Earlier today we saw some of the ways an article in the Irish Times manages to calumniate Israel through sins both of omission and commission. And one of its sins of omission concerns how the Palestinians treat, or fail to, the Holocaust. We saw how the terror group Hamas denies outright the existence of the Holocaust, characterizing it as a fiction concocted by the Zionists to gain sympathy for their cause. Not all Palestinians have followed Hamas’ example. In contradistinction to Hamas, the P.A. prefers to grossly underestimate the number of victims of the Holocaust, rather than to deny it altogether. While at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, Mahmoud Abbas wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he first cast doubt on the Holocaust, suggesting that if it occurred, it only claimed “a few hundred thousand” victims. Later, when he turned his dissertation into a book, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, he reluctantly admitted that there might have been as many as “800,000” Jews who died, but certainly no more. He quoted with approval the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, who flatly denied the existence of the gas chambers.
Many of the Jews who died, Abbas suggested, were victims of typhus and other diseases. Abbas has referred to the Holocaust not to deplore it with crocodile tears, but to use it in comparing the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians with the Nazi treatment of Jews. One cannot forget his intolerable remark that Israel was guilty of “50 Holocausts” carried out against the Palestinians. Yes, we all know about those Israeli death camps where millions of Palestinians were murdered in the showers with Zyklon-B, the killing vans, the cattle cars, the mass shootings at the edges of pits of Palestinians who then toppled into them, and were covered over with dirt, with some of them buried alive. Yes, it has been a most remarkable genocide carried out by Israel, considering that the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank numbered 1.3 million in 1967, when Israel won those territories in the Six-Day War, and today they number 5.3 million, an increase of 400%. Some Holocaust! Some genocide! “Palestinian Terrorism and Holocaust Denialism Given Free Pass in Confused Op-Ed,” by Rachel O’Donoghue, Honest Reporting, May 22, 2023:
Also not mentioned in the entire piece is the constant terror threat that makes robust security measures in both Gaza and the West Bank a necessity. Indeed, the ”fiercely guarded prison-like fence” around Gaza that Hassan and Levy evidently view with such disdain was constructed in response to terrorists crossing into Israel to murder civilians.
The only reason for Israel to build a network of electronic sensors around the perimeter of Gaza is to monitor the building of terror tunnels that, in the past, have allowed Palestinian terrorists to sneak into Israel to capture or kill both soldiers and civilians. The “electrified fence” of which Hassan and Levy write does not exist. The existing fence is largely made of non-barbed wire; it is not electrified. Watchtowers are placed along the fence at intervals of 2 km. IDF soldiers regularly patrol. This is not a task the Israelis relish, but it is made necessary by the constant attempts of terrorists from Gaza, beginning in earnest during the Second Intifada, to enter Israel to murder Jews. The fence is a response to, and not the cause of, Palestinian murders.
The op-ed writers may claim to hope for an escape from the Israel-Palestinian conflict quagmire, but turning a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism and Holocaust denialism won’t help achieve that.
The writers of the Irish Times article paint a picture of an Israel intent on creating what the Palestinians call “an open-air prison.” It’s nonsense. The Israelis allow in nearly 20,000 Palestinians from Gaza to work in Israel every day, where they receive up to ten times as much in wages as they could earn in Gaza itself. Last year, there were a total of 622,000 crossings by Palestinians between Gaza and Israel, for work, medical care, visits with relatives in Israel and the West Bank, and international travel via the airport in Amman. Not much of a prison.
The Israeli “blockade” of Gaza allows in medicine, food, and all other humanitarian aid. Most goods are waved through as well. The only items prevented from entering are “dual-use” goods, that have both a civilian and a military use. Only items that could be used to manufacture weapons, to build rocket launching sites, to dig and construct tunnels, to reinforce weapons warehouses and fighters’ hideouts, are kept out. Such items would include steel rods, pipes, basic construction materials, cranes, heavy equipment, x-ray machines and smoke detectors, some kinds of medical equipment, and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) components.
The picture painted by the authors of the Irish Times article is of a diabolically cruel Israel sealing up 2.2 million Gazans in an open-air prison, surrounded by an electrified fence, supposedly treating the Palestinians just the way the Nazis treated the Jews, is a travesty of the truth. But that won’t stop it being repeated, endlessly, by the worldwide army of Israel-haters. All we can do is to sweep back the tide, exposing the nonsense, patiently answering, yet again, the farrago of falsehoods, so as to slow down, or ideally even put a halt to, the running of these Irish bulls.