Op-Ed: How PA Incitement is Morally Equivalent to Anything
by Prof. Phyllis Chesler
Some are amazed and gladdened by the fact that the New York Times has finally—finally!!—published a piece about the Palestinian Authority incitement of Palestinian Arabs to hate Jews and to understand that they have been born to destroy to Israel, the Jewish state.
But I am very hard to please. [...]
The 1052 word article begins this way: “Adolph Hitler is quoted on the website of Palestinian Authority schools. A young girl appears on Palestinian Authority television, describing Jews as ‘barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs,’ and the ‘murderers of Muhammed.’” This is clear, shocking, but pretty standard fare in the Arab world.
If someone—a journalist, perhaps, was familiar with the fine work of Itamar Marcus’s Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), and with its translations of Palestinian text books and media, and with the work of MEMRI, which translates work in the Arabic world, he or she would not view this filth as even newsworthy. This is part and parcel of how Muslims are taught to view Jews and the Jewish state. This is the crux of the problem.
While Rudoren does quote 34 words of Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz, she quickly rebuts and dilutes his points by turning to Majdi Khaldi, Abbas’s diplomatic advisor; she quotes 53 of his words; and she paraphrases, in 36 words, what Xavier Abu Eid, a PLO spokesman, told her about Israeli maps which do not show “Palestine” on its maps.
Does Rudoren not understand that there is no state of Palestine, that legally this is disputed territory, land acquired in a war of self-defense, land in which Jews have lived historically for many thousands of years? How can we charge Israel with some equivalent “incitement” because it has failed to recognize a fantasy land—a Naked Emperor which the entire world now fervently believes actually exists and always has or if not, should.
To be fair, Rudoren gives the Israeli and Palestinian Arab positions (direct quotes, paraphrases) about an equal number of words—and that is my greatest problem with this kind of journalism. It is not morally equivalent for the Palestinian Arab representatives to raise other issues instead of admitting that the incitement, the poisonous propaganda, will indeed present a problem were [sic] the two sides to ever try and live in peace.
I object strongly to the kind of journalism that feels they must interview a concentration camp survivor—and Hitler or Eichmann in order to get a “balanced” story. Doing so allows them to pretend they are not taking sides when, in fact, they are doing just that. Giving each side a voice can amount to collaborating with evil, and may constitute inciting public opinion against the already victimized party by presenting the victimizer as the innocent or at least as an equally innocent party. [...]
As for Khaldi’s accusations: I have written hundreds, perhaps thousands of times before: I have no doubt that the people who call themselves Palestinians are suffering—but that is mainly due to the long-ago decision of the Arab League to use this festering refugee population as a means to destroy Israel. Thus, Palestinian Arabs, who were once Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, and of no national descent, have been denied citizenship and employment rights in every Arab Muslim country and have been both impoverished and indoctrinated into hatred by their leaders. The world has supported their leaders and has funded their terrorism, lavish lifestyles, and escalating misogyny. [...]
Please allow me to quote Prime Minister Netanyahu as Rudoren herself does. “The Palestinian incitement is rampant. Instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, the Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel.”
If this is true—and it is very, very true—how can Rudoren still give equal space to the propagandist purveyors of death and hatred?