The U.S. secretary of state’s statements on his visit to Israel demonstrated how deeply blood libels have seeped into the Biden administration’s thinking about the Jewish state.
(JNS) The 21-year-old who massacred seven Jews and wounded another five when he opened fire on them as they left synagogue last Friday night in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Jerusalem wasn’t a lone wolf. Neither was the 13-year-old boy who shot a Jewish father and son Saturday afternoon as they walked home from synagogue in Ir David in Jerusalem. How do we know?
A lone wolf is someone who operates outside the confines of his society and, in criminal cases, at least, does something sociopathic. The 13- and 21-year-old terrorists in Jerusalem were acting in absolute conformity with the norms and expectations of their society. The gunmen’s parents praised them as heroes. As soon as the news that Kairy Musa Alqam massacred innocent Jews in Neve Yaakov spread, Arabs throughout Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Galilee and the Negev broke out in celebration. They passed out candies in the streets, shot off fireworks and posted jubilant entries on their social media accounts.
The Palestinian Authority didn’t condemn either terror attack. And this makes sense, because like the rest of Palestinian society, the PLO government in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas government in Gaza enthusiastically support mass murder of Jews. In preschools, elementary schools, high schools and universities, from Hebron to Gaza, Ramallah to Tul Karm and Jenin, students of all ages spent the week celebrating the massacre and attempted massacre in Jerusalem. Preschoolers “reenacted” the massacre in Neve Yaakov with toy guns. Little girls in pigtails paraded around holding photos of Alqam. High school girls wrote poems in his memory. Boys pledged to follow in his footsteps.
Alqam murdered seven Jews and wounded five more on International Holocaust Memorial Day. The anniversary is notable. The parallels between Nazi Germany and Palestinian society are overwhelming. The Nazis were able to enact the physical annihilation of the Jews by building on a century of demonization of Jews and lionizing of antisemites in Germany and throughout Europe. When the Nazis first rose to power, they transformed Germany into a state organized around the demonization and dehumanization of the Jews.
As the late professor Jacob Katz explained in a recently republished address from 1975, the Holocaust couldn’t have been predicted, because it was unprecedented. But it was an eminently logical product of the Nazis’ dehumanization of Jews in the first five years of their rule. And those five years were a logical consequence of a century of demonization of Jews that preceded the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933.
The Palestinian people were created by a Nazi agent. The father of the Palestinians was Haj Amin el Husseini. Husseini, and his successors Yasir Arafat and his deputies in the PLO, and Ahmed Yassin and his acolytes in Hamas all forged a society which, like Nazi Germany, was organized around the hatred, demonization and dehumanization of the Jews as a people and as individuals. Husseini was an out and out Nazi. He began receiving direct support from Nazi Germany for his terror war of annihilation against the Jews in the land of Israel in 1937. In 1940, Husseini fomented a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, and incited the Farhud, the massacre of Baghdad Jewry when it failed.
In 1941 Husseini fled to Berlin and met with Hitler. He began broadcasting to the Muslim world through Nazi shortwave radio in 1942. In those broadcasts, which continued until the end of the war, Husseini merged jihadist Jew hatred with the Nazis’ annihilationist antisemitism and popularized this new toxic mix throughout the Arab and Muslim world. His successors shared his admiration for the Nazis. Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’ Ph.D. dissertation is a Holocaust-denying conspiracy theory. Abbas turned it into a bestselling book, which now forms the basis of World War II curricula in Palestinian schools.
International Holocaust Memorial Day was born in a blood libel, not unlike the Nazi blood libels. In April 2002, together with PLO spokesman Saeb Erekat, UN envoy Terje Larsen accused Israel of committing a massacre of Palestinians during a pitched battle in Jenin. Many likened the IDF soldiers in Jenin to the Nazis and the Palestinians to the Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Every single aspect of the story was a heinous lie. There was no massacre in Jenin. There was a pitched battle. Fifty-two Palestinians, 34 of whom were terrorists, were killed. Twenty-three IDF soldiers were killed. Another 57 soldiers were wounded in the 11-day battle.
Jenin in 2002 was not a besieged ghetto. It was the capital of the Palestinian terror machine and the main exporter of suicide bombers. In March 2002 alone, suicide bombers, predominantly from Jenin, murdered 137 Israelis and wounded more than 500. Nearly 90% of the dead were civilians. During the battle in Jenin, the Palestinian terrorists booby trapped nearly every house and dead body and used civilians as human shields in an effort to kill more IDF soldiers.
When the facts of the battle emerged from the U.N.’s own report, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan faced massive criticism for the role that the U.N. and he personally played in the demonization of Israel. Annan responded not by ending the U.N.’s demonization of Israel, but by declaring January 27, the day the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, as International Holocaust Day. While the move was widely heralded, Annan’s cynicism was appalling.
Eight months before the battle in Jenin, the U.N. sponsored the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. The conference took place nearly a year after the PLO rejected peace and statehood and initiated a massive terror war against the Jews of Israel. At Durban, the U.N. and leading human rights organizations worked hand-in-glove with the PLO in demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state and the Jewish people as racist, apartheid, Nazi and inhuman. The U.N.’s role transformed the organization into the propaganda arm of the Palestinian terror machine. Its job, which it carried out with singular enthusiasm, was legitimizing and mainstreaming annihilationist anti-Jewish propaganda and ideology for the first time since the Holocaust.
The pedigree of the day is long forgotten. And few remember the central role Annan played in the war against Israel. A sad and depressing indication of the success of his efforts came this week during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit.
To get a sense of how bad things have become, it is important to recall where the U.S. stood when these events occurred two decades ago. Blinken’s predecessor in 2001 was Colin Powell. Powell was no great friend of Israel’s. But he couldn’t stomach the blood libels spewing out from every direction in Durban. Powell ordered the U.S. delegation to walk out. As he put it at the time, “I know that you do not combat racism by conferences that produce declarations containing hateful language, some of which is a throwback to the days of ‘Zionism equals racism’; or supports the idea that we have made too much of the Holocaust; or suggests that apartheid exists in Israel; or that singles out only one country in the world, Israel, for censure and abuse.”
Twenty years on, during the course of his visit, Blinken demonstrated just how deeply the blood libels of Durbin have seeped into the Biden administration’s thinking about the Jewish state.
In a press conference Wednesday at the U.S. Embassy, Blinken gave one of the most scorching denunciations of Israel in recent memory. While he condemned the terror attacks in Jerusalem, Blinken went out of his way not to mention that they went hand-in-hand with the antisemitism embedded in all aspects of life in Palestinian society. And it was all downhill from there.
Blinken pivoted quickly from decrying the massacre and attempted massacre in Jerusalem to pure moral equivalence by saying, “A rising tide of violence has led to the loss of innocent life on both sides. All sides must take steps to prevent further escalation in violence and to restore calm.”
The only way that calm will be longstanding, however, is if a Palestinian state is formed. To achieve this end, Blinken said, Israel needs to adopt a policy of denying civil and property rights to Jews in Judea and Samaria and providing unlimited rights to Palestinians to illegal settlements they build.
As Blinken put it, “The United States will continue to oppose anything that puts that goal [of a Palestinian state] further from reach.” Such steps, he said, include “settlement expansion, legalization of illegal outposts. moves towards annexation of the West Bank.”
In other words, the Biden administration thinks that permitting Jews to lawfully build and buy homes and communities, to buy land or lease government land in Judea, Samaria or unified Jerusalem is unacceptable.
Furthermore, as far as he is concerned, Israelis living in Judea and Samaria should be compelled to receive government services from incompetent military officers employed by the military government rather than from Israeli government ministries. This includes, for instance, sewage treatment and environmental protection, protection of antiquities and archaeological sites, building rights and licensing guidelines.
Another step the U.S. opposes, Blinken said is “disruption to the historical status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites.” Here, Blinken sides with the Palestinians in insisting that Jews should not be permitted to freely access–much less pray at–the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site.
Blinken went on to say the U.S. opposes “demolitions and evictions.” But he wasn’t referring to demolitions and evictions of Jews—that’s fine. He was referring to demolition of illegal Palestinian construction and eviction of Palestinian squatters from state land and from apartments and buildings owned by Israeli Jews.
In short, Blinken set out a policy of antisemitic discrimination and demanded that Israel abide by it on behalf of a society organized around the demonization and dehumanization of Jews and the delegitimization and aspiration to annihilate the Jewish state of Israel.
Blinken did say, in the end, that the United States opposes “incitement and acquiescence to violence.” But, as he made clear in his next sentence, he was just joking.
Blinken announced that the U.S. is giving an additional $50 million to UNRWA, the U.N. agency most responsible for prolonging the Palestinian conflict with Israel by among other things, inciting and acquiescing to violence. UNRWA schools indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate Jews and aspire to become terrorists and destroy Israel. Hamas and other terror groups use UNRWA installations as missile launching grounds.
Those $50 million are just a drop in the bucket. Blinken bragged that since Biden entered office two years ago, the U.S. has provided $950 million in aid to the Palestinians overall.
The Biden administration doesn’t oppose Palestinian incitement and acquiescence to violence. The administration is funding it.
It’s hard to know how the Palestinian conflict with Israel will end. But two things are certain. First, demanding institutional discrimination and the denial of civil rights to Jews will not lead anywhere good. And second, we’ll know we’re moving in the right direction if the U.S., the E.U. and the U.N. stop discriminating against Jews and end their support for a Palestinian society organized around the dehumanization and demonization and aspiration to destroy the Jewish state.