Thousands rallied in support of Palestinians on Friday, with demonstrators in Jordan's capital heeding a call by Facebook organizers to demand a sovereign Palestinian state, others near the Jordanian-Israeli border chanting "Death to Israel," and still more activists filling Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Palestinian youth groups called for protests in the West Bank and nearby Arab countries to mark the anniversary of the May 15, 1948, creation of the Jewish state. Palestinians call the anniversary the "day of catastrophe" because of the refugee crisis and loss of land that accompanied the creation of Israel.
About 500 protesters marched in Amman's downtown market district, some wearing Palestinian black and white kefiyahs or headscarves and holding keys to family homes left behind. Demonstrators demanded that the Israeli ambassador be sent home.
In Jordan, protesters chanted, "The people want to liberate Palestine."
They also shouted, "The people want to end Wadi Araba," a reference to Jordan's 1994 peace treaty with Israel.It doesn't sound like they love Israel, but nothing seems tremendously offensive.
In Egypt, where the protest was also called to denounce recent Muslim-Christian violence in Cairo, Palestinian flags filled the square. Some protesters called for shutting down the Israeli embassy in Cairo and expelling the ambassador. A banner read: "If our leaders divided us, our uprisings will unite us."
"Egypt is Palestine. All Arab nations are Egypt. We are all one hand," said Ola Adel, a 20-year-old law student. "This protest is not about forming an army and heading to Gaza. It is about pressuring our officials to support the Palestinians demands."
Until you read the Arabic media's version of the same protests.
Ammon News in Jordan says that the protesters were chanting
Khaybar Khaybar, oh Jews, Muhammad's Army has begun to return. We sacrifice our souls and blood for [the cause.] To Jerusalem we go, martyrs in the millions. No Embassy of the [Zionist] entity over thy land, O Amman.Their invocation of Khaybar is, of course, a reference to Mohammed's slaughter of dozens Jews in that town in that town.
Similarly, Al Wafd reports from Egypt that the protesters there were chanting the same Khaybar chant, as well as "The house of Israel is on fire" and "The first demand of the masses is to burn the embassy and kill the ambassador." (This last chant was evidently too much for some fellow protesters, who were irritated by it, according to Al Wafd.)
So why did AP's reporters mention some chants and not the more extreme ones? Why are they whitewashing the protests to make them appear relatively tame? And why do they erase any mention of Jews in the chants?
For most of the media, truth is not as important as maintaining memes. And the memes that Arabs are only protesting things from a political and not religious perspective, and that they are only protesting against Israel and not Jews, are too strong to let some pesky facts shoot them down.