Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Between Condemnation and Incitement - Asaf Gibor

by Asaf Gibor

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav

The head of the Palestinian Authority, who in the past, has tried to position himself as a leader of the opposition who uses peaceful means, is now actively engaging in incitement. He condemned the terror attack in Har Nof, but Fatah clarified: this was done only to pacify the world.

The attack in Har Nof was the signal for a Palestinian festival. In the early morning hours, with reports of the results of the slaughter in the synagogue, fireworks were fired off in the Gaza Strip. In Palestinian cities they gave out sweets and candies to the passersby, to celebrate the murder of the people as they prayed in the synagogue.

A half hour after the attack, caricatures were already spread throughout the social networks, in which the two terrorists, cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu-Jamal from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood, were drawn, as they perpetrated the murder. The Al-Aqsa mosque and a butcher knife, which the two used to slaughter the praying congregants, were the central motifs in these hateful caricatures. “The road to Jerusalem” was the title of one of the caricatures, in which a car was drawn speeding towards Jerusalem. “For you, O Aqsa”, was written on a knife smeared with blood in another caricature.

Abu-Mazen condemned the murder, but the message of condemnation did not impress Prime Minister Netanyahu, who pointed to the head of the Palestinian Authority as the party who is primarily to blame for the deterioration in security, and said that the murder is “the direct result of incitement by Hamas and Abu-Mazen”.

Walking between the drops

 “Popular resistance in peaceful ways” – this is the banner that Abu-Mazen waved when he replaced Arafat. This slogan constrained him walk between the drops and maintain a style of language that could be interpreted in two ways - on one hand to present to the world a view that forbids violent rebellion, and on the other side to speak to his target audience in the opposite way.

Nan Jacques Zilberdik, senior researcher at Palestinian Media Watch, who tracks what is said in the Palestinian media, says that lately there is a rise in the level of Abu-Mazen’s incitement. She brings a few examples, from which it can be stated unequivocally, that Abu-Mazen encourages violent action against Israel. In a speech that the head of the PA gave for the Fatah movement last October, he spoke about the concept of “ribaat”, which means religious war to defend Islamic land.

“It is not enough that we say that there are people who do ‘ribaat’”, said Abu-Mazen. “We must all do ribaat in al-Aqsa. It is not enough that we say that the settlers have come to the mosque; we must prevent them from entering the holy compound in any possible way. This is our holy compound, it is our al-Aqsa and it is our church (the church of the sepulcher, A.G.). They have no right to enter them. They have no right to defile them. We must prevent them. We will stand in front of them, exposed, in order to guard our holy places”.

The quote from Abu-Mazen’s speech was edited by the team from official Palestinian television. “The part where Abu-Mazen calls for the use of violence was broadcast that evening before the news program on official Palestinian television”, says Zilberdik, “and afterwards it was presented 19 times over three days, together with pictures of conflicts between Israeli security forces and the residents of East Jerusalem”. A few days after the Palestinian television’s brainwashing, the terrorist Abd a-Rahman Shaludi carried out the attack with a vehicle in Jerusalem, when the baby Haya Zissel Baruch and 20 year old Karen Yemima Muskara, an immigrant from Ecuador, were killed. On the 29th of October, Muatez Hijazi, a resident of Silwan, tried to assassinate Yehuda Glick. When security forces arrived to arrest him, he fired on them and was killed.

Zilberdik says that “the family of the terrorist Hijazi received a letter of consolation from Abu-Mazen, in which he condemns his having been killed”. In the letter that was brought to the family by Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and governor of the Jerusalem area, Adnan al-Husseini, Abu-Mazen expresses his anger over what he defines as “the despicable crime that was perpetrated against the martyr Muatez Hijazi”.

In addition, the head of the PA wrote that “Hijazi was murdered by the Israel Occupation Army’s murder and terror gangs. Muatez, the martyr, has ascended to heaven while defending the rights of our people and its holy places. We condemn this barbaric action”. The killing of Muatez “is added to the occupation’s crimes against our people since the Nakba, and continues the historical injustice that has been done against us”, in Abu-Mazen’s words. Abu-Mazen’s office did not confirm that the letter was sent by them, but the family that received the letter indicated that they received it from the minister and that it is was written the PA head’s writers and signed by him.

Proof from the Qur’an

 Many long hours passed before Abu-Mazen’s office issued a condemnation of the Har Nof terror attack. Tremendous pressure from Secretary of State John Kerry on Ramallah is what led to the terse announcement, which dealt mainly with Israel’s criminality. “Abu-Mazen condemned the killing of the people who were praying this morning in the synagogue in Jerusalem”, was written in the message. “He condemns every act of violence, and therefore he demands that the settlers and those Israeli ministers who came up the Temple Mount desist from their provocative act of coming to the Al-Aqsa mosque”.

Abu-Mazen took the opportunity to call for an end of the occupation, which he defined as “the reason for the tension and the violence”, and expressed the hope for a “just and comprehensive solution on the basis of two states in accordance with international decisions”. He added: “The spirit of the ceasefire must be maintained and the understandings that were formulated in the meeting with Abdullah II, King of Jordan and the American Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman”.

Immediately following the condemnation that was publicized in the media, they hurried to publish a large picture of Abu-Mazen on the Fatah movement’s Facebook page, with Abu-Mazen holding the Qur’an, and underneath was a citation from Sura 22, verse 39, which the head of the PA quoted last August, during Operation Protective Edge. “The believers who have had war made against them can go out to war because an injustice has been done to them. Allah can rush to their aid”. Zilberdik clarifies that this passage is unambiguous, and that this is a call for violent uprising against Israel.

And if this is not enough, Fatah made it clear on its official Facebook page, that the PA’s condemnation was not real. To explain Abbas’ condemnation, the movement used a video clip – that was documented by Palestinian Media Watch – in which Muhammad Dayeh, Arafat’s bodyguard, explains the condemnation, “killing of citizens”. “When there was a terror attack in Tel Aviv, President Mubarak would telephone Brother Arafat and tell him: ‘Come out with a condemnation, Brother Arafat, they will tear you up’. Arafat would issue a condemnation in his special way – ‘I am against the killing of citizens’ – and it is not the truth”, said the bodyguard.

Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, was asked about Abu-Mazen’s condemnation during an interview for a Lebanese television channel. He tried to “calm people down” since it was only a condemnation for the world. “Abu-Mazen speaks to the world; we, in Fatah, speak to the people”, said Tirawi, twice during the interview, to make it clear that Abu-Mazen is continuing on Arafat’s path – outwardly issuing condemnation and inwardly fuelling the hatred and violence.

Asaf Gibor

Source: Makor Rishon, 21-11-2014, Yoman section, pg. 6

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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