New York, NY, October 4, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned the series of violent and abhorrent attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians going about their daily lives, including an elderly man murdered last week by stone-throwing youths and a West Bank couple brutally shot to death in front of their young children, and decried the international media’s dehumanization of the Israeli victims.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director, blamed the upsurge in violence on rhetoric coming from the mouths of Palestinian leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, whose speech last week at the United Nations -- with its one-sided litany of complaints against Israel and call for an end to the Oslo Accords -- “seems to have implicitly given the green light to renewed violence with a wink and a nod.”
Mr. Greenblatt issued the following statement:
We strongly and clearly condemn the campaign of increasing Palestinian violence against innocent Israeli civilians.
The attacks by Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank and Jerusalem come just days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s highly inflammatory speech at the United Nations, where he called the Oslo Accords defunct and denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, among other spurious claims. In doing so he implicitly gave the green light for renewed violence against Israeli civilians with a wink and a nod.
Such rhetoric, combined with the broader Palestinian media and political culture of incitement and slandering of Israel and Jews, promotes and advances a culture of violence. This needs to stop if Palestinians and Israelis ever have a hope for a real shot at peace. In the wake of these attacks Palestinian leaders should send a strong and clear message that violence and terrorism is morally unconscionable and completely unacceptable.
We are especially troubled by the international media’s dehumanizing and irresponsible coverage of the violence. Headlines and tweets from Al Jazeera and the BBC have referred to the Israeli victims in the passive tense and other reports have described the victims as little more than “settlers,” rather than as parents, grandparents, children, and most of all civilians and human beings who have nothing to do with the conflict.
The media bears a responsibility to report on these incidents fairly and to make clear that the victims of the heinous attacks are people, not potential targets. We are heartened that the BBC and others have issued clarifications or launched investigations in the wake of these troubling, one-sided and biased reports.
Leaders in the international community have a moral responsibility to call out President Abbas’s dangerous incitement.