In a statement at a press conference on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the latest wave of terror against Israelis on “wild and mendacious incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority [PA],” and others.
While Mahmoud Abbas, president of the PA, has recently claimed that he seeks to avoid “military and security escalations” with Israel, he and other PA officials have a long record of incitement against the Jewish state. It was only earlier this year that chief negotiator Saeb Erekat compared Israel to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying, “There is no difference between the terrorism practiced by the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Israel’s terrorism.”
Erekat made many similarly inflammatory statements against Israel throughout his time with the PA, and has previously accused the state of killing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. His belligerent rhetoric has often been echoed by other officials, with Jibril Rajoub, Deputy-Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and a possible successor to Abbas, saying in 2013, “We as yet don’t have a nuke, but I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.” Like Erekat, Rajoub has an extensive history of inciting hatred against Israel, including by blaming it for the death of Arafat.
Only months after Rajoub swore that Palestinians would nuke Israel if they could, reports surfaced that Mohammad Shtayyeh, another top negotiator, posted a map online that erased all of Israel and emblazoned it with the word “Palestine.”
Abbas himself has often engaged in similar incitement against the Jewish state. Most recently, at the United Nations, Abbas attacked Israel with a string of false charges, including alleged plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, and said that the PA was no longer bound by any agreements signed between the two. The speech was characterized as “a masterpiece of deceit and defamation” by Ben Cohen and Benjamin Kerstein, editors of The Tower Magazine, in The Palestinian Endgame. Only days before his UN address, Abbas said that he wouldn’t allow the “filthy feet” of Jews to defile holy sites in Jerusalem and blessed “every drop of blood” spilled for the city.
Abbas also has a long history of glorifying terrorists. Two years ago, he called Abu Sukkar, who killed 15 Israelis and wounded over 60 in a 1975 bombing in Jerusalem, a “pure soul.” In 2014, he issued a letter of condolences to the family of a Palestinian who was killed after shooting an Israeli in Jerusalem, calling the man a “martyr.” Most recently, he condemned Israel for killing two Palestinian terrorists after they each carried out an attack in Jerusalem earlier this month.
The violence that engulfed Israel and the Palestinian territories these past 10 days has served as a tragic reminder that these expressions don’t exist in a vacuum. A video released by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday showed how incitement creates a culture of hatred and violence, which produces anti-Israel and anti-Jewish terror. The video is embedded below.
[Photo: Reuters / YouTube ]