Western Indifference to a Culture of Hate

A shockingly, disturbing video has recently surfaced exposing the true and pernicious face of Palestinian extremism and xenophobia. The video, made available by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows a bearded sheikh giving what appears to be an impromptu sermon on the Jews. (After all, what else is there to talk about?) The venue is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered by those who practice the “religion of peace” to be their third holiest site after Mecca and Medina.

The speech itself is filled with gut-wrenching anti-Semitism, the kind that would even make the editors of the New York Times blush. The sheikh describes how the Jews possess the vilest of traits, how they were responsible for killing the “prophets,” how they attempted to assassinate Muhammad, how their time for “slaughter is near,” how they will be slaughtered “without mercy,” and of course there’s the perfunctory, “Jews are apes and pigs” thing.

Interestingly, the speaker doesn’t mention the longing for Palestinian statehood or independence. Instead, he talks of the establishment of the “Islamic Caliphate.” “Oh Allah’” he states, “Hasten the establishment of the State of the Islamic Caliphate,” and further rants, “Oh Allah hasten the pledge of allegiance to the Muslim Caliph.” He spews forth the latter statement three times to chants of “Amen!” from the large, approving crowd congregating around him.

These comments, which would register horror and revulsion in the West (at least in some quarters) are almost banal among Palestinians. In fact, a similar video featuring a different speaker some days earlier at the same venue, conveyed identical sentiment, expressing admiration for the Islamic State and calling for murder of Jews and annihilation of America.

Guttural anti-Semitism is ingrained and interwoven in the fabric of Palestinian society. Despite their minuscule numbers, 78% of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars while a whopping 88% believe that Jews control the global media and still more believe that Jews wield too much power in the business world.

Much of the blame for this can be placed squarely on the doorstep of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which subjects the Palestinian population to a steady diet of hate-filled, Judeophobic rhetoric through state-controlled media and educational institutions. It is so well entrenched that the process of deprogramming, if it were ever attempted, would take generations to reverse.

Some of the blame however, rests with the Obama administration and the European Union, which continues to fund the Palestinian Authority with an endless supply of taxpayer money without demanding any form of accountability. Western money is openly used to fund the Palestinian Authority’s hate apparatus with money flowing into institutions that propagate anti-Semitism and encourage terrorism.

Some Western media outlets are also culpable in perpetuating the Palestinian culture of hate. The New York Times for example has frequently and diligently covered so-called “price tag” vandalism attacks; a practice universally condemned by nearly all Israelis and vigorously prosecuted by Israeli authorities but rarely, if ever, covers the type of venomous hate speech witnessed in the above-noted videos.

Hate crimes inspired by this type of pernicious speech are also routinely ignored. Highlighting this point is the disturbing case of Asher Palmer, an American citizen who, along with his infant son was murdered when a rock thrown by a Palestinian crashed through the windshield of the car he was driving, hitting him flush in the face. The New York Times ignored the gruesome murders and only mentioned the incident in passing a few days later in the context of a reprisal “price tag” attack against a mosque. Under the unbelievably skewed editorial policies of the New York Times, it took an act of vandalism, ostensibly committed by Jews, to highlight the horrific murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son at the hands of Arabs.

The practice of ignoring such malevolence partly stems from the fact that the New York Times wishes to present a certain narrative at the expense of the facts and partly stems from a systematic inability of some Western media outlets to hold Arabs to a Western standard of decency and morality. Thus, Arab anti-Semitism, the same kind of anti-Semitism practiced in Europe some 75 years ago, is either ignored or attributed to mere cultural differences.

Indeed, the New York Times no longer even bothers to hide the fact that it engages in duplicitous double standards when it comes to reporting Palestinian-Arab racism and hate speech as evidenced from a telling exchange between New York Times opinion page staff editor, Matt Seaton and Tamar Sternthal, a director at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

Rarely is the sort of vitriol witnessed in the videos expressed in English to Western audiences. Only the crassest among them publicly share their feelings about Jews, and the West for that matter. But behind closed doors it’s an entirely different story. Groups like MEMRI, CAMERA, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and many others do an excellent job in exposing the malevolence hiding just beneath the surface. The problem is no one seems to care. No one cared 75 years ago either.

About the Author
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor. He has authored several articles covering political and military issues concerning Israel, the United States and the Mideast at large.