Can We Prevent Genocide by Preventing Incitement? Part 1
Elihu D Richter, with Yael Stein, Alex Barnea Burnley, and Marc Sherman
Issue 3, Summer 2010
G P N O R I G I N A L
G P N T I M E L I N E
Wars are not fought for territory, but for words. Man's deadliest weapon is language. He is susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans as he is to infectious diseases. And where there is an epidemic, the group mind takes over. -- Arthur Koestler 1978
Genocide and its prevention both result from human choice and bystander indifference. Since the Armenian genocide, and the Holocaust, perpetrators have used dehumanizing metaphors to prepare their followers to overcome normative inhibitions that stand in the way of their becoming killers, rapists, and plunderers of members of potential victim populations. Today, one lesson from the Holocaust is that there are existential dangers associated with ignoring state-sanctioned dehumanizing hate language.
Of course, not all hate language and incitement leads to genocide, and genocide can occur without hate language and incitement. There can be hate language with and without explicit incitement propagated by rogue regimes.
We suggest that the spread of dehumanizing hate language today in the world is driving a new world-wide axis of genocide which is now recycling the motifs of genocidal-Semitism of Nazi Germany and the Islamists. We examine the differences in impact and importance between public and person-to-person “kitchen-table” incitement.
In the first section, we present a thumbnail chronology and trace the pseudo-scientific origins of state-sanctioned hate language and incitement which started with the Armenian Genocide. We present as case studies Hitler’s Holocaust, Bosnia in the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East, notably Iran, and Cambodia, and Rwanda. In Darfur, incitement was below the radar screen, and in Kenya, incitement to killing spread by text messaging, In Sri Lanka, where two sides committed mass atrocities, there was no widely reported external evidence of incitement.
In the second section, we describe and discuss the application of models and tools from public health and epidemiology for prediction and prevention, in keeping with concepts based on the precautionary principle, and examine their relevance to genocide.
Incitement and genocide: Definitions, chronology, origins and selected case studies
From the perspective of public health and preventive medicine, if genocide—the ranking cause of violent death in the 20th century-- 280 million, is predictable, it should be preventable. It is meaningless to refer to “preventing” genocide once the killing, raping, expulsions and plundering begins. The question we raise is can most genocides be prevented by preventing state-sanctioned dehumanizing hate language and incitement? If the answer is yes, the stakes are enormous for genocide prevention everywhere in the world.
We examine this question using concepts and tools of public health, preventive medicine and epidemiology—the field which studies the distribution and determinants of diseases in populations. These tools, first developed to control and eradicate microbial diseases transmitted by water, food, air-borne and person-to-person spread, have produced spectacular advances in identifying the risks and advancing prevention of chronic non-infectious diseases, e.g., heart disease, cancer, mass disasters, injuries, and violence.
We suggest that the use of dehumanizing hate language and incitement (HL&I) all too often predicts, initiates, promotes, and catalyzes genocide. HL&I are “out there,” definable and detectable. Since the Nuremberg trials and the UN Convention on the Prevention of Genocide and its Punishment (UNGC)they are punishable as Crimes against Humanity.
This essay defines hate language and incitement, traces its use in promoting genocide and its pseudo-scientific origins, and presents case studies starting with the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust.
Hate language, dehumanization, and incitement
Hate language, Dehumanization, and Incitement refer to terms which are used to stigmatize, demonize or dehumanize groups defined by their national, ethnic, religious, racial, or political identity. Dehumanization in particular refers to hate language which includes metaphors-usually from public health and medicine-- which induce disgust, revulsion and hate for the other.
Standard definitions of incitement refer to something that incites or provokes; a means of arousing or stirring to action. Perpetrators use hate language to incite groups to commit genocide and other mass atrocities directed against vulnerable populations. When mass murder is low tech, HL&I is indispensable for mobilizing and motivating huge numbers of persons to stab, mutilate, rape, bludgeon, shoot, gas, burn and bury large numbers of victims and plunder their homes. It was the gas chambers that killed at Auschwitz, but as Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, "Auschwitz was built not with stones, but words." Equally important, perpetrators use HL&I to silence, intimidate and desensitize bystanders. Edmund Burke's famous quote reminds us that “For evil to flourish, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.”
The United Nations Genocide Convention (UNGC) did not include mass killings of groups defined by their political origin, because of pressure from the Soviet Union. This exclusion meant that the Stalinist starvation campaigns against the Ukranians, the mass deportations of ethnic minorities, the starvation campaigns by the North Koreans, Mao's mass purges, and the Cambodian genocide were not covered by the UNGC - a colossal omission.
Dehumanizing hate language and genocide: A thumbnail chronology
The Young Turk regime in 1915 called the genocide of Armenians the eradication of 'dangerous microbes' in the body politic. Lenin described the bourgeoisie as parasites, insects, leeches, bloodsuckers. Such dehumanizing terms went hand-in-hand with pseudo-medical terms for measures to get rid of disease. Stalin and Beria in the early 1930’s used artificially produced mass famines to kill millions of Ukranians, and used a pseudo-medical term --'purge' ('chitki') --when later deporting ('korenizatsiia') over two million members of ethnic minorities, former members of the bourgeois and kulak classes to slave labor camps in Siberia. Half a century later, in 1988, the Soviets used the term 'ethnic purge' ('etnicheskie chistki') to describe expulsions of Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hitler called the Jews 'parasites, plague, cancer, tumor, bacillus, bloodsucker, blood poisoner, lice, vermin, bedbugs, fleas, racial tuberculosis' on the German body that would supposedly be killed with the 'Jewish disease.' Later, the Nazis used the term `Judenrein’ which means 'Jew-free,' to stigmatize the victim group as a carrier of filth and disease, and then, as the disease itself to be eradicated. The term predated the term ‘ethnic cleansing,’ a euphemism often used by perpetrators to justify their genocidal actions and by bystanders to rationalize inaction. Mao Tse Tung’s Communist revolutionaries in China used similar language when overseeing mass murders of their enemies , as did the North Koreans who used mass starvation to kill populations considered hostile to the Communist regime. In the 1970’s, the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia used terms such as “microbes”, “parasites”, “worms” and cancer to stigmatize their victims as they carried out the mass murders of 3 million of their own countrymen. In the early 1990’s, Radovic Karovic stigmatized Bosniaks as not “belonging to the family of nations, ...of desert origin, ...and originating from a specific gene of the Ottoman Army.” Thereafter, victims of Serbian genocide in Kosovo themselves killed many belonging to Roma minorities, whom they described as “majupi,” or lower than garbage. In the 1990’s in Rwanda, Hutu radio in 1994 used the term 'cockroaches' ('inyenzi') to incite mass murder of Tutsis by machete-wielding militias.
Hate language and its pseudoscientific origins
In the 20th century, endemic bigotry, xenophobic nationalism and racist biology created an ambience conducive to the spread of dehumanizing medical metaphors of hate language to stigmatize victim groups. This ambience both fed and was fed by the flawed constructs and pseudoscience of late 19th and early 20th century eugenics and social Darwinism.
Eugenics sought to promote human progress by selection of groups and individuals considered to be genetically superior and best fit to survive and by restricting reproduction of the unfit, in keeping with distorted interpretations of Darwinian science. In the US, proponents of Eugenics provided the justifications for compulsory sterilization of inmates of mental institutions and for restrictive immigration. In Germany, medical scientists used the ethically flawed constructs of eugenics to promote “racial hygiene” of Nazi Medicine and its horrors. Starting with euthanasia of mentally impaired, Nazi doctors became leaders in implementing the Final Solution to make Europe ‘Judenrein’ including many inhuman scientific medical experiments on Jewish subjects, regarded as lab specimens. Flawed theories of race led to classification of Rwandans into short Hutus and tall Tutsis differentiated by nose lengths, carefully measured by Belgian anthropologists. Notions of racial superiority provided similar rationales for racism in North America and South Africa In the 20th century and many other locales world wide.
State-sponsored hate language and incitement as an early warning indicator in models of genocide
A classic model of genocide identifies dictatorship and asymmetric power relationships, past conflicts, unrest, political and economic failures and vulnerable target groups as circumstantial predictors. This model does not address the role of hate language and incitement as intrinsic direct triggers of violent conflicts along racial, ethnic, religious or political lines.
Charny’s Genocide Early Warning System and Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide pioneered in drawing attention to the use of language of hate, stigmatization and dehumanization by perpetrators to recruit, motivate and mobilize followers and deter bystanders. Classification, Symbolization and Dehumanization, the first 3 of Stanton’s Eight Stages, all contain elements of incitement, and they lead to Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination, and Denial.
Hate language and incitement: Public and private
There is a need to recognize that not all hate language and incitement leads to genocide, and genocide may occur without evidence of hate language or incitement. Furthermore, there can be incitement without dehumanizing hate language, and hate language without incitement. The distinction between the two may be important for legal purposes, but their consequences are usually the same. Sometimes they go together and sometimes they do not (see below). Hate language and incitement together increase risks for genocide, especially when they come from the top down in authoritarian regimes with their environments of coercion, direction and instruction. Perpetrators sometimes commit genocide without explicit external hate language and open public incitement, such as when they deliberately seek to conceal their genocidal aims e.g., exploiting famine, either from natural disaster or man-made, to starve populations they identify as enemies.
Often, so as to camouflage intent, perpetrators simultaneously project several different messages, aimed at different populations at the same time. When the messages are in “local” language, vernaculars and dialect, i.e., not English the texts, subtexts, and contexts are disputable. One message may be portrayed to the western free world, (for example, the leader might take on a role as protector of human rights). A second, is aimed at the potential victims--- in more explicit threatening language. A third message— the operational one— could be aimed at their own people – to incite to action, or to desensitize local bystanders.
Hate language without incitement and direction is present everywhere— and by itself, is generally not subject to legal prosecution. Racist, religious epithets and expressions of bigotry directed towards the other are endemic the world round, at the kitchen table, in the barroom, the locker room (e.g., Archie Bunker), the market place, and the board room. The messages may be explicit, euphemistic or coded. It is difficult to regard such language, though offensive, as an early warning sign for genocide or mass atrocities, since its specificity and predictive value is so low, and it lacks a larger context of coercion, threat, direction, intimidation or danger. But from the standpoint of public health and social psychology, the use and spread of such language is a case for action for educational interventions, directed at the communities in which it is endemic—and becomes especially critical in the era of hate language and incitement spread by the internet.
The past century has taught us that when leaders of movements or governments in power use explicit pseudo-medical and epidemiologic metaphors, such as microbes, filth, cancer, typhoid, and rats, to dehumanize victim groups, it is prudent to regard such language as an urgent warning sign of imminent genocide, and the burden of proof is on those who deny their ominous portent. This burden of proof becomes heavier when perpetrators propagate notions of in-group exclusivity based upon myths of hygiene or purity. Incitement is clearly intended to foment genocidal violence when it supports those who become the agents of genocidal actions, and is accompanied by direction, instruction, supplying, and informing.
Case studies: Incitement, propaganda, and power
Nazi Germany-Hate language and Incitement from the top down
During the 12 years in which they were in power, the Nazis, pioneered using mass media, radio, film, and the educational system to propagate their genocidal incitement, most virulently against Jews, but also against Roma, gays, trade unionists, socialists and communists. The totalitarian rule of Nazi Germany, with its control of all resources of the State, produced an environment of coercion, control, direction and instruction. Yet, evidence is not available that the Nazi’s propaganda explicitly and publicly declared that genocidal extermination of Jews and other groups was their objective. They concealed this objective from the outside world with euphemisms and code words (e.g., “Final Solution”, Aktion) and did everything they could to conceal the mass murders in the death camps. Nazi propaganda used scenes of rats juxtaposed with stereotypes of Jews, depicted as the carriers and purveyors of filth and disease, to induce disgust and revulsion. Goebbels used aggressive repetition of simple crude messages and images to propagate revulsion and hate towards Jews. He adopted the advertising techniques of Edward Bernays, a psychologist, who pioneered in the development of the phenomenally successful campaigns of the tobacco companies to create new mass markets for cigarettes. Campaigns of dehumanization and de-legitimization, which themselves followed classification and symbolization, produced willing killers and complicit bystanders.
Nazi campaigns to dehumanize Jews and others went hand in hand with highly public campaigns to promote and protect health and hygiene (‘Rassenhygiene’) in the Master Race. The organizers of these campaigns were far ahead of their time in promoting improved nutrition and exercise, summer youth camps in the countryside, self-examination for breast cancer and industrial hygiene and safety. The Nazis used dehumanizing hate language to condition audiences to proceed from accepting a universal norm-- getting rid of disease in individuals, to accepting getting rid of diseased individuals, and then getting rid of groups of diseased individuals, and finally to getting rid of groups considered to be the disease itself. Compulsory euthanasia of the inmates of mental institutions and the gas chambers followed. Dr Karl Astel, a high ranking Nazi physician who initiated public health campaigns to promote health and hygiene in the Master Race, supervised the use of gas chambers for extermination programs in the concentration camps. Astel saw himself as protecting the Master Race against the purveyors of disease, and was also noted for his pioneering work in leading Nazi mass campaigns against smoking, even though the SS itself manufactured cigarettes to sell to soldiers.
Bosnia: Incitement as explicit threats without hate language<
In Bosnia, more than 100,000 were killed in Serbian ‘ethnic cleansing’, --often a euphemism for genocide --in the wake of the break-up of former Yugoslavia. Claims that genocide was restricted to the events of Srebrenica ignore evidence of Serbian intentions going back to 1991-2, including threats to annihilate the Bosnian Muslim community. On Oct 11 1991, Radovan Karadzic made the following statement: “In two-three days, Sarajevo will vanish and there will be 500,000 dead people. In a month, Muslims will disappear from Bosnia". Two days later, Karadzic also said: “First of all, none of their leadership would make it alive. They would all be killed in a matter of several hours. They would not even have a chance to survive.”
This incitement directly preceded Serbian genocidal mass killings of civilians, reports of hundreds of prison camps, 500,000 persons in detention, 50,000 tortured persons, 20,000 estimated rapes, and 151 mass graves.
Dehumanizing hate language including Nazi motifs, and incitement in the Muslim world
Muslim sources beam Nazi hate language by powerful radio transmitters directed at audiences throughout Europe and the Middle East. The dehumanizing and demonizing motifs of Nazi antisemitism spread to the Middle East, where they fuse with the antisemitic motifs of Jihadist Islamic antisemitism.
Interestingly, the fanatically theocratic Muslim cults can glorify death with expropriated metaphors from a pagan cult of cleanliness and hygiene (the Nazis).
For decades, Wahabi propagandists from Saudi Arabia and Egyptian and Palestinian media have been spreading motifs strikingly similar to those of the Nazis. Yet, Egypt’s regime has what appears to be a durable peace treaty with Israel despite condoning hate language in media, school texts and places of worship, and sponsoring the broadcasting of recycled versions of the antisemitic myths of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." This is a scenario which for all practical purposes undermines any option for a fuller peace and reconciliation from the bottom up, even though there is a cold peace from the top down—and leaves open the possibility of future bloodshed.
Some excerpts from Saudi, Egyptian, and Palestinian sources are presented in Appendix 1.
Iran is now the epicenter for official state-sanctioned incitement to genocide. Since 1979, the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and most notably Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been using language identical to that of Hitler and other perpetrators, to demonize, dehumanize and delegitimize “Zionists,” a euphemism for Jews. Although most Jews in Iran do not appear to be in physical danger, since the Islamic Revolution, on several occasions Jews have been subject to show trials, imprisoned for trumped up reasons or executed.
Iranian state-sponsored hate language and incitement goes beyond that of the Nazis in that it explicitly and openly calls for the annihilation of Israel, and its context is its secret development of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems and support, direction and instruction of terror proxies carrying out its writ, notably Hamas and Hezbollah. Since the contested Iranian elections in June 2009, ruthless suppression of political dissent now goes hand in hand with these indicators of genocidal intent. Palestinian Media Watch has documented messages by Palestinian Authority figures in the media, educational system, and mosques, using collective labeling, creating a threat, and eliminating the threat. At the time of writing, we see the re-emergence of grotesque reports of Jews harvesting the organs of Muslims, recycling older metaphors of genocidal antisemitic demonization.
Children and intergenerational effects of hate language and incitement as seen in the Middle East
Children are the most vulnerable to the effects of the toxic messages of incitement. Intergenerational transmission of hate messages has led to antisemitic motifs becoming embedded in everyday Middle East political and social culture. Burden has summarized the effects of incitement of children living in authoritarian societies and family structures, in patterning their long term attitudes and future susceptibility to becoming suicide bombers. Hamas, which rules Gaza, is a fascist terror organization whose platform calls for the destruction of Israel, and explicitly incites children acts of terror, glorified as martyrdom. Hamas uses school texts, places of worship, children’s TV programs, and summer camps to recruit the young as child terrorists or soldiers. The PA and Fatah, which are considered to be less extreme organizations, generate less explicit incitement, but use messages with subtexts which demonize and delegitimize, and preachers under their control have used dehumanizing metaphors to incite to hatred. The PA has also decided to name public places, such as schools and city squares after suicide terrorists.
Intergenerational transmission of hate language and incitement ensures the durability of the demonizing and dehumanizing motifs of antisemitism, now so deeply embedded in the Islamic world and reemerging in the western world. Furthermore, repetition creates an environment for desensitizing bystanders, and undermines attempts at conflict resolution, based on mutual respect for human life and dignity and live-and-let-live. “Our hatred for Israel is in our genes”—a statement from Syrian actress Amal ‘Arafa, testifies to the enduring effects of an environment in which hate language is both embedded and endemic.
Rwanda: Common source from the top down: The role of the only radio station—800,000 dead
Since Streicher and Goebbels, the Rwandan Genocide is the most blatant and best studied example of how architects and perpetrators, using the most popular radio station in the country, mobilized, recruited motivated, directed and instructed the Interhambawe to butcher some 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates in Rwanda over a period of between 3 to 5 months in 1994.
Hate language and incitement broadcast by Radio TV Libre Milles Collines (RTVLMC)–a private corporation set up by a consortium of higher-ups in the Rwandan government to bypass the prohibitions against governmental incitement of the Arusha Accords – powered the intense ferocity of killers. RTVLMC’s broadcasts were the major source of news and information for most of the Rwandan public, and therefore had enormous influence. Fig 1 presents a rough timeline of the sequence of warning indicators, (including incitement), killings, first reports and responses for this horrific story.
In Rwanda, the machetes were the hardware, but the words were the software of this campaign. RTVLMC began referring to individual Tutsi leaders, and then groups of Tutsis, as cockroaches (‘nyenzi’ in Rwandan) in increasingly provocative language. Explicit radio messages to “kill the cockroaches” and to “do your job” preceded the outbreak of the mass butchery in April 1994. The perpetrators, using a mix of rock music and juicy gossip to gain the ear of a mass audience, broadcast carefully calibrated increases in frequency and intensity of hate language to incite to mass killing in a society where neighbors killed neighbors. The timeline below gives details of the buildup in incitement prior to the mass killings.
Darfur: Was there Incitement below the radar screen?
In September 2004, the US State Department declared that acts of genocide had occurred in Darfur. In Darfur, (where the death toll has been estimated to be up to or exceeding 400,000), the Sudanese regime supported, protected and supplied the Janjaweed’s genocidal activities, but denies genocidal intent.
John Hagan has shown there was an increased use of racial epithets by Janjaweed rapists when they were joined by soldiers from the Sudanese Army—a finding suggesting, but not proving, the possibility of incitement and direction from the top down, below the level of detection, directly reaching the perpetrators, without the use of open incitement to motivate the entire population.
In Darfur, the record so far suggests that perpetrators carried out mass killing without broadcasting hate language and incitement, so as to conceal intent and a pattern of central direction.
Kenya: Person-to-person spread of incitement
In Kenya, election campaigns have been shown to be the high risk periods for what we will call a viral-like person-to-person spread of incitement, at first by word of mouth and then by text messaging—a highly efficient method. In the aftermath of disputed election results in 2008, and perhaps even before tribal elders incited their followers to kill, plunder, and pillage. The inciters channeled endemic everyday street violence in the poor countryside and incited mobs to burn, kill and plunder rival tribal and political groupings. Because the inciters used vernacular dialects in isolated and remote rural settings, the story was not picked by urban based media until after violence started. The death toll was at least 1300 killed and 300,000 displaced.
Mediators from the African Union were able to bring together shaken elites from two rival groupings just when the situation reached the tipping point and Kenya was on the brink of becoming another Rwanda. Pressures from the top down aborted the spread of the killings, burnings, and expulsions. Governmental initiatives led to the use of text messaging to counter the inciters’ text messaging, It remains to be seen if the current uneasy quiet will be broken with the next election.
Sri Lanka: State Discrimination and Tamilese terror without overt public incitement
In Sri Lanka, at the time of writing, a bloody civil war has ended with the Sinhalese government killing some 20,000 Tamilese, brutally suppressing the Tamilese minority, and pushing the entire group into no-escape zones in the northeast and southeast corners of the island, where there were some 200,000 refugees in the late summer and early autumn of 2009. The government has seized male children below 10 years old, and taken them away, and there is no information on their subsequent fate. More recently, the Sinhalese Government forces released pregnant women from badly overcrowded refugee enclaves into surrounding areas where there were no potable water, food or shelter, and where they were left to fend for themselves. These reports suggest the possibility that there may have been intentions to destroy a population, in whole or in part, via conditions simulating a man-made disaster.
The picture is unclear concerning the role of hate language and incitement by the Sinhalese government and the Tamilese Tigers terror groups—the latter were the inventors of the suicide belt bomb-against civilians and military bases, actions which have had the result of diverting outside attention away from their oppressive mistreatment, and the social, cultural and economic discrimination against them. There have been bitter accusations and equally bitter denials of whether the Central Government’s actions have been genocidal—a subject beyond the scope of this review.
Over the years, in Sri Lanka there has been intense controversy over the boundaries of journalistic freedom and speech. Information is not readily available, however, on the role of incitement by both sides in promoting the discrimination, the terror, and the backlash to the terror. Watchdog groups have accused the government of inciting to violence against journalists, and have catalogued a list of journalists who have been kidnapped, beaten and killed, despite laws in the books guaranteeing basic freedoms.
This overview of the history of incitement and hate language and its relationship to genocide in various scenarios requires us to examine whether the prevention of incitement will help us prevent genocide around the world.
Can we go from description of proof of intent after the event to predict and prevent?
In a second section of this paper that follows in the next issue of GPN, we describe and discuss the application of models and tools from public health and epidemiology for prediction and prevention, in keeping with new opportunities based on the Precautionary Principle.
Acknowledgments: We thank Jacey Macrae, Isabella Glaser, Laura Seton, and David Lisbona for research and editorial assistance, and Professors Israel Charny and Greg Gordon and Greg Stanton for advice and encouragement.
A second part continuing this article will in appear in GPN Issue 4.
Professor Elihu D Richter MD MPH is Editor of GPN, Director of the World Genocide Situation Room and Associate Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem. He is Head of the Genocide Prevention Program at Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine and former head of the Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He has published and lectured on the use of public health models for the prediction and prevention of genocide.
Yael Stein MD is a researcher-team member of the World Genocide Situation Room, the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem of GPN. She has experience in Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Hospital Administration and is currently studying towards a PhD degree at the Hebrew University. Yael describes herself as a ”goal-oriented, idealistic entrepreneur, seeking spiritual and ethical fulfillment” in her work; “I focus on making a difference.
Alex Barnea, MSc in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict is Research Assistant and Project Manager of the World Genocide Situation Room section of GPN, the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem. He acted as project manager for UK relief work in Tsunami-affected Thailand and later as consultant to a Cambodian NGO - orphanage.
Marc Sherman, M.L.S. is Editor and Director of the Holocaust and Genocide Review. He also is the Director of Information Services for the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, an Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Genocide and many volumes of the Institute’s series, Genocide, A Critical Bibliographic Review.
Hate Language and Incitement in the Middle East
Excerpts from School Textbooks and Media
Saudi Arabia school textbooks:
"The Jews are wickedness in its very essence."
"Now it [Palestine] is occupied by the Jews, a people of treachery and betrayal, who have gathered there from every place: from Poland, Spain, America and elsewhere. Their end, by God's will, is perdition."
Egyptian school Textbooks:
"The lesson’s goals -
It is desirable that at the end of the lesson the student will be able to:
• Define the reasons for the war between the Muslims and the Jews of the Qaynuqa’ tribe.
• Mention some of the Jews’ blameworthy characteristics."
"The description of the Jews in the Qur’an is an eternal miracle [in itself], since it described them by the traits to which they have adhered throughout all their generations, such as stubbornness, material greed, slander, hypocrisy, plotting against Islam and the Muslims, and waging a war which is multifarious in its methods and manifestations and one in its true nature and goal."
"The Protected People [Ahl al-Dhimmah] shall not go out with them [i.e., with the Muslims, for prayer for rain outside the city]… because the gathering of infidels is expected to bring forth a [divine] curse."
"[One] of the rules derived by the [Muslim religious] scholars from these [Qur’anic] verses is the following:
1. Obligation to fight the infidels with utmost vigor and power until
they become weak, their state disappears and they submit to the rule of the law of Islam."
Renowned Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, on Egyptian TV: "Jews Control the Entire World"
Interviewer: "So [the Jews] were dispersed in 133 C.E.?"
Zahi Hawass: "That's right."
Interviewer: "And they didn't reunite until 1900?"
Zahi Hawass: "Exactly."
Interviewer: "So they were dispersed for 18 centuries?"
Zahi Hawass: "For 18 centuries, they were dispersed throughout the world. They went to America and took control of its economy. They have a plan. Although they are few in number, they control the entire world."
Egyptian Cleric Ahmad 'Eid Mihna on Egyptian TV: "The Jews Are Behind Misery, Hardship, Usury, and Whorehouses"
Palestinian Authority school Textbooks:
Israel is portrayed as a power that harms its immediate environment, as enumerated in a list of more than twenty-five crimes, beginning with its very establishment, through the occupation of Palestine both in 1948 and 1967, expulsion of the Palestinian people, oppression of those under its control, aggression against neighboring Arab states, massacre of Palestinians, assassination of Palestinian leaders, destruction of the Palestinian economy, house demolition, stealing Palestinian land and water, breaking of Palestinian
territorial unity, attempts at obliterating Palestinian national identity and heritage, usurpation or desecration of Palestinian Christian and Muslim holy places, and finally, Israel’s responsibility for social ills such as drug addiction in Palestinian society, the meager participation of Palestinian women in economic activity, family violence, etc.
The Zionist movement is presented as a racist movement connected with Western imperialism.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a czarist Russian fabrication from the early twentieth century, is presented in a PA history textbook for grade 10 as the secret resolutions of the First Zionist Congress. The text reads: “There is a group of confidential resolutions adopted by the Congress and known by the name The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the goal of which was world domination. They were brought to light by Sergey Nilos and translated into Arabic by Muhammad Khalifah Al-Tunisi.
Following worldwide protests, the PA issued a revised edition of this book, but for a long time there was no indication that the old copies had been removed from schools and stores. The 2007 revised book does not include references to the Protocols.
"Your enemies killed your children, split open your women’s bellies, held your revered elderly men by the beard, and led them to the death pits."
This text was written by the Egyptian writer Mustafa Lutfi al-Manfaluti, who died in 1924. It was not originally directed against the Jews, but its inclusion in a Palestinian textbook of today clearly has a demonizing effect regarding Jews.
New Antisemitic Animated Film on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV Vilifies Palestinian Authority: PA Security Forces Help Stereotypical Blood-Drinking Jews
Settler Massacres Palestinians to Drink Their Blood, and is Welcomed by PA Officer
Father: "Son, the five most delicious things in the world are three..."
Settler: "I know."
Settler and his father: "Palestinian blood."
Father: "Go, son. Drink their blood, and come back safely."
Settler: "I will do it for you, father."
Father: "This is a map of Hebron. Take it. You may need it."
Settler: "I will not need it, because I am not Gilad [Shalit], and the West Bank is not Gaza. Calm down. Shalom, father."
The bear puppet host, Nassur, of a Hamas children's TV program, and Saraa Barhoum, 11 year old Child Star:
[Seven year-old Palestinian child on phone tells how his father, a member of the Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades, “died as a Shahid (Martyr).”]
Nassur to child on phone: “What do you want to do to the Jews who shot your father?”
Child on phone: “I want to kill them.”
Saraa: “We don't want to do anything to them, just expel them from our land.”
Nassur: “We want to slaughter (Nidbah-hom) them, so they will be expelled from our land, right?”
Saraa: “Yes. That's right. We will expel them from our land using all means.”
Nassur: “And if they don't want [to go] peacefully, by words or talking, we’ll have to [do it] by slaughter.” (Shaht)
New television drama depicts Israel Defense Forces soldiers as brutal murderers.
The show, called "Ayrilik", features a love story that develops between the lead characters during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media reports.
A partial episode available on YouTube depicts multiple images of the IDF brutalizing the Palestinian population by shooting children in the chest and kicking elderly people on the ground, among other things.
The Turkish Web site of TRT includes a brief explanation of the series and announces that the production is “a heartfelt display of the events in Palestine, which was occupied in 1948.” The series, the website said, “portrays the sorrow of women and children, in particular, and gives a voice to the suffering of mothers whose children and husbands were slaughtered.”
Curricula and Textbooks
Early Warning Systems (EWS)
Incitement to genocide
State genocidal tendencies and policies
Executive Director: Prof. Israel W. Charny, Ph.D.
Director of Holocaust and Genocide Review: Marc I Sherman, M.L.S.
This project was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The contents of this website are the responsibility of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem.