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Israel's 'Supernatural Rats' By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Friday, July 25, 2008


The Palestinian Authority has come up with yet another wild accusation about Israel. Two PA newspapers - one directly controlled by the office of PA President Mahmoud Abbas - are accusing Israel of releasing rats with  supernatural qualities to chase away the Arab residents of Jerusalem.
 
 According to the PA papers, the Israeli-Jerusalem rat is:
1. Immune to rat poison;
2. Aggressive and larger than usual;
3. Unafraid of cats and able to scare them away;
4. Highly fertile -- female rat gives birth to 140 babies a year, four times the normal average;
5. Highly selective -- Jewish residents of Jerusalem apparently are not affected by these rats. 
Israel's goal, the libelous PA articles accuse, is "to turn the residents' life into a living hell, forcing them to leave." Interestingly, the articles do not mention how the rats are trained to differentiate between Jewish and Arab residents of Jerusalem.
 
The following are the two stories:
"...one of the most amazing things that we've read during this month is that [Israeli] settlers have been bringing chests filled with rats and releasing them in the Old City's [Arab] neighborhoods; they breed and have become a major curse... the [Arab] residents' efforts to counter this infestation have failed, especially since cats run away from these rats because of their size and ferocity... All of the conventional efforts to kill them have not succeeded, because they seem to be immune to poison and they breed in the sewers. It is known that this female rat gives birth seven times a year, each time giving birth to 20 babies; which compels Jerusalem's [Arabs] today to face the dangers of settlement and the infestation of rats..." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, controlled by the office of Mahmoud Abbas, July 18, 2008]
    
"Large numbers of [Israeli] settlers have been bringing huge cages full of rats and releasing them onto the streets and alleys of the Old City [Jerusalem]...in order to turn the [Arab] residents' life into a living hell, forcing then to leave..." [Al-Ayyam, July 17, 2008]
 
Creating libels against Israel is a pivotal aspect of the Palestinian Authority's incitement to hatred against Israel and Jews. PMW reported earlier this month that the PA media were accusing Israel of conducting Nazi-like experiments on Palestinan prisoners (LINK).

Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.


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