On why many liberals continue to ignore explicit anti-Semitism in the Palestinian media

H/T This Ongoing War

I once asked a highly respected academic, and colleague, why so many (but, to be clear, not all) progressive Western anti-racists, who are committed to a two-state solution, often ignore evidence of Palestinian hate and incitement which is routinely propagated in Mosques, by government officials, in state-controlled media, and popular culture.  

My colleague’s answer was quite interesting.

He thought that many liberals would view the dissemination of such information (news about Palestinian anti-Semitic incitement) as an impediment to peace, insofar as such news would damage the trust Israelis need to make strategically risky concessions necessary to achieve a final status agreement.  

Further, my colleague added, it was curious to say the least that such peace proponents would never once consider that such incitement and hatred was, in itself, the real impediment to a true and lasting peace, insofar as it represents how a majority of Palestinians genuinely feel about Jews, as such (and not merely Israelis), and the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.

The Palestinian Authority, it should be noted, controls its own government-funded media channels. 

Palestinian Media Watch consistently carries out the arduous task of translating into English what’s published in Arabic in such state-sponsored Palestinian media, and puts out warnings when explicit and unambiguous anti-Semitism is propagated, which is quite often – though you wouldn’t know this if you depended on the Guardian for your news on Israel and the Middle East.

Yesterday PMW issued an alert. It reproduced several quotations carried in a publication called Al Hayat Al Jadida (Arabic for “New Life”) – an official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority.

PMW’s Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik summarize the PA-sanctioned messages as:

  • The enemies of Islam are “cultivating evil” against it.
  • The state of Israel is a “malignant cancerous growth” and its conflict with the Arabs is about faith and existence, and not about land and borders.
  • The Jewish religion is false, distorted and corrupted.
  • Jews are inherently evil and have been so since the time of Cain and Abel.
  • Jews, through their political philosophy Zionism, have a religious plan to take over the world and rule it while forcing non-Jews to submit to their will.
Arabic edition of "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", published in Egypt, 2002

One of the things which baffles me the most is the deafening silence by otherwise sensitive souls when confronted with undeniable evidence of such chilling Jew-hatred.

Why isn’t this a bigger issue at the Guardian and at other mainstream media publications who routinely dramatize and inflate every conceivable instance of Israeli bigotry, real and imagined?

What does liberalism mean – in the context of the Guardian’s desire to be the “world’s leading liberal voice” – if not a passionate opposition to hate and bigotry?

The Al Hayat Al Jadida piece cited above advances explicit hatred towards Jews to a degree which can reasonably be compared to Nazi anti-Semitism – in accusing Jews of being evil and suggesting a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world – and yet, beyond the pro-Israel blogosphere, the mainstream media, as far as I’m able to determine, has completely ignored the story.  

What more evidence to those who insist that Palestinian enmity towards Jews is merely crudely expressed anti-Zionism need to reconsider their position, and contemplate the unpleasant, politically inconvenient but dangerous reality of a Palestinian culture infested with classic, unambiguous anti-Semitism?

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