On the heels of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s fiery speech at the UN General Assembly last week, the cabinet on Sunday held a special briefing to highlight and counter “anti-Israeli incitement” in the Palestinian Authority.
Strategic Affairs Ministry Director-General Yossi Kuperwasser, the coordinator of a team tasked with monitoring incitement, said recent months have seen a negative record in expressions of hatred against Israel as seen in remarks by senior Palestinian Authority officials, on official websites, in the media and in the Palestinian Authority education system.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office failed to provide detailed statistics and referred media outlets to a Powerpoint presentation produced by a Palestinian media monitoring NGO, Palestinian Media Watch.
Examples that were mentioned included “the use of Hitler’s ideas,” the glorification of suicide bombers, anti-Semitic caricatures, the nonappearance of Israel on official maps, and calls for Palestinians to return to their “homes” in Jaffa and Haifa.
The reference regarding the use of Adolf Hitler’s ideas appeared to be based on an anti-Semitic quote attributed to Hitler that was uploaded next to an image of the Nazi leader to the Facebook wall of the Ikataba high school for girls in Tulkarm.
“This is additional proof that this is not a dispute over land but a denial of the existence of the State of Israel,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the anti-Israel expressions. The Palestinians’ “unwillingness to accept a Jewish state in any borders whatsoever is the root of the conflict.”
“When there is a map that shows Palestine over the entire area of Israel, it indicates a conflict here over the very existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu continued. “The Palestinian Authority is unwilling to move toward accepting the existence of the State of Israel. It is poisoning the Palestinian public.”
Netanyahu added that peace talks can only achieve so much in an atmosphere that breeds hatred.
“They are raising the younger generation to hate. They are educating for the destruction of Israel. I do not see any discourse for peace here; there is no discourse that paves the way for coexistence. The discourse is one of hatred and the destruction of the State of Israel.”
In his Thursday speech before the UN General Assembly, Abbas accused Jerusalem of war crimes and “ethnic cleansing.”
“What permits the Israeli government to blatantly continue with its aggressive policies and the perpetration of war crimes stems from its conviction that it is above the law and that it has immunity from accountability and consequences,” Abbas said. “This belief is bolstered by the failure by some to condemn and demand the cessation of its violations and crimes and by position that equate the victim and the executioner.”
“As long as the Palestinian Authority educates its people toward hatred, and non-recognition, of Israel, there will not be peace,” said Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon. “They are sending deep messages and this education is being absorbed by all sections of the populace, especially the younger generation.”