Arab Media Says What U.S. Media Won’t
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Arab Media Says What U.S. Media Won’t

The new Palestine’s dark side, and threats of death.

Associate Editor

In the bleakest years of anti-Semitism, many hotels and even whole towns posted the warning: “No dogs or Jews allowed.”

That won’t be the case in the new state of Palestine.

Dogs will be allowed.

That Jews won’t be — the presumptive state of Palestine being the first state since Nazi Germany to have such a policy — is something most readers would be more likely to have discovered through a reading of the Arab media rather than in most major American newspapers, with USA Today being one of the few exceptions. Perhaps some papers prefer to see no evil because, as The New York Times (Sep. 29) reports, “For much of the world, the very presence of more than 300,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank amounts to a kind of violent crime.”

There must have been a time in the 1930s when the Jews figured out that all the talk about Jews controlling the banks had less to do with an interest in finance and more to do with something more sinister. A similar epiphany seems to be slowly taking root regarding the settlements, that there is something sinister in zeroing in on the “criminal” settlements without a parallel exploration of the hatred of Jews within the Palestinian objection.

After Nicholas Kristof wrote in his Times column (Oct. 6), “Nothing is more corrosive than Israel’s growth of settlements,” former Mayor Ed Koch, who inspired the pro-Israel electoral insurgency in New York’s 9th Congressional District, responded in a column: “Why do the Palestinian Authority and its supporters like Kristof believe that the West Bank should be ‘Judenrein’ or that Jews may not live in a part of Jerusalem when they have lived in all parts of Jerusalem for 3,000 years until the Jordanians drove them out in 1948? Why … shouldn’t Jews have the choice of remaining on as Palestinian citizens or resident aliens or leaving?”

At the United Nations, for the first time when making a major address about the Middle East, President Barack Obama did not mention settlements at all, but the “hate” aimed at Jews throughout the Middle East, a hate rarely explored in the American media but shamelessly flaunted in Arab and Islamic media.

Last week, the Anti-Defamation League released a survey of editorial cartoons in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian territories that reveal a surge of anti-Semitism coming in conjunction with the Palestinian bid for statehood. The ADL found “grotesque” cartoons of fat-cat Jews with Stars of David, images “rife with vicious anti-Semitic caricatures and stereotypes,” images that could have been extracted directly from Der Sturmer, needing only to translate the captions from German to Arabic.

Abe Foxman, national director of the ADL, noticed the “stereotypical hook-nosed or black-hatted images of Jews plotting to control the United States government and the world … [which is] especially troubling in the current context, the very antithesis of encouraging peacemaking.”

The ADL also was concerned that over in Shechem (Nablus), Palestinians have been drawing swastikas on the walls of Joseph’s Tomb. Just this week, said Foxman, “Israeli [and American] political, religious and social leaders roundly expressed outrage and condemnation at the heinous desecration of a mosque in northern Israel. We expect Palestinian political, religious and social leaders to do no less.” The Jewish vandalism of the mosque was widely reported in the United States. The swastikas on Joseph’s Tomb were not.

On the Arabic channel of Al-Jazeera, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki admitted (Sept. 23) that “the greater goal [of a state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan] cannot be accomplished in one go.” He presented a piecemeal scenario, however, in which “Israel will come to an end.” He admitted, “If one says that one wants to wipe Israel out, come on, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.”

The complete Arabic clip of Zaki’s interview can be found at Memri.org (the Middle East Media Research Institute).

Soon enough, according to official Palestinian TV, an Arab residential area will be constructed in “what is now known as the Western Wall Plaza.” This will happen, said the announcer, “when they [Israelis] disappear from the picture, like a forgotten chapter in the pages of our city’s history.”

The glorification of terrorists continues. Al-Ayam reports (Sept. 9) that the Palestinian Authority chose Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of four terrorists (killers of seven Israelis and serving 18 life sentences) for the honor of leading the march to UN offices in Ramallah and delivering the official request for UN membership meant for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

In the emboldened atmosphere, Arutz Sheva reported that Palestinians — including relatives of Amjad and Hakim Awad, murderers of the five members of the Fogel family in Itamar — entered (with permission from the local Civil Administration) into Itamar’s security zone ostensibly to harvest olives. “We will turn you into Fogels,” several of the Palestinians reportedly shouted at Itamar’s Jews. Then the Palestinians moved their fingers across their necks, pantomiming the slitting of throats.

Egypt’s Al-Aram Weekly (Oct. 5) said it was the Jews who were planning mass murder: “Jewish settlers indoctrinated in extremist Talmudic theology have threatened to transform the West Bank into a huge killing field.”

Everywhere, it seems, was the threat of death. The official TV station of the Palestinian Authority broadcast the “trial” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the PATV reporter, Netanyahu was charged with “crimes against humanity,” and the “theft of land.” Netanyahu was found guilty, sentenced to death by hanging.

Over in Egypt, the semi-official October weekly news magazine (named for Egypt’s pride in the Yom Kippur War, known there as the October War) featured a cover mock-up of Netanyahu in a Hitler mustache and Nazi uniform giving the heil salute.

It is not unusual to see swastikas in Cairo, to judge by their media. Almost a month prior to a mob storming the Israel embassy in Cairo, Al-Jazeera showed demonstrators outside the Israeli embassy waving signs with swastikas and the message, “The Gas Chambers Are Ready.”

Don’t think that October had any mercy on Israeli leaders to the left of Netanyahu. The article castigated Israeli leaders from David Ben-Gurion to Yitzchak Rabin to Tzipi Livni.

As for other responses to the storming of the Israeli embassy, one columnist for Al-Ahram warned that the embassy should be moved to a place that is easier for Egyptian security to protect: “It is not wise to ignore Egyptian anger….”

Another writer, Said Ismail said the “genuine protesters” of the Arab Spring would not “burn and sabotage, or attack an embassy in order to tarnish Egypt’s image before the world or to make Egypt look like it was incapable of protecting diplomats on its land.”

A writer in the Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm warned that the mob that attacked the Israeli embassy ought to set off alarm bells, for it foretold “chaos that nobody can control… dashing the dream of a civil state and entering into a series of coups that would jeopardize the future of the country.”

E-mail: jonathan@jewishweek.org

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