Missing Peace | missingpeace.eu | EN

  • Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 3:53 PM
  • Tags:

When words lead to murder

By Missing Peace

When I saw my daughter crying while watching the news about the horrible murders in Itamar last Saturday night, I finally decided I had enough.

Enough of the barbaric ‘humans’ who slaughter a four month old baby, but also enough of the relentless campaign that caused the death of three Jewish children and their parents.

I am not only talking here about the incitement in Palestinian society, but also about the national and international demonization campaign against Jews like me who are living in Judea, Samaria or in East Jerusalem.

“Settlers” are generally being treated only in one way; we are less than human beings.

Our villages our branded” illegal” and in the end we ourselves have become “illegal beings”.

Last year during the launch of our public diplomacy project Missing Peace in Amsterdam, a Ha’aretz journalist asked how an information desk run by a director living in the West Bank could be reliable.

Get it? By living in the West Bank one is automatically an unreliable outcast.

Do not think this is only the opinion of a leftist Israeli journalist, I know of plenty of European officials who think the same.

During a fact finding tour in the Gush Etzion area for Israeli’s a while ago, we visited several places where Palestinians and Jews are meeting or work together.

After visiting a garage where 10 local Jews are working together with ten Palestinians from Hebron, the participants started to complain about propaganda. Thereafter we interviewed a Palestinian contractor in Efrat who talked about his twenty year old relationship with the local Jews.

When the guy told that he liked to work in Efrat and bluntly stated that life had been much better before Oslo, someone even suggested he had been bribed.

It simply could not be true that a Palestinian had a positive story to tell about ‘settlers’.

Several young people told me that a date came to an abrupt end when they revealed that they were living on the West Bank.

A friend who used to work for the Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv, saw his contract terminated when the embassy staff found out he was living in Efrat. He received a letter in which he was told that he lived in the wrong place.

These are only few examples of how incitement against Jews on the West Bank worked out.

After the news broke about the Itamar murders we saw government officials issuing the usual calls for international condemnation of this barbaric act.

On Sunday the Israeli government declared that it would establish a special team that will monitor Palestinian incitement.

Nothing however, has been said about the other source of incitement that caused the dehumanization of roughly half a million Jews.

Even on the day that the five members of the Fogel family were buried, a large part of the foreign media continued its demonization campaign against the Jews living across the Green Line.

The New York Times and the Washington Post reported that ‘five settlers’ had been killed. The BBC buried the news in an article about new ‘settler homes’ and Sky did not even report the news for 48 hours.

Countless are the examples of the foreign media using only Palestinian sources for stories about ‘settlers’.

Just last week it was widely reported that ‘6 Palestinians were shot in clashes with settlers’. Thanks to a well known Israeli blogger, in this case the truth came to light.

The Palestinians initiated an attack on a Jew and were wounded in the ensuing clash with the IDF.

This kind of reporting has created the picture that all Jews on the West Bank are extremist criminals. The fact that the overwhelming majority of those people are working, studying and law abiding citizens who succeeded to establish some of the finest communities in Israel, is even in Israel hardly known.

The demonization campaign against Jews living across the green line should have been addressed a long time ago. Now the decease has spread to the state as a whole and threatens our very existence in this country.

The Talmud in tractate Peah 1:1 states that Lashon HaRa (evil speech) is equivalent to murder.

In this case disinformation by large parts of the media led to delegitimization and that caused the demonization of a large part of Israeli society.

The events in Itamar on Shabbat proved that in such a climate eventually actual physical murder becomes the next step.

That is why the government should give countering the global dehumanization campaign against the Jews on the West Bank even more priority than the fight against Palestinian incitement. The establishment of a West Bank based rapid respons anti-incitement team that concentrates on this issue would be a good first step.

  1. http://simonstudio.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/when-words-lead-to-murder/
    When words lead to murder « Simon Studio Analysis
    on March 16, 2011 at 1:39 am wrote:

    […] That is why the government should give countering the global dehumanization campaign against the Jews on the West Bank even more priority than the fight against Palestinian incitement. The establishment of a West Bank based rapid respons anti-incitement team that concentrates on this issue would be a good first step. via missingpeace.eu […]