November 30, 2000
Arafat’s Culture of Hatred
In 1993, when Yitzhak Rabin began the process he hoped would lead to peace, he understood that the chances of achieving a real peace depended on the Palestinian Arab leaders creating a culture that would encourage their people to embrace peace and coexistence. Rabin insisted that the terms of the Oslo accords include a provision specifically prohibiting Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority from engaging in "hostile propaganda" against Jews and Israel. But instead of creating a culture of peace, Arafat created a culture of hatred.
The books used in Palestinian schools teach that the Jews are "evil," "racists" and "treacherous"; that Israel is "the Zionist enemy"; that "Jews foment wars"; and that Zionism is equal to Nazism. The books feature maps that omit any reference to the existence of Israel. The new sixth-grade primer, "Our Beautiful Language," declares that "perhaps Allah brought the Jews to our land in order to annihilate them."
American reporters who recently observed the summer camps run by the Palestinian Authority described how for the 25,000 campers, "there is the chance to stage a mock kidnapping of an Israeli leader by masked Palestinian commandos, ending with the Israeli's bodyguards sprawled dead on the ground ... [T]here is the opportunity to excel in stripping and reassembling a real Kalashnikov rifle." The songs sung at the camps feature lyrics such as "We'll throw them into the sea" and "My children in the suicide squads." In addition to promoting violence, the Palestinian Authority denies previous violence against Jews.
Palestinian newspapers describe the Holocaust as "a deceitful myth which the Jews have exploited to get sympathy ... when demanding financial compensation, donations and grants from all over the world." Palestinian cabinet ministers have led public rallies in defense of Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy. Arafat's number-two man, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), is the author of a book which claims that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was "less than 1 million," not 6 million.
Every year on the anniversary of Israel's creation, the Palestinian Arabs hold protest marches to mourn "Al Nakba" -- the "catastrophe." They are not taught to aspire to coexist with Israel. Arafat and his cabinet ministers encourage the Palestinian Arab masses to believe that they will destroy Israel one day.
"Our nation has hope for the future, and the conquering state [Israel] will not continue to exist in spite of its strength and arrogance," said Imad Falouji, Arafat's communications minister.
Consider some of the speeches made in the weeks leading up to the current outbreak of violence. "The resurrection of the dead will not occur until you battle with the Jews and kill them!" proclaimed an Islamic preacher on a July 28 Palestinian Television broadcast.
In late July, Palestinian Television repeatedly broadcast military parades and video clips of violence against Israeli soldiers, and on July 21, the announcer described Israeli soldiers as "Satan's agents" and "enemies of mankind." An Aug. 18 Palestinian television broadcast featured a Muslim preacher declaring that "Jews are the enemies of Islam." Perhaps it is no coincidence that Hitler's autobiography, "Mein Kampf" is a best-seller among Palestinian Arabs.
The Palestinian Authority's official newspapers, television and radio stations regularly urge their audiences to engage in jihad (Islamic holy war) against Israel. Arabs who participate in suicide bombings against Israelis -- like the bombers who have killed nearly 300 Israelis during the past seven years -- are glorified by the Palestinian media as "heroes" and "martyrs," and the Palestinian Authority names streets after them. Special scholarships are set aside for the killers' children.
Arafat's media, schools and summer camps are teaching Palestinian Arabs, young and old alike, to hate. Palestinians rush into the streets to practice what they have been taught. Taking innocent children and raising them to be violent haters is the worst form of child abuse imaginable. As long as Arafat's culture of hatred persists, peace between Israel and the Arabs cannot be achieved.
Morton Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.