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May 22, 2014 2

Palestinians Welcome Pope Francis To Bethlehem With Anti-Semitism

On Sun­day, when Pope Fran­cis cel­e­brates mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, he may be con­fronted with bill­boards depict­ing Jesus being attacked by Israeli soldiers.jesus-palestinian-pope-israel

This not-so-subtle mod­ern day ver­sion of the dei­cide is trans­par­ent clas­si­cal anti-Semitism in the guise of crit­i­cism of Israel.  The posters are a prod­uct of The Pales­tin­ian Museum, which announced that at the request of the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity (PA)’s Supreme Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee for Church Affairs, it had pre­pared spe­cial bill­boards to dec­o­rate Manger Square which “com­bine recent media pho­tographs of the Pales­tin­ian land­scape and its peo­ple with West­ern baroque paint­ings of bib­li­cal scenes.”

The posters, some of which depict Jesus suf­fer­ing at the hands of Israeli sol­diers, will high­light “the ten­sion between the pop­u­lar image of the Holy Land and Palestine’s ongo­ing his­tory of suf­fer­ing under occu­pa­tion and oppres­sion,”  accord­ing to the Museum.

Pales­tin­ian efforts to present them­selves as the direct descen­dants of Jesus are noth­ing new.  Nor is the manip­u­la­tive and anti-Semitic com­par­i­son of Pales­tin­ian suf­fer­ing at the hands of Jews just as they claim Jews were respon­si­ble for suf­fer­ing and death of Jesus.

The mes­sage care­fully cho­sen by an offi­cial Pales­tin­ian body to pub­licly wel­come Pope Fran­cis demon­strates how deeply inter­min­gled anti-Jewish and anti-Israel atti­tudes are in the Pales­tin­ian pub­lic sphere.

At the weekly meet­ing of Israel’s cab­i­net, Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu decried Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, cit­ing the ADL Global 100 Sur­vey find­ings about the high level of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

While the PA reg­u­larly com­plains that incite­ment is an Israeli-manufactured excuse, there is no deny­ing that extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic mes­sag­ing appears rou­tinely in offi­cial Pales­tin­ian pub­li­ca­tions and institutions.

Ear­lier this week, the May 21st edi­tion of the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, fea­tured an op-ed by one of its fre­quent writ­ers, Yahya Rabah, enti­tled “No One Believes Shy­lock,” fea­tur­ing the denial of the Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the Land of Israel, com­par­isons of Israel to the Nazis and other out­rages.   Rabah writes:

“… Israel lives on a broad and exten­sive sys­tem of laws from the British Man­date, on illu­sion­ary Torah maps, as well as on hal­lu­ci­na­tions from the Baby­lon­ian cap­tiv­ity or from the Roman, the exis­tence of nei­ther has no sin­gle evi­dence. (It also lives) on prac­tices bor­rowed from the Nazis, cur­rently imi­tated by the Israelis against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple, as clearly estab­lished by a num­ber of intel­lec­tu­als, authors and his­to­ri­ans in Israel these days.”

The issue of Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, and the PA’s chronic fail­ure to pre­pare the Pales­tin­ian pub­lic for peace with Israel was on ongo­ing con­cern cited by Israeli offi­cials dur­ing the recent cycle of US-brokered peace nego­ti­a­tions.

And with these egre­gious exam­ples appear­ing almost-daily, it is cer­tain to con­tinue to alarm all those com­mit­ted to true Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.

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May 22, 2014 0

Coverage Of The ADL Global 100 Poll In The Arab Media

The newly released ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism yielded a large amount of data regard­ing dis­turbingly high lev­els of anti-Semitic atti­tudes across the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA). The high­est num­bers in MENA were found in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 93%, while Iran ranked low­est, with 56% of the pop­u­la­tion hold­ing anti-Semitic attitudes.adl-global100

The ADL sur­vey gen­er­ated wide­spread cov­er­age in local and regional Ara­bic lan­guage press, both in print and online news items and opin­ion pieces. The focus was almost entirely on the poll’s MENA results, and while most arti­cles only reported the fac­tual data, a small num­ber did include crit­i­cism of the poll’s findings. 

The fol­low­ing are exam­ples of the Arab media’s cov­er­age of the poll:

Con­flat­ing Israelis with Jews:

Refer­ring to the poll as indica­tive of atti­tudes towards “Israelis” rather than “Jews,” the fol­low­ing head­line appeared on the Egypt­ian news web­site Veto­gate: “Pub­lic Opin­ion Poll: 26% of the World’s Pop­u­la­tion Hate Israel.”

Arab schol­ars present their own analyses:

  1. Pro­fes­sor Ali S. Asani of Har­vard Uni­ver­sity was quoted in the Jor­dan­ian Al-Arab al-Yawm say­ing that the results demon­strat­ing high lev­els of anti-Semitism among Arabs and low lev­els among West­ern Euro­peans rep­re­sent a his­toric role rever­sal. Europe was tra­di­tion­ally a hos­tile place for Jews, while Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries were gen­er­ally con­sid­ered secure.
  2. Hus­sein Ibish, a Senior Fel­low at the Amer­i­can Task Force on Pales­tine based in Wash­ing­ton, DC, argued that the West Bank and Gaza results were skewed due to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. He was quoted in an arti­cle pub­lished the Dubai–based Al-Arabiyaweb­site: “The worst results are among the Pales­tini­ans. They answered the ques­tions related to the Jew­ish power and con­trol through (the prism of) their expe­ri­ence of occu­pa­tion. This is, for exam­ple, dif­fer­ent from ask­ing the Amer­i­can pub­lic such ques­tions. The Pales­tini­ans don’t see the Jews only as an eth­nic or reli­gious group, but see them through their expe­ri­ence with the occu­pa­tion army.”

Iden­ti­fy­ing ADL as an Israeli organization:

Instead of refer­ring to ADL as a Jewish-American orga­ni­za­tion, a small num­ber of Ara­bic news out­lets, includ­ing the Yemenite Nash­wan news­pa­per, stated that the poll was con­ducted by an Israeli orga­ni­za­tion.

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May 22, 2014 0

Sports Discussions Marred By Hate On Twitter

After Israeli bas­ket­ball team Mac­cabi Tel Aviv beat Real Madrid in the Euroleague final on Sun­day over 18,000 anti-Semitic mes­sages were posted on Twit­ter in an out­pour­ing of hatred against Jews.twitter-spain-hate

Twit­ter users cre­ated the hash­tag “#putosju­dios” (“#fuck­ing­jews”) to spread their anti-Semitic mes­sages in real time via Twit­ter. Among the anti-Jewish tweets posted in reac­tion to Real Madrid’s loss were.

  • “Jews to the gas cham­ber. Go Madrid.”
  • “Fuck­ing Jews. This would not have hap­pened with Hitler.”
  • “Mac­cabi will shower after the game…But in the gas cham­ber, I hope.”
  • “Now I under­stand Hitler and his hate for the Jews.”

Sev­eral Jew­ish and anti-racism orga­ni­za­tions in Spain filed a crim­i­nal com­plaint against five iden­ti­fied Twit­ter users for incite­ment to hatred, defama­tion and glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of terrorism.

In July 2013 in the U.S., Twit­ter was mis­used for sim­i­lar pur­poses after Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers out­fielder Ryan Braun was sus­pended from Major League Base­ball for the sea­son for using per­for­mance enhanc­ing drugs. Responses on Twit­ter included “Ryan Braun is a lying Jew!!! #kike” and “leave it to a jew to cheat the sys­tem, deceive peo­ple, then tar­nish other’s rep­u­ta­tions. Fuck you asshole.”

Jews are not the only tar­gets when big­ots take to Twit­ter to express their views. ADL spoke out ear­lier this month when racially-motivated com­ments flooded Twit­ter soon after Mon­treal Cana­di­ens defense­man P.K. Sub­ban, who hap­pens to be Black Cana­dian, scored the game-winning goal in a National Hockey League play­off game against the Boston Bruins.

Such online hate under­scores the crit­i­cal need for edu­ca­tion on anti-Semitism and big­otry. A recent global poll on anti-Semitism con­ducted by ADL revealed that 29% of peo­ple in Spain hold anti-Semitic atti­tudes and 48% of them think Jews talk too much about what hap­pened to them in the Holo­caust. In the U.S. the respec­tive num­bers were 9% and 22%.

ADL ardently sup­ports the right to free speech and advo­cates for strong terms of ser­vice or com­mu­nity stan­dards that address aggres­sive or mali­cious behav­ior online. Twit­ter does not pro­vide even the most basic “Flag­ging” mech­a­nism for com­plaints which is widely used on the expe­ri­enced plat­forms run by Google and Facebook.

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