Racism in the Palestinian territories refers to intolerance harboured by the Palestinian leadership, various Palestinian groups and factions, the Palestinian media and the wider Palestinian population. It has been identified in a variety of contexts, mainly of Arab discrimination, inciting hatred against Jewish people (racial and religious anti-Semitism) documented by US State Department and others, racial discrimination against Blacks as documented by historians.

Directed towards Jewish peopleEdit


After the British assumed power in the region, they appointed Haj Amin al-Husayni as Mufti of Jerusalem. He was the principal leader of the Palestinian national movement and a popular personality in the Arab world during most of the years of British rule.[1] Sometimes called the "fuhrer of the Arab world",[2] he was known for his anti-Jewish hatred, having an extensive anti-Semitic and pan-Arab history.[3] He met with Hitler and other Nazi leaders on various occasions and attempted to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies to solve to "Jewish problem" in Palestine.[4] He is blamed by many as the main culprit of sowing the seeds of the Arab-Israeli conflict.[1]

Holocaust and biblical history denial Edit

According to the US Congress report "Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism"

"In July 1990, the Palestinian Liberation Organization-affiliated Palestinian Red Crescent published an article in its magazine Balsam claiming that Jews concocted, “The lie concerning the gas chambers.” Gradually, throughout the 1990s, Holocaust denial became commonplace in popular media in the Middle East, particularly in the Palestinian Authority."[5]

An Arabic-translation of Mein Kampf has been allowed by the Palestinian Authority.[6]

The Islamist movement Hamas has included holocaust denial in its charter:

This conference bears a clear Zionist goal, aimed at forging history by hiding the truth about the so-called Holocaust, which is an alleged and invented story with no basis.[7]

Within the Palestinian leadershipEdit

See: Antisemitism in the Arab world: Palestinian Authority about both: Hamas & PLO charter, official statements, incorporating racism, nazi theories, Holocaust Denial ideas.

In October 2006, a Kurdish commentator argued that Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh had made remarks about the Kurdish peshmarga forces which were "racist" and could also be regarded as "inciting racial hatred".[8]

In the Media and educationEdit

In its 2009 report on human rights in the Palestinian territories, the US State Department noted that:

"Rhetoric by Palestinian terrorist groups included expressions of anti-Semitism, as did sermons by some Muslim religious leaders. Some Palestinian religious leaders rejected the right of Israel to exist. Hamas's al-Aqsa television station carried shows for preschoolers extolling hatred of Jews and suicide bombings."[9]

According to the report, International academics had concluded that "the textbooks did not incite violence against Jews"[9]

Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi, one of the most popular immans in the Palestinian territories, said:

The greatest enemies of the Islamic nation are the Jews, may Allah fight them… Blessings for whoever assaulted a soldier… Blessings for whoever has raised his sons on the education of Jihad and Martyrdom; blessings for whoever has saved a bullet in order to stick it in a Jew's head

According to Steven Stalinsky, Executive Director of MEMRI, in the years 2000-2003 Jews were commonly referred to as "the descendants of pigs and apes, and as calf-worshippers" in religious sermons broadcasted on Palestinian-controlled television stations.[10]

In 2004, the US State Department reported that "The rhetoric of some Muslim religious leaders at times constituted an incitement to violence or hatred. For example, the television station controlled by the Palestinian Authority broadcast statements by Palestinian political and spiritual leaders that resembled traditional expressions of anti-Semitism."[11]

Directed towards BlacksEdit

According to the South African politician Jack Brian Bloom, "Palestinian racism extends beyond Jews, as in the continued teaching in their schools of the discredited racial categories of Negroid, Caucasian and Mongoloid. In textbooks, the Palestinians are identified as Caucasian, as they have 'round heads and wavy hair.'!"[12]

Although Black Palestinians of African descent refer to themselves as the Sumr, many other Palestinians persist in referring to all black people as abed, a term that is synonymous with slaves. While some claim the term is not derogatory, some Blacks take umbrage if the term is used. Dr Susan Beckerleg believes using the term perpetuates discrimination against them.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement, Studies of the Middle East Institute, Philip Mattar, Columbia University Press, 1992, p. 13
  2. "Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the ... - Google Books". Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  4. The Israel-Arab reader: a documentary history of the Middle East conflict by Walter Laqueur, Barry M. Rubin 2001, p. 51
  8. Dr Rebwar Fatah. What motivated Palestinian PM’s derogatory remarks about Kurdish peshmarga?, Soma, Issue no.15 Oct 27 – Nov 10, 2006. October 28, 2006.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "2009 Human Rights Report: Israel and the occupied territories". Retrieved 2010-08-21.  See section "Societal Abuses and Discrimination"
  11. "Report on Global Anti-Semitism". 2005-01-05. Retrieved 2010-08-21.  See section "Occupied Territories"
  12. Out of step: life-story of a politician : politics and religion in a world at war," Jack Brian Bloom, 2005, p. 139.
  13. Dr Susan Beckerleg. Hidden History, Secret Present: The Origins and Status of African Palestinians, The Nuffield Foundation, November 1998.

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