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PMW in the Media
Arabs Heat Up Propaganda War on Israel
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The official daily newspaper of Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority accused Israel last week of attempting to kill Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip with poisoned candy dropped on elementary and junior high schools from aircraft.
The article in Al Hayat Jadida appeared just a day after Arafat’s spokesman said the Palestinian leader had accepted a report by former Sen. George Mitchell calling on the Palestinians and Israel to “identify, condemn and discourage incitement in all its forms.”
But the report doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect.
Among the recent wild accusations on the Palestinian side:
Arafat told a council of Arab ministers in Qatar that Israel was “using poison gas against Palestinian children.”
Abdul Khaliq Natshe, a Palestinian spokesman, told a rally in Hebron, “The Zionists are emulating the Nazis in every conceivable manner. They are turning Gaza into another Auschwitz. They are turning Hebron into another Treblinka.”
A video clip produced by the Palestinian Ministry of Information and aired repeatedly on state-controlled TV during the last two weeks shows an actor playing Muhammad Al-Dura – whose death in Gaza Strip crossfire was taped and widely broadcast in the West – calling on other children to join him “in my idyllic afterlife as a martyr.”
The dead child is portrayed flying a kite in a sprawling green field, playing on a beach and running through the plaza of the Al-Aqza mosque. “Come, follow me,” he says.
Israelis, too, are guilty of inflamatory rhetoric. Among it:
Hatzofeh, a newspaper identified with Jewish settlers, wrote in an editorial last week that Arafat and his security chiefs are “a morally rotten gang for whom terrorism is the staff of life.”
At the funeral of the two teens who were stoned to death in a cave earlier this month, two settlers held up a placard saying, “Death to the Arabs.”
U.S. diplomats in the Middle East told the Daily News last week that Mitchell’s condemnation of the harsh rhetoric primarily was aimed at the Palestinian media, where Antisemitism, Holocaust denial and medieval blood libels against Jews are commonplace.
Moreover, Israel often uses its anti-incitement laws to punish Israelis who make inflammatory statements.
For example, Tatiana Susskin, a Jewish settler on the West Bank, is serving a 2 1/2-year prison term for making insulting comments about Islam during a visit to Hebron.
“The claim that Israel is dropping poison chocolates … is only the latest bid in a systematic and clearly organized attempt by the officially controlled Palestinian media to maintain an intense hatred against the Jewish people,” said Itamar Marcus, the director of Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli group that monitors the Palestinian media.
“It is particularly lamentable in that it comes after they claim to have accepted the Mitchell report.”


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