ADL Condemns Known Palestinian Activist Over Blood Libel Post on Facebook
The Anti-Defamation League condemned a blood libel accusation against Israeli soldiers on Friday posted on Facebook by a known Palestinian activist who just concluded a 6-week speaking tour of some 29 venues across the U.S.
ADL Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt called Bassem Tamimi’s post “outrageous and incendiary,” and called on Amnesty International, which Tamimi’s website claimed was supporting his U.S. tour, to ensure it would pull its endorsement of Tamimi if he was indeed receiving the group’s sponsorship.
On October 14, Ramallah businessman-cum-activist Tamimi shared a post from Faisal Hussein, showing an image of the side of a man’s body deeply lacerated and sewed up with several sutures. Below the image, the caption reads: “When Israelis arrest Palestinian CHILDREN, what is the purpose? To STEAL THEIR ORGANS. The same #Zionists doing this control the #media. So don’t expect to be told this by the #BBC.”
The post caused an uproar not only amid fraught tensions between Israelis and Palestinians that largely erupted over claims that Israel was trying to change the status quo at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem revered by Muslims and Jews, but because Tamimi has been on a speaking tour in the United States since early September, visiting, according to his website, grade schools, high schools, universities, churches and other venues.
Additionally, Tamimi’s website says his tour was sponsored by Amnesty International, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Friends of Sabeel North America, among other groups. His final appearance, at Al Salam Mediterranean Restaurant and Market, in Plantation, Florida, finished up Sunday night.
ADL released a statement condemning Tamimi’s seeming endorsement of a post spreading rumors that the Israel Defense Forces harvests the organs of Palestinian victims, which also included a link to a story about Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet’s publishing of an article in 2009 alleging Palestinian victims were “plundered” of their organs. “The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned as ‘outrageous and incendiary’ a blood-libel accusation posted on social media by a Palestinian activist accusing the Israeli government of arresting Palestinian children and ‘stealing their organs,'” it read.
The ADL’s CEO, Greenblatt, also wrote:
The claim that the Israelis are harvesting Palestinian organs for profit is outrageous and incendiary. It is just another version of the anti-Semitic blood-libel that has been used to foment hatred of Jews for centuries. This is part of a broader trend of hateful lies and vicious incitement spreading in Palestinian society via social media and the street.
Whether the proponents are government officials or religious figures or community leaders, good people need to stand up and condemn incitement immediately and unequivocally.
If indeed Amnesty International is a sponsor of his tour, we expect them to condemn Bassem Tamimi’s hateful anti-Semitism and remove their endorsement. There can be no justification or support for this type of hate and incitement. There are good people, Palestinian and Israeli, who are promoting reconciliation and moderation. These are the voices who should be elevated, not those who promote incitement.
The Legal Insurrection blog reported that Tamimi is “the internationally-famous Palestinian activist from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh who is best known for the viral videos and photos he creates by sending children, including his own, to confront Israeli soldiers.”
One video featured his 15-year-old daughter Ahed, fighting with an Israeli over the arrest of her 12-year-old brother for stone-throwing, a common occurrence in clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian activists, who also sometimes, and fatally, target Israeli vehicles.
The scandal around the latest post also underscores concerns among many that social media platforms are being used to spread incitement to violence and hatred against Jews and Israelis.