As the year 2011 comes to a close, media outlets inundate their readers/listeners/viewers with top 10 lists galore. Whether it’s the top ten news stories, songs, movies, books, etc. this is the time of year for fans and critics to give their take on what was hot (and what was not) over the past 12 months.
TIME magazine gave their annual “Person of the Year” award to the “Protestor” in recognition of how demonstrations in cities around the world were effective in causing change on a wide variety of issues ranging from social welfare reforms to total government overhaul, which in some cases ended in the fall of long standing regimes (for better or worse).
In regard to Israel and the Middle East, one top-10 list for 2011 was relegated to the back pages of newspapers but should have made the front page in BIG BOLD LETTERS.
In their second annual list of the top-10 Anti-Semitic slurs featuring notable Jew-hating quotes by world leaders, religious heads, writers, fashion designers, and other trend setters. The Los Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Center presented a very interesting choice for their #1 anti-Semite of the Year. And this year’s winner (drum roll please) is none other than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, for comments he made in his speech at the UN’s General Assembly this past September.
Here is the winning quote:
“I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and the birthplace of Jesus Christ peace be upon him, to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people…”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center justifies Abbas being awarded the top slot by stating:
“Speaking to the world, Abbas omitted any reference to the Jewish people’s connection to the Holy Land. No reference to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, nor King David, King Solomon, or Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel.”
Others listed on the list include The Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis winner of the International Music Council-UNESCO International Music Prize – who said that “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists… American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also”- as well as U.S. Rev. Jeremiah Wright who in a speech to thousands this past June in Baltimore, told his audience that “The state of Israel is an illegal, genocidal place… to equate Judaism with the state of Israel is to equate Christianity with [rapper] Flavor Flav,”.
But the fact that Israel’s supposed partner for peace Mahmoud Abbas topped this list should raise red flags, indicating even to Israel’s “peace camp” that Abbas is not serious about an end to the conflict with Israel.
In reality the Abbas quote should hardly surprise anyone who has paid attention to any of Abbas’ other statements or actions over the past year. Abbas shared a platform with Hamas leaders when welcoming home the prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit deal, and went a step further by giving these “martyrs for Palestine,” cash to get back on their feet in addition to building them homes.
In addition, according to the recently released book “Deception: Betraying the peace Process,” by Palestinian Media Watch Director Itamar Marcus and Jacques Zilberdik – which analyzes a year’s worth of educational and cultural media resources released by the Palestinian Authority – messages of anti-Israel hate continue to be spewed on a regular basis.
According to Marcus’ findings, terrorism and martyrdom against Israel is glorified by Abbas’ PA, while official maps and educational materials omit the names of Israeli cities (not in Judea and Samaria, but in pre-1948 Israel) and instead refer to them as “Palestinian.”
Of course Abbas’ and the PA’s entire propaganda campaign – attempting to establish a State at the UN unilaterally without a willingness to negotiate or sign a deal with Israel – is the ultimate proof that the endgame is not peace but rather to exacerbate the conflict.
It is important to note that in the introduction to this year’s top-10 list the Wiesenthal Center states that “The list continues to reflect the growing global antisemitism and de-legitimization of Israel coming from mainstream voices…. These citings should serve as a wake-up call to those who believe that such rants are the exclusive domain of Neo-Nazis and crackpots.”
While it is debatable whether or not Abbas who once penned a thesis downplaying the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust, is an Arab “Neo-Nazi” or a “mainstream”, voice what is crystal clear, is that the fact that his name is on the top of that list says a lot about his true feelings about the Jewish people and their right to the State of Israel.