PMW in the Media
Palestinian Press Said to Incite Anti-Semitic Violence
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The Palestinian press has repeatedly asked children to seek death for Allah since the breakout of intifada against Israel in 2000, Itamar Marcus, the director of Palestinian Media Watch, told a gathering of students at Columbia University last night.
Television news shows and short indoctrination films on official Palestinian Authority television showing happy children in paradise are a powerful indoctrination devise, leaving large portions of the younger population yearning to commit suicide, Mr. Marcus said.
His 6 year old Jerusalem based organization has played an important role in documenting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian press.
In the past two months, Mr. Marcus, 50, has made two trips to Washington, D.C. to give lawmakers and Bush administration officials a sampling of television clips, pages from textbooks, and radio transcripts to illustrate the extent of the incitement.
Most of the funding for Palestinian Arab televisions comes from European Union sources, he said.
At the Kraft Center for Jewish Life at Columbia, Mr. Marcus showed a clip shown on Palestinian Authority television in July 2002 of an interviewer asking a composed 11-year old girl sitting at a table what she thought about shahada, or dying for Allah.
“You described shahada as something beautiful. Do you think it is beautiful?” the interviewer asked.
Shahada is very beautiful. Everybody yearns for shahada,” said the girl, speaking closely to the microphone. “What could be better than going to paradise? …I will achieve my rights after becoming a Shahid [someone who dies for Allah].” She added, “We won’t stay children forever.”
In another clip, which Mr. Marcus said was shown sometimes three times a day in 2001 and 2002, a child hands his father a farewell letter.
“Don’t be sad my dear [father] and do not cry over my parting, my dear father. For my country I sacrificed myself with determination and desire. I long to approach, how sweet is shahada,” the letter says. The child, played by an actor, is later shown with a slingshot falling to the ground in slow motion with his eyes closed after being shot by Israeli soldiers.
Another clip showed an actor playing Muhammad al-Dura – who became the most famous child in the Palestinian Authority after he was shot to death on television in 2000 next to his father – walking along the beach and flying a kite in paradise. “I am waving to you not in parting, but to say follow me," he says.