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The PA: Trump is Shylock!
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The PA: Trump is Shylock!

 
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Criticizing Hamas' recent willingness to agree to a ceasefire with Israel in return for humanitarian and economic aid, an editorial in the official PA daily warned that such relief would only be "loans" like the ones in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice - in other words, loans with outrageous conditions.

The editorial stated that US President Trump is Shylock of the play and that Israel "will not give Hamas gifts and... not give it anything for free."

In Shakespeare's play, Shylock is an evil Jewish moneylender who demands that a debtor repay him with a pound of his own flesh. The PA daily recommended that Hamas read Shakespeare's play:

"Israel... will not give Hamas gifts and undoubtedly will not give it anything for free. Perhaps Hamas needs to read the story The Merchant of Venice by [William] Shakespeare today, so that perhaps it will understand what it must pay in order to return these loans, particularly because this time Shylock is the merchant and the contractor [US President] Donald Trump!"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented other examples of Palestinians comparing Jews and others of today to Shakespeare's Shylock. Earlier this year, an op-ed published by Fatah's Information and Culture Commission in Lebanon claimed that:

"The greatest playwright William Shakespeare correctly described the deceitful, greedy, trickster, extortionist, and lowly character of the Jews in the story The Merchant of Venice in the 16th century."
[Falestinona, website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission
in Lebanon, Jan. 31, 2018]

The following is a longer excerpt of the editorial in the official PA daily:

"Ten years of Hamas against the national reconciliation [with Fatah], and only three months were required for Hamas to reach a reconciliation with the occupation (refers to ceasefire agreement under negotiation between Israel and Hamas -Ed.) in return for what can be called 'banking reliefs' - loans for improving its situation in power only!
These are indeed loans, because Israel... will not give Hamas gifts and undoubtedly will not give it anything for free. Perhaps Hamas needs to read the story The Merchant of Venice by [William] Shakespeare today (refers to play in which the sly Jewish moneylender Shylock demands that a debtor repay him with a pound of his own flesh -Ed.), so that perhaps it will understand what it must pay in order to return these loans, particularly because this time Shylock is the merchant and the contractor [US President] Donald Trump!"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2018]

Shylock - refers to a character in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is an antisemitic depiction of a cunning Jewish moneylender who demands that a debtor repay him with a pound of his own flesh. Later, Shylock is charged with attempted murder of a Christian and - instead of receiving the death penalty - is ordered to surrender his wealth and forced to convert to Christianity. "Shylock" has since become an antisemitic term to describe Jews pejoratively as those who lend money at excessive rates.

 


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