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PA presents the PLO Charter as currently calling for Israel's destruction

Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

PA TV filler cites the PLO Charter presenting the destruction of Israel
as “self – defense” and hides that it was supposed to have been amended

  • The 1964 PLO Charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

  • A PA TV educational filler presents sections of the Charter calling for Israel's destruction, saying Israel exists on Palestinian “stolen homeland,” and that fighting to destroy Israel is “necessitated by self-defense.”

  •  It makes no mention of the Oslo Accords or the ensuing major changes that should have been made to the Charter, that contradict all the clauses the filler presents.   

  • The current actions and ideology of the PA regularly reflect those provisions of the PLO Charter that PA TV chose to highlight.

As part of a TV series entitled “Lexicon of the Revolution” official PA TV broadcast a filler about the 1964 Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

While presenting the historical overview of the Charter, the PA chose to cite the Charter’s declarations denying Israel's right to exist and the PLO’s goal of destroying Israel, even claiming that it is supported by the UN. For example:

“The Palestinian Arab people is the one with the legitimate right to its homeland”

“The 16th clause [of the Charter] states that the liberation of Palestine, from an international perspective, is a defensive operation necessitated by self-defense, as determined by the UN Charter.”

[Official PA TV, Aug. 10, 2018; March 6 (twice) 2021]

This second message is stated both by the narrator and reinforced by a slide on the screen.

Text: "Clause 16 states that the liberation of Palestine, from an international perspective, is a defensive operation necessitated by self-defense, as determined by the UN Charter” alongside the old Fatah logo that includes crossed rifles and the map of “Palestine” that includes all of Israel, together with this text: "Al-Asifa – the Palestinian National Liberation Movement"

What was left out of the PA TV broadcast is just as significant as what was included. Most specifically, there is no reference to the fact that the PA obligated itself to cancel all the clauses of the PLO Charter calling for Israel's destruction, under the terms of the Oslo Accords.

The narrator’s introductory explanation likewise denies Israel's right to exist – saying Israel exists on Arab “stolen homeland” and therefore “returning it” is an act of “self-defense”:

“The Charter… is based on the right to self-defense and to the return of the stolen homeland in its entirety; and it is a right that the international conventions and norms confirm.”

To eliminate all doubt that all of Israel is defined as the “stolen homeland,” the accompanying map depicts the Middle East without Israel and all of Israel as “Palestine”:

Text underneath the map: "It is a right that the international conventions and norms confirm"

Other points stressed in the PA educational item:

"The clauses of the National Charter include a number of issues: The first clause states that: Palestine is an Arab land and is connected with a national connection to the other Arab lands, which together with it form the great Arab homeland, and that the Palestinian Arab people is the one with the legitimate right to its homeland, and it is an inseparable part of the Arab nation… The other clauses deal with the Palestinian identity… and the importance of the Palestinian cause for Arab existence.”

While the program makes a point of mentioning that amendments were made to the Charter in 1968, it ignores the fact that other amendments were to have been instituted following the signing of the Oslo Accords and that those amendments were to cancel all the clauses denying Israel’s right to exist, including the ones cited in this TV program.

In a letter accompanying the 1993 Declaration of Principles addressed to then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat wrote:

“[T]he PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.”

The September 1995 Interim Agreement between Israel and the PLO, reiterated the PLO obligation to change its charter:

“The PLO undertakes that, within two months of the date of the inauguration of the Council, the Palestinian National Council will convene and formally approve the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant, as undertaken in the letters signed by the Chairman of the PLO and addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel, dated September 9, 1993 and May 4, 1994.” [Article XXXI(9)]

PA TV hiding from its viewers that the PLO was to have canceled those sections denying Israel’s right to exist and calling for Israel’s destruction is consistent with current PA messaging to its people that include the same ideology found in the original PLO charter:

  • Hundreds of PA maps, including those that appear in all PA schoolbooks, still depict all of Israel as “Palestine”.

  • Israeli cities are still referred to as “Palestinian”.

  • Leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 2017, the PA conducted an entire campaign in which they referred to the declaration as “illegal” and even demanded an apology from the UK.

  • The PA and its representatives still reject the notion of a Jewish nation and still argue that Israel and Zionism are responsible for all the instability of the Middle East and the world.

  • The PA still advocates for the continuation of the “armed struggle” when politically expedient, and sees all terrorists who murders Israelis even today as “heroes” deserving of the generous financial rewards paid to them, by law, by the PA.

  • PA continues today to glorify, honor and reward terrorists who murder Israelis, claiming that they have a legitimate international right to fight and kill Israelis, the same claim that was made in the original PLO charter.

Finally, it should be noted that the PLO website still today presents the full PLO Charter with all the provisions denying Israel’s right to exist, including:

Article 19: “The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal,”

Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.

It includes the call for Israel’s destruction through terror:

Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.

Article 10: Commando action (i.e., PA euphemisms for terror) constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war.

Article 21: The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine.

Significantly, the PLO website still includes the viciously antisemitic clause from the PLO Charter presenting the Jewish state as a threat to all humanity:

Article 22: Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity, and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.

Only after presenting all this hate speech does the PLO website mention that articles 9, 10, 19, 20, 21 and 22 were canceled in 1998 and that others were amended, without specifying which ones and without presenting an alternate text.

However as mentioned, in the overview of the PLO Charter currently being broadcast on PA TV, the clauses denying Israel’s right to exist and calling for Israel’s destruction are presented, while the fact that they were “canceled” is hidden from the viewers. As PMW has shown, denying Israel’s right to exist, unequivocal support for terror, and calls for Israel’s destruction are part of the ongoing PA messages to its people. In all likelihood, the fact that PA TV does not mention that clauses calling for Israel’s destruction in the PLO charter were canceled, was intentional.