PMW in the Media
PA website posts blatant anti-Israel, US cartoons
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A caricature of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon covered in blood, wielding a bloody butcher knife, and standing over a bleeding baby lying on a butcher's block was posted on the Palestinian National Authority Web site Wednesday, even as PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas stood on the podium at the Aqaba summit and vowed to put an end to violence and incitement.
The cartoon was one of six posted on the PNA State Information Service, International Press Center Web site. The page opens with a large caricature of “Uncle Sam” wearing a death-like mask and the slogan, “I want you for the Iraqi freedom, join our forces and massacre Iraqis.”
Underneath are five caricatures of Sharon. One of them shows him in IDF fatigues, writing in a notebook, standing next to a soldier. The soldier says to Sharon, “We've killed 80 Palestinians is that enough?” Sharon replies, “Just 19 more.” Another cartoon shows Sharon wearing a bloodied undershirt, wielding a dripping knife, and Shimon Peres standing next to him mopping up “Palestinian” blood.
As soldiers in a tank shoot at a boy holding the Palestinian flag, one of them says, “I told you before, all of them are terrorists.”
Another cartoon shows Sharon with a whip in his hand, and a frightened “Palestinian civilian” chained to a post.
Anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment has been exceedingly high for a long period,” Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, told The Jerusalem Post. One Palestinian newspaper recently ran a cartoon depicting the road map as a snake leading to the snake’s head, stated Marcus. “In the eyes of the Palestinians, Sharon is not an honest broker.”
Over the past two weeks, Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda newspaper has printed four or five tiny photos of PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, compared to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, who has appeared at least 20 times in large photos, said Marcus.
On the front page of the newspaper on Wednesday, there was a large photo of Arafat holding the hand of newly released Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Jbarra; there were no photos of the Sharm e-Sheikh summit.
“The Palestinian newspapers continue to downplay Abbas and depict Arafat as the people’s leader,” he said. The internal situation of the Palestinian people shows how out of touch the world is with what is really happening, he said. “Positive statements made by Palestinian officials in English are not reflected in the Palestinian media. In the past two days, PA television station continues to broadcast songs of revenge and hatred and footage of children throwing stones,” he said.
At the same time, the local and international media reports regarding the Sharm e-Sheikh and Aqaba Summits are euphoric, he said. The Palestinians believed that Abbas would focus on internal issues, such as stopping corruption.
Because of this it is hard for them to view him as their leader, and he enjoys very little support in his demands to stop violence, Marcus added. “The Palestinian masses are convinced that they are the victims. In every single story they are portrayed as such, and therefore they believe that the suicide bombings are legitimate.”