Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Why does Palestinian media care about Mark Zuckerberg's donation to Jewish charities?

JTA reported last month:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are contributing $1.3 million to 11 Jewish groups, eJewish Philanthropy reported, citing a spokesperson for the couple. 

News of Zuckerberg and Chan’s donations comes as the couple has gradually emphasized its Jewish identity in public in recent years. Privately, Zuckerberg and Chan have also been meeting with rabbis and scholars to discuss Judaism and the Jewish community, according to eJewish Philanthropy.

Two of the grantees are national organizations: OneTable, which supports Shabbat dinners hosted by young Jews, and PJ Library, which distributes Jewish children’s books and music for free. 

But the rest primarily serve local needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Three educational institutions received funding: Contra Costa Jewish Day School in Lafayette, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Three summer camps in California, URJ Camp Newman, Camp Ramah in Northern California and Camp Tawonga, also were beneficiaries. 
For Zuckerberg, this is very little. He has given  $250 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life  and hundreds of millions to education programs. $1.3 million is pocket change for him.

It makes sense that Israeli and Jewish media would report on the Zuckerman donation to Jewish causes, even though they are small for him.

But why would Palestinian media care?

The story was picked up in Palestinian media today. I couldn't find any stories about Zuckerberg's much larger other charitable donations in Palestinian media.

The recipients of the $1.3 million are not particularly Zionist. They are not funding settlements. The donations are exclusively for helping American Jews. 

So why is this series of small donations even being reported by Palestinian news media?

It is hard to know for sure, but it seems like the story is meant to elicit negative reactions from Palestinians. The story seems to promote the idea that the Jew Zuckerberg is prioritizing charity to his fellow Jews at the expense of others, and that Jews stick together for nefarious purposes, an echo of the Elders of Zion myth.