Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fighting Palestinian incitement - Dr. Edy Cohen



by Dr. Edy Cohen


In the era of social media, when processes born online have a strategic effect on the regimes around us, and at a time when those fighting radical Islamic factions in Israel's defense are portrayed as the aggressors, it is clear that Israel's security apparatus must be joined by a public diplomacy apparatus, to detect, follow, and fight the growing incitement.

Several mass rallies have been held across the West Bank in recent days to celebrate Fatah's 50th anniversary. The festivities found their way to social media, and their online manifestation was rife with expressions of hatred toward Jews. 

One photo, though, posted on the official website of al-Asifah -- Fatah's mainstream military wing -- stood out from the rest. It depicted dozens of skulls bearing blue Stars of David and positioned against a scene of destruction. A rifle and the al-Asifah flag were featured in the middle of this horror, with the caption "We rest on your skulls." The only way this image can be construed is a second Holocaust for the Jewish people. 

This image was the result of ongoing incitement promoted by the Palestinian media and in speeches given by Palestinian Authority officials, which is compounded by the diplomatic terrorism to which Israel is subjected in the U.N. and other international bodies. 

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are exposed to prolonged incitement, but that image has set public incitement and hatred at a new level. This was not the grave, albeit usual, incitement calling for the murder of Jews. This was a call for the Jewish people's genocide.

This, of course, is not the first time the Palestinians have visited the issue of Jewish annihilation. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini, who was in office in the 1920s and 1930s and headed the national Palestinian movement, was linked to a nefarious plan to eradicate Jews living in the Middle East, and it was only the Germans' defeat in the Second Battle of El Alamein, in November 1942, which prevented a Jewish Holocaust in the Middle East.

El-Husseini, an infamous Nazi sympathizer, met with Adolf Hitler in 1941 and was appointed to head Nazi propaganda in Arabic. He was afforded a monthly stipend amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, as well as an office in Berlin and dozens of aides, whose wages were paid by the Third Reich.

As part of his fight for the Palestinians' liberation and independence, the grand mufti spared no effort to prevent Europe's Jews from arriving in then-Palestine, and did his best to stop them from forming a national Jewish home in Israel. He also worked tirelessly to see Jews living in Arab nation deported to Europe, where they would be killed. 

When Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was about to enter Egypt as part of the El Alamein campaign, al-Husseini, with the Arab Legion of the German Army, was poised to enter Jerusalem. His plan was to build crematoriums in Dotan Valley, near Nablus, where he sought to see Jews from Israel and Arab nations annihilated in the methods employed by the Nazi death camps in Europe. His nefarious plan was thwarted by the Germans' defeat in El Alamein.

The Palestine Liberation Organization's incitement mechanism, which has been steadily increasing over the past few month and has reached a new high with the photo posted on al-Asifah's website, only fans the flames and encourages targeting Jews. 

In the era of social media, when processes born online have a strategic effect on the regimes around us, and at a time when those fighting radical Islamic factions in Israel's defense are portrayed as the aggressors, it is clear that Israel's security apparatus must be joined by a public diplomacy apparatus, to detect, follow, and fight the growing incitement.

This apparatus should include official state spokespeople, who should appeal to the moderate Arab nations. Unfortunately, it seems Israel has so far chosen to avoid dealing with the issue with earnest, as evident by state comptroller reports underscoring the budgetary and personnel deficiencies in public diplomacy in Arabic. Even the Foreign Ministry has forfeited having an Arabic-speaking spokesman, and the results of that decision are evident on the ground. 


Dr. Edy Cohen is a research fellow at Bar-Ilan University.

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=11133

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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