A vote for Palestinian statehood is a license for genocidal incitement.
The sobering truth is that no peace between Palestinians and Israel will be possible until the Palestinian infrastructure of hatred has been irrevocably dismantled.
The Palestinian push to gain a state without recognizing Israel’s right to exist received a symbolic boost on Monday, when UNESCO – the United Nations’ cultural agency – granted the Palestinian Authority full membership and hence de facto statehood recognition.
UNESCO’s vote brings the UN another step closer to a fundamental abandonment of its core, founding principles, namely, creating a state committed to the genocidal destruction of another UN member state.
Though seldom reported, the entire Palestinian leadership – including the so-called 'moderate' Palestinian Authority (PA) – remains deeply committed to the destruction of Israel.
Regarding Hamas, which brutally rules the Gaza Strip and openly calls for jihad, this reality is somewhat well known. But regarding the PA, which rules the West Bank, its identical goal of annihilating Israel is often overlooked, perhaps because the PA uses less direct language with Western diplomats.
Yet while PA leaders occasionally speak of peace and denounce terrorism to English-speaking audiences, the PA's actual policies – stated in Arabic – continue to reject peace and embrace terrorists who murder Jews.
As documented by the non-profit Palestine Media Watch (PMW), the PA has for years named dozens of schools, public squares, and summer camps after terrorist perpetrators of mass murders.
In May 2010, PMW identified 'one-hundred examples of places and events named after 46 different terrorists' – all in the PA-ruled West Bank.
In contrast to Israel, where schools teach tolerance and respect for Arab and Islamic cultures, even children’s programs on PA TV are filled with videos urging young people to become suicide bombers.
Muslim clerics on PATV routinely preach calls to 'fight the Jews and kill them.' And when Palestinians heed the call to kill, the PA pays pensions to the suicide bombers’ families – with aid money from the US and its allies.
This climate of hatred breeds acts of horror. Seven months ago on the Jewish Sabbath, Palestinian terrorists brutally slaughtered in their sleep, the parents and three children of an Israeli family in the West Bank town of Itamar.
Just days earlier, PA TV had repeatedly broadcast a video celebrating a terrorist who in 2002 entered the same town and murdered three Jewish teenagers. Hours after the Itamar massacre, PA President Abbas met with young Palestinian participants in a song competition glorifying suicide bombers.
Reinforcing this terrorist incitement is the PA’s pervasive demonisation of Israel. Echoing the blood libels of the Middle Ages, the PA publicises false accusations such as Israeli soldiers kidnapping and killing Palestinians to harvest their organs for transplants; and Israel poisoning the wells from which Palestinians draw their water.
Such incitement cannot be excused as a ‘response’ to Israeli policies such as settlements or security measures. Genocidal anti-Semitism was embraced by Palestinian leaders even before Israel existed, during World War II, for example, when the Palestinians’ leader Haj Amin al-Husseini allied his people with Hitler.
Nor can this hatred be blamed on the Palestinians' lack of a state: the same leaders who promote it have rejected every offer of statehood. They simply refuse any proposal that allows for an adjacent, Jewish state.
When the UN in 1947 voted to create two states in Palestine – one for Jews, one for Arabs – Israel said yes and invited its Arab residents to stay, with equal civil rights guaranteed. But the Palestinian Arabs said no and launched a terror war intended to destroy the new Jewish state.
The core Palestinian position has hardly changed since then, despite several offers of a path to peaceful statehood, including Israel’s 1967 land-for-peace proposal (rejected), the 1993 Oslo accords (sabotaged by Palestinian terrorism), and Israel’s three offers of statehood in 2000, 2001, and 2008 (all rejected).
The Middle East maps displayed in the PA’s schools, offices, and TV broadcasts still deny Israel’s existence, with 'Palestine' extending from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.
The PA charter still commits the Palestinians to the extermination of Israel, 18 years after Yasir Arafat promised in the Oslo accords to remove that language.
Just this summer, a leading PA official declared that Palestinians will 'never accept' a peace of 'two states for two peoples.' And in September, the PA launched its statehood bid by choosing Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of terrorists convicted of murdering seven Israelis, to deliver a statehood petition to the UN’s West Bank offices.
The PA’s ambassador to Lebanon then declared that no Jews will be permitted to live in the new Palestinian State – unlike Israel, which gives equal rights to more than a million Arab citizens.
In sum, a UN vote for Palestinian statehood would validate the PA leadership’s genocidal incitement of their people towards eternal hatred of Israel.
Since the 1993 Oslo ‘peace’ accords, Palestinian terrorists acting on this hatred have killed more than 1,500 Israelis, and wounded at least 17,000 – by bombing civilians on buses, in restaurants, and at religious gatherings; and by firing rockets at schools, hospitals, and kindergartens.
In proportion to population, this would be more than 53,000 Americans killed, and over 600,000 injured.
The sobering truth – rarely acknowledged by policymakers – is that no peace between Palestinians and Israel will be possible until the Palestinian infrastructure of hatred has been thoroughly, verifiably, and irrevocably dismantled.
Henry Kopel is an attorney with the US Department of Justice in Connecticut. The views here are his own, and do not reflect the views of the Justice Department.
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