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Views on peace-making
Israel in a positive light
Views on peace-making

Israel in a positive light
Released prisoner had earned high school diploma and BA while in prison 
Source: Khabar, independent Palestinian news agency, Feb. 22, 2017
    “The occupation authorities released prisoner Imad Muhammad Al-Athamneh, 45, this evening, Wednesday [Feb. 22, 2017], after he served his sentence of 14 years…
It should be noted that prisoner Imad Al-Athamneh is married and a father of six children, and he earned a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree in history inside prison.”
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Prisoner studied history and political science at Hebrew University, learned 16 languages while in prison 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Jan. 26, 2017
Headline: "Jaradat: I read 6,000 books and learned 16 languages in prison"
     "He glances at the various Hebrew websites, and when we asked him about his life he said: 'My name is Hilal Jaradat from Jenin in the West Bank. I served 27 years in the Israeli occupation's prisons after I killed 3 Israeli soldiers in 1985.' ... He continued to talk while glancing at the laptop computer and his translations, and said: 'I entered the Jenin Prison, and through my membership in the Fatah organization I began to study. One of the prisoners guided me to take an interest in languages, and particularly the Hebrew language... He continued: 'Our battle against the enemy is a battle of knowledge, and therefore I began to teach and study. I began with Hebrew and English and then I moved on to many languages such as Russian, Spanish, and French, until I reached approximately 16 languages.' He added: 'In prison I studied at the Hebrew University in the history and political science faculties. I read approximately 6,000 books in prison, and I translated for many of the prisoners.'"
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PA official: "Palestine is the cradle of the three monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism... Religious tolerance is a human requirement" 
Source: Amad, independent Palestinian news website, Dec. 4, 2016
Headline: “The Palestinian people believes in religious and political co-existence and upholds it in theory and in practice”
     “Secretary-General of the [PA] Islamic-Christian Council for Jerusalem and the Holy Places Dr. Hanna Issa said: ‘… We, as a Palestinian people, believe in religious and political coexistence and uphold it in theory and in practice. Our ancient and modern history constitutes proof of this in light of our unique situation that the land of Palestine is the cradle of the three monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and the fact that our Palestinian people, Muslims and Christians alike, constitutes an inseparable part of the Arab nation, and its land is part of the greater Arab homeland.’
He emphasized: ‘Religious tolerance is a human requirement, which all of the religions, without exception, call for… and the Jewish religion [also] calls for tolerance, as is written in the Bible (sic., Talmud): ‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.’”
Official PA daily reports on Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in puting out fires, acknowledges that Israel publically thanked Palestinians for helping  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2016
Headline: "Netanyahu calls the [PA] president and thanks him for the participation of the [PA] Civil Defense teams in putting out the fires - Israelis: We are talking in Hebrew mixed with Arabic and fighting [the fires] through a common language"
     "[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call last night [Nov. 26, 2016] from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which [Netanyahu] thanked him for the participation of the Palestinian [PA] Civil Defense teams in putting out the fires (i.e., a wave of suspected Palestinian arson attacks in November 2016) that broke out in several areas within the Green Line (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel; the Green Line is the ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries, 1949-1967)…
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in the official Twitter account ‘Israel in Arabic’: ‘Your neighbor is your relative. Many thanks to the Egyptians for sending two helicopters, to Jordan for the fire trucks for putting out the fires, and to the PA for eight fire trucks.’ The Israeli Foreign Ministry shared an additional tweet from [Israeli] Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, in which he posted pictures of the efforts to put out the fires and said: 'The Palestinian firefighters are working together with the Israeli firefighters in Haifa in order to assist in putting out the fires.'"
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PA daily reports on Israeli poll results showing majority of Israelis support two-state solution  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 30, 2016
Headline: "Survey: Large Israeli support for the two-state solution and holding regional negotiations"

"The results of a survey carried out by Israeli Peace Initiative (i.e., Israeli organization promoting a regional peace agreement) showed that support for the two-state solution is still large, irrelevant of political affiliation, and that Israelis support the idea of holding regional negotiations.

It should be noted that the organization Israeli Peace Initiative includes former security people, diplomats, and politicians in Israel from all political affiliations who support the Arab Peace Initiative.

In the survey that was published on the Al-Masdar website, it appeared that 51 percent of those who voted for the right support the two-state solution, as opposed to 73 percent of those who voted for the center, and 74 percent of those who voted for the left. In all three camps little support was shown for the one-state solution, in other words a binational state.

Likewise, the survey showed a rise in support among Israelis for holding regional negotiations, and also that the amount of supporters for that type of negotiations is equal to the amount of supporters for the idea of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinians…

Seventy-eight percent of the participants in the survey supported an agreement that does not include the return of refugees to within Israel, or in symbolic numbers with Israel's agreement. Seventy-one percent supported an agreement that would include a demilitarized Palestinian state and special security arrangements in the Jordan Valley…

Regarding the holy sites at the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., Temple Mount), 62 percent supported the sites holy to the three religions being outside the sovereignty of any state and subject to joint Israeli, Arab, and international management, and also that worshippers of the three religions be ab
PA TV story depicts Jew in a positive light 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 25, 2016
Official PA TV program Ramadan in the City hosts Prof. Ramzi Suleiman of the University of Haifa’s Psychology Department

Official PA TV storyteller Lutf Nweiser: “Once there was a man with endless possessions, and he obtained his possessions honestly, gave charity, did many acts of kindness everywhere, and did not differentiate between people, not according to their race, not according to their religion, and not according to their ethnicity. He had two children, and he educated them to love their fellow man, and to honor the other. This man was a Jew, and when we say that he was a Jew there is a reason why we note that...”

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Note: The program is from the Musawa Channel, a channel of the Palestinian Authority intended for Arab Israelis, but it was also broadcast on official PA TV.

Op-ed in PA daily criticizing "terrorist right-wing in Israel" acknowledges that many groups of Jews also work for peace and defend Palestinians 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 12, 2016
Headline: "Israel's terrorists blame others for what exists in them"
Op-ed by Jihad Al-Khazen in the official PA daily, re-printed from the London-based Al-Hayat
     "I have worked in journalism non-stop since I was an adolescent, and I followed the terror of the white regime in South Africa and the massacres in Rwanda, and also in Srebrenica (i.e., town in Bosnia and Herzegovina ) after the division of Yugoslavia. However, all of this is dwarfed by the terror of the Israeli right-wing and the government of war criminal settlers, headed by the most despicable man in the world, [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, and the US Likud (i.e., American Friends of Likud), which protects the last apartheid state in the world.
[US] President Barack Obama spoke at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington about preventing the 'dirty bomb' [from reaching] the hands of ISIS. He did not speak about Israel's nuclear arsenal, despite the fact that Israel and ISIS compete with each other in [the field of] terror…
There is no peace with the Netanyahu government. It is a government that includes the most right-wing extremist terrorists who live on biblical myths that never actually took place. The name of the land is Palestine, and it is occupied, and Israel is a myth, written hundreds of years after the alleged events.
In conclusion, the terrorist right-wing in Israel does not include all of the Israelis and Jews, as there are many groups of Jews working for peace and defending the Palestinians, and they deserve gratitude and appreciation."

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Palestinian attorney: The Israeli labor law is very good but Palestinian middlemen steal half or two thirds of women’s salaries 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Mar. 16, 2016


Attorney Khaled Dukhi of Worker’s Hotline:
"Israeli labor law is a very good law regarding workers' rights, for both men and women. Israeli law does not differentiate between a worker who has entered Israel illegally or legally... Unfortunately, even though it is very good, in practice, the law has become very bad for female Palestinian workers. For instance, the Palestinian female workers in the agricultural sector enjoy many rights, like any Israeli worker in the agricultural sector: The salary is higher than the minimum wage, 14 vacation days a year in the first four years, 2,000 shekels convalescence pay [yearly] in the first year and 2,200 shekels in the second and third year for every worker in Israel, payment for holidays, whether Islamic or Jewish. It is a matter of choice."
TV host of 'Workers' Affairs': "But in practice, do they enjoy these rights provided by law?"
Attorney Khaled Dukhi of Worker’s Hotline: "In reality, Palestinian workers – and especially the female Palestinian workers – do not receive these things. Why? You said: “The Palestinian middleman deducts from her [salary].” No, he does not deduct, he shares her salary. In practice, he takes 50 percent, 60 percent, and even 70 percent of her salary. If her daily salary is 180 shekels, in the end she receives 60 shekels. The middleman steals two thirds of her salary. Excuse the word [“steals”], but that is the exact word."
TV host: "Yes, it reflects the reality."
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Palestinian workers are paid twice as much by Israel than by the PA or in the West Bank 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 26, 2016
Headline: “The rate of unemployment in Palestine is 25.9 percent”
      “The [PA] Central Bureau of Statistics publicized yesterday [Feb. 25, 2016] that… the number of workers in the local market reached 846,000 in 2015, as the number of workers in the West Bank reached 570,000, and 276,000 in the Gaza Strip.… 11.7 percent of the workers work in Israel and the settlements. The number of workers from the West Bank [that work] in Israel and the settlements reached 112,300 in 2015… and the number of workers in Israeli settlements reached 22,400 in 2015. The average daily wage for employees was 103.9 shekels in 2015… the average [daily] wage for employees in the West Bank was 94.1 shekels, and 61.9 shekels in the Gaza strip, while the average for employees in Israel and the settlements was 198.9 shekels.”
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Official PA daily praises Israel for sending corrupt officials to jail 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 23, 2016
Headline: “AIPAC’s statements blame us for what is happening in the new Israel”

Op-ed by Jihad Al-Khazen, originally published in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper

"I say that Israel is a terrorist and Hamas is a national liberation movement. All of the above do not preclude me from noting that there is something in Israel which I hope to see in our countries. Former [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was imprisoned after having been sentenced for corruption and obstruction of justice. I hope to see Arab officials of the same status go to prison just like Olmert. There are honorable people among us, but also corrupted and corrupting people who deserve to be put in prison.”

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Workers in the PA: Better salaries force Palestinian workers to Israel 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 4, 2016

Laborer from Hebron, Qassem Abu Hadwan: "The lack of monitoring of [Palestinian] owners of companies and factories and their exploitation of workers is what has forced people to Israel, to work and build in Israel. If only [the salary here in the PA] was at least half of the salary [in Israel]… no one would work in Israel. However, workers have to go to Israel, because no one [in the PA] gives them what they deserve for their work, whether in factories or in companies, and even in municipalities..."

Official PA TV host: "Do you think that the low income and exploitation by [Palestinian] factory and workshop owners are what force people to go [to work] within the Green Line [in Israel] or in the settlements?"

Laborer from Hebron, Qassem Abu Hadwan: "It is what forces the workers to Israel. Even though the Israelis exploit them, they give them what they are entitled to. In the end, when a worker goes to Israel and earns 200 or 180 shekels [a day] as opposed to what he earns here [in the PA], 50, 70, or 100 shekels, then he says: A month's work here equals a week's work there [in Israel]. How can it be compared?"

Official PA TV host: “We need investments and for workers’ rights to be honored. What motivates the workers, as we said, to go [to work in] the interior (i.e., Israel) or to the settlements is the exploitation that takes place [in the PA] and the low income... They [the workers] spoke about 12 hour days in construction work in the Palestinian market, as opposed to 8 hours in the Israeli interior."
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Article in PLO-funded youth magazine acknowledges Jewish history in Israel 
Source: Zayzafuna magazine, Nov. 9, 2015
Headline: “A village of Palestine: Kafr Yasif in Acre”
     “Kafr Yasif is a village in the historic Palestinian Galilee, 11 kilometers from the city of Acre… Some say that the names Kafr Yasif – the village of Yusuf – Kafr Yasif are attributed to the Jewish leader Joseph son of Matityahu, known as Josephus Flavius, who rebelled against the Romans in 70 C.E. It is said that Kafr Yasif was given to him as a gift from the Caesar of Rome at the time, but he is not mentioned by the name Jose or Yasif in Josephus Flavius’ books, but as the village of Acre, and it is mentioned in the Talmud by the same name.”

Zayzafuna is a PLO magazine for children partially funded by the PA. The magazine, which includes material written by both the magazine’s staff and child readers, represents the values of the educators and serves as a window into the minds of the Palestinian children submitting material to the magazine. Zayzafuna's website states that the magazine's advisory board is comprised of PA officials and educators, including Jihad Zakarneh, PA Deputy Minister of Education, and Abd Al-Hakim Abu Jamous, Head of the Media Department at the PA Ministry of Education. Since September 2015, Zayzafuna included a note on its second page thanking the PA Ministry of Finance for its financial support of the magazine (true as of the time of this writing, May 2016). In May 2011, the Deputy Chairman of the Zayzafuna organization Abd Al-Karim Ziyada explained on PA TV that the PA gives "a monthly payment of 10,000 shekels ($2,700) to cover the magazine's [costs]." [Official PA TV, May 9 and 13, 2011]
Israeli society presented positively on a PA TV channel  
Source: Official PA Filastin 48 TV, Sept. 6, 2015
Official PA Filastin 48 TV interviewer: “I wish to return to the topic of the wide-scale presence of Eastern (i.e., Sephardi) Jews at your performances. I also wish to mention that I was in shock [when I saw] the [Arab Israeli] singer Violet Salameh who gives performances in Ashdod and Ashkelon... How do you explain their devotion to the classical Eastern art, people who came out of Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria, how do you explain their devotion despite their being in the State of Israel that makes great efforts to erase Arab culture? How do you explain their devotion to their culture?”
Singer Ziv Yehezkel: “It is not true that the state is trying to erase this culture.” [...]
Interviewer: “What message would you like to convey to the Israeli public that sees you? Tell them: I am in Ramallah now, and Ramallah is like this and that. How will you explain the matter to the Israeli public?
Yehezkel: “I say: Stop believing the politicians. You are of course a media person, but stop believing the media. Come check for yourselves. Do not believe what they say, and what keeps the Arabs from the Jews.”

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Gazan worker described working in Israel in the 90s as a “golden age” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 3, 2015
Headline: “Younes Hussein reminisces about the golden age inside the Green Line”
     “[The period when they] worked inside the green line was a golden age for the Gaza workers. They were among the richest groups in the Strip and money was showered on them. Today, however, they are facing the most difficult situation, to the point that many of them beg for handouts from organizations and institutions due to poverty.’ With these words, worker Younes Hussein, 46, from Nuseirat refugee camp describes his situation, as one of the workers who used to earn a lot of money in the 90’s…  He added: ‘I have been unemployed since 2003, after I was prohibited from entering Israel because of the [second] Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign, 2000-2005), the political and the security situation, and the situation in Gaza is very difficult – there is a siege, there are wars and unemployment that spreads among the young people,’ and he wondered how he would find a job, when young people at the peak of their youth are unemployed.”
Palestinian columnist praises Israeli democracy and calls for Palestinians to learn ‎from Israel 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Mar. 19, 2015
Op-ed by Imad Abd Al-Hamid Al-Faluji:‎
Headline: “Israel’s democracy and our anarchy”‎
     ‎“It is no shame to see the truth as it is, and there is no sense in cultivating the art of ‎cursing and denigrating our enemy. I understand the difficulty of speaking [about] or ‎comparing our internal Palestinian situation, the way we design our policies and ‎internal relations, and how we deal with our disagreements with the ‎internal situation of our enemy, who occupies our land... Yet this ‎enemy has proven to us and to the international community that, despite its oppression ‎and aggression, it surpasses us in many respects, which are evident to any observer ‎who possesses a minimum of objectivity…‎
Anyone who observes the internal state of the Israeli entity will be amazed by the ‎range of internal disagreements that exist between the religious and the secular on ‎every issue, and by the disagreements within each of these groups... Yet despite this, ‎they have made laws to regulate these disagreements, and have set a common goal for ‎all, which is ‘to serve the State of Israel and the People of Israel,’ and have succeeded ‎in utilizing their disagreements, turning them into a power that serves them, instead of ‎letting the disagreements control them.‎
And we, who ‘possess the truth,’ look what is happening around us... Every party, group or individual has its ‎own private plan and goal. We do not believe in any all-inclusive means. We have ‎breached all laws and agreements, and destroyed everything that unites us. Each ‎group claims it possesses the absolute truth, and that all the others are completely ‎wrong. We are no longer able to hear the other, and at the moment anarchy has taken ‎over – political, economic, social and even intellectual anarchy.‎"
PA daily reports that Israel to double water supply provided to Gaza Strip 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 5, 2015
Headline: “Israel to double the amount of water provided to the Gaza Strip’”
     “The Israeli Civil Administration announced yesterday [March 4, 2015] that Israel would double the amount of water provided to the Gaza Strip, which is under siege and has been suffering from a humanitarian crisis since the destructive Israeli war last summer (i.e., Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel.) The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (the Israeli Civil Administration) said it would increase the amount of water provided to the [Gaza] Strip from 5 million cubic liters to 10 million cubic liters per year.”
PA daily article recognizes that ruins were site of palace of ancient Jewish king Omri 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 25, 2015
Headline: “From Herod to amateur football players, Sebastia’s struggle continues.”
“Basilica Square is the most famous ancient square of the village [of Sebastia, which is situated] at the peak of a mountain isolated from the surrounding mountains…
It was from here that Herod, who ruled Sebastia, directed the affairs of the region… Two tourists ascend a small hill and pass from Basilica Square, the center of Herod’s rule, to the palace of King Omri on the acropolis – which is the upper, fortified part of the city.”
Gazan worker happy to work in Israel, where compensation is better 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 3, 2015
Headline: “600,000 Gazans without daily income”
     “The Gazans are experiencing a deep crisis that tops the list of crises which have accumulated over the past few years, - [a list] that includes several interrelated social crises, such as rampant unemployment, the spread of abject poverty and the decline in the level of income to 10 shekels per day, while over 600,000 [Gazans] live without daily income.
Worker Mahmoud Abdallah expressed his joy at the news of the ‘Israeli promises’ to allow a number of workers from the Gaza Strip to work within the Green Line (i.e., Israel). He said that poverty and necessity are ‘cursed ’, as they push the working class to want to work within the Green Line, due to the lack of work opportunities in the Gaza Strip. In addition, he noted that life circumstances have forced him to work as a driver for the owner of a rickety taxi, earning barely 15 shekels [per day] for himself and his sons, compared to the 300 shekels per day he used to earn as a construction worker in Israel.”
Palestinian paper: Arabs increasingly moving to Jewish neighborhoods in East ‎Jerusalem 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Dec. 9, 2014
     ‎“A ‎small but growing number of Arabs are moving into Jewish settlements on occupied ‎land in East Jerusalem, drawn by cheaper rent and better services.‎..
‎‘Really it's not a matter of ideology,’ said Rawya Mazal, an Israeli Arab realtor who sells ‎or lets properties to Palestinian families in a nearby settlement at French Hill. ‘It's about ‎convenience, living close to campus or making an investment.’‎ [...] While the high proportion of Arab residents in French Hill and Mount Scopus is ‎probably exceptional, the trend is visible in other East Jerusalem settlements too.‎..
Sabrine Jabber, 26, is a Muslim Arab who has spent half her life in Neve Yaakov, a ‎collection of white high-rises that expanded as a settlement in the 1970s.‎.. ‎‘Nothing has changed for us,’ she said, sunning herself on the rear terrace of her ‎block. ‘My neighbors know me and I know them. We get on fine.’‎ [...] Moussab Abu Ramouz, a Palestinian who works in a supermarket in Neve Yaakov but ‎lives in Beit Hanina, said rents in his area were up to 25 percent more expensive than ‎in the settlement, which also has better public transport.‎ What is more, while Palestinians pay municipal taxes at the same rates as Jewish ‎residents, their neighborhoods tend to have much poorer services, with rubbish seldom ‎collected, the sidewalks in disrepair and street-lighting sparse.‎"
Official PA daily lauds Israel's treatment of Palestinian workers 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 21, 2014
     "Whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers - for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights.
An interview conducted by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida with a representative group of Palestinian workers revealed that those working for Israelis receive much higher salaries than their colleagues employed by Palestinians. In addition, those working for Israelis receive their pensions directly or through the lawyer representing the union of professional organizations in their region, while Palestinians working for Palestinian employers receive their pensions [only] after negotiating with them, and after many deductions, or through a personal appeal to court...
Furthermore, those working for Palestinian employers stated unanimously that they work without medical insurance, as [insurance] is not required by the Palestinian Labor Law, and that they receive no compensation for their travel expenses, while the Israeli employers, in most cases, pay their workers' travel expenses in both directions."
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