Hamas in Gaza
Hamas in Gaza Reuters

Israel’s anti-propaganda activities have for decades been characterized by major incompetence. To the extent that these activities exist, one element that does not get prominent attention is the fact that Palestinian society is permeated by a culture of glorifying death and murder.

This is not only true for Hamas which bases its desire to murder Jews on what it calls the divine wish of Allah. It is also true for the Palestinian Authority that rewards terrorist murderers. If terrorists die in criminal action, their monthly financial reward goes to their families. It is not only the Palestinian Authority leadership that glorifies death. There are also many individuals who do so, including some mothers of those who have died in terrorist action.

How could Israel and its friends have exposed this culture of glorification of death? A first target should have been the Christian world. Part of the death ethos has a theological base. Many Muslim murderers also elsewhere in the world shout "Allah Akbar" (Allah is great), before committing their crime. Christians cannot walk away from their Biblical texts where it says in the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not kill."

One prominent major anti-Israel Christian organization is the World Council of Churches. It groups mainly Protestant and Orthodox Christian denominations. New theological examples of quoting G-d as a promoter of murder by Palestinian would-be terrorists should be presented to the WCC on a regular basis. This action should be undertaken by the Israeli government, or interested organizations, and all concerned individuals.

Another target for such illumination are the churches which boycott Israel and knowingly look away from Palestinian murders and crime. One of these is the American Presbyterian Church. At its assembly on June 25, 2018 a resolution on the violence between Gazan Palestinians and Israeli troops on the border of the coastal strip was passed. Originally though it also referred to Hamas. Yet all such references to this genocidal terrorist organization were taken out before it was adopted. This is a clear case of Christian leaders knowingly closing their eyes to structural murder.

One could keep recommending the Presbyterian delegates to re-read the Ten Commandments every day before breakfast. One could also ask them when they last took a position against the -- partly theologically -- based glorification of death by Muslims? That would be only the beginning of their embarrassment. Churches should also be regularly updated with new examples of Palestinian glorification of death in the name of Allah.

Copies of this information should also be sent to preachers and heads of local Presbyterian churches. For those who support the BDS campaign against Israel, it would be a strong teaching of their malfeasance. For those who oppose BDS, it would strengthen their battle to undo the BDS decision of their church.

A few weeks ago, 1080 European hypocrite parliamentarians came out against annexation by Israel of land on the 'West Bank' in favor of a two state solution. Probably never before has such a number of European parliamentarians signed a resolution against any real evil instead of this imagined one.

There was a theological aspect here as well. Anglican bishops who are members of the House of Lords signed the letter. These were the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Rev. Christopher Chessun, and the bishops of Coventry, Portsmouth, Salisbury, and Worcester, together with the previous head of the Anglican Church Rowan Williams.

One should ask them when they have last – if ever -- come out against the glorification of death by Palestinians in particular, based on Allah's orders. Also, they should be regularly informed of new examples of the glorification of death. Why would they support giving the Palestinians a state as it is obvious that the glorification of death which goes frontally against their own religious teachings will not disappear with its creation? Deeply embedded cultural elements do not change rapidly.

The EU can also be a prime target for exposure on its passivity regarding the Palestinian death ethos. It has rarely explicitly mentioned the glorification of death and murder by the Palestinians. One of the most immoral statements came from EU Vice President Josep Borrell its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Affairs. This former socialist Spanish minister was asked about Iran’s call for Israel’s destruction. He answered "Iran wants to wipe out Israel? There's nothing new here. We have to live with it.” The European position of supporting a 'two state solution' is in fact indirectly supporting Palestinian glorification of death culture.

The UN is another easy target for exposing hypocrisy. This is true for the organization itself. It should be noted that special UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, has his office in Jerusalem. As he lives in Israel he knows exactly the details of the glorification of death and murder by Palestinians. He should be continually asked why he doesn't come out the against the Palestinian murder promotion? The UN published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It says that everyone is responsible for one's acts. That includes Mladenov and thus he greatly fails if he doesn't continuously expose the Palestinians.

This once again raises the issue of complicity, in particular to the American Presbyterians who voted for a resolution in which Hamas crimes were removed. They knowingly closed their eyes to the acts of a genocidal terrorist movement.

One cannot avoid the basic question. If one involves oneself in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and remains silent about the massive culture of glorification of death and murder in Palestinian society, is one complicit with the evil?

This question came recently up in a more advanced case. Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok (VVD), and the Minister for International Trade and Development Collaboration, Sigrid Kaag (D66), have informed the Dutch parliament that the NGO that employed two Palestinian terrorists who are suspected of the murder of 17 year old Israeli Rina Sherb in August 2019 has been paid by Dutch development money. In 2017 both persons received a pass from the Dutch diplomatic representation in Ramallah. With that document they could identify themselves as "collaborators" of a partner organization of the Dutch representation. The Palestinian terrorists worked for the Palestinian NGO Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) until 2019.

Kaag’s ministry has paid 20 million Euro to the organization. Even after she was warned by NGO Monitor and UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) she continued to subsidize the organization until 2020.

This led to a reaction by a parliamentarian from the Dutch right-wing Forum for Democracy party who tweeted that Kaag was co-responsible for this murder. He then apologized. One cannot make such accusations in the affirmative form, but only through questions.

There are many other organizations with similar approaches about their attitude toward the Palestinian death ethos. This includes the leading Jewish masochistic organization in the US – J Street. Have they ever addressed the issue of Palestinian glorification of death? They can be bombarded with examples of this while pointing out their silence. As they are so heavily involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, they cannot plead ignorance and the question whether their silence makes them complicit is a valid one.

This article lists only a small number of examples compared to the much greater number that have occurred and are ongoing. What is written here also shows the huge incompetence of consecutive Israeli governments, prime ministers and the Foreign Ministry for not publicly developing this argument.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He has been a strategic advisor for more than thirty years to some of the Western world’s leading corporations. Among the honors he received was the 2019 International Lion of Juda Award of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research paying tribute to him as the recognized leading international authority on contemporary antisemitism. His main book on the subject is: The War of a Million Cuts The struggle against the delegitimization of Israel and the Jews and the growth of New antisemitism.