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October 15, 2014 11:40 am

The Palestinian Authority is Guilty of Anti-Semitism at International Book Fair

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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Israel may cancel the fourth and final stage of its release of 104 Palestinian terrorist prisoners if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, pictured, refuses to commit to a yearlong extension of the current peace talks. Photo: World Economic Forum.

International donors this week praised the leaders of the Palestinian Authority as moderate peace-seekers who can be trusted with billions of dollars in aid for Gaza. This happened at the very same time that the PA was being named “second worst offender” for distributing anti-Semitic publications at Europe’s largest book fair.

The European branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, headed by Dr. Shimon Samuels, this week released its list of those who circulated anti-Semitic books and magazines at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest annual gathering of publishers in Europe.

Qatar was cited as the “Worst Offender of 2014.” But the Qataris had stiff competition this year from a publishing house that operates from the PA-controlled city of Nablus (Shechem). The Palestinian “Bait al-Almaqdes Centre” was named “Runner Up” by the Wiesenthal Center.

In the official catalogue of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bait Al-Maqdes describes itself as specializing “in publishing books and releases that are interested in Jewish-Muslim conflict over the ages and times.” Since Bait Al-Maqdes operates in PA territory, it could be shut down by the PA at any time, if the PA so chose.

Instead, Bait Al-Maqdes operates freely and here are a few samples of what these Palestinian publishers, with the PA’s de facto approval, were featuring in Frankfurt:

  • “The Zionist Deception Dictionary.” A book based on the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The “Protocols” have long been a favorite of Palestinian propagandists.
  • “Jewish Terms: Beware of Them!” Another so-called reference volume. An example of a Jewish term of which the reader should beware: The “myth” of the “Nazi Crematoria.”
  • “Jews Converted to Islam by the Prophet,” by Muhamad Ala Batir. A kind of ‘success stories’ volume.
  • “The Buraq Wall,” by Jehad J. Al Ayesh. An entire book devoted to arguing that Jews have no connection or claim to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. “Worshipping at the Wall is a new heresy [propagated by] the religion of the Jews,” the book declares (p.31). The author rants about “Jewish subversion” (p. 31), “Jewish aggressions to Judaize the Wall” (p. 37), and the like. Not surprisingly, it concludes that “the Buraq Wall is the property of Muslims” and must be under exclusive Muslim control (p. 40).
  • A booklet called “The Jewish Plot to Establish a Temple to Judaize Jerusalem.” Standard Palestinian conspiracy-mongering.
Years ago, when the Israeli government complained about the PA engaging in this kind of anti-Jewish incitement, the Clinton Administration established a committee to monitor incitement. The committee met once or twice, then was never heard from again. Israel’s complaints over the years have been greeted by the international community with a collective yawn.

And now the international community prepares to pour billions of dollars into Gaza, with the “moderate” PA as the fig leaf to justify rebuilding what is, in fact, still a de-facto Hamas-run mini-state. The “Palestinian unity cabinet” – made up of individuals appointed by the PA and Hamas – held its first meeting just before the donors’ conference, clearly in order to enable the donors to say that there is a new Palestinian government in charge.

According to the New York Times (Oct. 9), the “cabinet meeting” lasted all of fifteen minutes. The cabinet members “then went to lunch with Ismail Haniya, a senior Hamas official,” the Times reported.

Yet Secretary of State John Kerry went along with this sham, announcing at the donors conference that the United States will be contributing another $212 million to the Palestinians, on top of the more than $10 billion it has already given since 1994.

Why aren’t major American Jewish organizations speaking out in protest? The Simon Wiesenthal Center deserves praise for exposing the latest display of Palestinian anti-Semitism. Now it’s time for other Jewish groups to likewise take a stand and demand that there be consequences for the Palestinian Authority’s behavior – such as linking U.S. aid to a shutdown of Bait Al-Maqdes and other Palestinian publishers of anti-Semitism.

Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.

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