Just ahead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's trip next week to Washington, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas went on a charm offensive towards the Israeli media. On Tuesday Abbas invited representatives of the Hebrew-language press to his office in Ramallah and assured them of his good intentions towards Israel.
We have been here before. In Netanyahu's last go-around as Prime Minister, it seemed like every time he was due to visit Washington, then president Bill Clinton's advisors would set up a meeting for Abbas's predecessor Yassir Arafat with the Israeli media. Arafat would talk about how much he wanted peace with Israel, and how he was just waiting for Netanyahu to agree to embrace the cause of peace.
The peace-crazed Israeli media enthusiastically reported Arafat's lies to the Israeli people without questioning either Arafat's motives or his honesty. Has they exhibited even a minimal amount of journalistic competence, they would have at least checked to see what the Arafat-controlled Palestinian media was reporting about their meeting with the "Rais."
But that would have ruined their Netanyahu-bashing narrative. And so the Israeli public was denied knowledge that not only did the Arafat-controlled Palestinian media fail to report their meeting, Arafat's newspapers and television broadcasts routinely told the Palestinian people that there could be no peace with the Jews. Indeed, they daily exhorted the Palestinians to view the destruction of Israel as their greatest goal.
In a similar manner, this week as Israel's newspapers published ecstatic headlines about Abbas's moderation and desire for peace, the Abbas-controlled Palestinian media made no mention of the meeting. Moreover, in recent weeks, the Abbas-controlled Palestinian media have been intensifying their incitement against Israel and Jews.
As Palestinian Media Watch reported this week, on Tuesday Abbas-controlled PATV aired a sermon by the PA's Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. The mufti said, "The Jews, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger! Enemies of humanity in general, and of Palestinians in particular... The Prophet says: 'You shall fight the Jews and kill them...'"
Similarly, last week PATV re-broadcast a "documentary" film in which all of Israel is described as "occupied Palestine." In one excerpt cited by PMW, the film's narrator asserts, "The West Bank and Gaza have another section in Palestine which is the Palestinian coast that spreads along the [Mediterranean] sea, from ...Ashkelon in the south, until Haifa, in the Carmel Mountains.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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