Judaism and Islam: their wonderful living together before and beyond Zionism

Dear readers,
this week we have published the German translation of Prof. Rabkin’s article about the perspectives of the Muslim Other in the Jewish tradition.
The conclusion of the article is a very positive one: Judaism and Islam have always had a very good relationship in history, before the arrival of Zionist ideology and before the foundation of the colonialist state of Israel.
I think that the consideration of this wonderful living together in history in the Muslim countries which were much more tolerant than the Christian world can be a very productive starting point to live together again today without and beyond Zionism in a country where both can live together in peace and respect of their identities.
Zionism is a nationalist and colonialist ideology opposed to Judaic ethics, and to the Judaic perception of the Muslim other as monotheist brother.
Thank you
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi – ProMosaik e.V.
In this presentation of the German article by Prof. Rabkin you can also find the English original of this precious article:
Thanks for sending your comments to
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi: ProMosaik e.V. is convinced that the emphasis on
positive relations between Islam and Judaism in history can help us today to find
peace and justice beyond Zionism. What do you think about it?
Prof. Yakov M Rabkin: It is precisely the reason why I wrote my article. I am well
aware that massive propaganda efforts are directed towards falsification in
order to “prove” that the current animosity between many Jews and
many Muslims is rooted in history and theology. Little by little people of good
will, including historians, provide solid materials showing centuries-old
rather friendly coexistence.
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi: Which strategies did Zionism use to separate Muslims
and Jews?
Prof. Yakov M Rabkin: In fact, these strategies are quite recent. Zionism is a
secular, even anti-religious political movement. However, in the last two
decades a new trend developed, aiming at undermining any hope of coexistence
between Jews and Muslims.  These
strategies succeed but remain suspect in many countries, such as Canada, South
Africa, the USA, where this coexistence is an obvious fact.
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi: Which problems of discrimination Israeli Arabs have in
Israel today?
Prof. Yakov M Rabkin: They face discrimination in education, employment and, of
course, real political rights. This practice has faced opposition from the
Supreme Court but it seems to subside. The court cannot remain aloof from the
dominant societal mood that has moved steadily to the right.
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi: ProMosaik e.V. does not consider the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict a religious, but a neo-imperialist conflict. But
anyway I believe that there can be an interreligious solution to the problem.
How optimistic and/or pessimistic are you?
Prof. Yakov M Rabkin: There are religious Muslims and Jews that have striven to
reach peace. The late rabbi Froman and sheikh Yassin of Hamas, assassinated by
Israeli forces, tried – in vain – to influence the dominant political forces.
Such efforts must continue, and strictly religious Jews opposed to Zionism have
not lost hope. 
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi: Your article is essential to understand Jewish views
about Muslims.
Which are the most important aspects you would explain to
somebody who has not read it already?
Prof. Yakov M Rabkin: Judaism has traditionally viewed Islam as the religion closest to
itself, in terms of both practices and values.