NEW YORK – Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel and Advancing Human Rights founder Bob
Bernstein spoke at an event on Tuesday to herald the publication of a book
exposing one year of media in the Palestinian Authority – nearly all of which
demonizes Israel while denying its right to exist.
the Peace Process, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, analyzes a year’s
worth of cultural, educational and general media resources in which, the book
contends, the PA promoted messages of hate in order to undermine the peace
process with Israel.
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Marcus and Zilberdik began their in-depth review of
PA-approved media in May 2010, to determine how the PA responded to its
commitments as put forth by the Quartet: to espouse nonviolence, to recognize
the Jewish State of Israel, and to accept it as a partner for
After examining a wide swath of magazines and cultural materials
for a full year, the overwhelming conclusion was that messages put out directly
or indirectly by the PA reflected “a total abrogation of commitments to their
own people,” Marcus said.
The book details hundreds of examples of
cultural, educational and media sources that promote messages of hate among
Palestinians and undermine the peace process with Israel. The book catalogues
and contextualizes the PA’s numerous policies of glorifying terrorism,
demonizing Israelis and Jews and rejecting Israel’s right to exist.
in mundane contexts such as sports pages, Marcus said, a story about a game
refers to Israel not as Israel, but as “the homeland that is occupied.” That is,
it is important to note, the entirety of Israel, not just the West Bank and the
Frequently, Marcus pointed out, all Israeli cities and cites
are referred to as Palestinian, whether in print or on television, including in
educational programs designed for children.
Marcus said the book’s
findings differentiate between those who deny Israel’s existence and those who
deny its right to exist entirely, as manifested by the abrogation of referring
to Haifa, Tiberias and Jaffa, for instance, as “Palestinian
“There’s a denial by the Western press that this is happening,”
Bernstein said. “They don’t read Arabic.”
Equally troubling, Marcus said,
is the repeated demonization of Israel, likening Israelis to Nazis and alleging
that Israel poisoned Arafat. The demonization also occurs when suicide bombers
are glorified, having stadiums, tournaments and town squares named after
“Government-sponsored hate speech is incompatible with peace,”
“Unless the PA stops presenting terrorists as role
models, and Jews and Israelis as inherently evil, and unless they stop educating
their people to imagine a world without Israel, there is no chance of achieving
authentic peace,” Zilberdik said in a statement.
Marcus hopes to get his
book into the hands of all members of the US Congress as well as of European
parliaments, to let the legislators know what their financial aid to
Palestinians is paying for.
“The hope is that getting proper information
out is a first step toward change,” Marcus said.