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25 years after Oslo, PA and Fatah still don’t recognize Israel

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
25 years after Oslo, 
PA and Fatah still don't recognize Israel
Fatah: "Palestine from the [Jordan] River 
to the [Mediterranean] Sea" 
  • PA Minister of Education with map of "Palestine" that erases all of Israel
  • Fatah: Israel's coastal city Haifa is "Palestinian"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

While PA Chairman Abbas and other Palestinian leaders speak internationally about Israel as an accepted fact, it should be noted that the PA and Abbas' Fatah Movement still have not accepted the most fundamental commitment the PLO made when it signed the Oslo Accords 25 years ago: To recognize Israel's existence. Such a recognition has never happened.

The image above posted by Fatah on Facebook last week, shows a boy with a shirt in the shape and colors of the Palestinian flag, painting the following words across the PA's map of "Palestine" that includes all of Israel together with the PA areas:

"Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 20, 2018]

Behind the map are the names of different cities located both in Israel and in the PA areas, among them Israeli cities such as Acre, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva, and Haifa.

The text and image leave no room for the State of Israel in any borders.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
Sept. 23, 2018]
For more than two decades, Palestinian Media Watch has documented that neither the PA nor Fatah recognize Israel when addressing their own people. In fact, the opposite is true. Both do their utmost to convince Palestinians that all of Israel was, is, and will remain "Palestine." 

It is not surprising that Palestinians deny Israel's existence, since the message that all of Israel is "Palestine" comes from the top. The Palestinian Authority Minister of Education Sabri Saidam recently posed holding a sketch of the PA's map of "Palestine" that likewise
presents all of Israel as "Palestine" at an event with NGOs working with the education sector. "Palestine" is written on the map in Arabic and English (on left). Saidam is also Deputy Secretary of Fatah's Central Committee.

Not only is all of Israel presented as "Palestine," individual Israeli cities are said to be "Palestinian." This photo collage posted recently by Fatah is entitled "pictures from the Palestinian city of Haifa, 'the bride of the sea." [Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 6, 2018] It is another example
among thousands

Fatah posted the drawing of the boy and the map of "Palestine" erasing all of Israel together with the following photo of Abbas and a quote it attributes to him:

Text at top of picture: "Fatah Movement / Mobilization and Organization Commission"
Text in upper right corner of picture: "[PA] Ministry of Information"
Text in center of picture:
'I say to all of them that freedom will come, without any 
shadow of a doubt, and the fate of the occupation is to come to an end.
"Words of [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas]:
Either independence for the State of Palestine that will live in security and peace, or full rights that will guarantee equality for all on the historical land of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.'
President leader
Mahmoud Abbas"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 20, 2018]

Status text for both images read: "Freedom will come, without a shadow of a doubt."

The following are examples from the extensive archive of PMW reports that document the multiplicity of ways Palestinian leaders have told Palestinians that there is no such thing as "Israel": 

Click to see review of Palestinian leaders' statements about the Oslo Accords proving that
they never intended to reach peace with Israel

The following is the article in the official PA daily which included the photo above of Education Minister Saidam holding the PA map of "Palestine" that erases Israel:

"The [PA] Ministry of Education and Higher Education, represented by [PA] Minister [of Education and Fatah Central Committee Deputy Secretary] Dr. Sabri Saidam, signed three memorandums of understanding yesterday [Sept. 22, 2018] for supporting the education sector in Palestine, including two agreements with the Teacher Creativity Center, represented by its director, Rifat Al-Sabah, and a third with the Women's Studies Center, represented by its director, Sama Uweida."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 23, 2018]

Sabri Saidam also holds the following positions: Fatah Revolutionary Council Deputy Secretary, and President Mahmoud Abbas' advisor for communications and information technology

The Teacher Creativity Center is a Palestinian NGO whose mission is "to contribute to a democratic Palestinian society that upholds human rights, equality and social justice." Among other things, it notes that it is "devoted to... mutual understanding, tolerance and friendship with all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups." It is a member of Alternatives International Federation, which states that it "brings together social and political movements struggling against neoliberalism, imperialism, social injustice and war," but also engages in advocacy against Israel. Michel Warschawski, founder of its Israeli member organization, Alternative Information Center, has said "One has to unequivocally reject the very idea and existence of a Jewish state, whatever its borders." The Teacher Creativity Center receives funding from the European Union and various international organizations.

The Women's Studies Center is a Palestinian NGO that states that it is "a human rights organization that actively promotes gender equality and women's rights in Palestinian society." It engages in political activity including support of BDS and advocacy against Israel. It receives funding from the European Union and various international organizations.

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