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PA Libel By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Thursday, November 17, 2005

The head of a Palestinian Authority drug prevention program accused Israel this week of intentionally "conquering the youth" by supplying drugs to Palestinian Authority areas.

This is not an isolated example of hate speech, but part of an ongoing drug libel that has been promoted by the PA leadership for more than six years. The accusations have included the lies that "there is a unit in the Israeli intelligence that specializes in drug distribution among teenagers," and that Israelis confessed to distributing "perfumes that cause their inhalers to become addicted to drugs."

A Palestinian official has even stated that Israelis "encourage the addiction to drugs by a payment of 4,500 shekels to he who proves he's addicted to drugs."

Participating in the drug libel are senior PA officials, including the Minister for Social Affairs, the Director-General of War on Drugs, head of the Professional Program of the Supreme National Council for Preventing Drug Distribution, Fatah leaders and others.

Libels like these are not harmless insults. They follow a long dark history of anti-Semitic libels, which range from the myth that Jews poisoned wells in the Middle Ages to the infamous 'blood libel,' that Jews used the blood of Christians to make the unleavened Matzah bread for Passover - all of which were used successfully in Europe to arouse hatred of Jews and incite murder.

Whereas the PA leadership is telling its people to curb terror for now because "it damages Palestinian interests," Palestinian Media Watch has documented in previous bulletins that the PA's many-faceted hate campaign continues unabated.

These drug libels are just one component of this PA campaign to keep hatred simmering. This campaign is indeed disturbing, as it indicates the PA is still stockpiling hatred for some future time, for if and when it decides that another terror war is in its interest.

Palestinian Media Watch has found dozens of examples of the drug libel over the years.

The following is a limited selection of such libels, beginning with the most recent examples and going back to 1999.

1. "It is known that drugs are an imperialist weapon. The Occupation is not interested in conquering the land alone; it is interested in conquering the youth... The easiest way for the Occupation to control the youth is … through drugs. You can see for yourself that a drug user is a man who does not oppose the Occupation, will not throw a stone and will not do a thing." [Issam Jwichan, Head of the Professional Program of the National Supreme Council for Preventing the Distribution of Drugs, PA TV, November 7, 2005. "The Occupation" is a term frequently used by the PA to represent all of Israel - Ed.]

2. "Drugs, they fight us with drugs. They choose various means to fight us. At times by planes and at times by drugs." [PA TV Fictional series for Ramadan, The Canaanite, October 2005]

3. "There is a unit in the Israeli intelligence that specializes in drug distribution among the teenagers and the youth in our society." [Dr. Ahmad Faras, Director-General, Palestinian Human Rights Association, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 28, 2004]

4. "The Palestinian nation is under a savage attack by the Occupation in all areas. Among them, the role of the Occupation in distributing drugs in the Palestinian territories." [Director-General, War on Drugs, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 26, 2004]

5. "...The confessions of an Israeli espionage network who were arrested in Lebanon...They weren't satisfied in the planning of the [Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah assassination, but also distributed harmful Israeli merchandise ... including sport shoes that cause the person wearing it to suffer paralysis, skin disease and perfumes that cause their inhaler to become addicted to drugs..." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 17, 2004]

6. "...In addition to encouraging drug dealing, Israelis welcome and encourage the addiction to drugs by a payment of 4,500 shekels to he who proves he's addicted to drugs..." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 18, 2003]

7. "... There is a clear Israeli plan to cause many civilians to fall by drug spreading and distribution among the young... They have become a victim of the Occupation... They aspire to distribute the disease in the broadest way by lowering prices, so they can be afforded by the majority of the young..." [Al-Ayyam, May 25, 2001]

8. "The Occupation Authority - by inserting and distributing them [the drugs] in our districts - wishes to destroy our ability, and to weaken our beliefs in the resistance against the occupier."
[Um Jihad, Minister for Social Affairs, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 29, 2001]

9. "Since the '67 occupation, there has been an Israeli attack against the Palestinian youth in Jerusalem. This attack has many faces with the objective of emptying the youth of its national values and stripping it of its identity and Arab-Palestinian belonging, by the distribution of drugs and feeding the society with bad phenomenon. We have documents proving that the police and the Shabakh [Israel's internal intelligence service] plan to splinter the Palestinian youth in the holy city."
[Hatem Abed Al-Qader, a senior Fatah leader in Jerusalem, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 12, 2000]

10. "The [current] stage of the Israeli occupation is the stage of the rapid spreading of drugs ... in our country... The goal of the Israeli occupation is to destroy the national wealth that manifests itself in our youth…" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, September 2, 1999]

To view the Jwichan libel of Israel "conquering the youth" with drugs, click here. To view the Canaanite clip, click here.

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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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