In its annual report on religious freedom, the U.S. State Department has cited the Palestinian Authority’s official media for presenting anti-Semitic material.
The report indicated that PA programming “carried religiously intolerant material” that “denied a historical Jewish presence in Yerushalayim” or referred to Jews as “evil.”
Until now, the State Department had claimed that Palestinian denial of a Jewish connection to Yerushalayim was mere “[criticism of] the Israeli occupation” rather than an expression of anti-Semitism. Similarly, Palestinian channels that did carry anti-Semitic material were termed “non-official PA and non-mainstream,” by last year’s State Department report.
Also absent was the claim that the PA was working to correct the situation.
Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Jay Sekulow, welcomed the change in the State Department stance. “Even though the Obama Administration and its State Department have a long history of false equivocations and threats of betrayal for Israel — our greatest ally in the Middle East — their report still points out the growing threats from anti-Semitism. The section on Israel notes the attacks on Israeli Jews, citing increased tensions and altercations at Har Habayis — in addition to the deaths and injuries from Hamas terrorists and other Islamic jihadists,” Sekulow said.