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NY Times article on Israeli incitement index cites many examples of incitement exposed by PMW

Jodi Rudoren  |
Israeli Official Points to ‘Incitement’ by Palestinians

by Jodi Rudoren

JERUSALEM — Adolf Hitler is quoted on the websites of Palestinian Authority schools. A young girl appears on Palestinian television, describing Jews as “barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs” and the “murderers of Muhammad,” the Islamic prophet. Maps on the Facebook page of the Palestinian presidential guards do not show Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas himself embraced as “heroes” released Palestinian prisoners who killed Israelis. (PMW note: All these examples were originally exposed by PMW.)

These are among dozens of examples highlighted by Israeli officials in a new presentation documenting negative statements about Israel and Jews in official Palestinian Authority media and textbooks. As Secretary of State John Kerry departed here on Monday after an intense four-day push for a framework agreement outlining prospects for a peace deal, Israeli leaders said that such statements had not abated since negotiations began this summer and did not bode well.

“The general phenomenon is very clear: They are poisoning Palestinian children with deep hatred of Israel and the Jewish people,” Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, said on Monday as he showed the presentation to international reporters. “At the end of the day, let’s assume we’ll be able to resolve all the technical issues, which are extremely complicated. Are we going to get genuine peace, or just a piece of paper?”

The presentation, which Mr. Steinitz delivered at an Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, is part of an intensifying campaign in which he, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others have emphasized what they call “incitement” as a prime obstacle to peace. It underpins their increasing demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which they argue is the only way they will be assured that an agreement will end the long-running conflict.

Palestinian leaders dismiss the renewed focus on incitement as a ruse to distract from disagreements over issues including borders, the future of Jerusalem and the rights of refugees. They say that Israel has refused to reconvene a committee, which included Americans, that was established in 1998 to deal with incitement but disbanded after two years and about 20 meetings.

“If there is any incitement against Israel, this is a forum where they can provide it officially, and we can do the same,” said Majdi Khaldi, a diplomatic adviser to Mr. Abbas. “Why do we have to continue just complaints from one to the other? It’s better for all to go to the trilateral committee, and that will solve the whole issue.” [...]

Mr. Steinitz’s ministry has four people working full time tracking incitement, and since 2009 it has issued quarterly reports trying to quantify it. (PMW note: PMW regulary presents its material for these quarterly reports.) Mr. Steinitz said that numbers for the fall of 2013 were not yet available, but that “amazingly, surprisingly, since the resumption of the negotiations we see even more incidents.”

On the Nov. 2 anniversary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which Britain endorsed the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine, the website of Mr. Abbas’s presidential guards posted bloodied pictures of Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary for whom the declaration is named, and Israeli prime ministers under the banner, “A promise from one who did not own it to one who did not deserve it,” according to the presentation. (PMW note: PMW was the first to expose these pictures.)

The same site, on the Nov. 29 anniversary of the 1947 United Nations vote to partition Palestine, had a headline, “Palestine Is Not to Be Divided,” with a map that did not show Israel. The presentation also included a picture of a Nazi flag hung in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar in October.

And there was a November video on a website of Mr. Abbas’s Fatah faction in which masked members of its military wing threatened to kidnap Israeli soldiers and showed off weapons, singing, “With these rockets we will liberate Jerusalem, with these rockets we will crush the Zionist enemy.” (PMW note: PMW was the first to expose and report on this video.)

Mr. Steinitz said that Mr. Netanyahu had shown Mr. Kerry some of these examples during a recent meeting in Rome. The prime minister also complained about incitement in an August letter to Mr. Kerry, and has frequently raised the issue in his public statements since the negotiations began.

“This Palestinian government incitement is rampant,” Mr. Netanyahu said at a joint appearance with Mr. Kerry when he arrived here on Thursday. “Instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel.”

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