Three Israeli newspapers yesterday carried an outrageous article about the fact that the ''Platform Stop Racism and Exclusion''(Platform stop Racisme en Uitsluiting) in the Netherlands invited the Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament Haneen Zoabi for its yearly commemoration of the Kristallnacht, the progrom with which the nazis in 1938 started their persecution of the Jews.
The article, by the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), most probably written by its correspondent in the Netherland Cnaan Liphshiz (it was not bylined) was printed in Haaretz, as well as the Jerusalempost and The Times of Israel.
Its most outstanding feature was that it did contain no more than one true fact: namely that Haneen Zoabi indeed is expected to speak at the Kristallnacht commemoration in Amsterdam. The rest consisted of inaccuracies, or should we say: outright lies, and in one case slander of a well-known youth imam in the Netherlands of a most despicable kind. One wonders how it is possible that no less than three Israeli newspapers which consider themselves quality papers, print rubbish of this kind without even trying to get the true picture.
The article calls the organizing Platform a ''far left group that is shunned by local Jews for its members perceived animosity toward Israel and sympathy for Hamas''. That's three lies in one sentence.
The Platform is in reality left nor right. It consists of a number of organisations. It has no political affiliation whatsoever and is only concerned with racism and dsicrimination. Of course it has nothing to do with Israel, let alone
with Hamas. Its yearly Kristallnacht commemoration, which have been held since 1992, is supported by - among others - at least two Jewish organisations, and a number of organisations of Dutch people of Moroccan and Turkish descent.
Then JTA goes on to tell us that ''in 2010, the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands broke its ties with NBK (a forerunner of the Platform, AbuP.) because of the group’s perceived attempt to tie the Holocaust with the Arab-Israeli conflict''. In fact there has never been any attempt to tie the Holocaust to the Arab-Israeli conflict'' nor did the Central Board ever even suggest such a thing. The reason why the Central Board (CJO) tried to stop the commemoration by the Platform (or rather tried to sabotage it) was that the platform used the commemoration not only as a Holocaust remembrance opportunity,
but also as an event to warn for contemporary racism. (A secondary reason was that one of the (20) member-organisations of the Platform posted the announcement of the commemoration on its site, next to a call to boycott Israel. As if the Platform is responsible for how its events are announced by other organisations).
The next thing that the anonymous writer of this remarkable example of journalistic craftmanship tries to make us believe, is that ''NBK activist Miriyam Aouragh in 2004
organized a commemoration service in Amsterdam for Ahmed Yassin, a Hamas leader whom Israel killed that year''. The truth in this case is, that Miryam Aouragh has never been a NBK activist. Neither did she organize a commemoration of Ahmed Yassin, as far as I know, I believe that she spoke at a po-Palestinian rally that by coincidence was held around the time that Yassin together with his family was killed and that she paid attention to this fact. But then, again, Aouragh is not an NBK activist and has no ties with the Platform.
And last but certainly not least Liphshiz, or whoever the author, tells us that ''in 2009, NBK’s Kristallnacht commemoration featured a speech by Yassin Elforkani, an imam who in 2009 said that Jews in Damascus used blood to make matzah''. Of course Yassin Elforkani, an imam who has been working relentlessly for the improvement of ties between the Moroccan and Jewish communities in Holland, never said a word that even in the remotest way ressembled such a lie. This is really nothing but slander of the worst kind. How would one call it when a remark like that about a well known Dutch youth imam is published in Jewish newspapers of today ? My suggestion would be: an inverted blood libel, nothing else. That a text like this could appear in three serious Israeli
newspapers, without anybody asking questions, having second thoughts, or attempting to contact the organisation and people in question, is worrysome.
What does that tell us about the present state of the Israeli press? If I were an Israeli I would really start to be concerned.