A few days ago, I was one of the first to report on and debunk a blood libel perpetrated by The Independent (and others) regarding Israel restricting the access of palestinians to water.
Now we see a new water blood libel doing the rounds in the Arab media: A report concerning a prominent Rabbi who has issued a religious decree “allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to poison Palestinian water sources in Palestinian towns.”
Here is one such report.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has denounced a religious decree made by a prominent Jewish rabbi allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to poison Palestinian water sources in Palestinian towns in occupied West Bank. The PLO described the decree as “an order to kill”.
This call is not the first of its kind. Price tag Jewish groups have waged dozens of attacks against Palestinians, uprooting their trees, burning their houses and destroying their places of worship.
Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an ‘advisory opinion’ in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.
Israeli organisation “Breaking the Silence”, stated that the call for poisoning Palestinian water aims to push the Palestinians to leave and pave the way for Israeli Jewish settlers to take over their lands.
The PLO refused to engage in future talks with Israel until it stops building more housing units on what Palestinians consider the land for their future state.
“This is an incitement and a call for killing the Palestinians,” Wasil Abu Youssef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday. He said such opinions by Jewish rabbis “prove that Israel is not a real peace partner”.
— Dr. Basem Naim (@basemn63) June 19, 2016
“Dozens of similar orders were made by rabbis that called for killing Palestinians, robbing their lands and farmlands and destroying their property,” he said.
Some 500,000 settlers live in the West Bank settlement. The international community regard the Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The Israeli government allocates hundreds of millions of dollars annually to expand settlements at the expenses of Palestinians and their resources.
The source seems to be the Turkish Anadolu Agency (not correct – see update below)
This story is entirely invented, and represents a pernicious blood libel against Israel and the Jewish people. Here’s how I know this.
Rabbi Shlomo Mlma Does Not Exist
I have never heard of him, nor has anyone else in the know. “Mlma” – with its missing vowel – does not even sound like a valid name!
Not only that, but a few of the stories – like the above – have this photo of this so-called Rabbi.
This is MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler.
The Council of Rabbis in The West Bank Settlements Does Not Exist
There is nothing called the Council of Rabbis in The West Bank Settlements. No Jews living in Judea and Samaria would refer to them as the “West Bank Settlements”! The closest thing is the Council of Rabbis in Judea and Samaria, whose CEO is Yishai Babad. When contacted, he denied knowledge of any Rabbi of that name or such a decree.
There is also something called the Yesha Council, which is an umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish ‘settlements’ in Judea and Samaria (and formerly in the Gaza Strip). Its chairman is Avi Roeh, not “Rabbi Shlomo Mlma.”
Breaking The Silence Would Never Report It
The reports mention Breaking The Silence as the organization that brought this to light. But they do not deal with such issues – they are all about collecting and publish “testimonies” from IDF soldiers to paint Israel in a bad light. I think whoever invented this story confused Breaking the Silence with B’Tselem.
(see update below – the blood libel does seem to be based on something Breaking the Silence’s Yehuda Shaul once told a group)
Only Extreme Anti-Israel Sites Are Running This Story
A Google search reveals only some of the most extreme Israel hating sites are running this. Ha’aretz, which does not hesitate to run stories painting “settlers” and Rabbis in a bad light, has not reported this. This is a further indication that this story is entirely made up.
These blood libels serve to cause irreparable damage to Israel and the Jewish people. It is important to ensure the truth is disseminated as quickly as possible, before this damage is done.
Update: Even DouchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein admits it is a likely hoax. But then creates his own new blood libel.
If you're right (& I think u may be), then it's a hoax. ? is who created it. My money is on Zio-troublemakers. https://t.co/Q6hCTBQ9EC
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) June 20, 2016
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) June 20, 2016
Update: Elder of Ziyon informs me the blood libel appeared last week – and originated with the PLO!
— ElderOfZiyon (@elderofziyon) June 20, 2016
The story appears to have started from a video published in NRG last week that allegedly shows Breaking the Silence’s Yehuda Shaul telling a group two years ago, in English, that Jewish settlers poison the wells of Palestinians.