Exposing Palestinian incitement against Israel:
The goals of Palestinian Media Watch, and why this matters to peace

Published: 9 October 2010
Briefing Number 270

Click to Printclick here to print page

Summary:   Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) systematically exposes Palestinian incitement against Israel and the Jewish people in Arab language media and schoolbooks.  This Beyond Images Briefing reproduces an important statement by PMW which explains their goals: “When we expose Palestinian hate material it is not incitement against the Palestinians but with the hope that the world will force them to begin educating the young generation for peace…”.  See the whole statement, below.  This Briefing should be read in conjunction with Beyond Image Briefing 269, which outlines five illustrations of incitement against Israel in mainstream media which took place during the September 2010 face-to-face peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.     

What is Palestinian Media Watch?

Palestinian Media Watch is an Israeli Non-Governmental Organisation which was formed in 1996 and which studies and reports on Palestinian society through its media and schoolbooks.  PMW’s major focus is on the messages that  Palestinian leaders from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and from Hamas send to the Palestinian population through the broad range of institutions which they control.  The PMW website is at www.palwatch.org

The website provides powerful evidence of:

  • demonisation of Israel and Jews
  • PA depictions via maps of a world without Israel    
  • the glorification of suicide bombers
  • promotion of Palestinian children as combatants
  • rewriting of the region’s history, and Holocaust denial
  • the hijacking of pop culture

and much more.   The PMW website shows that incitement has deep roots.  

PMW’s Arab language translators

The PMW translators are, according to the PMW website, people who
“follow the PA world through the media for hours daily” and who have “a profound understanding of the PA world”.  All the translators are describes as “experts in Arabic” and for some Arabic is apparently their mother tongue.

PMW’s activities among Western policy-makers

PMW’s documented findings and video and audio materials are steadily becoming better known in Western policy-making and political circles.  According to the PMW website, their findings have been presented before US Congressmen, and to Members of Parliament in Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Australia, among others.

What are the goals of PMW? Is it inciting against the Palestinians, and “against peace”?

Some Western groups and Israeli media depict the work of PMW as being “anti-peace”, because it paints too bleak a picture of Palestinian culture. Palestinian Media Watch have responded to this criticism, and here is the text of their response, which is taken from their website (version: 7 October 2010).

We on Beyond Images believe that this PMW statement is a vital building block in the search for peace, and we have reproduced it verbatim.

The PMW website asks: “Why does PMW publicise negative news items from the PA media and education system?

“Palestinian Media Watch believes that the key to the future is peace education.

The Palestinian children have not been given that key.  For years the PA has offered their children the opposite: hate education.

The Israeli and world media keep portraying reality as if the PA had peaceful intentions.  However, the PA schoolbooks and media are full of incitement to hate and violence, glorification of terrorists, denial of Israel’s right to exist as well as demonisation of Jews and Israelis.

PMW wants to complete the picture of Palestinian society, bringing the world to understand the obstacles to peace.  The hate promotion in Palestinian society is a significant part of that picture.  The small parts we publicise add to an honest and full picture of the PA culture.

The only answer to these hate messages is to expose them – even if it is again and again – in whatever versions they appear, so that we do not become immune to them.  Unless hate education and incitement is stopped, it will destroy any chance for peace.

When we expose Palestinian hate material it is not incitement against the Palestinians but with the hope that the world will force them to begin educating the young generation for peace.

Positive items about Israel, Jews and peace are unfortunately few and far between.  The day that the Palestinian Authority demonstrates a sincere wish to be at peace with Israel we will be the first to know, celebrate and publicise it. 

Until that time we must know reality and face reality and hopefully prevent future tragedies”.

End of PMW website statement

Related Beyond Images Briefings

Incitement against Israel in mainstream Palestinian media…. during 2010 peace talks (Beyond Images Briefing 269, dated 9 October 2010)   

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about territory. The solution is ‘land for peace’….” (Beyond Images Briefing 262, dated 15 July 2010) 

“Moderate Palestinian leaders believe in a two-state solution…” (Beyond Images Briefing 227, dated 25 December 2010)