Commentary Magazine


Contentions

The New Palestinian Spirit of Reconciliation

This is the picture of Israel that Palestinian state television broadcast the day after Annapolis:

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Palestinian Media Watch has the details:

An information clip produced by the Palestinian Authority Central Bureau of Statistics and rebroadcast today on Abbas-controlled Palestinian television, shows a map in which Israel is painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, symbolizing Israel turned into a Palestinian state.

The description of all of the state of Israel as “Palestine” is not coincidental, and is part of a formal, systematic educational approach throughout the Palestinian Authority. This uniform message of a world without Israel is repeated in school books, children’s programs, crossword puzzles, video clips, formal symbols, school and street names, etc. The picture painted for the Palestinian population, both verbally and visually, is of a world without Israel.

This is, of course, unsurprising, as the denial of Israel and the promise of its destruction have been the most basic ideological staples of Palestinian culture for half a century. There is one basic metric for evaluating whether the Palestinians are serious about coexistence with Israel, and it is not found in the documents produced by peace conferences in the United States or even in the statements of Palestinian leaders themselves. We will know that the Palestinians are serious about peace when they start educating their children, through their schools, in the ideology of peace and coexistence, and stop encouraging their people, through their media, to believe in the fantasy of Israel’s destruction.