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PMW in the Media
Jewish Journal lauds PMW's book "Deception: Betraying the Peace Process"
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The Book of Deception and Betrayal

by Ariel Blumenthal

“If there were an Oscar given for doublespeak, the Palestinian political leadership would win it, hands down” writes Richard Chesnoff, NY Daily News. He reviews the new book Deception: Betraying the Peace Process, that as Isabel Kershner of the NY Times explains “...Catalogs dozens of examples of messages broadcast by the Palestinian Authority for its domestic audience that would seem at odds with the pursuit of peace and a two-state solution”. “The cumulative effect of the depth of the hatred and delegitimization for Jews and Israel that is mainstream opinion among Palestinians is devastating” writes Jonathan S. Tobin on Commentary after reading the book. Israeli daily Ha’aretz Puts it somewhat more bluntly: “The book’s findings, in some cases, trigger concern, in most others, nausea”.

Itamar Marcus is one satisfied reader of these reviews. The organization he heads, Palestinian Media Watch, has been monitoring Palestinian media and digging out gems of hate and violence since 1996. Marcus has been making his case in Parliaments and on the media around the world; Deception is his latest cry. The NY Jewish Week listens: “The Palestinian leadership endorses and promotes the belief that there is no room for a Jewish state in the region and that the Jews, not just Israelis, are evil and must be eliminated.” Robert L. Bernstein, founder and chair emeritus of Human Rights Watch asks: “Why would the Palestinian Authority be spreading all these libels and lies if they wanted their people to achieve reconciliation with Israel?” Rhetorical question, most likely. He concludes: “Government-sponsored hate speech is incompatible with peace”.

“Neither the Palestinian desperation nor the rise of radical Islam justify the hateful rhetoric on the Palestinian side” says Norwegian writer Arne Orum, a self-proclaimed friend of the Palestinians, “What shall we say to our Palestinian friends about it?” His government, as one of the biggest contributors to the Palestinian Authority, finds itself indirectly complicit. As one of my favorite writers Ben Dror Yemini of Israeli daily Ma’ariv writes: “An abstract of the book ... [should be sent] to every organization, institute and country in the West which helps to fund this brainwashing.”

Deception:Betraying the Peace Process is the latest evidence that hatred towards the Jews and subsequently the “Zionists” was, and still is the problem in the Middle East; Anyone who wonders in frustration how come there’s still no peace over there should look no further. The categorical refusal of the Arabs (not only the Palestinians) to allow for a Jewish state, any Jewish state, in the Middle East is the single most consistent thread in the history of the conflict, preceding not only the occupation of the West Bank, but the very founding of the state of Israel. The constant venomous stream of violent hate that accompanies this obstinate rejection is as routine as the sound of traffic in the city. The systematic carelessness with which Arab leaders have promoted, escalated and used hatred against the Jews for many decades is an infuriating insolence considering the complexity of the conflict and the fact that everybody else in the world is trying to resolve, not exacerbate it.

How many times have I seen Palestinian Media Watch automatically and categorically dismissed on political grounds for being right-wing…? we can assume that when Itamar Marcus decided to commit the rest of his life to unearthing a specific truth he saw as crucial, he did that with personal political conviction. We can even assume that this conviction would have had some editorial effect. Yet the nature of PMW is that of a reporter: the material brought forth is simply quotes, usually with no editorial commentary save for the selection of the clips itself. You may stumble upon a few clearly selective cuts, but when that happens to me, I remember the difference between total dismissal and critical consumption of information. Facts are never political; Perception is. Consciously choosing to shrug off important findings from an exclusive source because of simplistic political-profiling should be done at one’s own risk, and until a left-leaning organization takes on the task of monitoring Palestinian hate speech, “Ignoring or seeking to marginalize the truths that PMW has uncovered will only lead to more bloodshed, not peace” as Tobin’s review on Commentary concludes.

“When one uses children to become agents of hatred, the crime is 100 times more severe ... There is nothing more urgent today than this subject” says Ellie Wiesel. Anyone thinks that institutionalized hate mongering is not a crime? That it’s possible to achieve peace in a culture of hatred? Please stand up.


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