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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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January 30, 2014 0

The Media’s Coverage of Palestinian Incitement Towards Israel

Recently, the New York Times ran an infor­ma­tive piece on the pro­lif­er­a­tion of Hamas train­ing camps in Gaza, where impres­sion­able Pales­tin­ian teens are taught to hate Israel through par­tic­i­pa­tion in military-style boot camps, where they are trained to fire guns and build bombs in order to attack the Jew­ish State.

While the arti­cle itself was inter­est­ing, the tim­ing seemed to sug­gest that Pales­tin­ian incite­ment was some­thing of a new phe­nom­e­non. The real­ity is that this type of vio­lent indoc­tri­na­tion equip­ping chil­dren with the skills and moti­va­tion to kill Israelis, as well as other forms of Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, are noth­ing new.

A recent Israeli gov­ern­ment report high­lights how Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials, media out­lets and edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions are engaged in an ongo­ing incite­ment cam­paign towards Israel. Hitler is quoted on school Face­book pages, Jews are described on TV as “bar­baric mon­keys” and the “mur­ders of Mohammed,” and Pales­tin­ian Pres­i­dent Abbas has repeat­edly embraced released Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists as “heroes.”

Per­haps one of the most infa­mous instances of Pales­tin­ian incite­ment occurred in 2007 with Mickey Mouse “Far­four” episode, where Mickey was shown on Hamas TV being beaten to death by an actor pos­ing as an Israeli agent try­ing to buy land. Young view­ers of the TV pro­gram were than told that “Far­four was mar­tyred while defend­ing his land” and was killed “by the killers of chil­dren.” The Hamas TV episode was so hor­rific it even mer­ited a spot on The Daily Show.

With Israel and the Pales­tini­ans cur­rently engaged in an intense and pro­tracted period of nego­ti­a­tions over the poten­tial for a future Pales­tin­ian state, the need to high­light and coun­ter­act the dan­gers of incite­ment is even more press­ing. The issue has been repeat­edly raised in recent weeks by Israeli polit­i­cal lead­ers in meet­ings with inter­na­tional lead­ers, pub­lic speeches and other forums, but hasn’t received as much inter­na­tional media atten­tion as it should.

In order for peace to be achieved, the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity must end the incite­ment cam­paign against Israel. It is the task of respon­si­ble media out­lets to con­tinue to draw atten­tion to the issue, and not allow incite­ment to con­tinue exist­ing under the surface.

 

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December 31, 2013 3

International New York Times Op-Ed Blames Israel and International Community for “Coming Intifada”

On Decem­ber 25, 2013, the Inter­na­tional New York Times ran an op-ed by Ali Jar­bawi, a for­mer Pales­tin­ian Author­ity gov­ern­ment min­is­ter and cur­rent con­tribut­ing opin­ion writer for the Times, titled “The Com­ing Intifada.” As evi­denced by its title, the premise of Mr. Jarbawi’s piece is that a vio­lent Pales­tin­ian intifada (Ara­bic for “upris­ing”) is loom­ing beneath the sur­face and could explode some­time in the near future. Most telling in Mr. Jarbawi’s piece is the absence of any sup­port or even men­tion of mov­ing for­ward with negotiations.

Sbarro Jerusalem Bombing

Mr. Jar­bawi writes that despite the appear­ance of nor­mal­ity for West Bank and Gaza Pales­tini­ans, “no one should be sur­prised if a new intifada erupts in the next few months.” He claims there are four fac­tors con­tribut­ing to this: an unful­filled hope for a Pales­tin­ian state, Israeli “vio­la­tions” against Pales­tini­ans (of which he includes the scur­rilous charge of “Judaiz­ing Jerusalem”), finan­cial chal­lenges fac­ing the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity, and the events of the Arab Spring.

While Mr. Jar­bawi goes to great lengths to blame many non-Palestinians – with a heavy focus being Israel — for what he warns is the com­ing intifada, he assigns no respon­si­bil­ity for the chal­lenges fac­ing Pales­tini­ans to the Pales­tini­ans them­selves. Attack­ing Israel for the fail­ures of the 20-plus years of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, he makes no men­tion of the numer­ous Israeli offers – includ­ing from Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000 and from Ehud Olmert to Mah­moud Abbas in 2008 – rejected by the Pales­tini­ans. He also over­looks the repeated state­ments by Israeli lead­ers call­ing on their Pales­tin­ian coun­ter­parts to return to the nego­ti­at­ing table, which went unheeded until Sec­re­tary Kerry’s ini­tia­tives this past summer.

He fur­ther absolves the Pales­tini­ans of any respon­si­bil­ity for their finan­cial predica­ment by fail­ing to men­tion reports of ram­pant cor­rup­tion within the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity, and instead attacks Arab, Euro­pean and other inter­na­tional donors for not offer­ing suf­fi­cient aid.

Per­haps most dis­turbingly, how­ever, is Mr. Jarbawi’s claim that Israel is “Judaiz­ing Jerusalem.” The term “Judai­sa­tion” is fre­quently used by those who dis­miss the 4,000 year-old Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the land of Israel, and implies that Jews have no his­tor­i­cal right to a pres­ence in modern-day Israel. Stat­ing, as Mr. Jar­bawi does, that Israel is attempt­ing to “impose its pres­ence in the Al Aqsa mosque” fur­ther ignores the millennia-old reli­gious con­nec­tion to Judaism’s holi­est site, which shares this tiny piece of real estate, the Tem­ple Mount.

All this speaks to an ele­ment of self-deception on the part of the Pales­tini­ans at best, and, at worst, lays a foun­da­tion to jus­tify Pales­tin­ian vio­lence. By refus­ing to acknowl­edge com­plic­ity in the polit­i­cal and finan­cial predica­ment they find them­selves in, Mr. Jar­bawi and his Pales­tin­ian col­leagues delude them­selves into believ­ing that vio­lence is a jus­ti­fi­able reac­tion to their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. They seek to con­vince oth­ers that their cur­rent approach towards Israel, includ­ing threats of vio­lence, are accept­able, and it is incum­bent entirely upon Israel and the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity to change their posi­tions towards the Pales­tini­ans in order to resolve the conflict.

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