By Morton A. Klein
(AUGUST 31, 2023 / ISRAEL HAYOM) The U.S. State Department and left-wing Jewish organizations’ moral compass is backward. They remain silent about the Palestinian Authority’s top leaders inciting and incentivizing anti-Jewish terror – but wrongly condemn Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s statements about the need to protect Jews from the ongoing wave of Arab terror attacks.
It is evident to anyone with a shred of compassion and decency that innocent Jews have a right to be protected from Arab terrorism, even if Arabs are inconvenienced. To put it succinctly, Jewish lives matter.
Saying this moral truth is neither racist nor inflammatory. But what is racist and inflammatory is paying Arabs to murder Jews, inciting the murder of Jews with antisemitic blood libels, teaching Arab children to hate and murder Jews, honoring and celebrating terrorists who killed Jews – all of which is done by the PA and its top leaders.
Ben-Gvir was right to say, “My right, the right of my wife and my children to move around Judea and Samaria is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs. The right to life comes before freedom of movement.”
Jewish lives matter. It matters when a Jewish child sees her mother gunned down and murdered by Arab terrorists shooting at cars carrying Jews on the road – as happened just last week, and has been happening too often in recent months and years.
Stopping the murder of innocent Jewish lives must outweigh convenience to Palestinian Arabs.
Yet, the morally bankrupt current U.S. State Department told the Times of Israel that Ben Gvir’s Jewish-life-preserving comments were “inflammatory” and compared Ben Gvir’s comments to racist rhetoric.
In addition, the American Jewish Committee blasted Ben-Gvir’s comments, and shamefully, the far-left Israel Policy Forum and the Democratic Majority for Israel called his life-saving statements “racist.”
Moreover, Ben-Gvir’s critics dishonestly distorted his comments and omitted that he was comparing the Jews’ right to be free from terror attacks to inconveniences to Palestinian Arabs’ freedom of movement. The critics deceptively portrayed Ben-Gvir as elevating Jewish freedom of movement above Palestinian Arab freedom of movement.
In stark contrast to these attacks on Ben-Gvir for trying to save lives at a time when Jews face daily Arab terror attacks, the State Department and left-wing Jewish groups said nothing about the latest antisemitic horrors from the PA.
For instance, just two weeks ago – on August 9, 2023 – Palestinian minister Mohammed Shtayyeh honored so-called “martyrs,” that is, terrorists, in a ceremony for Arab high school students.
Shtayyeh told the impressionable students: “It is our right to resist [i.e., commit terror against] this criminal occupation [i.e., Israel].”
Shtayyeh also insisted that all of Israel was Palestinian Arab land (“every grain of soil of the motherland”); and insisted that the PA “will not change even one letter” of its school curriculum that teaches Palestinian Arabs to hate and murder Jews.
Official Palestinian media has repeatedly rebroadcasted its leader Mahmoud Abbas’ infamous 2015 statement urging Arabs to “spill blood” to prevent Jews from “defiling” Al-Aqsa with their “filthy feet,” and to obtain Jerusalem, and urging that Allah will reward the “martyrs” who and are wounded or killed while spilling Jewish blood.
Abbas blood-libeled Israel and openly called for the murder of Israelis in broadcasts again last year. He falsely accused the “Zionist occupier” of committing “premeditated murder . . . against our sons” and “We must dish out to them twice as much as we’ve received.”
PA leadership makes sure that every Arab receives a constant drumbeat of incitement. For instance, around the same time that Abbas called for Arabs to “dish out” murder against Jews, the PA-controlled Nablus Fatah branch called for “invading towns and central junctions” of “the Zionist enemy and its settler herds.”
Official PA television rebroadcasts music videos and song and dance numbers teaching that life is insignificant; urging Arabs to commit suicide bombings in Haifa and other Israeli cities and to achieve bloody “sweet martyrdom,” and glorifying suicide bombers who murdered or wounded scores of Israelis, including Jewish children.
At the PA ruling party Fatah’s summer camp this summer, Arab high school campers were taught to attack Israelis, handle Kalashnikov rifles, and sing about “revolution and a rifle.”
Where are the State Department and left-wing Jewish groups’ statements condemning Shtayyeh and Abbas’ vicious incitement against Jews as racist and inflammatory?
Where are the statements condemning Shtayyeh for again refusing to stop teaching Arab schoolchildren to hate and kill Jews? Or condemning the ruling PA party for running terrorists-in-training summer camps?
Where are the statements condemning the PA for continuing its racist, heinous policy of paying $400 million per year of “pay-to-slay” rewards to Arabs to murder Jews?
Nowhere. It’s long past time for the U.S. State Department and left-wing Jewish groups to start caring about Jewish lives, to stop condemning Israeli officials who want to save Jewish lives and to start condemning the PA and its leaders who are bent on murdering innocent Jewish people.
Morton A. Klein is the national president of the United States of America. This op-ed was originally published in Israel Hayom and can be viewed here.