Yasser Arafat
Yasser ArafatFlash 90

Perhaps the greatest propaganda success of the Soviet Union was in its decades-long campaign to delegitimize Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. This campaign culminated in the 1975 United General Assembly Resolution declaring that ‘Zionism is Racism.’ This resolution was rescinded in 1991 after the Soviet Union fell, but its spirit lives on at the UN and in human rights organizations that were created to draw attention to the human rights abuses of the Soviet Union and its allies, but which have been taken over and co-opted by the Soviets’ ideological heirs over the last 30 years.

The international campaign, first by the Soviets and then by its ideological heirs, to brand Zionism as racist in its entirety relies on a theoretical analysis of the Jewish liberation movement as a colonial enterprise that exists to displace indigenous people, ignoring the thousands of years of Jewish history in its ancient homeland, the deadly and pervasive antisemitism that led to the creation of the modern political Zionist movement and the need for a safe haven for the Jewish people. It also ignores the long history of Zionist and Israeli attempts to make peace with the Arab nations and its creating a society where Arab citizens enjoy full and equal rights under the law.

Indeed, no less a figure than Menachem Begin, for decades the leader of the Israeli right, campaigned against the imposition of martial law on Israel’s Arab citizens in the early days of the State and fought to ensure all citizens were treated equally regardless of their race or religion. As Prime Minister, Begin was the first to sign a peace treaty with an Arab and Muslim nation, giving up the Sinai Peninsula, two thirds of the territory Israel controlled at the time, in exchange for peace with Egypt.

If there is a movement that is inherently racist and bigoted, it is not Zionism, but ‘Palestinism,’ the Arab national movement created in direct response to Zionism.

The man who could be considered the first ‘Palestinian’ and the founding father of the Palestinian Arabs was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the British-appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Al-Husseini was a genocidal antisemite whose heart was full of hate and bloodlust. Beginning in 1920, he incited riots and pogroms against the Jews living in British-Mandate Palestine. Dozens of Jews were killed in these Mufti-inspired pogroms in 1920 and 1921, leading to the formation of the Haganah, the primary defensive force of the Yishuv.

Al-Husseini’s antisemitic incitement culminated in the massacres of 1929, the worst of which occurred in Hebron. 67 innocent Jews were butchered in a manner similar to the atrocities committed by the Hamas terrorist organization nearly a century later on October 7, 2023. Albert Londres, in his account of the horrors committed that Shabbat morning in Hebron wrote that the attackers “cut off fingers, they held heads over a stove, they gouged out eyes.” He further stated that “they shoved thirteen-year-old girls, mothers, and grandmothers into the blood and raped them in unison.” (Note that there was a smaller Jewish population in the region backi in 1929, so that in ratio to the Jews then living in what is Israel today, 67 dead is a large number.)

This massacre, caused by al-Husseini’s lies that Jews worshiping at the Western Wall were plotting to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque, a lie frequently used to incite the murder of Jews over the following century, resulted in the complete destruction of the ancient Jewish community of Hebron. After residing in the city where the Jewish patriarchs are buried nearly uninterrupted for over 3,000 years, suddenly no Jews lived in Hebron at all, because of a genocidal hatred.

With the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi movement in Germany in the 1930s, the Mufti found a kindred spirit and became an ally of the Fuhrer during the Second World War. It was Hitler’s genocidal hatred of Jews that attracted al-Husseini to him, and their shared desire for a world in which all Jews were dead made them friends.

In 1941, during the Shavuot festival, al-Husseini, who had fled to Iraq following the unsuccessful Arab revolt of 1936-1939, helped incite the Farhoud, another murderous pogrom in which as many as 200 defenseless Iraqi Jews were slaughtered. The Farhoud followed years of pro-Nazi propaganda in Iraq, much of it pushed by al-Husseini.

That same year, al-Husseini fled to Berlin, where he famously met with Hitler and where he would stay for the rest of the war. Al-Husseini, who was granted the status of ‘honorary Aryan,’ served as the Nazis chief Arabic-language propogandist and recruited Muslims in Bosnia to serve in the Nazi SS and continued his genocidal ambitions for the Jewish people. In November, 1943, he declared: “It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to ... drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries... . Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world.”

There are multiple reports that al-Husseini planned to import the Nazis Final Solution to the land of Israel if German armies had succeeded in conquering the region, by building an Auschwitz-style crematorium.

In 1943, al-Husseini protested against negotiations to release thousands of Jewish children held by the Nazis, including a plan to release 4,000 Jewish children from Bulgaria and 500 Jewish children from the Arbe concentration camp, where negotiations to release the children collapsed due to his opposition. In a letter to the Bulgarian foreign minister, al-Husseini specified that in is opinion the children should be sent to Poland, where they were sure to be murdered in the concentration camps.

This was a man who was so evil, whose heart was filled with such hate, that he would personally intervene when the Nazis were, for their own reasons, willing to consider letting Jewish children go, because he needed those children to die. And he is the founding father of what has become the Palestinian Arab national movement.

The Fatah terrorist organization and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) followed in the Mufti’s footsteps. The former was founded in 1959, the latter in 1964, years before the 1967 Six-Day War in which Israel captured and liberated Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Their goals were not to establish a Palestinian state in what Jordan had renamed the 'West Bank', but to annihilate the newborn State of Israel. The original PLO charter excluded the Jordanian and Egyptian controlled territories from the areas of ‘Palestine’ that needed to be liberated.

Palestinian terrorist organizations carried out numerous terrorist attacks over the years, the goal of which was always to kill as many Jews as possible, men, women, and children, and to destroy the Jewish State by any means necessary. The Coastal Road Massacre of 1978 was the deadliest attack prior to October 7, 2023, with 38 people murdered, including 13 children. Other famous terrorist attacks include the Ma’alot Massacre of 1974, when terrorists took 115 people, mostly schoolchildren, hostage and murdered 31 civilians, and the Passover Massacre, the murder of 30 civilians in a suicide bombing at a Passover Seder in Netanya in 2002, the deadliest attack of the Second Intifada.

As the motivation for these terrorists was antisemitism, not merely ‘anti-Zionism,’ Jews outside the State of Israel were not spared their wrath. In 1985, PLO terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and shot and murdered Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly and wheelchair-bound Jewish man who was an American citizen, not an Israeli citizen. Klinghoffer was singled out because he was Jewish. Similarly, in 1980, terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine bombed a synagogue in Paris, killing two in an attack which targeted not Israelis but Jews.

Antisemitism continued to be the central defining characteristic of the Palestinian national movement even after the signing in the 1990s of the Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian Authority. PA leader Yasser Arafat, instead of pursuing peace, deliberately created a society geared towards the murder of Jews. Rather than combat terrorism, he allied with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and treated those who murdered Jews as heroes.

In a 1996 speech in Stockholm, Sweden, Arafat laid out his intentions quite clearly when he declared: “We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilt to redeem our land!”

In 2000, Arafat rejected an offer from then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for a state in almost all of Judea and Samaria and chose instead to launch the Second Intifada, choosing terrorism and murder over peace, again following in the Mufti’s footsteps by using a fake danger to the Al Aqsa Mosque to incite murder.

When Arafat died in 2004 and was replaced by Mahmoud Abbas, much of the Western world rallied behind Abbas as a supposedly moderate leader and the only hope for peace. But this supposed moderate has maintained Arafat’s pay for slay policy, giving large salaries to terrorists who murder Israelis, Jews, and even foreigners like American citizen Taylor Force. Abbas has vowed that “even if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families.”

What kind of society would spend its last penny not on food, not on medicine, not on infrastructure, but on funding murderers, on paying those who slaughter children? The answer: An antisemitic society, a racist society.

Abbas has presided over a culture of antisemitic incitement, where Jews are demonized just as the Nazis demonized them, and in which literal ax murderers who slaughter elderly Holocaust survivors receive a hero’s welcome.

Abbas has himself engaged in blatant antisemitism and incitement to violence. In 2015, during the so-called ‘Knife Intifada,’ he repeated the century-old lies of the Mufti of Jerusalem and used the simple act of Jews visiting the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, as justification for the murder of Jews.

“They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet,” referring to the Al Aqsa Mosque, which sits on the southern end of the Temple Mount. To reinforce his justification and incitement of violence and murder, he added: “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem.”

In August of this year, Abbas gave a speech in which he blamed the Jews for the Holocaust.

"This is explained in many Jewish books," Abbas said. "They say that Hitler killed them because of their Jewishness. Not so. They (the Nazis) fought them because of their social role and not because of their religion." He also said: "Hitler fought the Jews because they dealt in usury and money."

Abbas has frequently engaged in Holocaust denial, which was the subject of his dissertation in the Soviet Union in 1982. He has given multiple speeches in recent years justifying the Holocaust, such as a 2018 speech in which he stated: "They say hatred against Jews was not because of their religion, it was because of their social profession. So the Jewish issue that had spread against the Jews across Europe was not because of their religion, it was because of usury and banks."

Haj Amin al-Husseini, Hitler’s ally, would be proud.

If this is what a ‘moderate’ Palestinian Arab leader looks like, is it any wonder that polls consistently show the Palestinian Arabs to be the most antisemitic people on Earth? Is it any wonder that an astonishing 82% of Palestinian Authority residents in Judea and Samaria, those who live under Abbas’ corrupt and racist rule, support the Hamas massacre of October 7, according to a poll by Palestinian Arab pollster Khalil Shikaki?

Hamas, the terrorist organization which took over Gaza in 2006-7 and carried out the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust on October, enjoys widespread support no for the services it provides; indeed, its spokespeople have stated that it is the job of the United Nations and the international community and not Hamas to provide for its residents. Its support stems from its single-minded focus on killing Jews, a goal the supposed moderates in the Palestinian Authority have spent decades brainwashing their constituents to share.

Hamas charter is explicitly genocidal, stating “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” It quotes a hadith that states: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

This is what the modern Palestinian Arab national movement has become. The only thing uniting The Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the only thing holding the entire movement together, is hatred of Jews and the desire to kill them.

Palestinism began with Haj Amin al-Husseini as a movement of hate, murder, and genocide, and has never evolved from the days when its founder lobbied the Nazis to murder Jewish children rather than let them go free. The society created by Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and their cronies is one in which the highest value is the killing of Jews and murderers are considered heroes. It is a society in which a young man can call his parents and yell with joy: “Look how many I killed with my own hands! You son killed Jews! I killed ten with my own hands!”

The root of the conflict which began with al-Husseini’s pogroms in 1920 is antisemitism. It is the antisemitism of the Mufti which led him to ally with the Nazis and support the Holocaust as it was happening. It is the antisemitism of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. It is the antisemitism of Hamas. It is the antisemitism taught to children in Palestinian Authority and Hamas schools and broadcast on their televisions. It is the antisemitism of Hebron in 1929, Iraq in 1941, and the kibbutzim of southern Israel on October 7, 2023.

Peace will never come until this root cause, this antisemitism, is finally addressed. If Hamas is not destroyed, it has vowed to repeat the massacre of October 7 as many times as it takes to destroy the State of Israel. If the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas takes over Gaza from Hamas, it has spent too many decades brainwashing its own people to hate and value killing to ever be capable of making peace with the hated Jews or to agree to stop killing Jews.

Peace will come when the specter of the Mufti is finally expunged, when the values of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas’ are cast aside, when mass murderers are recognized for the monsters they are instead of treated as role models every child should aspire to emulate.

Peace will come when the Palestinian Arabs finally reject hate, when they acknowledge Jews as human beings with the right to live, when they learn to respect Jewish holy and historical sites and Jewish people’s rights to visit them, and when they stop demanding a completely Judenrein state of Palestine.

To do this, their supporters at the United Nations, at universities and the media, must stop turning a blind eye to this deadly antisemitism. They must stop excusing this hate and taking part in it. The world must demand change and demand better from the PA instead of writing blank checks and blaming Israel every time this inherent antisemitism results in death and mayhem.

‘Palestinism’ is a racist, supremacist, antisemitic, genocidal movement with one goal – the annihilation of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. That is what it always has been. That is what those who instead claim that ‘Zionism is racism’ give cover to.