Those who prefer to blame Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East can only do so by ignoring Palestinian behavior and the incitement against Israel and Jews that is conducted by the Palestinian Authority’s official television and newspapers.
The latest evidence of such incitement comes in the form of a documentary broadcast on PA TV (film and translation courtesy of the invaluable Palestine Media Watch) that discusses Palestinian plans for the future of Jerusalem. Rather than a paean to the virtues of sharing the city after it is divided along the 1967 lines as they have demanded, the film claims the historic Jewish ties to the city are “false” and seeks to prepare Arabs for what will happen after the Jews “disappear from the picture, like a forgotten chapter in the pages of our city’s history.” It then discusses a scheme to eradicate the Western Wall Plaza where Jews worship — referred to as a “place of sin and filth” —with a Palestinian housing project!
It bears repeating that this sort of thing isn’t merely an irritant to the peace process. It is, in fact, the crux of the problem. So long as the political culture of the Palestinians reinforces messages that seek to label the Jews as foreign interlopers who will in time be expelled from the land, a peace deal that recognizes Israel’s legitimacy, no matter where its borders are drawn, is impossible. That is why the PA seeks to evade talks with pointless stunts such as the attempt to get United Nations recognition for their independence without making peace with Israel.
The Palestinian leadership has continued to spew forth this sort of propaganda while rejecteding peace deals with Israel in 2000, 2001 and 2008. It has even refused to talk with the Netanyahu government. But that hasn’t stopped groups like J Street and Americans for Peace Now from continuing to propagate the myth that it is Israeli settlements or the Netanyahu government’s alleged intransigence that is the obstacle to peace. The only way to cling to this belief is to pretend things like this official television film don’t exist.