Thursday, July 21, 2016

  • Thursday, July 21, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Daoud Kattab is a well-known (and award-winning) journalist who writes for Al Monitor and elsewhere, and has published in major media outlets.

Writing in Byline, he has an article "THE FALSE BALANCE BETWEEN THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND PALESTINIAN 'INCITEMENT'" where, among other things, he tries to argue that there is really no incitement for violence in Palestinian schools and media.

Obviously he is not going to mention the many examples of incitement that have been shown by MEMRI, Palestinian Media Watch or myself. Instead he says "The often-repeated accusations that Palestinian school textbooks and media are instruments of incitement to violence have long been scientifically debunked even though they were regularly repeated by Israeli officials and Israeli apologists."

Ah, "scientifically debunked."

The studies that showed Palestinian school textbooks aren't so bad are flawed, but Kattab tries to pretend that if the textbooks don't teach hate, then the teachers don't teach hate either:
The claim that Palestinians teach their children hate has been rejected by tens of and European, as well as Israeli and Palestinian, academic studies since the turn of the millennium. 
No, the evidence of Palestinian schools teaching hate outside the textbooks is overwhelming.

The head of the Jerusalem Teachers Association said on Palestinian TV, "In our schools, we teach what our religion and conscience dictate: That Jerusalem is Arab and that Palestine - from north to south, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea - is Islamic Palestinian Arab, and will remain so in spite of the damned occupier."

And I have documented that even UNRWA schools - which have some amount of oversight - had ceremonies supporting stabbing Jews, with kids holding up signs saying things like “How can the light appear, if our blood would not be its fuel, and how could we regain Al-Aqsa if we would not be its soldiers” and “We heed your call, oh Al-Aqsa, our blood and souls we will sacrifice for you, oh Al-Aqsa” and “We will live like flying hawks, and we will die like steadfast lions, and all of us for the Palestinian homeland”.

This official school incitement was not only to stab and run over Jews - but to die in the process.

What "scientific study" can debunk this, Daoud?

But his arguments then descend into the farcical. Here is how he describes why mentioning incitement in Palestinian media is not fair:
In the Palestinian-Israeli context, a much more complicated problem has to be accessed. There is little similarity between the current Israeli media, which have developed over 70 years and are now a strong, vibrant, well-funded sector, and the current Palestinian media that, by and large, are less than 20 years old and are highly restricted because of working under occupation.

While a few newspapers existed before the Oslo Accords and were subject to Israeli military censorship, radio and television, as well as a further two newspapers in the West Bank and a couple in Gaza (plus online media) are less than two decades old.

Palestinian journalists have been regularly subjected to harassment, restrictions and physical attacks.

Local and international media rights organisations documented violations against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli army. 
Journalists, including a member of the Palestinian journalist union, are currently administratively detained in an Israeli jail without charge or trial. 
Palestinian journalists also work under harsh professional conditions, for lower salaries, and face severe travel restrictions.
 Kuttab doesn't attempt to debunk Palestinian media incitement, but instead he tries to change the subject. However, this only proves the point even further.

If Palestinian journalists are working under such harsh conditions and Israeli restrictions - if they are worried for their lives or being imprisoned for their writings - then wouldn't you expect them to publish less incitement, not more?

Indeed, Palestinian journalists are frightened of writing incitement - against the PA. (And in Gaza, against Hamas.) So when they publish antisemitic and pro-terror screeds, it not only reflects their own thinking, but also the fact that Palestinian authorities welcome such incitement against Jews. Indeed, official PA TV is filled with such incitement, as a glance at Palestinian Media Watch could confirm.
A more fair comparison would be between Palestinian media under occupation today and the Zionist media on the eve of the creation of the state of Israel. 
Palestinian media has not been under Israeli censorship for over 20 years. There are no restrictions on what they may publish. And they choose to publish stories that lionize terror and they choose not to publish anything that is remotely supportive of peace with Israel (in Arabic.)
The idea that the conflict is perpetuated because of Palestinian incitement to violence is akin to accusing a woman of responsibility because she used foul language or for forcefully scratching her attacker while being rapped [sic].
Notice how Kattab changes from "there is no incitement" to "incitement to murder Jews is fully justified and anyone criticizing it is immoral."

Yes, this is the level of discourse from a Palestinian intellectual.

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