Israel Resource Review 5th May, 2005


From Evil, Make Good
90 Years After Armenian Genocide
Mayaan Jaffe
Israeli American writer

One-and-a-half million innocent individuals were murdered. Women were raped and children were tortured. The survivors are few, the pain is great. But even ninety years after the Armenian Genocide, in which Armenians were systematically murdered at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, many ignore or deny the tragedy; many, but not all…

On 2 May 2005, the Hebrew University Armenian Studies Program, under the auspices of Professor Michael E. Stone, brought the massacre to the forefront of the thoughts of Israelis in a commemorative evening, one week after the 24 April official day of remembrance of the genocide. There was laughter, there were tears, and despite the pain of the speakers (who presented materials in English, Hebrew, Armenian and Russian), they offered sentiments of empowerment, outlooks of hope. His Beatitude Patriarch Torkom II, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, was present. Steven Kaplan, Dean of the Department of Humanities at the Hebrew University, attended, as well. Mr. Tsolag Momjian, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia, inspired the crowd with his personal story. And leading scholars in the field of genocide, including keynote speaker Professor Israel Charney and Armenian Studies Program Director Professor Michael E. Stone, offered educational and inspirational lectures.

The evening was not a small feat for the Hebrew University; despite an Armenian-Israeli population of 25,000 and aside from scattered Israeli politicians who support genocide commemoration and study, the Jewish State has refused to recognize the Armenian massacre. The country's reasons are twofold. First of all, Israel has few allies and is afraid to harm its relations with Turkey, a perpetrator who has still not taken responsibility for its crime. Second of all, there is a hesitation among the Jews to give credence to other genocides, so as not to detract from the world's focus on the Nazi Holocaust, in which some six million Jews were murdered. While the former may be a viable reason for Israel's stance, according to Monday's keynote speaker Professor Israel Charney, the second reason is totally unfounded.

Said Charney, "We have an absolute moral responsibility to recognize the Armenian Genocide… Respecting and honoring the memory and history of each and every genocide is the first essential step towards creating new means of preventing genocide to all people in the future."

And there might be some truth to Charney's statement. The Armenian Holocaust of 1915 occurred less than half-a-century before the Jewish Holocaust. Adolf Hitler was aware of how the world almost instantaneously 'forgot' about the Armenians. In one of Hitler's many speeches he recognized the Armenian Genocide, drew comparisons between it and the acts he plotted to carry out, and used it as a means to encourage his followers. He said, "I have issued the command - and I'll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad - that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness … with orders for them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space … we need. Who after all speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"


As the statement by Hitler alludes, there is a deep connection between the Armenians and the Jews. But the histories of the two peoples connect more extensively than one might imagine. Senior lecturer at the Open University of Israel and the Kibbutzim College of Education, Professor Yair Auron, has dedicated himself to bringing to light the connection between the Armenians and the Jews, their trials and tribulations. In his book The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide (Transaction Books, 2000), which was published this year in Hebrew in honor of the 90th anniversary, he writes: "At the time of the Armenian genocide, the possibility of its extension to include the Ottoman Jews was just barely avoided. One cannot help but be reminded that between the two world wars, when the fate of the Armenians became the forgotten genocide, European Jewry failed to heed the clear early warnings of Hitler's final solution."

Auron devotes the major portion of his study to the fate of the Armenians and the Jews under Turkish rule during the twilight of the Ottoman Empire, from the beginning of the twentieth century, to the rebalancing of world power in the Middle East after World War I.

He proves that the Jews of the Yishuv were well aware they were next in line for a Turkish genocide. Indeed, during the spring of 1916, the order for expulsion of the Jews from Jaffa was a distinct possibility. The intervention of the US and German consuls with the Turkish government in Jerusalem proved to be decisive in helping the Jews avoid the fate that befell the Armenians.

Ironically, it was Henry Morgenthau, a Jew and the American ambassador to Turkey during World War I, who became the first whistleblower in what he described as the murder of a nation. In September 1915 Morgenthau requested emergency aid from his government, and in the same year the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief (ACASR) was established. In 1916, assistance efforts, under the auspices of Congress, were reorganized as the 'Near East Relief (NER), which collected and distributed substantial sums from private and government sources. Through these projects, tens of thousands of Armenians were saved. However, more were murdered than saved; according to Professor M.E. Stone, head of the Hebrew University Armenian Studies Program, the amount of Armenians murdered by the Ottoman Empire totaled more than 1.5 million, virtually wiping out the Turkish-Armenian population.

Ambassador Morgenthau was also effective in rescuing Jews, saving leaders such as David Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Tzvi, later prime minister and president of Israel, respectively. Both men were avidly pro-Turkish. Indeed Ben Gurion had tried to organize a Jewish corps in support of the Ottomans, but when his name appeared on a Zionist list he was jailed and charged with treason. On arriving in Alexandria he was jailed again by the British, and then evacuated to New York. In both instances, he was saved thanks to the intervention of Ambassador Morgenthau.

Auron argues that Ben Gurion knew of the murder the Turks were capable of. Auron writes, "Whatever Ben Gurion's strategy may have been, he wrote privately to his father in 1919 that 'Jamal Pasha [then Turkish military ruler in Palestine] planned from the outset to destroy the entire Hebrew settlement in Eretz Yisrael, exactly as they did the Armenians in Armenia.'"

The murder of the Armenian political, cultural and business leadership in Constantinople in April 1915 marked the beginning of full-scale genocide. One month prior, Ambassador Morgenthau made arrangements through his friend Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, to have the USS Tennessee evacuate a number of Jews from Palestine to refugee camps in Alexandria, Egypt. On the eve of World War I, there were some 85,000 Jews out of a population of 700,000 in the area of Palestine west of the Jordan River [modern day Israel]. Half of the Jews were part of the "Old Yishuv" and half were part of the "New Yishuv," immigrants who had arrived at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth.

As noted, evidence suggests the Jews knew what was happening to the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

"The Yishuv knew about the fate of the Armenians, and feared a similar fate," Auron writes.

Interestingly, it was Mordecai Ben-Hillel HaCohen, a Jewish journalist in the Yishuv and the uncle of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who became the first publicist to report the chain of events affecting the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. This was as early as 1916.

Likewise, the first book to document the plight of the Armenians, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh: Symbol and Parable, was also written by a Jew, Franz Werfel, and published in Germany in 1933. Translated into Yiddish and Hebrew, Franz Werfel's novel influenced Zionist youth movements in Palestine in the 1930s and the resistance movements to the Nazis throughout occupied Europe.

When Hitler's plans began to come to fruition, it was Morgenthau's son, Henry Morgenthau II, the treasury secretary under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who became the only member of the American government during World War II to campaign for the creation of a World Refugee Board to save the remnants of European Jewry. He was always quoting the cables sent from his father, which warned of the Armenian genocide during his time.

Making the Connection Now

One might assume these parallels, especially those between the tragic events themselves, would lead the Jewish people to both identify with and recognize the Armenian Genocide. This is especially since the Armenian community has been in Jerusalem and the Holy Land since the fourth century (more than 1,700 years). However, his is not the case; as mentioned, Israel does not officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. But it is also not accurate to say that the facts have gone unnoticed by everyone. Five years ago, for example, then Israeli Minister of Education Yossi Sarid became one of the first Israelis to take a stance against denial of the Armenian Genocide when he participated in that year's memorial event. During his speech he said, "The Armenian Memorial Day should be a day of reflection and introspection for all of us, a day of soul-searching. On this day, we as Jews, victims of the Shoah [Holocaust], should examine our relationship to the pain of others. The massacre, which was carried out by the Turks against the Armenians in 1915 and 1916, was one of the most horrible acts in modern times…"

Sarid even recommended that the state implement a new history curriculum that would include a central chapter on genocide, and within it, an open reference to the Armenian genocide. (Since Limor Livant took over as education minister, this idea has been dismissed.)

While few other politicians have followed Sarid's lead, educated historians and professors, like Auron, have for a long time taken a stand. As Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, Charney lectures regularly about the significance of Jewish recognition of other people's tragedies.

"Denying that there was an Armenian genocide, or any other genocide, is the same as someone saying there was no Holocaust of the Jewish people," he said.

During the aforementioned 02 May memorial event, Charney noted that there has been decisive progress against denials, but that there is still much work to be done.

Stone, also, has extensively written and lectured about the similarities between the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Ottomans and those committed against the Jews by the Nazis. He said, "In my view they are the same sort of event. The Holocaust was simply 'bigger and better' because the Nazis had a much more organized state and much more advanced technology."

But Stone has taken it all a step further. It is through his work that the Armenian Studies Program has come alive in the last ten years; Stone plays a critical role in the education of Israel about the genocide, but also Armenian history, culture and art.

"It is vital that we not only focus on the horrible effect of genocide or the one-third of the Armenian people that were wiped out," said Stone, "but also focus on rejuvenating the culture and history that the Ottomans attempted to eradicate."

In his short but poignant remarks last Monday, Stone declared that his work in general, and the memorial event in particular, are not solely about remembering those needlessly murdered, but serve the purpose of creating positive results from evils that have occurred.

Echoing the Jewish message that as terrible as the pain could be, the happiness can be even greater, Stone said, "From evil, make good."

And that is what the Armenians plan to do…

David Bedein contributed to this article.

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The IDF:
Disengagement Won't Stop Firing of Kassam Rockets
Itzik Saban and Yossi Yehoshua
Correspondents, Yediot Aharonot

As a result of the evacuation of the Israeli settlements and IDF forces from the Gaza Strip, 44 more Israeli residential areas will be within the range of Palestinian Kassam rockets. Army sources predict that this is a dangerous threat and a cause for concern, and that it calls for appropriate defensive preparation in these communities.

The settlements around the Gaza Strip have been recognized as "front line settlements for the purposes of their defense requirements." Consequently, security will reinforced in these moshavim and kibbutzim.

The Defense Ministry has already approved a long-term plan to improve the defenses of the villages around the Gaza Strip, at a cost of NIS 210 million, of which 70 million will be spent this year. Under the plan, security fences and patrol roads will be built around these villages, peripheral lighting will be installed and concrete security rooms will be constructed in each home. Emergency squads will be recruited from among the residents. Now, however, the heads of these settlements are demanding that [the roofs of] their homes be strengthened to withstand Kassam rockets and mortar bombs, and that the residents receive the tax breaks granted to front line settlements elsewhere.

Yesterday representatives of Israel Military Industries presented its solution to Kassam rockets and mortars. It consists of a colorful and attractive roof which has withstood the test of being struck by an upgraded Kassam rocket. The roof has a thin upper layer of iron with a wooden layer underneath. It will be placed on top of the existing roof. The wood is intended to absorb fragments from the rocket or bomb, so that the original roof will not be damaged.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Tzvika Vogel, a security adviser at the Eshkol Regional Council, who is in charge of activities connected with the threat from the Gaza Strip, said yesterday that he had demanded that the security agencies make strengthening of the houses, schools and other public buildings a top priority. "I assume that the disengagement will be [conducted] under fire and that terrorist activity against the communities around the Gaza Strip will increase. We must not wait a single day. We must provide an immediate solution to the firing of the rockets."

Vogel demanded that the security agencies provide an answer to the threat posed by tunnels which terrorists would pass through in order to attack the communities in the area. At least five communities - Kerem Shalom, Kissufim, Nahal Oz, Erez and Netivei Haasara - are in immediate danger because they are situated very close to the new security fence around the Gaza Strip.

According to information possessed by the IDF, the terrorist organizations are taking advantage of the current tahdiya to recoup their armory with weapons smuggled in from Egypt and to manufacture mortar bombs and Kassam rockets. Army sources say that in recent weeks the terrorist groups have been conducting experiments with rockets and mortar bombs, firing them out to sea in an attempt to increase their range so that they can hit more targets in addition to the town of Sderot. "Recently there has been a significant erosion of the ceasefire," an army source said yesterday. "The ability of the Palestinian Authority to cope with the terrorist organizations is very small, if it exists at all. The chances that the disengagement will be conducted under fire are increasing." At the same time, IDF officers do not rule out the possibility that if there is coordination with the Palestinian Authority, and it is determined to impose its authority, the terrorism can be prevented.

If they are already responding to our legitimate activity by firing Kassam rockets at Sderot, what will happen after the disengagement? If we give this our unspoken consent by doing nothing, why should the situation after the disengagement be any different?" a senior officer at the general staff asked yesterday. He expressed pessimism about everything related to the days after the disengagement.

The IDF is very disappointed with the performance of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority. "Abu Mazen is past his peak, and the question is how far down he will fall when he crashes," a senior officer said.

Another problem lies in the expected results of the July elections in the Palestinian Authority. "Three weeks before disengagement we're going to have a Hamas leadership on our hands; Gaza will be Hamas-stan," the officer said.

In preparation for the situation after the disengagement, the security establishment is currently establishing a "security zone" with a width ranging from 80-200 meters, between the old security fence around the Gaza Strip and the new one that is being built. It is in this zone that the IDF and other security forces will operate.

This piece ran in Yediot Aharonot on May 5th, 2005

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Abbas Attacks Israeli 'War Crimes' and 'Intentional Murder' of 2 Youths as Deliberate Attempt to Bust Cease Fire
Michael Widlanski

JERUSALEM--May 5, 2005

The official Palestinian Authority (PA) media opened their reports Thursday with a slashing attack on Israel for "deliberately killing" two Palestinian youths yesterday as part of an intentional Israeli plan to bust the Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire.

The Palestinian broadcast media, quoting a spokesman for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, said that Israel planned the deaths of 'Uday 'Aasi, 15, and Jamal 'Aasi, 17 who were killed when attacking fence-building operations near Beit Liqiyya.

"The two youths were martyred heroically when the Israeli Occupation Army fired its weapons at them in the village of Beit Liqiyya north west of Ramallah when they opposed Israeli bulldozers building the racist separation fence. Glory and eternity to our immaculate martyrs." (PBC 7 a.m.)

The Palestinian media said that a spokesman for PA president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the "war crime" as "an intentional escalation which was designed to destroy the 'hudna,' and it will bring forth reactions."

Neither the Palestinian media nor Palestinian officials specified what "reactions" might be forthcoming.

Israeli Maj. Gen. Ya'ir Naveh suspended the Israeli army commander at the scene of the shooting, pending completion of an investigation of whether the soldiers were justified in shooting at the men who attacked them with rocks.

"The Israeli government is not carrying out its agreements to withdraw from our cities, to release our prisoners, and it is building a barrier fence on our lands," declared a statement by the presidential spokesman read on PBC television and Voice of Palestine (V.O.P.) radio.

"The Israeli government is sending a message of terrorism to us," reported Khalil Abu-Arab, the V.O.P. correspondent in Ramallah during a report Thursday morning, using the term "irhaab" (terror) repeatedly, a term which is not employed in the Palestinian media to describe Palestinian actions.

Meanwhile, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi (Farkash) has spent the last two days trying to send a message of conciliation and optimism. In an interview on Voice of Israel radio, Gen. Zeevi said he believed that PA leader Abbas was working hard to curb Palestinian violence and to collect arms held by Palestinian terror groups.

Gen. Ze'evi made similar comments in a cabinet briefing yesterday, but his conclusions and analysis were challenged strongly by Avi Dichter, the head of the "Shabak" or "Shin-Bet," Israel's domestic intelligence service. They have also been challenged by Israeli army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, but both Dichter and Ya'alon are being pushed out of their jobs within a few weeks.

An Israeli sergeant, Dan Telesnikov, was killed by Islamic Jihad terrorists in Tulkarm, a Palestinian city where the PA leadership was supposed to have disarmed insurgents several weeks ago, and there is considerable discomfort in the Israeli army about the politicization of intelligence reporting and operations.

Gen. Ze'evi and several analysts vetted by him have contended that the PA has also sharply curtailed Palestinian incitement against Israelis such as stopping "martyr films."

However, the official Palestinian radio and television outlets have actually stepped up incitement in several ways such as through the broadcasting of virulent mosque speeches, embracing terrorists as "martyrs" and derogatory references to "the Tel Aviv government."

[Background Note: "Hudna" is a temporary ceasefire between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, but the PA and the Hamas have consistently used the term "tahdiyya" which means even less-a partial "lull" or "cooling-off". Abbas holds the title of chairman of the PLO and president or chairman of the Palestinian Authority ].

Report compiled by Michael Widlanski Associates.
Commissioned by the Center for Near East Policy Research.

[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times ,The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

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Palestinians Seek 'International Protection' and 'Observers' After Deaths of 'Child Martyrs' Killed 'Playing Football'
Dr. Michael Widlanski

A senior Palestinian official hinted broadly today that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would demand "international protection" and international observers to stop what he called Israel's "acts of aggression" against the Palestinians.

At the same time Palestinian officials warned "The Tel Aviv Government" (Israel) that continued Israeli violence would lead to Palestinian reactions-a not-so-subtle reminder of Palestinian human bomb and rocket attacks.

"This is an army with missiles, with planes, with tanks, and we are an unarmed people," asserted Dr. Saeb Arikat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, who is heading to Moscow for talks with European Union (EU) officials on May 9.

His comments followed the shooting deaths of two Palestinian youths, 15 and 17 years old, who were reportedly among a group that attacked Israelis building a fence near Ramallah.

The Israeli army has suspended the local army commander at the scene pending completion of an investigation.

In a prepared statement, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the Palestinian deaths an Israeli "war crime" designed to torpedo the current "cooling-off" period that has not been very cool.

During the course of the day, the Palestinian media have embellished the story and changed the "youths" into "child martyrs" who, the Palestinians now claim, were "playing football" when they were "killed without provocation" by Israeli troops.

"The two boys were shot, respectively, in the face and in the chest while they were playing football near the fence," asserted V.O.P. radio's anchorwoman Jumal Kuneis this afternoon. Earlier, Palestinian newspapers had reported that the young men were part of a "peaceful demonstration" against "the racist separation barrier."

Several weeks ago, three Palestinian teenagers were killed trying to infiltrate under barbed wire near the Gaza border checkpoint, and the Palestinian leadership then also said the young men were "playing football."

The atrocity story motif has emerged as the favorite means of anti-Israeli propaganda among Palestinian officials and the Palestinian media since Mahmoud Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat as head of the PLO in November and as head of the PA in national elections in January.

In early February, a 12-year-old Palestinian girl was killed in Gaza school playground. For three days, the PA claimed the girl was killed by Israeli soldiers or settlers, when, in fact, she had been shot inadvertently by a Palestinian man firing celebratory shots in the air after returning from an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

While there have been some documented cases of Israeli brutality, there have also been cases in recent weeks of Palestinian women and children who have been caught smuggling weapons or having been sent as human bombs.

A woman blew herself up at the Gaza checkpoint several months ago after smuggling a bomb in a prosthetic device, and there have been numerous cases of Palestinian children caught carrying explosives and pipe bombs under their clothing.

This has not been acknowledged by the PA or the PLO, both headed by Abbas.

"The Israelis continuing their assassinations, their invasions, their arrests shows the international community that we need international protection, " declared PLO official Arikat in an interview with Voice of Palestine radio Thursday morning.

"We need to have the Israeli occupation end and for a return to the boundaries of June 4, 1967," declared 'Arikat.

"There can be no hudna (ceasefire) or tahdiyya (lull or cooling-off) without it being a mutual cessation of violence," declared Saeb 'Arikat, the PLO official who is the chief Palestinian negotiator with Israel.

The Palestinian negotiator called on the "Quartet"-the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the United Nations-to force Israel to give up control of Rafah border checkpoint between Egyptian, Palestinian and Israeli zones in Gaza where Palestinians have been regularly trying to smuggle bombs and explosives.

For the last three weeks the Palestinians have been conducting a press campaign against Israeli search devices at the border checkpoint, claiming that the Israelis are deliberately using "radiation devices" in order "to poison" Palestinian travelers.

The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, and the major PA-supported newspapers and broadcast media all reported that an elderly woman was killed by the "radiation device" last week.

"They have turned Gaza into a big prison," he said. "That's why they have taken over the international border crossing at Rafah. And that's why it's become, a big prison, and they want to turn the West Bank into cantons inside fences."

© 2005

Report compiled by Michael Widlanski Associates.
Commissioned by the Center for Near East Policy Research.

[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times ,The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

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ADL-backed TAU Survey on World Wide Anti-Semitism: Once again Palestinian Anti-Semitism Underplayed
Diana Dubrow and Sammy Reiss
Jerusalem-based writers

The Anti Defamation League (ADL), in coordination with the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, held a press conference in Tel Aviv University yesterday, outlining findings of new trends in anti-Semitism in 2004.

In their 'Anti-Semitism Worldwide 2004' report, compiled by the Stephen Roth Institute for the ADL and the World Jewish Congress (WJC), they report a "multi-fold increase in violent anti-Semitic manifestations in 2004, the most violent in the last 15 years."

This in-depth report, which monitors anti-Semitism throughout the world pays close attention to growing trends in France, Britain and Canada, and accredits this rise to the lack of integration of new immigrants and socio-economic disaffection. The report also goes into great detail about anti-Semitism in Russia due to xenophobia and right wing nationalism.

Researchers for Tel Aviv University, Prof. Dina Porat, Drs. Roni Stauber and Esther Webman say they don't believe the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli crisis attributes to the rise of worldwide anti-Semitism. Along with the report, researchers compiled an 'Arab Media Review: Anti-Semitism and Other Trends, July-December 2004' filled with cartoons and excerpts from newspapers around the Arab world, except Palestinian newspapers.

It is also noteworthy to mention that nowhere in 'Anti-Semitism Worldwide 2004' is anything mentioned about the wide array of anti-Semitism emanating from the Palestinian Authority, its institutions and mosque sermons.

When asked why there is no mention of Palestinian anti-Semitism, Myrna Shinbaum, the ADL's director of media relations and public information, stated that she 'only deals with anti-Semitism in the United States.' Shinbaum presented the American version of the worldwide report.

Shinbaum went on to state that the ADL is an American organization and that they do report some of their findings in the 'Arab Media Report' with a compilation of cartoons.

Prof. Webman, a researcher at the Stephen Roth Institute specializing in the Middle East joined the panel in response to the question that Shinbaum was unable to answer.

Webman, who was in America for half a year, did not present anything regarding anti-Semitism in the Middle East. She did say though that the institute studies trends and that there have been no new anti-Semitic trends in Palestinian territories and therefore nothing to report, though she admitted along with the rest of the panelists that several of the Friday mosque sermons on PA TV were anti-Semitic. Webman said that in 2000 and the 2002 there was mention of Palestinian anti-Semitism in the ADL/WJC reports.

Shinbaum left the press conference without answering why the ADL mentions nothing in their 2004 report about Palestinian anti-Semitism.

When panelists were asked again about PA anti-Semitism and anti-Semitism in its institutions, such as PA TV, PA run newspapers and schools, they said they try not to blur the lines between political disagreement and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

"This was a very mild year of anti-Semitism coming from Arab countries compared to previous years," stated Webman. "There is no new trend I could really point to." The KKK, extremist Germans and Russians have also hated Jews for quite some time. This is not a new trend. Yet these groups are all reported in the 'Anti-Semitism Worldwide 2004' report.

The panelists went on to say that what typifies the Palestinian press is incitement against Israel and not so much anti-Semitism against individual Jews, and that this incitement "might" not necessarily lead to attacks and violence.

The panelists, however, noted that the that PA mosque sermons were indeed laden with anti-Semitism and that there is incitement in PA run press, the question was asked again: why is Palestinian anti-Semitism not mentioned in either of the reports?

Good Question.

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