Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is reported to have told Vice-President Joe Biden this week that “Israel has made enough efforts to reach a peace settlement [with the Palestinians] and has not received sufficient gestures in return.” If so, it was a great understatement.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has published an overview of anti-Israeli incitement in the Palestinian Authority during July and August of this year. That was the time of the Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, the result of intensive U.S. diplomacy spearheaded by Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
Those proximity talks led to the crowning glory: the direct talks of September, which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ended almost as soon as they had begun by demanding that Netanyahu extend Israel’s settlement freeze — something Abbas knew he wouldn’t do.
With the talks now in suspension and a change having swept Washington, speculation is rife as to whether, and how much, the administration will keep pushing for the “process” to continue.
No one who reads PMW’s report, however, can rationally believe that the PA is ripe for peace or that U.S. efforts to promote this entity to statehood are efforts well spent.
Since June of last year Netanyahu has been airing the demand that the Palestinian side recognize Israel as a Jewish state. But as far as the official PA is concerned, Israel’s nature is not in question: it doesn’t exist at all.
As PMW notes, on June 4, 2008, then-candidate Obama told the AIPAC conference: “I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security. … Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don’t even acknowledge Israel’s existence.”
And yet, as PMW points out — displaying many examples — “all the official PA maps in offices, websites, schoolbooks, and those appearing on official PA TV since the start of the proximity talks continue the policy of defining all of Israel as ‘Palestine.’”
That policy is also expressed verbally by referring to Israel in official PA TV shows, its official newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, and so on solely with such epithets as “the occupied homeland,” the “Palestinian interior,” and the like. And this refers to Israel within the 1967 borders, the part that’s supposed to be one of the “two states living side by side in peace and security.”
This goes hand in hand with a systematic, total denial of Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the land of Israel, laced by constant incendiary claims that Israel plans to seize and even destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Blatant demonization of Israelis and Jews is also an ongoing feature of PA media and sermons, to the point that the supposed distinction between “radical” Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, and the supposedly “moderate” Fatah, the rulers of the PA, emerges as meaningless.