Scheduled to be delivered as a paper in the seminar series at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism, 4 Agron Street, Jerusalem, Israel, on January 9th, 2006.
Before delving into the difficult content of tonight’s presentation, let us recall two seminal statements by two beacons of the last century who understood anti-semitism in its new form of anti-Zionism.
From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech at Harvard shortly before his assassination in 1968, from “The Socialism of Fools: The Left, the Jews and Israel” by Seymour Martin Lipset; in Encounter, (December 1969), p. 24:.
“There is the “new” anti-Semitism: anti-Zionism. It is an attack on the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and on the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state. This is not legitimate criticism of Israel, as claimed, but goes way beyond. When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, You are talking anti-Semitism.”
And from the eloquent Abba Eban, writing in the pages of the The New York Times, on November 3, 1975 at the time that the UN adopted the “Zionism is Racism” resolution:
“There is no difference whatever between anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel’s statehood. Classical anti-Semitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination… Israel is the only sovereign state whose legitimacy and right to exist are called into question regularly”
Exactly one year ago today, a new leader assumed power as the chairman of the PLO and as the president of the Palestinian Authority: Machmud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen. Upon his election, our news agency and research center established ABU MAZEN WATCH, to see if he would perform differently than his mentor, Yassir Arafat. This would be an appropriate time to examine the Abbas regime, in terms of one factor: the official Palestinian Authority promulgation of anti-semitism, as we look at what the PA conveys in the Arabic language, in the official organs of the PA.
Over the course of the past year. our agency and research center arranged for five ABU MAZEN WATCH briefings for staffers on Capital Hill, and four ABU MAZEN WATCH briefings in the Knesset.
The consistent message that emanated throughout the past year from the PA controlled Mosques was one of vitriolic hatred of Jews. To rub salt in the wound, the PA arranged for the official PA TV, using air waves lent to the PA from Israel in 1993, to telecast each week’s sermon.
Here are excerpts from official Friday sermon on Palestinian Authority (PA) TV from the week of May 17, 2005. The preacher is Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, a paid official of the PA. To view the sermon visit:
“Allah has tormented us with ‘the people most hostile to the believers’ – the Jews. ‘Thou shalt find that the people most hostile to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.’ Allah warned His beloved Prophet Muhammad about the Jews, who had killed their prophets, forged their Torah, and sowed corruption throughout their history.
“With the establishment of the state of Israel, the entire Islamic nation was lost, because Israel is a cancer spreading through the body of the Islamic nation, and because the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers.
“You will find that the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations.
“Ask Britain what it did to the Jews in the early sixth century. What did they do to the Jews? They expelled them, tortured them, and prevented them from entering Britain for more than 300 years. All this was because of what the Jews did in Britain. Ask France what it did to the Jews. They tortured them, expelled them, and burned their Talmud, because of the civil strife the Jews wanted to spark in France, in the days of Louis XIX. Ask Portugal what it did to the Jews. Ask Czarist Russia, which welcomed the Jews, who plotted to kill the Czar – so he massacred them. But don’t ask Germany what it did to the Jews. It was the Jews who provoked Nazism to wage war against the entire world, when the Jews, using the Zionist movement, got other countries to wage an economic war on Germany and to boycott German merchandise. They provoked Russia, Britain, France, and Italy. This enraged the Germans toward the Jews, leading to the events of those days, which the Jews commemorate today.
Itamar Marcus, who runs PMW, Palestine Media Watch, cited in Jewish Political Studies Review, Fall 2005, provides the following systematic analysis:
“The Palestinian religious, academic, and political elites teach an ideology of virulent hatred of Jews. The killing of Jews is presented both as a religious obligation and as necessary self-defense for all humankind.
“Palestinian Authority elites have built a three-stage case against Jewish existence, much as a prosecutor might build a case demanding a death sentence. As their expert witness, they bring Allah Himself, Who is said to have sent a message through the Prophet Muhammad that killing Jews is a necessary step to bring Resurrection.
Stage 1 is characterized by collective labeling of Jews as the enemies of Allah, possessing an inherently evil nature.
Stage 2 teaches that because of their immutable traits, Jews represent an existential danger to all humanity.
Stage 3 presents the necessary solution predetermined by Allah: the annihilation of Jews as legitimate self-defense and a service to God and man.”
In a PA historical educational TV program, “The Prophets of Allah,” shown April 21, 2005 on PBC TV and earlier, also on PBC TV, February 10, 2005. a “common religious indictment” was voiced:
“The Jews in Medina had forsaken the commandments of Moses and returned to worshiping gold…. The Jewish scholars would make business of the Torah: they hid [selected] pages of it, attached pages, falsified pages, and went on to become rich.”
Accompanying this are portrayals of Jews as animals; in three instances, the Koran tells of Muhammad turning people into monkeys and/or pigs.
On the subject of education under Abbas, The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (www.edume.org ) has reviewed all of the new textbooks produced by the Palestinian Authority.
Of the most recent set of textbooks, CMIP says the following: “For the first time in the history of PA textbook publishing, the infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are mentioned in the text as an authentic part of Zionist history. “There is a group of confidential resolutions adopted by the [Zionist] Congress and known by the name `The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ the goal of which was world domination.”- History of the Modern and Contemporary World, Grade 10
From a previous CMIP textbook review: “One must beware of the Jews, for they are treacherous and disloyal.” Islamic Education for Ninth Grade
“It is mentioned in the Talmud: “We [the Jews] are God’s people on earth…[God] forced upon the human animal and upon all the nations and the races that they serve us, and He spread us through the world to ride on them and hold their reigns. We must marry our beautiful daughters with kings, ministers and lords and enter our sons into the various religions, thus, we will have the final word in managing the countries. We should cheat them [the non-Jews] and arouse quarrels among them, then they fight each other… Non Jews are pigs who God created in the shape of man in order that they be fit for service for the Jews, and God created the world for them [the Jews].” – The Contemporary History of the Arabs and the World
“The Jews claim that this is one of the places belonging to them and call it “The Western Wall”, but this is not so.” Reader and Literary Texts for Eighth Grade #578
“In many cases these Jews acted according to their known cunning and deceit, and they incite wars [between Arab tribes]…” -Islamic Education for Ninth Grade
“I learn from this lesson: I believe that the Jews are the enemies of the Prophets and the believers.” Islamic Education, Part Two for Fourth Grade “Another reason for the hatred towards them [the Jews] was their taking over the economy…” The Contemporary History of the Arabs and the World
After our agency shared these text books with staffers and members of the US Congress last May, shortly before Abbas’s visit to Capital Hill, 34 members of Congress petitioned Abbas to remove such blatant anti-semitism from the official text books of the PA.
Abbas met with Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Californian) and told him that he simply would not do so. As a result, the US Congress, without any prodding from the government of Israel or AIPAC, refused to allocate any direct funds to the PA.
Meanwhile, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies www.wymaninstitute.org (located on the campus of Gratz College, near Philadelphia), in its annual report for 2005 (“Holocaust Denial: A Global Survey – 2005”) named the Palestinian Authority as one of the regimes that promotes Holocaust denial.
It is instructive to note that Abbas has never denounced his own PHD thesis which denies the holocaust and posits the specious connection between Zionism and Nazism.
At the same time, denial of the Jewish historic connection to the land remains part of the anti-Semitism in Palestinian Authority under Abbas.
On December 13, 2005, we read on the official PA International Press Center site:
In presenting fabrications about construction Israel is planning (allegedly digging under the Al Aksa Mosque), this site says the construction includes “a heritage centre – dedicated to show a fabricated heritage that might will help them to deceive the foreign visitors into believing Jerusalem as a historical place of the Jews.”
And only last week. The official PA News Agency site known as WAFA, claimed on January 3, 2006, came a similar charge, that Israel had built a synagogue under the Al Aksa Mosque, the Mufti of Jerusalem, a paid official of the PA, is cited as saying,
“constructing such a synagogue proves that the Israelis did not find any sign for the Temple, that is why they made up some rooms to vaguely narrate their religious history.”
Palestinian Media Watch reported a TV show on official PBC TV which ran in December 2005 which transforms ancient Canaanites into Arabs, which remains a huge historical inaccuracy.
“The Arab Canaanites established ports on the coast of the Land of Canaan, known today as Palestine. The ports were Acre, Haifa,… Caesarea,… Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gaza and Jaffa…
In other words, this new Palestinian culture claims that Joshua committed the first crimes of transfer and genocide of a Palestinian Arab population.
It gets worse, with Abbas’s official Palestinian Authority media making blood libel accusations against Jews:
Just five days after Abbas’s ascent to power, an official Palestinian Authority information office made the following claim:
“…Anyone who lived among the Jews knows that they actually prepare a certain and special sacrifice which is holy for them, not only without the others knowing about this, but also after taking out the children and women and shutting the windows and doors in the room where they prepare the sacrifice, and mostly in the night, the night of the Passover holiday. The Jewish ‘Hasidic’ sect puts Christian blood – if they manage to get hold of it – in this sacrifice. Some of the Jews’ defenders try to adopt the thought that they do actually need blood for this sacrifice, but they don’t get hold of it necessarily through the crime of murder; what is important is to get hold of the blood in any way. Yet this view is not correct, for the secret in this crazy ceremony demands the blood of an innocent Christian child who is a martyr… Likewise, the fanatic Jews in the holiday of Purim… kill one of the Christians, and prepare flat triangular breads after mixing them with blood, and then they distribute these breads to the Jews everywhere…”
Al-Watanvoice (A Palestinian Internet Daily newspaper from Gaza), January 13 2005)
Earlier this year, an Arabic translation of the entire “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” was posted on the official PA State Information Service website. It was removed on May 18, after an official ADL protest.
However, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” remained in the new PA text books, despite the aforementioned appeal of 34 Members of the US Congress for its removal.
And then there is the PA allegation that Israel is spreading biological warfare in the PA population.
In an interview published in June 2005 in the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Shark al-Awsat, Yousef Abu Safieh, the Palestinian Minister of Environment, claimed that Israel is deliberately “dispersing cancerous materials to kill Palestinians”. http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/5812.htm
And only last month, we see statements calling for Israel’s annihilation, such as the one cited by Palestinian Media Watch in December 2005, describing a show on PA TV: “It is time for you [Israelis] to be gone. Live wherever you like, but don’t live among us. It is time for you to be gone. Die wherever you like, but don’t die among us. We have the past here. We have the present, the present and the future. So leave our country, our land, our sea, our wheat, our salt, our wounds. Everything. And leave the memories.”
And only last month, MEMRI released a transcript of an interview that ran on Palestinian TV on December 21, 2005. This is an interview with Umm Nidal, Palestinian Legislative Council Candidate and the mother of three Hamas terrorists who were killed while taking part in “martyrdom” operations.
Among the things she says: “All the Palestinians share the same view. They are not divided. The only ones who disagree and think otherwise are, of course, the foreigners, who have no sympathy for us or for our cause, and who know nothing about us. They are the ones who think that this man has come to kill innocent people. This is what they think. But we, as Muslims, think differently. We are familiar with the Koranic verse: ‘One who attacks you, attack him in like manner.’
“These are war necessities. How can we win otherwise? It’s true we carry out operations against the military and its soldiers, but [killing civilians] is a war necessity. They are all occupiers to begin with. Whoever comes from abroad and lives on the land of Palestine is considered an occupier, even if they are women or old people. They are all occupiers.
“… You know this land belongs to someone else, so how can you come and live on it? Therefore, all Israelis are considered occupiers of our land. There is no difference between men and women… They are all occupiers, and we must fight them by any legitimate means…. All means are legitimate as long as the occupation continues. There is no difference [between soldiers and civilians]. This is Islamic religious law. I don’t invent anything. I follow Islamic religious law in this. A Muslim is very careful not to kill an innocent person, because he knows he would be destined to eternal Hell. So the issue is not at all simple. We rely on Islamic religious law when we say there is no prohibition on killing these people.
“The word ‘peace’ does not mean the kind of peace we are experiencing. This peace is, in fact, surrender and a shameful disgrace. Peace means the liberation of all of Palestine, from the [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] Sea. When this is accomplished – if they want peace, we will be ready. They may live under the banner of the Islamic state. That is the future of Palestine that we are striving towards. “…We do not expect them to accept this. These people are occupiers, and we want to banish them from our land.”
In conclusion, when Palestinian statements about `settlements’ and `occupation’ are examined closely, it becomes clear that they refer to all of Israel, within the pre-1967 Green Line.
Just look at the new PA school books. Israel is not on their new maps.
And look at the January, 2006 edition of The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism’s monthly publication, known as THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE.
Tel Aviv is defined as an Israeli built up area in Palestine. The entity known as Israel does not exist.
All this is in keeping with the” raison d’etre” of the The PLO, which was established by the Arab League, whose sole purpose remains Israel’s annihilation, remains at war with the state and people of Israel, and never agreed to any cessation of violence (the Declaration of Principles was not ratified by the PLO on October 6th 1993) and has never agreed to canceling its covenant of war with Israel (Covenant was not cancelled by the PLO – not on April 24th 1996 nor on December 14th 1998).
The only change ever adopted by the PLO was the 1974 a.m.endment proposed by Abbas, which mandated that Israel could be destroyed in stages, and that PLO sovereignty should be established on any area taken back, until all of Palestine could be “liberated”
The government of Israel has not recently made the official PA anti-semitism into an issue at this time.
The Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman said on January 8th, 2006 that the Israel’s anti-incitement committee has not been convened for over a year.
Moreover, when I met with top officials of Israeli intelligence on October 27th, 2005, to ask about their assertion that PA incitement had lessoned, they responded by saying that they do not define anti-semitism as incitement, and that their only definition of incitement would be a direct call to kill Jews.
Yet throughout Jewish history, what preceded calls to kill Jews were the systematic demonization of the Jew, to reduce the Jew to a less than human status, and that is what Abbas’s regime has accomplished in one year in power.
After all, the PA remains the first entity since the Third Reich to endorse the cold blooded murder of Jews.
Yet no Israeli governmental institution and no Jewish organization whose task it is to monitor anti-semitism has demanded that the PLO or its administrative outlet, the PA to cease and desist from anti-semitic incitement
Under Abbas, every official Palestinian Authority avenue of communication conveys a clear message of anti-semitism, which would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.
The question remains: When will someone galvanize a new effort to challenge what could be described as a new form of “Palestinian politically correct anti-semitism”?