Norway Funding PA Hate Media

Posted: 10/31/2008 12:47:00 PM
Author: Maayana Miskin
Source: This article originally appeared on the Arutz 7 website on Oct. 31, 2008.

Cheshvan 2, 5769 / October 31, '08

Norway Funding PA Hate Media
by Maayana Miskin

( Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has issued a report on the state of the Palestinian Authority (PA) media in the wake of the Annapolis conference, which was held in late 2007. The report focuses on Norway's funding of the PA in light of recent statements made by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. Gahr Store defended Norway's decision to fund the PA directly, including PA media, saying TV programs glorifying terrorists are not common and assuring reporters that “Fatah and the PA are prepared to find a peaceful solution to the conflict with Israel.” In fact, however, PA TV programs and newspapers continue to incite Arabs to hate and broadcast messages rejecting Israel's existence and glorifying terrorists, PMW researchers said. Not only did incitement continue after the Annapolis conference - it intensified, they said. “During the 11 years of PMW's existence, there has never been a period with such intense demonization of Israel, continuous hate promotion and denial of Israel's existence by the PA (Fatah) and the media [PA Chairman] Abbas controls, as during the period since the Annapolis conference,” the report stated.

Contrary to Gahr Store's assurances, PA programs glorifying terrorists are very common, PMW researchers said. Every terrorist who murdered Israelis in 2008 was termed a martyr (shahid) by PA newspapers, including PA organ Al-Hayyat al-Jadida.

"Norwegian aid is being being allocated directly to Abbas. Abbas directly controls PA media. Thus Norwegian money is funding PA TV and newspapers and all the hate material,” PMW announced.

The group cited dozens of reports broadcast in 2008 in which PA media broadcasters denied Israel's existence, particularly on children's shows. Hosts told children that “Palestine” includes the port cities of Haifa, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Eilat—all cities in pre-1967 Israel; that the size of “Palestine” is 27,000 square kilometers, which corresponds to borders including all of pre-1967 Israel; and that Be'er Sheva, Haifa, Tzfat, and other Israeli cities are “occupied.” Israeli Arab children who called a PA TV show in July 2008 listed their hometowns as “occupied Tzfat,” “occupied Akko” and “occupied Haifa,” and were told by the host, “I'm very happy that our children from the occupied areas in Palestine are calling, those [areas] which Israel occupies.”

PA media have showed hundreds of maps on TV shows and in newspapers since the Annapolis conference, researchers said. The maps have consistently shown all of Israel as “Palestine.” A public service announcement broadcast during and after the Annapolis conference showed Israel in the colors of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) flag.

Hateful incitement against Israel continues as well. PA officials and others have been quoted in official Fatah-controlled media accusing Israel of deliberately infecting Arabs with AIDS, of spreading drugs within Arab areas, of murdering babies and planning to destroy the Al-Aksa mosque located on the Temple Mount. While Minister Gahr Store said the Norwegian government “disassociates itself from any use of TV programs as a direct [way] of spreading hate or inciting terrorism,” the 790 million NOK (roughly 118 million United States dollars) that Norway has given directly to the PA this year is likely to be spent funding exactly those kinds of programs, PMW said.

Not only have past libels against Israel been repeated, ugly new libels have been created as well, PMW warned. In July 2008, Al-Hayyat al-Jadida and Al-Ayyam, two papers controlled by Abbas, accused “Israeli settlers” of bringing cases full of rats to Jerusalem's Old City and releasing them in Arab neighborhoods. The rats are unusually large and ferocious, and are “immune to poison,” the reports said. Both papers accused Israelis of using the rats to force Arabs from Jerusalem.

In March 2008, the PA held “Holocaust memorial ceremonies” in which Israel was accused of perpetrating a Holocaust against Arab children. Children took part in ceremonies that included a mock crematorium filled with Arab corpses. In May, PA TV broadcast a fake news clip in which an Israeli tank deliberately shot an Arab child.

In April and May of 2008, PA media aired new and particularly harsh slander accusing Israel of perpetrating a Holocaust on Arabs in 1948. The claims made against Israel mirrored reports of Nazi brutality in the Holocaust. Fatah MP Issa Karaka was quoted in Al-Hayyat al-Jadida, Al-Quds daily and PA TV accusing “Zionists” of lining Arabs up in front of death pits and shooting them, of burning Arabs alive, of forcing Arabs to work in labor camps and of running a Nazi death-camp type "selection" in which Arabs were chosen for death or deportation. No evidence was presented to support the charges."