PMW Bulletins
Does Fatah see new UNESCO resolution as endorsement of violence and terror?
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Does Fatah see new UNESCO resolution
as an endorsement of violence and terror in Jerusalem?

Nan Jacques Zilberdik

This week UNESCO passed a resolution denouncing Israel's activity in the Old City of Jerusalem, particularly its archaeological excavations. It also stated that Israel is "the occupying Power" in East Jerusalem, including the Old City of Jerusalem.

Judging from a statement by a Fatah leader in Jerusalem, Raafat Alayan, Fatah possibly sees this resolution as an endorsement of violence and terror against Israelis in Jerusalem:

"This international resolution confirms the right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation..."
[Amad, independent Palestinian news website, July 5, 2017, emphasis added]

As Palestinian Media Watch has documented, "resistance" and similar terms in the lexicon of Palestinian leaders include the use of violence and terror. (See below)

Alayan's reaction to the new UNESCO resolution brings to mind Fatah's reaction to a UN Security Council resolution last year, which declared Israeli settlements illegal. Fatah seemed to interpret that resolution as the UN's
permission for them to kill Israelis

 

At the time, Fatah posted a drawing of the PA's map of "Palestine" (which includes all of Israel), painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, being used to stab the word "settlement" with a pool of blood seen under it. The words "Thank You" and the names of the 14 countries that voted in favor of the UN resolution appeared above the image.

PMW has shown that terms such as "resistance," "peaceful uprising/resistance," and "popular uprising/resistance" are often used by PA leaders to refer to events that include violence and deadly terror against Israeli civilians, such as rock-throwing, stabbings, and even shootings. During the wave of Palestinian terror attacks in 2015-2016, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas referred to murderous
terror as "peaceful"

Abbas: "No one called for this uprising and no one asked for it. It stemmed from the hearts of the young... We said to everyone that we want peaceful popular uprising, and that's what this is. That's what this is. However, the aggression of firing bullets has come from the Israelis."
[Official PA TV, Nov. 16, 2015]

When Abbas made this statement, Palestinian terrorists had already carried out numerous stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks against Israelis in which 14 people had been murdered and 167 wounded.

The following is a longer excerpt of the report on Alayan's statements, and an additional reaction from Fatah in Europe:

Headline: "Alayan: The UNESCO resolution regarding Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque demands Arab action"
"Prominent Fatah leader in occupied Jerusalem Raafat Alayan welcomed the renewed voting on [another] UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) resolution regarding the illegality and non-sovereignty of the Israeli occupation in Jerusalem, the Old City [of Jerusalem], and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the condemnation of the excavations that the occupation is carrying out under the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City. He added that this resolution, with all of its details, is very important and proves the falsification that Israel has tried to create with its narrative, and [Israel's] attempt to change the status quo in Jerusalem throughout the years of its occupation of the holy city.
Alayan added that this international resolution confirms the right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation, which violates all of the international resolutions and challenges the world with its actions against our Palestinian people that suffers from the torments of the occupation and its terror."
[Amad, independent Palestinian news website, July 5, 2017]

Headline: "Fatah: The UNESCO resolution shows Israel's limited influence in the world and reflects our viewpoint regarding Jerusalem"
"Fatah Movement Spokesman in Europe Jamal Nazzal welcomed the UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) vote in Poland today [July 4, 2017] on the resolution that determines that Israel does not have sovereignty over our capital Jerusalem, and condemns the excavations that the occupying authority is carrying out against our holy sites in the capital.
Nazzal said in a press statement: 'The vote of this body on this issue does justice to the historical facts and also reflects the global position that opposes the occupation's policy and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the occupation's capital.'"
[WAFA, official PA news agency, July 4, 2017]

UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) passed a Jordanian sponsored resolution in Krakow, Poland, on July 4, 2017, denouncing Israel's activity in the Old City of Jerusalem, particularly excavations, and stating that it is "the occupying power" in East Jerusalem, including the Old City of Jerusalem.
Ten countries voted in favor - Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Cuba, and Zimbabwe; 3 against - Jamaica, the Philippines and Burkina Faso; and 8 abstained - Angola, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Tanzania, and South Korea.
This resolution is one of many UNESCO resolutions that are frequently passed condemning Israel, particularly regarding Jerusalem. The full text of the resolution can be found
here.