Turn on Palestinian television or open a Palestinian newspaper these days, and much of the content looks like it could have come from a time capsule from Yasser Arafat?s murderous reign: brainwashed mothers and children discussing the ?glory? of ?martyrdom,? top clerics calling for the destruction of Israel, and general vilification of the Jewish ?oppressors.?
Although it is still fairly early in Abbas? tenure?less than three months since his ?election? and just under five months since Arafat died?the early record is far from encouraging, yet hardly surprising.
Aside from being a communist Holocaust denier and Arafat?s right-hand man for decades, Abbas has always hailed from the same school of moral thought that ?Palestine? includes all of Israel and that there?s nothing inherently wrong with suicide bombings. His criticism of terrorism, which is always noted by the media and the international community so eager to embrace him, is based on his belief that slaughtering innocent civilians is merely strategically unhelpful.
Due to the invaluable efforts of Palestinian Media Watch and its director, Itamar Marcus, we know that Abbas? early tenure suggests he is simply Arafat in Western clothing.
On November 17, less than a week after Arafat?s death?before the January ?election,? but during which time Abbas was already firmly in control?Palestinian Authority television (PATV) broadcast an interview with a mother whose two sons were suicide bombers.
To mothers who might think that sending their sons to commit murder by suicide might be ?encouraging them to die,? this was her message: ?No, we do not encourage our sons to die. We encourage them to Shahada [martyrdom] for the homeland, for Allah.? She further explained, in fact, that it was ?joyous,? demanding celebration: ?For us, the mourning is joyous. We give out drinks, we give out sweets. Praise to God?the mourning is a joyous occasion.?
Even after Abbas was officially declared prime minister, incitement remained a mainstay of PATV. On February 4, one of the PA?s top clerics, who is on the PA payroll, explicitly advocated what many Abbas critics have long charged is the new prime minister?s ultimate goal: using diplomacy to establish a Palestinian state and then switching to violence to wipe out all of Israel.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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