While the civilized world mourns for Paris and prepares to take the fight to ISIS, the official Palestinian Authority media is making the preposterous claim that Israel was behind Friday’s attacks that killed 129 people in the French capital.
In opinion columns and editorial cartoons, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official news organ of the West Bank government’s latest cockamamie conspiracy is that Israel’s secret service plotted the horrific attacks. Never mind that ISIS has claimed credit for the six coordinated bombings and mass shootings that also injured hundreds.
“It is clear that it's ‘Mossad’ will burn Beirut and Paris in order to achieve [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s goals,” wrote the editors, who answer to President Mahmoud Abbas.
"The fact that they published such a piece is just appalling and distressing."
- Ken Jacobson, Anti-Defamation league.
The ridiculous claim was followed by a spate of cartoons on the official Facebook page of the Palestinian leadership, including one that showed Netanyahu plotting the attack with a terrorist. First reported by Palestinian Media Watch, the campaign shows Fatah’s willingness to blame Israel for anything and everything, according to the site.
“The PA and Fatah repeatedly compare Israel to ISIS, inventing a parallel between "the Jewish State" and "the Islamic State," Palestinian Media Watch said in a statement. “The accusations that Israel and the U.S. are behind ISIS terror attacks and benefit from them has also been voiced before.”
Israelis can't afford to dismiss such propaganda, no matter how outrageous it might be, said Ken Jacobson, deputy national director of the Anti-Defamation league. Like claims that Israel harvests organs of Palestinian children, or that Jews are staging the current wave of stabbings by Palestinians in Jerusalem, the propaganda is pushed on children and used to incite masses, Jacobson said.
"We take this stuff seriously," Jacobson said. "It isn't like there isn't an audience out there.
"The fact that they published such a piece is just appalling and outrageous," he added. "You can't understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without understanding this kind of hate."
In reality, Jews living in Paris may have been targeted in the attacks, said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. The Bataclan Theater, where nearly 100 concert-goers were slaughtered by terrorists, is owned by Jewish Parisians and has been the focus of anti-Semitism.
“We join with the international community in loudly condemning these barbaric and heinous terror attacks, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people going about their lives,” Greenblatt said.
“While the investigation continues and the terrorists’ motivations are still unclear, we are deeply concerned at reports that the Bataclan Theater has long been a focus of anti-Zionist groups,” he added.