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Sun Sentinel on PMW Director Itamar Marcus' presentation at FAU

Randall P. Lieberman  |

Marcus reveals that
PA issues anti-Israel messages

by Randall P. Lieberman

Itamar Marcus — founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch — told an audience of nearly 200 people (both students and community members) at Florida Atlantic University's (FAU) Boca Raton campus on Nov. 10 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) poisons the minds of its people with anti-Israel messages through its media...

Marcus, who was born in New York but now lives in Israel, said that PA officials say one thing in English to the media and negotiators, but then are hostile to both Israelis and Jews in Arabic in Palestinian media and textbooks.

Marcus said that PA officials (starting with President Mahmoud Abbas) tell their people on Palestinian media that peace with Israel is unattainable.

Marcus pointed out, for example, that a senior PA official denounced a "bridge-building" soccer tournament held Sept. 1 along the Gaza border between Palestinian and Israeli children by writing on a Facebook page: "Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity."

Marcus also pointed out that when Palestinian TV refers to Israeli cities such as Ashkelon and Haifa as "Palestine," they create a culture where Israel has no place, to the detriment of the principal component of the peace process of recognizing Israel as the Jewish state.

Marcus is one of the foremost authorities in the world on Palestinian ideology and policy, with Palestinian Media Watch studying Palestinian society by monitoring and analyzing its media and schoolbooks since 1996.

Marcus was in the United States because he was one of the speakers at StandWithUs' "Israel in Focus" 2014 Student Conference in Los Angeles Nov. 7-9.

Rayna Rose Exelbierd, a member of Owls for Israel, wrote in a blog for The Times of Israel: "Itamar's team translates news, children television shows, newspapers, even crosswords! His website,, is filled with heartbreaking examples of Palestinian media promoting hatred, terror and delegitimization of the state of Israel on Palestinian television. But, it doesn't stop there — streets, children's parks, and even soccer tournaments, are named after suicide bombers, proving the depths with which the Palestinian people have been indoctrinated into a cycle of incitement rather than educated in peace and coexistence. Itamar's message is that teaching peace begets peace. The Palestinian people deserve better."

At one point early in Marcus' presentation, a group of students from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) staged a walk-out, later telling the University Press (FAU's student newspaper) that a piece of propaganda Marcus was showing depicted Palestinians as "barbarians."

When asked about the walkout, Marcus told the University Press: "I was a little disappointed that the Muslim group left. I'd love to encounter with them and hope that they understand that this is actually peace promotion."

Melody DeSanto, FAU's StandWithUs Emerson Fellow (student pro-Israel leader), commented further on the SJP situation on the University Press website.

DeSanto stated: "It is unfortunate that the group of students walked out in the beginning of Itamar's presentation. Itamar makes it clear that peace is impossible without recognition of the alarming amount of incitement within the Palestinian Authority."

"The specific propaganda example that was mentioned is a gruesome cartoon that was used by the Palestinian Authority to promote violence and praise terrorism. I am saddened that a student from SJP considered this part of the presentation a way of 'totally depicting Palestinians as barbarians,' when in reality, this was Itamar's way of placing blame on the Palestinian Authority, not the Palestinian people. …

"At the end of the day, there is increasing evidence that the Palestinian Authority promotes incitement in ways such as using propaganda, naming sporting events after terrorists (as if it is a heroic act), and controlling textbooks. What Hillel, OwlsForIsrael, Chabad, Alpha Epsilon Pi and StandWithUs want more than anything else is for things that block our path to peace to come to an end."


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