Skip to comments.The Jenin Syndrome
Posted on 05/03/2002 5:55:25 AM PDT by SJackson
On the eve of Pessah 1983, when Israel was still reeling from the trauma of Lebanon, and then- defense minister Ariel Sharon was in the eye of the Kahan Commission storm - with the entire world pointing a finger at us, a blood libel accusing Israel of "poisoning" Palestinian schoolgirls was concocted. In Jenin, teenage girls who started fainting in their classrooms without apparent reason were evacuated to hospitals. As soon as rumors of this began to spread, girls in other schools throughout the West Bank also lost consciousness and were hospitalized. Some were hospitalized twice or thrice in succession, bringing their numbers to close to 1,000. Immediately, the Arabs accused Israel of poisoning the girls as part of a "scheme" to sterilize them. This, according to the libel, was done precisely at a time when the girls were about to get married and bear children - as part of a sinister "plan to battle against Palestinian demographic growth."
The UN, European countries and the world media jumped on the accusatory bandwagon - as they are doing today - as if they had been waiting for the occasion. Even so-called "evidence" was found by journalists to support the accusation. This "evidence" was a yellow substance on the windowsills of the Arab schools - a substance which turned out to be pine pollen.
Horrible epithets were hurled at the Jews, claiming that these people who had survived the Nazi camps were "now acting like their former persecutors."
Then, as now, the sinister scheme was attributed to Ariel Sharon, the "monster" who was seen to be pursuing a war of extermination against the Palestinians.
ISRAEL WAS as shocked as it was incredulous by this onslaught. Prof. Baruch Modan, Israel's leading epidemiologist and then director general of the Health Ministry, conducted a thorough investigation into the matter and concluded that there had been no poisoning. But foreign correspondents, under Palestinian instigation, mocked Modan's findings and questioned his professional credentials.
The Palestinians, then in their Tunisian exile, realized the propaganda bonanza inherent in their libel. Thus the supposedly "poisoned" girls writhed in pain in front of foreign TV crews, yet immediately jumped out of bed jubilantly making V signs for the Arabs (and Israeli hidden cameras) to see.
THEN, AS now, the Palestinians revelled in their success at dragging in UN institutions, other Arab and Muslim countries, and the international community to condemn Israel, before any fact-finding was done. Even Israel's greatest friend, US Ambassador to the UN Jeanne Kirkpatrick (who happened to preside over the Security Council during that month) added her castigation. This helped raise the demand for an international investigation. It is this which set the precedent that whenever the Palestinians concoct any accusation against Israel, the conscience of the international community awakens, and everyone wants to investigate. Delegations of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization found no evidence of poisoning, yet issued vague communiques which left the issue hanging. (One can imagine how zealously they would have run to the press had they been able to dig up any shred of positive evidence.)
The Israeli reference to the fainting as mass hysteria that is common among teenage girls (during rock concerts, for example) was dismissed as ridiculous, much to the applause of the Arabs and the international press. It was only after the International Center of Disease Control in Atlanta performed a thorough investigation and confirmed the mass hysteria diagnosis that tempers began to calm down. The Red Cross, however, declared that even if there had been no actual poisoning, the girls had contracted a no less serious illness called "occupation." Sound familiar? Evidently, no country or organization who bashed Israel relentlessly during that time found it necessary to apologize (with the exception of the New York Times, which retracted its accusations in an unnoticeable announcement on an inside page.)
As for the rest of the world, Israel will always be to blame unless it proves otherwise. And no apologies will be necessary even if it does prove otherwise. Furthermore, Israel will always be expected to cooperate with those who unjustly blame and condemn it, and any refusal on its part to submit to repeated investigations will in itself constitute evidence of guilt. The Jenin investigation of today corresponds exactly to the Jenin Syndrome that we have already lived through. Who says that history does not repeat itself?
The author is a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Hebrew University. His book Poison: Modern Manifestations of the Blood Libel has just been released in the US by Lexington Books.
[Abla Saadat, wife of Ahmed Saadat, the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who is detained in the Jericho prison, said the ditching of the Jenin inquiry was a betrayal. "It is not just me who thinks so. Ninety per cent of the Palestinians, even some people around Arafat think so," she told reporters.
Mrs Saadat put into words the despair of the Palestinians after 19 months of violence. For all Mr Arafat's promises of victory, the Israeli iron fist has left city centres in ruins, broken the lives of thousands and ripped the guts out of the Palestinian administration, just like the Education Ministry computers.
"For 50 years Israel never brought us to despair. But seven years of Palestinian rule has brought us to the brink," she said. "Did we achieve a victory? Did we end the occupation? Only from around Arafat's compound."]
A glimmer of truth and even intelligence.
Everything old is new again.
|For a dose of truth:|
| WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part I
Non-evidence and Pali fabrication of evidence
| Steyn: The UN is running out of blind eyes to turn
Interesting link on UN backpedaling
| WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part II
Palestinians drop their hyped-up "massacre" charges
| Atrocities of the British Press
Huge amounts of ink devoted to unverified Pali tales
| WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part III
Hey, Jimmy Carter has an opinion too!!
| Reporters Back Down From Jenin "Massacre" Reports
World press forced to face the truth: No Massacre
| WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part IV
Yet more non-evidence and Pali fabrication of evidence
| NY POST: THE MASSACRE THAT WASN'T
Peres: There wasn't a house that wasn't booby-trapped
| WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part V
The Pali's contradict themselves and blame it on Israel
| Steyn: It's time to snap out of Arab fantasy land
Some great Oriana Fallaci quotes/links as well
|An interesting juxtaposition of tales:|
| Message From An Israeli On The Front Lines
"Entire families exploded themselves! It was horrific."
| Palestinian Fighter admits: No Massacre in Jenin
2,000 bombs and booby-traps placed in the camp
| Pediatrician: terrorists used children in Jenin camp
Doc: IDF did everything possible to avoid civilian harm
| Palestinians Booby-Trap Wheelchair in Jenin
NOTE: The wheelchair was occupied!!
| Jenin War Diary of a Hasidic Soldier
Israeli citizen-soldier describes what went on in Jenin
| Palestinian fighter's version of the Jenin battle
Pali Plan: Trap Israeli soldiers, then blow them up
|And so, in conclusion:|
| Massacre Claims Unsupported by Palestinian Fighters
Pali eyewitnesses all support the Israeli version
| The Phantom Massacre
War Crimes in Jenin were committed by the Palis
| Jenin's 'Massacre' Death Toll Reduced to 56
Israel told the truth; Palis did not
| Jenin's War Criminals
What the Palestinians did was the real war crime
| The Jenin Probe Ends
UN unhappy about Israel's possible exhoneration
| The 'Jenin Massacre' Hoax
Living in a world of monstrous moral inversion
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