Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict

INCITEMENT - The root cause of violence

DEIR YASSIN - startling evidence
About Maurice Ostroff
Jerusalem Post  
The Incitement is still there 
Maurice Ostroff December 21, 2004                                                       

Palestinian textbooks and incitement have became topical subjects recently. Hanan Ashrawi lightly brushed off a question about Palestinian incitement put to her by Ruthie Blum in an interview published on December 17 in the Jerusalem Post.  On December 18, the International Herald Tribune published an article “Where is all that incitement?” by Roger Avenstrup, which creates an unjustified sense of sanguinity about Palestinian textbooks. Avenstrup claims that surveys by the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) and others found no incitement to hatred in Palestinian textbooks. 

But the denials of the problem by both Ashrawi and Avenstrup are flatly contradicted by the very IPCRI reports to which Avenstrup refers.  IPCRI's Policy Paper of November 2004 clearly states, “ is not difficult to come to the understanding that the main political theme imparted to the students is that Israel should not exist and that is essentially the Palestinian goal”. It  stresses that the Palestinian educational system should not teach hatred and should not encourage violence. It states further that the treatment of Jihad and martyrdom suggest encouragement of suicide bombing aimed at killing Israelis and even the possibility of actually becoming suicide bombers.

“..maps indicating the names of towns and cities in the State of Israel must be designated as such. A map from 1948 onwards with Yaffa or Akka must indicate that these cities are located within the State of Israel. Failure to do so will only call for the reader to understand that in the Palestinian view, these cities will be within the future boundaries of the State of Palestine. There is no room for ambiguity on these issues”.

IPCRI’s first report on the text books indicated that education has a duty to become involved in the resolution of conflicts. Education is sometimes blamed as being part of the problem; it, then, has to be part of the solution. IPCRI’s second report noted that educators should be aware of the far-reaching effect of education in the promotion of reconciliation, tolerance and peace. They should also be aware of the effect of education that is based on incitement and violence.

In these two earlier reports  IPCRI sought to engage the Ministry of Education and Palestinian educators in an open debate regarding the values instilled by their educational system. IPCRI sought to be constructive and to offer recommendations and suggestions for placing Palestinian education in line with a desire to make peace with Israel. It concluded that the Palestinian Ministry of Education was not prepared to pick up the challenge and its attempts to engage other Palestinian leaders on these issues also met resistance.

Strangely Mr. Avenstrup completely ignored an authoritative  report by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP), which is more damming than the IPCRI survey. CMIP’s methodology  provides actual quotations from textbooks with minimum commentary, allowing the texts to speak for themselves, whereas the IPCRI report generally uses paraphrases and descriptive commentary without providing any supporting verbatim text. It appears too, that CMIP examined several textbooks which were not included in the IPCRI survey.

Although CMIP reports some improvement in newer textbooks, most of the questions asked in the context of CMIP and UNESCO criteria were answered in the negative.  Neither Israel, nor Tel Aviv, exist in any of the maps. One map shows Palestine covering the whole territory of Israel.

Sadly, even the newer textbooks did not meet UNESCO's criterion No. 8 "the advancement of the cause of peace".  Peace is not mentioned at all, while war against Israel as a usurper, occupier and aggressor is implicitly encouraged. Even in one of the final exams. Israel is presented as an occupier and aggressor

But Avenstrup’s question “Where is all the incitement?” cannot be answered by referring only to textbooks. Unfortunately daily incitement continues in sermons in mosques which are  broadcast on official Palestinian television calling  for the murder of Jews. Typical of a recent sermon "Whoever has not merited Martyrdom in these times should rise in the night and ask: 'My Lord why have you denied me Martyrdom?”, 

Children in.summer camps are taught to use weapons against Israelis and models of Israeli buses are burned at public rallies where children are encouraged to emulate suicide bombers. More insidiously music cassettes are used to indoctrinate children to hatred and violence. Video clips  portray happy child martyrs in the after-world.  Text translations and video clips of these hate sermons are readily available at several web sites including

Hopefully in the new era which appears to have dawned, incitement will be outlawed and replaced by an education program aimed at equipping  the next generation of Palestinians to participate productively in the gainful pursuits from which they have been deprived for far too long.

Excerpts from transcripts of video clips   

With acknowledgement to MEMRI


5/7/2002 Clip No. 924


3-Year-old Egyptian Basmallah: Jews Are Apes and Pigs (Archival Material)

Click here to view the interview


Following are excerpts from an interview with three-and-a-half year old Egyptian girl, Basmallah, broadcast on Iqra TV on May 7, 2002.


Interviewer Duaa Amer: Our report today will be a little different, because our guest will be a girl, a Muslim girl, but a true Muslim. Allah willing, may God give us the strength to give our children the same education, so that the next generation of children will all be true Muslims who know that they are Muslims and know who their enemies are. This child will now introduce herself. She's the daughter of a sister in Islam, Hueida, and of the artist Wagdi Al-Arabi. Her name is Basmallah, and I will ask her too.


Peace be upon you.

Basmallah: Allah's mercy and blessings upon you.

Amer: What's your name?

Basmallah: Basmallah.

Amer: How old are you, Basmallah?

Basmallah: Three and a half.

Amer: Are you a Muslim?

Basmallah: Yes.

Amer: Basmallah, do you know the Jews?

Basmallah: Yes

Amer: Do you like them?

Basmallah: No.

Amer: Why don't you like them?

Basmallah: Because.

Amer: Because they are what?

Basmallah: They are apes and pigs.

Amer: Because they are apes and pigs. Who said that about them?

Basmallah: Our God.

Amer: Where did he say that about them?

Basmallah: In the Koran.

. . . . . . . .


Amer: What did the Jewish woman do to our Prophet Muhammad?

Basmallah: The Jewish woman?

Amer: Yes.

Basmallah: She invited the Prophet and his companions. When he asked her if she had put poison in his food, she said "yes". He asked her: "Why did you do this?" She replied: "If you are a liar, you will die, and Allah will not protect you. But if you speak the truth, Allah will protect you."

Amer: And God protected the Prophet, of course.

Basmallah: And he said to his companions: "I will kill this woman."

Amer: Of course. She put poison in his food, this Jewess.



7/22/2005 Clip No. 807


Al-Arabiya TV Special on the Culture of Martyrdom and Suicide Bombers


The following are excerpts from a show about the culture of martyrdom, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on July 22, 2005.

……….These films were not intended to be broadcast. Hamas made them for internal use, and they provide a rare perspective on the movement's efforts to teach its principles to new recruits.


Children singing: Rejoice, oh Bitah, cheer in merriment, oh Nujud, our occupied homeland will be restored through Jihad.

Crowd: Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar.

….Male voice on loudspeaker: What is your path?

Crowd: Jihad.

Male voice on loudspeaker: What is your greatest desire?

Crowd: Death for the sake of Allah.

Reporter: If Jihad is the goal, the self-sacrifice operations against the Israelis were the weapon chosen in the mid-nineties. In a series of operations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad hit the major Israeli cities and caused the deaths of dozens. This was part of the strategy.

. . .

Reporter: Hamas' strategy of targeting Israelis has gained the support of must Muslim clerics, to the point that Sheik Al-Qaradhawi appeared on Al-Jazeera TV and issued a fatwa permitting the killing of Israelis in these operations.

. . .

Reporter: Indeed, prominent scholars have described suicide operations for the sake of the homeland as martyrdom operations.


Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah: These martyrdom operations are the shortest way to Allah. They are the must exalted and magnificent way of martyrdom in our generation. The martyrdom operation is the weapon Allah gave this nation, and no one can take it from us. They can take away our cannons, our tanks, and our planes, but they cannot take away our spirit, which yearns for Allah and which is determined to achieve martyrdom.


……….Reporter: Hizbullah filmed Salah's operation and final message, and the entire program was aired on Al-Manar TV, which belongs to Hizbullah.



6/21/2006 Clip No. 1184


Egyptian Cleric Sheik Muhammad Sharaf Al-Din on a Children Show: The Jews Are the People of Treachery, Betrayal, and Vileness


Following are excerpts from a children's program hosted by Egyptian cleric, Sheik Muhammad Sharaf Al-Din, which aired on Al-Nas TV, on June 21, 2006:


Muhammad Sharaf Al-Din: A Jewish woman invited the Prophet Muhammad to a meal. Why? Because she was clever. She said that if he was truly a prophet, he would know (the food was poisoned), and we would know he is a prophet. But if his claim to be a prophet was false, he would die, and we would be rid of him.


. .  .. After the lamb had been slaughtered, skinned, cut, and cooked, she put poison in the meat of the leg she knew the Prophet liked.


. . . . it was served to the Prophet Muhammad. When the Prophet Muhammad said "In the name of Allah"... A Muslim must say "In the name of Allah" before eating. When the Prophet said: "In the name of Allah," and cut off a piece of meat, and was about to eat it, our Lord resurrected the lamb, and made it say: "Don't eat me, I'm poisoned, oh messenger of Allah."


Ruqaya, what did you learn from today's show?


Voice of Ruqaya: I learned that the Jews are the people of treachery and betrayal...


Muhammad Sharaf Al-Din: Allah Akbar!

Say Allah Akbar! What did Ruqiya say? The Jews are the people of treachery and betrayal. May Allah give you success. We want mothers who teach their sons Jihad, the love of Allah and His messenger, sacrifice for the sake of Islam, and love for the countries of the Muslims.




The form below may be used for commenting on the content of ths page
Please mention the sub-title when writing

Please enter your comments here. Thank you
Full name:
Email address: