When attending the pickets down at Kedem, I’m greeted by a veritable soundboard of insults. The classics include ‘terrorists’, ‘baby killer’ and for good measure, analogies with histories notorious anti-Semites. But I’ve noticed there is has been a shift in the type of insults my counterparts give me…

The recent ‘Arab Awakening’ coupled with the poisonous ‘War on Terror-War on Islam’ rhetoric have refocused the Zionist vitriol on both a macro- and micro- level. The ‘problem’ is no longer ‘Arabs’ per se, but Muslims. Yariv Levin, a senior Israeli government Law maker (though using different terms) sought to separate Muslims Arabs from their genealogical Christian predecessors.[1] This chimes wonderfully with the Hasbara ‘deflection strategy’; everything wrong in the Israel-Palestine question is due to Hamas.

In the eyes of Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS are all part of an Islamic axis of evil that are engaged in a conspiracy to take over the world. In effect, Israel’s violent crusade is a war of self-defence; the real scourge isn’t the Israeli occupation and siege, it isn’t, as it once was, the secular pan-Arab nationalist movement (which was itself delegitimised with orientalist tropes of anti-Arabism- ‘backwardness, exoticism, savagery, barbarianism’ etc), but Islamic fundamentalism. Anyone with a basic understanding of International Relations will appreciate the heterogeneity of Islamic Political Thought, but it is this racist homogeneity of Islam, this attempt to reduce the complexity and nuances of it, that is part of parcel if Israel’s war on terror-war on Islam. Flattering as this lie is, ask any Muslim; there’s always been divisions and schism throughout its history!

If you are confronted with Zionists at a demonstration, or you are listening to Bibi speaking at the UN whilst holding up some crudely drawn diagrams of bombs he drew on the New York subway, the rhetoric is not just anti-Palestinian, it is also anti-Islam. Hamas was the baby that Israel reared, and now it has grown into the rebellious teenager.

In the end, this is all a classic divide a rule tactic. It is almost silly and disrespectful of me to make such a comment, but Christians and secularists have been essential in the resistance– that is a given and to even make that explicit is almost insulting. But they all see beyond this. The reality is that Israel hates the Palestinian Arabs, regardless of their (non-)religion because it reminds them of their ‘original sin’. It is one of the reasons why the Palestinian minority in ‘Israel’/’48 Palestine are not acknowledged as a national minority. They are not duped. They see that there enemy is not the Muslim Arabs but the masters of the most brutal military occupation and siege in contemporary history. Zionist hasbara, in its very parasitic nature, has latched onto the popular wave of Islamophobia, trying desperately to uncomfortable frame Israel-Palestine as a quintessentially religions issue.  With the mere uttering of words, they are able to blame the plight of the Gazan’s on the ‘perilous phantom of Islam’, all the while it bombs UN schools, ambulances, hospitals and kids playing on the beach.

For a quick guide on how to respond to some hasbara tactics, click here

[1]Ali Abunimah ‘Palestinian Christians ‘are not Arabs’ says senior Israeli lawmaker’ 13/01/14