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Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He publishes 4-6 times a week on his blog. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is at war with Israel. We can see one part of its war through the way it talks about Israel.
It demonizes the Jewish state.
That’s how it works in war: you demonize your enemy.
Demonization is a sure sign that war is a communal goal. Demonization is not used to entertain or to inform. It has a more particular focus.
Specifically, the aim of demonization is to make it easier to remove cultural and religious inhibitions against murder. Demonization is how leaders prepare followers to want to kill an enemy.
The PA can’t stop demonizing Israel. It won’t stop.
Here are some headlines for—and personal comments about—stories from the Palestinian Authority. The headlines come from December 18-25, 2013.
-Poll: Most Palestinians believe Israel poisoned Arafat
-Report: Israel to release more veteran Palestinian prisoners next week
-Israel strikes Gaza after border shootings, 2 dead in violence
-Hamas, PA condemn Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
-UNRWA condemns Israel's 'Christmas Eve demolitions' in the West Bank
-Erekat: Israeli airstrikes a 'criminal Christmas gift' to Gaza
-Israel denies killing second Palestinian during Gaza upheaval
-Israeli forces detain seven Palestinians across the West Bank
-Palestinians celebrate release of Issawi despite Israeli threats
-Prisoner Samir Issawi released from Israeli jail
-Israeli bulldozers destroy 15 Palestinian homes near Ramallah
-Israeli troops erect tents near Yabad
-Israeli forces raid Nablus, detain five young men
-Israeli forces demolish Palestinian properties in Jordan Valley
- Group: Israel must release all Palestinian prisoners
The demonization drumbeat against Israel is relentless. During this news cycle, we were reminded that fifty-nine per cent of Palestinians say Israel poisoned former PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Never mind that twenty-one per cent of these Arab respondents say the Palestinians did it themselves. The PA considered it unimportant that fully a fifth of respondents think their own leadership killed Arafat. The PA focus was exclusively on Israel: Israelis killed our beloved leader!
The message is, Israel kills. Indeed, during this news cycle, the PA accused Israel of killing a three-year old ‘Palestinian’ boy in Gaza—as a result of an Israeli air strike against terrorists embedded inside a residential area. No one noticed that embedding combatants inside a civilian population is a war crime. They demonized the Israelis.
No one noticed that the incident reported here had occurred because an Arab sniper had killed an Israeli. It didn’t matter. They demonized the Israelis.
As if on cue, one reader commenting on the article reporting this story said that Palestinians ‘have the right to defend themselves against these monsters’ (Israel, not the terrorists who used human shields). Another reader trotted out the canard of ‘disproportionate response’, to say that while Palestinians take pot-shots, the Israelis drop bombs—as if the Arab-Israel war was some kind of game that is measured by a ‘tit-for-tat rule--and anyone who violates that rule must be condemned for unfair play. Another reader said, just remember who killed the kid, and who’s dropping the bombs here—as if the relevant facts were ‘kid’ versus ‘bombs’ and not ‘human shield’ and ‘sniper killing’ versus Israeli civilian.
That’s how it is in war. You ignore the truth. You demonize the enemy.
The Arab continues to live by the sword—and use human shields. The Israelis are the ‘monsters’.
That’s how it is in war. You demonize the enemy.
Of course, Hamas and the PA were angry about this incident. But they condemned Israel, not the terrorists who started the shooting.
Hamas condemned the air strike, saying that such ‘cowardly crimes would not deter Palestinian resistance fighters from doing their duty’. The PA, meanwhile, announced that it had contacted the ‘international sides’ to intervene against the Israelis.
The PA forgot to mention that this latest escalation was begun by its own ‘resistance fighters’—a group called, ‘the Popular Resistance Committee’. This so-called ‘Committee’ claimed responsibility for shooting the Arab civilian contract-employee of the Israel Defense Force who had been working on the Israeli side of the Gaza fence. It was his killing that had provoked the Israeli bombing.
Both Hamas and the PA condemned Israel. No one on the ‘Palestinian’ side condemned the sniper who had killed the Israeli-employed Arab.
No Arab apologized for killing another Arab. They simply insisted on calling the retaliatory Israeli air strike, ‘cowardly’.
Somehow, one gets the notion that the cowardice here was not Israel’s, but the Arab’s. There seems to be something cowardly about killing an Israeli, then blaming Israel.
When, this week, an Arab terrorist, Samir Issawi, was released from an Israeli prison after he’d engaged in a 266-day hunger strike, he was hailed as a hero of ‘Palestine’. He had been originally arrested by Israeli forces during the Second Intifada (in April, 2002),and was among prisoners released in October, 2011 as part of a deal connected to the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Issawi’s release at that time was based on an agreement to restrict his travel movements. But he was re-arrested in July 2012 for violating that agreement. He is now free again—and unrepentant. As soon as he was released, he called upon ‘Palestinians’ to kidnap more Israeli soldiers.
Finally, the PA used this news cycle to remind its readers that Israel can’t stop detaining ‘Palestinians’. The claim this time was that, after the October, 2011 prisoner swap (above) which saw over 1,000 Palestinians freed in return for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the brutal Israelis immediately arrested over 477 people--between the release (in October) and that December. By 2013, we are told, Israel has been arresting around 400 Arabs per month. This meant, we are informed, that Israel has now arrested and detained twenty per cent of the total Palestinian population.
To understand the intensity of the PA war against Israel, compare the news from the PA with Israel’s news headlines (below). In the PA, you see Israel painted as a brutal (and illegal) ‘occupier’ who detains, dispossesses and kills Arabs at will.
But for Israel, the focus is not the ‘demon’ Arab. Instead, the focus is terror. Look at the language of Israel’s headlines for this news cycle:
-heightened tension (with the Arabs)
-a rise of terror
-a spike in terror [against Jews]
-Gaza terrorists fire rockets at Israel
-Netanyahu mourns Israeli shot dead by terrorist
-Israel still to release another 26 Arab prisoners this week
-Israel redeploys its Iron Dome [anti-missile missiles] to southern Israel
-a normal country wouldn’t release terrorists
These—and related--headlines paint a clear picture: Arabs riot here, throw stones there, attack Jews everywhere. In Israel, the news is about a season of terror, not peace.
These headlines are not from a year’s worth of news—or a month; they are from this one six-day news cycle.
Supposedly, there are peace talks going on. Supposedly, peace is about to break out. Supposedly, Jew and Arab are soon to live side-by-side in peace and security.
But Israelis don’t prepare for peace. They prepare for a wave of terror. The PA, meanwhile, ignores peace. One again, this PA news cycle hardly mentions ‘peace’. Instead, the PA continues to demonize Israel. It continues to slant news. It continues to paint Israel as brutal and illegal ‘occupiers’.
Can you see where this is going?
It isn’t going towards peace.
What must the G-d of Israel think of all this?