Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: U.S. Presidential Envoy Makes Pledge To Combat Anti-Semitism

Will that Include a Campaign against Palestinian Authority Anti-Semitism?

by David Bedein

Jerusalem - Hannah Rosenthal, appointed last week as the United States State Department’s official envoy to combat anti-Semitism, delivered an address on Wednesday to more than 500 people who participated in the Jerusalem-based Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.

Ms. Rosenthal opened her address by invoking her own father, who was the only member of his family to live through the ordeal of the Nazi concentration camps and then went on to delineate her job description.

Ms. Rosenthal said that she has been delegated to create a policy of vigilance against anti-Semitism and to coordinate her task assignment with all diplomatic missions of the United States throughout the world. She stated that she would focus a special effort to monitor expressions of anti-Semitism at the United Nations, noting that Israel is being held to a double standard.

Ms. Rosenthal’s passionate speech was widely acclaimed and quoted in the Israeli media.

The Bulletin asked Ms. Rosenthal after her speech about whether she would indeed apply her principled statement to combat the virulent antisemitism that emanates from the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA), an entity which has received wide support from the American foreign policy establishment. Ms. Rosenthal responded that her mandate was global and would be applied everywhere.

Asked specifically about whether she would take on the anti-Semitism of the Palestinian Authority, Ms. Rosenthal said that she would consider the question. In that context, The Bulletin dispatched a letter to Ms. Rosenthal’s office, asking for a policy statement concerning official Palestinian Authority anti-Semitism.

Previous administrations of President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush had made it official policy to ignore official Palestinian Authority anti-Semitism that emanates from the media, the new constitution and the new schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority.

At the Annapolis Summit in Nov. 2007, hosted by President Bush, The Bulletin asked representatives of the State Department and White House as to whether the U.S. would ask the PA to put an end to official anti-Semitic policies in PA education, PA media and the PA public domain. The answer was “no.”

Since Ms. Rosenthal invoked her father as an inspiration in her new task assignment, it will be instructive to see how she copes with the fact that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warmly receive Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, while overlooking the fact that Mr. Abbas remains one of the world’s greatest holocaust deniers. Mr. Abbas wrote a Ph.D. thesis entitled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” which describes Nazi persecution of the Jews as a “Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed.”

Mr. Abbas’ Ph.D. is now widely used as a prime text in Palestinian Authority schools and Palestinian Authority Universities.

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