The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) meets three times a year to debate human rights violations around the world. Every country is debated under a single agenda item, except Israel.
Israel is given its own agenda item: it’s then vilified as a matter of course. Giving Israel its own agenda item is mandated by the UNHRC.
Why? Anti-Semitism. The Palestinian leadership, the Western media and much of the membership of the United Nations (UN) are particularly culpable.
The Palestinian narrative of unrelenting victimhood has been extremely successful at demonizing Israel. Previously ‘non-aligned’ countries, and subscribers to left-wing dogma, are particularly receptive.
Our representative at the UN, our minister of International relations and members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) alliance support the Palestinians, Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS), and Fatah and Hamas. By doing so, they support Palestinian anti-Semitism.
Palestinian anti-Semitism is similar to that in Nazi Germany. Since anti-Semitic tropes are false, surely many of the complaints by the Palestinian leadership about Israel are mendacious, and at least require vigorous investigation by the Western media before being put out as fake news?
Jews were second-class citizens under Islam. Until the early 20th century, they were never the subject of the genocidal anti-Semitism of the Europeans.
In the mid-1800s, French Catholic missionaries imported unbridled European anti-Semitism into Syria, which spread with growing Arab nationalism.
Jewish nationalism increased in response to murderous pogroms committed in Russia. In response, 2.5 million Jews left Russia between 1880 and 1914. Zionism was established in 1897.
Until 1945, Jews and Arabs raced to increase the size of their populations in Palestine before the British mandate ended. In 1947, the UN voted for separate Arab and Jewish states. The Arab states rejected the division.
Five Arab countries waged two wars against Israel. In 1948, Israel lost territory but survived; the Arab armies gained territory. Jordan occupied, then annexed the West Bank, and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip. In 1967, Israel won the war and occupied the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.
Poisonous anti-Semitism has been a part of the Palestinian narrative since 1921 when Britain appointed Mohammed Amin al-Husseini as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
During World War II, al-Husseini broadcast anti-Semitic propaganda and helped the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. He requested Adolf Hitler to support Arab independence and oppose a Jewish homeland.
So, anti-Semitism didn’t arise in 1967 in response to occupation. It had been foremost in Palestinian politics for nearly 50 years. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was founded in 1964 – three years before the 1967 occupation. Its foundational and continuing goal was the destruction of Israel.
Twenty-six years later, in 1993, the Oslo Accords resulted in the PLO’s agreeing to recognise Israel, and the Israelis acknowledged the PLO as the “representative of the Palestinian people.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) was set up to govern the Palestinians on civilian matters. Fatah, the grouping which included the PLO, took power over the West Bank and Gaza.
In July 2000, a few months prior to the Second Intifada, United States President Bill Clinton invited Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and PLO leader Yasser Arafat to Camp David to try to achieve a comprehensive peace treaty. The talks failed, and Clinton has always held that the talks were collapsed by Arafat.
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. In 2006, Hamas won the leadership of Gaza from Fatah. Hamas has made no secret of its purpose to destroy Israel – the goal is contained in its constitution.
So the key yet little appreciated reason for the unlikelihood of peace has been decades of the Palestinian leadership’s encouraging its people to delegitimise Israel by issuing almost daily anti-Semitic propaganda through its state media.
The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) was established in 1994 with authority over television, TV, radio, the official news agency and the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper.
As the anti-Semitism was communicated in Arabic, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli research institute, was founded in 1996 to monitor and analyse the PA through its media and schoolbooks. PMW focuses on the messages that the Palestinian leadership conveys through the media.
PMW has monitored and translated every media report containing hate-mongering, anti-Semitism, incitement of hatred and violence, glorification of terrorism and denial of Israel’s right to exist.
The following are but a few examples. Some have been paraphrased due to space constraints:
1. Fatah spokesman: Jews are “sons of apes and pigs” (note ‘Jews’)
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 1, 2015, http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=786
2. On 21 April 2019 the Palestinian National Council condemned the series of suicide bombings by Islamists which murdered 300 people as being “immoral and contrary to religious and human values, which all determine that the places of worship of all the world’s religions are holy and must be protected..”. The council added that this deviant ideology that caused despicable crimes against the churches is the same ideology that “causes settlers to break into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, do as they please with it, attack the Muslim worshippers, and prevent them from worshipping freely during the Hebrew Passover holiday.”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat-Al-Jadida, Apr. 22, 2019
3. A PA official said that the fire in Notre Dame Cathedral brought to mind the mendacious claim that “the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place for Islam and the First Direction of Prayer, is being subjected to fire, daily Zionist invasions that desecrate it, and excavations under and around it that are exposing it to direct daily destruction and danger…”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 21, 2019
4. A PA TV video depicts a children’s play teaching that Israel burned Palestinians in ovens.
Source: PA TV (Fatah), March 25, 2004
5. On 4 September 2019, the PA described Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Hebron as an act of “obvious war” and that he “defiled” the city. Hebron is a place with a number of holy sites for Jews.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Sept. 5, 2019
6. The PA Minister of Culture has claimed that Israel has “no connection” to Jerusalem, its history, geography or even to the future. He also claims, falsely, that Palestinians were Canaanites with a 6,000-year history in the land.
Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 26, 2019
7. Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, said, referring to a friendly soccer game between Israeli and Palestinian children shortly after the 2014 war in Gaza, that “Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity.”
Algerian TV 3, Sports Hour, Feb. 27, 2018
Teachers’ reference guides sourced from schools in the West Bank and Gaza promote delegitimisation, demonisation and indoctrination.
The guides are designed by the PA and used in all schools, including those run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Former American Middle East special envoy to Israel, Jason Greenblatt, has denounced UNRWA‘s continued teaching of an anti-Semitic curriculum.
Most of the indoctrination occurs in grades seven to 10, the ages most susceptible to indoctrination.
“Cowardice”, “slyness”, “deceit” and “greed” are used to define Jews as corrupt enemies of Islam. Some teaching material describes a future where Arabs remove Israel and exterminate surviving Jews.
This hatefulness and mendacity should cause the Western media to question the veracity of the Palestinian leadership’s claims about Israeli conduct.
Jason Greenblatt says the primary source of the whole conflict is the refusal of Palestinian leaders to accept a Jewish state.
Greenblatt has lambasted the international community for doing “nothing to encourage the parties to sit down at the negotiating table and make the hard compromises necessary for peace.” He has decried the hypocritical and continued appeasement of the Palestinian leadership.
People who try, on any basis whatsoever, to justify this Nazi-style anti-Semitism are themselves anti-Semitic. It should give occasion for thought and shame that the Palestinian leadership deliberately and continuously strives to ensure that the Palestinian people will never support peace.