On Monday (September 8), Palestinian police commander General Ghazi Jabali reacted with derision to the arrest warrant and extradition request issued against him by Israel the previous day. He said, "This reminds me of [Hitler's propaganda minister] Goebbels who said 'tell lies and lies, and in the end they will believe you'. The same is true of the Jews. It is a disgrace that they are issuing an arrest warrant against me. Apparently they have learned Goebbels' methods."
The extradition request against Jabali was issued by Justice Minister Tzahi Hanegbi in the wake of Jabali's involvement with the PA police unit which, according to Israel, was sent by Jabali to kill Jews. An arrest warrant was also issued.
Against this background, Jabali's remarks should have provoked a storm. But anyone who monitors the statements and publications of the PA in recent weeks would not have been surprised. Charging Israel, Zionism and its leadership with Nazism, as well as denying the Holocaust, have become a daily routine, meshing with theories of nefarious Israeli plots. This educational battle is being waged by official PA media, which have recently adopted a strident, uninhibited and undisguised anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist line.
Resemblance between Ben-Gurion and Hitler
Just one day before the suicide bomb attack at the pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, for example, a wide-ranging article appeared in Al-Hayat Al-Jadeedah, the official PA mouthpiece. Authored by Palestinian writer Nabil Salam, it presented a learned historical analysis which concluded: "Since its establishment, the racist Zionist entity has been implementing various forms of terrorism on a daily basis which are a repetition of the Nazi terror. This proves the shared roots of Nazi and Zionist thought. This also explains the cooperation between the Jews and the Nazis during World War II, through which was revealed the forged claims of the Zionists regarding alleged acts of slaughter perpetrated against the Jews during the same period."
The writer assessed the historical development of Judaism and Zionism, asserting they have sought to rule over great financial wealth, and have "influenced the formulation of racist-terrorist theories such as the Nazi theory".
Citing quotations from the Talmud through David Ben-Gurion, Salam enlightens his readers with the following conclusion: "There is no difference between Hitler and Ben-Gurion, and if there was a difference at all, it was one of quantity and not one of substance. Anyone who investigates the crimes of the Zionists ... discovers explicitly the complementary traits between Zionism, which is a racist terrorist movement, and the Nazi movement."
The Holocaust as a profitable investment
Even more explicit was the Palestinian writer Ahsan al-Agha during a "cultural programme" broadcast two weeks ago on PA television. Al-Agha's interviewer outlined the factual basis for the conversation: "It is well-known that every year the Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6 million killed, but precise scientific research establishes that there were no more than 400,000."
Al-Agha, a teacher in Gaza, then replied: "I think we are talking about an investment. They [the Jews] have profited materially, spiritually, politically and economically from the talk about the Nazi killings. This investment is favourable to them and they view it as a profitable activity so they inflate the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know what number they will reach. Last year, for the first time, a statistic appeared according to which 1.5 million children were killed by the Nazis. This number was not previously known ... If this number was indeed correct, then someone would certainly have remembered it ... In my opinion, it is an investment, and as you know, when it comes to economics and investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of the Merchant of Venice."
The head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Authority is Nabil Amar, a former PLO ambassador in Moscow. Amar serves as an adviser to Yasser Arafat and is a member of the Higher Committee in the talks with Israel. He is also the publisher and chief editor of Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, whose employees receive their salaries directly from the PA budget. It is therefore not surprising that in tandem with the official radio and television, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda conveys the line dictated from above. And the line is unmistakable.
For example: three days before the suicide bombing on the Jerusalem pedestrian mall, the newspaper published two instructive articles. The first was an interview with an "Islamic author" by the name of Safi Naz Kassam who offered a number of diagnoses regarding Judaism and Zionism: "There is no people or land named Israel," she said. "Israel is our patriarch Yaaqoub [Jacob], peace be upon him, and the children of Israel are the sons of Yaaqoub ... We are the children of Israel ...These people are the children of the Zionist entity, they are the children of the colonialist entity, they are nothing more than thieves. They came and took land which does not belong to them. Therefore, the normalisation of relations with them is impossible ... even if Palestine remains occupied for hundreds of years."
With regard to Zionism, she states: "These Zionists are not fit to establish a nation or to have their own language or even their own religion. They are nothing more than a hodgepodge."
The same issue surveys "research" by Ahmed al-Awadeh, which claims that the Jews live by the Talmud and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The conflict between Muslim and Jew is an eternal conflict, similar to the conflict between mankind (Muslims), and Satan (the Jews), and how unfortunate the Palestinians are that they have to serve as the Muslims' avant garde in the eternal battle of the Muslims and all the nations against the "nation of Jews".
* An edited version of an article first published in Ma'ariv on September 12.