Obama speaking on Sunday to American Israel Public Affairs Committee, repeated his call for Palestinian statehood based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders adjusted for land swaps, issuing a challenge to the Israeli government to make the hard choices that are necessary to protect a Jewish and democratic state for which so many generations have sacrificed.

The members of the Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and Fourth Reich – continue to insist on Hamas meeting three important conditions prior to international recognition and engagement: recognizing the State of Israel, renouncing the use of terrorism and violence, and recognizing the validity of previously negotiated Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

ADL is calling on the Quartet and Palestinian leaders to demand that Hamas comply with one additional crucial condition as a prerequisite to forming a unity government: To renounce the anti-Semitism inherent in Hamas’ founding ideology, and to expunge from its charter all elements of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and rhetoric.

Hamas’ ideology is based on age-old, classic anti-Semitic myths. The founding covenant of Hamas is committed not only to the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state in its place, but is replete with raw, unadulterated Jew-hatred.

Adopted in August 1988, the Hamas Charter openly embraces the notorious anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, holding it up as evidence that Jews are innately greedy, manipulative and conniving. The charter adopts classical anti-Semitic canards: Jews as plotting to control the world, Jews acquiring wealth by stealing, and Jews controlling the levers of power in media, government and finance. Such stereotypical anti-Semitic canards have been used through the centuries to defame and demonize Jews, leading to violence, pogroms and, ultimately, the Holocaust.

Ted Goertzel points out conspiracy theories are easy to propagate and difficult to refute. Having long flourished in politics and religion, they have also spread into science and medicine. It is useful to think of conspiracy theorizing as a meme, a cultural invention that passes from one mind to another and thrives, or declines, through a process analogous to genetic selection (Dawkins 1976). The conspiracy meme competes with other rhetorical memes, such as the fair debate meme, the scientific expertise meme, and the resistance to orthodoxy meme.

Goertzel notes the central logic of the conspiracy meme is to question, often on speculative grounds, everything the establishment says or does and to demand immediate, comprehensive, and convincing answers to all questions. Unconvincing answers are taken as proof of conspiratorial deception. When an alleged fact is debunked, the conspiracy meme often just replaces it with another fact. When the conspiracy meme is reinforced by a regular diet of alternative videos and one-sided literature, it can become a habitual way of thinking. People who believe in one conspiracy are more likely to believe in others.


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