The Palestinian Authority, usually referred to as Israel’s “peace partner”, is engaged in the promotion of hate and incitement against Israel and Jews in general, says Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler.
Cotler, who recently visited Israel and the West Bank, told a recent media briefing that a “just and lasting peace” between the Israelis and Palestinians needs to be accompanied by a “culture of peace, where each country educates its people as to the legitimacy of the other and the desirability of peace.
“What we’re witnessing, and I’m not talking about Hamas — their charter with its genocidal objective, anti-Semitic ideology and terrorist instrumentality, is known. I’m talking about the Palestinian Authority. I regret to say, as a result of my own work this summer, there are many items that constitute a culture of incitement, not a culture of peace. This is being ignored to the detriment, not only of the peace process and the legitimacy of Israel, but also of the Palestinians themselves.
“As I told them in my discussions with them, hate breeds hate. If you have a culture of incitement and hate, you’re going to create a culture of hate that is pervasive in a Palestinian society itself.”
He said those guilty of this include academics and the government-controlled broadcasting system.
“When I was there, I was shocked to see on their own television references to Israel’s conducting of Nazi-like experiments on Palestinian prisoners. Prisoners are very important for Palestinian society, for families, and the notion that their family members are being subjected to Nazi-like experiments just breeds hatred and contempt for Jews.”
Cotler said the most disturbing and ignored incitement comes from the Palestinian leadership itself, including the PA’s president Mahmoud Abbas.
“People don’t realize that Abbas signed a law, on the very day there was a suicide terrorist attack in December 2005 against Israel, providing monthly stipends for the families of suicide bombers. In January 2007, Abbas addressed a large crowd that was estimated as being over 100,000, in which he said ‘the sons of Israel are mentioned in the Koran as those who are corrupting humanity on Earth.’
“Abbas has never recognized Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state. What was also passed over was a meeting of Arab countries in Senegal last March. During that meeting, Abbas spoke of the Palestinians as being the object of an ethnic cleansing and, worse, that Palestinians are facing a campaign of annihilation by Israel and that Israel perpetrates barbaric attacks against defenceless Palestinians.”
Cotler said Abbas also celebrated Israel’s release of a Lebanese terrorist who killed members of an Israeli family, in exchange for the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed in 2006.
“Abbas personally sent his own expressions of celebrations. Knowing that Israel was in mourning was, tragically, a national day of celebration in Lebanon.
“This is part of another disturbing manifestation of that culture of incitement. That’s the greatest threat to a just and lasting peace.”