OpinionColumn

‘Branding’ and other crazy Palestinian conspiracy theories

There have been some notable instances involving Palestinian Arabs, Israeli Jews and acts of physical humiliation. But they have been perpetrated by Arabs, not Jews.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses a rally in Ramallah commemorating the fifth anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, Nov. 11, 2009. Photo by Issam Rimawi/Flash90.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses a rally in Ramallah commemorating the fifth anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, Nov. 11, 2009. Photo by Issam Rimawi/Flash90.
Stephen M. Flatow. Credit: Courtesy.
Stephen M. Flatow
Stephen M. Flatow is president of the Religious Zionists of America. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995, and author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror. (The RZA is not affiliated with any American or Israeli political party.)

So, Israelis “brand” Arabs with a Star of David symbol, the way ranchers brand cattle. Israelis also poison Arab wells, carry out terrorist attacks against their fellow Israelis and hypnotize the world into believing that hoax known as the Holocaust.

Or so Palestinian Arab leaders would have us believe.

Anti-Israel conspiracy theories have become an integral part of the public culture in the territories governed by the Palestinian Authority. They are trumpeted in speeches by P.A. officials and in the P.A.-controlled news media. They seep into the school curricula and the summer camps. They’re everywhere. And they’re crazy.

I can’t count the number of times that P.A. officials or publications have accused “Israeli settlers” of “storming” the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. If those accusations were true, they would have turned it into the Al-Aqsa synagogue by now.

Remember that infamous incident in which Hilary Clinton was sitting next to Yasser Arafat’s wife, Suha, as Mrs. Arafat rattled off various anti-Israel slurs? What the Palestinian first lady was claiming—dutifully amplified by the official P.A. media—was that Israel carried out “daily and intensive use of poisonous gas” in order to cause “cancer and other horrible diseases” among Palestinian Arab women and children.

Mrs. Arafat also charged that Israel had contaminated 80% of the P.A.’s water sources with “chemical materials.” She said that in 1999. If what she said was true, there wouldn’t be a single Palestinian Arab alive today. So, either they’re all dead, or Mrs. Arafat and the P.A. media were lying. Which is more likely?

Again and again over the years, P.A. officials have tried to deflect attention from Palestinian Arab terrorism by claiming that Israeli agents were the actual perpetrators. I have a bulging file of examples of this kind of lunacy. The attacks that the P.A. blames on Israel include the massacre of 21 Israeli youngsters at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium; the slaughter of 70 Japanese tourists in Egypt; the Ben-Yehuda Street bombing that killed five Israelis and wounded 192 in Jerusalem; and the massacre of 22 Israelis in Beit Lid.

Arafat actually made up a name for this non-existent “Israeli terrorist group.” He said it was called “OAS,” and Ehud Barak was “one of its big bosses.” That’s right, Ehud Barak, the former prime minister of Israel, who is now one of the leaders of the Israeli opposition. So, either Barak is the worst murderer of Jews since the Holocaust or the head of the P.A. was a serial liar. Which do you believe?

And speaking of the Holocaust, Arafat’s right-hand man and successor—P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas—has never renounced or retracted his Holocaust-denying Ph.D. dissertation-turned-book. Abbas wrote that the real number of Jews killed in Europe was 1 million, not 6 million. And that Israeli founding father and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion conspired with the Nazis to slaughter European Jews in order to win sympathy for Zionism.

Abbas’s slurs have been echoed by the P.A. media again and again over the years. Countless articles in P.A. newspapers, and broadcasts on its television and radio stations, have called the Holocaust a fabrication and a hoax.

Now, Palestinian advocates would have us believe that Israeli police “branded” a Star of David on the face of a Palestinian Arab suspected of drug dealing because he violently resisted arrest. In photos of the suspect’s face, one can see a somewhat triangular-shaped mark on his cheek, which an imaginative observer could say vaguely resembles one portion of a Star of David.

The accusation is so wildly implausible as to beggar the imagination. It means that the police arranged to have a Star of David-shaped cattle brand custom-made since such things are not ordinarily manufactured. Then they proceeded to use it on the suspect’s face, which meant that everyone would see the mark, guaranteeing that the culprits would be caught.

Not only that, but the supposed “brand” didn’t even work—at most, it imprinted only a part of a star shape. Yet this non-story merited a big spread in The New York Times as evidence of how Israelis supposedly look for fiendish new ways to humiliate Palestinian Arabs.

There have been some notable recent instances involving Palestinian Arabs, Israeli Jews and acts of physical humiliation. But they have been perpetrated by Arabs, not Jews.

Last month, according to The Times of Israel, five Palestinian Arabs abused and humiliated a mentally disabled Orthodox Jewish patient at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Video of the incident shows them ordering him to curse an Israeli flag, to eat food off the floor “like a dog,” to repeat insulting expressions and to express “solidarity” with the Arabs of Jenin.

In other such episodes, too, Palestinian Arab perpetrators have proudly posted videos on TikTok or other social media showing how they have humiliated Jews. In one, two Palestinian Arabs ordered an Orthodox Jewish man to get down on his knees and kiss their feet. Funny, I don’t recall reading about that in The New York Times.

In another videotaped incident, an Arab poured hot coffee on an Orthodox man. I didn’t see that reported on CNN. But maybe I wasn’t watching that day.

In a third notorious assault, a Palestinian Arab violently slapped two Orthodox passengers on the Jerusalem light-rail train. Did The Washington Post report that? Not that I remember.

Arabs humiliate Jews, and the international news media ignore it. Jews are falsely accused of humiliating an Arab, and it becomes front-page news. That’s the world in which we live.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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