During an interview with MSNBC that he retweeted, he argued that all Israelis are the same, ‘they’re all terrorists’. He’s written that Jews who live across the Green Line are “psychotic” and “rabid dogs”. He’s also peddled the historically lethal lie that Jews are threatening to destroy al-Aqsa, and even claimed there’s no archaeological evidence that the 1st and 2nd Temples existed.
On Twitter, he said it’s “psychotic” to ask Palestinians to refrain from violence, praised a PFLP terrorist, compared Israeli actions to that of the Nazis, characterised Zionism as inherently genocidal and retweeted (and praised as ‘eloquent’) a video of the late Kwame Ture accusing Zionism of being a “Satanic movement”.
He also asked God to rid the world of Zionists.
So, naturally, Guardian editors decided he should be given the opportunity to disseminate his propaganda to their readers, in the form of an op-ed (“Here in Jerusalem, we Palestinians are still fighting for our homes”, July 28th).
The deception begins in opening paragraph:
A few months ago, the world’s attention was on Sheikh Jarrah, my neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem. For decades, Israeli settlers, backed by their state, have been trying to displace us from our homes and colonise our neighbourhood.
Kurd’s claim that legal efforts by Jewish property owners to evict Palestinian squatters, and tenants who refuse to pay rent, from the properties is “backed by the state” is not accurate. The case has gone through Israel’s independent judicial system for decades, and Israel’s attorney general has refused to take a position on the court case. Further, the Jerusalem Post reported that “even if the [Supreme Court] verdict allows for the eviction of the Palestinian residents, the court is unlikely to order the state to enact it or give a deadline to do so”, and that the government will not order the eviction to be carried out.
So, in what way have the property owners’ efforts been “backed by the state”?
In the next paragraph, Kurd peddles a risible account of the series of events leading to May’s war between Hamas and Israel:
In May…Palestinians were subjected to Israeli violence across the eastern part of Jerusalem – not only in Sheikh Jarrah, but outside the Damascus gate (itself a focus of protests), and in and around the al-Aqsa mosque – which escalated into attacks on besieged Gaza.
What actually occurred was pre-planned violence by Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa, which Israeli police responded to with riot-control methods. It only “escalated” to Gaza because Hamas decided to launch rockets at Jerusalem.
The propaganda continues:
In Sheikh Jarrah, the effort to dispossess us has not slowed down. Our neighbourhood has been under a blockade for three months, maintained by Israeli forces, with continuing restrictions intended to suffocate the lives of the hundreds of Palestinians who live here
There is of course no Israeli “blockade” of Sheikh Jarrah, or any other Palestinian neighborhood in the city. The UN report embedded in the word “blockade” makes no such assertion. It details how police were requiring that Palestinian residents, and others entering the area, show ID. There was no restrictions on the movement of goods into the area. However, even these modest restrictions were lifted in June.
Kurd then describes an incident from June 21st:
“Israeli police came into the neighbourhood after a settler pepper-sprayed four schoolgirls on the street”. “But when they arrived”, Kurd alleges, “the officers ignored the girls and arrested two Palestinian boys.”
Kurd’s source? The Palestinian ‘news agency’, WAFA.
According to Times of Israel, the event was completely different than that which Kurd described, as Jewish residents Sheikh Jarrah claimed that Palestinian protesters “threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Jewish homes, lightly wounding a pregnant woman who was hit in the back with a stone”. After the protesters attacked a Jewish home, the report noted, “residents responded with rocks and pepper spray and a brawl broke out”. Four Palestinians were arrested, “one for shooting fireworks at police forces.
Then, another lie by Kurd is peddled:
The same day, a member of the Israeli Knesset, Bezalel Smotrich, barged into my family’s house..
Then, mirroring the rhetoric of extremists who reject Israel’s existence, even within 1949 boundaries, Kurd characterises the situation in Sheikh Jarrah as “a perfect illustration of settler colonialism.. across 73 years of Zionist rule”.
Describing Israel, since its rebirth in 1948, as a “settler colonial state”, implies that all Israelis are “settlers”, and falsely suggests that Jews have no historical connection to the land – an assertion, we noted earlier, Kurd himself tweeted – and that Zionism is racist and morally illegitimate. It also negates the historical reality that most pre-state Zionists arrived as refugees, escaping racism and mass murder in Europe – not, as Kurd would have you believe, as conquerors seeking to extend their (of course, non-existent) territory.
Here, Kurd, appears to be just making things up:
In 2 August, the Israeli supreme court, whose jurisdiction over the eastern part of Jerusalem defies international law,
Though it’s often claimed that Israeli communities in parts of Jerusalem occupied by Jordan before June 1967 are “illegal”, our research was unable to find any such claim – that the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over the area “defies international law” – even by the most ardent anti-Zionist organisation. And, it’s telling that Kurd didn’t cite a source.
Further, legal experts we consulted told us they’ve never even come across such an assertion.
In addition to the myriad of distortions, and abundant propaganda, we count four outright factual errors in Kurd’s op-ed that we’re going to take to the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor.