CAMERA Letter to the Editor: Countering Propaganda and Exposing Incitement

(An abbreviated version of this letter to the editor was published in The Washington Times on Feb. 22, 2016)

“Asma’ Jawabreh’s interesting report “Palestinians admit to working with Israel to foil attacks,” (Feb. 16) unfortunately omits Palestinian Authority (PA) incitement and rejectionism and downplays anti-Jewish violence.

The article repeats Hamas claims that terrorist attacks against Israelis are a “bloody struggle for independence.” In fact, what Hamas really wants—according to its own charter—is the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of its Jewish inhabitants. Lack of a Palestinian state is not why Hamas targets and murders Israelis, as Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh admitted in a Jan. 19, 2016 speech: “This intifada is not the result of despair. This intifada is a jihad, a holy war fought by the Palestinian people against the Zionist occupation. Only a holy war will drive the occupier out of Palestine.”

Hamas has made clear that the so-called “occupation” and “Palestine” is in fact all of modern-day Israel.

The report notes comments by PA Intelligence head Majir Faraj that are critical of the ongoing “stabbing intifada.” But it fails to mention that other PA officials—including Mr. Faraj’s boss—have incited the very violence Faraj claims he condemns—and done so in ways not dissimilar from Hamas.

In an Sept. 16, 2015 speech on official PA TV and later posted on the PA’s Web site, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, exhorted, “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr will reach Paradise.”

On Jan. 21, 2016 Fayez Abu Aita, spokesman of the PA’s ruling Fatah party, acknowledged on official PA TV that the authority was supporting the terrorist attacks. Other PA officials likewise have offered support, including former “top peace negotiator” Saeb Erekat, whose nephew, a member of the PA’s Security Services that work for Faraj, was killed trying to murder Israelis.

With such “peace negotiators” it’s little wonder that in recent years, the PA has rejected, without counteroffer, Israeli and U.S. proposals of “two-state solutions” in exchange for peace with Israel in 2000, 2001 and 2008—a fact omitted in Jawabreh’s report.

The article repeats Abbas’ claims that “Jewish settlements” are “expanding.” It fails to note that Jewish communities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) as a rule are growing internally but not expanding their boundaries and account for less than five percent of that land.

Some arms of the PA very well may be cooperating with Israeli forces in limiting terror attacks. But simultaneously others are inciting them.

Sean Durns

Media Assistant

CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)”

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