Adoption of the Protocols in the Arab discourse on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Zionism, and the Jews

Esther Webman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As of the early years of the twenty-first century, the myth of the Protocols appeared to be gaining ground in the Arab world, not only as part of intensified psychological warfare against the Jewish state but as part of a way of thinking which reflects on the condition of Arab societies. “Conspiracism provides a key to understanding the political culture of the Middle East. It spawns its own discourse, complete in itself and is virtually immune to rational argument, " claimed historian Daniel Pipes.1 A growing number of Arab intellectuals agree with this assertion, criticizing what they term conspiratorial thinking (fikr ta’amuri) of “the Arab mind, " as an acute and dangerous phenomenon. The late Egyptian expert on Judaic studies ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Masiri2 referred in several books and articles to “the reductionist mind” (al-‘aql al-ikhtizali) in Arab societies, which tends to diminish reality and attribute all changes and events to a hidden hand. These are seen not as the result of interaction between complex circumstances, interests, expectations, and human will, but of an oppressive scheming power that shapes reality according to its whims.3 Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies even embarked in 2006 on a research project which sought to establish the dimensions and characteristics of conspiratorial thinking in the Arab region, and in summer 2008 the online journal Arab Insight dedicated most of its issue to a discussion of Arab conspiracy theories.4.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Global Impact of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Subtitle of host publicationA Century-Old Myth
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781136706103
ISBN (Print)9780415598927
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


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