PLO: Calling Jerusalem Israel’s Capital Constitutes ‘Incitement’

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas delivers a speech to mark the eighth anniversary of the death of the late leader Yasser Arafat, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 11, 2012.
ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – The Palestinians consider any declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital tantamount to “incitement,” a report released on Sunday by the PLO Department of Culture and Information said. The report also labelled as incitement any calls to counter the so-called “terror kites” being flown over the border from the Gaza Strip. 

One primary example of incitement presented by the report is a recent statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“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,” Netanyahu said last month.

The report also refers to Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks referring to Prince William’s recent visit to Jerusalem.

“We welcome him. We welcome everyone who visits our capital. Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people, and only of the Jewish people.”

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.”

Needless to say, the report makes no mention of Palestinian claims over the capital. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinian officials routinely refer to Jerusalem as the “eternal capital of Palestine.” PA media also refer to the city as the “occupied capital of Palestine.”

The report is ostensibly at attempt to counter the hundreds of articles documenting Palestinian incitement, which in those cases mostly refer to the glorification of violence and murder of Jews and Israelis.

The PLO also points to calls for the IDF to come up with ways to combat incendiary devices – including exploding kites, birthday balloons and latex condoms – as incitement. A June 21 statement made by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is deemed “anti-Palestinian incitement.”

“There is no difference between a burning kite and a Kassam rocket, and we should not tolerate the kites,” Shaked said.

So to, a quote from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on this issue as an “example of incitement and inflammatory comments.”

Liberman said: “Whoever thinks improving the civilian and economic situation in Gaza will halt the terror kites and the violence is simply wrong. Enough with all sorts of illusion and delusions that improving the economy will end terror.”

As The Jerusalem Post notes, the irony is that both the PA and Hamas seem to agree with Liberman’s view. The PA last week expressed frustration against Israeli and US attempts to turn the Gaza issue into a “humanitarian” one and claimed that those attempts to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were merely part of a “conspiracy” to force the Palestinians into accepting President Donald Trump’s soon to be announced peace plan and to drive a wedge between Palestinians in the West Bank and those in Gaza.

Hamas also said that accepting the move to improve the conditions of Gazans should not be seen as an abandonment of its so-called resistance – a euphemism for terrorism – against Israel.

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