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Satellite hatred

Sosun Sendi and Inor Dqle  |
Propaganda - non-recognition of Israel's right to exist, demonization of Jews and glorification of terror - is part of the daily news coverage from Palestinian television stations, as viewable in Europe.

Friday, 28 May on PA TV: A spot dedicated to Sanaa Shehadeh, who has been sentenced to triple life imprisonment in Israel for having helped a suicide bomber enter Jerusalem.

With a shy but proud smile, Sanaa Shehadeh's niece reads a poem to her aunt.

“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.
"And tomorrow, when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And we shall strike Israel."
This Palestinian program could also be viewed in Denmark.

There are no accurate records of how many viewers PA TV has in Denmark, but a massive presence of satellite dishes is apparent in such neighborhoods as Vollsmose in Odense, Gellerupparken in Århus, and Mjølnerparken in Copenhagen.

These areas are also characterized by a high proportion of residents with a different ethnic origin than Danish, and people of Palestinian background say that they regularly watch the Hamas-controlled TV station, Al Aqsa TV, and PA TV, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority's President, Mahmoud Abbas.

Maher El-Khatib, Coordinator of the Palestinian Network in Denmark, watches these channels once in a while, depending on developments in the Middle East situation.

He does not think that the programs incite to hatred or violence.

"I do not think that they should be banned, since I am in favor of freedom of expression, even though I am not a Hamas supporter,” says Maher El-Khatib.

He stresses that the channels should be banned if they actually broadcast calls for violence.

“Slaughter Jews”

The Israeli organization Palestinian Media Watch keeps a constant eye on the Palestinian media and monitors specific programs aimed at children.

“There is, for example, a children’s program, Tomorrow's Pioneers, on Al-Aqsa TV, where the host Saraa and the bear Nassur repeatedly call to ‘slaughter the Jews’ and talk about how Palestinian children must liberate the ‘occupied Palestinian cities’, after which they mention Israeli cities such as Haifa, Acre and Jaffa,” says Nan Jacques, spokeswoman for the Palestinian Media Watch.

She believes that PA TV, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, in fact features just as much anti-Semitic content as Al-Aqsa TV.

“The Palestinian Authority and ruling party, Fatah, is not preparing the Palestinian people for living in peace with Israel,” says Nan Jacques.


Clips from the Palestinian TV stations PA TV and Al-Aqsa TV:

PA TV, August 11, 2010: A summer camp in Syria is named after Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 caused the deaths 37 civilians. The Palestinian children have been equipped with t-shirts with Mughrabi’s face printed on them.

PA TV, July 8, 2010: A boy talks about his participation in a conference organized by the ruling party Fatah. The boy explains that he enjoyed the conference, and that he looks forward to future conferences, so he can learn how to carry out violent resistance against the arch enemy, Israel.

PA TV, March 8, 2010: A speech delivered on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the ruling party Fatah. In the speech, female “Martyrs” are admired and glorified. Mention is made, inter alia, of a prominent member of the PFLP, Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, who in 1968 blew up an Israeli bus. [Jyllandsposten (Denmark), Aug. 19, 2010]