JERUSALEM, Israel - At a time when Washington is pushing Israel to freeze building in settlements in its biblical heartland - the West Bank - in an effort to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track, some experts say the Palestinian Authority is filling the next generation of Palestinians with hatred for their peace partners.
P.A. television rebroadcast video clips of Palestinian children's messages, including hate speech against Jews, in commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat in November, the independent media research group Palestinian Media Watch said.
Among the comments broadcast were those of a boy who said: "He [Arafat] died from poisoning by the Jews. Well, I don't know what he died from, but I know it was by the Jews."
One girl said, "He [Arafat] was our former president. He was under siege in Ramallah, and when he was under siege we were very upset. The Jews poisoned him and I hate them very much. Allah will repay them what they deserve."
The same accusation against the Jews was voiced by other children.
"This film was first broadcast in 2009 on the fifth anniversary of Arafat's death as part of a televised memorial ceremony," PMW said in a press statement.
"The boy's comment quoted above, "I know it was by the Jews," and the other children's beliefs that "the Jews" killed Arafat, indicate the P.A.'s success in teaching Palestinian children hate libels and demonization of Jews.
"The decision by P.A. TV to rebroadcast this is a further indicator that the P.A. continues to promote the values of hatred, violence and martyrdom that the children have adopted," PMW said.
The statement noted that none of the children in the film speak about peace.
Arafat, who led the Palestinian fight against Israel for decades, died in a Paris hospital in 2004 at the age of 75. According to reports, he had suffered from a stomach flu that led to complications, including a stroke.
The idea that Israel somehow poisoned him has been a widespread rumor, though no toxins, nor enlarged liver or kidneys were found.
Israel virtually imprisoned Arafat in his Mukata governmental compound in Ramallah for the last two years of his life during the height of the Palestinian intifada uprising in response to the terror war Palestinians were waging against Israeli civilians throughout the country.