by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
An Authentic Document in Palestinian AuthorityIdeology
Are the Jewish Elders of Zion conspiring to subjugate the entire world under a Jewish world
government? It sounds too ridiculous to consider, let alone necessitate a denial. But if you
were a 10th-grade student in the Palestinian Authority (PA), that is precisely what you would
have been learning in your new history book. The schoolbook, published in 2004, by the
Palestinian Ministry of Education, teaches that among the foundations of Zionism, agreed
upon at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, “there is a group of confidential resolutions
adopted by the Congress and known by the name ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ the
goal of which was world domination.”1
It has been 100 years since the publication of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion
and nearly a century since Henry Ford published his apology for arguing that the Protocols
were authentic documentation of a Jewish conspiracy. It’s been decades since the
enlightened world has relegated the Protocols to the shelves of hate propaganda, along with
the blood libels and poisoned well accusations of the Middle Ages. Why, then, would the PA
resurrect this vicious libel in the 21st century and pass it off as authentic to its children?
The striking truth is that this depiction of Jews as conspiring against the world as a kind of
conspiracy theory never went out of favor and has been actively espoused in PA society,
whose political, religious and educational leaders have incorporated the Protocols – and the
hate ideology it represents – as basic components of their world view.
This is not merely one among the many PA libels against Jews. The Protocols libel is critical
for Palestinian society, especially while teaching children that it represents the First Zionist
Congress, because it backs up the global ideology of delegitimization of Jews, Israel and
especially of Zionism, which is the foundation of Palestinian Authority propaganda. Defining the Zionist movement as one aspect of a global Jewish plot towards world domination leads to three important conclusions:
- Zionism is inherently an illegitimate and sinister movement.
- Zionism is dangerous and threatening not merely to Arabs, but to the entire world.
- Fighting Zionism is for Arabs and the world an act of self-defense and a service to all humanity.
authentic by academics, educators, political leaders and journalists.
A dominant preoccupation of PA academia is the repeated and varied denials of Israel’s
historical right to exist. These denials entail the erasure of Jewish history in the land, the
creation of a Palestinian Islamic history in the land, and finally a motivation for Zionism to be
established – other than its being an authentic national renaissance movement. Thus, a
history is invented in which the Land of Israel has always been Arab Islamic "Palestine" with
no Jewish roots, and Palestinian historians created reasons to explain Zionism's occurrence.
The essential narrative created by Arab and Palestinian educators teaches that Zionism in
Israel was a European idea with two goals:
- To set up a bridgehead for European imperialism to control the Middle East;
- Self defense for Christian Europe designed to be rid of the danger and burden of having Jews living among them.
Dr. Issam Sissalem, history lecturer at Islamic University and Educational TV host:
"The Jews lived in isolated areas, in ghettos in Poland and in Russia. They were the
remains of the Khazars ... with no connection to our land... At that time, Britain wanted
to plant a cancer [in the Middle East to control it]. It did not occur to them [the Jews]
that Palestine would be theirs. They wanted ... any Homeland. Our people wisely
sensed this, as they planted on the land and lived in peace and security, continuing a
twelve thousand year journey on this land…
Sissalem: “Britain wanted to plant here the Jews in order to protect the Suez Canal…
Britain decided to plant in this land a foreign secluded entity - a cancer - in order to
drive a wedge in the [Arab] nation…
Riad Al-Astal, history lecturer at Al-Azhar University in Gaza:
“There are two major elements for which Britain and the other European states were
striving: the first element was to get rid of the Jews, who were known as those who provoke civil wars, disturbances, and financial crises in Germany, in France and in other European states… second: the European plan, … to torpedo any hope for an Arab unity”.
"In these circumstances [of European nationalism] developed what is known as the Zionist Renaissance, and the seeds of what is called The Protocols of The Elders of Zion appeared at the end of the 18th century. They are the Protocols that were presented in the Basel Congress in Switzerland [the First Zionist Congress in 1897].”2
Once established as factual, the Protocols are cited by historians as textual proof of the
necessity of fighting Israel. One example:
Dr. Attallah Abu Al-Farah:
"Can there be, in practice, co-existence on Palestinian land between ourselves and the
Jews, in light of their mentality which stems from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?”
Dr. Issam Sissalem, history professor and host: “This question comes from ‘My Beloved Friend’. I say: Dr. Attallah, who is a learned expert…”3
This conversation was important for numerous reasons. The date was May 14, 1999, eve of
Israel's Independence Day, and the purpose of the program was to reject Israel's right to
exist. Citing the Protocols as authentic confirms the illegitimacy of Israel. Also note that this
was said in 1999 - before the PA terror war (also called "Intifada “) was launched. Some
suggest that the hatred expressed on PA TV was a result of the war but in fact the opposite is
true: The hate promotion is not a result of the war, but preceded it by many years, and was in
all likelihood a major cause of the war.
Finally, note the political implications expressed by the professor:
"Can there be co-existence on Palestinian land between ourselves and the Jews, in light of
their mentality which stems from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?"
The Protocols is being used as an excuse for fighting Israel, as there can be no peace with a
movement which is evil in essence.
Seeing the Protocols as a guide to understanding Jewish behavior encourages the PA to
demonize virtually every Israeli policy – even those that are manifestly positive. When Israel
released 400 Palestinian prisoners in 2004 in exchange for a kidnapped businessman and the
bodies of three Israeli soldiers, the PA found the following Protocols-spin to demonize the
1 History of the Modern and Contemporary World, Grade 10 p. 60-61. After world outcry, a later edition of the book removed this reference.
2 Palestinian Authority TV, December 28, 2003
3 Palestinian Authority TV, May 14, 1999
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Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch and Barbara Crook, associate director of PMW.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.