If Jewish history has taught us anything, it is that when our enemies speak, we should listen. Paying attention to what they say, particularly when they are talking to whom they view as a friendly audience, is critical to not only understanding our enemy, but for our survival.
Last week, on January 9, 2022, the Palestinian Authority (“PA”) Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, gave such a speech. A speech that while short, and frankly unsurprising at this point, highlighted two of the biggest causes of the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict: (1) the sanctification of Jew-murder, and (2) the rejection of facts and history.
One common feature of totalitarianism and Jew-hatred is that both have always rewritten or revised history without regard for the facts. For the Palestinian Arab leadership, who are indisputably totalitarian and antisemitic, ignoring facts and revising history has been fundamental to their enterprise. Similarly, sanctifying Jew-murder and turning those who murder Jews – even little Jewish girls by smashing their heads against a rock – into heroes, has been part of the PLO and PA playbook for decades.
But even with that context, the extent to which the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs in the 21stcentury have taken to Stalinesque revisions of history and glorification of Jew-murder is almost mind-boggling.
Before Yasser Arafat and the PLO, Palestinian Arab leaders, even Nazi collaborator and 1920’s Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini – while viciously antisemitic – admitted that the Temple Mount was historically home to at least two Jewish temples. Now, the PA appointed Mufti of Jerusalem denies there ever was a Jewish temple at the Temple Mount site (the holiest site to Jews and 3rd holiest site to Sunni Muslims) and incredibly claims that the Temple Mount was always and only the site of a mosque going back “3,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago” … even though Islam was founded 1,400 years ago, and the first mosque was built in Jerusalem 1,300 years ago.
In his January 9th speech that aired on Palestinian Authority TV, the current PA Prime Minister took this lying about history and lionizing of Jew-murderers to a level that would be laughable, were it not so dangerous.
First, he lionized as “martyrs” people who organized and participated in a mass-slaughter of their Jewish neighbors in Jerusalem, Hebron and Tzafat in 1929. Haj Amin el-Husseini inspired antisemitic riots (pogroms) that killed 133 Jews in under one week.
About three men who were convicted by the British of stealing from and murdering multiple Jews, including women and children, during those 1929 pogroms, PM Shtayyeh said:
“We weave beautiful stories about the martyrs so that they serve as role models, so they nestle in our minds, and so we remember them every day. We weave beautiful stories about the martyrs, so we are all Muhammad Jamjum, Atta Al-Zir, and Fuad Hijazi, whose feet rose above the executioner’s neck.”
Three men convicted of mass murdering Jews, 2 of whom confessed to murdering 8 Jews between them as part of an antisemitic killing and stealing frenzy in 1929 (nearly 40 years before any alleged “occupation”) are – according to the PA Prime Minister speaking on PA TV – “role models” to “nestle in our minds.”
Then, as if lauding thieves and mass murderers as the ultimate heroes for Palestinian Arabs to emulate was not bad enough, PM Shtayyeh added this whopper:
“We defeated the Hyksos, the Romans, the Greeks, as well as the Persians, the Tatars, and the Pharaohs. We defeated all the invaders who passed through Palestine, and in the name of martyrs, we will defeat this despicable occupation, which will leave our lands.”
In the real world, Arabs are from Arabia and they didn’t invade and conquer – what the Romans re-named “Syria-Palestina” in 135 CE – until over 500 years later in 638 CE.
In the real world, an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, 3,600 years ago (and 2,226 years before the Arab conquest of Egypt) drove the Hyksos out of Egypt and the Levant.
In the real world, the Greeks were defeated in the Levant (in ancient Judea) by the Jews, led by the Maccabees. PM Shtayyeh may never have heard of this historic event, but it’s celebrated in a pretty well-known Jewish holiday about liberating Jerusalem from occupation (called Chanukah).
In the real world, the Romans colonized Judea – what the entire Levant was called back then – in 63 BCE and they turned Judea into a Roman province (colony) in 6 CE. And in the real world, the Jews fought two bloody revolts against Roman occupation between 66 CE and 70 CE and 132 CE and 135 CE. 500 plus years before the Arab Empire conquered the Levant and over 1,800 years before Arabs in the Levant began generally identifying as Palestinian.
But today’s Palestinian Arab leaders plainly do not live in the real world. In their world of fake “history,” Jerusalem, the city mentioned 661 times in the Jewish bible (the Torah) and to which Jews have daily prayed towards and about for thousands of years, has no connection to Judaism or the Jewish people.
Today’s Palestinian Arab leaders plainly do not live in the real world. In their world of fake “history,” Jerusalem, the city mentioned 661 times in the Jewish bible (the Torah) and to which Jews have daily prayed towards and about for thousands of years, has no connection to Judaism or the Jewish people.
In their world of fake “history,” it wasn’t ancient Egyptians who defeated the Hyksos, and Jews who fought against the ancient Greeks and Romans, but Palestinian Arabs who apparently time-traveled from 21st century Ramallah to the “multiverse” where these epic battles must have taken place. Stan Lee (Z’L) has nothing on the imagination of the Palestinian Arab leadership.
Kidding aside, this is actually pretty scary stuff when it comes to the prospects for peace. While history has certainly taught the Jewish people the importance of listening to what our enemies say (particularly when they talk about destroying us), it has also taught us that in the absence of a total defeat, true peace can only come about when there is a meeting of the minds.
Tragically, the leadership of Palestinian Arab side to this conflict continues to exacerbate the two main obstacles to true peace between Jews and Palestinian Arabs – the sanctification of Jew-murder and the denial of the very real Jewish connection to the land of Israel. They teach their people to worship truly heinous Jew murderers, while they simultaneously invent a history that is about as connected to reality as Lord of the Rings.
How on earth (and not on fake “Middle Earth”) can there be a meeting of the minds under such circumstances? The sad truth is that there can’t be. The sad reality is that as long as the Palestinian Arabs are led by people in the PA and in Hamas who feed them such lies – all as they incite Jew-hatred and worship Jew-murder, then true peace is sadly not possible.
We can all pray for a day when that will no longer be the case and also work to encourage education within Palestinian Arab society about the actual history of the region, as well as the evil of sanctifying and glorifying Jew-murder, but until that sea-change occurs, we must heed the words of our enemies and remain vigilant.
Micha Danzig served in the Israeli Army and is a former police officer with the NYPD. He is currently an attorney and is very active with numerous Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, including Stand With Us and the FIDF, and is a national board member of Herut North America.