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June 24, 2016

Some Cover, Others Cover Up, Abbas Anti-Semitism

well poison.gif

It’s difficult to imagine German chancellor Angela Merkel standing before the European Parliament and announcing that, having studied the misshapen skulls of minorities in Germany, she has concluded that phrenology is a legitimate science.

It’s harder still to imagine major newspapers ignoring the deplorable allegation, or worse yet painting her speech as conciliatory.

But something to that effect is precisely what happened when Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the European Parliament on Thursday. In a revival of the antisemitic European blood libel, Abbas told the parliamentarians that “a number of rabbis? in Israel petitioned their government to “poison water to kill the Palestinians.?

In medieval Europe, the allegation that Jews caused the bubonic plague by poisoning wells led to the murder of thousands of Jews, and were a staple of antisemitism on the continent over the centuries that followed. Today, Palestinian claims about nefarious Jewish plots similarly contribute to a hateful atmosphere that helps sustains anti-Israel terrorism.

Some news organizations did cover Abbas’s libel with appropriate focus. Reuters, for example, pointedly addressed the issue in the lede of its article, “Abbas says some Israeli rabbis called for poisoning Palestinian water?:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli rabbis on Thursday of calling for the poisoning of Palestinian water, in what appeared to be an invocation of a widely debunked media report that recalled a medieval anti-Semitic libel.

Even Diaa Hadid, a New York Times correspondent whose coverage of Israel at times has been dreadful, emphasized the importance of the story with a powerful opening paragraph:

Echoing anti-Semitic claims that led to the mass killings of European Jews in medieval times, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority accused rabbis in Israel of calling on their government to poison the water used by Palestinians.

But other news organizations, including the Associated Press, ignored Abbas’s antisemitic comments even while covering Abbas’s speech.

The Wall Street Journal took it a step further. Not only did the newspaper ignore the Palestinian leader’s hateful remarks in coverage of the speech, but it even framed Abbas’s remarks as being moderate relative to a speech by Israeli president Reuven Rivlin:

The refusal of Mr. Abbas comes as an ironic finale to the two leaders’ visits to the Belgian and European capital.

In a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, it was the Israeli president who brought the unpopular message that there were no prospects of a final peace deal in the near future and that a recent French initiative to revive negotiations amounted to little more than “negotiations for negotiations’ sake.?

Mr. Abbas, by contrast, talked Wednesday evening of the vital importance of the French peace initiative and said it was Israel that needed to get behind a two-state solution and start working on peace.

In a speech to EU lawmakers on Thursday, Mr Abbas condemned Israel’s “never-ending provocations? and “fascist policies.?

“Our hands are extended with a desire for peace and we have a will to achieve peace and we would ask [Israel], do you have the same will?? he said.

As if it isn't newsworthy, readers are left in the dark about the fact that Abbas recycled an antisemitic canard in that very same speech.

If a European leader like Merkel spewed such bigotry, it would certainly not be ignored. If Benjamin Netanyahu did so, it would be an international scandal. But too often, news organizations have different rules — one could call it different standards, or better yet a discriminatory triple standard — when it comes to Israelis, Palestinians, and the rest of the world.

Posted by GI at June 24, 2016 01:55 PM


It is also interesting that, to my knowledge, there has been no reaction from any members of the EU parliament, foreign ministers including Secretary o fState Kerrey, no one is reacting to this blatant anti-semitic statement. IN a way, it gives support to President Rivlin's assessment -- I mean, how can there be a chance for peace when the leader of the Palestinian people can actually believe this about Jewish Rabbis?!?!? 929165

Posted by: Robert E Litman at June 24, 2016 08:21 PM

Abbas hate TV glorifies slaughtering Rabbi's praying in Synagogue in Jerusalem 2 years ago to Arabize Jerusalem. How the Europeans support this Abbas thug is beyond me?
Nov 28 2014

Posted by: Barry Meridian at June 26, 2016 08:56 PM

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