Speechwriters for prominent Palestinian officials have been instructed to append the menacing word “Talmudic” to various nouns associated with Israel.
Jerusalem, February 7 – Diminishing returns on terminology on which Palestinian activists once relied to provoke outrage in the Muslim world have led them to take more and more desperate rhetorical measures, including a recent trend of inserting the scare-word “Talmudic” into any available news item, poster, broadcast, and speech.
Developments in the Middle East and elsewhere over the last several years have driven home to Muslims the realization that the Palestinian cause pales in importance relative to other challenges facing the region and culture: unrest in Syria, Islamic terrorism across Africa; Iran’s hegemonic ambitions; prolonged drought; instability in Iraq; civil war in Yemen; diminishing oil revenues; civil unrest; and stagnant economies. Accustomed to taking center stage for decades, Palestinian policymakers and propagandists have found themselves at a loss to recapture the attention on which they had become dependent, in the face of governments prioritizing other concerns, and have begun resorting to wielding the rhetorical weapons proven to generate the most outrage, but now with limited results to show for it.
If ten years ago the Muslim world could be inflamed by accusations that Jews were performing “Talmudic rituals” near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians now find they can barely muster a few dozen protesters across the region with such a report. Lack of familiarity with other forms of expression has resulted in applying the same nomenclature to other propaganda contexts in the hopes that it may strike the right nerve among coreligionists and refocus international attention on Palestinians.
Speechwriters for prominent Palestinian officials have been instructed to append the menacing word “Talmudic” to various nouns associated with Israel when composing addresses, and propaganda posters featuring the iconic Dome of the Rock shrine atop the Temple Mount have been altered to give the offending adjective pride of place. A committee within the Palestinian Ministry of Education has convened to review textbooks for opportunities to insert the word to invoke the most threatening connotations possible.
“We have to up our game to counter the unwelcome distractions that our enemy has engineered to divert our brothers’ support for us,” explained Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. “That means deploying this tested rhetorical cudgel as necessary to rouse the Arab and Muslim world from its Zionist-induced stupor- wait, I mean ‘Zionist-induced Talmudic stupor.’ How can anyone think the stability and human lives in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan, or any other place take precedence over the shame we face over failing to drive the Jews into the sea for seven decades now?”
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