Itamar Marcus 390.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Youtube)
THE HAGUE – The Israeli government toughened its policy last month on
Palestinian incitement, Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media
Watch, told Dutch legislators Thursday.
Government sources in Jerusalem,
meanwhile, confirmed that “dealing with Palestinian incitement has become a
priority issue for Israel.”
The Dutch Christian party that invited Marcus
to speak in parliament demanded The Netherlands consider withholding aid to the
Palestinian Authority unless the latter curbed anti-Semitic speech and
glorification of violence by its officials and through its media.
the longest time, material on Palestinian incitement to violence was used
quietly by the Israeli government,” Marcus said at a presentation of his new
book, Deception, in the parliament.
“In the last few weeks, there has
been a major change on the part of the Israeli government, which is putting this
issue at a higher level.”
Marcus, whose Jerusalembased NGO has been
monitoring Palestinian media since 1996, pointed to condemnations from Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the past few weeks as signs of this new
“There were a few public statements by the prime minister: He
spoke about the glorification of the killers of the Fogel family; about the
mufti of Jerusalem’s call to kill Jews, and the book, Deception, was given by
Israeli negotiators to Saeb Erekat 10 days ago in negotiations in Jordan,” he
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Last month, the official Fatah-controlled television channel
broadcast a sermon by the mufti of Jerusalem, who praised the “Fatah revolution”
and called on Muslims to kill Jews at a ceremony celebrating the PA faction’s
47th anniversary. The same television channel in January presented the men who
murdered five members of the Fogel family in the Itamar settlement in March as
Marcus said Britain and the EU had condemned the mufti’s
statement following Netanyahu’s own statement.
“As Israel becomes more
outspoken about this issue, we’re hoping other countries [will] likewise be more
outspoken,” the NGO director said. “It could be that the world is waiting for
Contacted for a reaction, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed
that it was working “intensively” against incitement.
Binyamin Netanyahu views the Palestinian Authority’s incitement against Israel
as an obstacle to peace,” his office said. Government sources said the issue had
become a top priority.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told The
Jerusalem Post that “we cannot turn a blind eye to this incitement, and the
international community has to loudly condemn these comments.”
recently published book focuses on “duplicity” by Palestinian officials, who, he
says, deliver reconciliatory messages to foreign ears while offering bellicose
speeches to their home audience.
Among the hundreds of examples the
275-page book cites are two statements that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad made on the same day. On March 23 last year, he expressed his “honor and
admiration” for four female prisoners involved in terror bombings inside Israel,
hours after condemning a deadly terror bombing in Jerusalem.
to present his book to the parliament at the initiative of Joël Voordewind, an
MP for the relatively small centrist party ChristenUnie. Attending his address
were representatives of the Party for Freedom and the ruling Liberal Party.
Labor, the Socialist Party and other parties did not send any representatives to
the book presentation.
On Wednesday, Voordewind submitted a parliamentary
query containing seven questions addressed to Foreign Minister Uri
One of the questions read, “Are you prepared to give out aid
to the Palestinian Authority on a monthly basis instead of a yearly basis, which
would evaluate every month whether the PA is indeed carrying out an effective
anti-terrorism policy?” According to parliament regulations, Rosenthal has two
weeks to reply.
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