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Galon: Netanyahu Using PA Incitement to Derail Talks

Meretz head attacks the government over its refusal to convene a committee with the PA to discuss incitement against Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/5/2014, 5:44 AM

MK Zehava Galon
MK Zehava Galon
Flash 90

MK Zehava Galon, who heads the extreme leftist Meretz party, on Tuesday attacked the Israeli government over its refusal to convene a joint committee with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United States that would be tasked with discussing the PA’s incitement against Israel.

The U.S. had suggested to Intelligence and International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz that the committee convene, after his ministry presented the cabinet with a detailed report about the PA’s incitement by bodies that are very close to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Steinitz rejected the request, explaining that the PA knows exactly what it is doing when it incites against Israel. “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,” he said.

Responding to the Israeli rejection of the idea, Galon told the Walla! news website, “Israel's refusal indicates Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s lack of seriousness in the peace process.”

"The refusal to convene the committee shows that the government is not interested in fighting incitement," she continued, accusing Netanyahu of using the incitement as a “convenient excuse to further derail the talks with the Palestinians. Instead of convening the committee and working together to eradicate stereotypes and prejudice, the Israeli government is busy trying to add fuel to the fire with the Americans.”

“Israel is on a collision course with the United States, which is enraged at the attacks of Ministers Yuval Steinitz and Gilad Erdan against Secretary of State John Kerry," Galon warned.

The remarks are just the latest in a series of attacks by Galon against Netanyahu and his government. She recently attacked Netanyahu over his statement that he would not evict any communities as part of a peace agreement with the PA, saying the comments proved Netanyahu is “not a partner for peace.”

Last week, Galon branded Netanyahu a “coward” for not reprimanding Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett for his remarks against the idea of having Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria live under the PA.

Galon has failed to condemn the PA’s incitement and has even invited senior Fatah member Jibril Rajoub,  who threatened to use a nuclear weapon against Israel, to the Meretz conference.

She later blasted the Defense Ministry for preventing Rajoub’s participation at the conference, to which Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon replied that he had decided to block Rajoub's entry to Israel because of his constant incitement against the Jewish state.

Responding to Galon’s remarks from Tuesday night, an Israeli political official told Walla!, "The only result achieved in the past by convening the incitement committee was increased Palestinian incitement; therefore, until the PA stops educating children toward hatred of Israel, there is no point in idle conferences.”

The official added, "Before the Palestinians demand that the incitement committee convene, they should stop naming their city squares after suicide bombers, and stop the broadcasts on their official television which call for the destruction of Israel."