Media Ignore Palestinian Talk of No Jews Allowed in Palestinian State
As attention has turned to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the Palestinian Authority planning to seek recognition for a Palestinian state by the United Natinos on Friday, the media have almost universally ignored last week's prediction by Maen Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization envoy to the United States, that Israelis - presumably referring to Israeli Jews rather than Israeli Arabs - would be removed from such a Palestinian state.
And, although the allegedly moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has a history of being even more direct in declaring that not a single Jew would be allowed to live in a Palestinian state - not even Jews from other countries serving as part of a hypothetical NATO peacekeeping force - a small number of the media outlets that bothered to pay attention to the issue at all have naively allowed Areikat to dubiously backtrack and claim that Jews would indeed be welcome in such a Palestinian state. But Areikat himself last year in an interview with Tablet magazine had more explicitly than last week argued that Jews should be removed.
The USA Today article, "PLO Ambassador Says Palestinian State Should be Free of Jews," gave attention to Areikat's original statement: " quoted him last week as declaring to a group of reporters: "After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated."
As noted by Commentary Magazine , when Areikat tried to backtrack, Politico gullibly used the headline "Palestinian Official: Jews Welcome"in a report which focused on the Palestinian Authority's attempts to send the opposite message that Jews would in reality be welcome. Politico's report ignored Areikat's history of making similar comments - not to mention the more blatant statements of President Abbas - and allowed the Palestinian official to claim that he was taking out of context by USA Today.
Also noted by Commentary Magazine was that Think Progress tried to downplay Areikat's remarks.The left-wing blog conceded that Areikat's words were "troubling," but, without noting that President Abbas has made similar comments, went on to accuse "neocons" of hypocrisy for highlighting the controversial remarks.
Additionally, the pro-Israel group CAMERA noted that the Washington Post and the New York Times ignored the story.
CAMERA also observed that the left-leaning Israeli publication "Ha'aretz" chose a headline that downplayed the provocative nature of Areikat's original pronouncement by instead highlighting his claim that Jews would be welcome by the Palestinian state.
But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly made public statements declaring that Jews or Israelis would not be allowed in a Palestinian state. For example, in one installment of the "Jerusalem Post" column "Another Tack," titled "No Jews in Judea," columnist Sarah Honig recounted:
He was most specific on July 28, 2010, when, in an uber-compromising mood, he intoned: "I'm willing to agree to a thrid party that would supervise the [possible future Israeli-Palestinian] agreement, such as NATO forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the NATO forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land."
She also noted that, in December 2010, he declared, "I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land."
Returning to Areikat, as noted in the "The Warped Mirror," blog item, titled "The 'Judenrein' State of Palestine," he previously was very direct in arguing that Jews living inside the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state should be removed in an October 2010 interview with Tablet magazine:
In the report, "Promoting Violence and Terror," Palestinian Media Watch documents the Palestinian Authority tendency to promote hatred for and violence against Jews in its institutions. The group has also looked at indoctrination of Palestinian children using school books. The "Jerusalem Post" article, "Israel Absent or Only Negative Influence in Palestinian Authority Textbooks," also details some of the anti-Jew indoctrination that is being taught to Palestinian children. And a documentary on the Palestinian Authority's state-run television recently recounted plans to demolish Jewish holy sites in a Palestinian state.
NAEM AREIKAT, PALESTINIAN ENVOY TO U.S.: What we are saying is the following: We need to separate. We have to separate. We are on a forced marriage. We need to divorce. After we divorce and everybody takes a period of time to recoup, rebound, whatever you want to call it, we may consider dating again.
INTERVIEWER: So you think it would be necessary to first transfer and remove every Jew-
AREIKAT: Absolutely. No, I'm not saying to transfer every Jew. I'm saying to transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state.
INTERVIEWER: Any Jew who is in the borders of Palestine will have to leave?
AREIKAT: Absolutely. I think this is a very necessary step before we can allow the two states to somehow develop their separate national identities and then maybe open up the doors for all kinds of cultural, social, political, economic exchanges, that freedom of movement of both citizens of Israelis and Palestinians from one area to another. You know, you have to think of the day after. Such statements by public officials are consistent with the rhetoric and indoctrination in Palestinian state-run media outlets and schools.
As for the views of the Palestinian pubilc which could also influence the actions of their leaders, a survey conducted by pollster Stanley Greenberg this past July, as recounted in the Jerusalem Post article, "6 in 10 Palestinians Reject 2-State Solution, Survey Finds," documents the substantial anti-Semitic sentiment within the population. According to the "Jerusalem Post": Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62 percent supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53 percent were in favor of teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools. When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80 percent agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees. And last April, a poll conducted by Hebrew University found that one-third of Palestinians approved of the massacre of a Jewish couple and their three children in the West Bank.