Whitewashing PA terror promotion in the UN Security Council
In his quarterly update to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding the implementation of infamous UNSC resolution 2334, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) Tor Wennesland went out of his way to distort reality, whitewash the Palestinian Authority’s multi-million dollar terror promoting “Pay-for-Slay” policy and ignore PA incitement to violence and terror. In doing so, the UN once again proved its bias against Israel and its acceptance of Palestinian terror targeting Jews.
During his update, Wennesland gave a general overview of every potential - real or alleged - breach of UNSC 2334 allegedly committed by Israel or Jewish Israelis (referred to by Wennesland collectively as “settlers”). However, when it came to the active participation of the PA in inciting, promoting, and rewarding terror, suddenly Wennesland remained completely silent!
Whitewashing the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy
Since the PA was created, it has spent billions of dollars paying monthly salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists and allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists. These payments are collectively know as the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy.
The PA terror reward payments are a direct incentive for Palestinians to participate in terror. The 2018 US Taylor Force Act described the payments as an “incentive to commit acts of terror.” The goal of the Israeli law, also passed in 2018, is to reduce “terror activity and to cancel the financial incentive for terror activity.”
While the PA payments clearly breach numerus UNSC resolutions that deal with the international war on terror and even UNSC 2334, when addressing the payments Wennesland merely noted that “Israelis and Palestinians should urgently resolve the impasse over the prisoner payments,” not condemning it with even one word.
By minimizing the multi-billion dollar PA terror reward policy to mere “impasse over the prisoner payments,” Wennesland failed to convey to the world the true nature of the PA’s terror funding policy.
The PA terror rewards are far from being mere “prisoner payments.” Rather they are financial incentives and rewards for terror against Israel. The recipients of the payments include hundreds of murderers responsible for the deaths of thousands of Israeli civilians. As a direct result of these payments, the US, Australia, Holland, Canada, and others have stopped providing the PA with direct aid. Israel deducts the amount spent by the PA from the taxes it gives to the PA.
But Israel is not responsible for the financial difficulties of the PA. In order to reopen the doors to renewed aid and the taxes deducted by Israel (cumulatively, hundreds of millions of shekels/dollars/euro per year), all the PA has to do is stop squandering its money paying rewards for terror.
Whitewashing and diminishing the true nature of the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy and referring to Israel’s refusal to fund it as an “impasse” does not and will not promote peace. It does however demonstrate the bias of the UNSCO against Israel, even on subjects like terror financing, which usually enjoy wide consensus.
Were UNSCO interested in promoting peace it would have condemned the PA’s rewarding terror, urged the PA to stop the program and use the money for its law-abiding citizens, and not ask Israel to participate in “resolving the impasse.”
Ignoring the constant PA incitement
When it came to addressing the call of UNSC 2334 for the parties to refrain from “acts of provocation, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric,” Wennesland merely cited two examples, one from an Israeli Member of Parliament and the other from a senior Hamas official. The impression given, obviously, is that PA officials and other Palestinian leaders and groups are not involved in the constant incitement. Clearly, while relying on sundry reports about Israeli wrong-doing, Wennesland chose to positively ignore the materials regularly exposed by Palestinian Media Watch that document the PA’s incitement.
The following are just some of the examples ignored by Wennesland:
PA Support for Terror
If the UN has not understood it by now, the PA’s Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh spelled it out yet again: The PA will never stop paying salaries to terrorists: “From our perspective, the prisoners are the heart of the Palestinian national movement throughout history… The US is punishing us, and Israel is punishing us because we are taking care of the prisoners’ affairs. As President Abbas says: “Even if we are left with one penny, we will take care of them.” These people are our children and we will protect them like we protect every central element of the Palestinian public.” The PA also regularly ensures the Palestinian public that under all circumstances the financial rewards for terror will continue. Official PA TV broadcast a filler praising PA Chairman Abbas for various achievements over 40 times. (September 30, 2021)
On September 13, two Palestinian terrorists carried out stabbing attacks against Israelis. One used a kitchen knife to stab and wound two Israeli teenagers in central Jerusalem, while another attempted to stab Israeli soldiers with a screwdriver at the Gush Etzion junction. A few days earlier, another terrorist used a knife to try and stab an Israeli security officer in the Old City of Jerusalem. All three attacks followed the call by Abbas’ Fatah Movement for “an urgent popular uprising in all the Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps.” The movement issued the call following the recent escape of the six terrorists from prison. The official PA daily found this message so important that it printed it two days in a row. (September 14, 2021)
Senior Fatah official Munir Al-Jaghoub celebrated the escape of six terrorists from Gilboa Prison in Israel as “heroes” with a post he published on his Facebook page and Twitter account: “Great freedom, the dream of freedom, and striving for it are the prisoners’ dream. This is a true challenge to the Israeli security system that boasts of being the best in the world. Gilboa Prison is the most complicated prison in their security system, but 6 heroes succeeded in breaking this system of the occupation. Blessings to you, O heroes, and may God keep the eyes of the [Israeli] agents and plants away from you. And this occupation has one end – to pass.” (September 6, 2021)
When six Palestinian terrorists escaped from an Israeli prison on September 6, senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki was quick to reiterate PA ideology when it comes to Palestinian prisoners. In two separate interviews, Zaki stated that it is PA policy to “honor” anyone who fights Israel - the enemy - including those using the “armed struggle,” and that imprisoned terrorists are “our elite and most favored people” and deserve salaries. (September 27, 2021)
The escape of six Palestinian terrorists from an Israeli prison on September 6 was cause for great celebration in the PA, and the PA utilized the escape to reinforce what Palestinian children are taught daily: That terrorists and murderers of Israelis are heroes. The images and texts published by PA schools, Abbas’ Fatah Movement, and the official PA daily, show that Palestinian school kids are being taught to honor all terrorists, with a focus on the escapees (who were all recaptured within two weeks). Children were also taught to praise the escaped terrorists as “lofty lions” who “let the enemy taste from the bitter cup.” (September 26, 2021)
There’s no way of knowing, but one thing is certain: Expressing joy over a Palestinian child dying in terror attacks and violent confrontations with Israel is what the PA expects and demands of its people. One of the ways the PA promotes this is by broadcasting parents’ statements repeatedly in official PA media. PMW has been exposing this since the beginning of the PA terror campaign, the Second Intifada, in October 2000. The PA’s practice of promoting child Martyrdom and pressuring parents to support it continues until today. (September 22, 2021)
On September 5, 1972, at the Munich Olympics, Palestinian terrorists from Fatah’s Black September terror organization took Israeli athletes hostage and murdered 11 of them. This murderous terror attack—“the heroic operation” in Palestinian terminology—is marked and celebrated every year in the PA as documented by PMW, so too this year. Openly attributing the massacre to “the Fatah Movement’s foreign special operations branch,” Fatah called it “a heroic history written in blood by Fatah’s self-sacrificing fighters.” It is important to note that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is head of Fatah. (September 19, 2021)
In a massive show of force, armed gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades recently held “a military exercise” in the streets of the Palestinian city of Jenin. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is designated as a terror organization by Israel, the US, Canada, the European Union, and others. The demonstration of force by the terrorists raises a number of questions about why the international community in general, and the US in particular, have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to establish and build the PA Security Forces, which are meant to be fighting terror. Where were the PA Security Forces during this show of force? How can they let an internationally designated terror organization openly conduct a “military exercise” in broad daylight in the middle of a Palestinian city? (September 2, 2021)
August 9, 2021, marked 20 years since the attack on the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were murdered, including 5 members of one family, and 130 people were injured. As a reward for carrying out the attack, the PA pays a total of $8,000 each month to the imprisoned terrorists and the families of the dead terrorists who were involved in the attack—a cumulative sum of $1,183,257 over the past 20 years. The monthly PA salary payments to the imprisoned terrorists are not just a whim. They are codified in the PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners, No. 19 of 2004, and regulations promulgated pursuant to the law. In addition to the issue of payments, section 4 of the Law of Prisoners stipulates that the PA will not sign a peace agreement "without the release of all prisoners", including terrorists responsible for killing thousands of people. (August 8, 2021)
One short post on the Facebook page of the PA-funded PLO Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs has managed to encapsulate two fundamental PA principles: 1) terrorist prisoners are “heroes” and 2) the State of Israel is “occupied territory.” The post featured photographs of the head of the Commission Qadri Abu Bakr meeting with released terrorist Rushdi Abu Mukh who took part in the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier in 1986. The post called Abu Mukh a “hero” and said that he is “a resident of Baqa Al-Gharbiya that is in the occupied Interior.” Actually, Baqa Al-Garbiya is an Israeli city within the 1949 armistice lines (aka green line), and Abu Mukh is an Israeli citizen. In other words, in the eyes of the PA all of Israel is “occupied.” (August 17, 2021)
Past murderers continue to be hailed as “heroes” by the PA to this day. Palestinian terrorist Abd Al-Basset Odeh murdered 30 Israelis during the “Passover Massacre” in 2002 - one of the most lethal terror attacks in Israel’s history - and is still being celebrated by the PA as a true “hero.” Likewise, the PA continues to celebrate the three Palestinian terrorists who murdered Irena Zarankin and her two children, ages 5 and 10, in her Nahariya home in 1974. This year, the PA marked the anniversary of the attack and praised the murderers as “the heroes of the Nahariya operation.” (August 10, 2021)
A youth camp organized by Fatah’s Shabiba high school committees featured a display with photos of numerous arch-terrorists, including Abu Jihad, who planned attacks in which at least 125 were murdered, and mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi, who led the murder of 37, including 12 children, in 1978. According to official PA TV: “The camp was established to find a place for extracurricular activities and to teach the participants the principles of affiliation, discipline, coexistence among themselves, and to familiarize them with the missions of the [PA] Security [Force] members.” (August 5, 2021)
At least two summer camps organized by the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports this year were named after the female terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi who led the murder of 37 civilians, among them 12 children, in 1978. As PMW has exposed for years, murderer Mughrabi is one of the primary role models in Palestinian society, heavily promoted by the PA, particularly to youth. In addition to summer camps, the PA has named schools and sporting events after Mughrabi. (August 30, 2021)
To strengthen support for the PA and its increasingly unpopular chairman Abbas, official PA TV has broadcast repeatedly from Fatah rallies in support of the PA. The rallies are taking place throughout the PA areas, and it has become PA TV policy to add terror-promoting songs to the PA TV broadcasts. PMW has exposed other efforts by official PA TV to promote violence and terror via songs. In its quiz program Tune of the Homeland, PA TV more often than not includes songs that romanticize, underline, and even promote the “armed struggle” and the use of violence and terror against Israel. (August 3, 2021)
When broadcasting footage from a Fatah rally in Ramallah in support of the PA, official PA TV added terror-promoting background music to video footage of thousands of demonstrators waving yellow Fatah flags. The song encourages violence and terror and praises as “victorious” and “mighty” the hands that “blow up” tanks and planes. That official PA TV added such a song to a pro-PA rally is not surprising. For over two decades, PMW has documented that the PA uses music videos, among other things, to support and encourage violence. (July 15, 2021)
A student faction at a PA university arranged a visit to honor the family of imprisoned terrorist Muntasir Shalabi who shot and murdered 19-year-old Israeli student Yehuda Gueta and wounded two other young students in a drive-by shooting attack near Ariel on May 2, 2021. That Palestinian students arrange a visit to the family of a murderer, someone they call a “heroic prisoner,” is not surprising. As PMW has exposed countless times, the PA has taught Palestinians—including children—for decades that murderers of Israelis are admirable “heroes” and role models. The students of the Islamic Faction at Birzeit University are merely doing as they have been taught since childhood by the PA. (July 29, 2021)
Praising the decision of Ben and Jerry’s to halt ice cream sales in the area the company referred to as “occupied Palestinian territory,” PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said the move was “testament that moral values should always prevail.” Shtayyeh conveniently left out the fact that the body he controls—the PA—literally spends hundreds of millions of shekels/dollars every year paying cash rewards to terrorists, including murderers. While Shtayyeh’s depraved “moral values” allow him to reward murderers, apparently truth and the rejection of terror are not important “values” for Ben and Jerry’s. (July 28, 2021)
In a Fatah summer camp, Palestinian children are being taught that arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, and ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein are role models. A video posted by Fatah shows kids holding pictures of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat standing with former Iraqi President and dictator Saddam Hussein, while another child is holding a picture of Arafat and Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin. The images are accompanied by the text: “We do not forget to remind our children of those who brought us glory.” The “glory” that Yassin brought to Palestinians is the deaths of hundreds of Israelis from Hamas terror. The “glory” brought to Palestinians by Saddam Hussein are the dozens of missiles fired at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities during the Gulf War. (July 13, 2021)
PA incitement of hatred and inflammatory rhetoric
The PA customarily blames Israel for its own shortcomings. While there are almost 70,000 personnel in the PA Security Forces, it would seem that they don't spend time gathering the numerous illegal weapons, including machine guns, held by Palestinians. When these weapons are used for terror, the PA is silent. But when they are used for internal Palestinian conflicts, the PA reverts to its constant fallback position: Blame Israel! Encouraged by a PA TV interviewer, PA Security Forces Spokesman and General Commissioner of the PLO Political and National Guidance Authority Talal Dweikat recently blamed Israel for internal Palestinian violence, claiming Israel deliberately spreads weapons within Palestinian society to undermine the PA Security Forces and create internal strife in order to prevent Palestinians from carrying a “popular uprising,” i.e. terror attacks. (September 3, 2021)
Every year, the PA commemorates the burning of the pulpit of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. And every year the PA repeats the libel that Jews set the fire. In fact, it was a man named Michael Rohan, an Australian Christian with a mental health disorder, who lit the fire in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. But such facts don't matter to the PA. Every year, the PA uses the occasion to demonize Israel and Jews by claiming Rohan was a Jew, and to add fuel to its own “fire” that the PA always keeps on the backburner - the libel that Israel/the Jews are continuously trying to “destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and build the alleged Temple in its place.” (September 1, 2021)
The PA relentlessly indoctrinates the Palestinian population with the message that all of the State of Israel is “Palestine,” delegitimizing Israel’s existence in any borders. Recently, the host of Good Morning Jerusalem on official PA TV recited a poem reiterating this ideology that all of Israel is “Palestine” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: “Haifa is mine, Jaffa is mine (i.e., Israeli cities), Al-Aqsa is mine, Jerusalem is mine, and my land is mine – from my [Jordan] River to my [Mediterranean] Sea [meaning all of Israel].” This is just one of the countless examples of the PA’s indoctrination of its people, especially children. (September 5, 2021)
The PA unremittingly teaches Palestinians, especially youth, that all of Israel is “Palestine” and that Israel has no right to exist in any borders. One way the PA instills these messages is through summer camp activities. This past summer, Palestinian children were taught once again that there is no Israel, but only “occupied Palestine,” as they spent time drawing maps showing all of Israel and the PA areas as one Palestinian state. Interviews with Palestinian children show that they have internalized these messages, repeating that “Palestine” should be “liberated.” (September 13, 2021)
In a recent sermon, a PA-appointed Shari’ah judge called on Palestinians to “liberate the land and the people from the defilement of the criminal infidels” - i.e., Israelis/Jews - and prophesied that soon “the nation of Islam will be crowned with the purification of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Such vitriol is not an isolated or unusual antisemitic statement. On the contrary, the PA, its officials, and its media regularly state that “Palestine,” “Jerusalem,” and “the Muslim (and Christian) holy sites” must be “cleansed,” “purified,” and “liberated” from the “defilement” and “desecration” of Jews. (September 23, 2021)
Israeli criticism of Palestinians in the town of Beita who burned an effigy of the Star of David with a Nazi swastika inside it has prompted an outrageous response from the organizers: “You [Israelis] are worse than Hitler and the Nazis … Yes, we want to burn you alive.” The shocking response was posted on the town’s Facebook page “Beita Victory,” which also posted the original pictures of the effigy being made and burned, along with flaming torches carried by supporters, including children. So far this year, PMW has uncovered 16 separate instances of official Palestinian sources comparing Israel to a Nazi state or accusing Israel of waging a Holocaust against the Palestinians. This amounts to libel against Israel and the Israeli people and is clear incitement to violence against innocent Israelis. (August 16, 2021)
When official PA TV recently discussed what they coined “the foundations of the settlers’ violence” on its program Israel in the News, they invited so-called “expert” on Israeli affairs Rula Hardal, PhD, to comment. Despite being educated in Israel and Germany, Hardal demonized Jewish “settlers” claiming: “[The Jewish settlers] are certain that this land is theirs, and that all the non-Jews must be expelled. They call them ‘goys,’ the foreigners in this land. If they can't be expelled, they can be killed.” Presenting Israelis as bloodthirsty monsters who murder Palestinians for no reason is a common way Palestinian leaders demonize Jews. (August 6, 2021)
On and around Tisha B’Av this year (July 18), PA leaders and officials were busy yet again denying that the Jewish Temples ever existed, despite countless written sources, archaeological finds, and historical evidence documenting their existence. PMW has documented numerous times that the PA routinely denies the existence of any Jewish history in Israel in general and of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in particular, consistently referring to it as “the alleged Temple.” In addition, the PA falsely claims that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger of destruction by Israel as Israel seeks to “Judaize” Jerusalem and rebuild the “alleged” Temple. (August 4, 2021)
When discussing Israel’s response to Hamas’ rockets, official PA TV and guests on its program Anew completely ignored the fact that the terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip in May 2021, killing 12 and wounding hundreds. Whereas Israel's response targeted the terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Strip, PA TV and the guests claimed it was a deliberate way to harm Palestinian civilians by targeting Gaza’s agriculture. Interviewing a nursery owner and a farmer in Gaza, a PA TV host libeled and demonized Israel, suggesting that during the Fatah/Hamas riot and rocket war earlier this year, Israel intentionally bombed agricultural nurseries to put an end to Gaza farming. The nursery owner and farmer both readily concurred. August 31, 2021)
A Palestinian boy participating in a Fatah summer camp in Nablus proudly held up a drawing of “Palestine” that he drew at camp. The map erases the entire State of Israel. The boy’s “geographical knowledge,” which seems to have been reinforced at the Fatah summer camp, is consistent with the PA’s decades-long indoctrination of Palestinians to believe that Israel has no right to exist in any borders and that “Palestine” will be “liberated from the Sea to the River.” (July 8, 2021)
When the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli authorities have difficulty enforcing the law that forbids polygamy, especially in the southern region among the Bedouin population, official PA TV’s “Israeli affairs expert” Fayez Abbas jumped at the opportunity to demonize and spread lies about Israel. Abbas claimed that polygamy in Israel is only prohibited for Arabs and Muslims, but not for Jewish men. This is of course absurd as Paragraph 176 of Israel's Penal Law, which prohibits polygamy, applies to everyone living in Israel, without exception. Abbas has spread many such lies before, including that ISIS took all of its religious ideas from Judaism and that antisemitic attacks in the world are the fault of the Israeli government. (July 16, 2021)
A cartoon published by the official PA daily shows the PA map of “Palestine” erasing the entire State of Israel, thereby visually expressing the PA ideology that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist in any borders. It also exemplifies another of the PA’s messages: that Israel will come to an end. PMW has exposed numerous statements to that effect made by PA and Fatah officials. Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said earlier this year that both America and Israel “will disappear.” (July 4, 2021)
A fundamental policy of the PA is to disseminate libels and lies that demonize Israelis and Jews, in order to entrench hatred. For years, the PA has been accusing Israel of not giving sick terrorist prisoners proper treatment and has even accused Israel of using them for Nazi-like medical experiments. This week the PA fine-tuned its libel: the PA claims that Israel uses unqualified Russian immigrant doctors who did not pass the "The Israeli Medical Association” qualification tests as doctors for terrorist prisoners. (July 21, 2021)
The PA publicly exposed, shamed, and literally endangered the life of an Arab who sold land to Jews in Jerusalem. According to the TV host, the seller’s picture was broadcast on Fatah’s TV station, “because these images and this information are important for our people so that they will see this traitor.” According to the PA, Palestinians who sell land to Jews are considered “traitors” and criminals. In fact, the PA has forbidden selling land to Jews by law. Anyone who tries to sell land to Jews will be sentenced to 5 years of hard labor, and someone who actually sells land to Jews will be sentenced to life in prison with hard labor, as documented by PMW. (July 22, 2021)
According to a column in the official PA daily, Poland’s recent passing of a law that ends restitution for Jewish Holocaust victims and prevents the return of property stolen from them during WWII signifies a refusal to be “milked” by Zionism and puts an end to “Zionist extortion.” Applauding “rebelling” Poland’s decision as “brave” while the law was still waiting to pass the Polish Senate, the PA paper’s regular columnist Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul claimed the law to be a step against an alleged American wish “to ensure the continuation of the Zionist project and its colonialist state.” Al-Ghoul further described the Polish decision as a “refusal to cooperate with the logic of the milking cow.” He further alleged that Zionism has no connection to Judaism but “hijacked” it for colonial purposes. (July 29, 2021)
UN Resolution 2334 condemned the establishment of Israeli "settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem," saying it "has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace." It demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities” in the area. The resolution further said “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines” other than changes made through negotiations, in reference to the 1949-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries following Israel's 1948 War of Independence.
The resolution also called "to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as acts of provocation and destruction... and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism," and noted the obligation of "the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities."
Finally, the resolution required the UN Secretary General to report every 3 months regarding the implementation of the resolution.