The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog group has released a report warning that hatred of the United States is a pillar of the Palestinian Authority’s ideology.
As US President George W. Bush lavished praise this week on Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the latter broadcast on the TV station which he controls a stinging message: the US is “the greatest Satan in the world.” --Palestinian Legislative Council Member Najat Abu-Bakr (Fatah), PA TV, March 3, 2008.
The full 30-page PMW report examines statements made in the PA media over the past several years regarding the PA’s affinity for countries such as North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, which are all openly anti-American.
“Significantly,” the report warns, “the affinity that is felt for such geographically distant non-Muslim countries... is precisely because these states publicly challenge and express loathing for the US.” The report also examined statements showing PA officials’ loathing for the United States, such as a Fatah legislator’s recent claim that the US is “the greatest Satan in the world.”
PMW staff found that the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001 was a frequent theme of anti-American cartoons in PA newspapers. Each year, the papers print cartoons, often on or shortly before September 11, depicting the Muslim world, particularly Iraq and “Palestine,” as the true victims of the attacks. America is depicted as the aggressor.
One frequent subject of praise in the Fatah-controlled media was former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Following Hussein’s execution PA papers referred to him as “the general Shahid [Martyr] leader, Saddam Hussein,” and the Fatah group that currently rules the PA dedicated a terrorist cell to his memory. Schools, streets, and sporting events were named after him, including the main road in the village of Yaabid, which was paid for by USAID.
PA papers and television reports praise terrorist groups fighting the US in Iraq and Hizbullah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who until his death was wanted by the United States for the murder of hundreds of US citizens. Researchers found frequent praise for Syria and Iran as well.
PMW Director Itamar Marcus spoke in the US Congress last month about the dangers inherent in the creation of a PA state. While US President Bush and other senior politicians have touted the creation of a PA state as beneficial to American interests, a PA state would in all likelihood ally itself with America’s enemies, he said.
Among the statements quoted in the report:
“Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.” --Ahmed Bahar, speaker of the PA legislative council, on PA TV in April 2007.
“The U.S. and Britain [forces]… stormed Iraqi cities with the participation of military forces from different countries and Baghdad fell. The Iraqis did not surrender to this occupation but succeeded in organizing themselves and a brave resistance to liberate Iraq began.” --Grade 12 textbook used in PA schools.
“To Bush, the Pharaoh, the despot, the terrorist of this period... [we say] that victory is for Islam.” ---Announcer on PA TV, June 2006.
“No Arab land is safe from the grand American conspiracy, and there is no Arab nation that is not threatened either internally or externally with slaughter…” --Al-Hayyat al-Jedidah, November, 2006.
The report also found much hatred of US President George Bush, who was referred to in PA media outlets as “racist,” “terrorist,” “devil from Hell,” and “worse than the German Fuhrer.”
“In the past,” the report warns, “US support has not been able to prompt changes in deeply-ingrained hate ideology.” In Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, providing support for groups resisting the ruling power did not win their loyalty to the US, researchers said. “In the case of Abbas's Palestinian Authority, this is even more striking. Palestinian alliances with these states, and enmity of the US, are deep, explicit and declared throughout the PA’s Arabic discourse... Judging by the tone and scope of the Palestinian Authority’s anti-American hate promotion documented in the report, this hatred by Palestinian Fatah and its closeness to these enemies of the US are not a result of any specific US policy, but are reflective of a deep and sincere ideological affinity to those enemies of the US,” the report concludes.