With all the financial, political and emotional capital already invested in the cause of ‘Palestine’, it is vital to keep up a certain ‘narrative’ with which facts must never be allowed to interfere.
The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, recently published an op-ed, claiming, “Anyone who follows the prattle of Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s envoy in the matter of the deal of the century, sees that his condition is very similar to Down Syndrome… Anyone who looks at the American envoy [Greenblatt] discovers that he has external and inner characteristics similar to those suffering from Down Syndrome: He is short, his eyes are similar to Mongoloid eyes, he prattles unrestrainedly, and is politically retarded.”
As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, the author, Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, a regular columnist for the official PA daily and once the advisor to former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on national affairs, went on to add, ”The ill Greenblatt is not the only one who has Down Syndrome, for it strikes all the components of the American administration. Anyone who examines the general genes of the components of the Trump administration sees that it is a politically crippled creature.”
The PA does and publishes much that is outrageous, but it rarely meets with much, if any, external consternation. This time was only slightly different, as the op-ed did elicit some criticism in the US: According to Palestinian Media Watch, US Congressman Ted Deutch (Dem.) said, “It is an outrageously offensive attack to level on anyone, anywhere” and AIPAC stated: “This is an outrageous personal attack on a distinguished U.S. official and an insult to basic human dignity.” A week prior to al-Ghoul’s op-ed, Fatah, of which Mahmoud Abbas has been chairman since 2009, published a statement on its official Facebook page, that Jews “deserved to be killed” during the Holocaust “because of who they are”. The statement did not produce any reactions anywhere.
In a sermon on official PA TV a few months ago, also translated by Palestinian Media Watch, Sheikh Osama Al-Tibi preached: “The Jews… expose their fangs whenever they get the chance… [They] are always fighting, corrupting, scheming and plotting against humanity – not just against the Muslims, but rather against all humanity. These malignant genes and cursed characteristics continue in them. They transfer them from generation to generation. Humanity will never be able to live together with them… That’s why Europe, America and others, have spit them out, down to the last one…” He also added: “Our prophet informed us – at the end of time, the Muslims will fight the Jews until the Jews hide behind a stone or a tree and the stone or tree will say: ‘Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’… Allah strike your enemies, the enemies of the religion, count them and kill them one by one, and do not leave even one”. These aberrations did not provoke any reaction anywhere either, despite the undiluted hatred and incitement to murder.
There is a reason for the general lack of outrage:
Nothing excites the political and emotional sensibilities of the Western political, media, and cultural classes more than the mythical, political never-land of ‘Palestine’, a place that has never existed on any map.
No other cause has received so much political and financial capital – the PA is estimated to have received a total of $25 billion in foreign aid since the mid-1990s, making the PA one of the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid;
No other cause has been graced with such single-minded attention from political leaders across the globe and no other cause so fuels the emotional imaginations of young people looking to ‘do good’ in the world.
With all this financial, political and emotional capital already invested in the cause of ‘Palestine’, it is vital to keep up a certain ‘narrative’, which corresponds to the fantasy of a blameless, disenfranchised people, robbed of its birthright to its mythical homeland of ‘Palestine’ – a narrative that facts must never be allowed to interfere with. This narrative is kept up in two ways: By never publicizing inconvenient historical and current facts about the conflict that contradict the ‘narrative’ in mainstream outlets and by regularly publicizing resolutions, political statements and ‘reports’ that reinforce the ‘narrative’, such as the recently publicized report of the UN Human Rights Council on the Gaza border conflict.
Both the PA and Hamas regularly commit atrocities, not only directed against Jews, but against their own people, most of which are completely ignored by their Western champions, because publicizing them would amount to admitting that when it comes to the PA and Gaza, they are supporting terrorist entities beyond the pale of civilized societies. This is the reason why terrorist murders of Israelis by Arab terrorists from the PA, for instance, rarely receive much more than a small notice in the international mainstream media, if they are mentioned at all. Those murders are officially encouraged and rewarded by Mahmoud Abbas’s regime, which remunerates the murderers by paying the terrorists or their families monthly stipends, financed by Western taxpayer money – another inconvenient fact that destroys the ‘narrative’.
That is why calling for the murder of Jews, like Sheikh Osama Al-Tibi did on official PA TV, or blaming the Holocaust on the Jews will never be met with anything more than a yawn on the part of Western elites who have made ‘Palestine’ their favorite cause.
Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst and a fellow with the Gatestone Institute.