorism against Israel is considered legitimate self-defense while Israeli defensive moves are described as oppressing the Palestinians. Many Israelis see this as the old European anti-Semitism, which led to the Nazi mass murder of six million Jews during World War II, something that was done with the cooperation of officials and citizens in many European countries.
It hasn’t just been Arab propaganda in the West. For the last two generations it has been Palestinian policy to teach their children and anyone that will listen to these Arab language screeds declaring that Israel has no right to exist. The kids get indoctrinated with anti-Semitic propaganda at a young age and, as adults, they continue to be bombarded by anti-Semitic propaganda. Thus, most Palestinians (unless they were educated outside of the Middle East) take it for granted that any peace deal with Israel is just a tactical move in the effort to eventually destroy Israel and drive all Jews from the Middle East. People outside the Middle East have a hard time comprehending this attitude and many refuse to believe it. But it is very real and can be seen on Palestinian web sites (not so much on the non-Arabic language ones, although even there the anti-Semitic line is leaking through more and more). Israel goes through the motions of negotiating, to keep its Western allies and trading partners happy, but few Jews in Israel see any chance of real peace with the Palestinians, given the current attitudes within the Palestinian community.
This is not the usual ethnic animosity found in Europe but something more in line with the extreme violence of the Nazis. In fact, during World War II, the Nazis were very popular in the Arab world (and still are). Translations of Hitler’s “how to” book (Mein Kampf) are best sellers in the Arab world. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (the highest Islamic official in the area) spent World War II in Berlin (to avoid arrest by the British). Iraq, which had become independent during the 1930s, declared itself a German ally in 1941 (and was promptly invaded and re-conquered by three British divisions, before the Germans could get many troops into the territory of their new ally). After World War II, the Arab language media continued Nazi-grade anti-Semitism. The Arabs had enough sense to tone down this race hatred, and pro-Nazi, line in their non-Arab language media. But in Arabic, it’s all hate all the time.
Over the last few decades, and especially since the end of the Cold War, many Westerners have adopted the anti-Semitic angle in denouncing Israeli attempts to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism. Such self-defense measures are now seriously discussed as "war crimes" in the West. To the Arabs, the very existence of Israel is a "war crime," but the Arabs have been unable to do much beyond fanaticizing about destroying Israel and teaching a new generation that even the historical facts of Jews in the Middle East are lies. Now they have many political activists and progressive thinkers in the West fanaticizing along with them. Tangible gains from this ethnic hatred strategy have been scant so far. Many in the West are appalled by it, and the leadership in most Western nations do not buy into it. But much of the popular media does, and incidents of anti-Semitism, including assault and murder, are on the increase in Europe. Arabs see their anti-Semitism strategy as a success, as Arabs tend to take solace in symbolism, given their lack of substantial progress in destroying Israel. So every anti-Semitic attack in Europe is a victory, as is every European politician who denounces Israel for non-existent war crimes, or ignores the very real atrocities that the Arabs commit against each other as well as Israelis. To many Arabs, living the fantasy is easier than dealing with reality.
The Palestinians believe that time, and God, are on their side. Meanwhile, they use negotiations to gain whatever small advantages they can. The ultimate goal, as is plainly displayed on official Palestinian web sites and official documents, is the expulsion of all Jews from what the United Nations erroneously calls “Israel.” While not all Palestinian students believe the lies, enough do to keep the others quiet or succeeding in fleeing to the West. The same mentality is common throughout the Arab world regarding Islam, which many believe should ultimately be the only religion and dominate the planet. This seems absurd to most Westerners but is taken very seriously by many in the Moslem cultures.