Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Who would've thought? A pandemic anti-Semitism ceasefire? Not a chance. by Jonathan S. Tobin

As tragic as its impact has been, the pandemic ought to help convince more people to rise above pointless hatred. But in the case of those who govern the Palestinians, the coronavirus crisis has been business as usual with anti-Semitic blood libels and repression of dissent. Those Americans who think that the situation obligates us to provide more aid for such governments to embezzle and misuse should take note.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
13 April '20..

Two weeks ago, something highly unusual happened. The United Nations praised Israel. The cause for this remarkable exception to the general rule of the world body’s Israel-bashing was the cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of March, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres praised the way the two parties to the conflict had put aside their differences in their efforts to minimize the spread of the virus between Israel and the territories.

But a lot can change in two weeks. Faced with the same daunting challenges that are confounding every other governing authority in the world, the Palestinians have decided that it’s easier to blame their usual scapegoat rather than dealing honestly with the pandemic. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh claimed that “Israeli soldiers are trying to spread the virus on car handles.”

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that this was just the latest in a series of recent acts of incitement on the part of the P.A. in response to the spread of the virus. Rather than acknowledging that the pandemic is a medical problem that transcends the conflict, the P.A. is doing what it always does when faced with a problem that undermines its credibility: It changes the conversation to one about the supposed awfulness of Israel. Indeed, even the P.A. Health Ministry is now listing the cause of all confirmed coronavirus cases as “the occupation state.”

This would be pathetic under any circumstances, but it is particularly troubling while people are dying. Rather than the dealing with an intractable virus that has the ability to resist the efforts of even those governments that were quick to recognize the danger and taking strong measures to contain it—as was the case with Israel—the so-called “moderates” of Palestinian politics prefer to spread anti-Semitic blood libels.

(Continue to Full Column)

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