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Arab news: Peace stories from the Palestinian Authority

By Tuvia Brodie
12/12/2013, 5:12 PM

If you’re like most non-Arabs, you probably don’t read the Arab Press. That could be a mistake.

Israel is negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA). You know about those peace talks because you read about them in Israel’s press.

But what does the PA press say about these talks?

Here are headlines from—and personal comments about—some Arab news from Israel’s peace partner, the Palestinian Authority (PA). The stories come from December 5-11, 2013.

From Palestinian (PA) news

-Egypt releases 100 Palestinian Syria refugees

-Israeli forces 'detain 6 Palestinians in Hebron area'

-Snow storm expected to hit Palestine Tuesday

-Israel army recruits tour al-Aqsa compound [the Temple Mount]

-Israeli forces raid prisoner's home, interrogate relatives

-Israeli forces wreck house, several structures in Jordan Valley

-OIC urges global community to back Palestinians

-Racist graffiti sprayed in Palestinian village in northern Israel

-Why Palestine should seek justice at the International Criminal Court

-Defending Geneva: Understanding Israel's opposition to peace with Iran

-Tel Aviv 'Nakba' film festival keeps alive memories of 1948 in Israel

-Rights group urges tougher EU measures on settler violence

-Bible scholars: Zionists have 'weaponized' scripture

-Iran nuclear deal vindicates Rouhani's diplomatic push

-Settlers raid Palestinian park near Nablus

-Israeli forces raid Duheisha near Bethlehem, detain 4

-Group: New Israeli excavations under al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount]

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Understandably, PA news focusses on local news and on international news that affects the PA. With regard to this kind of self-interest, PA news is no different from anyone else’s news.

However, there is a difference. Unlike most other news sites, PA news presentation has a wartime feel to it.

The PA is at war with Israel. You can see it in the way Israel is presented in the PA’s news.  

Israel opposes peace. Israel wrecks Arab lives. Israel must be ‘brought to justice’.

During war, government-controlled news sites have a special purpose. That purpose is not to inform. It is to keep the wartime passions alight, to make sure that whatever emotion the readership needs to keep fighting is present on every front page. In this regard, PA news is no different from anyone else at war.

The problem is, the PA is supposed to be talking ‘peace’ with Israel. The PA is supposed to be preparing to live side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.

Talks have been unfolding between the PA and Israel since August, 2013. The two sides have been negotiating for more than four-and-a-half months.

Peace is supposed to be in the PA’s future. What does PA news have to say about peace with Israel?

Nothing.

On a day during this news cycle when the Jerusalem Post ran five stories related to the peace talks, the PA news site had zero such stories. It’s practically the same every day. It’s as if peace talks don’t exist for the PA.

That’s not a coincidence.

It’s not coincidence that an Israeli newspaper highlights peace talks and the PA doesn’t. It’s not coincidence because the PA has no interest in ‘peace’.

Did you forget? The PA is at war.

Almost everything the PA does focuses on some aspect of the Arab war against Israel. Therefore, why should the PA run ‘peace’ stories on its news site?

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It’s interesting to note that two feature stories have stayed on the PA front page for a week. There could a reason they remain so visible.

The first of these two stories is, “Tel Aviv 'Nakba' film festival keeps alive memories of 1948”. As you may know, the word, ‘Nakba’, means ‘catastrophe’—or something close to that. It is a political word. It is a war word.

It refers to the 1948 war Arabs started against the new-born Israel. It refers to the war Arabs initiated in order to destroy the new Jewish state. It refers to the war Arabs were supposed to win. It refers to the Arabs’ ‘catastrophic’ loss in that war.

On the day Israel celebrates its birthday—its Independence Day—Arabs mourn their Nakba—their catastrophe. Israel’s freedom is the Arab catastrophe.

Nakba exists so as to remind the Arab he must avenge his humiliation. In its own cruel way, Nakba is a war-cry.

A Nakba story excites and inspires. Such a feature means that the Arab ‘memory’ is being kept alive—to impassion Arabs to fight again.

It has to be especially sweet to see this particular story. Who would have thought that the Arab dream of total conquest would be kept alive by Jews?

The second of these stories is, “Bible scholars: Zionists have 'weaponized' scripture”. This story is also perfect. Its title reflects the war mentality the PA wants to foster. The title suggests that the Jew is so evil, he even ‘weaponizes’ the holy scriptures.

It is perfect because it demonizes the Zionist (Jew). It echoes the Arab Jew-myth: the ‘Zionist’ is so vile, he makes impure and unholy what should be considered by all as holy and pure—the bible.

These two features play their part in the PA war effort. They keep the war-fires burning. They help to enflame the passion to fight.

Peace, you say? What peace? Haven’t you heard?  Zionists weaponize the bible!

It’s how our peace partners present peace.