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Hamas and the PA: Exchanging One Genocidal Antisemitic Leadership for Another

The mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Who will govern Gaza after the present war? It is not clear that Israel has formulated its vision for a post-Hamas Gaza, but Israel has determined that that future will not include another genocidally antisemitic regime.

In unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza in 2005, Israel had not fully anticipated the Hamas takeover in 2007. Similarly, Hamas’ charter — where the Islamist group states that its goal is to kill all Jews worldwide, and declares this objective to be a religious obligation — did not lead Israel to anticipate the onslaught of October 7. Nor did it prevent the recurrent Hamas rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, which triggered four wars in 15 years.

On the contrary, loathe to reoccupy Gaza in response to earlier attacks, Israeli governments had convinced themselves that Hamas could be managed with sharp but limited military responses in wartime, and various incentives between wars.

A similar willful blindness, likewise driven by reluctance to resume its pre-1993 rule even temporarily over the Palestinian population of Judea and Samaria, has shaped Israeli policy towards the Palestinian Authority (PA).

On the very night of the White House  ceremony initiating the Oslo peace process and creating the PA, Yasser Arafat, in a Jordanian broadcast, assured his constituency that his goal remained Israel’s annihilation.

When Arafat subsequently took control of much of Judea and Samaria and Gaza, he and the PA used their media, mosques, and schools to promote the objective of Israel’s destruction and the establishment of an Arab state cleansed of Jews.

Despite all this evidence, Israel closed its eyes to the incitement, and to Arafat’s role in the increased terror attacks that followed his entry into the territories. It was only after Arafat launched his terror war in 2000, a war that — together with the losses to terror earlier in the Oslo years — claimed a number of lives comparable to those lost on October 7, that Israel finally rethought its embrace of Arafat as a “peace partner.”

Arafat’s associate and successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has continued the PA’s incitement to genocide.

Abbas and the PA have also promoted Israel’s demise via their “pay to slay” policy that offers financial incentives to those who murder Israelis and to their families. Elements of the PA have also praised Hamas’s October 7 massacre, and some have bragged about PA involvement in that day’s events.

Handing control of a post-Hamas Gaza to the PA would simply be exchanging one genocidal antisemitic leadership in Gaza for another. Yet such a regime is exactly what President Biden seemed to be advocating in a recent Washington Post op-ed. And Secretary of State Blinken has repeatedly declared that he envisions Gaza being handed over to the PA. Even some Israeli leaders are advocating this; most notably Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party and Israel’s prime minister for six months in 2022.

Unfortunately, there has never been a Palestinian leadership whose political program was not built around genocidal antisemitism. This has been true since the beginning of a Palestinian Arab political movement in the early part of the last century.

The early leader of the movement, Haj Amin al-Husseini, instigated murderous attacks on the Jewish community in Mandatory Palestine in 1929 and again in 1936-39. He spent a considerable amount of World War II in Berlin as Hitler’s guest, and broadcast from Berlin to the Arab world urging support for the Nazis and the murder of all Jews in Arab lands. He also worked with the Nazis on plans for the extermination of Mandate Jews after the anticipated German conquest of the region.

Later, al-Husseini was the leading Palestinian Arab figure in the wake of passage of the United Nations partition plan that called for division of the Mandate into Jewish and Arab states, a plan immediately rejected by the Arab side. In the ensuing war, al-Husseini’s objective and that of his followers and allies was still the annihilation of the Jewish community.

Arafat and Abbas’s Fatah organization, long the dominant force in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was founded by members of al-Husseini’s Arab Higher Committee and has embraced the same goal of annihilating the Jews.

Ahmed Shukeiry was head of the PLO in the lead-up to the 1967 war. As Arab forces, at the initiation of Egypt, were preparing for what they believed would be Israel’s destruction, Shukeiry declared of the aftermath of the coming hostilities, “Those [Jews] who survive will remain in Palestine. I estimate that none of them will survive.”

On June 24, 2002, then President George W. Bush, having come to more fully understand Arafat’s role in the ongoing terror war he had launched two years earlier — including the PA’s collusion with Hamas and Iran — declared that a change in Palestinian governance to a democratic leadership untainted by terror was a necessary precondition to peace. But is such a change even possible? Would there be support among Palestinians for a leadership that genuinely sought peace with Israel?

Such support was likely more feasible before Oslo. From 1967 to 1993, there had evolved a burgeoning Palestinian middle class in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Many of its members, having been exposed to Israel’s democracy over those years, talked of wanting the same type of governance for themselves. But the vast majority of Palestinians today have not known anything but PA rule in Judea and Samaria, and PA — and then Hamas rule — in Gaza. For their entire lives they have been exposed to schooling and sermons and media broadcasts that have indoctrinated them about the necessity of devoting their lives to Israel’s annihilation. Opinion polls in the Palestinian territories have shown overwhelming support for that agenda.

Even Palestinians who, unhappy with life under the PA or Hamas, have emigrated from the territories, continue in large part to support the Palestinian leadership’s genocidal goal. One can see it in the pro-Hamas demonstrations that have filled American and European cities since October 7, and in Palestinian participation in the displays of antisemitism that have scarred American and European academia. One can see it even in the halls of Congress.

To ignore this reality, to suggest that eliminating Hamas’ control of Gaza and then handing the territory to the PA would be a step towards peace, is delusional and lethally dishonest. To not insist on a successor regime that represents a radical break with the Palestinian past and genuinely eschews genocidal antisemitism is simply to court unending repetitions of the crimes of October 7.

Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.

The post Hamas and the PA: Exchanging One Genocidal Antisemitic Leadership for Another first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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What the Torah Teaches Us About Modesty

A Torah scroll. Photo: RabbiSacks.org.

Many years ago, I was told a story about my father by somebody who belonged to the same congregation as his family in London. My father was, from a young age, a very confident speaker. In his little community of Notting Hill in West London, he was often asked to give a Derasha (a sermon) on Shabbat. What attracted the attention of the public was the fact that the sermon he gave was entitled “The Priests’ Pants.”

In England, this meant underpants, unlike in America, where pants mean what we call trousers. It was obviously an oratorical device to attract everyone’s attention right away — something I have often used myself, although not at such an early age.

This is relevant because the Torah reading on that occasion happened to be the same one as we read this week, Tetzaveh. This parsha is concerned almost entirely with the special garments Aaron the High Priest and his sons wore when serving in the Tabernacle, and that succeeding priests would wear in the Temple (Exodus 28:42).

In all temples, then and now,  priests of all religions, pagan and monotheistic, all dressed up in special clothes as an obvious sign of importance, designed to generate respect and awe. Indeed, even to this day aristocrats, diplomats, military officers, and clergy wear formal uniforms from top to toe, as a sign of importance.

But why mention the unmentionable underpants? The word used here in Exodus 28:42 is Michnasayim, which in modern Hebrew means trousers or pants. But it also means “to cover up.” And that’s what the Bible was instructing priests — and us — to do.

The truth is that sexuality plays a very important part in our lives, and certainly sexuality played a very important part in Pagan worship. The very first episode of human interaction in the Torah is the story of Adam and Eve realizing that nakedness is something that can be misused as well. And requires covering.

One of the important themes of the Torah is the idea of modesty. Some of our bodily functions may be perfectly natural and necessary such as reproduction or using the bathroom. But they are things that traditionally had to be treated differently and privately, and not in the public domain. Not all societies agree with this. Nowadays many of us live in societies where the definitions of modesty are changing and loosening. As important as modesty in every area is, the Torah never tries to define it. Probably because it is too variable to legislate specifically for, which is why in different religious communities the customs are so varied, and each one sets its own standards.

You may wonder whether this was an appropriate message for a 13-year-old boy to hold forth upon. And I might be inclined to suggest within an ideal world that my father might have chosen another topic. But given that rabbis or their representatives are expected to speak about the reading of the Torah each week, frankly, it is hard to imagine what else he could have chosen as a topic that would have inspired some interest amongst his audience. So, he took a risk. Something I unconsciously must have picked up on from my father.

The author is a writer and rabbi, currently based in New York.

The post What the Torah Teaches Us About Modesty first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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A Letter to Candace Owens on Israel and Jews

Candace Owens. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Dear Candace,

The last time we chatted (OK, I wrote to you), you were defending Kanye West for his antisemitic tirades. It was unclear whether you were doing this as his friend, or because you agreed with him (though your obnoxious tone suggested the latter).

The past four months have made everything much clearer. Most recently, in a podcast and three rants, you accused a segment of Jews of being dishonest, disgusting, manipulative, thugs, and Marxists.

So, to use your favorite expression, let’s be honest here:

Sure, there are Marxist Jews. And they’ve caused a lot of problems. But they don’t like Israel any more than you seem to. They are not the ones defending Israel against the incessant attacks from some Democrats, whom you have proclaimed to hate. In fact, some of those Marxist Jews have helped to create terrorism-friendly campuses and are taking part in the daily, violent pro-Hamas protests.

You go after “DC Jews” and call them a fringe element, a “rot” in the Jewish community, comparing them to Black Lives Matter activists. Again, you’re a little confused. Pro-Israel Jews do not “use” antisemitism the way some BLM activists use the cause against racism to advance an agenda. Since Oct. 7, antisemitic incidents in the US have risen 400%. The reason all your “best friends” growing up didn’t call out antisemitism is because it wasn’t as big of a problem then as it is today.

Or maybe your friends are status leftists who prefer to be silent on these issues precisely because of people like you, who would use it against them.

Regarding the two ads the Israeli government took out for the Super Bowl: Those ads were meant to remind Americans that Hamas still holds 134 hostages — five of whom are Americans. Hamas is not the “government” of Arabs who identify as “Palestinian,” as you claim. They’re terrorists. Are you now pro-terrorism — or just when it comes to Jews?

Yes, the US gives Israel aid — but the vast majority of it must be used to buy American weapons. They’re called Foreign Military Financing grants, meaning they simultaneously give Americans jobs. Maybe if your new best friends like Hamas stopped trying to destroy Israel, these grants would not be needed.

Despite all the nasty things you have said about us, let’s assume for a moment that you do like Jews — that many of your “best friends” have in fact been Jewish — and you don’t hate Israel. Let’s assume all of your problematic views are coming from the neo-isolationism that Tucker Carlson and the Freedom Caucus espouse. (Though Carlson has shared antisemitic tropes during a discussion with you, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who believes Jews use space lasers to control the world, was a key member of the Caucus.)

There are numerous problems with this neo-isolationism, but since being “America first” is key to who you claim to be today, let’s just look at one of America’s enemies: Iran. You may not be aware of this, but Iran doesn’t like America. Iran calls us the “Great Satan.” Iran is also part of the new axis of evil — Russia, China, North Korea — that Carlson doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Which country has the best intel on Iran? That tiny homeland of the Jewish people. Why? Because Israel is “Little Satan” to Iran. Why does Israel have better intel on Iran than the US? Because they’ve had to. Maybe you don’t know this, but both Hamas and Hezbollah are Iranian proxies.

You talk a lot about “emotional manipulation” — indoctrination, brainwashing — on the part of Democrats. But you do the same. Because I don’t think you’re lacking in facts as much as you pretend to be. On the subject of Israel, you seem to want to believe leftist/Marxist lies.

But many of your followers are not smart enough to see through your emotional manipulation. And they don’t want to. Most are ultra-nationalist white Christians who don’t like Blacks or Jews. They’re willing to overlook your skin color because you incessantly attack Blacks and Jews. What do you think they would do if you stopped?

As you repeatedly say, all your life Jews have been very good to you — both as friends and employers. But you’ve now attached yourself to the ultra-nationalist/neo-isolationist wing of the GOP, and they, like their parents and grandparents, don’t like Jews. Instead of trying to reconcile this, as an honest person would, you’ve taken the antisemitic way out: blaming Jews for antisemitism.

Hitler, for whom you have expressed great admiration, would indeed be proud.

Karen Lehrman Bloch is editor in chief of White Rose Magazine. A different version of this article was originally published by The Jewish Journal.

The post A Letter to Candace Owens on Israel and Jews first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Media Distort Israel’s Refusal to Be Bullied Into Rewarding Terrorists

Displaced Palestinians, who fled their homes due to the war provoked by Hamas’s terror attacks, shelter in a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, December 29, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Shadi Tabatibi

Following indications by the likes of the United Kingdom and France that they could formally recognize a Palestinian state without Israel’s approval, the Israeli government issued a statement in response:

Israel outright rejects international dictates regarding a final status agreement with the Palestinians. The agreement, in so far as it will be reached, will be solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.

Israel will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would give a huge reward to unprecedented terrorism and prevent any future peace agreement.

Israel’s message was explicit: it will not stand back and allow the perpetrators of the October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians to be rewarded with what effectively amounts to legitimacy.

What Israel’s statement about unilateral recognition did not do, was oppose Palestinian statehood in general. That is, Israel did not outright reject the idea that a Palestinian state could be formed as part of a larger peace agreement.

Why, then, did some media outlets distort the contents of Sunday’s announcement to suggest that Israel had said it would refuse to accept a two-state solution to the conflict?

The Telegraph, for example, characterized Israel’s position as Israel declining outright the possibility of two states existing side by side in a misleading headline that also hinted at Israeli aggression by linking the supposed rejection to a ground offensive in Rafah.

The Israeli cabinet rejected an imposed two-state solution from outside without Israeli agreement.@Telegraph‘s headline is disingenuous and fails to make this clear.#HeadlineFailhttps://t.co/QBt1o1tFKb pic.twitter.com/5eba0rWwSY

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) February 19, 2024

Taking a similar line was LBC News, which led with Israel’s plan to root Hamas from its last stronghold in Rafah — painting it instead as effectively an assault on the 1.5 million people sheltering there, and tying it to Israel’s allegedly stymying Palestinian aspirations for a sovereign state.

The New York Post chose to obscure what had occurred to suggest that the Israeli government was rejecting “all calls” for a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times, the Financial Times and Voice of America all produced vague headlines that claimed Israel is opposed to a state as part of any resolution after the war against Hamas in Gaza, without noting that its objection was to unilateral recognition.

Irish Times:

Financial Times:

Voice of America:

The fact is, Israel has shown time and time again that is willing to negotiate with Palestinians and is not opposed to the actualization of a Palestinian state.

Indeed, one only needs to look at the many occasions over the years in which Israel has come to the negotiating table offering the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state — only for the Palestinians to, invariably with violence, reject its creation.

From the UN partition plan to the Camp David proposals, Israel’s willingness to accept Palestinian statehood is etched in the history books.

For the media to suggest otherwise is just historical revisionism.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Media Distort Israel’s Refusal to Be Bullied Into Rewarding Terrorists first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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