Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi recently kindled a firestorm with the dissemination of videos of 2010 interviews on Egyptian and Lebanese television, in which he called for a boycott of the United States, attacked President Barack Obama as a liar on behalf of Zionists, extolled Jew-hatred and called Zionists "bloodsuckers"and the "descendents of apes and pigs." Then, as reported by FORBES
, he doubled-down in a conference call last week with United States Senators, in which he claimed that his remarks had been deliberately taken out of context because the American media is "controlled by certain forces." And we all know who they are (wink, wink, nod, nod). His original outburst has now been condemned by the White House, the State Department and in editorials of major newspapers, including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
I am grateful that the American elite media ultimately picked up on the Morsi story. However, it begs the question of why the Palestinian Authority, through its television, newspapers and school books, spreads equally blatant and vicious anti-Semitism on a daily basis, and gets a free pass from the West. Here is a prime example, courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch,
broadcast January 1, 2013 by Palestinian Authority television:
"Faced with the Jews' schemes, Europe could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and their control and climbing up positions in government. In 1290, King Edward I issued a decree banishing the Jews [from England]. Following him were France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Italy. The European nations felt that they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews. Later the Jews obtained the Balfour Declaration [which called for a Jewish homeland in Palestine], and Europe saw it as an ideal solution to get rid of them."
Another example is the political cartoon above, which first appeared in a Jordanian newspaper, and was then broadcast on Palestinian Authority television. It portrays the United States and Israel as plotting to divide up Somalia, in order to grab its oil. Note how Israel is portrayed as a Chasidic Jew with a huge nose and earlocks.
(These examples refute the frequently asserted defense that Arab anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. Like President Morsi and the cartoonist, Arab enemies of Israel do not differentiate between Zionists and Jews in general. To say that a Chasidic Jew in traditional garb and earlocks is emblematic of Zionism or Israel is ludicrous; indeed, many such Jews are anti-Zionist. But that fact of course does not concern the likes of President Morsi, the cartoonist or the Palestinian Authority, whose true target is the Jewish people.)
So why does American media largely ignore the anti-Jewish propaganda spewing daily from the Palestinian Authority? A partial answer is that our media do not consider anti-Jewish sentiments by Arabs and Muslims to be newsworthy--it's "dog bites man," not "man bites dog." Indeed, when MEMRI
initially released its translation of the 2010 Morsi remarks, leading American media ignored it, only picking up the story after being chastised by Richard Behar in Forbes,
which gave the story heavy play. Mr. Behar actually resorted to writing, "Knock, knock, New York Times
? Anybody home?"
But the larger truth is that American media, and perhaps Americans and Westerners in general do not expect anything more civilized from Arabs and Muslims. This attitude is, to use understatement, patronizing and insulting to Arabs and Muslims. It in effect assumes that Arabs and Muslims cannot behave rationally and reject hatred, bias and prejudice. The presence of contrary Arab and Muslim voices (alas, still far too few) not only gives the lie to that complacent point of view, but demonstrates the real damage done by the media in giving a free pass to Arab and Muslim, and especially Palestinian, anti-Semitism. The sane and rational voices in those communities can only be discouraged when they are disregarded, isolated and relegated to obscurity by the media, which treats their anti-Semitic opponents as the accepted and inalterable norm.