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When an act of courtesy is denounced as a pledge of war

Yuval Steinitz when finance minister, a post he held  2009-13; now minister of intelligence, of international relations and of strategic affairs. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

Lessons in hatred: Israeli incitement is worse than that of Palestinians

By excoriating ‘Palestinian incitement,’ Israeli leadership sets new records of chutzpah: Its own incitement is far, far worse.

By Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz
October 20, 2013

Here’s another record for Israeli chutzpah: Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz declares that because of Palestinian incitement there is no peace. In an article* published in the New York Times last week under the headline “How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace,” the national philosopher tallied Ramallah’s sins: As soon as Mahmoud Abbas returned from the United Nations General Assembly he met with the Egyptian poet Hisham al-Gakh, and listen to what this national poet, who was once accused of plagiarism, wrote: “Our enemy is the fork-tailed Zionist devil.”

Yet Abbas dares to meet with him – for that reason there is no peace. Steinitz’s op-ed can be read on his Facebook page (577 “likes”.)

Poking out of a sea of ministerial announcements about his radio interviews (“Tomorrow at eight I will be a guest on Kalman Liveskinder’s program on Israel Radio.” “At 10:20 I will be invited by Radio Haifa”) is an announcement of grief at the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: “The People of Israel today lost a dear man, preeminent rabbi and outstanding intellectual,” it reads. The great intellectual, in the eyes of that anti-incitement campaigner Steinitz, said more than once that the Arabs should simply be annihilated.

Above, L, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Chief Sephardi rabbi before his death, and Israel’s most renowned excoriator of gentiles especially, but not only, Palestinians.

“They should not be given pity, instead we should send them really cool missiles, those cursed, evil people.” Really cool missiles, said the revered rabbi. Abbas never used such language – ever – and neither did al-Gakh. But Palestinian incitement is what’s preventing peace.

“Instead of being schooled in the ‘culture of peace,’ the next generation of Palestinians is being relentlessly fed a rhetorical diet that includes the idolization of terrorists, the demonization of Jews and the conviction that sooner or later Israel should cease to exist,” Steinitz wrote in his propaganda piece, which explains at last to the boorish Americans why there is no peace.

Screenshot of Egyptian poet Hisham al-Gakh reciting ‘A beautiful poem on the Arabic TV show “Prince of Poets”, on the childhood ideals of a united Arab world, and how his dreams have been shattered in adulthood by the current reality and the failure of Arab leaders.’

Paper can suffer anything, even that used for printing the New York Times. For all that, you must agree that this marks another record in Israeli chutzpah: A representative of the “culture of peace” excoriating Palestinian incitement. That has always served as the last refuge of Israeli refusal.

Well, Israeli incitement is far worse than that of the Palestinians. It’s not only the late rabbi or other rabbis who incite; not only Beitar Jerusalem supporters, price tag perpetrators and daubers of “Death to the Arabs” graffiti on every signpost. The real Israeli incitement is that which slips off the tongue easily, camouflaged, covert and brainwashed.

When Steinitz compares the Geneva talks of 2013 with the Munich talks of 1938, he is effectively comparing Rohani with Hitler. That’s not incitement? When he talks about sanctifying terrorists, is he talking about Palestine or Israel? Which one sanctifies its past and present terrorists more? Where are there more memorials to the fallen? Which one educates more toward hatred, arrogance and racism?

 Honoured Israeli terrorists: L, Shimon Peres lays wreath on Ben Gurion’s grave; below, Yitzhak Shamir lies in state before his state funeral

President Peres lays wreath at grave of David Ben-Gurion, GPO/Mark Neiman

You want an example of camouflaged incitement, the type that slips off the tongue every evening? Television presenter Danny Kushmaro went to the Jordan Valley to follow the murder of Seraiah Ofer on the “Friday Studio” newscast, and what did we get? In the Jordan Valley there are only “inhabitants” whose lives the Palestinian thieves make a misery, those wretched victims. One of them said that “90 percent of the hatred in the world is by the Muslims.”

That is not incitement by any means. In Kushmaro’s Jordan Valley there are not lots of Palestinians, whose land was confiscated and freedom trampled. He simply did not see them, therefore they do not exist. That’s not incitement?

The real incitement is denial of the Nakba; the real incitement is demonization and dehumanization of the Palestinians; the real incitement is the militarism, victimization and arrogance of the “Chosen People,” including Holocaust studies for six-year-olds that is designed to give the impression that the whole world is against us.

The real incitement is that which will never acknowledge the context and motive behind Palestinian hatred. They don’t need lessons in school in order to hate Israelis – it’s enough for them to wake up terrified in the middle of the night to see soldiers brutally intrude their homes, bully their parents and degrade them in front of their eyes. Those are their real inciters.

Some other evil people whose hands have been shaken by Mahmoud Abbas: clockwise from top left, Netanyahu and Obama; George Mitchell, former US peace envoy; former US ally Hosni Mubarak; Pope Benedict; former Israeli PM, Ariel Sharon; former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. all but Pope photo from Time magazine.


*How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace by Yuval Steinitz, October 15th, 2013.

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