Last week, we covered the debate over whether the Palestinian Authority has a policy of incitement against Israel. Today, those who sound the alarm on such a policy got a big boost from Israeli Intelligence and International Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who took to the pages of the New York Times to decry “thousands of examples of Palestinian incitement against the Jewish state and the Jewish people” on official P.A. channels.
He writes that this incitement — on the TV, radio, and elsewhere — serves to demonize Israel and endanger its residents:
The Palestinian Authority’s television and radio stations, public schools, summer camps, children’s magazines and Web sites are being used to drive home four core messages. First, that the existence of a Jewish state (regardless of its borders) is illegitimate because there is no Jewish people and no Jewish history in this piece of land. Second, that Jews and Zionists are horrible creatures that corrupt those in their vicinity. Third, that Palestinians must continue to struggle until the inevitable replacement of Israel by an Arab-Palestinian state. And fourth, that all forms of resistance are honorable and valid, even if some forms of violence are not always expedient.
Formerly a “chartered member of Israel’s Peace Now movement,” Steinitz — considered a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — is now a skeptic of the peace process. He writes that, unless the P.A.’s incitement stops, current talks between Israel and the P.A. will fail:
The fact that this anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic indoctrination persists, despite the much-touted relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, constitutes a huge obstacle on the road to peace. It should have disappeared 20 years ago, as a result of a clear Palestinian commitment to end all forms of incitement included in the Oslo Accords. And until it ends, the current round of talks cannot hope to reach a successful outcome.