"The Jews" killed Arafat
- Kids' hate speech
rebroadcast on PA TV
Young boy: "I don't know what he died from,
but I know it was by the Jews."
[Palestinian boy at Arafat memorial,
PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 10, 2009 and rebroadcast on PA TV Nov. 10. 2010]
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
For this year's annual commemoration of Yasser Arafat's death, PA TV chose to rebroadcast video clips of Palestinian children's messages in honor of Arafat, which included hate speech against Jews.
Several of the selected messages feature children repeating the ongoing Palestinian Authority libel that the Jews killed Arafat by poisoning. One boy first states that Arafat was poisoned by the Jews, but then corrects himself, saying: "Well, I don't know what he died from, but I know it was by the Jews."
The teaching that evil originates with the Jews was the basis for much of the Antisemitism throughout history. It should be stressed that these were prerecorded interviews with the children, yet PA TV chose to include the hate speech in the compilation.
None of the children in the film speaks about peace; in fact, they do the opposite. One boy praises Arafat because he was a "fighter" who "did things through [violent] struggle," and who "did not make peace." The Martyrdom (Shahada) ideal is also chosen as a message in the film, with one boy quoting Arafat: "They want me dead, they want me prisoner, but I say: Martyr, Martyr, Martyr!"
As Palestinian Media Watch reported at the time, this film was first broadcast in 2009 on the fifth anniversary of Arafat's death as part of a televised memorial ceremony.
The boy's comment quoted above, "I know it was by the Jews," and the other children's beliefs that "the Jews" killed Arafat, indicate the PA's success in teaching Palestinian children hate libels and demonization of Jews. The decision by PA TV to rebroadcast this is a further indicator that the PA continues to promote the values of hatred, violence and Martyrdom that the children have adopted.
The following is the transcript of excerpts of the children's messages:
Ceremony host: "Blessings to Yasser Arafat, and here are messages from the children of Palestine." [From 2009 PA ceremony, not part of PA TV 2010 broadcast, - Ed.]
Boy: "I was very, very sad when Arafat died as a Shahid (Martyr), because he was a good man and he was a fighter. He did things through struggle, he participated in the struggle and did not make peace and so on. He wanted to fight."
Boy 2: "Yasser Arafat was a very, very important president. He stood up to all the enemies and was not afraid of anyone. And anyone who approached - he managed to stop him. All the Jews and the Israelis and the people who are against us, were afraid of him. When he died, he died of poisoning."
Girl: "I say that he died from poisoning by the Jews. That's what I say."
Boy 3: "Arafat used to say: "They want me dead, they want me prisoner, but I say to them: Martyr! Martyr! Martyr!"
Girl 2: "He [Arafat] was our former president. He was under siege in Ramallah, and when he was under siege we were very upset. The Jews poisoned him and I hate them very much. Allah will repay them what they deserve."
Boy 4: "He [Arafat] died from poisoning by the Jews. Well, I don't know what he died from, but I know it was by the Jews."
Boy 5: "They destroyed his whole house and he was left in one room and in the end the Jews poisoned him and blamed someone else."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 10, 2009 and 2010]
To see PMW's section on the repeated PA libel that Israel was responsible for Arafat's death, click here.