In a nationally-televised sermon, imam Ibrahim Mudyris said, ?[W]e shall return to the 1967 borders [by diplomacy], but we have not given up on [Israeli cities] Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle, Netanya and Tel Aviv. Never. We shall return to every village we have been expelled from, by Allah?s will.? Making clear the means by which he believes Palestinians should reclaim Israel, he explained that Palestinians shall ?return as Muhammad returned?as conqueror.?
Just over a month later, a different PA-employed cleric celebrated International Woman?s Day by encouraging mothers to send their children to death?with Abbas in the audience. Sheikh Yusuf Juma? Salamah quoted Al Khansah, a heroine in Islamic tradition who thanked God for having her four sons die in battle: ?Praise Allah, who granted me honor with their deaths.?
Not only was Abbas in the audience, but the sermon must have been given the stamp of approval by his government. ?This was the first Friday sermon broadcast after the PA announced that it would control and vet all Friday sermons delivered in West Bank and Gaza mosques,? notes Marcus.
While it would be na? to think that Abbas could change Palestinian society overnight, he has more or less carried on Arafat?s legacy. Quantity-wise, there is substantially less incitement, according to Marcus, but as already detailed, Palestinians are being fed a diet that is still peppered with violence and venom.
Abbas has the power to stop the indoctrination. The Palestinian Authority is not a real democracy. Not even close. Abbas won a coronation masquerading as an election. He is still the dictator of a closed society. Arafat?s longtime comrade-in-arms is the puppet master and all organs of Palestinian government and media are under his control.
There is a legitimate question how far ahead of a deeply radicalized Palestinian population Abbas can go. At the very least, he could aim to be a step ahead and try to lead them in a new direction. But he?s not?and it shows.
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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