Given our past experience with Matt Hill’s false allegations against Israel, his recent essay at The Independent (Aug. 15) was not at all surprising. In April, we prompted a correction by Indy editors to an inflammatory and inaccurate claim he made regarding the use of birth control by Ethiopian Israelis, and his latest Indy entry, ‘If peace talks fail, Israel will be the loser‘, suggests that he is undeterred by past failures.
In an almost comically one-sided pro-Palestinian “analysis” of the current peace negotiations, Hill wrote the following about the villain in his tale, Binyamin Netanyahu:
Optimists hope Netanyahu has had a change of heart about a negotiated settlement since the days when he helped lead the incitement against Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who was assassinated for launching the modern “peace process”.
Though I’ve heard some make the claim that Netanyahu turned a blind eye to the incitement leading up to Rabin’s assassination by Yigal Amir, which itself appears to be untrue (as I demonstrate below), I’ve rarely come across such an explicit charge that he “helped lead the incitement”. So, I followed the link and, sure enough, the article he cited doesn’t even go that far. Hill’s source is an article in Arutz Sheva about Dror Moreh, the director of Israeli film “The Gatekeepers”, which includes the following quotes:
“There were many incidents of incitement against Rabin who was Prime Minister” in 1995 when he was killed by Yigal Amir. “Binyamin Netanyahu had a role in many of those incidents. Netanyahu made a speech in which a protester carried a coffin for Rabin, and I am sure he saw it. I am convinced he did. He was not naïve, and he knew what was going on in these rallies that he led. They called Rabin a Nazi collaborator.
“It is true that Yigal Amir, Rabin’s killer, is in prison,” Moreh said. “But I believe that many others who collaborated with him are guilty as well. They are just as responsible as the one who pulled the trigger. Amir was their messenger,” he added.
Before even fisking Moreh’s accusation, it should be noted that Hill’s claim that Bibi “helped lead the incitement against Yitzhak Rabin” is evidently based solely on one opinion by one film director that “Netanyahu made a speech in which [a couple of] protesters carried a coffin [of Rabin]“. That’s it – one protest against the Oslo Peace Process in which a protester allegedly incited against the Prime Minister.
However, even this claim has been completely deconstructed by, among others, the popular blogger Elder of Ziyon. Here are the main points:
- The Hebrew words on the coffin during a protest in Ra’anana in March 1994 (over a year and a half before the Rabin murder) which Moreh alludes to, were “Rabin, the burier of Zionism” (”רבין, קובר [ה]ציונות”) and “Rabin, the killer of Zionism.”* This is far different than the suggestion in the quote that there was a coffin carrying Rabin in effigy – which would signify the desire for his death. (Indeed, more broadly, if you place “protest” and “coffin” in Google Images you’ll see how ubiquitous such coffin symbolism is during both left-wing and right-wing non-violent demonstrations throughout the world.)
- Concerning the depiction of Rabin as a Nazi collaborator, not only did Bibi have nothing whatsoever to do with it, but in fact delivered a speech on the Knesset floor in which he passionately denounced the poster. *
- In this video, dated April 17, 1995, more than half a year before Rabin’s assassination, Bibi is seen telling a crowd of Likud supporters, who are shouting “Rabin is a traitor”, that Rabin is NOT a traitor. Bibi repeats this several times. He also tells the crowd that though Rabin is wrong, and that he’ll have to step aside, but that “we’re dealing with political rivals, not enemies. We’re one and the same people.“* Also see CAMERA’s reports and links demolishing the charge that Bibi called Rabin a ‘traitor’ here (second item) and here.
In short, there appears to be NO evidence whatsoever to back up the claim that Netanyahu incited violence against Rabin, yet alone “helped lead the incitement” against the slain Prime Minister. While Matt Hill can of course hate Bibi as much as he wants, he isn’t entitled to pass off old hateful rumors as if they were true, about something he evidently knows very little, and pass it off as fact.
Finally, it’s difficult not to note the abject cynicism of those like Hill who would falsely accuse an Israeli politician of incitement to murder a fellow Jew, while completely ignoring the countless examples of Palestinian leaders explicitly inciting the murder of Jewish civilians. Here – to use just one example – is Mahmoud al-Zahar, senior leader and co-founder of Hamas, in 2010, waxing eloquently on the need to annihilate the “blood sucking” Jews.
What most defines Guardian-style Leftists (such as Matt Hill) is the risible platitudes they often advance that they’re truly concerned with Israel’s survival while simultaneously coldly turning a blind eye to explicit calls by Palestinians to engage in the mass murder of Jewish men, women and children.
Those who can not summon the outrage necessary to condemn, without qualification, the often Nazi-style rhetoric of jihadists simply can not claim the mantle of anti-racism or liberalism, nor feign shock when their moral decency is called into question.
(*Translations in the videos cited have all been confirmed by multiple sources.)