Israel Resource Review 20th May, 2005


On Eve of U.S. Visit, Abbas's Media Again Attack US and Israel
Dr. Michael Widlanski

Only days before Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas visits Washington to ask for money and to exhibit reform and moderation, Abbas's official media have again supported terror assaults on Israeli targets while attacking America and Israel in ways that recalled the worst instances of the regime of the late Yasser Arafat.

Meanwhile, for the second week in a row, another one of Abbas's official mosque preachers speaking in an official broadcast, called for armed resistance to "the new American occupation of Iraq."

For the fourth consecutive day, Dr. Abbas's state-controlled media praised men who attacked or tried to attack Israel targets with missiles, mortars, rifles and road-side bombs, calling them "martyrs," while accusing Israel of war crimes for killing the terrorists in the course of their attacks.

"An as-yet-unidentified man was martyred this morning in a clash with forces of the Israeli Occupation near the colony of Kfar Darom which is built on Palestinian land," asserted the opening morning news broadcast of Voice of Palestine radio, which is controlled completely by PLO chairman Abbas.

"Two martyrs in Khan Yunis and Rafah fall to occupation bullets and missiles," shrieked a bold color headline in Thursday's (May 19) Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, a newspaper of Abbas's Fatah Party, that, like other Palestinian media, soft-pedaled the fact that the "martyrs" were attacking Israel when killed.

Abbas's newspaper continued the hero treatment of the "martyrs" by running a huge front-page picture of the body of one terrorist, his body festooned with verses from the Quran and propaganda messages from Hamas, the Islamic terror organization which Abbas is trying to bring into a coalition government.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed in principle to join Abbas's government and to participate in national elections in July, and Abbas had promised the US and Israel that he would persuade both Islamic groups to stop attacking Israel. However, there has been a sharp increase in attacks in the last three weeks, despite a supposed "cooling-off" period supervised by Abbas.

A cartoon in today's Al-Quds newspaper reflected the official position of the Abbas regime that the increase in violence was the fault of Israel, which, according to Abbas's top ministers and aides, is deliberately trying to torpedo the "tahdiyya" or cooling-off period or "lull."

The cartoon showed the flag of truce being shot up by Israeli rockets and bullets.

Abbas has also not really imposed restrictions on incitement to violence and hatred against Jews, Christians, Israel and the United States, and he has reacted angrily to outside criticism of his performance, accusing Israel of "incitement against me."

In newspaper interviews published in all three major Palestinian dailies last Friday, Abbas claimed that he was suffering the same treatment as his mentor, Arafat, and in these same interviews he said he would ask the United States for increased economic aid as well as a less-pro-Israel position.

Front Page of Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, May 19, 2005.

The picture shows a mass funeral led by finger-waving members of the Hamas movement, while across the page PLO Chairman Abbas was shown reviewing a army troops on a visit to China.

The Palestinian coverage of the increased attacks on Israeli targets has been more than one-sided, ignoring that one terrorist died when his 90-pound bomb blew up in his hands ahead of time, or that Palestinian gunners were launching rockets at towns in Israel and its settlements in Gaza, which Israel is set to evacuate in three months.

Meanwhile, a publicly broadcast mosque speech on Abbas's radio network accused the Bush Administration of leading the forces of discrimination and "terror against Muslims around the world," and the speech fit a pattern of official Palestinian incitement against both the U.S. and Israel.

Speaking in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikrema al-Sabry, the PA-paid and appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, again accused the United States of desecrating the Quran, Islam's scripture, in its base in Guantanamo Cuba, even though a magazine report on such supposed conduct has been discredited and largely retracted.

Sheikh Sabry held up "the victorious sword of Saladin" (Salah al-Din), who defeated the Christian crusaders, as a role model for today's mosque worshipers, and he strongly implied that American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq were but a new version of those earlier medieval crusaders.

He cited "war crimes against the Islamic peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan," implying that this was a deliberate American policy.

The top Palestinian cleric said America was guilty of a policy of terror and discrimination against Muslims worldwide, making it difficult for them to travel or immigrate "under the pretext of protection against the danger of terror."

Last week, two other mosque speakers-Sheikh Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris and Sheikh Yousef Abu-Sneina-struck similar themes on Palestinian television and radio, respectively. They accused America and Israel of wanting to conquer the entire Islamic world and of lusting for war.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia and chief PLO negotiator Saeb Arikat have similarly accused Israel of lusting for war and of desiring to torpedo the peace process, in their respective media appearances over the last week.

They and the mosque speakers have also spoken almost daily about Israeli threats and attacks on Islamic holy places in Jerusalem.

"They want to target Al-Aqsa and to attack it in order to replace it with their supposed temple, God Forbid" shouted Sheikh Al-Sabry.

The sheikh used the term "al-Heikal al-Maz'oum"-Arabic: the supposed temple or the so-called Temple-that is standard usage in the broadcast media controlled by the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority.

[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]

Dr. Michael Widlanski served as a special advisor to Israeli delegations to peace talks in 1991-1992 and as Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Public Security, editing secret PLO Archives captured in Jerusalem. He is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Things are Now Clear:
Arafat's Demise will not lead to Peace - Abbas Acts as his Protege
Dr. Daniel Pipes
Director, Middle East Forum

Yasir Arafat's demise in November excited great hopes among those who saw his malign personality as the main reason for Palestinian intransigence.

But those of us who saw the problem as larger than Arafat - as resulting, rather, from the deep radicalization of the Palestinian body politic - expected little change. Indeed, I wrote at the time of Mahmoud Abbas' election to head the Palestinian Authority (PA) that, "he is potentially a far more formidable enemy to Israel" than was Arafat.

How do things look a half year after Arafat's death? About as awful as anyone might have expected. Specifically, Abbas is unambiguously leading the Palestinians to war after the Israeli retreat from Gaza in August 2005. Consider some recent developments.

Hiring terrorists as soldiers: Rather than arrest terrorists, as required by the informal February 2005 cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, Abbas has instituted a unique employment program for them, incorporating them into his security forces. The Associated Press explains the charming point system to determine who gets what rank: "A high school diploma … is worth eight points, while a year in an Israeli prison or on the run counts for two points each. Gunmen don't get credit for time served in Palestinian lockups, but they win extra points if they were wounded by Israeli army fire or had their homes demolished." The Israeli authorities have accepted that even convicted Palestinian killers carry weapons

Arming terrorists: The Palestinian military intelligence agency facilitates terrorist groups smuggling SA-7 Strela shoulder-fired missiles into Gaza to use against Israeli aircraft.

Inciting the population: As Palestinian Media Watch, the Center for Special Studies, and Michael Widlanski have exhaustively detailed, the political speeches, media content, mosque sermons, school textbooks, and wall posters remain as rabidly anti-Israel and antisemitic as during the worst days of Arafat's rule. For example, Ahmad Qureia, the PA's so-called prime minister, has threatened "an explosion" over Israel's handling of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Pretend arrests of terrorists: As under Arafat, the PA plays the charade of arresting terrorists with fanfare and then allowing them quietly to "escape" from prison. Two examples of these revolving-door arrests: two perpetrators who assisted a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in February 2005 left jail in April; and the Palestinian police arrested their first Hamas terrorist on May 2 but promptly released him one day later.

As a result of these steps, Palestinian terrorism, especially coming out of Gaza, has dramatically increased since April. Things have reached such a low point that one analyst, Leslie Susser, finds that the February cease-fire "may be on the verge of collapse."

It is hard to argue with JWR contributor Caroline Glick's conclusion that the Sharon government and the Bush administration were both "horribly wrong" in betting on Abbas. And yet, neither of them concedes this error because, having stressed Abbas's good intentions, both now find themselves deeply invested in the success of his political career.

The planned Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August is likely to precipitate new rounds of violence. One could come in July, as the Israel Defense Forces engages in a massive sweep of Gaza to ensure that the forthcoming retreat takes place not under Palestinian fire.

More violence will likely follow in September, as the Palestinians, Gaza now under their belt, begin a new assault on Israel. That round presumably will feature the substantial rocket arsenal that Hamas has been amassing. Israel's chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon is on record predicting, "Immediately after the disengagement we can expect a burst of terrorism."

Thus has Ariel Sharon neatly arraigned all the elements for a massive train wreck.

Ironically, the one thing that might prevent this scenario from playing out would be a Hamas victory in the Palestinian council elections scheduled for mid-July. Increasing numbers of Israeli voices are calling for the Gaza withdrawal to be postponed or even annulled should Hamas do well, as seems likely. For example, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has said if Hamas wins the elections, it would be "unreasonable" to implement the disengagement plan and allow Hamas to create a "Hamas-stan" in Gaza.

So, there are many possibilities in the next four months. Their common element is that by September, the Arab-Israeli theater will be in yet worse shape than it is today.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Abbas is coming to Washington.
Will Prez finally get tough with him?

Cal Thomas, Internationally Syndicated Columnist

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet President Bush in Washington May 26. He is getting this meeting because the Bush Administration has concluded that Abbas has done more than his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, to reduce violence against Israeli civilians and reform the Palestinian security services, among other preconditions stated in the road map for Middle East peace.

That's debatable, but one issue that is beyond debate is Abbas' failure to end the incitement to violence that President Bush mentioned nearly three years ago as a precondition for implementing the road map.

In its print and broadcast media, the Palestinian Authority has increased the level of invective against Israel, the Jewish people and the United States.

According to a report commissioned by the Center for Near East Policy Research, the level of invective, incitement, paranoia, spreading of false accusations and rumors and inflammatory sermons from Palestinian mosques has not changed under Abbas.

These include assertions from Palestinian officials and their media that Israel is planning attacks on Islamic holy sites such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount; charging Israel with using radiation to poison Palestinian travelers and remarks on Palestinian radio that claim "America is using her troops to uproot Islam and (true) belief from the hearts of those imprisoned in her jails."

On official Palestinian television, viewers saw three hours of non-stop incitement against Jews and Israel. And on a program called "Good Morning Jerusalem," calls were taken from viewers who berated Jews and Americans with the approval of the show's hosts.

From numerous Palestinian mosques comes rhetoric which, if used by an American preacher about anyone, would properly be condemned as bigotry and an incitement to violence.

Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, a paid employee of the PA, said in a sermon aired May 13 on PA TV, "Allah has tormented us with 'the people most hostile to believers' - the Jews … and the polytheists." That's code for Christians, who believe in a triune G-d. The sheik added, "You will find that the Jews were behind all civil strife in this world. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations."

If that isn't enough incitement for the president, how about this from the same sermon: "We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain."

What about those "troublesome" Jews? The sheik said, "The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew." In case people think this is merely the ranting of a single cleric, they should visit the Palestinian Media Watch Web site where there is a full report outlining the PA's systematic justification for genocide (

This isn't only a sermon; it is the official policy of the Palestinian government which the Bush Administration believes is capable of making peace and living side-by-side with Israel. If it weren't official policy, one would expect Abbas to denounce and silence it.

If words have meaning, the definition of "incite" should inform administration policy: "stresses a stirring up and urging on; move to action." (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)

Sermons from Palestinian mosques, along with words and images in Palestinian media, are not the American equivalent of an editorial or opinion column, or a sermon or homily from an American church or synagogue. They are designed to stir up and move to violent action. A preponderance of sermons I have read call for the eradication of Jews, Christians and anyone else who doesn't believe as they do.

In his meeting with Abbas, will President Bush raise the issue of incitement in Palestinian media and sermons? Will he demand that Abbas order a cessation of this inflammatory rhetoric intended to incite murder and war and not peace? Will he ask Abbas if he believes these things? If he won't, then what is the purpose of the meeting?

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Palestinian Television Broadcasts Blatantly Anti-Semitic Sermon
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S) May, 2005

Palestinian television, supervised by the Palestinian Authority, broadcast an anti-Semitic sermon. It was delivered by sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras, a symbol of Palestinian incitement. The anti-Semitic sermon shows that in the PA- controlled media there still are occasional instances of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement. Moreover, the mosques in the PA-administered territories continue to function conspicuously as centers of anti-Israeli hate propaganda.

Overview Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras is a Palestinian cleric identified with Hamas and is one of the PA's most outspoken and notorious anti-Israeli hate mongers. He was conspicuous during the Arafat era for his frequent verbal assaults on Israel, the Jewish people and the United States. His sermons, delivered at the Zaid Bin Sultan Aal Nahyan mosque in Gaza, are often predominantly anti-Semitic. PA-supervised Palestinian TV broadcasts them live on Fridays. The broadcasts were stopped for a period of two weeks after Abu Mazen became Chairman of the PA. On Friday, February 18, 2005, Palestinian TV even broadcast a moderate sermon delivered by sheikh Khamis 'Aabada, speaking from the presidential mosque in Ramallah, instead of sheikh Mudeiras' sermon. When Mudeiras did return to the small screen his sermons were initially relatively mild. However, Palestinian television is again broadcasting Muderias' sermons, providing him with a stage for his venomous anti-Semitic hate propaganda.

On Friday, May 13, 2005, at 12:55 p.m., on the occasion of the 57 th anniversary of the naqba, 1 Palestinian television broadcast his sermon live. It was particularly vicious, laced with Islamic anti-Semitic motifs. 2 He calls the Jews "a virus resembling AIDS" and "a cancer that has spread in the body of the Islamic nation" corrupted and corrupting. He accuses the Jews of killing the prophets, of breaking promises and violating treaties, of being responsible for every civil war and for every war between countries from time immemorial. He accuses the Jews of exaggerating the events of the Holocaust and claims that the Germans only reacted to the suffering the Jews inflicted upon them. He ends his sermon with a threat, saying that "we [Muslims] once ruled the world and the day will come when, by god, we will rule the entire world. The day will come when we will rule the United States, the day will come when we will rule Britain, we will rule the whole world [and all will live in peace and comfort under our rule] except the Jews. The Jews will not live in peace and comfort under our rule…"

Mudeiras' sermon is an example of the fact that while the PA has lowered the general level of incitement, anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic hate propaganda are still occasionally spread by its official media .3 Moreover, as of this posting, the PA has not taken effective steps to deal with the wider circle of incitement in the mosques (including the Temple Mount mosques) and the educational system, particularly the universities, where incitement is rife, including against the Palestinian Authority itself.

  1. Al-naqba means "catastrophe." The Palestinians use it to refer to the events of 1948 which led to the establishment of the State of Israel.
  2. Excerpts from the sermon are translated in the Appendix.
  3. See our bulletin, "Anti-Semitic incitement in the Arab World: Spreading The Protocols of the Elders of Zion through an official internet website of the Palestinian Authority," at


Excerpts from the Friday sermon delivered by sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras at the Zaid Bin Sultan Aal Nahyan mosque in Gaza, entitled "The 57 th anniversary of the naqba of Palestine" (Palestinian television, May 13, 2005, 12:55 p.m.)

"Praise be to Allah, to whom alone praise is due (even) for calamities, for he tested us with those strongest in enmity to the believers - The Jews. … I testify that there is no god by Allah, who warned the prophet, the messenger of Allah, may a prayer and peace be upon him, of the Jews who killed their prophets, falsified their Torah, corrupted and corrupting all their lives, who broke their promises and violated their treaties. Allah mentioned them in hundreds of Qur'an verses, all of them describing their corrupt natures and evil intentions. The worst thing said of them is that they do not honor the faithful or respect those under their care, and that they always break their promises and violate their treaties: 'Is it not (the case) that every time they make a covenant, some party among them throw it aside?- Nay, Most of them are faithless.' 4 I hereby testify that our emissary your beloved Muhammad, may a prayer and peace be upon him, would have been a victim of Jewish treachery had not Allah protected him."

"Our Palestinian people is marking one of its most terrible Remembrance Days in history, the Remembrance Day for the loss of the land and the homeland and the Remembrance Day for the scattering of the people. It is the most terrible Remembrance Day the Palestinian people have encountered. It is a Remembrance Day for with the loss of Palestine so was the Arab nation lost, and with the establishment of the pretended State of Israel, so was the entire Islamic nation lost... Israel is a cancer that has spread in the body of the Islamic nation, for the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers."

"Historically, that has been proved. Read history. I do not ask you to read the Qur'an, because the Qur'an is consistent and clear and we all believe in it, however, to those who do not believe in the Qur'an we say: Read the history! Read the history of nations! Read the history of eras! and you will fine that the Jews behind every civil strife in this land. The Jews are behind the suffering of nations. Ask Britain what it did to the Jews in the early sixth century. What did they do to the Jews? They banished them, tortured them, deported them, prevented their entry for more than 300 successive years. Ask France what it did to the Jews, the day they tortured them, banished them and burned their Talmud because of the civil strife they wanted to ignite in France during the reign of Louis XIX [sic]. Ask Portugal what it did to the Jews. Ask Czarist Russia, that accommodated the Jews, and they plotted to kill the Czar and he massacred them time after time. But do not ask Germany what it did to the Jews because the Jews are those who provoked Nazism to wage war on the entire world."

"The day the Jews incited the countries, by means of the Zionist movement, to goad wage war on Germany economically and to boycott German goods, the day they incited Russia, Britain, France and Italy, the rage of the Germans grew towards the Jews specifically…and here [the Jews] are, committing something worse than what was done to them in the Nazi war. Yes, perhaps some of them were killed, perhaps some of them were burned, but they exaggerate the picture to gain the world's the media and the world's sentiments. The Jews were the victims of the worst crimes committed in history, however [those crimes] are no worse than what the Jews do to the residents of Palestine. The Jews were the victims of a specific crime, but is not what they do today on the soil of Palestine a crime?"

"We take this opportunity to hold Britain accountable and say there is revenge we can never forget! We cannot forgo the revenge we want to exact from Britain. We hold Britain responsible for what happened in Palestine. Britain is the cause, till this very minute, of every drop of blood dripping into this land."

"I say to you: You must look at our situation with an outlook of confidence in Allah's victory! If you help Allah [spread Islam], Allah will bring you victory. We once ruled the world and the day will come when, by god, we will rule the entire world. The day will come when we will rule the United States, the day will come when we will rule Britain, we will rule the whole world [and all will live in peace and comfort under our rule] except the Jews. The Jews will not live in peace and comfort under our rule. Treachery will keep being their nature throughout history. The day will come when the whole world will rid itself of the Jews, even the stones and the trees they injured. Listen to your beloved [Muhammad], may a prayer and peace be upon him, when he speaks to you about the terrible end in store for the Jews. The stones and the trees want the Muslims to kill all the Jews, and all of you know the hadith. 5

4 Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, verse 100. The verse appears in the strongly anti-Semitic context of previous verses, which describe the Jews as the enemies of Allah.
5 Hadith : a saying of the prophet Muhammad or a story about him, the foundation for Islam's oral tradition. In this case the reference is to the hadith which states that on Judgment Day the Jews will not be able to hide behind the stones and trees because the latter will reveal them.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Go to the Israel Resource Review homepage

The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine Authority.
You can contact us on