PMW Director, Itamar Marcus testified yesterday in a US Senate
hearing, in Washington D.C. The hearing of a sub committee of the
Senate Appropriations Committee was examining whether US financial
support to the Palestinians was directly or indirectly funding the
Palestinian Authority [PA] hate indoctrination, that has been
documented by Palestinian Media Watch [PMW]. At the hearing Mr.
Marcus described the many means the PA uses to indoctrinate children
to see hatred, violence and suicide terror as values. The hearing
opened with the screening of the PMW video documentary - "Ask for
Death" - depicting how the PA has indoctrinated its children to seek
Shahada - Death for Allah - through music videos and other means.
[To view the video click here]
The committee is Chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter. Sen Hillary Clinton,
who is not a member of the committee, requested to participate after
her meeting last week with Mr. Marcus, and seeing the documentation
of the nature of PA indoctrination of their children. Her strong
statement condemning PA education appears below.
Due to the importance of the topic the entire hearing, including the
video documentary, was broadcast on C-Span
The following are the story in today´s Jerusalem Post and the formal
statement submitted by Mr. Marcus as a summary of his opening remarks.
Jerusalem Post, Oct. 31, 2003.
NEW YORK The anti-Semitic indoctrination of children by the
Palestinian Authority must stop, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York
told her colleagues Thursday.
Addressing a Senate hearing on the education and indoctrination of
Palestinian children, Clinton denounced recent broadcasts on the
Palestinian Authority´s state-controlled television station that
feature ordinary children expressing their support for terrorism and
declaring their desire to become martyrs as an "horrific abuse of
"How can you think about building a better future, no matter what
your political views, if you indoctrinate your children to a culture
of death?" Clinton told reporters on a conference call after the
hearing. "We should all agree that children should not be
indoctrinated into hatred and violence and then indoctrinated into
Clinton said that, during the hearing, she asked the PLO
representative in Washington, Hassan Abdel Rahman, whether the PA
plans to cease such broadcasts. "He evaded my question," she said.
Rahman, she said, argued that the broadcasts were mistranslated and
"I kept pressing him on it and I will continue to do so," she said.
The hearing was held under the auspices of the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education, chaired
by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), and it featured a presentation by the
director of Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus.
Marcus´s presentation included taped segments from PATV showing "the
role that the Palestinian Authority television plays in perpetuating
anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic attitudes," said Clinton.
Clinton said she supports conditioning aid to the PA on a "cessation
of propaganda and hateful rhetoric" in textbooks and the media, and
that she has written to US President George W. Bush urging him to
demand an end to official Palestinian anti-Semitism and the promotion
of terrorism as a pre-condition to resuming Middle East peace talks.
She said the goal of Thursday´s hearing was to raise awareness of the
problem among the public and her Senate colleagues. "We were focused
not so much on the legalistic aspects of this as on the moral and
ethical issue of how any society can condone this kind of behavior
and permit young children to be interviewed on television about their
desire to die. That is just beyond the pale," she said.
Clinton said she also wanted to emphasize the PA´s responsibility for
promoting terrorism among its people. "It is clear that the
Palestinian Authority, as we see on PATV, is complicit" in terrorist
attacks, she said. "This is not Hamas [running the television
station]. This is the Palestinian Authority."
The following is the formal statement submitted by Mr. Marcus as a
summary of his opening remarks.
Oct. 30, 2003 Outline of Testimony of Itamar Marcus
Director Palestinian Media Watch
Senate Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter
Mr. Chairman, Senators, there is significant evidence documenting
Palestinian Authority [PA] incitement of its children to hatred,
violence and Death for Allah - the Shahada. This incitement is
advanced by the PA through the entire social-educational structure,
including sporting events and summer camps, the media including music
videos for children and schoolbooks. Jews and Judaism are presented
as inherently evil, Israel existence as a state is de-legitimized and
denied, and fighting Jews and Judaism is presented as justified and
The PA Ministries of Education and Sport have turned the most
abhorrent murderers of Jews into role models and heroes for
Palestinian youth. A soccer tournament for 11-year-old boys was named
for Abd Al-Baset Odeh - the terrorist who murdered 30 in the Passover
Seder suicide bombing. [Sports section, Al Hayat Al Jadida Jan 21,
2003]. This past summer, during the period of the US sponsored Road
Map, numerous summer camps were named for suicide bombers, including
a camp for teenagers named after a teenage suicide bomber, a 17 year
old girl, Ayyat Al Akhras. Another camp for girls was named after
Wafa Idris, the first woman suicide bomber. Many schools, cultural
events, educational programs, and trophies, are named after terrorist
murderers and suicide bombers. There can be no greater incitement to
hatred and violence than the recurring portrayal of Palestinian
terrorists as role models for children. As recently as September this
year PA Chairman Arafat and 13 PA Leaders jointly sponsored a soccer
tournament honoring arch terrorists. The PA leaders included Saeb
Erikat; Jibril Rajoub; the Minister of Sport - Abdul Fatach Hamal;
the Mufti of the PA Ikrama Sabri; and 10 other senior PA officials.
Each of the 24 soccer teams was named for a terrorist or other
Shahids ["Martyrs"] including some of the most infamous murderers
like Yechya Ayash, the first Hamas bomb engineer, who initiated the
suicide bombings, and Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist woman who hijacked
a bus killing 36 including American Gail Ruben in 1978; [Al Ayyam,
Sept. 21, 2003] At the completion of this tournament Saeb Erikat
distributed the trophies.
While Music videos around the world are used to entertain children,
in the PA they are used to indoctrinate children to hatred, violence,
and Shahada. Regularly broadcast PA music videos have actors
depicting Israelis carrying out execution-style murders of old men,
woman and children, or blowing up mothers with their babies. In one
music video broadcast continuously in 2003, actors portray a woman
being murdered in cold blood in front of her daughter. In another,
broadcast tens of times in 2003, the image of young girl on a swing
turns into a flaming inferno, and a football blows up after being
kicked by a child. Children are taught through these videos not only
to hate and to be violent, but are openly encouraged to aspire to
death through Shahada [Martyrdom]. Clips designed to offset a child´s
natural fear of death portraying child Shahada as both heroic and
tranquil, have appeared on PA TV thousands of times over three years.
[2000-2003] One clip for children ends with the words: "Ask for
Death - the Life will be Given to you". In another, a child writes a
farewell letter and goes off to die. Children who have achieved
death through suicide missions have been turned into PA heroes and
role models by the PA leaders.
The hatred, anti Semitism and Shahada encouragement appear in the PA
schoolbooks as well. The poem The Shahid [The Martyr] in a new PA
schoolbook includes the phrase: "I see my death, but I hasten my
steps toward it" [Our Beautiful Language, grade 7, p. 97] The PA
argument that some of the books are copies of Jordanian books is not
relevant, as a child being taught that Jews are evil is not going to
be less influenced because of the identity of the publisher.
Furthermore, even the new PA-produced schoolbooks teach hatred, de-
legitimize Israel, and include anti-Semitic themes. This education
will perpetuate the conflict into the next generation.
It is important to note that the PA is making use of foreign funding
to promote this hatred among its children. Summer camps named for
suicide bombers this summer were funded by UNICEF. [Al-Hayat Al-
Jadida, July 22, 2003, Al-Ayyam July 18, 2003, Al-Quds, July 23,
2003]. Renovation of a school named for Dalal Maghrabi, a terrorist
who participated in the murder of 36 including an American, was
funded by USAID [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida July 30 2002]. And whereas the PA
announced two days later that they had changed the name, in order to
receive the USAID funding, PA press reports indicated that the name
was still being used. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 16, 2002]
Clearly, children are being incited to hatred, violence and Shahada,
not merely by fringe elements in the PA, but by the entire mainstream
of PA leadership and society. This incitement to hatred and violence
penetrates the minds of the PA children and, after terrorism itself,
is the single greatest long-term obstacle to peace.
Under the Oslo accords and subsequently under the Wye accords, the PA
obligated itself to cease this incitement, but has ignored its own
laws. In the interest of achieving a lasting peace, pressure must be
brought on the PA, through all available means, including temporary
political isolation and the temporary freezing of financial support,
in order to impress upon the Palestinians the importance of peace
The following concrete steps should be taken by the PA immediately:
1. Music videos promoting hatred, violence, and Shahada must never
again be broadcast on PA TV.
2. The practice of naming schools, cultural events, educational
programs, sport events and trophies after terrorists and suicide
bombers must cease. Educational institutions and cultural frameworks
currently named for terrorists must be changed.
3. PA children must be taught that Israel is a legitimate country
with a right to exist.
4. There is no greater incitement against Israels legitimacy as a
state, than to mark the word Palestineor occupied Palestinein place
of Israel on all maps in the PA. These maps must be removed from
Palestinian schools, schoolbooks and TV broadcasting and be replaced
by maps that show Israel by name in Arabic. This will be the most
important act of recognition of Israel by the PA, more important than
the signing of the Oslo Accords. To continue the current practice,
makes the statements of recognition of Israel at Oslo irrelevant and
sends a clear message to the population that is was not said with
5. The hatred and anti Semitism in the PA schoolbooks must be
removed. The PA argument that many of the books are copies of
Jordanian books is not relevant to the issues at hand, which is, the
educational damage being done to the children. A child being taught
that Jews are evil is not going to be less influenced because of the
identity of the publisher. In addition, even the new PA produced
schoolbooks educate to hatred, de-legitimize Israel, and include anti
Semitic themes. The PA schoolbooks must be reprinted without the
hatred before the start of the next school year.
If these steps are not taken all efforts towards peace in the
political realm will ultimately be futile. (PMW.ORG.IL 10/31/03)