The storm was provoked by Tom Gross, a Briton of Jewish descent, a veteran and conservative journalist and commentator. Last November 6, he published a post on his blog, Mideast Media Analysis , featuring exclusive photos of Islamic Jihad students from the Palestinian Al-Quds University, standing in a military demonstration held at the university the day before, saluting as they stepped on the Israeli flag. Under the headline "What are the prospects for peace as long as the Palestinian president encourages it and Western governments continue to fund it without criticism" Gross Awarded the photos to his readers, While alluding to the secrecy with which the pictures came to him and in which he verified their originality. Gross added that "such scenes can be seen regularly in Palestinian universities and elsewhere in the West Bank, but Western news organizations devoutly refrain from reporting them." Gross does not really want to warm the spirits, but only reminds Tomo that partnership agreements are in place between Al-Quds University and American liberal institutions, mostly Jewish, such as Brandeis University.
Two days later, Gross testified with satisfaction that his original post garnered thousands of views and hundreds of links on global media sites, although, unfortunately, they all belonged to right-wing media. Media outlets affiliated with the center and the left declined to report the incident. Gross was careful to call the photos he brought from the demonstration "fascist style," emphasizing that he did not adopt the terminology of "Nazis," "Hitler" or "genocide" that appeared in some of the links to his original post. According to him, such concepts should be used only in the unique context of World War II. He added that he rejects comments from surfers in this spirit at the bottom of NRG's report on his post, which he described as "unpleasant and unhelpful for promoting peace."
Dr. Imad Abu Csc, vice president of Al-Quds Send shred and some media quoted the post his letter, in English, with a condemnation of one military parade and scenes on film. A week later delivered to shred that condemnation will not be published in Arabic, which in my opinion Gross conveyed a problematic message, first and foremost, about the university's students. Standing helpless "in the face of such demonstrations" does not bode well for the future of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. "
Finally, Sri Nusiba distributed a letter of condemnation in Arabic to al-Quds University students for the Islamic Jihad demonstration and what was being done about it. On November 19, however , Brandeis University announced that it was immediately suspending its partnership with al-Quds University. Brandeis University President Frederic Lawrence regretted that his colleague Nussiba did not "unequivocally" condemn the demonstration, calling Nussiba's letter to students "unacceptable and inciting." A translation of Nussiba's letter into English appears in a statement from Brandeis University and Gross, and the latter was under the impression that Nussiba regrets perpetuating the demonstration on camera rather than its very existence. Gross even accused Nussiba of "coming to terms with or appearing to support student antisemitic and racist demonstrations."
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which has taken it upon itself to monitor incitement in the Palestinian Authority (unfortunately, racist incitement in Israel against Arabs, which is also "fascist-style" at least, is sheltered in the shadow of freedom of expression and therefore is not addressed). multi. The ministry posted the photos for reference to the Prime Minister's Office , and the latter was published on his Twitter page under the caption "Nazi-style salute," attributing this to "wild incitement against the State of Israel" in the Palestinian Authority. At the cabinet meeting held the following Sunday, Netanyahu criticized the Palestinian incitement , which is reflected in videos from UNRWA camps in Gaza (which I referred to here in the fabricated and falsified translation ). The Prime Minister added "It is particularly disturbing that on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht," we are witnessing the effects of swastikas in the Palestinian Authority, the effects of a wave of the hand. This is a direct result of the continued savage incitement against the State of Israel. This is not a way to achieve peace. "
So far a fairly dry description of the course of events. Below I will examine the affair from two aspects: the "Nazi" gestures of the Islamic Jihad and the reaction of the Israeli government and the Brandeis University to the incident.
"Islamic cell Al Quds University," whose members define themselves officially as a framework for student of university Islamic Jihad movement, running continuously from mid 2012. The cell members maintain a Facebook page is active around the same time and obviously the top priority student-standing issues such as Admissions , Scholarships, courses, exams and the like. Their official anthem even emphasizes this in the repeated words "Lubichi ya jamayati" – "For your sake, my university". Their relations with the university presidency, and especially with Sri Nussiba, are strained against the background of the university's refusal to grant scholarships to members of families of martyrs (presumably aimed primarily at Islamic Jihad operatives who committed suicide in terrorist attacks or were killed in clashes with Israel). The members of the cell complain, to this day, that al-Quds University is the only Palestinian university that does not help with scholarships for members of families of victims.
The event on November 5 was presented by the members of the cell from the beginning as an extraordinary event that did not look like it at the university – that is, not their routine activity. The event was held to commemorate Fathi Shakaki, the founder of Islamic Jihad, who was shot dead in Malta in late October 1995. The ceremony was undoubtedly carefully planned: a military demonstration, masked men wearing vests and vests (plastic), wearing helmets, flags, Huge leaflets, songs and anthems, seder exercises, and speeches centered on honoring the parents of Muhammad 'Assi , an Islamic Jihad operative from Beit Lakia who planned the bus bombing in Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Cloud and was killed in a clash with IDF forces last October. The Islamic Jihad cell at the university completely did not hide or be ashamed of the ceremony: it was proudly marketed, before it took place and then, on the cell's Facebook page. In narrowing their steps and claiming, among other things, that the university tried to prevent the incident from the morning hours and that its representatives did not take part in the reception for Assi's parents.
The full video of the demonstration – over an hour – was uploaded to YouTube and the cell's Facebook page, but was later shortened to half an hour . I managed to watch the full video before it was shortened. I did not find a trace of the hand there – not because it did not occur, but probably because there was no major and widespread phenomenon during the event. Moreover: in demonstrations by Islamic Jihad another , similar gesture is accepted , in which the hand is raised with the index finger extended forward. This gesture also appeared in the last demonstration .
The international outcry caused by the incident, and specifically the hand-raising, caught the Islamic Jihad cell at al-Quds University by surprise. Only after that did they rummage through the event films, find the scenes of the show and upload them to YouTube while expressing satisfaction with Israel's anger at the demonstration (the show itself, as we will see below, was not addressed). These scenes took place, it seems, at the reception for Assi's parents. In the anthem in Shakaki's memory, the masked men stood in front of the parents and saluted with a raised hand, with the words "Salute; raise our hands" in the background.
Is it a raised hand that deliberately mimics the Nazi gesture?
During the 1930s, until the First World War, uniformed youth movements were common throughout the Middle East, including Jewish socialist and communist movements operating in Mandatory Palestine. Youth movements in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq were clearly influenced by Italian and German fascism: military uniforms and manners, discipline, hand-raising, cold weapons, organic treatment of the nation and more. However, they lacked two dimensions that young Arab youth did not adapt to: imperialism and racism. After World War II, the uplifting gesture disappeared from the repertoire of Arab, young and other political movements.
There is no denying any historical affinity between the Nazi hand-lift and the Islamic Jihad students' hand-lift at al-Quds University, but it is fair to ask whether the students were aware that they were making a Nazi gesture. If they were aware, one would expect that they would not hide it and perhaps also add other cues to it. At the very least, even in retrospect, the "Nazism" of the gesture would have been defended. After all, they are Islamic Jihad.
This is not the practice of students who identify with Islamic Jihad at al-Quds University. Along with a complete rejection of the criticism of the military demonstration they conducted at the university, it seems that they honestly did not understand what the fuss was about. On November 17, after Nossiba distributed the letter of condemnation to the university students in Arabic, the cell members responded in bewilderment: "We are surprised at our accusation of carrying Nazi slogans based on the words of the occupation itself; ". The members of the cell signed their response with a provocation towards Nussiba: "If the very thing we invented at the university is a shame, we hope that it will keep us away." The cell members later wrote on their Facebook page additional posts that taught that the university authorities were persecuting them following the incident. On November 30, they stressed: "If belonging to a university is terrorism, and if identification with the Islamic cell is terrorism, then we are proud terrorists." The hand raised again was not mentioned,
In other words, members of the Islamic Jihad cell at the university did not express sympathy with the Nazi hand-lift, did not defend it and did not even address it in their defensive and offensive remarks. More importantly, the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza, which has no reason in the world to deny the "Nazi" meaning of the "if" hand, did boast of Israel's anger at the movement's activities in the West Bank, but did not adopt the "Nazi hand" story. " . One of the organization's leaders in Gaza even denied any connection between the gesture and Nazism . According to him, the salute is a symbol of the desire to reach the Zionist-occupied Jerusalem.
Will Jewish organizations from the radical right in Israel, or just writers of inferior comments on websites and social networks in Israel, also apologize when accused of morbid racism against Arabs, and hint that their words or actions have been taken out of context?
So far as the "Nazi" meaning of the hand raised. We will move on to discuss the response of the University's President, Sri Nussiba, to the affair, and the response of the Government of Israel and the University of Brandeis.
The letter in Arabic to the university students was opened by Nussiba in a Koranic verse that speaks in praise of the litigation with opponents in a pleasant way, and which is also attributed to believers in other religions, including Jews. In this case, then, Nosiba wanted to imply not only the need for pleasant litigation with wayward students at his university but also the way in which the Jews should be debated. Then go ahead: the university is occasionally subjected to a smear campaign by extremist Jews, seeking to undermine its tolerance, openness to world cultures and aspiration to show the true faces of Palestinians, with occupied and deprived of rights, seeking peace and rejecting extremism and violence. The Jewish extremists highlight "rare but harmful events and phenomena" at the university, such as hand fights and military demonstrations, in order to deprive the Palestinians of freedom and independence.
The military demonstrations, Nusiba accused, are being exploited by certain elements at the university in a way that implies "the adoption of inhuman and anti-Semitic ideologies such as fascism and Nazism, which without them and without the massacre of the Jewish people in Europe would not have passed the Nakba." Nussiba asked the students to keep the message of the university, which is equality between siblings regardless of religion, race and gender, a message of justice, friendship and peace, of tolerance and mutual respect, and of renouncing hatred, violence and extremism. Nussiba ended his letter with a promise that the university would come to terms with students who do not respect its principles, force their positions on others, or harm the university and its reputation. "A scholar with defective qualities," Nusiba concludes, "is like an animal that may know its craft but commits in vain."
A Palestinian university president, and certainly a public figure in the position of Sri Nussiba, who distributes a letter in Arabic to a diverse audience that also includes supporters of terrorist organizations (and possibly members), in which he calls fascism and Nazism "inhuman and anti-Semitic ideologies" – a Hebrew, Arabic and English word. Unjustly, to anti-Semitism; Recognizing the massacre of the Jewish people in Europe; Calling for tolerance and renunciation of extremism and violence – such a person is the "good" Palestinian leader that Israel has been claiming for decades, and only there will be many like him, peace between Israelis and Palestinians will prevail. However, the government chose to use the event for cheap propaganda, and an American-Jewish university chose to condemn Nussiba and end its cooperation with the university he heads, because his letter is "completely unacceptable and inciting."
So why? Because we can not just predict a "good Palestinian." We owe, specifically, a "good Jew." And it does not matter that Palestinian circles think of Nussiba as a good Jew anyway. We will determine who is a good Jew. And on this occasion we will also determine in the Israeli public discourse, with iron rivets, the "Nazis" and "anti-Semitism" of the Palestinians, the Ishmaelites, the Esau-hater-Jacob. Even if we know that reality is much more complex than this superficial image.
Thus, with the naive excuse of "this is not how you make peace," we will be able to truly keep peace away for many generations.
Thus, how ironic and how painful it is, the statements of the Islamic Jihad students to Nusiba are fulfilled in their response letter to his letter: he. Therefore, dear university president, signed in their response, it is better that you stop flattering Jews and the West. Government – what was to prove – courtesy of the Government of Israel and Brandeis University.
True, was raised a hand. But even a raised hand can have the connection, in which case he is probably taken out of context. Tom Gross, the Government of Israel and the University of Brandeis could have contented themselves with condemning – quite rightly so – the blatant activity of cells representing terrorist organizations at a Palestinian university in Jerusalem. Instead they chose to inflate the event to win cheap points in a propaganda war. Along the way, they harmed a brave Palestinian public figure who not only acted against the Islamic Jihad cell at the university (according to the cell members themselves), but also committed an extraordinary act, publicly proving the Islamists about using antisemitic symbols that despise the Holocaust.
And a final word to Tom Gross: Would you check and publish, with such remarkable journalistic piety, also the words of swallowing and hatred that take place in Israel or are said in it against Arabs and against Palestinians? The widespread racism in religious Zionism ? The Jewish citizens of the State of Israel, some of them soldiers in the army, who wish for the murder, rape, burning and extermination of Arabs, leftists and leftists? The helplessness of the Israeli government in the fight against these phenomena, and the times when it seems to be reconciling with racism against Arabs or being perceived as supporting it? If not, do yourself a favor and look for another ax to dig with. This country is full of racism, Jewish and Arab, and the beginning of its cure is a recognition that it is mutual. Another wretched point in an eternal propaganda war will benefit neither us nor the Palestinians, and will be utterly "unpleasant and unhelpful for the advancement of peace."