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Israeli government releases Incitement Index Report

Shlomo Cesana and Israel Hayom Staff  |
'Incitement Index' shows PA facilitates
demonization of Israel

Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon presents "Index of Incitement" to Knesset • Index finds that Palestinian Authority is actively working against normalization with Israel on all levels • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Palestinian Authority is incapable of adopting a dialogue of peace.
Note: PMW advises many governments on incitement, including the Israeli government. Nearly all the material presented in the Israeli government report was supplied by PMW.

by Shlomo Cesana and Israel Hayom Staff

"All terrorism is legitimate," "the Jews are swindlers," and "Israel is not on the map" are just some of the "educational" messages regularly disseminated in Palestinian Authority-controlled institutions, according to the "Index of Incitement," presented to the Cabinet on Sunday.

The index was presented by Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon and Strategic Affairs Ministry Director-General Yossi Kuperwasser.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has been monitoring Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel for three years, but Sunday was the first time the data was presented in a focused and organized form to the government and media outlets.

The index tracks public statements by Palestinian Authority officials, their activities and publications released by institutions and organizations controlled by the authority. It monitors explicit incitement to violence, encouragement of an atmosphere of violence and terror, incitement to hatred and demonization of Israel, and non-facilitation of positive ties with Israel.

The main conclusion presented to the Cabinet on Sunday was that the Palestinian Authority is ultimately responsible for determining the level of incitement within its institutions and for regulating it. The authority appears to have established a clear threshold for what is allowed and what isn't: Terror attacks with firearms are prohibited, hatred and a desire for Israel to disappear are allowed. However, the newest discovery emerging through the index's data is that the authority is actively working against normalization with Israel on all levels.

Kuperwasser said on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority is trying "to create an ethos of struggle, negation of the principles of peace and normalization, and denial of the existence of Israel."

He added, "We ask ourselves how [the Palestinians] even believe the nonsense published by the Palestinian Authority, for example, that prisoners undergo torture in Israeli prisons and that settlers train dogs and pigs to uproot olive trees, and yet these statements appear again and again."

The comprehensive monitoring of Palestinian incitement showed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinian officials simply ignore the existence of Israel.

In a map held by Abbas during a recent official event, all of Israel's neighbors are seen, but not Israel itself. In other maps displayed at various events, the Green Line is sometimes delineated, but on the Israeli side no country is marked.

Palestinian television often calls on the Jews to "go back to the countries where they came from so that we can return to the communities that we left in Acre, Haifa and Jaffa." Israeli analysts say that the message often communicated through Palestinian Authority statements is that Palestine will arise one day on all of the land of Israel.

Other examples of incitement include demonizing Jews in general and settlers in particular. The message communicated regularly in the Palestinian territories is that all terrorism is legitimate and that the Palestinian establishment determines when to use it based on considerations of "cost and benefit."

Responding to the data presented in the Index of Incitement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, "I see two important things in this index. First, the index constitutes an important clarification and reminder of where we live. Usually, we wait for crises in order to be reminded of our environment. The index sheds light and helps us prepare ourselves and avoid the mistake of not understanding with whom we are dealing, who cooperates with and initiates this awful incitement. The Palestinian leadership is bequeathing this incitement to the coming generations and is preventing them from holding a dialogue of peace, the result of which is that it itself is incapable of adopting a dialogue of peace."

Netanyahu continued, "The second point is that it is a reminder to the world that the root of the conflict is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the right of the nation state of the Jewish people to exist. We have seen horrific things here that — inter alia — define Jews as those who poison wells, and that lay the groundwork for harsh and brutal deeds."

Netanyahu urged that the data be brought to the attention of the international community, particularly ahead of the upcoming U.N. General Assembly in September.