David Bedein, Director of the Israel Resource news agency at the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research, has a strong message for the new right wing Israeli government to be very careful regarding the Palestinian Authority.
“We’re taking about the first entity in the world to endorse the murder of Jews. We didn’t even have that with Nazi Germany. It was there but always kept quiet,” he says.
Bedein points out that the PA endorses the murder of Jews in its legal code.
A new law that the PA enacted, which the Nahum Bedein Center was able to get a copy of through a Palestinian Arab journalist who works with them, states that “if you murder a Jew, you get a salary for life,” he explains.
“The government of Israel has never asked that that law be cancelled and repealed,” he says. “Until anyone involved with ‘pay for slay’ is arrested, is stopped – in any normal country in the world if someone sends a bank transfer to you because you just killed someone, you get arrested. Where’s the government of Israel in this?”
“Same thing with the school books,” he adds, noting that every year the PA textbook come out they go through them.
“It’s now come to more than a thousand school books. And these school books are an instrument of teaching not hatred but how to kill Jews,” he says. “Every aspect of the school system is how to kill Jews, whether it’s in their prose, in their songs, in their art, and in their school books.”
These textbooks are also used in UNRWA schools in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem, he adds.
“There are certain things that we as a Jewish country and as a normal country [cannot allow],” he says. “When we showed this to the UN Secretary-General and his staff, they were shocked.”
According to Bedein, since Oslo the original PLO Palestinian Covenant from 1964 has remained the main document taught in PA schools.
“Children are taught to continue the war,” he says.
He disagrees with the assertion that while Israel has huge disagreements with the PA, at least they are to some extent fighting terror.
“If they’re fighting terror, I don’t know what world I’m living in. The last several months, the Al Aqsa Brigades, have been attacking Jews all over the place, on all the roads. The PSF [Palestinian Security Forces] has become an enemy. They are not a friend. People talk about security cooperation, what are you talking about? This has nothing to do with reality. There’s been pressure over the years on the world of journalism from the government of Israel and from the IDF not to publicize the fact that the Arabs who are trained by Israel have turned on us.”
“The people of Israel have not seen what’s really going on. And I’m warning the new government of Israel to take these things seriously,” he continues.
Even with the new right wing government, he is still very concerned about the situation.
“The families of 1,400 people murdered need a voice. I'm very concerned. I don't care if it's a right, left or center [government]. If they don't follow through on these issues we're talking about, this is déjà vu. In 1996 Bibi comes in for the first time. They were going to be so strong and all of a sudden… There's every intention in the new government to stop incitement of the Palestinian Authority but there is no mechanism in place to do that. What there is a mechanism in place just to cooperate – cooperate, cooperate, cooperate,” he says.
“The Israel Civil Administration as of yesterday – I checked, ‘Are you checking the new school books? No. Are you checking these teachers? No. Are you on hand following what's being taught in the schools? No. In other words, this has not changed yet. Now I'm not expecting change after two weeks but I can say that if there's not a groundswell of public opinion, and on the issue of ‘pay for slay,’ it’s the issue of blocking the money. The only people I feel who will stand up are the people whose loved one was murdered and you go to sleep every night knowing that the killer is getting a monthly salary with the approval of the government of Israel and with the mechanisms of the Bank of Israel. There is something wrong here and that has to stop.”
“If the government of Israel does not act immediately on these things, it will continue,” he adds.