For most people, Holocaust memorial events such as those taking place now to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day are crucial both to remember the victims and to ensure that the horror of Nazism can never again raise its head. In the Palestinian Authority, Holocaust remembrance is a very different story.
This week, Palestinians tuning in to official P.A. TV were told that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves, that it was Europe’s way of punishing the Jews for their “conspiracies and wickedness.”
The claim was made on the program “From the Israeli Archive,” which is currently airing parts of an Israeli documentary series from 1981, “Pillar of Fire,” misinterpreting—and even mistranslating—the original narration so it presents a Palestinian and even anti-Semitic perspective. The above statement was the host’s introduction to a segment from an episode about the 1930s and Nazism’s rise to power.
Far from remembering the Holocaust as a warning against anti-Semitism, the P.A. weaponizes it against the descendants of the survivors and the Jewish people at large, using the genocide to promote anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, this latest example is far from the first.
P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas himself has told Palestinians the Europeans committed massacres against Jews “every 10 to 15 years” for centuries, culminating in the Holocaust, as a response to Jewish behavior. “The hatred of the Jews is not due to their religion, but, rather … due to their social role that was connected to usury and banks and so forth,” he said.
Abbas’s Fatah movement has also produced and published a short documentary video purportedly about Jewish history in Europe, which makes the same claim that Jews brought European hatred on themselves. It presents Jews as an evil and threatening force in Europe from which Europeans had to defend themselves. The Jews, Fatah explains, “led the project to enslave humanity” and allied with Nazis to burn Jews “to accumulate wealth.” The Jews themselves established “ghettos in order to separate from other people out of arrogance and disgust for non-Jews.”
It was in the ghettos, the documentary further states, that the Jews schemed against the non-Jews, leading to European anti-Semitism: “[Jews] were hated because of their racism and their filthy behavior.”
In addition to Abbas himself disseminating anti-Semitism, some of his senior appointees likewise present Jews as a source of evil from which the world must defend itself. Mahmoud al-Habbash, whom Abbas appointed his personal adviser on Islam, has taught that the Palestinian conflict with Israel is essentially Islam’s historic conflict against Jews because they are Satan’s ally, spreading evil and falsehood. That Israel, because it is a Jewish state, is “Satan’s project.”
Imad Hamato, professor of Quranic Studies at the University of Palestine in Gaza, another Abbas appointee, has taught that Jews are responsible for all conflicts on earth and even beneath the sea.
“Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they [Jews] are corrupting the land … If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it,” he said.
To the P.A., Jews’ existence is a fundamental threat to humanity—a threat that on occasion the P.A. has explicitly stated can only be stopped by extermination. As one preacher on official P.A. TV explained it: “These malignant [Jewish] genes and cursed characteristics continue in them. They transfer them from generation to generation. They inherit it from father to son … Humanity will never be able to live together with them … Our prophet [Muhammad] informed us [that] at the end of time the Muslims will fight the Jews … the Jews will hide behind a stone or a tree, and the stone or a tree will say: ‘Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’ … Allah … count them and kill them one by one, and do not leave even one.”
This continuous demonization of Jews by the P.A. has impacted significantly on Palestinians. According to an ADL Global 100 poll, 87 percent of Palestinians believe “people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.” The poll also found that Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic population in the world.
Once again, as Palestinian Media Watch has documented for years, P.A. incitement to hate and terror is poisoning the minds of the Palestinian population and remains the driving force behind Palestinian hate and terror.
Consequently, calls by the international community to end the scourge of anti-Semitism as they commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day are pathetic, as many of those same countries continue to fund a Palestinian Authority that is actively stoking the fires of Jew-hatred.
Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, is one of the foremost authorities on Palestinian ideology and policy.