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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 4, 2012 0

Qaradawi Beats Drums Of War Against Israel in Friday Sermon

Dur­ing his Fri­day ser­mon in the Qatari cap­i­tal of Doha on April 27, rad­i­cal Mus­lim Broth­er­hood cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi denied Israel’s right to exist and called on Arabs and Mus­lims to fight the Israelis.

“Israel thinks it’s set­tled on the land. And we say, by God, you Israelis shall never set­tle on our land. You will remain strangers, you will remain immi­grants,” Qaradawi said. “They must…they must return to their coun­tries, we believe in that, they can­not set­tle here….The Israelis will def­i­nitely dis­ap­pear and get out of this coun­try, and we are wait­ing for this day, we must pre­pare our­selves, and pre­pare our youth. We shall not surrender.”

After say­ing that the Pales­tini­ans “can­not fight alone” because “the Israelis have weapons enough to fight the entire Arabs,” he asked, “Why the Arabs are not fighting?…We call upon all to unite, to tell the Pales­tini­ans we are with you, the least to do is to say to the Pales­tini­ans we are behind you”

Qaradawi also expressed regret that while Mus­lims fail to sup­port their Pales­tin­ian broth­ers, Jews from around the world strongly sup­port Israel with money and weapons, and in pol­i­tics and the media. “The Jews in the entire world, all of them, with the excep­tion of a small group, sup­port Israel.”

Qaradawi ended his ser­mon, which was broad­cast live on Qatar’s offi­cial tele­vi­sion sta­tion, by pray­ing that God destroys the Israelis and enables the Pales­tini­ans to achieve vic­tory “over the ene­mies of God and [the Palestinian’s] enemies.”

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