The Israeli Media Is Trying To Hide
By Shai Gefen
"A Look at the Palestinian Media"
Itamar Marcus is 47 years old. He studied at Yeshivas HaKotel
and has advanced degrees in political science. He worked as the advisor to
Minister of Religion, Shimon Shitrit.
Four years ago, he founded an organization that studies
Palestinian media. Thanks to him, many exclusive articles have revealed the
truth behind the "peace" treaty Israel has made with the Palestinians.
Four years ago, Mr. Itamar Marcus founded a machon
(institute) called "A Look at the Palestinian Media." The organization
examines various articles in the Palestinian press that pertain to Eretz Yisroel
and its residents. A team of five translators go through the Palestinian papers
every day, as well as the electronic media, and publishes the truth about the
Palestiniansí attitude towards Israel.
The machonís purpose is to bring these articles to
the Israeli public, the media, and to those who decide Israeli policy, who are
generally unaware of this information. The point is to reveal the true
intentions of the murderers with whom we have been making "peace."
The machon was established after the elections in
5756. At that time, Itamar Marcus saw the terrible incitement against Israel on
the part of the Palestinians, about which the Israeli public remained oblivious.
Thanks to the machon, many truth-revealing articles
have been printed on topics such as: children being trained in the use of
weapons at their summer camps, Arafatís jihad speeches, and a long list
of research information about everything concerning incitement against Israel.
The machon also examines the official textbooks of the Palestinian
Authority in which the children are officially educated to hate Israel.
Is it true that the Palestinian Authority is inciting hatred
Far more than Israelis are likely to believe. I must
emphasize though, that the Palestinian Authority does not incite against Israel,
for it doesnít recognize Israelís right to exist. This is true at all
levels. They say explicitly that they must annihilate the State of Israel. Thus
far we have published a number of research papers for American organizations in
which we expose the Palestiniansí plans as printed in their textbooks. The
discoveries we made are truly frightening. We also published a paper in which we
compared Palestinian textbooks and Syrian textbooks.
Which are worse?
The messages that appear in the Syrian textbooks are
virtually identical to those that appear in the Palestinian textbooks, whether
itís about Israel stealing Palestinian land and, therefore, they donít have
a right to exist, or that "Allah will guarantee that Israel is liquidated
and they have to liberate all the land." Perhaps the Syrian version is
stronger, but the content in both is the same Ė they both call for the
annihilation of Israel, and say that Palestinian and Syrian children must see
themselves as fighters against Israel, who stole their land.
Prime Minister Barak went to New York for the U.N. Millennium
Conference, where he met Arafat, and talks are still going on about an agreement
dividing Yerushalayim. How do you see this from the Palestinian viewpoint? Will
they agree to the compromise?
They already decided years ago to "educate" their
people that the Jewish people and Israel have no connection to the land of
Israel in general and Yerushalayim in particular. They broadcast this message in
their media and textbooks. As far as they are concerned, the Kosel HaMaaravi is
not a Jewish site. A few years ago, Arafat said that it was a fact that
archaeologists hadnít made any historical finds there, and this showed that
there was no temple. One of their professors was interviewed recently on
Palestinian television and he said that no old coins have ever been found with
Jewish writing on it.
Do you see any change in the Palestinian newspapers since the
Camp David summit?
I look for a change, but I donít find one. On the contrary,
there is a constant intensifying of the hatred around the topic of Yerushalayim.
Just yesterday there were clips on Palestinian television that publicized
messages of hatred and violence. They showed Israeli soldiers hitting Arabs and
Palestinians Ė this is for the purpose of constantly inciting hatred and
violence. Actually, since the Camp David summit Iíve noticed more hate
messages in their media.
Barak speaks of a compromise over Yerushalayim. Do you feel
that the Palestinians are ready to compromise?
Just the opposite Ė their incitements have only gotten
stronger, making no concessions over Yerushalayim. The Palestinian extremism on
the subject has greatly intensified since Camp David and theyíre talking about
jihad over Yerushalayim. They havenít moved an inch from their opening
position when it comes to Yehuda-Shomron, including Yerushalayim and sovereignty
over Eastern Yerushalayim and the Temple Mount.
Do you they speak explicitly about war over Yerushalayim?
In a Palestinian radio broadcast, one of the Arab Knesset
members said that Israeli Arabs will be the first to rise up in defense of El-Aktza.
That is extremely serious. We definitely see how their incitement continues and
they do not consider conceding anything when it comes to Yerushalayim.
The basis of the Oslo Accords was their stopping their
education to violence, and calling for appeasement among the nations. You follow
whatís happening in Palestinian education. Do you see them implementing the
There is no change. On the contrary, there are changes for
the worse every day. They praise and glorify whoever does acts of violence.
Yichya Ayashís name appears regularly in the Palestinian Authoritiesí
crossword puzzles. In a recent edition of their official paper, there was a quiz
for children which offered prizes. One of the questions was: "Who is a
"shahid" hero who studied chemistry and shook up the Israeli
entity in Dizengoff and Machane Yehuda, and was finally murdered by the Zionist
Just this week there was a program that dealt with the
character of Dala Mugrabi, the female terrorist who kidnapped and then carried
out the butchery on the bus on the Kvish HaChof, in the course of which 35 Jews
were killed at the end of the 70ís.
The Palestinians see violence as a viable approach, and
present it as something that led to their present attainments and which will
continue to lead to further attainments if Israel doesnít concede to their
What do their textbooks say?
They speak of hatred and anti-Semitism. They educate children
about conquering all of Israel and about the obligation to be a "shahid"
in the battle against Israel. This is expressed throughout their schooling,
starting from a very young age. Recently there was a program for five-year-olds
in which the emcee displayed a map of the entire Eretz Yisroel and explained to
the children how beautiful and big Palestine is. They donít even hint to the
fact that there is an Israeli state that they have to live peacefully with.
They had a program for their summer camps in which the
children went to visit cities and towns in Eretz Yisroel as part of "Know
Your Country." The children visited Acco, Nahariya, and Caesarea, all for
the purpose of strengthening the Palestinian childrenís ties to Ďtheir land,í
as they put it. Their education gives the message: Itís all ours.
In camp, seven- and eight-year-old children learned how to
shoot with automatic weapons. They tell the children that this is for liberating
When you listen to the Israeli media, they say that the
Palestinians are "only" demanding Yehuda-Shomron?
What the Israeli media tries to present and whatís actually
happening are two very different things. Iím telling you whatís actually
taking place. In their schools, various programs in the media, and in the
newspapers, they arenít only talking about Yehuda-Shomron but about Natzeret,
Nahariya, Yaffo, Lud, Ramla, and Acco.
Itís important to make clear that they arenít "just
saying it," and itís not the extremist talk of one person. This is said
explicitly and quite openly and they donít try to hide it.
Are Israelís leaders aware of this material or are they
completely unaware of it as they sit down to "peace" talks with the
We pass on our material to them, but I know that a lot of it
is filtered out so that they donít get the true picture. Itís only when we
sit down face to face that they finally get it. But afterwards, some advisor or
other waters it down. If they were fully aware that the Palestinians educate
their people to eradicate Israel, they wouldnít continue as they do.
Iíd like to point out that when I show this material to
Knesset members of certain parties, they are not interested, and they only
glance at it. They donít take it seriously. On the other hand, when I show
this material to rabbanim I see that they take it seriously and they ask
for more information. They understand the problem and its significance.
The general public does not hear this information from the
Israeli media. Are these serious findings of yours deliberately concealing?
The information definitely gets filtered by the papers. Even
when they bring some facts about the situation, they present it as a rare
occurrence, and as I said, these are not just statements but a definitive
worldview which is consistent throughout their media, education of school
children, and in their summer camps. Their education is based on the principle
of the annihilation of Israel. It is not merely a superficial problem that you
can simply sweep away. The change that was expected in the wake of the Oslo
Accords never happened. The more we conceded, the greater their attacks against
I would like to quote a Minister of the Palestinian
Authority. Two months ago he said that the Palestinians signing the Oslo Accords
was not for the purpose of a permanent agreement, but in order to gain a
foothold in the land, because war will be more easily fought within the land
than from a distance. He said that the goal of the revolution of Ď65 (the year
the P.L.O. was founded and they decided to destroy Israel) was still their goal.
That is what a Minister of the Palestinian Authority
government admits was the entire purpose of the Oslo Accords Ė that it was a
tactic to fight Israel under better conditions than they would from Tunisia!
Are you sure this wasnít just the extremist statement of
one minister in a moment of anger?
We constantly read about the most senior individuals who say
things like that. Arafat himself doesnít say this explicitly, but the other
senior members do.
One of Arafatís assistants described what the Oslo Accords
will accomplish, with Yerushalayim being the Palestinian capitol being only the
first step. The second step will be a Palestinian country over all of Palestine.
He made this speech twice, once at a course given in Azza, and another time for
the official newspaper of the P.A. This is how they are educating the people and
this is how they view the situation.
How do you sum up the messages the P.A. says about Israel?
I would sum up their philosophy with three main points which
they constantly reiterate: 1) Israel doesnít have the right to exist and they
have stolen Palestinian land, 2) Israel is an ever-present danger to
Palestinians and Islam, 3) since Israel endangers them by saying that the Arabs
donít have a right to be here, annihilating Israel is historically just and
even a matter of self-defense.
Is there any difference between the messages of the P.A. and
those of Hamas and other organizations?
Thereís no difference. A few months ago we published a
report in which we showed a list of statements by P.L.O. leaders alongside
statements of Hamas. They were strikingly similar. There is only one difference
between Hamas and the P.A. and that is the P.A. offers examples from Arab
history that show how leaders signed temporary peace treaties or temporary
ceasefires like the famous agreement with Koreish. This is how they try to
justify the agreement they signed with Israel. The Palestinian leaders
constantly remind their people of Koreishís agreement as a model for the
agreement they signed with Israel.
What does the Israeli man on the street know about whatís
going on the other side of the barricade?
I speak with many people and they know thereís incitement,
but they donít realize how serious the situation is. Even people with more
moderate views and those on the Left have told me more than once that if this is
true then they have to rethink their position.
Why arenít people more aware of the severity of the
First of all, the media chooses not to tell them. Secondly,
our budget doesnít allow us to publicize our findings in a big way. If we had
more money perhaps we would succeed in reaching the public at large.
Is your machon to the Right or the Left?
We are a scientific, academic research institute that deals
in facts. Everybody can read the material and understand it as they see fit. We
donít offer our own commentary to the papers we publish.
A few months ago we held a meeting at the Knesset with the
title of "Anti-Semitism in the Palestinian Media and Holocaust
Denial." The fifty Knesset members who attended the meeting were not all on
the Right. Avshalom Vilan of Meretz, Goldschmidt of Labor, Tommy Lapid of Shinui,
Limor Livnat of Likud, and Zevulun Orlov of Mafdal were there. It was a full day
meeting. Even Knesset Chairman Avrohom Berg participated. People said that they
never saw a meeting in which such diverse members of the house participated. We
donít offer commentary; the translations and caricatures speak for themselves.
This situation of Israeli leaders and citizens not knowing
whatís going on is truly frightening.
Itís terrifying. We sit together with our enemy without
knowing what heís up to; with what sort of hatred they are educating their
people, and what they are planning. We close our eyes to a generation that is
being raised on the obligation to destroy Israel. Daily, my staff and I follow
whatís happening with the Palestinians, and at night I watch Israeli
television and think Iím on a different planet. Israeli television presents
the Palestinian position so nicely, so I ask myself where these people are
I think that many people in the media are truly sinning by
not publicizing whatís happening. While we try to educate our children to
desire peace, the P.A.ís goal is to teach hatred of Israel and to bring about
our destruction. In the reports we publish we want to show how this isnít just
happenstance or a one-time slip of the tongue, but something deliberate and
We are now marking seven years since the Oslo Accords. How do
you assess the situation?
Oslo was supposed to bring us peace, but "peace"
hasnít begun yet. Israel gave up much land, while the other side gave up
nothing. No change has taken place in their thinking, and it has even gotten
worse. They continue to educate their people to incitement, and present the Oslo
Accords as a process that will lead to the Palestinian State over all of
Palestine. I am extremely concerned about the situation, for who knows where it
Do you fear all-out war?
I am not so afraid of war right now, but Arafat definitely
can flood our land with blood and then claim it wasnít him but Hamas. We may, chív,
see buses blowing up again. They leave the coals constantly burning so that when
the time comes they can ignite the flames more easily. Our situation is far
worse than the situation in Lebanon.
What do you think will happen?
I donít think there can be a permanent agreement with an
announcement of the end of our differences as Barak would like. Our danger today
lies in the fact that Barak will capitulate in order to show some accomplishment
to the public. So heíll make another temporary agreement to buy another few
monthsí time. They will get land, thus making further progress towards their
ultimate goal of all-out war, as they explicitly state.
Donít you have any positive message to offer?
Unfortunately I donít. The situation is bleak.