General UK Media

British media ignore Mahmoud Abbas’s antisemitic ‘poisoning the wells’ libel


Evoking one of the more lethal medieval antisemitic libels, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, while addressing the European Parliament, accused Israeli rabbis of calling for their government to literally poison Palestinian wells.

The incendiary accusation, debunked by the blog Israellycool (with follow-up research by CAMERA senior researcher Gidon Shaviv), was so fundamentally antisemitic that even several voices known for their egregious hostility towards Israel condemned Abbas.

The New York Times, in a story by Diaa Hadid, characterized Abbas’s speech as one which “echo[ed] anti-Semitic claims that led to the mass killings of European Jews”.  The story was also covered by Reuters, AFP, Haaretz and The Washington Post in reports which were similarly contextualized by citing the similarity of Abbas’s claim with historic antisemitic libels.

Yet, major British media outlets – including the Guardian, Independent, Telegraph and Times of London – have, thus far, completely ignored the story.

As a quick contrast in coverage, all these publications reported on comments by Binyamin Netanyahu, widely characterized as racist, in which he warned on the eve of his 2015 re-election that Arabs were voting in “droves”. 

However, this is more than merely an example of selective reporting.

The omission represents a larger pattern within the British media whereby even the most extreme manifestations of Palestinian Judeophobia fail to pique the interest of putatively anti-racist news editors. Their tendency to bury news painting an unflattering picture of Palestinians was illustrated by the dearth of stories on the results of a 2014 survey commissioned by ADL which showed that Palestinians are the most antisemitic group in the world. 

Here are some highlights from ADL’s survey:

  • 88% of Palestinians believe Jews have too much control over global affairs.
  • 89% believe Jews have too much power over international financial markets
  • 88% of Palestinians believe that Jews have too much control over the global media
  • 78% of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
  • 87% of Palestinians believe that people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.

And, herein lies the point: Abbas’s comments (which he later retracted, presumably to quell criticism) can only be properly understood as a reflection of the prevalence and acceptance of such irrational, racist views within Palestinian society.

Walter Russell Mead has argued persuasively that such a malign obsession with Jews does grave harm to Palestinians. “Attributing global events to the machinations of an all-conquering Jewish conspiracy”, explained Mead, “is the sign of profound mental and social failure – and a harbinger of more failures and errors to come.” Societies, he added, that are “in thrall to this kind of darkness…and whose intellectual leaders cannot understand how power works in the modern world…are unlikely to develop the vigorous, forward-looking and competent civil societies that can promote true democracy.”

Palestinian antisemitism is one of the more under-reported political pathologies within the region, and the failure of journalists, analysts and editors to deal honestly with the injurious impact of this enduring hatred contributes to the British public’s misunderstanding of both the root cause of the conflict and a regressive political culture within Palestinian society.

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13 replies »

  1. Abbas using classic anti-Semitic slurs is natural and logical. What is much more relevant that he got a 30 sec standing ovation in the EU parliament. While I understand that medieval and not so medieval anti-Semitic blood-libel triggers some sweet nostalgic memories in most European politicians I would expect some media attention. But I won’t hold my breath…
    Abbas assertion that global terrorism will stop when the occupation stops also has been applauded showing the political maturity of the leaders of Europe. Now that they dug themselves deeper in the shit I expect more anti-Israeli actions – they learnt the lesson – if they have any problems they will have always an excellent solution – let’s distract the public opinion with the Jews – like labeling Jewish products and boycotting the Jews…

    • Sand Nazis and Euro Nazis agree on one thing. Jews are the cause of Sunni and Shiiite hating each other, Eurotrash hating each other (Brits hate Frenchies hate Germans).

      Except for the Czech Republic, UnCivil War breaking out in Socialist Eurabia will be Must See TV.

  2. There were several blood libels issued by the Islamofascist Abbas and all of them were ignored by media.

    They can’t help themselves – they are racist

    • Ignored by the Socialist controlled media – because it’s Counter Revolutionary to report Islamofascism – it goes against the Socialist meme that the West is misogynist, homophobic, Jew-hating, rapists – oh, Muslims are that? BURY THE STORY.

  3. Boy, is the UK and continental Eurabia F’d. LOL!

    Civil War is coming to Eurabia. It’s only a matter of time – and the time is getting short. Eurabia is used to appeasing – but euro sand nazis are never satisfied.

  4. Abbas’ claim wasn’t just “similar” to ancient antisemitic blood libels. It was one. And they want to give this Jew hating rapist of history his own state? Give him France.

  5. Maybe the EU should give the imaginary state of Palestine membership in the EU, you know, to offset the loss of the UK. Ironic that Arabs should be the EU’s #1 supplier of European style antisemitic motifs, kind of like all those kefiyahs made in China. Hey, that’s globalization for you!
    (They could give the British press membership too! But, you know, just the ones that think the right way.)

  6. Israel needs to drag this lying cheating Kleptomaniac in chains and throw him into an Israeli jail to rot in there…..

  7. The EU is losing it’s Jews and getting Muslim migrants instead…….What a bargain…..

    • EUrabia is experiencing ANOTHER Brain Drain like the one in the 1930’s to 1940’s.

      EUrabias loss is Americas, Israels gain.