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What 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.

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Is it true that the Palestinian Authority is inciting hatred against Israel?

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 accords?

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 conquerors?"

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 demands.

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 Yerushalayim.

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 Palestinians?

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 us.

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 situation?

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 coming from.

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 consistent.

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 will lead?

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.
 

   

Since the Camp David summit Iíve noticed more hate messages in their media.
 

 

 

 

 

What the Israeli media tries to present and whatís actually happening are two very different things. Iím telling you whatís actually taking place.
 

 

 

 

 

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.

 


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