May 9, 2022
Yair Maimon, Tekoa resident who shot and killed terrorist. (Facebook/Screen grab)
“Even a chubby high-tech worker becomes something else when he realizes someone is coming to murder his family,” says father-of-seven Yair Maimon.
By World Israel News Staff
Yair Maimon, who shot and killed an armed terrorist who infiltrated into the Jewish community of Tekoa in Gush Etzion, spoke to Hebrew language media about the incident that occurred Sunday evening.
Maimon spoke to Mako News about the normal beginning to his night, sitting on his front patio and drinking tea with his wife. “We have seven kids, so this is our quiet time,” he said.
Suddenly, they spotted a man scaling a security fence around the perimeter of Tekoa, just meters away from their home.
“There’s a lot of adrenaline, and you only have a second to decide what to do,” he said. Instinct kicked in, and he ran to grab his M-16 and told his wife to call the local security patrol.
“Even a chubby high-tech worker,” he said, referring to himself, “becomes something else when he realizes that someone is coming to murder his family.”
Initially, Maimon demanded that the man, who was holding a knife, stop approaching his home.
“The [terrorist] shouted back at me ‘quiet!’ with a thick Arabic accent, and took another step towards me. So I arranged a date for him with 70 virgins.”
In Islamic tradition, a man who dies a martyr for an Islamic cause is said to be rewarded in paradise with 72 virgins. (Never mind that Paradise is a spiritual place and a dead person can not engage in a physical activity [sex with 72 virgins, or a man ascend to the Throne of HaShem [“G-D”] on a winged stead – al-buraq] in a spiritual place.)
While Maimon admitted he was surprised by the infiltration, he conceded that these types of events are part of the fabric of life in Judea and Samaria.
“We live here in a hostile environment, not in Switzerland,” he said. “I have been on standby for 13 years… I did military service.”
Maimon credited mandatory military service in Israel as a major factor for keeping society safe. Beyond “being teachers, high-tech workers, and lawyers, we are also military personnel, and that is present in all of us,” he said.
Maimon’s 13-year-old daughter filmed part of the incident, despite her father repeatedly telling her to move back.
“OMG terrorists came next to my house and my father shot one,” she wrote as the caption to the video, which she uploaded on social media.
In the video, Maimon can be seen approaching the dead terrorist, who is laying in his front yard, while continuing to aim an M-16 rifle at his body.
“Die!” Maimon’s daughter is heard saying in the background, before she begins to shriek and bursts into tears.
The terrorist’s three accomplices have not yet been apprehended.
May 8, 2022
Popular Palestinian hashtags included “Operation Axe,” “The Glorious Axe,” and “Operation Elad.”
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
In the wake of Thursday’s Palestinian terror attack in Elad, Twitter became filled with posts celebrating the murder of three Israeli fathers.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Palestinians tweeted in Arabic using hashtags such as “#Operation Axe,” “The Glorious Axe,” and “#Operation Elad.”
Others cited a recent incendiary speech by Hamas’s Gaza Yahya Sinwar, in which he called on Palestinians to defend the Temple Mount from the Jews.
“Let everyone who has a rifle, ready it. And if you don’t have a rifle, ready your cleaver or an axe, or a knife,” Sinwar said.
Some tweets called for further attacks, others praised the terrorists, while still others expressed joy at the timing of the attack — Israel’s Independence Day.
One user identified as “Bint Al-Hassan” tweeted an image of a bloody axe representing Palestine with its blade embedded in an Israeli army helmet. and quoted Sinwar in his speech: “Do not wait for a decision from anyone. Whoever does not have a gun should prepare his cleaver…”
Twitter.com/a__Alhasan_M, May 6, 2022 (Screenshot)
Twitter claims it shuts down accounts for inciting violence, but the social media giant has a major blind spot when it comes to genocidal hatemongers and antismemitism. For example, it has permitted Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to use the platform to promote the destruction of the Jewish state.
In fact, a Twitter representative stood in front of Israel’s Knesset and told them the company considers those tweets mere “foreign policy saber-rattling.”
Does praising axe murderers who target Jews also fail to violate the company’s policy?
One user identified by the Twitter handle, @Abotagoog tweeted: “Chop off their heads with your axe, shoot them with your gun, and do not fear them.”
The tweet included a graphic of the scene of the attack and a bloodied axe.
Twitter.com/Abotagoog, May 6, 2022. (Screenshot)
Yousef Al-Husni, a Gaza journalist, tweeted an image of a rocket and a knife captioned, “The knife glitters.”
Twitter.com/@elhasani_yousef, May 6, 2022 (Screenshot)
MEMRI also flagged Twitter user @aliwalidkanaan. He posted an image of a bloody cleaver with the words, “Even as weapons advance, the meat cleaver continues to have a special effect on the hearts of the Zionists… The cleaver satisfies the thirst [for vengeance] more than all the rockets and bullets.”
Twitter.com/@aliwalidkanaan; May 5, 2022. (Screenshot)
Palestinian incitement to violence in online forums is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon.
For years, Jews have urged social media companies to like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram to adopt a definition of antisemitism to more effectively address problems, shut down accounts belonging to terror groups and take down videos inciting antisemitic violence.
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May 9, 2022
Hamas’s senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh, right, and his deputy Saleh Arouri in 2018. (Mohammad Austaz/Hamas Media Office via AP)
Israel is said to have notified foreign allies it is preparing to hit senior Hamas figures in Lebanon, Qatar and other countries.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
As a wave of Palestinian terror attacks continue, Israel is said to have notified foreign allies it is readying plans to assassinate Hamas leaders living abroad, the Times of London reported on Monday.
The report quoted sources in the intelligence community saying that “a clear message” needs to be sent to Hamas.
According to the Times, instead of carrying out targeted assassinations against Hamas leaders in Gaza, Israel would instead strike against terror personalities living in places such as Lebanon and Qatar.
Mideast media reports say that Turkey has moved to expel Hamas figures operating on its soil as Ankara tries to draw closer to Israel.
Among the senior Hamas officials identified by name as potential targets were Saleh al-Arouri and Zaher Jabarin.
Arouri commands Hamas terror operations in Judea and Samaria while reportedly dividing his time between Lebanon, Qatar and Turkey. He masterminded the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in 2014 which escalated into Operation Protective Edge.
Zabarin is responsible for the terror organization’s finances.
A number of Palestinian terror figures have been killed abroad in what have been described as Mossad assassinations. The most recent ones include:
• Fadi Mohammed al-Batsh, an electrical engineer who reportedly helped design Hamas rockets: gunned down in Malaysia in 2018.
• Mohammed al-Zoari, an engineer who was a key figure in Hamas’s drone program: killed in Tunisia in 2016.
• Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who procured weapons for Hamas: killed in Dubai in 2010.
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have vowed to resume missile attacks and suicide bombings if Israel renews targeted assassinations on Gaza terror leaders.
In an incendiary speech on April 30, Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar called for a regional war if Israel, he claimed, threatened the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
In the past seven weeks, 19 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks.
In the most recent attack, four Palestinians tried to infiltrate the Jewish community of Tekoa, south of Jerusalem on Sunday evening. One Palestinian was shot and killed, the other three escaped.
Also on Sunday, an Israeli Border Police officer was stabbed and moderately wounded by a Palestinian in Jerusalem by the Old City’s Damascus Gate.
May 8, 2022
Muslims pray outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount during Ramadan, May 10, 2019. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
“I warn that there are tens of thousands more like [one of the Elad terrorists]. If we do not become the Arab leadership, that will be an address for all those boys,” said a senior Ra’am official.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
“The freezing of Ra’am’s membership in the coalition is expected to continue even at the cost of the fall of the government,” a very senior source in Ra’am told TPS on Sunday.
“Ra’am has been very badly disappointed by the Bennett government and does not want the government to fall, but due to Ra’am’s limited breathing space over the crisis around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, even though it is aware of the limitations of the Bennett government, it has laid down its demands and its outline for the status quo on the Temple Mount,” he said.
Following media reports regarding Ra’am’s demands and its position that the status quo issue will be decided by the Jordanians, the source clarified that “Ra’am has its own outline for resolving the crisis in al-Aqsa.”
MK Mansour Abbas, the Ra’am party head, recently visited the Jordanian King’s Palace demanding that Israel restore the old status quo to the Temple Mount.
As well, senior Palestinian Authority officials are demanding a return to the situation that prevailed on the eve of the Temple Mount in 2000, but the source clarified that “this is not a Jordanian outline or an outline of another factor. Ra’am has laid out a plan and a long-term vision based on its position for 20 years or more, and if this vision also fits King Abdullah’s position, then it should be seen as an advantage.”
‘Vision based on Islamic concept’
The source added that senior Ra’am officials have recently heard the Jordanian position on al-Aqsa and that there is a connection on this matter. But regarding the nature of the outline it laid on the government table, he said that “we are not talking about a compromise or something similar, but a vision based on the accepted Islamic concept in recent years.”
“Mansour Abbas and the Southern Branch are not allowed to formulate a separate outline or their own proposals for the status quo on the Temple Mount and must rely on the accepted concept underlying the 2000 status quo that gives the Waqf exclusive authority over the management of holy places and the entry of visitors and worshipers,” he declared.
However, he said that “Abbas is the only Arab element who has laid out a plan and vision to solve the problem in mosques in eastern Jerusalem while the other leaders cling either to incitement or futile speeches.”
While the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement continues to promote Sheikh Raed Salah’s “Al-Aqsa in Danger” campaign, a senior Ra’am warns of “the danger of Al-Aqsa.”
“This is an outline for the benefit of the Jewish and Arab public in Israel and a vital condition for calm in the region,” he said, as “the al-Aqsa issue is the only one that can unite Sunnis and Shiites, religious and non-religious, extremist or moderate groups and connect the 1.5 billion Muslims around the region.”
Security officials in Israel warn that in the past month, Israel has been subjected to an acute incitement attack on the al-Aqsa issue. The source joins the concern in Israel and warns that “the incitement heard around al-Aqsa is received by the Arab and Muslim public as true and the plots circulated around the holy places become a truth that ignites the imagination in the Arab world and ignites fire in the street, and therefore, the demands of Ra’am that were placed before the decision-makers in Israel are intended to prevent the continuation of violence,” he said.
“Ra’am is trying to become an accepted address and leader regarding the mosques in Jerusalem. One of the boys who carried out the attack in Elad [last Thursday that left three Israelis dead] left a will stating that he acted for al-Aqsa,” said the senior Ra’am official.
“I warn that there are tens of thousands more like him. If we do not become the Arab leadership that will be an address for all those boys, the line of boys like him will be very long,” he said. “The success of the outline of the Ra’am in the matter of al-Aqsa is vital for the benefit of both peoples.”
The source added that “neither the Palestinian problem nor the right of return nor the borders, all of which are not equal in strength to the al-Aqsa issue, the State of Israel must wake up and prevent a violent outbreak by accepting another outline for the Temple Mount issue.”
“Israel is facing a national disaster following the crisis surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jewish state has been abducted in recent years by extremist fanatical groups who do not express the mood of the Jewish and Israeli public,” he said.
The Ra’am faction is facing internal pressures around the demand to leave the coalition, but those who support it remain pointing to the fear of Netanyahu’s rise, the official continued.
“The accumulation of events in recent years has proven that Netanyahu has not been able to withstand the pressure of the ‘extremist groups,’ and his government has walked with open eyes into the honey trap of right-wing groups dragging Israel and Muslims into a religious war.”
Ra’am leader’s future
The senior official raised a series of difficult scenarios in ase the Israeli government falls due to the tension around the mosques.
“If the arson in al-Aqsa cannot be prevented and if Mansour Abbas’ efforts fail, hundreds of people will be killed around the mosques in the coming years. This is the last chance for dialogue between Jews and Muslims around the holy places in Jerusalem, and Abbas put his life on the line and became the leader of the camp.”
Commenting on the remarks made by Hamas leader Yahya Sanwar to Abbas, the source said that “Sinwar attacks Abbas with the understanding that Abbas seeks to bring about change and can become a leader in a class that will overshadow Sinwar, and Raed Salah or Abu Mazen [PA leader Mahmoud Abbas] and even [PLO founder Yasser] Arafat, and bring about change that Hamas is afraid of.”
A source in the movement’s institutions said last week that the departure of Ra’am from the coalition would oblige its leader to rethink his continued political activities.
“Mansour Abbas is working on the one hand to prevent talk of the destruction of the State of Israel and to dry up the sea where extremists want to drown the Jews, but on the other hand he is determined to prevent the Israeli government from violating the rights of Muslims in Israel and throwing even one Arab into the desert,” he concluded.
May 8, 2022
PM Naftali Bennett leads a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on May 8, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
The new force is to be composed of Border Police units together with mobilized, trained units of volunteers and reservists.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday the creation of a national guard, with the aim of “strengthening the personal security” of Israeli citizens.
“We are advancing two very significant things,” said Bennett in his opening remarks to Sunday’s Cabinet meeting. “First: the establishment of a national guard. I have instructed the National Security Council, in coordination with the Public Security Ministry, to present the government with an orderly and budgeted plan to establish a civilian national guard by the end of the month,” he continued.
The unrest in mixed Arab-Jewish cities during “Operation Guardian of the Walls” last year had demonstrated the “urgent need” to strengthen citizens’ security, said Bennett. That need had only become more urgent in light of the current wave of terrorism, he added.
“Time and time again, we see the difference between incidents in which there was a responsible armed civilian in the area and those in which there was not. The need is great, especially in the ultra-Orthodox cities, in which fewer people carry weapons. We are taking action,” he said.
The new force will be composed of Border Police units together with mobilized, trained units of volunteers and reservists, who together will form a single national guard, said Bennett. The new forces will be activated as needed, “in emergencies and disturbances, and in routine times as well,” he added.
In addition, Bennett said that the Israel Police have launched an operation focusing on Palestinians who enter Israel illegally, something which he said had “become a national blight.”
“An entire industry has developed around the smuggling, transportation and employment of people present in Israel illegally, as we have seen, unfortunately, in the latest terrorist attack, in which the person who drove the terrorists [from the border into Israel] was brutally murdered,” he said.
Oren Ben Yiftah, 35, of Lod, was one of three Israelis killed on Thursday by Palestinian terrorists who had entered the country illegally. Yiftah, a taxi driver, unwittingly conveyed the terrorists to the scene of the attack.
The two suspected terrorists, As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, 19, and Subhi Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir, 20, from the Palestinian village of Rumana near Jenin, were captured on Sunday in a forest near Elad following a 60-hour manhunt, according to police.
“Over the weekend, I instructed that an effort be coordinated—operational, legal and regarding infrastructure—against those who transport, provide lodging for and employ people present in Israel illegally. We will use all of the tools at our disposal—including the seizure of vehicles, fines—whatever is needed. All government ministries, but especially the Public Security Ministry and the Justice Ministry, are already working on it,” said Bennett.
Bennett also declared that there is “no political consideration regarding the war on terrorism nor will there be. And of course, all decisions regarding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be made by the Government of Israel, which is sovereign in the city, without any extraneous considerations whatsoever. We certainly reject any foreign involvement in the decisions of the Government of Israel.”
May 7, 2022
Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, in Gaza City, April 13, 2022. (AP/Adel Hana)
Hamas claim of responsibility for terror attack in Ariel reportedly gives IDF freedom to escalate in Gaza, per reports.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have vowed to resume missile attacks and suicide bombings if Israel renews targeted assassinations on Gaza terror leaders.
This was conveyed by the Gaza terror groups to Egyptian mediators, according to Hezbollah’s Al Mayadeen TV.
“The price for such foolishness is known to the enemy,” the sources said. “The resistance will burn the cities of the center [of Israel] and will direct massive missile strikes on Gush Dan if it carries out its threats.”
Israel’s Channel 12 News reported that Jerusalem sent a message to Hamas’s Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, that Hamas’s claim of responsibility for a terror attack in Ariel gives the IDF freedom for military operations in Gaza. Vyacheslav Golev, a 23-year-old security guard, was shot dead by Palestinian terrorists at the entrance to Ariel on April 29.
Channel 12 also reported that Israel believes that Sinwar’s calls to violence inspired Thursday’s Palestinian terror attack in Elad in which three Israelis were killed by two Palestinians armed with an axe and a knife.
However, Ynet reported that the IDF has recommended against renewing targeted assassinations, saying the military has plans in place but does not believe the time is right for them.
A manhunt for As’ad a-Rafa’i, 19, and Sabhi Abu Shaki, 20, was continuing on Saturday night. It’s not believed that either Palestinian is a member of Hamas.
In an incendiary speech on April 30, Sinwar called for a regional war if Israel, he claimed, threatened the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. “Let everyone who has a rifle, ready it. And if you don’t have a rifle, ready your cleaver or an axe, or a knife,” Sinwar said.
The last time Israel carried out a targeted assassination was at the very beginning of Operation Guardian of the Walls last year. Mohammed Abdullah Fayyad, a Hamas commander, was killed in a drone strike on May 10, 2021.
By: Ricki Hollander May 1, 2022
Last year, Ramadan anti-Israel incitement and violence — in the guise of a Jihad for Jerusalem — saw many in the mainstream media ignore the historic patterns of provocation by the Palestinian leadership and instead echo their pretexts blaming Israel.
On the day of the Beersheva attack, PA President Mahmoud Abbas falsely alleged that Israel is stealing Palestinian water sources.
CAMERA documented the familiar pattern of incitement as well as the dereliction of the media to report fully and accurately about the violent events, and cautioned journalists to avoid the same pitfalls this Ramadan. But rather than reporting fully and honestly about the noxious role of Palestinian incitement and their stated goals, journalists have repeated the same mistakes, using the same, clichéd blame-Israel mold, shying away from reporting forthrightly about the orchestration of violent Ramadan events.
Incitement With Resulting Deadly Terrorism
Like last year, the weeks before Ramadan saw Palestinian Authority TV repeatedly broadcasting music videos that promoted revolution, terrorism and martyrdom in the name of “Palestine.”
And like last year, the PA and Fatah urged “popular resistance” or “uprising” against Israel (using terms they used to describe the 2015 stabbing intifada). Palestinian Media Watch documented recent calls from PLO officials for popular resistance urging Palestinians to emulate the first Intifada (the 1987-93 violence against Israel that killed some 200 Israelis), and pointed to the PA’s extra stipend (its “pay to slay” payments) to reward the family of the Arab-Israeli terrorist who murdered four people in a March 22 stabbing attack at a shopping center and gas station in Beersheva, although the terrorists were affiliated with ISIS.
While they did not directly sponsor the attack, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the terrorist groups under Hamas’ authority praised the attacks and lauded the perpetrators,
On the day of the Beersheva attack, during the UN-initiated “World Water Day”, PA President Mahmoud Abbas further incited against Israel on his Facebook page by falsely alleging that Israel is stealing Palestinian water sources – a long debunked accusation.
Like last year, the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip under Hamas authority fomented unrest among Israeli Arabs, urging Arab-Israelis and Palestinian non-citizens to unite and join forces against the Jewish regime. This year, however, the terror groups under Hamas upped the ante by forming a “national commission” to connect Arab citizens of Israel with the Palestinian “resistance” or terror groups operating in the Gaza. According to the chairman of the new commission, Mohsen Abu Ramadan, the organization is meant to promote unity and shared identity between Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza ―or what they refer to as “the resistance” against Israel. To that end, Abu Ramadan lauded Arab-Israelis who showed support for Hamas during its 2021 war with Israel. At a March 26th rally sponsored by the commission in anticipation of the Palestinian-declared “Land Day” Abu Ramadan urged Palestinians and Arab Israelis to carry out “armed resistance” and unify in a joint struggle “the Israeli occupation.” Senior terrorist officials at the rally declared solidarity with Arabs “inside the 1948 territories.”
Like previous years, they invoked Amin Husseini’s successful battle cry “Defend Jerusalem and Muslim holy sites,” and warned against Israeli “aggressive measures” against Jerusalem, declaring that the “sword of Jerusalem” would “not return to its scabbard.” Other speeches at the rally attacked Israel for its security actions calling them “crimes” against the land, history and holy sites.
The day after that rally (March 27), two Arab-Israeli terrorists from Umm-el-Fahm, associated with ISIS and armed with automatic weapons, took aim at civilians on a central street in Hadera. They wounded a dozen civilians and killed two police officers. Hamas and its affiliated terrorist groups praised and celebrated the murderous attack although ISIS took credit for it.
Like previous years, senior terrorist officials invoked Amin Husseini’s successful battle cry “Defend Jerusalem and Muslim holy sites,” and warned against Israeli “aggressive measures” against Jerusalem, declaring that the “sword of Jerusalem” would “not return to its scabbard.”
Within two days of that attack (on March 29), a terrorist affiliated with Fatah, armed with an M-16 assault weapon went on a killing spree, murdering five more people, bringing the total number of murdered victims to 11 in under two weeks.
Even as PA President and Fatah member Mahmoud Abbas issued an official condemnation of the attack, Fatah leaders held a rally to celebrate the attack. Sweets were handed out and the terrorist was praised as a “heroic martyr” to emulate. Fatah leaders glorified the attack as “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people” and “a message to the Palestinian security apparatuses, that they must turn their weapons towards the Israeli enemy.” They called on Palestinians to carry out more such attacks “as long as the Palestinian lands remain occupied.”
Meanwhile, a statement on Hamas’ website made statements similar to those made the previous year to incite the Jihad of 2021, which culminated in Hamas-rocket attacks in an all-out war against Israel. This year their statement declared:
“The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) blesses the heroic operation against the Zionist occupation soldiers in the so-called ‘Tel Aviv’ area, which led to the killing and wounding of a number of Zionist occupiers, and stresses that all the heroic operations carried out by our Palestinian people, in every inch of our occupied land, comes in the context of the natural and legitimate response to the terrorism of the occupation and its escalating crimes against our land, our people and our sanctities. We have repeatedly warned the occupation of the consequences of escalating its violations and crimes, as our Palestinian people will not remain passive in front of it, and will confront its terrorism by all means, and they will protect their sanctuary, the farthest corner and the entire occupied lands, and he will defend it with comprehensive resistance, which will continue to deter the occupation, and to restrain its aggression, until its departure from our land.”
Although the pre-Ramadan provocation to violence followed a similar pattern to that of last year, Palestinian incitement and celebration of the attacks were largely ignored by the Western media and, in some case, even Palestinian self-justification for the terrorist attack were echoed.
NPR’s Blame-Israel Narrative
Take, for example NPR’s coverage of the terrorist attacks in a March 30 broadcast by Daniel Estrin. Following the fifth recent terror attack and third deadly one in a week, Estrin responded to a question about the motivation for the attacks. Far from exploring the incitement that urged attacks on Israel and the celebrations afterwards, he protected the Palestinian leadership, echoing their propaganda blaming Israel. Estrin said:
“… there is a different feeling that this may be a general wave of Palestinian attacks, kind of like what we have seen in different years, attacks that are not necessarily directed from the top, but some kind of momentum that gathers and inspires copy-cat attacks. In the Palestinian territories, this is being described as resistance against Israeli occupation.”
Estrin then turned the tables, reversing victims and perpetrators. His report therefore was not about the innocent Israeli victims of murderous Palestinian terrorists or on their families, but focused on Palestinian grievances, which Estrin amplified along with anything he could think with which to blame on Israelis:
“On the streets, we’ve been seeing far-right Israeli protests. At some of the sites of these attacks, we’ve heard chants like ‘Death to Arabs”. Israelis torched Palestinians’ cars and vowed revenge in one village. And thousands of police today dispatched across the country. And people are jittery. I’ve heard from Palestinian Arab, citizens of Israel who are afraid to go out on the streets to Jewish areas. We saw today police shoot at the legs of some Palestinians at a busy Jerusalem market. Perhaps a case of mistaken identity. And some Israeli cities and even in West Bank settlements are limiting construction sites now because a lot of Palestinian workers come in for construction and these cities don’t want Palestinians coming in today.”
Others Ignore Incitement to Terrorism
The New York Times also steered clear of examining the relentless incitement to anti-Israel violence by Palestinian leaders. For example, an article about the Hadera terrorist attack mentioned that “tensions between Israelis and Palestinians often rise during this period, most recently last May, when Ramadan-related clashes helped lead to an 11-day war between Israel and Islamist militants in Gaza” without noting how the Palestinian leadership deliberately provokes and foments anti-Israel violence during this period.
AP similarly avoided mention of the encouragement of violence by Fatah and Hamas leaders, invoking the hostilities of last year, but with the same blinkered presentation —not as planned, violent jihad against Israel but as a spontaneous eruption of bilateral violence. According to the AP’s formulation:
“Last year, clashes between Israeli police and Muslim protesters during the holy month boiled over into an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.”
More Incitement as Ramadan Begins
As CAMERA pointed out in its study, Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, is considered a month of jihad, not only in terms of a Muslim’s psychological inner faith but in terms of physical conquest to expand Islam’s power and reach, as is pointed out by Islamic scholars in the Middle East. In order to emphasize this interpretation of Ramadan, Palestinian Authority TV featured Shariah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbashan explaining the historical importance of violent jihad during the holy month and urging further anti-Israel violence. Palestinian Media Watch recorded and translated this Ramadan broadcast:
“How was this month [of Ramadan] in the life of Prophet [Muhammad]? … Did the Prophet spend Ramadan in calmness, serenity, laziness, and sleepiness? Far be it from him… The Prophet entered the great Battle of Badr (in 624 CE) during Ramadan… Martyrs fell from among the companions of the Prophet – 14 Martyrs … The companions did not say: “O Prophet of Allah, now is a time of fasting and it is hot” … On the 17th of Ramadan he set out to Badr, and the great Battle of Badr took place… Also in the month of Ramadan, in the 8th year of the Hijra (i.e., 629-630 CE), the Prophet and the Muslims conquered Mecca… The Prophet did not say and did not think when he decided to set out to liberate Mecca and to conquer Mecca that “Now it’s Ramadan, people are fasting, let’s delay it to after Ramadan” … How can we build [our] lives and lay foundations for Islam if we are lazy, Heaven forbid? Ramadan is not a month of laziness but rather a month of activity, of effort, and of hard work, and as it also was in the life of the Prophet, a month of Jihad, conquest, and victory.” (Official PA TV, Allah’s Messenger Muhammad, April 3, 2022)
PA TV featured Shariah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash explaining the historical importance of violent jihad during the holy month and urging further anti-Israel violence.
Just days later, on the first Thursday night of Ramadan (April 7, 2022), another murderous terrorist attack was perpetrated in the heart of Tel Aviv when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on a crowded bar, murdering three civilians and wounding a dozen more before escaping. Following an intensive manhunt for the terrorist, he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.
On April 10, 2022, MK Ayman Odeh who heads the Joint List, the third largest parliamentary group in Israel’s Knesset, delivered his own taped Ramadan speech from Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, urging Arab-Israelis to stop serving with Israeli security forces:
‘It’s a disgrace that a young Arab or the parents of a young Arab would agree to enlist and serve in the security forces, which are actually forces of the occupation. Our position is that we will be with our people to end the murderous occupation so that Palestine will rise, Palestinian flags will be hoisted on the walls of Jerusalem and peace will spread on the land of peace. The young people must not join the occupying forces. Throw your weapon in their face and tell them that our place is not with you. We will not be part of the injustice and the crime.”
NYT’s Context of Terrorism
On April 9, NYT Jerusalem Bureau Chief Patrick Kingsley sought to explain the “wave of terrorism” as a by-product of “Palestinian anger over vanishing prospects for a Palestinian state.” Dismissing Israel’s efforts to accommodate Palestinians, Kingsley wrote:
“Though Israel’s recent piecemeal concessions to Palestinians have improved life in small ways, the most fundamental Palestinian aspiration — a sovereign state — remains remote.”
Kingsley did not mention the fact that Palestinians have consistently rejected repeated Israeli offers of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state as inadequate, precisely because they’ve never accepted the legitimacy of a Jewish state anywhere in the region.
The Jerusalem bureau chief’s “analysis” was followed the next day (on April 10) with another article ostensibly meant to provide context for the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism. Entitled “In a Village Divided, Palestinians See Their Hold on Territory Eroding,” the piece not only avoided exploration of how the jihad was incited, but, in fact, shielded Palestinian leaders from any responsibility for the situation by amplifying their self-justifying pretexts. Focusing on the Arab village of Wajara as “a microcosm of all the violations that Israel commits” (as one of the quoted interviewees put it), correspondent Raja Abdulrahim provided readers with a compendium of anti-Israel allegations by carefully selected interviewees who alleged that Israel seized land that is by right Palestinian. As for Israel’s own historic claim to disputed territory, Abdulrahim dismissed it in her reporter’s voice as a dubious argument by Israel alone:
“… Israel insists that there has been a Jewish presence in the West Bank for thousands of years.”
It is not only Israel that “insists” there was a Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, but archeologists, historians, and Jewish scholars who have extensively documented millenia of Jewish habitation in the Jewish fatherland, the heart of which was Judea and Samaria, or in current parlance, the West Bank.
Media Mantra: “Convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter”
A Wall Street Journal article directly after the Ramadan terror attack studiously avoided addressing the promotion of violence by Palestinian leaders, instead describing the resultant violent anti-Israel jihad as a spontaneous “burst of terrorist attacks on civilians and rising religious tensions in Jerusalem”, the latter of which was attributed equally to both sides. To further remove responsibility from the Palestinian leadership for fomenting a Ramadan jihad for Jerusalem, the article invoked the “convergence of the Jewish holiday Passover and Islam’s holy month, Ramadan.”
Unstated and unanswered is the question of why each religion’s separate observances in Jerusalem would result in violence. It is not as if Israeli authorities had plans to prevent Muslims from celebrating Ramadan. Quite the contrary, they allowed larger numbers of Muslims to enter the Temple Mount to pray. The article, however, implied that Jewish observance of Passover at their holy sites in ancient Jerusalem was somehow reason enough to set off violent rioting:
“Israeli authorities are worried about the next two weeks when Jews and Muslims will seek to pray at the same sites in Jerusalem during an unusual convergence of the Jewish holiday Passover and Islam’s holy month, Ramadan. The presence of Jewish and Muslim worshipers has been combustible in the past, and Israeli security forces have already scuffled with Palestinians in recent days near the Old City.”
Unmentioned is the fact that the combustible nature of the situation lies entirely with the Palestinian leaders who have rejected Jewish rights in the city. They urge jihad to protect Jerusalem from the Jews. To them, having to share Jerusalem with non-Muslims is in itself an affront to Islam that warrants violent jihad. And that is why they’ve incited yet another jihad for Jerusalem on Ramadan.
By blaming violence simplistically on the convergence of the Jewish Passover and the Muslim Ramadan without explaining why – i.e. the fact that Hamas and Fatah and other Palestinian leaders deny Jewish religious and historic ties to Jerusalem and see Jewish prayer and celebration in Jerusalem as a pretext to incite jihad—readers are denied a clear understanding of events in Jerusalem and Israel.
Yet the facile mantra of competing holidays quickly became the go-to explanation/justification in the media for the violent Ramadan jihad.
In an April 8th CNN broadcast, journalists talked of concerns “that the violence will just continue, especially when in the next ten days the holidays of Ramadan, Easter and Passover are all going to overlap in a rare convergence of the calendar. So really a lot of concerns that tensions will only further rise and there will only be more violence here.”
Unmentioned is the fact that the combustible nature of the situation lies entirely with the Palestinian leaders who have rejected Jewish rights in the city.
The fact that Jewish observance of Passover was repeatedly cited as a pretext for a Jihad to “defend” Jerusalem without challenge demonstrates journalists’ unquestioning acceptance of jhadists’ and their inciters’ position that Jewish practice in the holy city of Jerusalem is a provocation to be stopped. Indeed, Arab Joint List Member of Knesset Aida Tourna-Suleiman was explicit in an interview on Israeli Radio Reshet Bet when she asserted that Jews have no right to pray inside Jerusalem at all because “Jerusalem is occupied territory.”
Far from making this clear, the New York Times repeated the same pretext without explanation again and again:
“The festivals are expected to compound tensions in the Old City of Jerusalem, where access to and control over a holy site sacred to both Jews and Muslims — known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary — has long been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” (Patrick Kingsley, NYT, April 2, 2022)
“Israel’s security forces remain on high alert amid fears of more unrest and violence over the next month, when the rare convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter is expected to raise tensions further between Israelis and Palestinians.” (Patrick Kingsley and Isabel Kershner, NYT, April 6, 2022)
“The assault heightened fears of an even more intense surge of violence over the next 10 days, when the rare convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter is expected to raise tensions further between Israelis and Palestinians.” (Patrick Kingsley, April 7, 2022)
On occasion when the New York Times did seek to explain why religious celebrations by non-Muslims might spark anti-Israel violence, it got the story completely wrong, distorting the truth to blame Israel. According to the New York Times:
“Next weekend, the religious festivals of Passover, Ramadan and Easter will overlap in a rare convergence that will drive unusually high numbers of Jewish, Muslim and Christian worshipers to the Old City of Jerusalem. That raises the risk of confrontations between Muslims and Jews, and heightens longstanding Palestinian resentment about the restrictions on access to and control of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.” (Patrick Kingsley, April 9, 2022)
This is simply false. Since 1967, when Jerusalem’s Old City came under Israel’s control in a self-defensive war with Jordan, Israel handed over administrative control of Judaism’s holiest site/Islam’s third holiest site, the Temple Mount/al Aqsa compound to Jordan’s Islamic Waqf. At the same time, Israel retained sovereignty and security control of the area and permitted non-Muslims, including Jews, to visit the site –in contrast to Jordan which had barred non-Muslims from visiting the site. This has been the status quo ever since. Access is limited only when and where there are security threats to worshippers. Strategically omitted from the New York Times explanation was that Israel was explicit in its indication that it would allow more Palestinians from the West Bank access to the al-Aqsa mosque despite increased Palestinian terrorism.
Also unmentioned in the media are the internal Muslim struggles for influence in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount compound that threaten Jordan’s role as the protector of Islamic interests in Jerusalem. Jordan’s Waqf is being challenged by other Islamic factions, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement led by Sheikh Raed Salah, and the extremist Hizb ut-Tahrir (Islamic Liberation Party) who want to control the Temple Mount as the centre of a world-wide caliphate. The media, for the most part, failed to research or report on internal Muslim struggles over the Temple Mount in favor of delivereing a simplistic black and white blame-Israel narrative.
Historic “Defend al Aqsa” Pretext
Although the Palestinian pretexts for jihad continually shift, the call to arms has always remained the same: “Defend al-Aqsa,” “Defend Muslim holy sites,” “Defend Jerusalem” from the Jews. As the CAMERA 2021 Ramadan Jihad study pointed out:
“These were the historic battle cries to violent jihad that have garnered wide support among Muslims in the past. They follow a century-old pattern established by Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem between 1921 and 1948. The mufti repeatedly incited jihad to defend Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem – using it as a pretext to attack Jews in the name of Islam. The “Defend Jerusalem/al-Aqsa” war song resulted in the murders and massacre of dozens of Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed in 1929 and set the stage for many “Jihads for Jerusalem” that were to follow. Waging a jihad for Jerusalem has served – and continues to serve– a political purpose. It moves the focal point of grievances over failures of local leaders onto Israel and garners support amongst Muslims across the world for Palestinians and Islam.”
Hamas, in particular, has been trying to position itself as defender of Jerusalem and Muslim holy sites and its exhortations to violence center on false pretexts about Israel “storming” or otherwise trying to take over the al-Aqsa mosque. And so, it was inevitable that Palestinian leaders would repeat last year’s battle tactic of using the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa mosque compound as a staging ground for attacks on Israeli security forces and Jewish civilian worshippers praying at the Western Wall below with the same pretext —that Israel was planning to take over Muslim holy sites.
This year, the pretext seized on a tiny group of fundamentalist Israelis calling themselves ‘Return to the Mount” who threatened to sacrifice a lamb on the Temple Mount as a Passover sacrifice and as political theatre as part of their stated goal of “redeeming” the Temple Mount. That the group is dismissed as a lunatic fringe by Israeli society, that it is outlawed by religious, political and security authorities, that members were arrested in their homes for concocting and publicizing such a provocative plan, that they were barred from using social media, giving interviews or contacting anyone about it, and that they were banned from even entering Jerusalem until after the Flag March on Jerusalem Day was entirely irrelevant to Hamas and fellow inciters of the jihad. Hamas used their preposterous social media proclamations as pretext enough to “call on the Palestinian people in all parts of our occupied lands, to
“participate in (the Dawn of protecting Al-Aqsa) and mobilize on the yards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, April 15, to protect it from the colonial settler extremist groups’ storming of Al-Aqsa and to thwart their plans to desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque in the so-called ‘slaughtering sacrifices’.”
Like last year, Palestinians heeded Hamas exhortations and barricaded themselves in the mosque with horded stones, incendiary devices and iron bars. Raising Hamas flags, they threw stones at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall and targeted security forces with their weapons.
According to police spokesman Eli Levy, “in order not to infringe on the freedom of worship, we waited until the end of prayers and then went in to disperse the rioters.”
Nonetheless, the PA and Hamas, vying with each other for the title of defenders of Al Aqsa used it as their pretext for continued violence. PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned Israeli police for “attacking Muslim worshippers” while the PA Foreign Ministry’s Facebook page called the actions of Israeli police a “barbaric attack against worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque” and falsely accused them of harassing Palestinian women, children, the elderly, medical personnel and journalists. Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh accused Israel of “crossing all lines” by “attacking” the al-Aqsa mosque and trying to turn the conflict into a “religious war.”
Wanting to be seen as the guardian of Islam, Hamas spokesman praised those who attacked Israelis from al-Aqsa, calling their attacks a “defense” of the al-Aqsa mosque and threatening to unleash “hell” on Israel.
Hamas has been trying to position itself as defender of Jerusalem and Muslim holy sites and its exhortations to violence center on false pretexts about Israel “storming” or otherwise trying to take over the al-Aqsa mosque.
The media quickly fell into its familiar role of protecting the Palestinian inciters and pretending that Israeli security forces were to blame at least as much as, if not more than, those engaging in violence.
These were some of the headlines and ledes:
“Israeli security forces storm Al-Aqsa mosque”: “More than 150 Palestinians were reportedly injured and four Israeli soldiers were wounded after Israeli security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades inside the mosque.” (ABC News)
“Palestinian And Israeli Police Clash at One of the World`s Holiest Sites”: “At one of the holiest and hotly contested places of worship in the world, a bitter confrontation after Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, known as Temple Mount to Jews, and fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets shortly after morning prayers.” (CBS Evening News, April 15)
“Clashes erupt at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, at least 150 Palestinians wounded”: “Clashes broke out early Friday between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a major holy site in Jerusalem, and medics said at least 150 Palestinians were wounded. “ (France 24)
“Jerusalem: Over 150 hurt in clashes at al-Aqsa Mosque compound”: “More than 150 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, Palestinian medics say. “(BBC)
An AP story, cited Palestinian witnesses to blame Israel primarily for the violence that was, in fact, planned by Hamas. They acknowledged only that “a small group of Palestinians threw rocks at police,” but that Israeli forces “entered the compound in force, setting off a wider conflagration.” In other words, responsibility for the violence was shifted to Israeli police trying to bring the rioting under control.
An April 18th NPR Morning Edition segment repeated the convergence of holidays mantra while emphasizing and amplifying the Palestinian pretext that Israel was the aggressor. Host Leila Fadel introduced the segment by suggesting the “unrest” in the region was due to Israeli actions:
Fadel: “Dozens were hurt Friday in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound when Israeli police used tear gas and stun grenades against Palestinians throwing stones. In the middle of Ramadan, police stormed at the mosque, considered the third-holiest site in Islam. Medical officials said 150 Palestinians and three police officers were injured. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested. On Sunday, Israeli police were back, saying they wanted to clear a path for Jews visiting the hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Police blocked Muslims from parts of the site, and more arrests were made. Palestinians accuse Israel of a dangerous escalation during a rare convergence of Passover, Ramadan and Easter, when even larger crowds of worshippers were visiting Jerusalem. Similar violence a year ago was one of the events that contributed to the eruption of an 11-day-long war in Gaza.”
Mehdi Hasan and Ayman Mohyeldin – MSNBC journalists who function as biased, anti-Israel propagandists –correctly noted that journalists’ descriptions of “clashes” incorrectly impute a false equivalency between the actions of Palestinians and Israeli security forces, but they ranted against this description for entirely opposite reasons as they reversed the perpetrators of violence and the protectors. In their books, those hurling firebombs and stones toward Israeli police and worshippers were harmlessly demonstrating their frustration with Israeli “occupation” while protection of worshippers and riot control by Israeli security forces was unjust violence by the “occupying force.”
In other jihad-related violence, Palestinian attackers attempted stabbing, shooting, and charging attacks on Israeli security officers. They threw firebombs and rocks at Israeli vehicles. They vandalized Joseph’s Tomb, a Jewish holy site, and later shot two Jews going to visit the holy site. In many of these cases, the assailants were arrested or shot and killed by security forces.
The media imposed a false symmetry between the violent and murderous actions of Palestinian terrorists, murderers and assailants and the Israeli response.
Headlines and stories, however, blurred the difference between anti-Israel terrorism with Israel’s efforts to thwart such attacks. For example, an AP story on April 13, headlined “Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians in raids in West Bank” wrote of “the latest in a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has erupted as Muslims mark the holy month of Ramadan.” Another AP story referred to “a wave of arrests and military operations across the occupied West Bank” that was responsible “setting off clashes with Palestinians.” These AP stories were covered by newspapers and other media outlets.
Like last year, the pretext of defending al-Aqsa and Jerusalem from the Jews provided a new justification for the firing of rockets into Israel by Iran-supported terrorists under Hamas authority in Gaza and later on, from Lebanon.
Throughout, the media imposed a false symmetry between the violent and murderous actions of Palestinian terrorists, murderers and assailants and the Israeli response.
A New York Times article by Raja Abdulrahim on April 16 did exactly that and worse, reversing the focus to present Israel as the aggressor and Palestinians as the victims. Entitled “‘We’re Exhausted’: Palestinians Decry Israeli Raids as Collective Punishment,” the sub-headline set up a contrived equivalence: “At least 14 Palestinians have been killed in a widespread Israeli military operation in the West Bank, launched in response to a string of attacks in Israel that killed 14 people.” The focus of the article, however, was to show an equivalence as much as to highlight Palestinian grievances and display Israel, rather than Palestinians, as the aggressors and villains of the story. To that end, Abdulrahim deceives readers by suggesting that the 14 Palestinians killed were innocent victims of Israeli aggressors when, in fact, the vast majority of them were either attacking Israeli soldiers or involved in gunfights and clashes with Israeli soldiers when killed.
Hamas Expands the “Defend al Aqsa” Threat, With Little Reaction From MSM
As Ramadan drew to a close, Hamas’ Gaza leader, Yahya Sinwar, threatened Jews around the world with the “Defend al Aqsa” battle cry. In a speech on Saturday night (April 30, 2022), he declared:
“Our people must prepare for a great battle if the occupation does not cease its aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Violating Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem means a regional, religious war…Whoever makes the decision to allow [Israeli security forces in Al-Aqsa] to be repeated, the violation of Al-Aqsa — he has decided to allow the violation of thousands of synagogues all across the world.”
Aside from Jewish media outlets, few Western mainstream media outlets covered this revelatory, anti-Semitic threat by Hamas. (A notable exception was Agence France Presse.)
And so it has continued, with the media following the same pattern as it did last year, highlighting Palestinian terrorist pretexts and finding ways to blame Israel while CAMERA calls journalists out on their misreporting and errors, alerting the world to the truth of what’s really going on and how the increasingly unreliable mainstream media too often distorts it.
Ricki Hollander is a senior media analyst at CAMERA. Her analyses, commentary and letters about the Arab-Israeli conflict and its media coverage have appeared in such publications as the National Review, Middle East Quarterly, Newsweek, Spectator, Chicago Sun Times, Algemeiner and Times of Israel. She has lectured across North America and in Israel about the topic. Hollander is co-author of the monograph “Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.”
May 4, 2022 12:14 pm
On April 12, 2022, the State Department published its 2021 “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Israel, West Bank and Gaza.” As the Jewish Insider, among others, noted, the document relied extensively on Amnesty International, an NGO that has accused Israel of “apartheid.” But as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) has highlighted, Amnesty’s accusations are steeped in shoddy research, double standards, and baseless claims.
The head of Amnesty’s US office, Paul O’Brien, has said that the organization is opposed to the existence of the world’s sole Jewish state. And, as NGO Monitor and CAMERA have documented, several Amnesty employees have made antisemitic comments and openly supported the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which singles out Israel for opprobrium and seeks its destruction.
In February 2022, the US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, even called Amnesty’s libel “absurd.”
Yet, none of this stopped the State Department from citing Amnesty. Indeed, in some quarters, it may have recommended it.
The American foreign service, it must be said, is filled with hardworking and talented professionals who, no doubt, reject hate in all its forms. There is no evidence to suggest that the majority hold views that are anti-Israel or even antisemitic. One must not paint with a broad brush. But there is evidence to suggest that anti-Israel bias, and even antisemitism, isn’t foreign to the US diplomatic corps. There was replete evidence of antisemitism during much of the 20th century, but it certainly still exists today.
One State Department official even has ties to an organization that propagates antisemitism. As the Washington Free Beacon reported in February 2021, the then-nominee for the post of Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, had previously worked for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA). As a WRMEA staffer, Zeya had helped compile research for a book that argues that “the Israel lobby has subverted the American political process to take control of US Middle East policy.”
Accusations of undue and pernicious Jewish power meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by numerous governments and entities—including the US State Department. She was later confirmed to her position.
As CAMERA highlighted, WRMEA has, among other things, implied that Israel was connected to the JFK assassination and the Sept. 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks, and has published books with chapters that warn about “Jewish Power in the Formulation of US Middle East Policy.”
WRMEA has also accused Israel of profiting from the sale of human organs — a modern-day incarnation of the antisemitic blood libel.
As the historian and Israeli official Michael Oren chronicled in his 2007 book “Power, Faith, and Fantasy,” there is a long history of State Department officials holding anti-Zionist and even antisemitic views. For example, Paul Knabenshue, the consul general in Jerusalem in the 1920s, blamed Jews for the violence perpetrated against them.
After the 1929 pogroms that left hundreds of Jews dead and many more wounded, Knabenshue said that “the Jews are always responsible, for they generally bring their troubles upon themselves.” Knabenshue dismissed attempts by the US Congress to protect Jews as the product of “Jewish financial influence.” The foreign service official, Oren writes, was “archetypal of those State Department officials later known collectively — and often derisively — as Arabists, a diplomat who had spent many years in the Middle East, knew Arabic, and despised the Zionist movement.”
This phenomenon was ably documented by Robert Kaplan in his book “The Arabists,” with one former State Department official telling the author that the “powerful, vested interest of a certain group of people, concentrated in the big cities in big states, determines our Middle East policy.”
One of the more infamous American diplomats was Charles Crane, whose appointment as envoy to China was rescinded by then-President William Howard Taft over Crane’s open hatred of “Japs and Jews.” Crane would later be sent by President Woodrow Wilson to the fragmenting Ottoman Empire as part of the King-Crane Commission which purported to investigate the possibilities of self-determination for the people of the Middle East.
Warning that Arabs were concerned about the “menace” of the “modern, pushy Jew,” Crane opposed Zionism. Later in life, Crane sought audiences with both Adolf Hitler and Amin al-Husseini, a Nazi collaborator and Palestinian Arab leader. “Crane’s last letter about world affairs before he died,” Kaplan notes, “was to Hitler, blaming the Jews for the problems in the Middle East.”
Perhaps the most tragic example of antisemitism and the American foreign service can be found in the efforts by leading State Department officials to block and limit entry of Jews fleeing the Holocaust. Assistant Secretary of State Breckenridge Long, who considered Jews to be “exponents of Communism and chaos,” worked tirelessly to deny visas, seeking to, in his own words, “put every obstacle in the way” of those seeking entry.
Several top State Department officials would also oppose, albeit for various reasons, the Truman administration’s support for the establishment of Israel. In this respect, the State Department differed little from the majority of Truman’s advisers, who were concerned that Israel’s creation would complicate relations with potential Arab allies and access to oil. Yet, as Kaplan notes, “none held so tenaciously to this view” as Loy Henderson “and his diplomatic colleagues at the State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs bureau.” One official, Philip Ireland, openly equated Zionism with “Nazi Lebensraum.” And in his memoirs, Truman himself observed of State’s Middle East experts: “Some among them were also inclined to be anti-Semitic.”
There is, it must be said, an abundance of evidence for Truman’s charge. However, the State Department of today is not the State Department of Breckenridge Long. For example, for the last several decades, Jewish-American foreign service officers have been posted to Israel — a posting that was for many years prohibited in practice out of concern of “bias” as one former State employee told me.
Yet, bureaucracies seldom change overnight, and institutional practices are often long-lasting. But when it comes to the Jews and the State Department, the more sordid moments of Foggy Bottom’s history shouldn’t be forgotten.
The writer is a Senior Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis
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May 8, 2022
Subhi Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir, one of the 2 terrorists (Telegram)
IDF expert reservists specializing in field analysis played a major role in locating the murderers.
By World Israel News Staff
Four days after the deadly attack in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad in central Israel, the two axe-wielding terrorists were caught and arrested in a joint operation by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the IDF and the Israel Police.
The escaped terrorists, 19-year-old As’ad Yussef Assad al-Rafa’i and 20-year-old Sabhi Abu Shakir — both of Rummanah, a small village near Jenin — were found in a wooded area between Rosh HaAyin and Nahshonim, less than a kilometer from where the attack took place.
Three fathers — Yonatan Habakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftach — were murdered on Thursday evening, at the conclusion of Israel’s Independence Day, leaving their wives and a total of 16 children.
It was assumed the terrorists had not managed to escape to the Palestinian Authority-run areas of Judea and Samaria, as no trace of them had been found at the security barrier.
Information gathered by intelligence, including IDF expert reservists who specialize in field analysis, pointed to the location where the murderers were found. It was a wooded area, with many tangled branches, making it difficult to locate them.
The exhausted terrorists surrendered to the forces with no resistance.
“I congratulate the security forces on capturing the two terrorists who committed the murder in Elad,” stated Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev.
“In the last two days, the best forces in the police, the Shin Bet, and the IDF have worked together to get their hands on them, and so it has happened. The intensive activity along a complex terrain route deserves all praise. We will continue to pursue with determination those who seek our harm at any time, and everywhere, and we will reach them,” he said.
“We said that we would apprehend the terrorists and we have done so,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the Sunday morning cabinet meeting.
“This morning, our forces – the Israel Police and the ISA, together with soldiers from the Maglan, Egoz and Mirol [IDF] units – captured the murderers. The miserable terrorists, brainwashed with incitement who used axes to commit unimaginably brutal murders, were apprehended near a local quarry. Again, I commend the ISA and its Director, the Israel Police and its Inspector General, and all of the soldiers.”