Now that The New York Times and the White House have acknowledged and rightfully condemned Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s hateful, racist descriptions of Jews and Israel, will they do the same for the consistently vile rhetoric used by political, media and religious leaders of the Palestinian Authority?
Otherwise one comes away with the distinct impression that the administration and its foreign policy supporters in the media would prefer to ignore the constant drumbeat of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel proclamations in the Arab world unless forced to confront them.
Of course I was pleased to see that Morsi’s vile comments made front- page news in the Times on Jan. 14, and that it was followed the next day by an Editorial, which asserted: “That kind of pure bigotry is unacceptable anywhere, anytime” and “deserves to be condemned unequivocally.”
But I couldn’t help wondering what took so long for the paper of record and much of the mainstream media to highlight the kind of anti-Jewish, anti-Israel rhetoric that is as commonplace in Arab states as it is detestable, and why only now.
Richard Behar reported in Forbes that it took 11 days from the time MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) made public the 2010 Morsi video until it was reported in the American mainstream media, led by The Times. In part, Morsi said:“We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.”
He also said the children of Egypt must “feed on hatred…. The hatred must go on for God and as a form of worshiping him.”
And in another speech, Morsi described Zionists as “those bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians, those warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”
Curiously, neither The Times nor the White House picked up on Morsi’s verbal condemnation of the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority, in addition to his charge that Jews “are hostile by nature.”
As Behar reported, Morsi “called for a boycott of American goods because of its support for Israel, and declared his opposition to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (because, he sputtered, the latter group has the right to every inch of the land.)”
Morsi also “dismissed the Palestinian Authority — the rival of Gaza’s Hamas — as an entity ‘created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests.’”
Pitifully, after refusing comment for several days after his words came to light, Morsi told a U.S. delegation of senators that his 2010 remarks were taken out of context and reflected his feelings during the Hamas-Israel conflict, when tensions were high. He did not say whether he feels differently now.
MEMRI, which performs a vital service in bringing to light here what is said in the Mideast in its native languages, has a long record of tracking similar offenses against Jews, including Palestinian textbooks and cartoon shows that speak venomously of Jews.
It’s difficult to imagine Palestinian leaders prepared to speak about peace with the Jewish state as long as they promote the notion that Jews are inhuman bloodsuckers and actively teach their children to hate.