In a JPost interview, Itamar Marcus, founder of Palestinian Media Watch, explains the reasons why Palestinian society has become a pathological terrorist entitey, and what Israel needs to do about it. I have been speaking about this for years. More here. *L* KGS
Self- delusion that there are moderates will not change reality
A recent report reveals Palestinian schoolbooks that are written by Fatah-appointed officials and call on children to take up a war for Islam. Is this discourse mainstream among the Palestinians?
This is unfortunately mainstream; it is what they believe. For years I haven’t used the term incitement about their material, because when you think of incitement, you think everything is fine and incitement is the problem. What they’re saying is not merely incitement. What they’re saying is reflective of their beliefs and opinions and ideology.
We’ve noticed this shift over recent years in Palestinian society, from the focus on nationalism to greater focus on religion, with a Palestinian poll before the election of Hamas [in 2006] showing about 78 percent of Palestinians wanting Sharia [Islamic law].
What is driving this shift?
I think Israel had a great secularizing influence [on Palestinian society] before the PA. But under the PA, through its control of TV, education, culture, everything, there has been a tremendous Islamization effect. This radical Islam, this is very dangerous.
The PA was Islamist from the beginning?
[Former PA chairman Yasser] Arafat himself initiated this, but not because he was a religious person. To have the support of the people, he felt it was important to have religious backing. When the terror war started [in October 2000], it was Arafat who was using the Islamic terms jihad and shahada, dying for Allah. These are religious terms. He said “all of Palestine” – meaning Israel – “is holy wakf [Islamic trust].” He was using religion the way Machiavelli talks about using religion – to keep the people in line.
Unfortunately for Israel, the world and for the Palestinians as well, he was more successful than he wanted to be. They have truly, in great masses, adopted this ideology as their own. And this is reflected in the election victory of Hamas and in the polls.