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Academic article on PA incitement based almost ‎exclusively on PMW material

David Pollock  |
Academic article on PA incitement
based almost ‎exclusively on PMW material

PMW note: The bold indicates material supllied by PMW. Links to the original PMW ‎source have been added.‎

Title: Time to End Palestinian Incitement

by David Pollock, Kaufman fellow at the Washington Institute

Even as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks begin again, official Palestinian Authority (PA) ‎media are still broadcasting girls singing about Jews as ‘the sons of apes and ‎pigs,’ and still paying effusive tribute to Palestinian terrorists convicted for ‎murdering Israeli civilians. To get these negotiations started, Israel agreed to release ‎over one hundred such prisoners; but the Palestinian government continues to ‎glorify them as heroes, offering them as role models for the next generation.‎..

When examining day to day cases, the most common form of recent incitement, ‎with nearly one hundred documented cases between March 2011 and December ‎‎2012 according to Palestinian Media Watch, is that of glorifying terrorists, often ‎manifested in statements by PA officials. The list of honourees includes occasional ‎mention of earlier assassinated Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leaders like ‎Abu Iyad (Salah Khalaf) and Abu Jihad (Khalil al-Wazir). Most frequently mentioned, ‎however, are individuals convicted of terrorism since the PLO officially renounced it at ‎the start of the Oslo process in September 1993, and including those recently released ‎from or currently serving time in Israeli jails.‎

In a particularly striking case, at the end of 2012, the Fatah Facebook page posted ‎an image of Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist who participated in the deadliest ‎attack in Israel’s history – the killing of 37 civilians in the 1978 Coastal Road ‎Massacre. The image was posted with the declaration: ‘On this day in 1959 Martyr ‎‎(Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi was born, hero of the ‘Martyr Kamal Adwan’ mission, ‎bride of Jaffa and the gentle energizing force of Fatah. ‎

Another theme of recent official Palestinian incitement is the demonisation of Israelis ‎and Jews, often as animals. For example, on 9 January 2012 PA television broadcast ‎a speech by a Palestinian Imam, in the presence of the PA Minister of Religious ‎Affairs, referring to the Jews as ‘apes and pigs’ and repeating the gharqad hadith, ‎a traditional Muslim text about Muslims killing Jews hiding behind trees and rocks, ‎because ‘Judgment Day will not come before you fight the Jews.’‎ ...

Direct statements by PA officials often deny Israel’s historical legitimacy and accuse it ‎of inherent injustice, even if they do not deny its existence or explicitly threaten to ‎destroy it. For example, PA Deputy Minister of Information Al-Mutawakkil Taha told ‎official PA daily newspaper Al Hayat Al Jadida in early 2012 that, ‘Israel has gone ‎beyond all forms of oppression practiced by fascism throughout history’ and that ‎it ‘does more than racist discrimination and ethnic cleansing.’‎ ...

It is difficult to make direct links from incitement of the kinds seen in Palestinian media ‎to violent episodes. However, strong circumstantial evidence suggests a possible ‎connection between particular messages and specific terrorist or other violent ‎episodes. The Itamar massacre of March 2011 for example, in which five members ‎of the Fogel family were murdered in their beds, followed a month of ‎commemorations on PA media of other Palestinian terrorists – beginning with a ‎DFLP (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) militant who murdered two ‎Israelis at the same West Bank settlement in 2002...‎

Finding ways to ensure the PA stop, or at least reduce, official incitement against Israel ‎would have other positive effects, aside from potentially reducing the motivation for ‎future would be terrorists. It would indicate that the PA was willing and able to take the ‎kind of unpopular steps required to keep an agreement with Israel. Most important in ‎the long run, it might gradually accustom or encourage more Palestinians to accept ‎permanent peace with Israel, making a compromise agreement less risky and more ‎durable.‎

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