Israel: P.A. Talks Peace but Incites Terror

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- On the day Israel was burying five members of one family killed in a vicious terror attack in March, the Palestinian Authority was naming a public square near Ramallah after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi.

It's this official promotion of terrorists that Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says incites more terrorism.

"We not only denounced this commemoration of terrorism and this perpetration of the legacy of terrorists. We think that it's not just immoral, but actively encourages people to follow in the steps of terrorists and repeat terror attacks," Palmor said.

The U.S. is still trying to jumpstart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been blunt recently, charging that Abbas speaks peace to the world - but not on Palestinian television and in textbooks.

"The root of the problem: that the Palestinians don't recognize our existence alongside them," Netanyahu said.

'P.A. Celebrates Israeli Bloodshed'

Itamar Marcus, founder of the Palestinian Media Watch, says Israel's so-called peace partner isn't preaching peace.

"The greatest heroes of the Palestinian society that the leadership makes are the people who have killed the most number of Israelis," Marcus said.

Mughrabi is a case in point. She led a bus hijacking in 1978 known as the Coastal Road Massacre in which 37 civilians, including an American, were killed.

Because that was the largest number of Israelis ever killed in a terror attack, Mughrabi has numerous things named after her, not just a public square.

Abbas himself sponsored a computer center named for her. He also sponsored a birthday party for her on what would have been her 50th birthday on Palestinian television.

Marcus said there are levels of Palestinian incitement, from teaching children that Israel doesn't exist to demonizing Israel by saying the Jewish State is spreading AIDS and drugs.

"And then the final level is violence, incitement to violence and to killing," Marcus said.

Abbas recently honored a Palestinian band as a national band after it performed a song about the destruction of Israel through jihad on Palestinian TV.

"There is no doubt the messages are 'Israel has to be destroyed;' 'violence is something to be glorified,'" Marcus said. "It comes from the top. It's not a matter of television incitement."

U.S. Complicit?

Some say it's not just the Palestinians who are at fault.

"I put the blame for the continuing violence and the murders and the hatred in Palestinian society on the United States and the European Union who are funding the Palestinian Authority blindly," Marcus said.

Palmor agreed.

"This is clearly against all logic of nation-building and peace negotiations that the United States and Europe and other nations are trying to pursue in this region."

"If they really want to bring peace, they should not just encourage political negotiations," Palmor added. "But they should take action so that Palestinian society should become intolerant to intolerance."

As long as incitement continues and the Palestinian mindset stays the same, it's unlikely that Israel will have a real partner for peace.

*Originally broadcast on March 31, 2011. 

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