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Israel TV interview with Itamar Marcus (PMW-PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH) 07/13/03)Source: http://www.pmw.org.il PMW} PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH PMW} PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Introduction:
The following is the transcript of the interview with PMW director Itamar Marcus on Israel TV IBA news, Thursday evening, July 10, 2003:

Newscaster:
Here to discuss the Palestinian media is Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus...
This morning the PA ordered Palestinian media to stop incitement. Just how serious is this order?

Itamar Marcus:
Palestinian society and the Palestinian media are completely controlled. Now, if that statement was made just for public consumption then it won´t have any effect, but if that statement was made seriously and the Palestinian Authority is interested in changing the media it could be changed overnight.

Newscaster:
Do you believe the PA is really interested in changing the media?

Itamar Marcus:
This has yet to be proven. Over the last few weeks, since Aqaba and since the “Road map” we have seen a change in the quantity of incitement to hatred and violence on Palestinian television, but we have not yet seen a change in the quality. That is, the message has not yet changed, and this is what I think is most significant. Until we get a change in the message, until they teach that Israel is acceptable then we are not going anywhere. Let me give you one example. On the very same day this week that the Israeli media and international leaders were praising the Palestinians for erasing graffiti from some of the walls in the Palestinian Authority, there was the school graduation ceremony which was broadcast on PA television. The high school students were singing and dancing, and I want you to hear, I am going to read the words of the song that the high school children, were dancing to:

“With words and with a rifle we will sing. From Jerusalem to Gaza, Ramallah, Al Bira, Haifa, Jaffa, and Ramla. There is no alternative even if they promise us the Garden of Eden. The sound of the submachine gun is heard. We will live and die only that our homeland should return to us. I am a Palestinian. My weapon is the stone and the knife."

Newscaster:
Was this sung by the students?

Itamar Marcus:
This was played in the background at the school ceremony, parents were there, education officials were there. And it was on television.

Newscaster:
But was on a let´s say smaller, more individual level - a school graduation, whatever. What about the media as a whole?

Itamar Marcus:
This was broadcast on Palestinian television.

Newscaster:
And how do you stop that? I mean how can it be enforced? How can the PA say ´´OK, we´ve ordered to stop incitement. This is how we are going to enforce it”.

Itamar Marcus:
The way it must be enforced, is anyone who teaches Palestinian children that in the future, that Haifa, Acco, and Jaffa are going to be given to them through a submachine gun should be put in jail for violating the anti-incitement laws that the Palestinians themselves have passed. As long as the PA Ministry of Education encourages children to continue seeing the future with Haifa and Acco as Palestinian, through the sword, then lowering the number of minutes of this material on television is not going to make a difference.

Newscaster:
How do you project how the change is going to come about? Will it be in schoolbooks? Will it be through generations? How do you see the incitement ending?

Itamar Marcus:
When there will be a sincere desire from the Palestinian leadership to change the message to their people, the schoolbooks could be rewritten overnight. It could put Israel on the map, in every single map in the Palestinian schools, and they could teach their children recognition. Right now there is an active teaching of non- recognition. An active teaching of hatred. That could be stopped. If there were a desire it could be stopped immediately.

Newscaster:
Are all of those feasible solutions? Reprint schoolbooks, start monitoring TV texts, monitoring radio broadcasts?

Itamar Marcus:
It is not only feasible it is absolutely necessary. Our goal here is not to look for technical improvements of the Palestinians to give them a good grade. Our goal is peace, and unless we insist and demand peace education the "road map" or any future peace agreement won´t bring peace.

Newscaster:
Itamar Marcus thank you for the insight this evening.


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