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Abbas not truthful to Obama; denies PA incitement

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
Abbas not truthful to Obama;
denies PA incitement

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was not being honest when he said to President Obama this week that the PA was not continuing its incitement against Israel.

Responding to President Obama's demand that the PA make more progress "on incitement issues," Abbas said:

"I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we're not doing that," Abbas said. "What we care about is to live in coexistence with Israel in order to bring about the independent Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel..."
[AP, June 9, 2010]

In direct contradiction to Abbas's claim, Palestinian Media Watch documented in a report released this week that PA incitement to hatred and violence and non-recognition of Israel has continued unabated in the month since the start of the proximity talks.

For example, whereas Abbas said to President Obama that he supports "living side by side with Israel," just a few weeks ago official PA TV called for Israelis to leave Israel and "return" to Germany and Poland:

"Where are you [Israelis] from? Of course, you're from Ukraine; of course, you're from Germany, from Poland, from Russia, from Ethiopia... I ask of you, return to your original homeland!"
[PA TV (Fatah), May 4 and 7, 2010]
PA TV is owned by the Palestinian Authority and under direct control of the office of Abbas.

In addition, the PA this past month has continued to honor terrorists who have killed Israeli civilians by naming sporting events after them, a practice repeatedly condemned by the Obama administration.

These are just two examples among many in the new PMW report documenting that every condition, principle and expectation set by the US for accepting the Palestinian Authority as a partner in the peace process continues to be violated by the PA.

The following is the new report in its entirety:
(Click to view full report in PDF)

PMW Incitement Watch
The PA during the proximity talks, May 2010

by Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook
US State Department:
"After completing the first round of proximity talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, both parties are taking some steps to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to successful talks, including President Abbas's statement that he will work against incitement of any sort...”
[Washington D.C., May 9, 2010]

The start of the proximity talks in May 2010 created hope for the renewal of the Israeli – Palestinian peace process. Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas declared that the PA would fulfill its commitments, with special focus on their stopping incitement.

However, an examination of the Palestinian Authority leaders’ statements, official media, children’s programs and PA-controlled events creates a pessimistic picture: Every condition, principle and expectation set by the US and the Quartet for accepting the Palestinian Authority as a partner in the peace process continues to be violated by the Palestinian Authority in the first month of talks.

Contrasting its moderate statements to Western powers in English, with those to its own people in Arabic the Palestinian Authority, the Fatah leaders and the Abbas-controlled official PA media continue to deny Israel’s existence, deny Israel’s right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence.

The Report:
Education to deny Israel’s existence:
Official PA TV continues to teach children to envision a world in which Israel does not exist and all of Israel is instead part of the “State of Palestine.” The following lesson was on a new educational PA TV children’s program. The map used in the studio is named “Palestine” and includes all of Israel.

Host: "Show me where you've been on the map of Palestine."
Girl: "We went to the Sea of Galilee [northern Israel] and to the Dead Sea."
Boy points on map: "Jaffa, Haifa." [Israeli cities]… and Jenin and Nablus."
Host: "So you've visited many different places in Palestine, and that's very good. It's very good that we're always visiting new places in our state, Palestine." [PA TV (Fatah), May 16, 2010]
News reporting defining Israel as “Palestine” -1:
Even in sports news the Palestinian Authority official media looks for opportunities to deny Israel’s existence. PA-owned Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on the coach of an Israeli Arab football team from a city in northern Israel as follows:
"… leading the team to the second division league for the first time in the history of the city of Um El-Fahm, one of the largest Arab cities in northern occupied Palestine."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 14, 2010]

News reporting defining Israel as “Palestine” -2:
Israeli Arab Journalist Sa'id Hasanein:
"This visit [by Israeli-Arab Um El-Fahm soccer team to Hebron] is a natural action between people of the same nation… There is no difference between all the people of Palestine, and our obligation is to protect it [Palestine], from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river."
Redwan Sidr, secretary of the Al-Khalil Youth Foundation:
"We welcome our brothers [Israeli Arabs]… to the city of the Martyrs, Hebron… I also hope to see a group from Interior Palestine [i.e., Israeli Arabs] in the International Hebron Youth Tournament."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 17, 2010]

Maps denying Israel’s existence:
President Obama has called the use of maps as in the above children’s program a security threat to Israel:
“I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security... Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don't even acknowledge Israel's existence.”
[June 4, 2008, AIPAC Conference]

Yet all the maps on official PA TV since the start of the proximity talks continue the longstanding PA policy of defining all of Israel as “Palestine,” or in the words of President Obama, “don't even acknowledge Israel's existence.”

This map is one example among many that appeared this month.
It was broadcast numerous times on PA TV between May 4 - 17.

In the PA TV children’s program, “The Best House”, a music video called “We are Palestine’s children” featured pictures of map of “Palestine” including all of Israel. [PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2010]

Denying Israel’s right to exist and calling for end of Israel:
An official PA TV statement lamenting the creation of the State of Israel included the following call for the dismantling of Israel because its land is “stolen” land:
Palestinian narrator: "I'm from Jaffa, I'm from Haifa, I'm from Acre, I'm from Nazareth, I'm from Gimzu, I'm from Zakariya, I'm from Ein Kerem (West Jerusalem). [All are cities and towns in Israel.]
Where are you [Israelis] from? Where are you from?
Of course, you're from Ukraine; of course, you're from Germany, from Poland, from Russia, from Ethiopia, the Falasha (a pejorative term for Ethiopian Jews). Why have you stolen my homeland and taken my place? Please, I ask of you, return to your original homeland, so that I can return to my original homeland. This is my homeland; go back to your homeland!"
[PA TV (Fatah), May 4 and 7, 2010]

PA TV Quiz offers $500 for answering that Israeli city Haifa is a “Palestinian coastal city.”
This PA TV quiz envisioning a world without Israel was broadcast numerous times in May 2010.

PA TV quiz program. Question posed to viewers at home:
"Which of the following is a Palestinian coastal city?"
1. Ramallah
2. Bethlehem
3. Haifa
Note: The only coastal city among the possible answers is the Israeli city of Haifa.
[PA TV (Fatah), May 23- 24, 2010]

Religious war –“Ribat” - against Israel’s creation and existence since 1917

The PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, continues to define the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war – a “Ribat” - war for Islam. “Peace” as a Palestinian goal is said to take 4th place after the Palestinian “rights”, “cause” and “religion,” none of which will be compromised for peace. Moreover, he elevates the conflict with Israel in religious significance, saying the war was predetermined, being anticipated even in the Quran.

PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
"For the past 62 years the Palestinian people have suffered from two things. Since the catastrophe (i.e., the establishment of the State of Israel)– and perhaps even prior to the catastrophe, since the catastrophe, in truth, did not begin in 1948, but began perhaps in 1917 with the cursed [Balfour] Declaration, which gave a promise to those who did not deserve it… Since that date, resolute people, fighters and Ribat (religious Islamic) fighters have not ceased upon our blessed land… This conflict is explicit in the Quran and our obligation with regard to it is clarified by the Quran…
We do not oppose peace. On the contrary, we aspire to peace, but not at the expense of our rights; not at the expense of our cause, and not at the expense of our religion."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2010]

The Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, appointed by the PA, likewise defines the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war – a “Ribat” – that began with the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation.
"The Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, devoted his sermon at the Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday to the subject of the catastrophe (creation of State of Israel) of our people… The Mufti said, addressing the worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound: 'Allah has chosen you to carry out Ribat (religious war) in this blessed land… The catastrophe plants much pain in our souls, while at the same time we are planting the willpower to be resolute and the strong desire to carry out Ribat in this blessed land until Allah decides the matter… Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called to continue with resolve, firmness, patience and Ribat in this land, until all plans that aim to harm Palestinian existence in the land and in the holy place, have failed."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 22, 2010]

The official PA daily crossword puzzle presents a world without Israel.

Clue: "Palestinian city"
Solution: "Jaffa" [part of Tel Aviv]
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 20, 2010]

Hate promotion, slander, libel and demonization

PA continues to slander Israel, demonize and deny Israel’s history in the land:
"The Israeli apartheid state, possessing no cultural heritage nor any collective symbol for a society born from the womb of the Zionist and Western imperialist attack, aspires and exerts efforts to appropriate and take over symbols and elements of the Palestinian national identity.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 19, 2010]

PATV News reporter demonizes Israel and its creation:
"While the world was raising its voice to judge the Nazis and putting up gallows to hang the criminals in Nuremberg, other criminals were spreading killing, destruction and expulsion in Palestine, before the eyes of the world. This is the free world – the world that could judge the criminals [in Nuremberg], but at the same time created out of the victim a future criminal, and released its reins, under the pretext of a guilt complex – a complex stimulated and invoked only when the victim was clearly Jewish or, later, Israeli."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 16, 2010]

Animalization of Israel and Jews continues in PA cartoons.

A shark in shape of the Star of David representing Israel is eating a map that includes all of Israel yet is marked as "Palestine."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 23, 2010]

Gaza flotilla
The PA at all levels exaggerated the Gaza flotilla confrontation and used it as an excuse to demonize and promote hatred of Israel. Whereas criticism of Israeli policies is acceptable, the Palestinian Authority used this incident as a launching point for far greater and more intense hate promotion both by slandering and libeling Israel about the incident itself, and by compounding the defamation, saying that this murderous behavior was part of the Israeli behavior and personality. This will be reported on in greater detail in the June PMW Incitement Watch report.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself accused Israel of premeditated and determined killing:
Mahmoud Abbas: “The significance is that this decision was made in advance. They [Israel] wanted to create a confrontation. They did not want to allow [the ships into Gaza], but were determined from the outset to create a confrontation. They had the opportunity yesterday to relate to these people peacefully, because those who came to Gaza are civilians, peace-seeking people, who did not come to attack. They did not come with weapons or with an army. They came with humanitarian aid. Therefore, it was a decision made in advance, premeditated and with determination to kill and to create a confrontation with these people, and to take them all to ports in Israel. Israel always ignores all international norms, all international laws, all humanitarian laws. [Israel] doesn't care about anything."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 31, 2010]

Promoting and glorifying terror and violence

Honoring terrorists as children sing to future war against Israel
PA TV program "Good Morning Jerusalem" dedicated a program to honoring female terrorist prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh, who is serving 3 life sentences for transporting a suicide terrorist to Jerusalem in 2002. Her two nieces dedicated a song of war to her:

Girl 1:
"I want to recite a song for you [female prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh]:
‘What am I doing here while my enemy is on my ancestors’ land?
I want to defend, I want to fight,
I want to carry a machine gun and a rifle.’”
Girls 1 and 2:
"’And tomorrow, when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And tomorrow when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And we shall strike Israel, we shall strike Israel,
And return you [to us], land of my ancestors;
And return you [to us], land of my ancestors.'"
[PA TV (Fatah), May 28, 2010]

Glorification of terror
Ignoring the American leadership statements condemning the PA glorification of terror, the PA continues to honor terrorists by naming events after them. Worse still, Palestinian children were explicitly told that the naming of an event after the terrorist Abu Jihad is meant to make them see him as a role model:
"Yesterday evening the second Shahid (Martyr) Abu Jihad [football] tournament for children concluded at the Abu Dis [near Jerusalem] youth club; it is held annually under the auspices of Fatah...
Abu Halal (Fatah branch Secretary) spoke about the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Shahid (Martyr) commander, Khalil Al-Wazir 'Abu Jihad,' and about his journey of struggle. He reminded our children that we shall follow the same path of Abu Jihad and Yasser Arafat."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2010]

Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir) - A founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. Headed the PLO terror organization’s military wing. Planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks, including the most lethal in Israeli history, the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.

Football tournament named after terrorist Abdallah Daoud:

Headline: "Shahid (Martyr) [Abdallah Daoud] Abu Al-Qassam [football] tournament for security services teams begins on Friday"
"The lottery for the football tournament named after the Shahid (Martyr) Abdallah Daoud Abu Al-Qassam, was held yesterday at the joint operations headquarters in the Bethlehem district. Participating in the tournament are teams representing the security services in the Bethlehem district..."
[Al-Ayyam, May 17, 2010]

Abdallah Daoud - Responsible for many terror attacks. Was one of the terrorists who stormed the Church of the Nativity in 2002, continuing to fight against Israel for several weeks while using the monks and the religious site as shields.

Football team named after terrorist Majed Abu Sharar:
A report on the Shahid Faisal Al-Husseini football festival, held in Rafiah, mentions the "Martyr Majed Abu Sharar" team:
"The tournament trophy finals were held between the Al-Zarnuka team and the Martyr Majed Abu Sharar team."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2010]
Majed Abu Sharar – A senior Fatah and PLO terror leader in 1970s.

Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and former PA senior official, Jibril Rajoub, likewise glorified terror, comparing the value of “throwing a hand grenade” to “building a school.”

"Building a school and throwing a hand grenade, in my opinion, are resistance. I build the school in order to strengthen the reasons for my people's resolve, as one of several aspects of the resistance, and when there is a need to throw a grenade [or launch] a rocket, I'll do that as well out of my belief in the inevitable victory of my cause and its justness."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 12, 2010]

Honoring terrorist Dalal Mughrabi’s bus hijacking in which 37 were killed:
Jamil Dweik, Chairman of the Al-Razi Institute for Culture and Society:
"The month of March, on the Palestinian calendar, is a very important month, full of events. Its events are likewise important, starting with International Women's Day; via Palestinian Women's Day – the anniversary of the Martyr death of Dalal Mughrabi; Culture Day on March 13, and then the anniversary of the Battle of Karameh..."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 17, 2010]
Dalal Mughrabi - Led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children.

Cessation of terror is temporary
In addition to this ongoing terror glorification the PA has repeatedly engaged in apologetics to its population for having acquiesced to the US demand to cease terror at this time during the talks. Twice in two days, senior PA and Fatah leader, Nabil Shaath, made speeches using apologetic language to justify the cessation of violence, which he stressed was because of current conditions. Excuses for cessation of the “armed struggle” that Shaath mentioned included: “At the present time is not possible, or is not effective,” “has become undesirable now,” “international conditions do not permit us,” “the inability to engage in the armed struggle.”

"MP Dr. Nabil Shaath, member Fatah Central Committee and Commissioner of Foreign Relations… emphasized that the Fatah's stated strategy for the struggle is to adopt the growing popular and 'non-violent' struggle against Israel, because of the inability to engage in the armed struggle, which has become undesirable now, although it is the right of the Palestinian people, which all international treaties and resolutions have guaranteed… Shaath said: 'I have said this to the leaders of Hamas, I have said to [Hamas PM] Ismail Haniyeh during my meeting with him in Gaza, that Arab, regional and to engage in the armed struggle… Shaath emphasized that the non-violent struggle is no less honorable than the armed struggle, and that it does not signify submission to Israeli demands."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2010]

Dr. Nabil Shaath, Fatah Commissioner of Foreign Relations:
“The current distancing from the armed struggle does not mean its absolute rejection… He noted that the difficulty of the conflict required the Palestinian people to diversify its activities of struggle – along with an emphasis on the importance of the armed struggle, which laid the basis for the existence of the state and contributed to maintaining the right and presenting it to the world – especially since the armed struggle at the present time is not possible, or is not effective, because of to the difficulties with which the Palestinian people contends."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 21, 2010]

Editorials in the official PA daily repeat this excuse for cessation of terror
"I have no doubt that the occupation is destined to pass from the world… I also have no doubt that out of the options for the national struggle to be rid of the occupation, the popular struggle is the one that is needed, since the option of the armed struggle is impossible at the present time."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 24, 2010]

Fatah leader Abbas Zaki, member Fatah Central Committee, justifies violence:
"Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, does not believe that a Palestinian-Israeli agreement will be achieved in the shadow of the extreme right-wing [Israeli] government, but he leaves the door open to a 'return to [UN] Resolution 181 and to all forms of the struggle, including the armed struggle, if the negotiations fail… the door is open to a return to the UN, such that Resolutions 242 and 338 will no longer have any value, and there will be a return to Resolution 181 [of November 29, 1947], which is the Partition Plan and the birth certificate of the State of Israel and of the Palestinian State. In addition, [there will be] a return to UN Resolution 3236, which grants the Palestinian people the right to all forms of the struggle, including the armed struggle…’
He called for "a gathering that will bring together the Fatah and Hamas leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas' … and added: 'We are in favor of anyone who defends the homeland and bears arms in order to defend it, because he supports the idea of Fatah and of the resistance. Likewise, we stand with anyone who comes out against the Zionist lobby and isolates Israel and puts it in a corner.'”
[Al-Rad (Jordan), May 22, 2010]

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Ops, on April 23, 2009:
“We will only work with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet's principles:
a commitment to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map.” [“Phase I of Road Map: “All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”]

Examining the Palestinian Authority leaders’ statements, its education of youth, and its controlled media, it is clear that the Palestinian Authority has not complied with the conditions indicated by the Secretary of State nor has it fulfilled its commitment to “work against incitement of any sort.”

In the first month since the start of the proximity talks, not only hasn’t the PA “unambiguously and explicitly” accepted these conditions, but they have done the opposite; the Palestinian Authority has “unambiguously and explicitly” denied Israel’s existence, incited to hatred, and glorified terror and violence.