Apple News, Where Antisemites Are Always Welcome

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s 2018 public commitment to fight hate by not granting a platform to antisemites, Apple News this month published a syndicated writer who one day earlier spewed unbridled hatred of Jews.

The day before Abdel Bari Atwan’s Sept. 10 column appeared on Apple News (“Washington’s ‘Plan B’ in Syria“), the rabid antisemite penned an editorial at Rai al-Youm reprising Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hateful theory that Hitler’s Nazism targeted the Jews due to their “social role” as moneylenders. The founder and editor-in-chief of the Arabic news site, Atwan also contributed a few insights of his own, like citing William Shakespeare’s sixteenth century portrayal of Shylock and his “documentation of usury” as justification for Abbas’ bigotry:

Even if he apologizes, President Abbas was not wrong in our opinion, and [the opinion] of many before us. What he said about the Jews, and the reasons why did Adolf Hitler “burn” them, is found in books by the greatest Western historians, who published them at a time when freedom of research was still guaranteed. This is why we demand of him not to apologize …

The crime which Abbas has carried out which provoked the Zionist hornets’ nest and its European stragglers took shape during one of his speeches in the revolutionary council of the “Fatah” movement on the 24th of last August, when he said [what is about to follow]. Here, we bring it word-for-word [in fact, Atwan used paraphrases and mispresented them as direct quotations]:

“Adolf Hitler did not kill the Jews because of their religion, and Europe did not hate the Jews because they were Jews, this is untrue. Rather, it was because of their social role, because of usury and money, not because of their religion.”

           He added:

“The Ashkenazi Jews are not Semites, they do not descent from the bloodline of the ancient people of Israel but from converts into Judaism in the 8th [originally: 10th] century, among them the Turkic Khazar tribes. As for the Sepharadi [Oriental] Jews, they are Semites.”

Where is the falsehood, and where is the Holocaust denial in all that was presented? History books are full of studies, theories, chronicles and evidence which affirm what President Abbas had said word-for-word. Additionally, this is not the first time when the Palestinian president said it. He affirmed it in the dissertation of his PhD which he got from a Russian university, [where] he questioned the numbers of the Holocaust, and much of the setting and propaganda surrounding them.

Why did we not witness this uproar, [these] accusations and stripping of medals when famous British author William Shakespeare published his story [sic] The Merchant of Venice, which documents the usury matter with its hero Shylock. Why did these Jewish Zionist lobbies and their European supporters go silent when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed that Hitler was of Jewish origins, and that some German Jews collaborated with his massacres? And also when his president Vladimir Putin said two days ago that the West used the Jew Zelensky as a coverup of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine for the sake of Russia’s attrition and disintegration? …

The Zionist Jews who forged history when they claimed that … al-Aqsa Mosque was built on the ruins of the alleged Temple have not shied away from forging modern German history, and omitting and changing all the facts that have anything to do with their [own] history, especially ones which relate to the Holocaust ….

Unfortunately, in August 2022 president Abbas apologized and retracted statements he had made during his visit to Germany when he said in a press conference that the Israelis perpetrated more than 50 Holocausts against the Palestinian people since 1947 in response to a “trick” question [aimed] at him about his view of “the Holocaust.” We hope he will not retract [anything] this time […].

Israel and its lobbies have succeeded in forging history, using the antisemitism “lie” to convict anyone who criticizes its crimes. Now they want to uproot the most important freedoms the West has, “freedom of speech” being the most prominent one. Unfortunately, they’re making remarkably major progress in this domain, and the West on which land we live [Atwan is a British citizen and resides in London] is not the same West we used to know.

We can write in this [public] sphere thousands of pages about the UK’s massacres against Arabs and Muslims without being subjected to any questioning, but if we talk about the Jewish Zionism massacres in occupied Palestine – the antisemitism accusation is ready. The catastrophe will be of greater magnitude if one of us denies the Holocaust, or questions its numbers, based on the researches or books by Western historians – which breaches the law and warrants sanctioning.

They put themselves above all human and divine laws as they enforce their [own] law … . [Translations and emphases by CAMERA Arabic.]

This avalanche of hatred was met with business as usual at Apple News, which proceeded to republish the English translation of Atwan’s newer op-ed – about the alleged American strategy in Syria – as though nothing had happened.

This month’s dissonance between Cook’s stated commitment to deny a platform to antisemites versus the publication of Atwan immediately following his outburst of bigotry is a direct continuation of the news outlet’s ongoing practice. In 2022, Apple News inexcusably republished Atwan’s exoneration of Palestinian terrorists for the murder of Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics along with his praise for Abbas’ repugnant incitement accusing Israel of “50 holocausts.” 

How much more hatred is required before CEO Cook’s lofty promise to “not to be bystanders as hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world” actually means something? At this rate, Apple News is on track for making Arab antisemitism as American as apple pie.

With editing by Tamar Sternthal.

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