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Watchdog group: Palestinian incitement still a problem

Palestinian incitement to violence is down, but its anti-Israel message of hate can still be strongly heard, according to Itamar Marcus, whose watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch monitors anti-Israeli and Jewish messages in the Arab media.
Marcus told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that while Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was technically correct in his statement Monday that Palestinian incitement is down, the problem still exists.
In the years 1996-2000, the Palestinians primarily taught hate, but not violence. It is that hatred that laid the groundwork for the violence, Marcus said.
On Wednesday, Marcus spoke in Brussels to a group of about 40 European Union parliamentarians about the anti-Semitic culture of hate that he believes continues to pervade Palestinian media and society in spite of Israeli television images showing Palestinians wiping anti-Israeli graffiti off city walls in Gaza.
During their graduation ceremony Palestinian high school seniors in a Gaza high school this week listened to the words of the song, “With words and with a rifle we will sing … from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
The call to violence is still there, even if it is not as strong, Marcus said.
Marcus told the European Union parliamentarians that the Palestinian anti-Israeli ideology, outside of violence, can be divided into two messages.
The first emphasizes the lack of connection between the Jewish people and the land coupled with the belief that it is the Palestinians who are truly connected to the land.
Only a few days ago, a Palestinian educational film opened with a film showing a map of all of Israel from Metulla to Eilat that was defined as Palestine, Marcus said.
In the program, according to Marcus, it was said, that “Palestine is the heart of the Arab nation, if it does not remain whole the whole of the Arab nation will be weak.”
The second message is that Jews are cold-blooded murders.
This theme continues in music videos and commercials, Marcus said.
Marcus described one music video, Emi, in which a mother runs down the stairs to greet her daughter who is returning home from school with flowers and candy.
The mother is killed by an Israeli soldier and in the next scene the girl is seen putting the flowers on her mother’s grave and singing about how much she misses her, Marcus said.
Marcus was invited to speak to the EU politicians by German parliamentarian Ilka Schroder, who is calling on the EU to stop its support of the Palestinian Authority.
Known as a leftist politician, Schroder is unique in that she is also pro-Israel.
For over a year she has worked against the Palestinian Authority misuse of European funds and its use of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.
“The growth of anti-Semitism in the Palestinian territories in the last few years is not an accidental phenomena,” Schroder said.
“It is the result of a political strategy by the PA to mobilize people for an anti-Semitic war. Listening to the hate-speeches of Palestinian officials, their affirmations of their willingness to peace sound merely hypocritical. You cannot build a stable peace on the foundation of hate and anti-Semitism.”