(May 16, 2019 / PMW)
The Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, which is about to be released, is built on the premise that the Palestinian Authority accepts Israel’s existence, albeit not in the current borders. However, this is a false premise—the P.A. tells its own people, including its children and Israeli Arab children, that all of Israel is “occupied Palestine” and that Israel’s existence should not be recognized in any borders.
Not sufficed with disseminating these messages to its own children, the P.A. TV children’s program “The Best Home” is also trying to alienate Israeli Arab children from their own country. During a recent episode
, for example, the host introduced an Israeli-Arab boy who lives near Haifa as a resident of “occupied Palestinian lands” and cheered when the boy said “there is no such thing as Israel,” and that he was actively encouraging other Israeli-Arab children to see Israel as “Palestinian.”
Although such statements clearly contradict those the P.A. makes to the international community, they are not unexpected; denial of Israel’s right to exist is a basic tenet of the P.A.
In 2017, the current P.A. prime minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh (who was then Commissioner of Treasury and Economy and a Fatah Central Committee member), made it clear that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party, which has ruled the Palestinian Authority since its creation, still refuses to recognize Israel.
“The Fatah movement never demanded that Hamas recognize Israel,” Shtayyeh said during an interview on official P.A. TV on March 26, 2017. “To this moment, Fatah does not recognize Israel. The topic of recognition of Israel has not been raised in any of Fatah’s conferences.”
Whereas the P.A. tells the international community that it sees the territories Israel acquired in 1967 as “occupied,” on multiple occasions Abbas has denied the legitimacy of Israel’s existence in any borders, declaring that the Palestinians have been living under occupation since Israel’s creation.
Having indoctrinated generation after generation of Palestinians to reject Israel’s existence, it is no wonder that the P.A. leadership is unable to accept any offer of peace. The message they have been giving their people for years is that nothing less than the termination of Israel will suffice.
Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, is one of the foremost authorities on Palestinian ideology and policy.