JERUSALEM — There’s been a wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis over the last four months, violence that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says is spurred by incitement from Palestinian officialdom.
Netanyahu said he personally showed the video posted here to Secretary of State John F. Kerry last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The two-minute video begins with a little girl on Palestinian Authority TV reciting a poem that includes the lines “my toys are the rock and the rifle,” though it does not include the later lines, “Ask not where my childhood is, for it lies buried beneath ruins and ashes.”
In another bite, kiddie TV host Walaa Battat of the show “Children’s Talk” asks a young lad what are the 1948 lands of Palestine? And he says Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth — all cities that today are in the State of Israel.
“The ’48 lands are all ours and will return to us, right?” Battat prompts the boy.
Next up is a clip from Sept. 16 showing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas seemingly praising the recent attacks. “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem,” says the Palestinian leader to a group of activists. “This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah."
Then there is an Oct. 17 interview with Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, who says, “These are individual acts of bravery, and I am proud of them. I congratulate everyone who carried them out.”
The sourcing for the third segment of the video is problematic. It shows children reading poems, but the camera work is amateurish. “O barbaric apes, O wretched pigs, Jerusalem is not your den,” one kid reads.
Itamar Marcus, director of the Israeli group Palestinian Media Watch, said he was sorry the prime minister used the ape poem from sources he could not identify. “It was not a great choice,” he said. “It is very frustrating for me.”
The point, Marcus said, is that the incitement comes from official Palestinian sources — it is not so relevant what ordinary Palestinian kids say, but what the Palestinian Authority airs on media outlets it controls.
The Israeli government is working hard to keep the focus on alleged Palestinian incitement, while the Palestinian Authority wants the focus to remain on Israel’s 49-year military occupation and the continued expansion of Jewish settlements on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
Palestinian leader Abbas met with Israeli journalists on Saturday evening and repeated earlier denials of incitement. Abbas has stressed that he is committed to nonviolence and that the Palestinian leadership wants a negotiated settlement with Israel, not armed conflict.
“We prevent terrorism in our territory and prevent the spillover of terrorism into Israel,” Abbas told the Israeli reporters. “What will be tomorrow, I don’t know.”