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Cloud Theft and Spying Cows

March 22, 2023

by: Kate Norman, BFP Staff Writer

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Efforts by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and other enemies of the Jewish state to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the international community have ranged from twisting the truth and presenting misinformation to outright, absurd lies. To their own people, the PA’s anti-Israel libels know no bounds. Creative ways of blaming the Palestinian people’s problems on Israel and the Jewish people are limited only by the PA’s imagination.

The “Moossad” and Weaponized Pigs

In December, an elder of an Arab village accused Israel of recruiting and training cattle to spy on them.

“He noted that these are recruited and trained cattle, as on the neck of each cow they hang a medallion with an eavesdropping and recording device on it, and sometimes cameras, in order to monitor every detail in Khirbet Yanun [a Palestinian-governed village in Samaria] large and small,” the PA’s official daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida wrote, as translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

In addition to using “recruited and trained cattle” to spy on the villagers—which social media users dubbed the “Moossad,” a bovine spinoff of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency—Khirbet Yanun village elder Rushd Morrar also told the PA newspaper that the Israelis are using wild boars against their village as well.

Describing life in their “primitive” village southeast of Nablus, the site of ancient biblical Shechem, Morrar lamented the poor living conditions of the village’s 82 residents, which he told the newspaper is only made worse by the “herds of wild boars” purposely released by Israelis in the direction of their village.

“The settlers’ [Israelis living in Judea and Samaria] crimes are diversifying and becoming sophisticated, and the means they employ in their war are unlimited…releasing boars towards the farmers’ lands,” Morrar told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

The village elder claimed the “release of the boars towards the lands of Yanun is a weapon whose efficiency is certain,” the PA paper wrote. “He said that the settlers started quietly using it years ago far from public attention, and that it is a guided weapon that does not cause damage to the settlers, due to the barbed wire fences surrounding their settlements from all sides.”

Even if Israelis living in the Jewish communities near Nablus were capable of deploying wild boars in specific directions, what Morrar failed to mention is that many of the Jewish communities in that area are surrounded by barbed wire as a defense from attacks by Palestinian terrorists from Nablus.

The swine slander traces back to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been charging the Israelis for years with unleashing boars on the helpless Palestinians.

In 2014, Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote in the Jerusalem Post that Abbas announced at a conference in Ramallah that “every night, they [Israelis] release wild pigs against us. Why are they doing this to us?”

Toameh noted that this was not the first time Abbas had made the wild allegation, and that the PA has claimed in the past that Israelis released wild pigs against Arab villages to destroy crops and demoralize the locals.

But Wait, There’s More

The same PA daily paper that published Morrar’s Moossad claim published a similar accusation years ago.

In 2008, the Palestinian Media Watch translated another report by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that Israelis were releasing super rats in Jerusalem’s Old City. The report read 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 [Israeli] settlement and the infestation of rats.”

Jerusalem has historically had a rat problem, which the British tried to solve in the 20th century by bringing in cats, the Jerusalem Post reported. The rat population indeed dwindled, but soon the cats grew into a whole new problem. As of 2021, there were an estimated two million street cats in Jerusalem, according to Israel’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The PA has yet to publicize a tale about Zionist feline spies, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Cloud Theft

It isn’t just the Palestinians who are leveling outlandish claims against the Jewish state. In 2018, an Iranian general accused Israel of “cloud theft.”

“The changing climate in Iran is suspect,” Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali told a press conference, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

The general, who serves as the head of the Civil Defense Organization of Iran, added that “foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change.”

Though Iran and much of the region at the time were facing droughts and drier than normal climates, there was one obvious suspect for the general to blame for the unremittent blue skies over the Islamic Republic.

“Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain,” the general asserted. “On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft.”

The head of Iran’s meteorological service, Ahad Vazife, tried to backtrack on Jalali’s outrageous claim, telling Iran’s ISNA [Iranian Students’ News Agency] that Jalali “probably has documents of which I am not aware, but on the basis of meteorological knowledge, it is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds,” adding that “Iran has suffered a prolonged drought, and this is a global trend that does not apply only to Iran.”

Delegitimization Campaign

The endless efforts of the PA and Iran to undermine and delegitimize the Jewish state have wandered down strange paths. The accusation that the Israeli military and civilians are arming cows with spy gear to gather intel against an Arab village and the claim that Israel has been hijacking snow and rain from Iran would be laughable—if these lies hadn’t been presented to the public on official platforms and accepted as truth. But for those who hate Israel, any fuel can fan the flames of anti-Semitic hatred, no matter how ludicrous.

Photo Credit: Click on photo to see photo credit

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