Palestinian Authority TV Again Mourns Israel’s Creation
May 16, 2006

New York – As in previous years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official television broadcast on May 15 numerous programs and video clips to mourn Israel’s creation, which they call the “Naqba’ (‘Catastrophe’), used recurrent themes of denying Israel’s right to exist and called for undoing of “the catastrophe,” which is a euphemism for Israel’s destruction. This year’s recurring clip shows the map of Israel — entitled ‘Palestine’ — scrolling slowly down the screen. The date 1948 — the year of Israel’s establishment — repeatedly appears on the screen, behind bars. At the end of the clip an old woman is shown, while the words on the screen read — ” Palestine is the land of my forefathers. Leave it” (PA Television, courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch, May 15).

The PA broadcasts calling for Israel’s destruction have been screened almost daily in recent weeks on PA television, which is still run and totally controlled by the office of PA president and Fatah head, Mahmoud Abbas, not by the new Hamas/PA government. Non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist has been a cornerstone of PA ideology, shared by both Abbas’ Fatah party and by Hamas, and expressed in Arabic by both groups. The only substantive difference between the two groups on this issue has been the fact that Fatah has professed to recognize Israel in its English messages, while Hamas has refused to accept Israel in either its English or its Arabic statements.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The Palestinians’ insistent focus on the so-called catastrophe of Israel’s creation and the calls for its undoing — Israel’s destruction — only underscore that Palestinian society has never accepted its own responsibility for the war they insisted on waging against Israel’s creation and the consequences of that decision. As usual, the Palestinians blame others for their predicament. As the PA television is still under the control of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, it also underscores that Hamas is only part of the problem of mainstream Palestinian extremism and rejectionism. It is not surprising therefore that an extremist Israeli Arab Member of the Knesset, Gabi Tanus said that the ‘Naqba’ ‘is more important to us than the Holocaust is to the Jewish nation.’ A society that revels in mourning another’s existence and dreams endlessly of revenge is one incapable of making peace.”

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