The Palestinian Authority and Hamas consistently promote a culture of hatred of and violence toward Jews in Israel and even worldwide. Both Fatah, which rules the West Bank, and Hamas, in control of Gaza, promote hate and incite violence through social media, on TV, and in schools. This message of hate promotes two basic principles:
- Any and all violence against Israel, including the murder of civilians, is honorable and a ticket to paradise.
- The ultimate aspiration of the Palestinian people should be the complete destruction of the State of Israel.
Incitement to violence by Palestinian leaders has been a driving force in the current wave of terror in Israel. The violence began after rumors spread among Palestinians that Israel was planning to take over the Temple Mount, the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism, and rebuild the temple.
The wave of murders of Israeli civilians with knives, vehicles, and guns escalated after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a call for violence on his government's official TV outlet. In September 2015, Abbas said, "We salute every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem. This blood is clean, pure blood, shed for the sake of Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will be placed in Paradise, and all the wounded will be rewarded by Allah… The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are ours. They are all ours and they [the Jews] have no right to defile them with their filthy feet" (translated by MEMRITV from the original Arabic).
Palestinian authority statements
Numerous examples of calls for genocide or ethnic cleansing and praise of terrorists may be found on official Palestinian Authority TV channels. Some examples (all translated by MEMRI TV) are included below:
- In February 2016, Palestinian envoy to the UN Human Rights Council suggested that the Jews living in Israel should return to their countries of origin and give the land of Israel to the Palestinians.
- In November 2015, Palestinian cleric Sheik Imad Hamatu said, "[The Jews] are the slayers of the prophets, the slayers of the innocent, and the slayers of the righteous. We have been here for thousands of years, whereas they came for brief periods to a few places in Palestine. They did not have a state, they did not have a currency, they did not have roots here, and they did not grow branches. Today, they are trying to fabricate a myth, a history, [claiming] that they belong here.
- In May 2015, exiled Fatah terrorist Amna Muna, who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap and currently resides in Turkey, said in an interview, "Allah willing, there is still much to be done for Palestine… we shall continue on our path until the entire land is liberated, Allah willing." In response to a question about the day she was arrested, she said, "We live under occupation, we are fighters and martyrs. We expect this [arrest], we await martyrdom." At the end of the interview, the TV host said, "We hold you in the highest esteem, sister Amna… we salute you, along with all our glorious women.
- In May 2015, a childrens show airing on Palestinian Authority TV featured a puppet visiting Tel Aviv and saying, "They named it Tel al-Rabi' [Tel Aviv] after they occupied Jaffa. Can you believe it? Take a look. It used to be Jaffa and it became Tel al-Rabi'." The host of the show then says, "Allah wiling, we will soon go to Acre [an Israeli city just north of Haifa]… My friends, I am certain that one day Jaffa – and not only Jaffa but also Haifa, Acre, Nazareth, and all the Palestinian cities occupied in 1948 – will return to us one day, my dear children.
- In March 2015, in an interview marking International Women's Day, Fatah Central Committee member Amal Hamad said, "The representation of women [on the Central Committee] is insufficient in light of the sacrifices they have made. We should be talking about 50% – complete equality… dozens of our women were martyred. They killed dozens of officers and soldiers from among the Zionist entity… [Women] have been in the lead of our national struggle."
- In November 2014, A former Jordanian MP (member of Parliament) calling on the Christian West to help the Palestinian people expel all Jews from Jerusalem. He added, "We will defend Jerusalem and will not allow the Jews to be in it… This also represents what our leader, Mahmoud Abbas, said 10 minutes ago. Not a single Jew or Israeli will be in Jerusalem."
In addition, the Palestinian Authority releases interviews and statements expressing similar sentiments online to be disseminated via social media and Fatah officials issue similar calls for violence and genocide on TV stations in Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Arab world. More examples of such anti-Semitic and inflammatory rhetoric can be found at MEMRI TV.
The Palestinian Authority regularly releases anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons online and in official print publications.
In the days following the November 2015 Paris attacks, for example, Fatah published a cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu helping an Islamic State terrorist aim his machine gun with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
In another Fatah cartoon released a day earlier, an Israeli is depicted "beheading" the Al-Aqsa mosque while an IS terrorist is beheading a captive, equating Israeli policy with the Islamic State's brutality.
In a Jordanian cartoon broadcast on official PA TV in 2011, shortly after the independence of South Sudan, a sinister looking haredi Jew and a similarly evil-looking Uncle Sam toast the "division of Sudan" with barrels of oil.
In an blatantly anti-Semitic Palestinian Authority cartoon from 2014, Jews are depicted as rats gnawing away the foundation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Cartoons published by the Palestinian Authority (and by newspapers across the Arab world) often echo the old European blood libel, now widely believed in the Arab world, which is the idea that Jews drink the blood of Christian children or bake it into matzah. In the Arab world, Christian victims are substituted for Muslims, especially Palestinians, as in a 2014 PA cartoon depicting Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in Palestinian blood.
Palestinian authority statements to the west
PA officials send a very different message to Palestinians and other Arabs than they do to the rest of the world in interviews with European, American, Israeli, and other media.
In early October 2015, for example, amid daily news of attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians spurred in part by his own statement, said in an interview with Haaretz, a liberal Israeli outlet, "I support a popular, nonviolent struggle and oppose all violence and use of weapons. I've made clear a number of times that I don't want a return to the cycle of violence."
In an interview with The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, Abbas said that the root causes for violence were "are the continuous Israeli occupationa and Israel's rejection of all international decisions," and not his own incitement of violence or the anti-Semitism so ingrained in Palestinian society.
In a 2012 interview with Israel's Channel 2, Abbas said that he had a right to see Safed, the a city in northern Israel within the '67 borders where he was born, but not to live there. He added, "Palestine for me now is the '67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital."
In an October 2015 interview with Palestinian Authority TV, Fatah Central Committee Deputy Secretary Jibril Rajoub lauded the surge in violent attacks on Israelis but went on to explain the Palestinian Authority's diplomacy stragegy. He said, "The various factions [Fatah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad]… are capable of carrying out huge military operations… But I think that politically speaking, we do not want these operations… For the international community, it is unacceptable for a bus to explode in Tel Aviv, but it does not care what happens to a settler or a soldier who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in the occupied land. Therefore, we must fight in a manner that keeps the world on our side. I believe that there is a consensus about this."
Abbas's and other Fatah officials' statements to the Western media are designed to further the organization's goal of convincing the West that Palestinian terrorism is justified by Israeli occupation.
Effects of the dual message in the west
The PA's strategy appears to be working. In late November 2012, the UN General Assmbly passed a resolution upgrade the "State of Palestine" to non-member observer status. The only countries to vote against the resolution, which rewarded the Palestinian Authority despite its continued intransigence in negotiations, were the US, Canada, Israel, Panama, Czech Republic, and four small Pacific island nations, three of which always vote with America in the UN.
Palestine was recognized by Iceland in 2011, the Vatican in 2013, and Sweden in 2014. France, where Jewish emigration has spiked in response to increasing hostility from the left, the far right, and Muslim immigrants, has threatened to recognize Palestine if a peace initiative planned for this summer fails, apparently regardless of which party is truly to blame for the breakdown. In December 2015, Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom called IDF and Israeli police killings of Palestinian terrorists during attacks extrajudicial killings illegal under international law. The month before, in the wake of the Paris attacks by the Islamic State, she identified the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the factors explaining why "there are so many people who have become radicalized."
Even in America, Israel's strongest western ally, attitudes toward Israel are worsening. Younger generations are less sympathetic toward Israel and much more sympathetic toward the Palestinians than are older Americans. Many young Americans who grew up after the last of the Arab states' wars of annihilation against Israel have come to see the Jewish State only as an oppressive power and not as a victim of Arab aggression.
In an August 2014 survey by Pew, 46% of Americans over 65 and 42% of those aged 50-64 expressed "a lot" of sympathy for Israel, compared to 23% of those 18-29. Only 8% of seniors said they felt "a lot" of sympathy for the Palestinians, compared to 15% of those under 30. Among liberal Americans, 20% expressed "a lot" of sympathy for Israel, while 19% said the same of the Palestinians.
antisemitism in palestinian society
The effect of Fatah and Hamas propaganda on Palestinians' attitudes toward Israel and the Jews is predictably negative. Anti-Semitism is extremely widespread in the Arab world as a whole but especially pronounced among Palestinians.
In its 2014 survey of anti-Semitic attitudes, the Anti-Defamation League found that in every Arab country in the Middle East and North Africa, over 70% of the population was anti-Semitic. The Palestinian Territories topped the list with a 93% rate of anti-Semitism.