Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Monday, January 21, 2008

A real core issue:incitement

This article is especially pertinent in view of the call of the US ambassador for peace education.
The first 'core issue': Incitement

Last week the Israeli government reportedly started negotiations on the "core issues" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: borders, settlements, refugees and Jerusalem - but not incitement and hate language.
It is well to examine the consequences of Israel's past failures to demand an end to Palestinian and region-wide incitement and hate language, which are early warning signs of genocidal intent by their perpetrators. Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that it was words, not machinery, that produced Auschwitz. If the rocks, daggers, guns, suicide bombs, Kassams and long-range missiles are the hardware of today's terror threats to Israel, it is the incitement that is the software.
At Annapolis, the statement of principles called for "confronting terror and incitement - whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis." Prime Minister Olmert and President George Bush each used the term once - President Mahmoud Abbas ignored it.
During Bush's visit, official statements provided no evidence of any intent to monitor and eradicate incitement and hate language from official Arab media, texts and places of worship; a colossal act of diplomatic negligence.
Israel's politicians and opinion-makers, acting like abused children, have become habituated to regional incitement as normal. Incitement, like lead from gasoline, needs to be redefined as toxic - and unacceptable. MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch provide frequent updates on endemic regional incitement in school texts, mosques, on the airwaves, media and Internet.
AT ITS worst, incitement includes the dehumanization of Jews as "monkeys and pigs," the dissemination of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and maps without Israel; Holocaust denial and propagation of many of the classic motifs of anti-Semitism, in which Israel and Zionism have replaced "Jews" as targets. Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls to wipe Israel off the map, along with his Holocaust denials, are the tip of the iceberg.
An end to state-sponsored incitement to terror belongs right on top of the negotiating agenda, before any discussions on borders, settlements, refugees, Jerusalem, and all the other issues. The first "confidence-building measure" should be ending incitement, cutting off funding for those spreading such incitement, and prosecuting those who propagate hatred, not only in the PA, but its hinterland in Egypt and Jordan, and, yes, Saudi Arabia.
As The Jerusalem Post reported, even "moderate" Arab papers showcased anti-Semitic cartoons ahead of the Annapolis summit.
It is true that Israel has its own blue-and-white copycat inciters - such as Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, who was indicted for calling Arabs "donkeys and beasts." But the decision of our legal authorities to prosecute Batzri is a role model for the region. My guess is that incitement in Israeli society is probably less by an order or two magnitudes than that in the Arab world, where state-sponsored educational systems, places of worship, printed media, Internet and airwaves are hardwired to disseminate it daily.
THE FOLLOWING phrases have yet to enter the lexicon of the negotiating process: "Incitement kills," "An end to incitement," "Incitement is toxic" and "Incitement makes genocidal terrorists."
In 1969, the Israeli government forcefully demanded removing and amending texts, including inflammatory content from Jordanian textbooks used in UN-supported refugee camps. But Israel has failed to exploit the precedent of the 1988 Knesset decision banning parties that incite to racism and violence.
Incitement and hate language are the most toxic exposures of our time. They shape the socio-cultural environment that enables genocidal terror to become an accepted or approved social norm. Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable, and exposing them is a form of child abuse. They are indoctrinated to act on its messages, thereby ensuring intergenerational perpetuation of hate.
It is state-sponsored incitement, - i.e. the messages on the loudspeakers, airwaves and the Internet - and not what is whispered between diplomats, that signals the intentions of states or their surrogate organizations. The blowback from "the street" makes the decision-makers captive to such messages. So long as incitement warps the minds of coming generations, no diplomatic solution of the conflict between Israel and the Muslim world will be sustainable.
Israel should be demanding an end to funding by US, EU and UN agencies of all institutions of learning and education that tolerate or issue hate language. Until Saudi Arabia and Egypt put an end to the propagation of the ugly anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish motifs in their mosques, texts, universities and media, neither should have any credibility as a participant or intermediary in any peace process.
Israel - and the world community - need to demand as the first "core issue" that we apply public health models of surveillance to identify and ban the use of hate language and incitement.
In order to reduce the risk of perpetual conflict, we have to institutionalize surveillance of incitement. The purpose of such monitoring would be to trigger bans and punitive legal actions designed to deter the perpetrators of incitement and hate language. Using the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Code, which specifies that incitement to genocide is a crime against humanity, Israel should be leading the way in criminalizing incitement to genocidal terror as a central part of any future agreement coming out of Annapolis.
I ASK President Bush and Secretary Rice: Has the US consul-general, who has been assigned to monitor "progress in compliance with the road map" been required to monitor how many times the words "pig," "cancer," "filth," "microbes" and "vermin" and the all the other anti-Semitic motifs appear in Arab textbooks, sermons, official Internet sites and media?
The core values of all human social contracts need to guide resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians and their hinterland. Incitement to terror is a blatant assault on respect for the most basic of all human rights - human life and dignity - signaling genocidal intent by its perpetrators and practitioners.
The road map explicitly calls for an end to incitement as an essential precondition for all future agreements. Official monitoring, reporting and sanctioning of incitement are the essential next steps to eradicating this fundamental obstacle to peace and threat to human life.
The writer heads the Genocide Prevention Program at Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine and serves on the advisory board of Genocide Watch.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory