Ending the Incitement

The post-Arafat era has begun. Are things now moving in the right direction? A Nov. 19 New York Times editorial answered in the affirmative, hailing the Palestinian leadership for doing their part by ‘resisting the urge’ to deliver ‘unnecessary anti-Israel speeches.’But the problem of anti-Israel incitement extends far beyond formal speeches by Palestinian politicians. As CBS reported, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon now demands two key reforms before talks can begin:

One is the cessation of poisonous propaganda and continuing incitement in the Palestinian television and media. Second, a drastic change in the Palestinian educational system, ending incitement and demonization of Israel, the Israelis and the Jews.

‘The venomous propaganda in the Palestinian media and education system is the root and foundation of the expansion of the suicide terrorism phenomenon,’ said Sharon.

9/12/04: On official PA TV, Sheik Ibrahim Madhi calls Jews ‘the brothers of apes and pigs’ and predicts their mass murder [see video from MEMRI-TV]

Unfortunately, the typical news consumer has no idea what Sharon is talking about, since, as HonestReporting has continually indicated, the western media has largely turned a blind eye to the incitement against Israel and the U.S. that permeates Palestinian culture.

Palestinian cultural incitement is a prime focus of the HonestReporting documentary film Relentless, which was cited yesterday (Nov. 24) in the Wall Street Journal for ‘chillingly show[ing] children on a Palestinian TV show expressing their desire to be suicide bombers, urged on by the host ? who blew herself up in Jerusalem.’

Here are some more recent examples of the material filling Palestinian living rooms and classrooms (courtesy Palestinian Media Watch):

? Official PA newspapers: A graphic cartoon in Nov. 22′s official PA daily, Al Hayat al Jadida, shows an American soldier raping an Iraqi woman, while the Arab world looks on with amusement, or assists.

This PA paper has continually spread outrageous lies among the Palestinian population, for example: Israel as the ‘actual source’ behind Palestinian and world Islamic terror, the IDF mutilating the bodies of Palestinians, and Israel handing out poison candies to Palestinian children.

A March, 2004 cartoon in Al Hayat (at left) showed Ariel Sharon eating Palestinian babies, and the paper recently portrayed Condoleeza Rice as an evil ‘exterminator’ of the Arab people.

? Official PA TV: For years, official Palestinian TV has been filled with speakers and images that glamorize and promote suicide terror and violence, even to young children.

The latest: A children’s TV program on the importance of trees features a talking chick (at right) who is asked how he’d respond if someone would cut down a tree in front of his house. The chick answers:

What I’ll do to him? I’ll fight him and make a big riot, I’ll call the whole world and make a riot. I’ll bring AK-47s [assault rifles] and the whole world, I’ll commit a massacre in front of the house!

So while Israeli and western toddlers are watching Barney (‘I love you, you love me’), Palestinian kids are told that massacres are the way to resolve conflict.

In addition, televised sermons by Palestinian clerics continue to encourage terrorist jihad against all Jews, and even music videos promote hatred against the Jewish people.

? Official PA classrooms: The 2004 PA schoolbook for 6th graders urges the 11-year-olds to take an active part in military activity ? greatly increasing the chances of Palestinian child casualties.

And though the PA claims it has reformed its schoolbooks to remove such material, Itamar Marcus reports that even the new books ‘include anti-Semitism, de-legitimize Israel’s existence and incite to hatred and violence.’ All of Israel is said

Map of Israel under Palestinian flag, from Hebron school.

to be an ‘occupation,’ and all of Israel’s cities, regions and natural resources are presented as part of ‘Palestine’. For example:

‘Among the famous rocks of southern Palestine are the rocks of Beersheba and the Negev’ and of ‘Palestine’s Water Sources… The most important is the Sea of Galilee.’ [from Our Beautiful Language, grade 6, Part A, p. 64, National Education, sixth grade, p. 9-10]

The denial of Israel’s very legitimacy is reinforced through dozens of textbooks and maps in which the entire land mass is called ‘Palestine’, and Israel does not exist within any borders.

*   *   *

The ongoing incitement in Palestinian media, and the education to violence and denial of Israel in Palestinian schools, is one of the darkest aspects of Yassir Arafat’s legacy, undermining any potential progress toward long-term co-existence. But, for some reason, the media have been very reluctant to report the problem.

The Chicago Sun-Times was one of the only papers to buck the trend this week, recognizing in a staff editorial that

Palestinians should have taken care of this long ago, if they really want to someday live
in peace with their neighbors. It is impossible to negotiate at a diplomatic level while broadcasting hatred toward your partner in peace. Sharon called his demand “a test of the Palestinian leadership.” It is, and a fair one.

HonestReporting encourages subscribers to write a letter to your local paper ? or, better yet, an op-ed piece ? using the examples above to explain the background for Israel’s renewed demand for the removal of inciting material from Palestinian media and classrooms.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.

HonestReporting

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