As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry continues his shuttle diplomacy, now and in the recent past, the international media have been only too willing to blame Israeli settlements or restrictive security practices in Palestinian areas as the biggest obstacles to Middle East peace.
Focusing on physical structures, be they houses, checkpoints or even the Israeli security barrier ignores what is ultimately needed to bring about peace.
While Israeli society has steadily moved over the years towards accepting Palestinian self-determination, this has not been reciprocated on the Palestinian side. Incitement has ensured that an entire generation of Palestinians has been fed a diet of hatred towards Jews and Israel.
To its credit, the New York Times has published a prominent story on Palestinian incitement, prompted by the Israeli government’s release of its PA Incitement and Culture of Peace Index.
The New York Times also included the full Israeli government presentation online, which you can also view below as a Slideshare (thanks to Elder of Ziyon):
NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren reports:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Read the full article here.
This focus on Palestinian responsibilities marks a refreshing and welcome departure from the New York Times’ usual knee-jerk, blame-Israel-for-all, approach.
You can send your emails to the NY Times – firstname.lastname@example.org – to reinforce how central the issue of incitement is within the context of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Remember to include your address and phone number if you wish to be published.
Also, watch out for coverage of this issue in your local media outlets. If it isn’t covered, ask why not.