Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
“This is Islam, that was ahead of its time with regards to human rights in the treatment of prisoners, but our people was afflicted by the cancerous lump, that is the Jews, in the heart of the Arab nation…. Be certain that America is on its way to disappear, America is wallowing [in blood] today in Iraq and Afghanistan, America is defeated and Israel is defeated, and was defeated in Lebanon and Palestine…. Make us victorious over the infidel people…. Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies…. Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.”
– Dr. Ahmad Bahar, acting speaker, Palestinian Legislative Council, on Palestinian Authority TV, April 20 (translation courtesy Palestinian Media Watch).
Why did Bahar’s remarks go largely unreported in the Western media? Why does the U.S. continue to deal with, support, fund and urge concessions to the PA when its elected officials call for genocide of Jews and Americans? Why are foreign governments not protesting or demanding a retraction from PA president Mahmoud Abbas?
Where are the protests from intellectual and religious leaders around the world? Why are several countries, including the U.S., intending to give more funds to the PA?
It cannot be because Bahar’s comments are exceptional. To cite two other incidents in recent weeks:
On March 30, Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan ended his “prayers to Allah” in a sermon broadcast on the Palestinian Authority TV saying, “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the rock and the tree will say: ‘Oh, Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him!’ “He also asked “Jihad-fighting worshippers” in “Palestine and everywhere” and Allah to take away the oppressor Jews and Americans and their supporters!”
In an article published on April 23 in the Hamas newspaper Al-Risalah, its author Kan’an Ubayd stated: “… the extermination of Jews is good … to which Allah gave his blessing…”
How is it possible that such calls for genocide are not deemed newsworthy, significant or relevant to current policy? To better appreciate this question, imagine if the Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia Itzik, delivered a speech in which she called for the genocide of all Arabs and Muslims.
Imagine if an Israeli chief rabbi or some other senior rabbinical figure, speaking from a synagogue pulpit during a religious service broadcast on Israel State Television, cited Jewish religious texts calling for the murder of all Muslims as a religious duty.
Imagine if a major Israeli daily newspaper like Haaretz or Maariv published an article by an Israeli intellectual arguing that the utter extermination of all Muslims would be a blessing for humanity. Imagine these sorts of things happening, not once, but repeatedly.
Such things, of course, have never happened in Israel. But if they ever did, there would – quite rightly – be an international outcry. Newspapers around the world would carry detailed reports on their front pages; parliaments around the world would vote to condemn the words of a fellow parliamentary speaker and the parliament that tolerated her words; human rights organizations would organize petitions and rallies condemning Israel; international leaders would issue statements of condemnation and the United Nations would probably be called into special session to consider the implications and cast votes condemning Israel in the harshest terms.
In fact, Israel is regularly condemned in the harshest terms even though such things have never occurred there.
It is clear that when it comes to Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, a blatant double standard and bias is operating all the time. No matter what Palestinian Arabs say about and do to Israelis, they and especially their leadership are rarely held accountable or pay a price for fostering hatred and murder of Jews and others.
Conversely, Israel is regularly pressured, condemned and even the subject of boycotts, no matter the attacks and dangers to which it is subjected and no matter how many concessions it makes. International criticism has not eased even after Israel relinquished half of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza and handed over money, assets and arms to the PA.
About the Author: Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.
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