Palestinianism

HITLER’S WAR AGAINST JEWS CONTINUES IN ‘PALESTINE’

The Palestinian Arabs never miss an opportunity to refer to the Israelis as Nazis. This anti-Semitic trope has gone around the world, with Israeli flags regularly mutilated with swastikas and Jews dubbed Zio-Nazis. But the Palestinian Arabs’ greatest triumph is their success in concealing their role in the Holocaust. Indeed, it was the Palestinian Arab leadership in the 1930s and 1940s that colluded and collaborated with Hitler. And it wasn’t just their leaders who admired the Nazis. The Arab people and the Arab media were enthusiastic supporters of Hitler and his virulent brand of anti-Semitism.

In 1938, French magazine Marianne published an article revealing the Palestinian Arabs’ incredible enthusiasm for Hitler. The magazine reported that in the town of Nablus, the Arab population “received British troops with shouts of ‘Heil Hitler’.” Marianne also revealed to the French public that a number of Arab journals were regularly publishing racist editorials but also large portraits of Third Reich leaders. According to the magazine, the Arab newspapers “do not even try to conceal the fact that they have become pupils of the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin.”

This wasn’t the first display of Palestinian affection for the Fuhrer. When Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935, a number of Palestinian Arabs sent telegrams congratulating him. Two years later, on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, photographs of Hitler and Mussolini, as well as Nazi flags, were carried by Arab demonstrators in Palestine.

The man who did most to bring Nazism to British Palestine and the Middle East was Haj Muhammad Amin el-Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem and spiritual leader of the Palestinians. Nicknamed the Arab fuehrer, Husseini collaborated with the Nazis to an astonishing extent during the 1930s and 1940s, and met Hitler on several occasions. His alliance was so successful that the Nazis declared their readiness to eradicate the Yishuv, the Jewish National Home in Palestine.

Husseini was behind the anti-Jewish riots in 1920-21 and the Hebron massacre a few years later. He believed it was a religious impossibility for Muslims to share the land with Jews. Even areas where Jews formed a majority were considered to be a defilement. In 1929, Husseini distributed pamphlets saying: “O Arabs, do not forget that the Jew is your worst enemy and has been the enemy of your forefathers.” He also announced that the Jews had “violated the honour of Islam.” This led to a pogrom in Jerusalem and a massacre in Hebron, where 60 Jews were killed and the town ethnically cleansed. The British attributed the attacks to “racial animosity on the part of the Arabs.”

This wasn’t the first time the British had encountered Muslim animosity towards the Jews. Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled over Palestine for centuries but had lost the First World War, international law recognised that the Jews in Palestine were there “by right.” The British took control of Palestine in 1917 and some years later established the first Palestinian state of Transjordan. The Jews living in this part of Palestine were told to leave. It soon became clear that any Jewish presence in any part of Palestine was not favoured by the Muslims. Aref Pasha Dajani, the mayor of Jerusalem, declared that it was “impossible” to live alongside the Jews because they “suck the blood of everybody.”

It was as early as 1933 that Husseini was in contact with the new regime in Germany. Within weeks of Hitler’s rise to power, the German consul-general in Palestine sent a telegram to Berlin reporting Husseini’s enthusiasm for Nazism and for the spread of fascism in the Middle East. When Husseini and several Arab sheiks met with the consul-general a few weeks later, he expressed his approval of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany.

Very soon, the Husseini family had set up the Palestinian Arab Party, which was nicknamed the “Nazi Scouts.” Husseini’s brother, Jamal, was chairman of the Palestine Arab Party and a delegate to his brother’s Arab Higher Committee. It was this committee that led a led a campaign of boycotts and terror against Jews, and the bombings of British offices between 1936 and 1939.

In 1937, Husseini visited the Jerusalem German Consul, where he met with Eichmann to discuss “the Jewish question.” This meeting resulted in the Nazis agreeing to finance Husseini’s pogroms against the Jews in Palestine. Hitler publicly expressed his support for the Palestinian Arabs. This support was motivated by anti-Semitism and a suspicion of Britain’s colonial rule in the Middle East. In a speech made before the Reichstag in 1939, Hitler opined that Palestine is “occupied not by German troops but by the English,” and he accused British troops of oppressing the Arabs for “the benefit of Jewish interlopers.”

Not surprisingly, Husseini was keen to capitalise on the Fuehrer’s sympathy. Under the Mufti’s influence, the Nazi regime gave the go-ahead for the conversion to Islam of 25,000 Nazis in 1939. The newly-formed Jamait-e-Muslimin (“Muslim group”) were sent to Cairo to assist Nazi operations in Egypt, Palestine, Sudan and Transjordan. In the spirit of cultural exchange, a number of young Arabs were given training in Germany and Italy.

Husseini used his influence to promote Arab nationalism in Iraq. Pro-Nazi Muslims, at the behest of Husseini, slaughtered dozens of Jews in Baghdad in 1941. The Farhud or “violent dispossession” was led by the Hitler youth-modeled Iraqi-Arab Futuwwa paramilitary group under the pro-Nazi Iraqi minister of education, Saib Shawkat. The massacre was the beginning of the end of the Jewish community in Iraq, a community that had existed for 2,600 years.

The Mufti travelled to Berlin in November 1941 to meet Hitler and his foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Hitler, apparently impressed by Husseini’s blond hair and blue eyes, believed that “in more than one case the Mufti’s ancestors must have been Aryan.” In his meeting with the Fuehrer, the Mufti stressed that “the Arab peoples are Germany’s natural friends fighting common enemies.” Husseini pressed for a solution regarding the elimination of Jews in Palestine. Hitler, in response, stated “that Germany is committed to the uncompromising struggle against the Jews.”

During the war Al-Husseini spent most of his time in Berlin. The Nazis paid him huge amounts of money, some of which was used to fund the Arab war against the Jews in 1948. He also petitioned the Nazis leadership on several occasions to prevent thousands of Jewish children leaving for Palestine.

In 1941 Husseini began recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Nazi cause. In a visit to Bosnia, he convinced Muslim leaders that a Muslim S.S. division would be advantageous to Islam. The Bosnian Muslims were organised into several divisions of the Waffen SS and other units. The largest was the 13th Hanzar division, which had more than 21,000 members. Declaring himself the “protector of Islam,” Husseini and his recruits were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Serbian Christians and Jews.

In a speech to his Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS Division in 1944, Husseini declared that his Bosnian division was an “example for Muslims in all countries”. He continued:

“Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course […] Further, National Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry […] There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism, namely in the affirmation of struggle and fellowship, in stressing leadership, in the ideas of order, in the high valuation of work. All this brings our ideologies close together and facilitates cooperation.”

Muslim soldiers not only helped the Nazis deport Jews in east Europe, they were also involved in the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943. On another occasion, Husseini dispatched his soldiers to Palestine in order to fight the Jews.

The Palestinian Arabs were willing recipients of Nazi funding and propaganda. On July 7th, 1942, the Voice of Free Arabism aired a program titled, “Kill the Jews Before They Kill You.” Husseini was allowed to broadcast from Berlin. One on occasion in 1944 he urged Arabs to “kill Jews wherever you find them for the love of God, history and religion.”

Operation Atlas was eerily prescient of contemporary fears of terrorists obtaining biological weapons. In 1944, at the behest of Husseini, Hitler ordered a five-man team to dump a lethal toxin in the water supply of Tel Aviv. Luckily, the unit, which comprised three Germans and two Arabs, was caught by police in Jericho before they had chance to execute their plan. It is estimated that a quarter of million people would have died if the plot had succeeded.

As well as petitioning the Nazis to halt the emigration of Jewish children to Palestine, Husseini was also complicit in the mass killings of Jews in Europe. According to Klaus Gensicke, who has studied the relationship between the Mufti and the Nazis, Husseini must have known the full extent of the Holocaust. He cites a radio broadcast made on September 20th, 1944. In this broadcast, Husseini urged the Arabs to give up 11 million Jews. The total number of Jews at the beginning of the war was 17 million. Therefore, Husseini must have known that 6 million Jews had already perished at the hands of the Nazis. Gensicke also points out that Husseini used very similar language when referring to the mass murder of Jews. While the Nazis spoke of a “Final Solution,” Husseini referred to a “Definitive Solution.”

Indeed, Husseini made several visits to the camps. He is known to have visited Auschwitz at least once, as well as Sachsenhausen and Majdanek. Husseini was apparently impressed by what he saw and gloated over the deaths of the Jews. He deliberated the possibility of building a concentration camp in the Palestinian town of Nablus.

It could be argued that it was Husseini’s fanatical hatred of Jews that encouraged the Nazis to press on with their plan to make Europe Judenrein (“Jew free”). According to testimony given at Nuremberg by Dieter Wisliceny, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy, the Mufti “was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan […] He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.”

There is no doubt that had the war gone Hitler’s way, Husseini would have been able to execute his ‘Definitive Solution’ in Palestine, probably starting with a concentration camp in Nablus. The fact that his first task in Europe was to press Mussolini, and then Hitler, for their support in his vision of a Jew-free Palestine strongly suggests that the Holocaust would not have ended in Europe in 1945 but would have continued for several more years across the Middle East and North Africa. It goes without saying that a world run by Hitler and Husseini would not be a world in which the State of Israel exists. (Following the Second World War, Egypt’s King Farouk I attempted to build an anti-Israel army comprising German spies, SS generals and Nazi propagandists. Meanwhile, Syria hired around fifty Nazis between 1948-9, including many former SS soldiers and Holocaust functionaries.)

In his memoirs, Husseini wrote: “Our fundamental position for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a befitting our national and racial aspirations, and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: ‘The Jews are yours’.”

Husseini’s legacy is considerable. Having escaped to Egypt, Husseini used his influence to persuade the Arabs to reject the UN’s partition plan, the source of today’s Israeli-Palestinian crisis. He also encouraged the participation of Egypt in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Hassan Al-Banna, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (which went on to form Hamas in 1987), hoped that Husseini would continue Hitler’s war on the Jews. He wasn’t disappointed. The Arab League, co-founded by Husseini, was involved in all major wars against Israel, as well as the two Intifadas.

Husseini also had disciples who would continue his work. Husseini’s nephew, Yasser Arafat, began working for the Mufti when he was 16. Arafat was involved in the Mufti’s covert terrorist network and assisted in the smuggling of weapons to attack Jewish settlers in Palestine. Arafat, who went on to become the chairman of the PLO and president of the Palestinian Authority, considered Husseini to be a hero of the Palestinians.

Another of Husseini’s disciples was Albert Huber, a Swiss-German journalist who converted to Islam in 1962 and became increasingly sympathetic to both Arab nationalism and Nazism. Like Husseini, Huber believed Nazism and Islam shared the same ideologies and he spent much of his life advancing the Nazi-Islam axis. Huber not only admired Osama bin Laden, he also met with bin Laden sympathizers in Lebanon before 9/11. Two months after the attack on New York, Huber was accused by the US government of funding Al Qaeda.

Husseini was the Middle East’s answer to Hitler. He had the support of fellow Muslim leaders and the backing of the Palestinians, who were very amenable to Nazism. Palestinian scholar Edward Said, who is no friend of Israel, has conceded that Husseini “represented the Palestinian Arab national consensus.” He had “the backing of political parties that functioned in Palestine,” and was “recognised in some form by Arab governments as the voice of the Palestinian people.”

There is no doubt that Husseini’s pathological hatred for Jews and Zionism, as well as his admiration for Nazism, left a deep impression on his followers. His influence can be detected in the rejectionist policies of the PLO and Hamas, the violent uprisings of 1987 and 2000, and the anti-Semitic hate speech of radical clerics that permeates the airwaves in the Palestinian territories.

For decades, the Palestinian Arabs have been in a state of war with the Israeli people. The widespread desire to see Israel wiped off the face of the map is a continuation of Hitler’s vision of a world without Jews. The Palestinians’ unwillingness to admit their Nazi past is perhaps not surprising as it would destroy their credibility as victims, a status they have been honing for several decades. (Bizarrely, the Nazis also claimed they were the victims of the Jews.) Due to the malevolent influence of Husseini and other Nazi sympathisers in the Middle East, the spirit of Hitler lives on.

Palestinian nationalism is not only historically intertwined with the Nazis, it is Nazism’s immediate successor.

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EVALUATING PALESTINIANISM

TableSeveral days ago, members of the European Parliament backed a compromise motion on Palestine by 498 votes to 88. After a deal among the main parties in the parliament, the motion stated: “The European parliament supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

So what is the ideology behind a Palestinian state? Is Palestinianism a genuine liberation movement or is it an Arab strategy designed to undermine the legitimacy and security of the Jewish state?

By JMA editor Richard Mather 

Palestinianism is a global anti-Semitic ideology comprising the combined efforts of the Arab and Muslim world, the Left, the Far Right, the media, the UN and various non-governmental organisations. Its goal is the advancement of the dishonest Palestinian narrative and the destabilisation of the world’s only Jewish state, which also happens to be the only democratic nation in the Middle East. Palestinianists use the weapons of delegitimisation, defamation, disinformation, anti-Semitic propaganda, faked news footage, sanctions and boycotts to achieve their aims.

Palestinianists deny or falsify the Jewish people’s historical, legal (and biblical) ties to the land of Israel. Palestinianism is non-teleological, disparate, and ahistorical. It has no specific origin or aim other than the vilification of the Jewish people and the undermining of the State of Israel. It is not interested in the creation of democratic institutions or peaceful co-existence with Jews. Palestinianism encapsulates and advances violence, rupture, ahistoricity, instability and relativism, all of which are in conflict with liberal (and Hebraic) notions of time, history, truth, democracy and development.

Palestinianism is a political pastiche of Zionism. The Palestinian Arabs did not seek to establish a homeland until after the formation of the State of Israel, and even then they were more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than actually focusing on how to build their own democratic institutions. Once it was clear that the Arab states could not defeat Israel in the wars of 1947-9 and 1967, the Arabs had no choice but to invent a Palestinian nationalism, which involved the appropriation of Israeli land, especially Jerusalem and the Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria. The invention of Palestinianism – which is symbolised by the invention of the Nakba and the ambition to divide Jerusalem – is a political tool designed to undermine Israel’s existence and security.

Before the creation of Israel, the word “Palestinian” usually denoted the Jewish occupants of the Land of Israel. (That is why The Jerusalem Post used to be called The Palestine Post.) In a 1939 essay, George Orwell referred to the “Arabs” on the one hand and “Palestine Jews” on the other. All of which helps explain why Arab leaders like Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi told the Peel Commission in 1937: “There is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented.”

In a sense, he was right. Never in history has there been a country called Palestine. As Arab historian Philip Hitti told the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946, “there is no such thing as Palestine in history.” In the years and decades preceding the establishment of the State of Israel, Arab riots and pogroms against British rule were not directed towards the creation of a Palestinian state. And the Arab massacres of Jews in the 1920s and 1930s were inspired by anti-Semitism, not by a desire for an independent Palestinian state.

In 1947, Arab leaders protesting the UN partition plan argued that Palestine was part of Syria. Indeed, before the 1960s, many Arab yearned for a “Greater Syria.” There was no Palestinian nation at the time of Israel’s independence and there was no demand for Palestinian statehood when Egypt controlled Gaza and Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria (“the West Bank”) from 1948 to 1967.

The words “Palestinian” and “Palestine” were only appropriated by a number of Arabs when it became clear that the Jewish state was a fact. Since the 1960s, the word “Palestinian” has been invested with a political significance designed to undermine Israel’s legitimacy.

Yasser Arafat, the icon of the Palestinianist movement, admitted that “the Palestinian people have no national identity.” And he went on to boast that he, as a “man of destiny,” will provide that identity “through conflict with Israel.”

And in an interview with a Dutch newspaper in 1977, PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein stated: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.”

One of the enduring myths of the Arab-Israeli crisis is that the Palestinians are an indigenous people. Palestinians are not an ethnic sub-group. There is no such thing as an ethnic Palestinian. Arabs in Israel and the West Bank are ethnically identical to Arabs living in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt. The population in Gaza is largely Bedouin Arab in origin.

Furthermore, many of the Palestinian Arabs living in Israel in 1948 were themselves immigrants who came to the land in the wake of successful Zionist enterprises. The Zionists offered a better standard of living and higher wages than neighbouring Arab employers. Before the earliest Zionist settlers arrived at the end of the 19th century, the land was sparsely populated and desolate.

Palestinianism, then, is a recent invention. The sudden desire for a Palestinian state was, and still is, a tool to destabilise the State of Israel. But the problem for the Arabs is that there is neither an authentic Palestinian culture nor a genuine Palestinian history to build on. This may explain why the Palestinians are incapable of establishing a state, even after the Oslo Accords. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have failed to establish functioning democratic institutions precisely because they are not interested in doing so. Hamas in particular has done nothing to advance the security and prosperity of Gaza, preferring instead to build terror tunnels.

Whereas Zionism is rooted in thousands of years of culture, religious tradition and history, Palestinianism is groundless and bereft of originality. If Palestine is a state-in-waiting, then it is a state of mind, a figment of the Arab imagination.

PALESTINIANISM IN A ‘HYPER-REAL’ UNIVERSE

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According to French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, contemporary society is alienated from “the real” due to an “ecstasy” of information. Media consumers, he points out, live in a “hyper-real” universe where reality is simulated. Indeed, many people (in the West and in the Muslim world) are alienated from the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict due to an overload of disinformation, pseudo-historical posturing and faked news footage emanating from the Palestinianists. Truth and historical facts are relegated and replaced by a fabricated “reality” that is mediated by television, newspapers, films and the internet.

The derealisation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is fought by Palestinianists with the weapons of delegitimisation, defamation, disinformation, anti-Semitic propaganda, pseudo-history, faked news footage and boycotts. This Kulturkampf (“culture war”) is advanced in several arenas, notably the media, on campuses, among trade unions and especially the internet. Indeed, Israel’s critics and enemies are very adept at using the internet as a tool for spreading propaganda and conspiracy theories. The internet is a kind of electronic intifada in which falsehoods are routinely and easily produced.

The fact that Palestinianism has found such a willing audience around the world strongly suggests the idea of the “real” or objective reality has been well and truly shattered. As far as the global media is concerned, faked events and pseudo-facts are no less real than reality itself. Indeed, they may be more real because they serve a “higher cause”, which is the demonisation of Israel. The best example of the “death of the real” is the phenomenon known as Pallywood.

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Pallywood, a portmanteau of Palestinian and Hollywood, is a coinage used by some media watchdogs to describe doctored and fake media footage produced by the Palestinians to illustrate their false but lethal narratives about Israel. Calev Ben-David, writing in The Jerusalem Post, describes Pallywood as “media manipulation, distortion and outright fraud by the Palestinians and (and other Arabs, such as the Reuters photographer caught faking photos during the Second Lebanon War), designed to win the public relations war against Israel.”

Canadian columnist Paul Schneidereit writes: “We’ve seen cases where the bodies of Palestinian martyrs carried on stretchers are inadvertently dropped, then, of their own volition, climb back on again. We’ve seen reports of massacres, as in Jenin in 2002, that turned out, after independent investigation, to have been greatly exaggerated. Needless to say, such episodes don’t instil an abiding trust in subsequent Palestinian claims, at least until they’re verified.”

The methods used by the Palestinian disinformation industry include:

  1. Using visual media to construct fake stories of Israeli atrocities. This involves editing media footage and staging events. For example, directing Palestinian civilians, ambulance drivers, doctors and police to “act out” roles such as the “injured man”, the “dead child”, the “concerned medic”, the “brave freedom fighter.” Palestinian journalists and cameraman are complicit in this theatre of propaganda.
  2. Luring Israeli soldiers into schools, shelters and hospitals and using civilians as human shields in order to increase the casualty rate. For example, in 2009 Hamas militants fired mortar shells from a school in Gaza. The IDF returned fire, resulting in 40 civilian fatalities.
  3. Ignoring or downplaying attacks on Israeli civilians, and omitting to mention the oppression and murder of fellow Palestinians by Hamas and Fatah.
  4. Repeating the claim that Israel ethnically cleansed Palestine in 1947-48, despite the fact that Palestinian leaders deliberately spread false rumours of rape and massacres in order to provoke Arab armies to fight on their behalf.
  5. Repeating the claim that Israel is a colonialist occupier of a country called Palestine, despite the fact that there has never been a Palestinian nation and that Jews have lived in the Holy Land for the past three thousand years.
  6. Claiming that Jerusalem is the capital of a country called Palestine despite the fact that Jerusalem has never been the capital of an Arab or Muslim entity.
  7. Depicting the Israelis as Nazis and claiming the Jews faked or exaggerated the Holocaust.
  8. Masking the prosperity of the Gaza Strip by focusing on isolated examples of hardship.
  9. Disseminating faked reports of massacres, deaths of children, atrocities and privations to the Western media. e.g. claiming the Israelis had carried out a massacre in Jenin in 2002.
  10. Appealing to the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Western media and NGOs for help and/or aid, despite the fact that Israel provides aid and/or allows passage for humanitarian assistance.

Untruth, it seems, is the currency of Palestinianism, but sadly it is a currency that buys a lot of media coverage. Israel, perhaps because of its higher ethical standards and commitment to authentic narratives, has not resorted to the tactics of disinformation and faked news footage. But as a result, Israel is facing a severe crisis of representation because traditional modes of understanding – the relation between fact and reportage – are no longer be considered useful or even valid.

The Palestinianisation of Britain

imagesThe Palestinian issue has enabled Britain to reconnect with its medieval Jew-hating past.

Anti-Semitism in modern Britain hit an all-time high in July. Figures published by the Community Security Trust showed there were 302 anti-Semitic incidents reported in July 2014, a 400 per cent rise from the 59 reported in July 2013. A further 150 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in August 2014, the third-highest monthly total on record. Most of the offenders were of Asian and/or Middle Eastern appearance, raising fears that support for Palestinian nationalism is driving this new wave of anti-Semitism.

Of course, hatred of Jews in Britain is nothing new. In 1144 there was the first report in history of the blood libel. Anthony Julius, writing in his book Trials of the Diaspora, finds that the English were infinitely imaginative in inventing anti-Semitic allegations. He says that England became the “principal promoter, and indeed in some sense the inventor of literary anti-Semitism.”

In 1278, Jews in England were seized and imprisoned in various castles throughout England. While they were imprisoned, their houses were ransacked. Some 680 were detained in the Tower of London. More than 300 were executed in 1279 and eleven years later, King Edward I expelled the Jews from England.

Modern anti-Semitism is the product of Yasser Arafat’s 1960s invention of Palestinian nationalism. Arafat’s legacy has been to encourage generations of people to incite violence against the Jewish people and to inculcate delegitimisation, defamation and discrimination.

One of the most curious aspects of Arafat’s nationalism is its hybrid ideology, which is part reactionary religious creed, part revolutionary rhetoric. Either way, it is viciously anti-Semitic and continues to attract Britain’s disaffected youth – paradoxically, Muslims who believe in sharia law and anarchists who believe in no law at all.

This is the curious thing about Palestinianism. It is an ideology that adapts accordingly.  You don’t have to a Palestinian or even a Muslim to follow this ideology. You can be a liberal or a neo-Nazi; a Presbyterian or hardcore atheist; an intellectual or a college dropout. In fact, you can be anything you want to be, just as long as you hate Jews.

Palestinianism is very inclusive and fashionably heterodox in its hatred. Christian and Muslim Palestinianists both believe in a replacement theology in which their respective faiths supersede Judaism. Liberals dislike Israel because they perceive the Jewish state as exclusivist. And socialists abhor Israel because the Jewish state is a military power with close links to the US.

The rise in anti-Semitism in Britain has received little attention, partly because much of the abuse is carried out by Muslims who are sheltered by the liberal elite, who accuse critics of Islamophobia or racism. Muslims who attack Jews claim it is retribution on behalf of their “brothers” in Gaza and the “West Bank.” And the liberal elite agrees.

Buildings and bus shelters in Britain’s university districts are plastered with pro-Gaza posters. Palestinian flags hang from the windows of student houses. Anti-Israel events are advertised around campuses. Students are permitted to invite anti-Semitic speakers, such as Hezbollah representative Ibrahim Mousawi and Abu Usamah, a radical Muslim cleric who admires Osama bin Laden.

Campus life is a microcosm of Britain and Jewish students in the UK have long spoken of an atmosphere of intimidation. Sadly, the political will to protect Jewish students from the effects of Palestinian nationalism does not exist. Instead of protecting their Jewish students, academics and student unions are too busy pursuing the Palestinian agenda by promoting boycotts and divestments.

The former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has spoken of the intimidation of Jewish students in Britain as “part of a long, slow, insidious process intended to undermine academic freedom and it must not be tolerated.” Regrettably, it will be tolerated as long as academics and opinion-formers in the media spread the lie that Israeli Jews are imperialist bullies with no historical connection to the land of Israel or Jerusalem.

In the British media, Israel is disproportionately blamed for all the ills of the Middle East. It is amazing how many column inches are devoted to Israel/Palestine. Far too often, media outlets provide a platform for radical Muslims who espouse hatred of Israel and Jews. And on so many occasions, the BBC broadcasts anti-Israel stories that are based on manipulated images, staged events and unsubstantiated rumours.

What is particularly sickening is the way British politicians continue to criticise Israel and romanticise the Palestinians. For example, Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, has deliberately distanced himself from the Jewish community by condemning Israel’s right to defend itself, thereby strengthening his appeal to Muslim voters.

Much worse was the recent House of Commons motion to recognise Palestine as a sovereign entity. Listening to the debate, you would be forgiven for thinking that the creation of a Palestinian state will inaugurate a period of world peace and utopian brotherhood. It would be comical if it wasn’t so dangerous.

In contemporary British discourse, the Palestinian issue is totemic. The fixation with Gaza, east Jerusalem and the “West Bank” has propagated the outrageous but popular belief that Israel is the world’s worst human rights abuser since the Nazis. But casting Israel in this role is no different from accusing Jews of killing Christian children for their blood or blaming Jews for Germany’s military defeat in 1918. The level of abuse levelled at Israel today is just another manifestation of an age-old disease.

If we want a healthy body politic, politicians and the media must resist the urge to automatically side with the Palestinians. Rather than focusing their energies on Israel’s perceived misdemeanours, people in influential positions must think twice about presuming Israel’s guilt. Moreover,  it is incumbent on the media to start highlighting the corruption in the PA-controlled West Bank and the incitement against Jews in Palestinian schools, to name just two issues.

In other words, the one-sided criticism of Israel and the culture of incitement need to be addressed before some crazed pro-Palestinian activist goes into a synagogue and kills a rabbi or blows up a Jewish business. We’ve seen such things happen in Europe and Israel. It can happen in Britain too. For the sake of peace, anti-Zionist incitement must stop.

ISLAM AND THE THEFT OF JEWISH HISTORY

There is nothing legitimate about Islam’s claim to be the original faith. Similarly, there is nothing legitimate about the Palestinian aspiration for nationhood. The desire to eradicate Israel can be explained by Islam’s anxiety of influence.

titleBy JMA editor Richard Mather 
The Islamic desire to eradicate the Jewish people can perhaps be explained by the following proposition: Muslims subconsciously recognise that Islam is an inferior imitation of Judaism.

On one level, examples of imitation abound. Islamic dietary laws mimic Kashrut. Muslims circumcise their children, just like Jews do. The Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the place where God chose to rest the Divine Presence, is now home to the Dome of the Rock, a caricature of the Jewish temple.

Muslims claim the Quran is the word of God recited by an angel to Mohammed, despite the fact that it is quite clearly a mishmash of stories from the Hebrew Bible, the Christian New Testament and quasi-gnostic stories circulating in Arabia in the seventh century. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Aaron and David were all appropriated by the first Muslims and transformed into Islamic prophets. This was done for three reasons: to rewrite the past, to delegitimise Judaism and to justify Arab imperialist ambitions of reshaping the world under the banner of Allah. So it is hardly surprising that Muslims today seek to delegitimise the State of Israel by claiming the land is part of the Islamic caliphate.

More significant is the Islamic inversion of Judaism’s moral system. In Judaism, unethical or immoral behaviour is seen as a desecration of the Divine Name. In Islam, the art of deception is promoted in the Quran and Islamic literature. Taqiyya (saying something that isn’t true) and kitman (lying by omission) are acceptable methods of undermining the morale and security of non-Muslims. Mohammad himself would trick his enemies by pretending to seek peace. Once his opponents had let their guard down, he would attack them. After all, said the prophet, “war is deceit.”

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Appropriation, delegitimisation, falsification, deceit and war are the five pillars of Islam. They are also the five pillars of the Palestinian movement, a blatantly anti-Semitic ideology scripted in the 1960s and acted out by Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

The Palestinian desire to appropriate land “from the river to the sea” is simply the latest manifestation of the ongoing attempt to eradicate Judaism by destroying the cultural and historical centre of Jewish identity, which is Israel.

The Palestinian Arabs did not seek to establish a homeland until after the formation of the State of Israel – another example of cheap imitation. Palestinian nationalism only came into being because the Jews got there first. What else is Palestinianism but a parody of Zionism?

Likewise with Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran and it is unlikely that Muhammad ever visited the city. It was only in the 1960s, nearly twenty years after the creation of Israel, that Jerusalem became the symbolic capital of Palestinianism.

In other words, Palestinian nationalism and the appropriation of Jerusalem as the capital, is the fulfilment of the seventh century Arab colonialist project, which is to dominate and/or destroy the Jews. So instead of blaming Israel for the current crisis in Jerusalem, the Western world needs to see that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are only interested in one thing – a Jew-free Greater Palestine ruled by Islamic fundamentalists.

EXPOSING CHRISTIAN PALESTINIANISM

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“We have been taught for centuries that the Jews are the Chosen People. We do not believe anymore that they are the Chosen People of God, since now we have a new understanding of that Choseness.” (Father Elias Chacour, Catholic Archbishop of Israel)

What is Christian Palestinianism?

Christian Palestinianism is a phrase coined by Paul Wilkinson, an evangelical author based in Manchester, England. Wilkinson defines Christian Palestinianism as “an inverted mirror image of Christian Zionism,” and describes it as “diametrically opposed to that of biblical Christian Zionism, and whose opposition to Israel and her Christian allies is expressed in their outspoken support of the Palestinian agenda.”

The term Palestinianism, however, seems to have originated in the writings of Jewish Egyptian author Bat Ye’or. In Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis, she outlines the growing phenomenon of Palestinian replacement theology and the gradual Islamisation of Christianity. Christian Palestinianists, according to Ye’or interpret the Bible from the viewpoint of the Quran and “do not admit to any historical or theological link between the biblical Israel, the Jewish people and the modern State of Israel.”

Christian Palestinianists and their supporters in the West recognize the political benefit of undermining the State of Israel’s biblical foundations. This is achieved by stripping the Bible of its Jewishness, neutralizing the prophetic significance of the Land of Israel and recasting Jesus as a Palestinian. This is despite the fact that Jesus was a Galilean Jew and the “Palestine” didn’t exist as a political or national entity during his lifetime.

Wilkinson places the birth of Christian Palestinianism at the end of the 1980s. However, the groundwork had already been laid in 1967 by an Arab-Christian memorandum entitled “What is Required of the Christian Faith Concerning the Palestine Problem.” The document, which had the blessing of Catholic and Orthodox clergy, declared that it is “a total misunderstanding of the story of salvation and a perversion of God’s plan for a Christian to want to re-establish a Jewish nation as a political entity.”

In one of its most audacious passages, the memorandum reads: “The Christian conscience should always discern what is the authentic vocation of the Jewish people and what is the other side of the coin, that is, the racist State of Israel.” In fact, the memorandum calls for a permanent exile of the Jews on the grounds that “the Jewish race was chosen to serve the salvation of Humanity and not to establish itself in any particular religious or racial way.”

The theological underpinning of Christian Palestinianism is a rebranded version of replacement theology. Fulfilment theology is based on the premise that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus was a spiritual fulfilment of God’s promise to return the Jews to Israel. Therefore the Jews – and by extension the Land of Israel – have no prophetic meaning and have fulfilled their roles in salvation history. The theologian N.T. Wright, for example, argues that Israel’s restoration was achieved through the resurrection and that Jewish ethnic identity is no longer important on a religious level. The Land of Israel, Jerusalem and Temple are all obsolete, according to Wright, because Jesus embodies all three.

Although keen to neutralise the prophetic significance of the Bible for Jews, Christian Palestinianists have no problem with appropriating the tradition for themselves. In 2005, the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, Riah Abu el-Assal, claimed of Palestinian Christians: “We are the true Israel […] no-one can deny me the right to inherit the promises, and after all the promises were first given to Abraham and Abraham is never spoken of in the Bible as a Jew.”

In 1997, the Palestinian Authority aired a program that claimed the stories in the Torah took place in Yemen, not in Israel. The PA also says there is no evidence that the Western Wall has anything to do with Second Temple.

Christian Palestinianists question or even condemn passages in the Bible that elevate Israel above other nations. In fact, the prime mover of the Christian Palestinianist movement, Naim Ateek, who is the Anglican canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem , has stated that some Bible passages are explicitly “exclusivist.” There is a “great need to ‘de-Zionize’ these texts,” he believes.

In 1989, Ateek published the founding document of Christian Palestinianism, Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, which drew much of its strength from South American liberation theology. Five years later, Ateek founded an organization called Sabeel – the Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. Sabeel means “the way,” which is a clear reference to both Jesus as “the way,” and the early name of the Christians, who were called “followers of the way.”

The version of liberation theology espoused by Ateek is that of Jesus as “a Palestinian living under an occupation.” In his 2001 Easter message, Ateek spoke of Jesus as “the powerless Palestinian humiliated at a checkpoint.” Apart from the fact that Jesus wasn’t a Palestinian, this is harmless enough. But Ateek then steps up the rhetoric, with disturbing anti-Semitic undertones:

“In this season of Lent, it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him. It only takes people of insight to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.”

This is shocking and inflammatory on a number of levels. The Palestinians are indeed restricted in their movements because of the terror threat, but being held up at a checkpoint is hardly a crucifixion. The reference to “hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land” is obviously figurative but the image is overblown and patently absurd. If any place on earth should be dubbed Golgotha, surely it should be Auschwitz or Treblinka, not the West Bank. The reference to the “Israeli government crucifixion system” is outrageous and quite anti-Semitic, given the old canard about Jews being responsible for the death of Jesus.

The Kairos Palestine Document

Perhaps the Christian Palestinianist movement found its ultimate expression in the Kairos Palestine Document. Published in 2009 and subtitled “A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering,” the paper was a rehash of the 1967 Arab-Christian memorandum.

Notably, the Kairos document (which can be found on the World Council of Churches website) speaks on behalf of Christian and Muslim Palestinians, who apparently share a “deeply rooted” history and a “natural right” to the land. In contrast, Israel is an alien entity, and only exists because of Western guilt over the Holocaust. Not surprisingly, the document makes no mention of Muslim involvement in the Holocaust, nor does it comment on the decades of Jewish immigration in the decades before Hitler’s genocide.

The Holocaust aside, the State of Israel is associated with the words “evil” and “sin.” According to the text, the “occupation” is an affront to both humanity and the divine, and “distorts the image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier.”

The document criticizes Christian Zionism as being “far from Christian teachings” and praises the first intifada, referring to it as a “peaceful struggle.” Terrorism, while not sanctioned, is excused on the grounds that Israel is ultimately responsible for Palestinian acts of violence against Jewish civilians.

And if any proof is needed that conformity is in fashion, the document calls for economic sanctions against Israel: “Palestinian civil organizations, as well as international organizations, NGOs and certain religious institutions call on individuals, companies and states to engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation.”

This, according to the writers of the text, is an example of non-violent protest, despite the fact that there is nothing praiseworthy about ruining Jewish businesses and putting Palestinians out of work.

Christian Palestinianism in the West

Since the turn of the century, Christian Palestinianism has been warmly embraced by various Christian groups in the West, notably Anglicans, Presbyterians, evangelicals and left-wing protestants, such as the Quakers. Apart from attacking Israel, westernized Christian Palestinianists have gone to great lengths to ridicule and invalidate Christian Zionism.

In 2004, the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America declared Christian Zionism to be an “extreme form of dispensationalism,” a “distortion of the biblical message,” and an impediment to a “just peace in Israel/Palestine.” In 2007, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland accused Christian Zionism of portraying “an unjust God, with an unjust people.”

Many of the books attacking Christian Zionists accuse the latter of advocating “Armageddon” rather than justice. As well as removing the prophetic significance of the scriptures, books such as Anglican vicar Reverend Dr Stephen Sizer’s Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon?misrepresent and deride centuries of mainstream protestant tradition.

Sizer, a virulent opponent of Israel, believes there is a sharp distinction between God’s covenant with Israel and the beliefs of Jesus’s disciples. “There is,” he says, “no evidence that the apostles believed that the Jewish people still had a divine right to the land, or that Jewish possession of the land would be important, let alone that Jerusalem would remain a central aspect of God’s purposes for the world.” Sizer adds: Jerusalem and the Land of Israel “have been made irrelevant to God’s redemptive purposes.”

Sizer is a regular contributor to Islamic media outlets, including Iran’s Press TV. He has been photographed with Arafat, and with Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini, the daughter of the Ayatollah. He has met with – and publicly defended – Raed Salah, a Hamas fundraiser who accuses the Jews of making Passover bread with the blood of Christian children. (There are numerous photos of Sizer and Salah enjoying each other’s company.)

Sizer seems unembarrassed by the fact that his own remarks and writings stray into anti-Semitic territory. For instance, he once stated that the reason Jews “were expelled from the land was that they were more interested in money and power and treated the poor and aliens with contempt.” In 2011, he posted a link on his Facebook page to an anti-Semitic website called “The Ugly Truth,” and in the same year, he went to Malaysia to work with Viva Palestina, whose leading activists include Holocaust-denier Matthias Chang.

Another Anglican notable, Desmond Tutu, has likened Zionism to racism and repeatedly referred to Israel as an “apartheid” state. He is also a supporter of boycotts. Tutu, a friend of Yasser Arafat and Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh, accepted the role as patron of Sabeel International in 2003. This is the same Sabeel that is spearheading the Christian Palestinianist movement in the Middle East. It is perhaps no surprise that US attorney Alan Dershowitz has called Tutu a “racist and a bigot.”

The number of Christian organizations censuring the Jewish state is increasing. It is common for left-wing Christians to exonerate the Palestinians of any historical and contemporary accountability, thereby holding Israel solely responsible for ending the crisis. In 2009, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches released a statement condemning the so-called Israeli occupation and encouraging a boycott of goods made in settlements. Significantly, the World Council of Churches is also calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Christian Aid and the Quakers are calling on the UK government to implement a total ban of settlement goods. In North America, the United Church of Canada is heading towards an official boycott policy. And the Church of England, which has a large overseas membership, is considering whether it should adopt the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniers Programme in Palestine and Israel. The EAPPI is blatantly pro-Palestinian and holds the Jewish state solely responsible for resolving the situation in the West Bank.

A religion of resentment 

Christian Palestinianism is a religion of resentment. It is a projection of a sense of inferiority onto an external scapegoat. Thwarted by failure, Christian Palestinianists blame their problems on “the Jews.” The God of Israel is declared dead, only to be replaced by the anti-Semitic God of Palestine.

Of all the anti-Israel discourses that exist today, Christian Palestinianism is perhaps one of the most shocking. Shocking because it wants to de-Judaize the Bible and undermine Jewish identity. Shocking because it also revives the notion of Jews as killers of Christ. Moreover, the post-Holocaust reconciliation of Jews and Christians is lethally undermined. The work of Geza Vermes, and others like him, who have examined in close detail the Jewishness of Jesus, is being cast aside in favour of a quasi-gnostic Jesus.

On a theological level, Christian Palestinianism is entirely self-defeating. If God no longer honours his covenant with the Jews and the Land of Israel, then the whole foundation of Christianity collapses. A God who changes his mind about the Jews is no longer the God of Abraham, Moses or Jesus. Palestinianism is not only un-Biblical, it is un-Christian.

Pro-Palestinian Christians in the West need to take a long, hard look at themselves and ask whether it is ethical to be consorting with liars, terrorists and anti-Semites. They should also ask themselves if their actions are likely to lead to a fresh outburst of religiously-motivated anti-Semitism. The trouble is, history shows that many Christians need no excuse to persecute the Jews. There seems to be an in-built tendency to raise their fists against the descendants of Isaac and Jacob. This is bad news not only for the State of Israel and the Jewish diaspora, but also for Christianity itself, which will not survive another destructive wave of anti-Semitism.

As it says in Ezekiel 35, “Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax, therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.”

 

WHAT IS PALESTINIANISM?

YASSER-ARAFAT

Palestinianism is perhaps the most perilous system of thought to emerge since fascism and communism. But it is an ideology that has been nameless, as if designed to escape detection. But Palestinianism is real and it poses an enormous threat to Israel and the Jewish diaspora.

The Palestinianist ideology is particularly dangerous because it draws strength from a range of sources. You don’t have to be an Arab or a Muslim to be a Palestinianist. A large number of western socialists, liberals, conservatives and even neo-Nazis can be described as Palestinianists. Many Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, university academics, trade unions, NGOs and charities also deserve the epithet. All share an irrational hatred or distrust of Israel and/or Jews.

What is disturbing about Palestinianism is that it comprises many stripes of anti-Semitism. Christian and Muslim Palestinianists believe in replacement theology in which their respective faiths supersede or make obsolete the Jewish faith. Liberal Palestinianists dislike Israel because they perceive the Jewish state as exclusivist. Socialist Palestinianists abhor Israel because it is a military power with close links to the US.

All these beliefs are rooted in what is perhaps the biggest political fraud in history, that the Jews “stole” land that didn’t belong to them.  The absurd notion that the “Palestinians” are the indigenous people of a country called “Palestine” is a fabrication designed to undermine the moral and legal foundations  of the world’s only Jewish state. Unfortunately, the land libel, as I call it, is spreading like wildfire. In much  the same way as Jews were accused of killing the Son of God or using the blood of Christian children for ritual purposes, the Jews are now accused of stealing land and committing genocide. Hence the detested chant: “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea.”

It is ironic that the same people who spend their lives claiming Jews stole someone else’s land spend an equal amount of time trying to deny and falsify the Jewish people’s historical, legal and cultural ties to the land of Israel. Part of this approach involves the rewriting of history and appropriation of Jewish identity. Palestine usurps Judea, while Jerusalem is retitled al-Quds. Judea and Samaria – an ancient geographical term for the land west of River Jordan – is now the West Bank.

While Zionism is thousands of years old, Palestinianism is a recent invention. It was born out of the Arab defeat of the Six-Day War in 1967. The realization that the Jews would not be “driven into the sea” meant that the Arabs (and their left-wing sympathizers) had to find another way of destroying the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land. Yasser Arafat’s invention of the Palestinian people was the answer to the Arab dilemma. In other words, Palestinianism is the ideological response to the astounding success of Zionism.

If Zionism is an ancient concept, Palestinianism is a superficial construct built on a lie about stolen land. The fact that Palestinianism has no culture or history to build on may explain why Palestinians are unable to establish functioning institutions in Gaza and the West Bank. For how can a state be built on a lie? In reality, Palestinianism isn’t about building a Palestinian state. It is a propaganda tool designed to undermine Israel. As such, it is hysterical, irrational, disproportionate and explicitly anti-Semitic.

One can perhaps understand why Arabs and Muslims hate Israel. After all, Arab nationalism and Islamic imperialism gain much of their strength from anti-Semitic rhetoric in the Quran and Hadith literature. Several verses in the Quran describe the transformation of Jews into apes and pigs as punishment for breaking the Sabbath or “worshipping evil.” Before ordering that every adult male of a particular Jewish tribe be killed, Mohammed referred to the Jews as “brothers of monkeys.” So it is no surprise that today’s Islamists refer to Jews as the “descendants of apes and swine,” or why Hamas says that Jews are sub-human.

What is alarming is the fact that so many liberal-minded people in the West have bought into the Palestinianist myth. After all, Israel is a democracy, with equal rights for women, gays and ethnic minorities like Arabs and Druze, and is a world-leader in the innovation of medicine, irrigation and green technology. It is curious that liberals and socialists, who in other circumstances champion democracy and equal rights, are apologists for reactionary organization like Hamas and Hezbollah. The only explanation for this paradoxical behaviour is that such people are anti-Semitic.

The boycotting of Jewish shops in the UK and the Kristalnacht-type behaviour in continental Europe are manifestations of the Palestinianist ideology. And it is an ideology that must be named and defeated. Anti-Semitic boycotts and attacks on synagogues in the 1930s were clearly identified as acts of fascism or Nazism. Boycotts, sanctions and Jew-hatred in the 21st century must be seen for what they are – acts of Palestinianism.

And as we come face to face with those who hate us on the streets of Manchester, London and Paris, we must clearly identify such people as Palestinianists.

YASSER-ARAFAT