Deception: Betraying the Peace Process
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Jerusalem: Palestinian Media Watch, 2011. 269 pp.
Reviewed by Efraim Inbar
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2014 Volume XXI: Number 2
Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, and Zilberdik of the Gatestone Institute (although Gatestone Institute has published a number of articles by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Zilberdik works as a senior analyst at PMW) have authored a must-read for anyone who stubbornly holds out hope that coexistence between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel can be achieved in our time. It is not easy reading because the book meticulously and systematically compiles numerous public documents and statements in Arabic by PA officials and institutions that prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Palestinian leadership teaches its constituents to hate, to deny Israel's right to exist, and to envision a world without Israel.
The work pours cold water on the efforts of U.S. diplomats and the international community to reenergize the peace process. While the PA declares in English that it seeks reconciliation with Israel, in Arabic, it spreads hatred and libels about Jews and Israelis. It rewrites history, denying the Jewish people's attachment to its ancestral homeland. Condemnation of terror in English is regularly accompanied by glorification of terrorists in Arabic and by their elevation to the status of martyrs and role models for Palestinian children. For example, schools and town squares have been named after suicide bombers and terrorists, but this information appears only in the Arabic version of official Palestinian authority websites.
The Palestinian deception campaign is little reported on in the West. This book convincingly shows that the Palestinians abuse diplomacy, manipulating it in order to weaken Israel while at the same time keeping open the option of destroying it. Unfortunately, the current status of Middle Eastern studies in Western universities is hardly conducive to seeing this book on the reading lists of courses dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is a pity that the authors of this extremely well-documented effort did not manage to get it issued by an established publishing house. Perhaps a new, updated edition will be picked up by a recognized press and gain a larger readership so that the truth can be told however unpleasant it may be.