Oct 20, 2021

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While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences for the people of France following Friday’s massacres which left 132 civilians dead and hundreds injured, the Palestinian Authority has sought to implicate Israel in the attacks.

On November 14, Netanyahu wrote on his official Facebook page that “Israel stands with French President Francois Hollande and the people of France in our common war against terrorism. I send condolences in the name of the people of Israel to the families of the murdered and wish the injured a speedy recovery.”

On Monday, November 16, the Fatah movement’s official Twitter page posted a cartoon which depicted an ISIS gunman in the Eiffel Tower poised to fire while a caricature of Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be aiming the machine gun for the terrorist.

Netanyahu is recognizable not only by his trademark hair style, but also by a band on his arm which bears the shield of David (Magen David). In a second cartoon, two matches protrude from a matchbox labelled “terrorism.” One match is labelled “IS” while the second has a matchead of the face of an Orthodox Jew with a Star of David on his hat.

TPS spoke to Professor Norman Finkelstein, arguably the most virulent critic of Israel and a controversial figure in the academic world, to learn of his opinion on such cartoons and ask whether he thought that they are conducive to making peace or not.

After stating that he considered the PA to be “a corrupt gang of collaborators” who are, nevertheless, on record as supporting the international consensus for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, Finkelstein said that “I do not read anything by the Palestine Authority [sic]. It’s just empty-headed, idiotic propaganda.”

When asked to address the cartoons themselves, Finkelstein, who has been dubbed as an “American radical” seemed reluctant to review the images. “I did not look at the [cartoons]. I am just not interested,” he said.

However, in a backhanded jibe directed at Netanyahu, he quipped that “Netanyahu was as much behind the Paris attacks as the Mufti was behind the Final Solution.”