Steinitz: Incitement against Israel is part of general Palestinian culture

Minister says incitement is a serious obstacle to peace, problem does not exist only among extremists.

Palestinian incitement in textbooks 311 (photo credit: IMPACT-SE)
Palestinian incitement in textbooks 311
(photo credit: IMPACT-SE)
Palestinian incitement is ruining the chances of ending the conflict, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said in the Knesset on Wednesday.
Steinitz presented his ministry’s report on incitement to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
“Incitement is a serious obstacle to peace,” he stated.
“The Palestinian Authority is aware of the inciting messages in its official educational institutions.”
Steinitz and Strategic Affairs Ministry director-general Yossi Kuperwasser reviewed the report with the committee, giving dozens of examples from Palestinian curricula, television programs and official PA websites to show the level of incitement.
“We did a thorough search of every Palestinian curriculum and television program, and we didn’t find even one opposing example, in support of peace,” Steinitz stated.
According to Steinitz, “incitement is a widespread phenomenon that is an inseparable part of the Palestinian culture and is not just among lone extremists.”
On Tuesday, The New York Times published an op-ed by Steinitz titled “How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace.”
Steinitz wrote that shortly after telling the UN he wants to “work to let the culture of peace reign,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hosted Egyptian poet Hisham al-Gakh and heard a recitation of a work declaring that “our enemy is the forktailed Zionist devil.”
“Instead of being schooled in the ‘culture of peace,’ the next generation of Palestinians is being relentlessly fed a rhetorical diet that includes the idolization of terrorists, the demonization of Jews and the conviction that sooner or later Israel should cease to exist,” the strategic affairs minister wrote.
Steinitz concluded by saying that the Palestinians should pay Israel back for releasing terrorists ahead of peace talks by no longer encouraging hatred and delegitimization of the Jewish people and state.
If they don’t, he added, peace talks will be doomed to fail and ministers will find it difficult to vote for confidence-building steps.