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Ssh, the PA is Listening By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, December 20, 2007

A good indicator of PMW’s growing international impact is the fact that Palestinian TV and Arab internet news services are feeling the need to respond quickly to PMW reports. Fatah TV, Hamas TV and an Arabic internet site in London have all recently responded to PMW bulletins. The Arab media is now monitoring the monitor.

This week the London-based Arab internet site "I'laf" described PMW's scope:

"The [Palestinian radio] broadcaster was not aware that his every word was being monitored, recorded and made public, while he presented his listeners with questions from a trivia quiz. As it turns out, an Israeli organization, Palestinian Media Watch, is monitoring even the air which Palestinian broadcasters breathe. This was uncovered following a [PMW] report entitled "Hitler- a Hero for Voice of Palestine" …" [December 6, 2007, Arabic internet news, "I'laf", London]
This news item was in response to the PMW bulletin citing the Palestinian radio contest in which Adolf Hitler was presented heroically.

Last month, Fatah-controlled PA TV attacked PMW as "racist" the day after a PMW bulletin documented a Fatah TV broadcast with a video clip promising Israel's destruction. PMW noted that Fatah TV promised to liberate all of Israel: "We will liberate the Land… Palestine is Arab in history and identity… From Jerusalem and Acre, from Haifa … and Jaffa, Be'er Sheba and Ramle, from Nablus to the Galilee, from Tiberias to Hebron.” Defending the clip, Fatah TV called PMW “racist” for identifying Haifa, Acre and Jaffa as Israeli cities, insisting those cities are "Palestinian land". The PA TV moderator then said of PMW's work:

"And the most important thing is that there is Israeli supervision and monitoring of all the cultural intellectual and political activities that take place in Palestine. It is operated by non-governmental institutions ... " [Oct. 30, 2007 PA TV]
Vowing not to give in to PMW pressure, Fatah TV promised to continue broadcasting the clip promising to "liberate" all of Israel. Indeed, it has since been broadcast almost daily on PA TV, including during the Annapolis conference.

Hamas TV was under attack worldwide when PMW exposed its use of Mickey Mouse to teach children Islamic supremacy and hatred of Israel and the West. The moderator asked the director of the program:

"What about the claim that you are brainwashing children, said by Palestinian Media Watch?" The director responded that they reject PMW: "We are trying to brainwash them and tell them the truth. We tell them that Palestine is your property and your right." [Al Aqsa TV (Hamas) May 13, 2007]
While the Arab world may recommend ignoring or hiding from PMW, Western media and governments are appreciating the central value of PMW findings. The N.Y. Times in its editorial last week demanded that both Israel and the Palestinians do more for peace, citing the findings of the recent PMW bulletin:

The government-run Palestinian Authority TV also clearly hasn't gotten the post-Annapolis message: broadcasting a map of the region soon after the meeting that pointedly erased Israel [see PMW bulletin 28/11/07]… Mr. Abbas should order a review of Palestinian textbooks and order his aides to curb rhetoric that Israelis say incite terrorism." [see PMW report on newest Palestinian textbooks.] [NY TIMES editorial, December 11, 2007, Starting the Peace Process]

Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.

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