Imitating Iran in Palestine – or vice versa

While the recent speech by Iran’s Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi at a UN-sponsored conference on combating drug abuse was widely condemned as deluded and antisemitic, Palestinian Authority officials were apparently so thrilled that they competed to emulate Rahimi. As Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)reports:

“One day after Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi was condemned internationally for saying that Jews and their Talmud are responsible for international drug trafficking, no less than five articles in the official PA daily cited different Palestinian Authority officials accusing Israel of having a policy to disseminate drugs among Palestinian youth.

The Governor of Jericho said that Israel “is encouraging and turning a blind eye to [drug] dealers and their efforts to distribute drugs, through a systematic policy to destroy Palestinian society, targeting the youth.”

The District Governor of Jenin said Israel “seeks to harm the Palestinian people and to destroy it and its national enterprise [through drugs] as a continuation of its Zionist enterprise.”

The District Governor of Ramallah spoke about the drug problem, mentioning Israel’s “efforts to humiliate our youth, to break their willpower, and to distance them from their [Palestinian] cause and their principles, by spreading drugs among them” and emphasized that “the occupation does not hesitate to exercise all forms of control over our youth, using dirty and inhuman methods.”

[Emphasis original]

However, it is perhaps grossly unfair to say that the Palestinians are imitating the Iranians, because PMW has a list of similar accusations going back all the way to 1999…

In any case, Palestinian educators are working hard to teach their young people to stay away from drugs. Even if it’s just cigarettes, the message is that there is a better alternative: Palestine “doesn’t need youth who hold cigarettes. It needs men who hold machine guns.”

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