Palestinians: Calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital is ‘incitement’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves in Ramallah, in the West Bank May 1, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The Palestinians consider statements such as “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” and “Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people” as a form of “incitement,” according to a report released on Sunday by the PLO Department of Culture and Information.

The report comes in the context of Palestinian attempts to counter Israeli allegations of anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, school textbooks, mosque sermons and public statements by Palestinian officials. In the past two decades, dozens of reports documenting Palestinian incitement against Israel and glorification of terrorists have been published by various Israeli and Jewish organizations in a move that has seriously embarrassed PA leaders and drawn criticism from some Western donors.

The PLO report – which cites statements made by a number of Israeli officials and politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – also considers calls for combating the fire kites launched toward Israel from the Gaza Strip as “incitement.”

It claims that “derogatory and inflammatory comments and incitement by Israeli government officials and leaders are specifically meant to distort reality and mislead public opinion.”

However, the report intentionally ignores statements made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and senior Palestinian officials to the effect that “Jerusalem is and will remain the eternal capital of Palestine.” In addition, PA media outlets, including the official television and radio stations, refer to Jerusalem as the “occupied capital of Palestine.”

The first example of “incitement,” according to the report, is a June 13 statement made by Netanyahu in which he is quoted as saying: “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And it will always be the capital of Israel. It’s been the capital of Israel for three thousand years.”...

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