Weekend long read

Whilst the BBC practice of avoiding reporting on the topic of Palestinian incitement and glorification of terrorism has been particularly obvious during its recent coverage of the current wave of terrorism in Israel, that policy is of course by no means new and we have even seen BBC journalists trying to whitewash the issue.Weekend Read

Palestinian Media Watch – one of the foremost researchers of that field – recently produced a new report on the topic which was presented to the Knesset’s Education committee.

“Marcus explained that PMW researched formal and informal PA education to assess the prominent educational messages impacting on peace with Israel. Tragically, the report documents that killers of Israelis are depicted by the PA Ministry of Education as heroes and role models for children. In addition, Marcus explained that the PA teaches that Israel has no right to exist and eventually will be replaced by “Palestine.”

The members of the committee were shown that the PA has named at least 25 schools after terrorists, including mass murderers. For example, three schools are named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, the Coastal Road massacre in 1978, in which 37 civilians were killed, 12 of them children.”

Readers can find PMW’s report here.

Another subject meticulously avoided by the BBC is that of Palestinian and/or Israeli Arab voices which do not conform to the corporation’s narrative-driven, monochrome portrayal of ‘the conflict’. ‘Mida’ brings us one such voice: that of Nael Zoabi – principal of the Tamra Ha’emek elementary school and an activist for Jewish-Arab coexistence.

“I feel that I am the silent voice. We are not being heard because we don’t have a well-oiled PR and media machine. There are dozens of microphones for every provocation by Arab MKs, but no one listens when someone wishes to present a different side, either in the Arab media or the Israeli media. The media and society in general love to hear totally extremist voices. Talk of coexistence and peace—that we have no other country, no other state, and we have no other citizenship—no one listens to these things. The spotlight is always on the agitators.”

Over at the Times of Israel, Haviv Rettig-Gur has a thought-provoking article titled “Losing Palestine”.

“The Palestinian national movement once had a coherent narrative. The Israeli polity, it claimed, was a political construct resting on force of arms and doomed to collapse under the weight of its own injustice, taking with it back to the colonialist, imperialist West the millions of Jews it dragged into this land. This narrative formed the underlying logic of Palestinian terrorism. Brutality was lionized precisely because in this analysis of the Israeli enemy, exacting a high cost for Israel’s continued existence hastened the day of its collapse, of its succumbing to its inherent weaknesses.

This narrative drove Palestinian politics for generations. It was believed by moderates and extremists alike. Its essential premise, that the Jews of Israel are not a rights-bearing nation with nowhere else to go, but rather a colonialist ideological construct imposed on this land by foreigners, has become a pillar of more than Palestinian politics; it lies at the root of Palestinian identity, of what Palestinian nationhood has come to mean. Palestine, an identity that had no political expression until Zionism came into being, is for Palestinians, at least in part, that cultural and social reality delineated by the experience of being pushed back by the invading imperialism of the Jews. […]

Yet this vision of the Jewish state has a glaring problem: it has failed monstrously to predict events. Israel, that supposedly hollow shell, that artificial ideological construct, has failed to collapse under its own weight. Indeed, it is the Arab world that has collapsed around it while the Jewish state continues, maddeningly, unjustly, to flourish. The promise of Israel’s inner weakness, offered to the Palestinians as often by Jewish activists as by Palestinian ideologues, has betrayed them. The Jews have failed to leave, and despite the rallying of a handful of radical Jewish intellectuals to the cause, won’t even acknowledge that their national identity is something less than authentic. […]

The Palestinian national movement has paid a monstrous price for its misreading of the Jews — for failing to understand that Israeli Jews are largely the descendants of refugees who had nowhere else to go in the brutalities of the 20th century, and thus could not be driven away with terrorism as scattered European colonialists, far from their distant homelands but never estranged from them, emphatically could. The Jews’ resilience to Arab violence lies not in historical realities, but in psychological ones; the Jews believe that they are a people defending themselves, and that is enough to inoculate them to terrorism. Terrorism, after all, is an attempt to exact a cost from a certain behavior; it depends heavily on the victims perceiving a viable alternative to their present behavior.”

Read the whole article here.

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