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Palestinian Authority: ‘Don’t kill American Jews (kill Israeli Jews)’

This condemnation of the murder of Jews is a remarkable change from the standard PA messages to Palestinians. For years, PA policy has been to present the conflict with Israel as both a nationalistic war to destroy Israel and an Islamic war to kill Jews.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 27, 2018. Photo: Alaa Badarneh/AP.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 27, 2018. Photo: Alaa Badarneh/AP.

In an unusual move, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the Oct. 27 murder of 11 Jews in the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh by the anti-Semite Robert Bowers:

“The [P.A.] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the terror attack that was carried out yesterday against a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which is in the state of Pennsylvania in the U.S., and which cost the lives of Jewish American citizens and police officers. The ministry also condemned the harming of houses of worship by the same terrorists filled with an inherent and decayed fascist ideology, which is based on the supremacy of the white race and its hegemony.”
[WAFA, official P.A. news agency, Oct. 28, 2018]

This condemnation of the murder of Jews is a remarkable change from the standard P.A. messages to Palestinians. For years, P.A. policy has been to present the conflict with Israel as both a nationalistic war to destroy Israel and an Islamic war to kill Jews. Indeed, the messages of the P.A. leadership since its terror campaign (2000–05, the Second Intifada) has been to kill Israelis because they are Jews.

As recently as last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported on an anti-Semitic sermon in which the preacher taught that Hitler was one of a series of people sent by Allah throughout history to punish the Jews because of their evil behavior.

Does the P.A.’s condemnation of the murder of American Jews mean that their religious ideology has undergone a change and they will no longer demonize Israelis because they are Jews, nor promote the murder of Israelis because they are Jews? Or does it mean that the new P.A. message is: Don’t kill American Jews but continue to kill Israeli Jews?

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