Palestinian words since Aqaba - more telling than deeds (PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH) by Itamar Marcus 06/22/03)
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The following article written by PMW director Itamar Marcus appeared
in Friday´s Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2003:
´Planting fear among the enemy is the exalted and holy meaning of
terror." This glorification of Palestinian terrorism by former
minister Imad Faluji appeared in Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official
Palestinian Authority daily on June 9, just days after the Aqaba
Faluji went on to explain that suicide bombings are justified. "We
are not terrorists, if the meaning is unjustified killing..."
therefore, every murder of Israelis is legitimate: "We do not regret
what we have done "
The pattern developing in the Palestinian media since the road map is
strikingly similar to the pattern that evolved under the Oslo process.
During the years 1993-2000, when the PA was not actively involved in
terror and, in English, was expressing the desire for peace, its
leaders indoctrinated their people with horrific hatred of Jews and
The Oslo process demonstrated that both the PA´s refraining from
violence and its English- language peace promotion are valueless as
indicators of PA ideology and intentions.
What the Palestinians have been saying to their people in Arabic,
however, has proven a most accurate indicator of PA ideology and
behavior, with impeccable predictive value.
As early as 1996 Nabil Shaath openly laid out the terms of this
violent conflict when he said in Arabic that the PA would return to
more effective violence "using the 30,000 rifles" they received as
part of the Oslo Accords.
Today it is essential that Israel judge the Palestinians´ compliance
based on the only proven reliable indicator: their Arabic language
media and education.
Significantly, the PA incitement to hatred has finally been
officially recognized as an integral part of the problem. At Aqaba
all three leaders expressed the necessity of ending incitement, with
President George Bush saying, "Progress toward peace also requires an
end to violence and the elimination of all forms of hatred and
prejudice and official incitement."
Sharon worded it thus: "There can be no peace, however, without the
abandonment and elimination of terrorism, violence, and incitement."
Even Abbas said, "We will also act vigorously against incitement to
violence and hatred.
However, in practice, as Faluji´s glorification of terror indicates,
the incitement pattern is continuing under the road map. In his
article Faluji went so far as to say that the Palestinians´ success
in "planting fear among the enemy" via their "holy terror" was not
merely important politically but was a fulfillment of Allah´s
directive in the Koran "to frighten the enemies of Allah, and your
Defining Israel as the enemy of Allah is not just a nasty slur. It is
a continuation of the dangerous PA anti-Semitism that has
consistently stigmatized the Jews as the inherently evil enemies of
God and therefore worthy of destruction. This definition, which
caused Jews appalling suffering for thousands of years, transforms
the killing of Jews from an immoral act into a religious obligation;
it has been a consistent component of Palestinian incitement to
ONE OF the most dangerous aspects of PA education has been the
brainwashing of Palestinian children, which continues daily through a
most insidious means: music videos.
While music videos around the world are used to entertain children,
the PA has been using them to indoctrinate children to hatred,
violence, and even the desire to die fighting Israel. Their literal
message is that even for kids "Shahada (death for Allah) is sweet."
A new Palestinian video clip that has been broadcast regularly since
January, and especially since Aqaba, includes a variety of abhorrent
scenes acted out by Palestinian actors.
It opens with a girl laughing on a swing, which turns into a flaming
inferno, which then engulfs a child´s rocking horse as well. The
message: Israelis firebomb children at play, leaving behind flaming
swings and rocking horses.
Children are then shown playing football, until a bomb hidden by
Israel inside the ball explodes when a child kicks it. Then a father
reads his young son a section from the Koran that calls for fighting
enemies, and actually hands him a stone to throw. Actors then depict
Israeli soldiers murdering an elderly man by shooting him in the
head; this is followed by a mother and her infant being blown up by
All this and much more is depicted on one video, set to music for
Even when an opinion appears in the media calling for an immediate
halt to terrorism it never rejects terrorism as a legitimate tool.
Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), a man seen by Israel as a legitimate, even
moderate, PA leader, explained his call to stop suicide terrorism as
a way of reaping the fruits of what he sees as a successful campaign:
"I personally am in favor of stopping these actions [suicide
bombings] and in favor of letting the peace process return to its
natural course because I believe the present intifada has brought
great achievements and we now have to take the benefits" (Al-Hayat al-
Jadida, June 1, 2003).
THE FRIDAY sermon, for years a source of horrific incitement to
hatred of Jews, continued with the same hate messages this past
week: "Allah, take revenge against our enemies Take [destroy] the
Jews and their helpers..." One sermon glorified the shahada (used by
the PA to define suicide terrorism) and included a lengthy call
specifically to mothers to send their sons to die for Allah:
"Alkhansaa [a woman who converted to Islam at the time of Muhammad]
gave her four sons encouraged them to go out to jihad, to fight the
enemy, and told them: ´Go to battle so that God will honor me by
you...´ Alkhansaa got news of their death as shahids [martyrs] and
said ´Praise to the Lord, who honored me with their being killed ´
"By means of belief, the Palestinian nation succeeded in fighting
this oppressive military mechanism for over 50 years The women of
Palestine have succeeded in making the enemy anxious when news is
received of the death as a Shahid of a mother´s son, and she
expresses the shrill sounds of joy " [PA TV June 13, 2002].
The continued glorification of the shahada gives ongoing reassurance
to hesitant suicide bombers that their planned murder-suicide is
worthy and heroic.
One of the primary reasons for the tragic results of the Oslo process
was Israel´s refusal to believe the Palestinian Authority´s beliefs
and goals even when they were stated openly. It was difficult for
Israeli leaders and media to fathom that while we were educating our
children to peace the PA was teaching children in their summer camps
to shoot rifles, slit throats, and throw Jews into the sea.
Every outrageous PA statement that didn´t fit into Israel´s neat
world view of the PA was justified, explained, rationalized, and
ultimately dismissed. More than once Israel´s lame political response
was turned into ideology by Shimon Peres: "I don´t care what the PA
says. I care what it does."
Now we know that Peres had it backwards. What the PA "does" is often
tactical like the hudna (cease-fire) being debated today. But what it
says in Arabic it truly means.
Today, in Arabic, it does not yet recognize Israel as a Jewish state
and continues to incite hatred, violence, and shahada even as it
tries to arrange a cease-fire to "take the benefits" of the
successful war that has planted "fear" in the hearts of Israelis.
We made the painful mistake of ignoring what the PA says once. Let us
not make the same mistake again.
The writer, director of Palestinian Media Watch, was Israel´s
representative to the Tri-Lateral [Israeli-Palestinian- American]
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