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      Israel Rejects Joint Committee on PA Incitement

      Steinitz turns down offer to convene a committee to discuss PA incitement. "If they're serious, they should just stop it," he says.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 2/5/2014, 2:43 AM

      Minister Yuval Steinitz
      Minister Yuval Steinitz
      Flash 90

      Israel recently refused an American offer to convene a joint Israel-U.S.-Palestinian Authority (PA) committee to discuss the PA’s ongoing incitement against Israel.

      NRG/Ma’ariv reported on Tuesday that the suggestion was made to Intelligence and International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz, but he refused to accept it, explaining that “there is no point in convening a committee that will be a cover-up for continued incitement by the Palestinian Authority.”

      The establishment of the joint committee was agreed upon back in 1998, during Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s first term, as part of the Wye Agreement between him, former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat and then-U.S. President Bill Clinton.

      The agreement called for the establishment of a joint committee that would keep track of PA incitement and suggest ways to prevent it. Each of the parties would appoint experts to engage in a continuous struggle against the incitement. However, NRG/Ma’ariv reported, the committee has not met in recent years and the PA has said that this was due to Israeli refusal.

      According to the report, the offer to convene the committee was made to Steinitz by Phil Gordon, President Barack Obama's Middle East adviser, and by the U.S. envoy for the peace negotiations, Martin Indyk. The offer was made at the request of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

      The request was made after the Israeli cabinet was presented with a detailed report, prepared by the Director-General of Steinitz’s ministry, on the incitement and the culture of hatred in the PA.

      The findings presented to the ministers show that incitement against Israel and the Jewish people is continuing on official media channels including – inter alia – by bodies that are very close to the PA Chairman and in educational and religious networks.

      Steinitz responded to the American offer by saying that Israel had already presented the PA with central examples of its incitement and noting “this, too, was redundant, because they know what they’re doing.”

      Steinitz also said, “If they want us to at least consider convening the committee, then they should stop, at least for a few weeks, the incitement on the media that is controlled by Abbas.”

      NRG/Ma’ariv further noted that in his speech at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference last week, Steinitz referred to Abbas’s offer and said, “I am not prepared to make such a hypocritical move. Abbas should start by ridding his website of these troubling messages and direct Palestinian television to stop airing them. Then we can maybe discuss together the PA’s education system.”

      Peace talks between Israel and the PA resumed last summer, but that has not stopped the PA from inciting against Israel in its media and in public speeches given by its officials. Many of these incidents have been reported by Arutz Sheva.

      In one such incident, PA TV broadcast a crudely anti-Semitic program legitimizing violence against Jews in Judea and Samaria - who were stereotyped as violent thieves. The end of the program glorified the humiliation of a religious Jew by cutting off his peyote side-curls, in a scene chillingly reminiscent of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda.

      Other incidents of incitement include the glorification of the murderer of 61 Israeli civilians on the official Facebook page of Abbas's Fatah party.

      Last week, an official PA newspaper claimed that Netanyahu has "Nazi genes." This occurred just days before International Holocaust Memorial Day.