Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas bears personal responsibility for the ongoing wave of terror in Israel, maintains the director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Itamar Marcus. The terror is fueled by the PA hate education campaign that engages not only official PA media but every sphere of life in the Palestinian Authority; from sports tournaments and schools that have been named after terrorists to simple crossword puzzles that describe the entire country of Israel as occupied.
According to the director of PMW, a research institute that studies Palestinian society, Jews are portrayed as evil, as people having an inherent problem that cannot be fixed, as “descendants of apes and pigs in Palestinian media.” They are not permitted to live in “Palestine” not because it contradicts Palestinians’ national interests, but because Islam does not allow so, as senior religious advisers to Abbas regularly explain to Palestinians in mosques and on TV, noted Marcus.
“If the conflict was a territorial dispute, it could be settled. But if the PA version of Islam rejects the humanity of Jews and their right to live, political solutions do not work,” said Marcus in a recent talk organized by Honest Reporting. He also noted that a recent crossword puzzle in a PA newspaper described “a city in occupied Palestine” as Tel Aviv.
Marcus further highlighted that Abbas needed the current wave of terror to help his low approval ratings among Palestinians. Polls from three months ago show that 80 percent of Palestinians believed their government was corrupt, and 65 percent had wanted Abbas to resign. Abbas referred to a time-tested recipe for fueling intifada; he initiated a campaign of incitement accusing Jews of wanting to destroy Al-Aqsa. On September 15, Abbas said in a speech shown on PA official TV: “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Al-Aqsa… It is ours, and Jews have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.”
When speaking on PA TV in November, Abbas described the wave of terror that has killed 22 Israelis thus far and has left hundreds injured as “a peaceful popular uprising.”
One of Abbas’s close allies, Jibril Rajoub, a former Palestinian security head and now leader of the Palestinian Football Association, elaborated even further on the government policy in a TV interview.
“The international community does not agree to a bus exploding in Tel Aviv. But the international community does not ask what happens to a settler or to a soldier who happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. We can fight in the way that the international community will remain on our side,” said Rajoub.
Marcus believes that Abbas could stop the current wave of terror if he wanted to. “It could be a bit more difficult for him to do so than one year ago because of social media, which Abbas does not control, but it is still absolutely possible,” said Marcus.
“Abbas could say that these actions are not in the Palestinians’ national interests, for example, or that he will stop paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists. That would be enough [to stop the terror].”