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PMW op-ed: Why is the West funding Mahmoud Abbas' hate TV?

Itamar Marcus  |

Would you sign a check for $120 million and hand it over to a former terrorist without carefully supervising what he was doing with your money? That's exactly what Norway, chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that co-ordinates international funding to the Palestinian Authority, is doing with its taxpayers' money.

In response to extensive documentation by Palestinian Media Watch about the hate promotion on official Palestinian Authority-Fatah TV, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre recently made a series of statements defending PA TV that indicate he is totally ignorant of its content. Then, to put his money where his misinformed mouth is, he wrote another check for 85 million kroner to the PA under Mahmoud Abbas, whose office controls PA TV.

The Norwegian foreign minister is certainly not evil. Neither are other Europeans. Neither are the Americans, whose recent agreement to give the PA an additional $150 million puts their 2008 aid to the PA at more than $700 million - more than the US pledged at a donors' conference in December 2007.

But these countries throw money at Abbas's feet with such infatuation you'd think he was a clone of Mother Teresa. Unfortunately, if his messages to Palestinian children are any indicator, Abbas seems far more like the clone of his predecessor, the terror lord Yasser Arafat, than a peacemaker.

Defending his Abbas spending spree, Støre said: "This [PA-Fatah TV] channel cannot be said to engage in indoctrination of children or denying Israel's right to exist..." and he added his objection to TV being used for "spreading hate or inciting terrorism," which he indicated is not being done by PA TV.

UNFORTUNATELY he is completely wrong. During the 11 years of PMW's existence, there has never been a period of such intense demonization of Israel, continuous hate promotion and denial of Israel's existence by the PA (Fatah)-controlled media as during the 11 months since the Annapolis Conference.

Jews and Israelis are being demonized by the PA through malicious libels - including the lies that Israel intentionally spreads AIDS and drugs among Palestinians, conducts Nazi-like medical experiments on Palestinian prisoners, took Palestinian babies in 1948 to bring up as Jews and is planning to destroy the Aqsa Mosque. A PA TV "historical" documentary featured hateful fabrications, including videos of dead bodies filmed in Lebanon in 1982 that PA TV falsely presented as evidence of a so-called Israeli "massacre" in 1948. Israel is even said to be breeding supernatural rats to chase Arabs who live in Jerusalem.

As far as recognizing Israel, Abbas's TV is no different than Hamas TV - unequivocally denying Israel's existence and right to exist. Note these recent TV examples in which young Palestinian children were given scripts repeating that Israel from Metulla to Eilat is "occupied Palestine," eventually to be "returned."

Child: "My name is Hiyam and I'm from occupied Safad."

Child: "My name is Raad and I'm from occupied Acre."

Child: "My name is Arhaf from occupied Haifa. I hope that Palestine will return and that we will defend it."

Following this staged segment, a child called in and said: "I'm from Be'er Sheva." The PA TV host quickly corrected: "From the occupied Be'er Sheva... of course, from the occupied Negev. We bless all our children of the Negev and I'm very happy that our children from the occupied areas in Palestine are calling, those [areas] which Israel occupies."

Question on a children's TV quiz: Child host: "List Palestinian ports." (Correct answer): "The Haifa port, Jaffa, Ashkelon, Eilat, Ashdod and Gaza."

Child host: "What is the size of the state of Palestine?"

Haidar: "27,000 sq. km."

Host: "Correct ."

Judea and Samaria - called the West Bank - and the Gaza Strip reach only 6,000 sq. km. The only way to reach an area of 27,000 sq. km. is to include pre-1967 Israel, thereby creating a "state of Palestine" that is in place of Israel.

These are but a few of endless examples of indoctrination.

THE WORLD was incensed when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced his vision of a world without Israel, and there were calls to put him on trial. Yet when Abbas's TV teaches Palestinian children the identical vision of a world without Israel, Western countries run for their checkbooks to keep funding him.

The PA openly glorifies terrorists - even those who have murdered since Annapolis. The suicide terrorist in Dimona, the killer of the eight Jerusalem yeshiva students, arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh and others were all glorified as Palestinian shahids - holy martyrs - in official PA newspapers and television in 2008.

PA TV has produce a systematic musical hate culture. PA TV has been broadcasting a music video for over a year with a repeating message to Israel: "My enemy, my enemy... a snake, coiled around the land... you have no choice, Oh enemy, but to leave my country."

The PA leadership also embraces and openly proclaims the Arafat ideology to destroy Israel in stages. In one recent PA TV interview, a Fatah MP said: "It doesn't mean that we don't want the 1948 borders [i.e. destroy Israel], but in our current political program, we say we want a state on the 1967 borders."

After I presented this material in a lecture in the Norwegian parliament last week, Siv Jenson, the president of the Progress Party, stood up and announced publicly that should her party win the next elections (and it leads in the polls), it would cut off all funding to the PA.

However, the problem is too urgent to wait. Norway's current government, as chair of the committee that co-ordinates international funding, has a moral obligation not only to immediately cease funding the PA hate machine, but to recommend that the entire international donors' group cease funding the Palestinian Authority, and make renewed funding conditional on the rewriting of PA schoolbooks and a change in the PA worldview.

AS LONG as PA leaders see the current process as a stage toward the destruction of Israel, the PA is not worthy of any financial support. The onus is on the PA to prove that it's promoting peace to its own people in Arabic - not just talking peace in English when the cameras are rolling.

Let the world not forget that it was the Palestinian Authority hate machine, funded by the West from 1994 to 2000, that led to the longest systematic terror war in history. At the helm were Yasser Arafat and his close confidant, Mahmoud Abbas. Has Abbas changed since then? While his English voice is peaceful, his voice through his Arabic media is more venomous and hateful than ever.

It is time that the Western funders of the PA be held morally, legally and financially responsible for the terror crimes of the PA, just as the funders of Hamas are being held financially responsible to Hamas terror victims in courts around the world. They are guilty of criminal negligence, and thus are morally responsible for the war and terror yet to be carried out by this generation of PA children, being raised and indoctrinated to hate with US and European money.

I was asked by a journalist after my presentation in Parliament if I thought it was right for Norway to interfere with Palestinian freedom of expression. My answer is very straightforward: The Palestinians have the inalienable right to indoctrinate their kids to blind evil and hate, but Norway and the West have the moral obligation to stop paying for it.