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Thursday, May 19, 2005

AP spins PA anti-semitism

I find this AP story very interesting.

When the PA TV station broadcast its anti-semitic vitriol, the AP didn't think it was worth reporting. When the PA promises to stop such broadcasts, only then is this newsworthy.

In other words, AP only wants to emphasize the PA making "positive" (if hollow) steps towards "peace", but it only emphasizes Israel's actions as "adding to tensions" and "straining the cease-fire." I have yet to see a story about a mortar attack by Palestinians being looked at as something that "endangers the cease fire" - it is always Israel's reactions. And conversely, any empty words by a Palestinian spokesperson is regarded as an encouraging sign, as in this article.

Taking its strongest stand yet against anti-Semitic incitement, the Palestinian Authority has decided to ban incendiary sermons from state-run TV, just days after a televised Gaza mosque preacher likened Jews to the AIDS virus.

( "We will also act vigorously against incitement and violence and hatred, whatever their form or forum may be. We will take measures to ensure that there is no incitement - from Palestinian institutions. We must also reactivate and invigorate the U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli Anti-Incitement Committee. We will continue our work to establish the rule of law and to consolidate government authority in accountable Palestinian institutions. We seek to build the kind of democratic state that will be a qualitative addition to the international community." - Mahmoud Abbas, July 2003.)

Information Minister Nabil Shaath, whose ministry is in charge of Palestinian TV, said Wednesday he would no longer permit the broadcast of sermons that incite against other faiths. Shaath harshly criticized cleric Ibrahim Mdaires, who, in a sermon Friday, also accused Jews of inflating the dimensions of the Holocaust.

(He also called for the genocide of all Jews, a minor point that AP decides is not newsworthy.)

Other Palestinian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they expected the Gaza cleric to be banned from delivering sermons.

Several months ago, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pledged to lower the incitement level on Palestinian television and radio. Palestine Liberation Organization fighting songs, for example, have been taken off the air.

(The incitement has been very high for the past few weeks, not just this broadcast. The broadcasts for the "naqba" were especially sick, and nowhere does PA TV acknowledge Israel's right to exist in maps.)

But action has been gradual, and Israel continues to protest that the Authority is not doing enough to counter anti-Jewish themes and displays.

An official Palestinian website had carried a notorious anti-Semitic tract, the 'Protocols of the
Learned Elders of Zion,' until Wednesday - removing it only after a Jewish group protested. The 19th-century forgery purports to spell out a Jewish plot to take control of world finance.