Palestinian antisemitism is systemic and should be exposed
“The image that Palestinians portray in the English media is very different from the messages they send to their own people in Arabic,” Itamar Marcus said. “Incidents of Palestinian antisemitism aren’t isolated examples; they are systematically disseminated by the Palestinian Authority (PA).” Jewish leaders have been criticised for not bringing enough attention to this reality, and Western governments have been castigated for continued support for the Palestinians in spite of their Jew-hating racism.
Marcus is the founder of Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli non-governmental organisation that monitors incitement and extremism – usually in Arabic – in Palestinian media and schoolbooks. He was speaking at “Unmasking Jew-hatred within the Palestinian national movement”, a live-streamed conference organised by Pulse of Israel on 25 June.
Marcus showed several examples, including from PA President Mahmoud Abbas, of Palestinian political antisemitism that propagates the myth that Jews are evil, threaten humanity, and have brought hatred on themselves by their actions and character. The PA also posits that Israel is an illegal, alien, settler-colonial implant in “Palestine” with no right to exist, created by Europeans who wanted to solve their own “Jewish problem”. Abbas has claimed that Zionists fabricated the Holocaust, and were in cahoots with the Nazis.
Marcus also gave examples of Palestinian religious antisemitism. Leading Palestinian Muslim clerics have declared on television that Jews are apes and pigs, cursed, and subhuman. Those who murder Jews are celebrated as heroes, martyrs, and role models.
Political commentator Caroline Glick said that the PA had created a “Palestine heritage trail”, from Hebron to Schem (Nablus), which purports to expose those who walk it to the history of Palestinian civilisation. Glick called this trail “complete nonsense, topographically and historically” – yet another attempt to falsify and erase Jewish history.
“They are attempting to annihilate systematically the historical record, bulldozing and destroying Jewish sites. No-one has ever found an ancient Palestinian coin, because there aren’t any.” She said the Palestinian campaign to deny any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was “an act of historical terrorism”.
Glick said the Palestinian narrative that today’s Jews aren’t descended from the biblical Hebrews is readily taken up by sympathetic academics who perpetuate further myths to demonise Israel. She said the Palestinian national movement is “worse than the Nazis – it’s the most annihilatory Jew-hatred ever seen”. It seeks not only to eliminate living Jews, but their history as well.
Palestinians cannot ever co-exist with a Jewish state, Glick said, and too many diaspora Jews were taken in by the two-state solution after the 1993 Oslo Accords. “This said that the reason for the conflict was that Israel was too large, and that the Israeli government needed to cede territory in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.”
Glick said the strong Jewish connection to Israel appears throughout the Torah, and every ark in every synagogue around the world faces Jerusalem. The notion that Zionism isn’t rooted in Judaism is totally preposterous.
Elan Carr, the Trump administration’s special envoy for monitoring and combatting antisemitism, outlined the three ideological sources of antisemitism: the far-right, militant Islam, and the radical left. He said Palestinian antisemitism borrows the mythology and imagery of the far-right, as seen in the many hateful caricatures that echo the vile antisemitic cartoons of the Nazi-era newspaper Der Stürmer. Holocaust denial is rife in Palestinian schoolbooks and the media. The antisemitism of militant Islam finds fertile ground in Palestinian society. And the so-called “new antisemitism” of the radical left – which isn’t so new after all – gives enormous support to the Palestinians. “All three disparate camps find common purpose against Israel and the Jews,” Carr said. “We must fight antisemitism no matter what, whether it’s from neo-Nazis, Islamist terrorists, or the Marxism of the radical left. It’s the most noxious form of racism – antisemitism is pernicious, widespread, and mainstream.”
He offered six solutions to roll back antisemitism. These are tearing down any distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism; emphasising “Jewish peoplehood”; combatting all forms of antisemitism; ending donations and federal funding to antisemitic universities and protecting Jewish students; exposing Iran and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah; and going on the offensive, promoting a philosemitic narrative “to help people understand the story of the Jewish people and its values that have shaped our civilisation”.
Pulse of Israel founder Avi Abelow criticised Jewish leadership for its muted response to the antisemitism being propagated by Palestinians. Jew-hatred is being passed on to the younger generation through hate-filled textbooks and the utterances of political and religious leaders, he said. “This information is out there, but it’s totally ignored.” He also blasted Western governments for supporting the Palestinians but turning a blind eye to their hate-mongering. “It is time to call this out for what it is,” he said.