By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The PA-associated educational youth magazine Zayzafuna, whose Advisory Board include PA Deputy Minister of Education Jihad Zakarneh and the Head of the Media Department of the PA Ministry of Education, Abd Al-Hakim Abu Jamous, published a list of ten short wisdom sayings that it claimed were said by Hitler. The youth magazine gave no introduction or comment on the list other than the title “Among Hitler’s sayings.”
Some of the sayings attributed to Hitler included:
“If you were stabbed in the back, know that you are in front” “When the defeated smiles, he denies the winner the pleasure of victory” “Don’t challenge a man who has nothing to lose” “Don’t find fault in your wife’s taste for she chose you in the first place”
Palestinian Media Watch has not found the quotes attributed to Hitler. Several of them appear with slight variations on “words of wisdom” websites, and are either anonymous sayings or attributed to other people. For example, “Don’t argue with a fool because people won’t be able to tell you apart” has been attributed to Mark Twain; “We are all like the moon – we have a dark side” has been attributed to Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran.
The purpose of attributing these “sayings” to Hitler, it seems, is to present Hitler as a sharp-witted and wise person.
This is not the first time that the PA-associated youth magazine has presented Hitler in a positive light. In 2011, PMW exposed an essay in Zayzafuna that glorified Hitler and portrayed him as a role model. The essay expressed admiration for Hitler because he killed Jews – an act presented as benefiting all of humanity. In the essay, Hitler says to a Palestinian girl in her dream:
“I killed them [the Jews] so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world.”
In the days after PMW reported on the Hitler glorification, UNESCO cancelled its funding of Zayzafuna magazine: “UNESCO strongly deplores and condemns the reproduction of such inflammatory statements in a magazine associated with UNESCO’s name and mission and will not provide any further support to the publication in question.” [UNESCO, www.unesco.org , Dec. 23, 2011]
The US Ambassador to UNESCO likewise condemned the PA: “UNESCO must let the Palestinian Authority know that this double-speak, using a message of peace for the international community, and another message for domestic consumption that teaches hatred, is unacceptable.” [US Ambassador to UNESCO, David T. Killion, Dec. 22, 2011]
However, PA educators ignored the international outrage caused by the magazine’s glorification of Hitler. Not only has Hitler been glorified again, but the essay honoring Hitler for killing Jews that PMW exposed in 2011 still remains on the Zayzafuna website.
The following is the complete text of the item from the August 2013 edition of Zayzafuna attributing sayings to Hitler:
Headline: “Among Hitler’s sayings”
“Don’t argue with a fool because people won’t be able to tell you apart.”
“When the defeated smiles, he denies the winner the pleasure of victory.”
“Don’t challenge a man who has nothing to lose.”
“A man remains a boy until his mother dies. When she dies he suddenly grows old.”
“If you were stabbed in the back, know that you are in front.”
“Be a friend, but don’t aspire to have a friend.”
“When you love your enemy, he feels his small worth.”
“We are all like the moon – we have a dark side.”
“Don’t find fault in your wife’s taste for she chose you in the first place.”
“We love the past because it has gone. If it should return – (sentence cut off in original).” [Zayzafuna, August 2013]
More info about the Zayzafuna Association:
Zayzafuna’s website states that the magazine’s advisory board is comprised of Palestinian Authority officials and educators: Dr. Walid Shurafa, lecturer in comparative literature at the Faculty of Journalism and Media, Bir Zeit University Dr. Mahmoud Al-Atshan; Expert in Arabic and children’s literature Jihad Zakarneh, PA Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Widad Al-Barghouti, the Faculty of Journalism and Media, Bir Zeit University Abd Al-Hakim Abu Jamous, poet and journalist, Head of Media Department, PA Ministry of Education
The website also states that: “The Zayzafuna Association for Development of Children’s Culture – a non-governmental non-profit educational organization, founded and received the required permits in 2009.” [Zayzafuna’s website, www.alzayzafona.com , accessed Oct. 17, 2013]
In May 2011, the Deputy Chairman of the Zayzafuna organization Abd Al-Karim Ziyada explained on PA TV that the PA gives “a monthly payment of 10,000 shekels ($2,700) to cover the magazine’s [costs].” [Official PA TV, May 9 and 13, 2011]
The August 2013 edition of the Zayzafuna magazine states that “the opinions and the texts appearing in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the association or the magazine.”
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