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Fatah and Hamas Share Identical Child Martyrdom Promotion

Illustrative: Palestinian children compelled to participate in a Hamas military parade. Photo: Twitter.

Hamas recently broadcast footage of a young boy saying, “We want to die as Martyrs. I’m not afraid, I want to die as a Martyr”:

Speaking through the mouth of a young boy from the Gaza Strip, Hamas sent this message to Palestinians:

Boy: “We are the generation of the future. We’ll wave the flags of Jihad in Palestine and liberate it. We stand firm on our land and remain in the Bureij refugee camp despite the Israeli occupation’s threats [i.e., Israeli warnings to evacuate combat zones in Gaza].

We’ll not leave our land, we’re remaining in our homes. .. We stand firm on our land, and if the occupation [i.e., Israel] approaches us, we’ll resist. We want to resist, even if they shoot us. We want to die as Martyrs. I’m not afraid, I want to die as a Martyr, that’s fine. We salute the resistance in Palestine.”

[“The Palestinian Center for Information” (Hamas), X (Twitter) account, Dec. 26, 2023]

The Palestinian Authority’s message is the same, as Palestinian Media Watch has exposed for decades.

In this recent PA TV broadcast, two fathers express appreciation and happiness with their sons’ Martyrdom-deaths.

One even says that more will follow, because when one dies as a Martyr, “10 grow [in his place]”:

Samer Jaber, father of terrorist Mahmoud Jaber: “Praise Allah, of course he [my son Mahmoud] asked for Martyrdom, and praise Allah he received it.”

Fathi Abu Zahra, father of terrorist As’ad Abu Zahra: “Let the Zionist entity always know: They kill one, 10 grow [in his place]. We are all a sacrifice for Palestine, everything is for my homeland. Palestine is very precious to us and we will give for it, we need to give for it, and we want to give for it so that it will be liberated, Almighty Allah willing.” [emphasis added]

[Official PA TV News, Dec. 17, 2023]

Mahmoud Jaber, Walid Abu Zahra, Ghaith Shehadeh, Jihad Amarna, and As’ad Abu Zahra were Palestinian terrorists aged 22, 22, 25, 25, and 33 respectively, who shot and threw explosives at Israeli forces conducting a counter-terror operation in the Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarem, on Dec. 17, 2023. An Israeli drone strike killed the terrorists, thereby ending their attack.

The author is a senior analyst at Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article was originally published.

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‘No Reward for The Murderers’: Israeli Officials Bash US Plan To Recognize Palestinian State

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich attends an inauguration event for Israel’s new light rail line for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, in Petah Tikva, Israel, Aug. 17, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A chorus of Israeli officials spoke out against a reported peace plan being pushed by the United States and several Arab states that would include the recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday.

The proposed plan, as detailed in The Washington Post, calls for “the withdrawal of many, if not all, settler communities on the West Bank; a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem; the reconstruction of Gaza; and security and governance arrangements for a combined West Bank and Gaza.”

In order to attempt to force Israel’s hand, the report says, “U.S. officials said the menu of actions under consideration include early U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state — even as elements of political reform, security guarantees for both Israel and the Palestinians, normalization and reconstruction are being implemented.”

“In my speech yesterday in Berlin, I warned against the dangerous plan that is taking shape for unilateral international recognition of a Palestinian state,” said MK Gideon Sa’ar, who is not part of the government coalition – but part of the war cabinet coalition – National Unity. “This plan will not only not resolve the conflict but will make it intractable. The Palestinians will receive state recognition without paying the the price of compromise and they will continue the conflict from an upgraded position that will harm Israel’s right to self-defense.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been clear that he is opposed to a Palestinian state, and that Israel will maintain security control over the Gaza Strip once the war ends.

“1,400 murdered and the world wants to give them a state. It won’t happen,” tweeted National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. He added in an interview with Israeli media “The intention of the US, together with the Arab states, to establish a terror state alongside the State of Israel is delusional and part of the misguided conception that there is a partner for peace on the other side… While we are in the government, no Palestinian state will be established.”

Education Minister Yoav Kisch added “We are only concerned with winning in Gaza. There will simply be no reward for the murderers.”

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich also tweeted against the plan, saying “We will in no way agree to this plan, which actually says that the Palestinians deserve a reward for the terrible massacre they did to us: a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The message is that it pays very well to massacre Israeli citizens. A Palestinian state is an existential threat to the State of Israel as was proven on October 7, Kfar Saba will not be Kfar Aza!”

He further called on the cabinet to issue “a clear and unequivocal decision stating that Israel opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state and the imposition of sanctions on over half a million settlers. I expect clear support from Prime Minister Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Gadi Eisenkot and all the ministers.”

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‘Explosion of Hate’ Antisemitism in United Kingdom Reached Unprecedented Level in 2023, New Report Says

People march in a protest, in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in London, Britain, November 11, 2023. Photo: Alishia Abodunde via Reuters Connect

More antisemitic incidents occurred in the United Kingdom in 2023 than any year in the history of recording such data, according to a new report issued on Thursday by Community Security Trust (CST), a nonprofit that offers security services and training to the country’s Jewish community.

The report, titled Antisemitic Incidents Report 2023, said that 4,103 antisemitic incidents happened in the country in 2023, an increase of 147 percent from 2022. They included physical assaults, hate speech, threats, and cases of what the nonprofit described as “damage and desecration” of Jewish religious symbols and houses of worship. CST noted that over 2,000 other incidents reported to its offices were not included in its official statistics, noting that some “were not deemed to be antisemitic” while others involved “suspicious activity” and other potential threats to physical safety.

“British Jews are strong and resilient, but the explosion in hatred against our community is an absolute disgrace,” CST chief executive Mark Gardner said in a statement. “It occurs in schools, universities, workplaces, on the streets, and all over social media. Our community is being harassed, intimidated, threatened, and attacked by extremists who also oppose society as a whole. We thank the government and police for their support, but this is a challenge for everyone and we condemn the stony silence from those sections of society that eagerly call out racism in every other case, except when it comes to Jew hate.”

CST’s data shows a massive uptick of antisemitic incidents immediately after Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, which resulted in hundreds of murders of civilians, abductions of the young and elderly, and numerous sexual assaults of Israeli women. Between January and September, there were fewer than 200 incidents but 1,303 in October alone, over 1,200 in November and December. From Oct. 7 until the end of the year, CST added, its offices received an average of 31 reports per day.

In that span of time, CST recorded its highest single-day and single-week totals of antisemitic incidents, indicating “that it was celebration of Hamas’ attack, rather than anger towards Israel’s military response in Gaza, that prompted the unprecedented levels of antisemitism across the country.” Additionally, the report added, perpetrators signposted their anti-Zionist hatred in 43 percent of incidents, saying Zionist, Zionism, or “Free Palestine!” while committing an offense. In 955 others, they alluded to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, both of which they often connected to Hamas and anti-Zionism.

“Perpetrators either glorified Hamas’ act of terror as a repeat of the Nazis extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust, or lamented Hitler’s failure to eliminate world Jewry entirely,” CST explained, adding that others expressed being motivated by Islamic-antisemitism, viewing the conflict between Israelis and Hamas as part of a larger conflagration between Jews and Muslims.

Antisemitism on social media also proliferated after Oct. 7, appearing the most on X/Twitter, where CST found 704 examples of it, an increase of 249 percent. X users often based their antisemitism on conspiracies and other extreme political ideologies.

“The figures noted in CST’s Antisemitic Report 2023 should be a reminder to British civil society of the serious nature of antisemitism and the impact that it has on the Jewish community,” Lord Mann, His Majesty’s Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, said in a statement on the report’s findings. “As we have seen over the years, when tensions rise in the Middle East there is an increase in antisemitism around the world. However, this scale is unprecedented and is, for the first time ever, widespread across every police region in the United Kingdom.”

Mann continued, “This country will not tolerate the abuse or intimidation of any of its citizens and I will continue to make sure that it remains a safe place for our Jewish community.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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‘We’ll Be Seen as Losers if We Don’t Complete the Job:’ Israeli Historian Benny Morris Addresses the War Against Hamas

Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza. Photo: IDF via Reuters

“I dislike Benjamin Netanyahu intensely; he’s a crook,” the Israeli historian Benny Morris said, when asked about the future direction of the present war triggered by the pogrom executed by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. “But he’s right that the war should continue until Hamas is crushed, if only because around the region, we will be seen as losers if we don’t complete the job.”

That observation about Israel’s prime minister, offered during an extensive telephone interview with The Algemeiner on Thursday, underlines the near impossibility of neatly slotting Morris’ views into any particular camp. One of Israel’s leading public intellectuals, who is a Cambridge University graduate, a former professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the author of the seminal study The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, first published in 1988, Morris expresses opinions associated with the left at one moment, and with the right in the next. Ideological partisans might regard this as a contradictory; more flexible thinkers, perhaps including Morris himself, would see this as a net positive, reflecting both the Middle East’s complexity and the futility of reducing national and political conflicts to mere slogans.

For Morris is an opponent not just of Netanyahu and the right-wing coalition gathered around him; he remains, in principle, a supporter of the two-state solution as well as a longstanding critic of Israel’s presence in the West Bank. On the other hand, he doesn’t articulate any faith in the willingness of the Palestinian factions to reach a permanent settlement with Israel, and he believes that the true villain of the piece is the Iranian regime, which this week has again been trumpeting its ability to assemble a nuclear weapon, and which continues to support terrorist organizations committed to Israel’s destruction, from the Houthi rebels in Yemen to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“What is certain is that Iran has forged with its proxies a circle around Israel, an alliance of anti-Israeli and anti-western forces,” Morris remarked. “Above and beyond all of this is the Iranian nuclear threat, which is certainly on the minds of Israelis, and also on the minds of American leaders and generals. This is the main threat, way beyond the threat posed by Iran’s proxies.” He makes no secret of his view that Israel should neutralize Iran’s nuclear ambitions as soon as possible. “It’ll be more expensive to do it later,” he argued. “If the Iranians acquire a nuclear arsenal, the region will probably come under Iranian domination.”

Morris is a little more sanguine when it comes to Israel’s other adversaries in the region. The conservative Arab Gulf states, some of whom signed up to peace treaties with Israel through the so-called “Abraham Accords” of 2018, will continue, according to Morris, balancing their need to pay “lip service” to the Palestinian cause with the imperative of retaining the protection and goodwill of the US, still Israel’s main ally. “Without America, countries like Bahrain or Qatar risk being dominated by the Iranians,” he said.

Turkey — the focus of of Morris’ 2019 book, The Thirty Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities 1894-1924, co-authored with his fellow historian Dror Ze’evi — is similarly unlikely to escalate tensions with Israel on the military front, even as its Islamist leadership engages in a fresh round of political demonization of the Jewish state. “Turkey, like Russia, is a dictatorship with the trappings of democracy,” Morris said. “They hold elections, but these are meaningless.” He nevertheless regards Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a shrewd operator who makes strategic calculations, despite his evident detestation of Israel. “Turkey has other axes to grind — the Kurds, northern Syria, potentially Iran, so they have had the sense to remain outside the conflict,” he said. “I think that will continue.”

Further afield, Morris doesn’t see a significant threat from US rivals China and Russia, at least not immediately. “China is not in the game at all. China is interested in expanding in the Pacific Rim,” he said. Given its military backing for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad during that country’s torrid civil war, Russia is a more likely candidate for involvement in the Middle East, but Moscow is for the time being hampered by its ongoing aggression against Ukraine as well as the robust sanctions imposed by western powers. “The situation [for the Russians] is not as it was during the Cold War,” Morris said. “Today, they are not as involved and their interests are not as bound up.”

With the US maintaining its role as the leading outside power in the region, talk of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been revived, causing tensions between Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden’s Administration. Morris believes that a Palestinian state alongside Israel is theoretically the correct solution, but he doesn’t see a “roadmap” —  the phrase much used by successive US administrations in their peacemaking efforts — for getting there.

“The problem is that the occupation is immoral and bad,” he said. “It was forced upon us, but we didn’t do enough to get out of it.” Meanwhile, in the wake of the Hamas atrocities, Israelis have become hardened. “The Israeli public is staunch in its desire to destroy Hamas and pay them back for what happened,” he said. “It’s not just a matter of revenge, it’s understanding that without that, Israel will appear weak.”

As Morris explains it, the dilemma for Israel revolves around how to withdraw from the West Bank without turning it into a Hamas stronghold. Israel has been able to weather two decades of rocket and missile attacks from Gaza, but similar salvos from Ramallah, which is just a short drive from Tel Aviv, would amount to an “existential threat,” Morris said. “In the West Bank, there is no way of assuring the benign nature of a Palestinian state,” he said. “The want all of Palestine. That’s the essence of the problem.” Additionally, Morris has little faith in international guarantees, citing Hezbollah’s refusal to move its armed forces north of Lebanon’s Litani River, as part of a broader disarmament process envisioned by UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of Aug. 2006, as an example of the difficulty of implementing compromises that are not enforced.

“The sense among Israelis is that, along with the rapes of Oct. 7, Israel itself was raped,” Morris said. “The world didn’t seem to care about that, and there was an instant rise in antisemitic abuse and anti-Israel rhetoric even before the military response.” The political context is also changing, he observed. “The further away the western world gets from the Holocaust, particularly the younger generations, they less they know and care about World War II,” he said. At the same time, “Islam contains a large antisemitic element” that stems from the bombastic accounts in the Qur’an of the battles in the seventh century between the Jewish tribes of Hijaz and the prophet Muhammad and his followers. “There’s this inherent anti-Jewish element that’s been reinforced by Israel’s existence in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries,” Morris said. “Israel is an innovation in that sense  — a Jewish state projecting power at the Muslims. That was not the situation for 1400 years since the rise of Islam.”

Israel’s future moves in this environment will be largely determined by its government. Morris does not believe that elections, which are not due for another three years, will be called early, blaming that on the “combination of crooks and cowards supporting Netanyahu.”

New elections will be elusive because those Knesset members supporting Netanyahu fear the loss of their seats, Morris said. “Most liberal and left Israelis would love to see an election now, and if one was held, Netanyahu would lose large,” he stressed. “But he’s not going to resign, and his allies aren’t going to abandon him.”

Morris is an admirer of Biden, whom he regards as “an old-style real Zionist who admires and respects Israel but doesn’t like Netanyahu.” He dreads the prospect of former President Donald Trump returning to the White House following November’s critical election. “I don’t trust Trump further than I can see,” he said. “He has no morals and he doesn’t care about Israel as [Bill] Clinton and [George W.] Bush did.” Asked about Trump’s decision while in office to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Morris was cynical, asserting that the “embassy should be in Jerusalem, because it’s Israel’s legitimate capital. So that made sense, but it didn’t turn [Trump] into an Israel-lover.” A Trump victory in November would be “very bad for Israel,” he emphasized.

Benny Morris will feature on an online panel titled “Hamas and the Origins of Islamic Antisemitism” sponsored by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research on Monday, Feb. 26. To register for this event, please click here.

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