Must Jews literally be likened to Satan for media to note Palestinian antisemitism? Oh wait…

We’ve often argued that any news organization truly devoted to accurate coverage of the region must provide readers with background on Palestinian antisemitism – one of the major ideological factors driving the conflict.  

How bad is the problem of antisemitism in Palestinian society?

Empirical research suggests that it is endemic.

For instance, a Pew Global poll in 2011 demonstrated that only 4% of Palestinians have a favorable view of Jews. 

More recently, ADL commissioned an international poll and found that the Palestinians are the most antisemitic people in the world, with a staggering 93% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza holding racist opinions about Jews – such as the belief that ‘Jews have started most of the world wars’ or that ‘Jews have too much control over the global media’.

This is the context in which to view a new report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on a children’s cartoon broadcast on the network of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party (in honor of Ramadan) that literally accused Jews of doing the work of Satan on earth.

PMW explained that presenting Jews as agents of Satan who bring evil into the world is “a part of the PA’s religious ideology”, and noted that Abbas’ advisor on Islam recently stressed that PA ideology views the conflict with Israel as “a conflict with Satan“.  Further, a poem teaching that “Zion, is Satan with a tail” has been recited by Palestinian children six times in recent years on official PA TV, most recently in 2015.

A couple of weeks ago, we also noted that the British media similarly ignored a speech by Abbas evoking medieval antisemitic tropes by accusing Israeli rabbis of calling for their government to murder Palestinians by “poisoning the wells”.

The media’s failure to report such regressive, racist attitudes within Palestinian society contrasts sharply with their tendency to contextualize every conceivable Israeli imperfection as a sign the nation is descending into the “far-right” political abyss – an egregious double standard which continues to profoundly distort British news consumers’ understanding of the conflict.

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