Book highlights PA denial of Israel’s right to exist

'Deception: Betraying the Peace Process,' contends, the PA promoted messages of hate in order to undermine the peace process with Israel.

December 7, 2011 01:09
2 minute read.
Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)


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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.

Deception: Betraying 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 peace.

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.

Even 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 Gaza Strip.

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 cities.”

“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 them.

“Government-sponsored hate speech is incompatible with peace,” Bernstein said.

“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.

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