Ron Prosor’s diatribes ought to be flagged by Twitter as incitement, misleading information and hate speech
Caption: Samidoun Poster on a tree in Berlin’s Neukölln district showing a sketch of martyred prisoner Khader Adnan with the caption (in reference to his legendary hunger strikes while in Israeli prison): “Our pledge to you master of endurance.”
In tweets vilifying the Palestinian cause, Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to Germany, brackets the words “God forbid” after his mention of Samidoun, Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. He writes:
“I am sure that the citizens of Berlin were very surprised that the terrorist organization Samidoun, God forbid, had not thought of doing a fundraiser for the needy and elderly Palestinians…The widespread popular campaign in support of terrorist organizations hung on trees [a reference to pro-Palestine posters attached to trees in Berlin’s Neukölln district, home to a large Palestinian and Arab immigrant population] is a direct result of the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority’s policy of rewarding terrorist prisoners… If Europe, with Germany at its heart, does not want the next posters to recruit the terrorists themselves, it must clearly condemn this terror acts and work towards the expulsion of Samidoun outside the law.”
Because of such inflammatory, false and self-serving rhetoric as the above (Prosor’s diatribes ought to be flagged by Twitter as incitement, misleading information and hate speech), Germany has banned the Nakba commemoration demonstrations, describing them as “antisemitic” and inciting “hatred of Israel.” In other words, Germany seems to be swallowing Prosor’s posts hook, line and sinker.
What Prosor means by his vicious tweeting is that, God forbid, the German people would come to know that, in Palestine, the Zionist settler-colonial movement carried out the war in 1948 mainly in order to expel and ethnically cleanse the bulk of the native population of Palestine so as to create a Jewish state.
What he means is that, God forbid, the German people “hear the cries of the people of Palestine and connect them to the policies of the Israeli government and not to the cries of the victims of Nazism.” God forbid they should understand that “Israel is a state founded upon the imperialist-sanctioned illegality, persecution and massacre of the Palestinian people,” that the historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948 and their descendants, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status. (Read Edward Said’s The Question of Palestine.)
What he means is that, God forbid, young Palestinian immigrants exiled from their homeland should now be empowered to challenge Germany’s education system, which is “aggressively pushing a pro-Israel narrative hostile to any Palestinian dissent in the classroom.”
Prosor sounds unhinged, because the tide is inexorably turning against Israel. A research report titled “Germany and Israel Today: Between Connection and Alienation” (published by Bertelsmann Stiftung, an independent German foundation, in 2022) has raised alarm in Israel. The survey found that over a third of Germans believe Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is essentially the same as the Nazi genocide of the Jews during the Holocaust and only 40% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Whereas to any well-read German this would reflect an accurate grasp of history among the 30% who agreed (Zionism is a form of fascism as studies show) and that person might wonder why the 40% disagreed, the finding is blared by the mouthpiece of Zionist hasbara in Israel (The Times of Israel) as an antisemitic attack requiring more brainwashing of the German mind. The Israeli newspaper reported on the survey by quoting a “study leader” as saying: “In view of the demonstrable connection between education and antisemitic prejudices, we are urgently required to invest even more in educational work and enlightenment in the future.”
Caption: “According to Berlin Zeitung, the German State Security Service opened an investigation into the incident and the destruction of public property as well, describing the publication of posters of Palestinian prisoners in the Neukölln neighborhood as “anti-Semitic.” — Samidoun
In her article titled, “How Palestine became a ‘forbidden word’ in German high schools,” Hebh Jama writes: “In 2015, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of German-Israeli diplomatic relations, the Conference published a communiqué with the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Yacov Hadas-Handelsman, on the two countries’ educational cooperation. Stressing Israel’s desire to ‘continue to strengthen links between young Germans and young Israelis,’ the communiqué also emphasized the role of history and religion in “further deepening bilateral relations in the coming decades.”
Fortunately, the harmful impact of the Zionist take on antisemitism on Palestinian school children that Hebh Jama describes in her article has now also been recognized in a recent report by the European Legal Support Center (ELSC) titled “Suppressing Palestinian Rights Advocacy through the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism — Violating the Rights to Freedom of Expression and Assembly in the European Union and the UK”:
“The ELSC urges the European Commission, as well as the governments, parliaments and public institutions in the EU Member States and the UK, to cease and revoke the endorsement, adoption, promotion and implementation of the IHRA definition. While addressing and enforcing policies to combat antisemitism, the legal obligation of public actors to respect and protect freedom of expression and freedom of assembly must be upheld.”
Israel’s “narrative” and influence negatively impact the pro-Palestine freedom of assembly and expression in virtually every European country. In his tweets, Prosor moves glibly from false accusations of antisemitism to false accusations of terrorism, safe in the knowledge that EU governments have already bought into this so-called narrative. Palestinian liberation and revolutionary movements like Samidoun and Masar Badil are painted as illegitimate, while Israel’s criminal aggression is considered “defensive” and legitimate. To speak freely and to rally against Zionism breaks Israel’s laws, not German laws, unless, of course, Prosor and his ilk succeed in making them so.
On the legal situation of activities related to the advocacy of Palestinian rights and BDS bans, Pippi von Neuschtetl quotes the following: “According to one of the lawyers who defends banned Palestinian groups and individuals in court, 26 of the 30 cases that have been decided since 2016 have been won by these groups and individuals. German law grants freedom of expression, which is why BDS, criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism are not illegal — but anti-Semitism is. Thus, claims and accusations of anti-Semitism raised against individuals and organizations could not be proven in these courts, and the bans were not in accordance with German law. Unfortunately, the news of such bans or accusations of anti-Semitism are widespread — but much less is known about the consequent legal procedures and their results.”
In his 2014 essay “On ‘Lost Causes’ and the Future of Palestine: The appearance of Palestinian defeat is an optical illusion — one that hides the probability of eventual Israeli defeat,” (inshallah – Arabic for “God willing”) Richard Falk writes: “We should also realize that the history of struggle for freedom and justice, despite being obstructed by the brutal forces of reaction, needs to continue. Without such aspirations and struggle, the world and those of us in it are lost.”
Over the decades, Palestinians have been steadfast (samidoun) in their belief in the morality and nobility of their cause, which at its heart is about justice, equality and human rights. The Israeli ambassador to Germany appears to know enough Arabic to understand what the word “samidoun” means: steadfast or standing firm, not giving in to oppression — and he is afraid.
Note: First published on Medium.
Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.