“Palestine is etched on the heart of the fetus,
a proud Martyr in his mother’s womb”
-The songs Palestinians hear on official PA radio
- “We decorated [the land] with Martyrs, souls, and blood”
- “O Palestinian, Jerusalem is your name, your land, your heartbeat, and your mother. Redeem it with your life and blood”
- “Jerusalem... our souls are the sacrifice for you”
by Nan Jacques Zilberdik
When Palestinians tune in to the official PA radio station, The Voice of Palestine, they hear songs encouraging them to seek Martyrdom-death and to sacrifice themselves for Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and “Palestine.” Catchy lyrics pass on the message that Palestinians are “not afraid of death,” and teach them that already in its mother’s womb, the fetus is “a proud Martyr” who has “Palestine etched on the heart”:
“Our Martyrs are convoys and our bones are mountains
They don’t surrender to the lowly
We aren't deterred by imprisonment
Palestine is etched on the heart of the fetus
A proud Martyr in his mother’s womb
And the Arab state will remain ours - Arab, Arab PalestineWe [hold] the rifles to our chests and our eyes are raised to you
Our homes are trenches and our souls are the sacrifice for youO Jerusalem, you will not remain stolen.”
[“The First Direction of Prayer” by Syrian singer Assala Nasri,
Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Feb. 3, 2018]
The Fatah-run TV station Awdah broadcast the music video of this song too (video above):
[Fatah-run Awdah TV, May 15, 2018]
Discussing PA media’s responsibilities, Director General of The Voice of Palestine Bassam Daghlas has stated that PA radio works diligently to “defend Jerusalem and Palestine” - in cooperation with the PA Ministry of Information:
“We are working day and night to convey the facts to the world, defend Jerusalem, and defend our Palestinian cause and Palestine. We are cooperating with the brothers in the [PA] Ministry of Information... in uniting the Palestinian voice over the radio waves, the voice of the Palestinian people."
[Official PA TV, Dec. 12, 2017]
The songs speak for themselves.
One song lauded death for “Palestine,” which has been “decorated” with “Martyrs, souls, and blood”:
“O our land, on Land Day we salute the Martyr who fell for your sake, homeland...
We decorated [the land] with Martyrs, souls, and blood... On March 30, O day of the struggle, we rebelled against Zionism and the occupation. The Martyrs’ blood flowed in you and sang a song for you... There is nothing more precious than you, O land of Palestine. By Allah, we have sacrificed the precious Martyrs for your sake.”
[Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, March 20, 2018]
In January, Palestinian Media Watch reported on a similar song played on official PA radio, which urges Palestinians to “redeem Palestine with your life and blood":
"O Palestinian, Jerusalem is your name, your land, your heartbeat, and your mother.
Redeem it with your life and blood, O [you] who raises my head in pride... O pained Palestinian, your head is lifted high with pride, the entire world hears your voice, only your resolve strengthens me... We are united, Muslims and Christians. So that Palestine will live, we must remain united."
[Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Jan. 1, 2018]
After PMW’s report, radio station Director-General Daghlas accused PMW of "waging an incitement campaign" against the station, and vowed “not to change” the station’s “message”:
“The incitement campaign that the Israeli center Palestinian Media Watch is waging against The Voice of Palestine radio station is not the first case, as it has been subject to similar attacks in the past...Our media message is clear and will not change, and if they consider playing national songs incitement, they can think what they want."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 25, 2018]
It would seem that Daghlas was true to his word. Another recent song played on The Voice of Palestine stated that our souls are the sacrifice for Jerusalem,” and that Palestinians “are not afraid of death”:
“O Jerusalem, we are growing up in you,
and our souls are the sacrifice for you.
We are your men who will defend you,
and shout loudly:
Al-Aqsa Mosque is for us
a beacon, glory, history, and culture...
Frankly, we are not afraid of death.”
[Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Feb. 21, 2018]
“The time of death has arrived,” said another song, implying that Palestinians are coming to defend Jerusalem and, if necessary, die there:
“Jerusalem, we are coming, Jerusalem, the time of death has arrived.
Jerusalem, we will not surrender to the enemies or be humiliated.
This is beloved Palestine, it has taught us what to be.”
[Song by Al-Waed Band for Islamic Art (Lebanese band),
Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, March 19, 2018]
The ultimate goal as presented in these songs is the end of Israel. One song explained that the “grave has been dug” for the “occupation,” and that “Zion will not continue for long”:
"Tell those that are acting tyrannically and arrogantly in Jerusalem and ruling:
No, the story of the Wailing [Wall] and Zion will not continue for long
The face of the occupation has already grown old, and its grave has been dug
Throw dirt on it, wretched are the grave and the buried"
[Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, March 20, 2018]
PMW has documented that PA TV uses songs and music videos to incite to murder and urge Palestinians to use violence and seek Martyrdom-death in confrontations with Israel.
The following is a longer excerpt of the interview with Director General of the official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine Bassam Daghlas:
Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on the role of radio stations in supporting the Palestinian cause, hosting Director of Broadcast Media in the PA Ministry of Information Daoud Daoud and Director General of the official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine Bassam Daghlas
Director General of the official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine Bassam Daghlas: "To the Palestinian Broadcast Council staff, colleagues, and journalists in the offices and in all of the districts - we are working day and night to convey the facts to the world, defend Jerusalem, and defend our Palestinian cause and Palestine. We are cooperating with the brothers in the [PA] Ministry of Information... in uniting the Palestinian voice over the radio waves, the voice of the Palestinian people."
Director of Broadcast Media in the PA Ministry of Information Daoud Daoud: "We can say that the Palestinian media has begun to be on a level that is competitive with the general Arab media... There is cooperation and constant coordination - and this is the secret to the success of the official media work - constant coordination between the Broadcast Council, the [official PA] television, the Ministry of Information, and the [Palestinian] Journalist's Syndicate - this cooperation and the united media body gives us a 'step up' in the Arab media.” ...
Official PA TV host: "In radio work in general, and particularly at The Voice of Palestine, there is a responsibility that we cannot forget because The Voice of Palestine radio [station] is a source for the local radio stations, and also for Arab stations and some of the foreign stations that translate the news items and convey them. Therefore, the work is 24 hours [a day]... This responsibility and this work - let's talk about The Voice of Palestine radio, this wave of broadcasts in which there was coverage for six days after the decision of the American administration [to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital]... What is the responsibility you bear in conveying this picture since you are the source for official media outlets?"
Bassam Daghlas: "[The responsibility is] difficult. We need to be precise in everything. Really, this is our duty, and the colleagues have a political awareness in the news items and in hosting the programs, and also the editors-"
Host: “...But we are talking about the significance of verifying the news items and their source.”
Bassam Daghlas: “They run news items as they were run on The Voice of Palestine. Whoever takes these news items takes them as they were on The Voice of Palestine. The Palestinian terminology is the real terminology-”
Host: "The Palestinian message-"
Bassam Daghlas:"In other words, we do not distort history, and we do not distort what is happening. We convey facts. History - it is known that the history of the Palestinian people is from the days of the Canaanites in Jerusalem. We do not falsify history as the Zionists do, we convey news items, and in light of this, Palestinian news items are taken." ...
Daoud Daoud: "The national and moral duty of our official and local media - they have clearly proven their nationalism... [They have proven] that it is their duty to defend Jerusalem." ...
Host: "No one can deny or ignore the role of the Palestinian media in supporting and defending the Palestinian cause, and particularly the objection to [US President Donald] Trump's decision that recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation state, and the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem."
[Official PA TV, Dec. 12, 2017]
US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations.
The US embassy opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar.
The song above mentioning “Land Day” refers to an annual commemoration of the general strike and demonstrations organized by Israeli Arab residents of the Galilee on March 30, 1976 to protest the Israeli government's decision to expropriate land in the Galilee for security and building purposes, which it later implemented. During the protests, demonstrators burnt tires, blocked roads, and threw rocks and firebombs. Six demonstrators were shot and killed by the Israeli army and police. Israeli Arabs and Palestinians consider Land Day a national day.