Hizbullah’s television station Al-Manar launched an unusually anti-Semitic attack on Israel this morning, when a featured commentator claimed that Jews were instructed to kill women and children.

“What does their Torah say: it says kill all men, women and children and even animals,” said the Hizbullah commentator, Ghassan Matar, identified as a former member of the Lebanese parliament.

“That is what their Israeli Zionist god, their racist god ‘Yahweh’ orders them,” sneered Matar, the gray-haired commentator, gesturing broadly with his hands.

His words were an apparent reference to Biblical commandment for retribution against the tribe of Amalek which staged an unprovoked attack on the Children of Israel after the exodus from Egypt [Exodus 17: 8-16, Deuteronomy 25: 17-19]

Jews are commanded to remember Amalek’s deeds and to “erase” Amalek, but many Jewish biblical commentaries state that the tribe of Amalek has ceased to exist, and that the commandment is a reminder of how to deal with terrorists who stage unprovoked attacks on innocent people.

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Matar, who was wearing tinted eye glasses and a short-sleeved yellow jacket, said that Israeli conquest of some villages in southern Lebanon would not bring it victory.

Hizbullah and its television station Al-Manar are well-known for anti-Jewish themes including the broadcast of programs based on the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-a paradigmic anti-Semitic tract first developed by the Russian Czars and then distributed by the Soviets.

However, today’s effusion seemed to be indicative of some of the tension felt by Hizbullah personnel in recent days – perhaps because of rising casualties – which has produced more vitriolic attacks on Judaism, America, and “moderate” Arab states, as well as the usual assaults on “the Zionist Enemy.”

© 2006 Michael Widlanski Associates.

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose recent doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times,The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post

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