Indoctrination to genocidal anti-Semitism is epidemic among Palestinians and in Arab and other Muslim states. “Peace” plans that do not recognize this as the major obstacle to genuine peace, but rather push steps which ignore it, inexorably lead to more violence and are doomed to fail. Even worse, by their silence on this issue they pander to and help promote such deadly hate-mongering.
Demonization not only of Israel’s Jews but of all Jews, and calls for their mass murder, are a staple of Palestinian institutions, those controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority as well as those of Hamas.
Hamas’s charter quotes a Hadith in which Allah declares that the Day of Judgement will not come until the Jews are all killed and even the stones and trees will help in murdering them. The charter adds that Hamas “aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take.”
Hamas systematically employs its media, mosques and schools to convey the same message. Its schools and children’s television programming teach their young audience the virtues of killing Jews.
The Palestinian Authority hardly lags behind its Islamist rivals in peddling genocidal Jew-hatred. PA media depict Jews as a cancer that must be excised and, like Hamas, insist it is a religious duty to do so. PA indoctrination includes delineations of the nature of Jews that entail virtually every hoary anti-Semitic caricature. While PA leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas talk of “peace” to Western leaders and media, they use their vehicles of incitement to instill in Palestinians not only commitment to annihilating Israel but also dedication to extirpating the Jews.
For example, a recent official Palestinian Authority Friday sermon, broadcast on PA TV and translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), had the preacher declaring: “The Jews are the enemies of Allah and His messenger… the enemies of humanity in general… Our mutual enmity with the Jews is a matter of faith more than an issue pertaining to occupation and land… The prophet Muhammad said: ‘You will fight the Jews, and you will kill them…’”
In the wider Arab world, even in countries allied to the United States, the same message is incessantly promoted. A recurrent feature of Saudi government television is of clerics or other authority figures demonizing Jews, often with the speaker having children present to whom they are imparting their Jew-hating wisdom.
Even in countries with which Israel is officially at peace, such as Egypt, variations on the same theme are prominent in government-controlled media. Egyptian television and government newspapers have, for example, featured clerical and academic authorities confirming the Jews do indeed use the blood of non-Jews in their recipes for Passover matzoh.
Robert Wistrich, a leading authority on the history of anti-Semitism and author of the recently published book on the subject, A Lethal Obsession, has written:
“In the Middle East, [anti-Semitism] has taken on a particularly dangerous, toxic and potentially genocidal aura of hatred, closely linked to the ‘mission’ of holy war or jihad against the West and the Jews…
“The scale and extremism of the [anti-Semitic] literature and commentary available in Arab or Muslim newspapers, journals, magazines, caricatures, on Islamist websites, on the Middle Eastern radio and TV news, in documentaries, films, and educational materials, is comparable only to that of Nazi Germany at its worst.”
Also noteworthy is that, aside from the exacerbations introduced by the rise of Islamist groups in recent decades, similar anti-Jewish depredations permeated much of the Arab world before the 1967 war and Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza, and even before Israel’s founding.
What has been the Western response to this promotion of genocidal Jew-hatred? Largely silence. In the Palestinian arena, the indoctrination has actually been paid for in part by the European Union and individual European states, the United Nations and even American government funds.
But no less morally obscene is the virtual absence of any acknowledgment of this hate indoctrination from all discussions of “peace.” There are, here and there, some bland references to ending “incitement,” but no evident outrage over the level and nature of the incitement or discussion of what must be done – or the time it will take – to reverse the impact of decades of hate-inculcation.
Nor is there any recognition of Israel’s need to be able to defend itself from the onslaught that it has faced in the past and will inevitably face in the future as a result of this indoctrination. The need for Israel to have defensible borders – recognized in 1967 by the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 in the wake of the Six Day War, and by various U.S. presidents in the ensuing decades – gets scant recognition from today’s self-styled promoters of peace, even as the intensity and impact of Palestinian and broader Arab genocidal Jew-hatred has only grown.
Territory beyond the pre-1967 cease-fire line that Israel has every right under 242 and under international law to claim for the purpose of national defense, territories that should, given their legal status, be depicted as “disputed,” are declared “Palestinian” by Western politicians and media.
Israel’s claims are dismissed as illegitimate land-grabs and the threats against her are ignored.
Those interested in a genuine peace would recognize that true peace is a long way off and will never be achieved as long as Israel’s enemies continue to indoctrinate their people in genocidal anti-Semitism. They would draw public attention to this obscenity and to its obstruction of possible movement toward a real peace. And they would seek in the interim lesser, and less murder-enabling, goals entailing a separation of Palestinians from Israel to the degree commensurate with Israel’s retaining strategic territories necessary for its defense; goals that, for example, would not put Israel’s major population centers within range of the type of assaults that have followed upon Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.
Genuine peace-seekers would aspire to arrangements that enable Palestinians to pursue their own, separate political course without rendering Israel more vulnerable to those whose agenda is the annihilation of its people.
Promoters of anything less, of any plan that is silent about the hate-indoctrination and the existential threat it represents to Israel, or gives it no more than a passing nod of acknowledgment as a problem, are not pursuing peace. Promoters of any formula that talks of “peace” as reachable in short order and dismisses Israel’s need for defensible borders are not agents of serious attempts to attain peace. Whether such formulas emanate from gentile or Jew, from the EU, or individual European states, or the UN, or the Quartet, or the State Department or the White House, or are advanced by Israel’s Meretz party, or the devotees of Peace Now, or the beneficiaries of the New Israel Fund, or the groupies of J Street – their promoters are in reality silent appeasers and accommodators, and not infrequently abettors, of those who are both propagandizing for and actively aspiring to another genocide of the Jews.
Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.