Israel gives nod to formation of anti-incitement c'tee

J'lem relays willingness to re-establishment of defunct committee to US; Abbas suggested move in interview following Itamar attack.

March 22, 2011 23:27
2 minute read.
Palestinian Media Watch

Palestinian media incitement. (photo credit: Palestinian Media Watch (


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israel “has no problem” with the re-creation of a joint Israeli-Palestinian- American working committee to deal with incitement and has relayed this message to the US administration, a senior government official said Tuesday, signaling that Israel has reversed its position on the matter.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview last week on Israel Radio following the murders in Itamar, denied that there was incitement in the Palestinian Authority and suggested reestablishing this committee that met briefly more than a decade ago to monitor incitement.


Lieberman accuses PA of incitement to terror
'Social media key platform for incitement'
PM: Abbas should condemn Itamar attack in PA media

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Abbas’s comments came after the government waged an aggressive campaign following the Itamar attack against incitement in the PA media and textbooks, claiming there was a direct link between the incitement in the PA and the type of terrorist atrocities committed in Itamar.

The idea of reestablishing the committee was raised by the Palestinians and the Americans during the few days of direct negotiations between the sides last September, but was not embraced by the Netanyahu government.

The Israeli position has been for some time that a committee isn’t needed to deal with the incitement, and that all that is really needed is for the PA – which controls its media apparatus and the textbooks – to take measures to stop it. Fighting incitement was seen in Jerusalem as a Palestinian obligation that the PA simply needed to carry out itself, without the need for a bureaucratic mechanism that would end up involved in endless debates about what is and what is not incitement.

A joint Israeli-Palestinian committee on incitement was set up in 1998 under US auspices. The Israeli team was led by the late journalist Uri Dan, who was a close confidant of Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian side by Yasser Arafat’s spokesman Marwan Kanafani. Sharon was the country’s foreign minister when the committee was established. With little – but continuous arguments – to show for its work, the committee disbanded after about a year.

Itamar Marcus, a member of the Israeli team at the time and today the head of Palestinian Media Watch, an NGO that monitors the Palestinian media and text books, said Tuesday he thought reestablishing the committee was a good idea.

“The biggest hindrance to peace is Palestinian hate promotion, incitement to violence and deligitimization of Israel,” he said. “Having that exposed on a regular basis would be an important step toward creating a peaceful environment.”

Speaking in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki blamed the dormant status of the committee on Israel.

The Palestinians have repeatedly asked Netanyahu to reactivate the bilateral committee against incitement, Malki said at an event sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace.

“I never stopped asking all the foreign diplomats who come to see me in my office to intervene with the Israeli side in order to reactive this anti-incitement bilateral committee,” he said.

It is important for the Palestinians to work together with the Israelis to end incitement, Malki said. “Otherwise we will lose control; and the moment we will lose control, this will be disastrous for us,” he said.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN