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Presbyterian blood libel?
PCUSA News has published an item with a shocking headline: Schoolgirls stoned by Israeli settlers, although the rest of the article tells us a different story. Interfering foreign 'activists' from an assortment of anti-Israel organisations were attacked – and not, it seems, the schoolgirls.
The headline should have been “Jewish teens from Hebron stone foreign ‘activists’”
A group of Jewish settlers attacked five foreign activists, including members of two church-sponsored monitoring teams, who were escorting Palestinian girls from a school in the divided West Bank city of Hebron, team members said.
Shouting "We will kill you!," about 15 young Jewish settlers threw stones and kicked the foreign activists, who sustained minor injuries, mostly bruises, according to a spokesperson for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
This is reprehensible behaviour and I make no excuses for it, but does PCUSA make excuses for Palestinian thugs when they throw stones? Are dual standards operating here? It is anti-Semitic to launch such a news item onto the internet (where it can be picked up and passed on by other Christian news sites), while ignoring the far more frequent incidence of stone-throwing by Palestinian youths. Today, an Israeli woman was attacked and injured by Palestinian stone-throwers.
If PCUSA News is truly impartial and unprejudiced, it would also run this more shocking story. A Jewish woman travelling on her own is attacked by an Arab mob – she could have been killed. The mob of Jewish youths, on the other hand, attacked a group of cowardly foreign ‘activists’, who ran away, nursing a few bruises.
Abbs said about 15 young men disembarked from a bus at the settlement and immediately began stoning the fleeing monitors.
"They threw stones at their backs as they tried to run away," Abbs said.
So to PCUSA, it’s acceptable for Arabs to throw stones at Jews, but not for Jews to throw stones at foreigners? Both are unacceptable, not just one of them.
It is also anti-Semitic, and dishonest, to publish a headline which is at variance with the text of the story, with the intention of demonising the Jews. It is also dishonest to refer to these teenagers as ‘settlers’ if they are native to the place. If they were born in Hebron, then they have not travelled from somewhere else and settled there. This use of the word ‘settler’ by the media is intended to dehumanise them.
It’s as dishonest as using the word ‘refugee’ for someone who is merely the child or grandchild of refugees. Why should a Palestinian who is born in, say, Gaza, be called a ‘refugee’ simply because he or she is descended from refugees?. Like many British Catholics, I’m descended from Irish famine refugees, but if I tried calling myself an Irish refugee or an Irish settler, people would think I was mad. Why don’t they think it mad to call those who were born in a certain area, and have always lived there, ‘refugees’ or ‘settlers’?
In spite of the Presbyterian condemnation of the recent Palestinian terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, I don’t think the PCUSA leopard is about to change its anti-Jewish spots.