Home Daily Brief Israel: Palestinian Incitement is Main Obstacle to Peace

Israel: Palestinian Incitement is Main Obstacle to Peace

by Mike Fegelman

The Time of Israel reported on Sunday the distribution of an "Incitement Index" report by Yossi Kuperwasser, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry to Israeli journalists. This report accuses the PA of perpetuating the conflict “through incitement to hate, promotion of an ethos of violence and struggle, and non-development of a culture of peace.”

“When the Palestinians speak to foreign audiences, they speak quite differently than they what they say to their own audience. That’s not new, but it’s disturbing,” the ministry’s director-general, Yossi Kuperwasser, told The Times of Israel “Our strategy is to bring it to the attention of the Palestinians and the international community that we notice this difference exists.”

“The incitement done by the Palestinian Authority is in my mind the main obstacle to peace,”  said Kuperwasser. “As long as the psychological infrastructure of the Palestinian people is based on denying Israel’s right to exist in any form — let alone as the nation-state of the Jewish people — it is difficult to see how peace can be made between these two peoples.” He said the psychological infrastructure adopted by the Palestinian leadership was “not developing any culture of peace, continues to call for violence and justifies violence, and dehumanizes and demonizes the Jews.”

 “The Palestinians in no way see themselves as bound by agreements with Israel which require all outstanding issues to be resolved through negotiations only,” the Israeli report charges. “All forms of resistance remain legitimate… The encouragement of an atmosphere supportive of violence, the demonization of Israelis and Jews, and the non-creation of a culture of peace result in an ethos that perpetuates the struggle by glorifying values antithetical to peace.”

‘Jews, Satans, and Zionist sons of bitches’

The Incitement Index report quotes Palestinian Olympic committee chairman Jibril Rajoub referring to “Jews, Satans, and Zionist sons of bitches,” and cites PA President Mahmoud Abbas condemning “attacks by settlers which find expression in the uprooting of trees, burning of mosques, training dogs to attack us and sending wild pigs to destroy our lands.”

The report cites several examples of Palestinian anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish agitation and glorification of terrorism aimed particularly at children. A 2010 fifth grade textbook, for instance, contains a poem entitled “We are Returning.”

“Under the banner of glory, Jihad and struggle / With blood and willingness to risk life … / To Jihad on the hilltop,” the poem reads.

The cover page of the report features a cartoon showing a man in Hasidic dress who has just ripped a bloody “heart” out of the chest of a Palestinian man lying on an operation table. The “heart” is shaped like the state of Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank.

Examples of alleged incitement and statements standing in the way of reconciliation include the broadcasting on PLO television of a song asserting that “Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, Nazareth, the Galilee and the Golan are ours”; an award given to controversial US journalist Helen Thomas — who made headlines for telling Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” — by a senior PLO member in April; and visits by senior PA officials at the homes of former terrorists.

Numerous examples are given of text books that praise resistance against the “occupiers” and promote the idea of a “return” to all of historical Palestine, as well as of programs on the PA’s television station showing children singing songs glorifying armed resistance against Israel.

“The index sheds light and helps us prepare ourselves and avoid the mistake of not understanding who we are dealing with, who cooperates with and initiates this awful incitement,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said about the report. “The Palestinian leadership is bequeathing this incitement to the coming generations and is preventing them from holding a dialogue of peace, the result of which is that it itself is incapable of adopting a dialogue of peace.”

Netanyahu said “the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the national state of the Jewish People’s right to exist” was at the root of the conflict. “We must bring this to the attention of the governments of the world, especially ahead of the upcoming UN General Assembly.”
 

The Incitement Index report was prepared with the help of Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI, organizations which monitor Arab media.

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