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Special Report: The science of PA rejectionism

Itamar Marcus and Ephraim D. Tepler  |
  • 1947 - UK: "For the Arabs, the essential principle is to resist the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine"

  • 2024 - Fatah: "The day will come when we will sweep away this occupation (i.e., Israel) from every centimeter [of Palestine]" 

Introduction to understanding PA rejectionism

In February 1947, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin explained why Britain would not continue its Palestine Mandate:

“His Majesty’s Government have thus been faced with an irreconcilable conflict of principles … For the Jews, the essential point of principle is the creation of a sovereign Jewish State. For the Arabs, the essential point of principle is to resist to the last the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine.”

[Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, UK parliament, February 18, 1947]

The Palestinian Arabs’ “essential principle” in 1947 of rejecting “Jewish sovereignty” in any part of the land was adopted in 1965 as the core ideology of the PLO. It was reconfirmed in 1988 as the endgame of the PLO’s program to destroy Israel in stages, and it continues today as key to the doctrine of the Palestinian Authority.

While for public relations reasons the PA on occasion has recognized the fact of Israel’s existence, it has never wavered in its rejection of Israel’s right to exist. Even in front of world leaders at the United Nations last year, Mahmoud Abbas defined Israel as a “foreign entity,” established both “for colonialist purposes”and to “get rid of the Jews.” He worded it as “two birds with one stone.” Abbas did not need to elaborate any further. The PA leadership close to him, his colleagues in Fatah, and PA children’s education on official PA channels all openly reiterate the same ideology on a regular basis—Israel is an artificial state with no right to exist and thus is destined for oblivion.

As Israel celebrated 76 years of independence, this remains the most fundamental message of the internal Palestinian conversation. Just days before Israel's Independence Day, PA TV featured a preacher who articulated the vision: "It is our duty to fight, confront, and carry out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict) in this land… and Allah willing Palestine will return free, from its [Mediterranean] Sea to its [Jordan] River.”

The anticipation of Israel’s destruction is not limited to TV sermons but is the fundamental message that has been passed on to Palestinian children, constituting the essence of its vision for the future. This map in Fatah’s children’s magazine tells the whole story.

[Fatah’s children’s magazine Waed, Issue 41, April 2022]

“Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” is not a Hamas slogan that was initiated after October 7. It is a PA/Fatah slogan that has been adopted by all Palestinian terror factions as well as their supporters around the world.

The four critical drivers of PA rejectionism

The PA has built its rejection of Israel’s right to exist into a full science with a number of critical components:

1. The PA denies all the fully documented Israeli/Jewish history in the Land of Israel/Judea. The following are some of the thousands of examples of the PA’s transmission of this message:

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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina: “The Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are among the foundational pillars of history, and they are Palestinian holy places, and not Jewish holy places. There is no historical proof – despite all the excavations – that [the Jews] had any kind of presence in this land.”

[Official PA TV News, March 20, 2023]

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Director of the National Action Committee in Jerusalem Muhammad Jadallah: “The false Israeli narrative, the alleged Jewish Israeli narrative, that they have relics in this city [of Jerusalem] – [None] of them for dozens of years have succeeded in finding [even] a tiny bit that belongs to them from any period of the long historical periods... Their narrative is false, but they want to falsify the true story, the correct story, the Palestinian Arab Islamic Christian story. They claim that they have roots in this city – and they completely understand that they have no roots.”

[Official PA TV, To the Capital We Will Go, April 30, 2023]

These denials come from the highest levels of the PA.

Abbas' Advisor and PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “It has been proven that the continuous truth in this land is the Palestinian people, whose Canaanite ancestors lived in it more than 5,000 years ago… There was no First Temple and no Second Temple, and there also will be no Third Temple.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, March 20, 2023]


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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “It is not possible, if we are objective, to call the human Israeli component a ‘nation.’ There never existed a Jewish nation nor a nation of Israel. They [Europeans] invented this issue in order to gather the Jews for colonialist goals that we all know.”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, Feb. 28, 2024]

2. Once the PA denies Israel’s history and right to exist, it then must explain why the Jews are there at all. To do so, it defines Israel as a colonial implant intended both to establish Western control and to solve the world’s Jewish problem by finding a place to dump the “human waste.” The following are some examples, starting with Mahmoud Abbas at the UN in 2023:

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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the UN: “Britain and the United States… decided to establish and plant a foreign entity in our historic homeland, for colonialist purposes of their own... The truth is that these Western countries wanted to get rid of the Jewsand profit from them in Palestine. 'Two birds with one stone.’

[Archive news, YouTube channel, May 15, 2023]

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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “The colonialist states conspired together to issue [the Balfour Declaration] - and foremost among them was Britain and America - in order to get rid of the Jews in Europe on the one hand and establish a so-called national home for them in Palestine on the other hand. The truth is that they wanted to build an outpost to protect their interests in our region.”

[Official PA TV, Feb. 12, 2023]

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Palestinian researcher Muhammad Al-Yahya: "The Jews are arrogant by nature. They don't accept the other. They always stick to themselves. The Europeans hated them and wanted to get rid of them, and therefore one of the interests of the European states… was to get rid of the Jews, so the idea started of establishing a Jewish state for the Jews… Their [Jewish] thinking is based on racism that caused them to be hated everywhere. The Zionist thinking is based on them being ‘God’s chosen people.’ In the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (i.e., an antisemitic forgery), in what was leaked of [it], there is a parenthetical sentence that they are fulfilling that has caused them to be hated by all peoples: ‘God created the land, and afterwards He created man to prepare the land for them [the Jews], and afterwards He created them so that they would be masters over them.’ The pure Jew has the outlook that he is of the people chosen by God."

[Official PA TV, Returning, Jan. 17, 2023 and Feb. 27, 2023, May 14, 2023]

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Palestinian political commentator Kamal Zakarneh: “They [Europe and America] are demonstrating a lot of solidarity with the Israeli occupation (i.e.,. Israel)… Europe and America – succeeded in getting rid of the Jews, whom they themselves view as human waste, and they threw them out into Palestine. They created a place for them far away from them, far away from Europe. They don’t want reverse migration now and their [Jews’] return to Europe again. They, Europe and America, are prepared to provide all the aid they can… to strengthen the occupation and leave the Jews where they are. [US President Joe] Biden said this during the events in Israel: ‘If there were not an Israel, we’d have to invent one.’ He would have invented it to absorb the human waste.”

[Official PA TV, Oct. 24, 2023]

Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for official PA daily: “The Palestinian people is dealing with an enemy that claims that it is the true owner of the land, and on the other hand completely denies any right of the native residents to their homeland. This is while the Palestinian people are the ones who have continued to live there for thousands of years and where they developed their cultural identity. An additional aspect that plays a role in the repetition of the Palestinian people’s Nakbas (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) is the same strategic alliance between world Zionism and the colonialist world powers. The latter view the Zionist project – and thus Israel – as their most important strategic asset…”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, May 14, 2024]

3. Nevertheless, denial of Israel’s history and right to the land is not enough to create a Palestinian right. So, the PA invented a history of its own, claiming that it represents a 5,000-year-old people who are descendants of Canaanites:

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PA Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Director of Historical Sites Dirgham Al-Fares: “The Palestinian people today is a continuation of the original residents from the Stone Age… There was no monotheistic religion throughout the Iron Age. The Jewish religion formulated during the period of Babylonian Exile, and the ones who formulated it and developed it and developed the concept of divinity (i.e., monotheism) were our ancestors. We accepted the Jewish religion, and the Christian religion, and Islam. Therefore, we always say that everything on the land of Palestine and the antiquities within it are a heritage of the Palestinian people, in any period and regardless of the character of the place, whether it is a place of worship, a synagogue, a church, or a mosque. And here a question could pop up for some people: If we are the ancient Jews and we own the cultural heritage, then who is the occupier? … It is the right of the Jews in the world to come to Palestine for religious tourism, but under the sovereignty of the Palestinian state and according to the laws of the Palestinian state… Everything on the Palestinian land is ours. We own the land and the history… When I speak about Palestine, I’m of course talking about historical Palestine (i.e., both Israel and the PA areas.) These are our antiquities and this is what is proven by archaeology and the historical truths.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Sept. 13, 2023]

This is of course egregiously false. There is no Palestinian Arab history before the modern period. Absent of any such evidence, the PA, at its highest levels, simply denies whatever does not fit into its narrative:

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Official PA TV host: "This site (i.e., the Western Wall) will remain the Al-Buraq Wall, to which only the Muslims have a right. Not as the occupation (i.e., Israel) claims in its mistaken Zionist narrative that this is the Wailing Wall. And it will return to its original state when the transient settlers leave… The Jews used the site as a place of worship only after the publication of the British Balfour Declaration in 1917, and this wall was not part of the alleged Jewish Temple."

[Official PA TV, Capital of Capitals, June 14, 2023]

To reinforce its efforts to establish a false history, PA leaders in the official PA-owned media often combine creation of a new narrative together with its denial of Israel's right to exist:

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Official PA TV commentator Iyad Abu Zneit: “We [Palestinians] are first of all Canaanites, and therefore we have been in this land for many years... The Israelis are the ones who need to return to the lands they came from, lands throughout the world. Israel by its very nature is a foreign element. They established a state and afterwards brought residents to it.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 14, 2023]

4. Finally, since Israel has no right to exist according to the PA, justice will only be achieved when Israel is removed and all Jews are expelled. This was articulated by a senior Fatah official just three weeks after Hamas’ October 7 massacre. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his top religious advisor have also said it many times before:

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Fatah Secretary in Spain Ahmed Ma’arouf: “Let them [Israelis] learn from history: There is no occupier who remained, … The top priority is to strengthen the resolve of the Palestinian people on the Palestinian land in order to continue to resist. The day will come when we will sweep away this occupation (i.e., Israel) from every centimeter [of Palestine].

[Official PA TV, Oct. 29, 2023]

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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:“We have been the owners of this land since this land’s existence… We will remain in this land forever, while the attackers [Israelis] have no place in Jerusalem and no place here.”

[Official PA TV News, Jan. 17, 2022]

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Abbas Advisor and PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “[The] claim that this land is sacred to the Jews is based on fables... The foreigners [Jews] will leave, today or tomorrow. This land spits out its scum. It spits out everything that is foreign to it, and it will not be anything but ours.”

[Official PA TV Jan. 10, 2020]


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Preacher on PA TV: "It is our duty to fight, confront, and carry out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict) in this land as much as we can. It is our duty to reject all the expressions of settlement, colonialism, and occupation (i.e., Israel)... We reject all the expressions of the occupation (i.e., Israel), and Allah willing Palestine will return free, from its [Mediterranean] Sea to its [Jordan] River.

[Official PA TV, May 10, 2024]

Fatah’s children’s education likewise defines Israelis as “invaders” and promises that every single Jew will leave the land:

“There is no invader who invaded this land and did not leave it defeated in the end, and that is what will happen to the Zionist invaders.”

(Waed, Issue 27, p. 23)

"Algeria received independence in 1962, after 132 years of colonialism… At the end of the period of French colonialism, the number of French settlers in Algeria stood at approximately a million, and they all fled to France and left Algeria to the Arabs and Algerians. Algeria’s experience assures that the Jewish settlers in Palestine will disappear in the end.(Red emphasis appears in the original)"

[Waed, Fatah’s children’s magazine, ages 6 -15, Issue 28, p. 25]

The PA science of rejecting Israel is perhaps summed up best by this recent staff editorial in its official daily:

“Seventy-six years of Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for Israel’s establishment), the handiwork of the colonialist West that used it to strike and wound Palestine, which is still bleeding…Seventy-six years, and every Palestinian has his story about this great injustice… [The Israelis] took control of the land with violent colonialist behavior, and with an even more violent falsification. They claimed that the land is a land without a people for a people without a land and gave it a name [Israel] that would fit their fabricated Zionist narrative, which is still not recognized and which is unable to erase the name that the land has had since the dawn of history. Therefore, our [Palestinian] poet [Mahmoud Darwish] wrote: ‘It was called Palestine, and it is now called Palestine’… The stone of the youth in the great [first] Intifada (i.e., Palestinian wave of violence and terror against Israel, approximately 200 Israelis murdered, 1987-1993)… is still in their hand against the occupation (i.e., Israel). Their call is still heard, the call of freedom and independence, until the Nakba is defeated along with all the injustice and darkness that it caused, and this will certainly happen.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, May 15, 2024]

Israel moves forward in 2024 while PA remains stuck in 1947

While Israel in 2024 celebrates 76 years of independence accompanied by incredible growth, progress, and creativity that have benefited all humanity, the Palestinian Authority remains trapped in 1947, rejecting any “Jewish sovereignty” and refusing to live beside Israel as a neighbor. Worse yet, the PA has indoctrinated the entire Palestinian population with these and many other hate messages together with justification and glorification of terror. This makes peaceful coexistence alongside the current Palestinian population an impossibility and the creation of a Palestinian state an existential threat for Israel. It is not enough for the PA to simply recognize the reality that Israel happens to exist. If it wishes to make any progress, it must accept the principle of Israel’s right to exist, reject its own falsifications of history, accept the truth of Israel’s history, and actively reeducate its population.

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