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Judged by the friends you keep...? The Palestinian Mission to the UK

I regard myself as an optimist when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process. However naďve it may be, I like to look for the best in the situation we face. So, whilst it is clear to me that in the extremist, antisemitic Hamas, Israel has no partner for peace, I hope that in the more moderate Palestinian Authority of Mahmood Abbas, Israel does. 

Likewise, whilst there are a significant number of Palestinians who would probably like nothing more than to see Ahmadinajad of Iran follow through on his promise to wipe Israel off the map, I believe that the majority of Palestinians dream of peaceful coexistence. Naďve? Perhaps, but it’s bad news for us all if I’m wrong.

Sadly, that optimism is easily knocked, and this week it took a beating when I came across the  website of the Palestinian Mission to the UK.

Much of the content disturbed me; the lack of acknowledgement (not quite denial) of Israel’s existence and the whitewashing of Jewish history in Israel (apparently Moses was  denied entry into the Promised Land of Palestine) were two particularly conspicuous gems.

But, if sad truth be told, I wasn’t massively shocked. The PA does not accept Israel as a Jewish State; it doesn’t acknowledge the ancient and continuous connection between the Jewish people and the land on which much of our history has taken place. So why would it’s representation in the UK be any different?

If I wasn’t shocked by this, it didn’t take long for me to lose my cool. You see, I discovered on their website two articles by Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon was condemned by the Board back in 2004 for saying:

                I'm not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act 

In his essay “On Anti-Semitism”, as well as accusing Jews of killing Jesus, Atzmon says:

                American Jewry makes any debate on whether the "Protocols of the elder of Zion" are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world.

And in an essay on his personal site, called “Truth, History and Integrity”, Atzmon, regarding the Holocaust, says: 

I am left puzzled here, if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. 

You get the idea. 

And yet the Palestinian Mission has deemed fit to include on their site an article by Atzmon called A Beginner’s Guide to the Israeli Economy. One particularly interesting assertion of Atzmon is that the Israeli economy has avoided the worst of the world downturn because, not only is it the world’s leading trader of blood diamonds, but it’s engaged in organ harvesting. Why invent new slurs when you can just employ some of the oldest?

But it doesn’t end there. The Palestinian Mission also publishes an article by Atzmon examining a Jewish communal initiative in the United States called ‘SuperJews’ which was designed to encourage Jewish people to take a more active role in their local communities. In this article Atzmon mocks Jews as 'the chosen tribe'.

A little more clicking and you quickly discover the website’s list of links to ‘Palestinian Activist Groups in the UK’. 

Included on this list is the website “True Torah Jews Against Zionism”, which accuses Zionist Jews of causing the Holocaust and, under a section entitled ‘Zionist Threat to Human Rights’, accuses Israel of harvesting the organs of dead tourists. Nice. 

I began this blog by declaring my optimism; but when the official representation of the Palestinian Authority in the UK gives tacit endorsement to these views on their website, even my optimism starts to wane.