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Kids' hate speech against Jews included in PA Arafat memorial

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

"The Jews poisoned him [Arafat] and I hate them very much.
Allah will repay them what they deserve."

[Video of Palestinian girl shown at Arafat memorial,
PATV (Fatah), Nov. 10, 2009]

A televised memorial ceremony for Yasser Arafat included a video clip of Palestinian children delivering messages in honor of Arafat. It is noteworthy that even though this clip was prerecorded and edited, the organizers of the PA's official ceremony chose to include hate speech and libels that demonized Jews and glorified violence and Martyrdom.

Several of the chosen messages featured children repeating the ongoing Palestinian Authority libel that Arafat was poisoned by Jews. None of the children spoke about peace; in fact, the opposite was the case. One boy praised Arafat because he was a "fighter" who "did things through [violent] struggle," and who "did not make peace." The Martyrdom (Shahada) ideal was also selected as a message for the ceremony, with one boy quoting Arafat: "They want me dead, they want me prisoner but I say: Martyr, Martyr, Martyr!"

This children's section in the special memorial indicates the PA's success in transmitting to the next generation of Palestinian children hate libels that demonize Jews. Including these hate messages in the ceremony also shows that the PA approves of, and wants to publicize, the values of hatred, violence and Martyrdom that the children have adopted.

The following is the transcript of excerpts of the children's messages:

Ceremony host: "Blessings to Yasser Arafat, and here are messages from the children of Palestine."
Boy: "I was very, very sad when Arafat died as a Shahid (Martyr), because he was a good man and he was a fighter. He did things through struggle, he participated in the struggle and did not make peace and so on. He wanted to fight."
Boy 2: "Yasser Arafat was a very, very important president. He stood up to all the enemies and was not afraid of anyone. And anyone who approached - he managed to stop him. All the Jews and the Israelis and the people who are against us, were afraid of him. When he died, he died of poisoning."
Girl wearing pendant in the shape of Israel: "I say that he died from poisoning by the Jews. That's what I say."
Boy 3: "Arafat used to say: "They want me dead, they want me prisoner, but I say to them: Martyr! Martyr! Martyr!"
Girl 2: "He [Arafat] was our former president. He was under siege in Ramallah, and when he was under siege we were very upset. The Jews poisoned him and I hate them very much. Allah will repay them what they deserve."
Boy 4: "He [Arafat] died from poisoning by the Jews. Well, I don't know what he died from, but I know it was by the Jews."
Boy 5: "They destroyed his whole house and he was left in one room and in the end the Jews poisoned him and blamed someone else."


[PATV (Fatah), Nov. 10, 2009]

To see PMW's recent bulletin on the repeated PA libel that Israel was responsible for Arafat's death, click here.

The official memorial ceremony for Yasser Arafat was held at the Ramallah Cultural Palace on Nov. 10, 2009, the fifth anniversary of his death, and broadcast live on PATV. Speakers included Salam Fayyad (PA Prime Minister) and Nasser Al-Qidwa (Chairman of Board of Directors, Institute for Commemoration of Arafat, and former PA Foreign Minister).
Several senior PA, Fatah and PLO personnel attended, including Al-Tayeb Abd-Al-Rahim (Secretary General of the PA Presidency), Tayseer Al-Tamimi (PA Chief Justice of religious court and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law), and Fatah Central Committee members Muhammad Dahlan, Sultan Abu-Einin and Nabil Shaath.