Fight Terrorism and Hate With Peace and Education – Itamar Marcus
Fight Terrorism and Hate With Peace and Education – Itamar Marcus
He gets the truth straight from the horse’s mouth … Itamar Marcus is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Palestinian Authority. Since founding the Palestinian Media Watch, he’s released numerous reports that expose false, anti-Semitic narratives within Palestinian media. Marcus discusses the Palestinian Authority and its global impact with host Charles Mizrahi.
• An Introduction to Itamar Marcus (00:00:00)
• Palestinian Media Watch (00:01:59)
• From the Horse’s Mouth (00:15:44)
• Fueling the Flames (00:23:15)
• Working Across Party Lines (00:23:15)
• The Roots of Anti-Semitism (00:29:33)
• Progressives for Palestine (00:34:28)
• Taking the Gloves Off (00:44:27)
• Resolution Among Neighbors (00:48:24)
• A Call to Action (00:53:50)
Itamar Marcus is a researcher, public speaker and founder of Palestinian Media Watch. PMW is an internationally recognized nonprofit Israeli research institute. It investigates Palestinian media and leadership, and its findings have been crucial to combating the false narratives surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Marcus has worked with members of international parliaments and across party lines in the United States Congress. Alongside Hilary Clinton, he released a report on the Palestinian Authority’s educational materials. In addition, he’s spoken at numerous universities and conferences across the U.S.
Before You Leave:
ITAMAR MARCUS: Hitler said: “Kill the Jews. You have to do it for humanity. It says it in Mein Kompf: “When I defend myself against the Jews, I’m doing the work of the Lord.” Well, that’s the Palestinian message, too. Hitler also said: “If I don’t defeat the Jews, it’ll be the funeral wreath for all humanity.” Again, those are the same words that the Palestinians say: “I’m doing it for humanity.”
CHARLES MIZRAHI: My guest today is Itamar Marcus. Itamar is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Palestinian Authority. PMW is a nonprofit Israeli research institute known internationally for its in-depth research of Palestinian society from a broad range of perspectives.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: BMW’s findings are sought after by governments, legislators, media outlets and decision-makers worldwide and have played a central role in correcting inaccurate narratives about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I recently sat down with Itamar, and he shared with me the message of the Palestinian Authority in its own words — what it’s telling its people about Israel, Jews and the United States. What you will hear will definitely shock you.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Itamar, Marcus, thanks so much for being on the show. I’ve really looked forward to this for the past couple of weeks.
ITAMAR MARCUS: [It’s] great to be here with you, Charles.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: I think we last met close to 20-some odd years ago. And I think it was just you in a new organization that you’d founded. I think you founded it just a few years earlier. I think you had one translator at the time.
ITAMAR MARCUS: It could be. Today, we’ve grown. We have 11 translators, more staff, researchers, writers — close to 20 people. Palestinian Media Watch is known throughout all the parliaments of Europe, Congress etc…
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Why did you start Palestinian Media Watch? What motivated you to start something back in ’96? Was this being handled by anyone else? Or, was this a new idea you had to monitor what the Palestinian Authority was saying directly?
ITAMAR MARCUS: The Oslo Accords were completely different approaches to the Palestinian Authority. The PLO had been a recognized terror organization, and we wanted to know what was going on. Has there been a real change in the Palestinian Authority? What they tell Israelis doesn’t mean anything. What they tell the international community doesn’t mean anything.
ITAMAR MARCUS: We wanted to know what they were telling to their own people — and what they were saying among themselves. We wanted to know their activities. We wanted to know their schoolbooks. We wanted to know everything we could about the Palestinian Authority’s internal world.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you went ahead. I think you hired ex-IDF, Israeli Army translators to listen into everything from TV and radio to newspapers.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Exactly. And today, we not only do radio, TV and newspapers, but we also do the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of all the leaders. So, whatever messages the Palestinian Authority’s top military and political leadership is giving to its people, we know about. We put them together, and then we have a very good picture of what the Palestinian Authority really is, what its goals are and where the lies are — where they’re saying one thing to the international community and something completely different to its own people.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, when you first got into this 20-plus years ago, you were seeing two different voices come out. One was what the Palestinian leadership was saying to its people, and the other was what it was saying to the rest of the world.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Exactly. And that has continued until today. Today, the international community still believes that the Palestinian Authority wants a two-state solution beside Israel. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that that’s what the Palestinian Authority really wants.
ITAMAR MARCUS: I can give you one quote from a person named Tawfik Tirawi. He’s one of the members of the Central Committee of Fatah. Fatah is the so-called moderate party of Mahmoud Abbas, who runs the PA. He worded it this way: “Our Palestinian land is from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” And then, he added: “I dare any senior Palestinian official — or any leader — to reduce the Palestinian map to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He would not be able to walk one meter in the streets of our Palestinian cities.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: He then goes on to say that it’s not just a nationalistic Palestinian goal to remove Israel and replace it with an Arab state. He said that it’s also a religious goal. He said that all of Israel is Islamic Waqf. Islamic Waqf is land that is not allowed to remain in the hands of the infidels under the laws of Islam. This is a political leader. And he said that all of Palestine is Waqf. That means if a Palestinian leader were to accept Israel’s existence long term, they would be in violation of Islam.
ITAMAR MARCUS: And this is a consistent message. We’ve heard this dozens of times from the Palestinian Authority’s top leaders. We’ve heard this from Mahmoud Abbas’s adviser on Islam and Mahmoud Abbas [himself]. We’ve heard it from the mufti. They say that it’s a religious war. Islam doesn’t allow for Israel’s existence. So, you have these two separate, parallel but equally important messages coming from the PA to its people.
ITAMAR MARCUS: On the one hand, Israel can’t exist because all the land is Palestine and belongs to Palestinians. On the other hand, Israel is not allowed to exist because all the land is Islamic. And here, what it means is far worse. If Palestinians wanted to compromise on the nationalistic front, there would be a possibility. But no Palestinian will ever compromise on the Islamic front because it’s a very religious society. That means any agreement — by definition — between Israel and the Palestine is technical and temporary.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: How are you getting all this information? What we see in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal is totally different from the messages you’re getting. Where are you getting this information from?
ITAMAR MARCUS: We’re getting it from the horse’s mouth. Mahmoud al-Habbash — Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser on Islam — was appointed by Abbas to be the top religious figure. We hear virtually everything this man says. We watch him on TV. We get it from his Facebook page. We get it from his Twitter account. We know what his opinions are. We know what Abbas’s top religious figure said. I’m talking about denying Israel’s right to exist.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Not long ago, Mahmoud al-Habbash — on television — denied Israelis the right to exist. He was on TV, and he started quoting from the Quran. He said that the Quran says: “Kill them.” And then, he says: “In what case do you kill them? If they’re Allah’s enemies — if they’re transgressing Allah’s will. Who transgresses Allah’s will? People who try to take your land, property and honor…
ITAMAR MARCUS: He lists 10 things — all of which he and the PA accuse Israel of doing. And he says: “This is a capital crime.” And then, it gets even worse. He ends with a with a source from the Quran — which, in the Quran, it doesn’t apply to Jews. But he’s applying it to Israel. He says: “Kill them wherever you find them.” Basically, the top religious figure — appointed by Abbas — comes on TV and says that wherever you find an Israeli, you have a right to kill them because they live in Palestine, and they’re disgracing your honor.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you’re saying that you’re watching them on TV. I just want to be clear. This is Palestinian TV. This has nothing to do with Israeli TV. You’re just a few miles away from the Palestinian territory. You’re getting the feed. You’re watching and hearing everything that they’re producing.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Exactly. We’re watching this on official Palestinian TV. By the way, it’s owned and controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The head of Palestinian television was appointed by Mahmoud Abbas. The official heads of newspapers were appointed by Abbas. Sometimes, Americans might think of media as some kind of competition and free. There’s no such thing.
ITAMAR MARCUS: In the Palestinian Authority, if someone in journalism says or does something against the government, he won’t have his position the next day. He might even find himself in prison and tortured. There was, in fact, a Palestinian human rights figure who published a report a number of years ago. It was the report that he did on Palestinian media. He called it, Media in Palestine: Between the PNA’s Hammer and the Anvil of Self-Censorship. His point was: Either you get the hammer and give in to the Palestinian Authority, or you’re going to do self-censorship. But you’re not going to be criticizing the Palestinian Authority.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Right. So, if we see something that you put out directly from palwatch.org… You actually have the videos, quotes and everything translated from what the Palestinians are saying. You’re telling me that it’s a totalitarian state, right? Anything that we’re reading or seeing is not there to be true and free press. It’s basically an organ of the state.
ITAMAR MARCUS: It’s exactly an organ of the state. Every year, they have celebrations where all the different media outlets, newspapers, and the news agency WAFA all get together. Abbas often speaks to them and tells them what a wonderful job they’re doing in the united campaign. You are also fighting this battle. They’re all seen as fighting the same battle.
ITAMAR MARCUS: In addition, not only do we take the media in general, but we also we focus on the actual leadership. You’ll hear hundreds of quotes from Mahmoud Abbas that you would have never heard [before]. We just fought a war against Hamas. Well, a few years ago, Abbas was on TV, and he wanted unity. He wanted Hamas to unite with him. They had been split. They’re still split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. So, he turns to Hamas on TV and says: “Why aren’t you uniting with us? On belief, we agree. On tactics, we agree. On strategy, we agree. So, why aren’t you uniting with us?”
ITAMAR MARCUS: And that’s really the case. They have differences of opinion when it comes to nuances about religion — religious practice and how much religion is going to control the state. But when it comes to Israel, they both agree — the big difference being that Hamas is willing to say openly and scream to the world: “We will never accept Israel’s existence. And the Palestinian Authority says that among themselves.”
CHARLES MIZRAHI: I recall reading somewhere that your organization was responsible — that when Mahmoud Abbas came to visit President Trump, he said that there was no more “pay for slay” — meaning terrorists wouldn’t get any money for killing Israelis. The textbooks were all reformed. And I think you prepared a dossier showing that to be a total lie.
ITAMAR MARCUS: We’re constantly uncovering the Palestinian Authority’s lies to its people. We first exposed the whole problem of Palestinians paying salaries to terrorists who were in prison. Nobody knew this. We found an article about it. We researched it. We found Palestinian Authority legislation. In law, a Palestinian who goes to jail for any crime connected to Israelis and is a nationalistic crime — meaning: If you steal a car, you don’t get rewarded. But if you shoot and kill an Israeli, you get rewarded. If you steal a car and go to jail, that’s it. You’re stuck in jail. But if you kill an Israeli — not for profit — and go to jail, you immediately start getting a Palestinian Authority’s salary.
ITAMAR MARCUS: The longer you’re in jail, the higher your salary goes. If you’re in jail long enough, it will eventually reach to 12,000 shekels. That’s close to $4,000, which is about four times the average Palestinian salary! Four times. So, this is actually a gold mine. Going to Israeli jail for a terror offense is actually a gold mine for Palestinians. And they all know this. It’s mentioned regularly.
ITAMAR MARCUS: What did the PA do? We brought this to parliament around the world. We brought this to Congress. Everybody was condemning the Palestinians, threatening to cut off all funding to foreign governments. So, what did it do? It said: “OK, we’re closing the ministry of prisoners.” And it told the international community that the money’s not coming from the PA anymore. It’s coming from the PLO. It created a PLO commission of prisoners.
ITAMAR MARCUS: What did we do? We went through their budget reports, and we found that the entire budget of the PLO went up that year. The exact amount — about $350 million — the exact amount that they paid the year before to the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs and the PA. And then, we created this report. We said that Palestinian Authority was essentially diluting the international community to the tune of $1 billion a year because it was getting a billion dollars of aid based on this lie.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Of course, everybody in the world accepted our report. And the pressure has continued. For countries, by the way, cut off funding completely to the PA because of this and other reports that we did — and also directly because of the lectures that I gave to members of parliament. We’re talking about Canada a number of years ago. [I gave one to] Netherlands about three years ago. Two weeks after I spoke there in parliament, the parliament voted 96 to 54 to cut all funding to the PA.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Australian MPs were in my office and heard a lecture about this. Then, they got back to Australia and immediately cut off funding there as well. And the United States, under Trump, cut off funding. So, four countries have cut off [funding] completely. Most Western countries, the EU and most of the European countries now refuse to give money directly to the PA. They only give money for projects or to specific divisions in the PA.
ITAMAR MARCUS: At this point, everyone knows that the PA is funding terror. Tragically, they don’t understand that if they give them money for the teachers, the rest of the money for the PA to promote terror. And that’s, of course, fungibility. And that is outrageous. It’s outrageous that these Europeans are blinding themselves to believe that they’re not funding terror because they’re only giving it to … It’s like saying: “OK, we’re giving money to the Nazis in World War II,” and “We’re not really funding their war machine. We’re only funding their schools.” That’s the absurdity of what’s going on here.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: And also, I just want to point out that the PLO is responsible for killing Americans as well.
ITAMAR MARCUS: That is absolutely the case. Many Americans have been killed. For example, there’s a Palestinian female terrorist named Ahlam Tamimi. She was responsible for the bombing at a Sbarro pizza shop in Jerusalem. She was caught and arrested by Israel. She said that she chose the spot because she saw a large number of people and families there. We have an interview with her. Again, we have all the tragic interviews.
ITAMAR MARCUS: She was interviewed and asked how many people and children she killed among the 15. And she said that she didn’t know. Then, the interviewer said: “You killed seven children.” She gets a big smile on her face and repeats: “Seven?” This is Ahlam Tamimi. She was in an Israeli jail serving 15 life sentences. And unfortunately, the Gilad Shalit deal — Gilad Shalit was an Israeli soldier who was kidnaped in Israel — released over 1,000 terrorists to get Gilad Shalit free from Hamas.
ITAMAR MARCUS: And one of those terrorists was Ahlam Tamimi. She’s now living in Jordan. She’s having a great life. She’s married. And some of the people who were killed were American citizens. The United States has asked Jordan to extradite, and Jordan refused. This is an outrage! There’s an extradition treaty. There is no reason that Jordan gets aid from the United States.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Why is the United States allowing this to pass? Why has the United States said: “OK, Jordan, we’ve asked you. You don’t do it. No big deal.” This is a mass murderer. In every single interview she’s given since she’s been released from jail, she’s never expressed remorse. She has justified it. She has celebrated it. This is an evil woman who should be serving life in prison in the United States. She’s free in Jordan. And the United States is not doing anything about it.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, in all of your monitoring, have you seen any type of tapering off in this rhetoric or hatred towards Israel and Jews? Maybe there could be some type of coexistence? Or, are they still going full blast?
ITAMAR MARCUS: The PA, because it’s all controlled, it comes in waves. In the last two years, it has been incredibly high during the Trump administration. But even now, under the Biden administration … I mentioned Tawfik Tarawi, who was the one who said that Palestine will be from the river to the sea. He was on his own Facebook page — or the official Fatah Facebook page — and my staff just found this today. We’re going to release this to the press tomorrow. What did they find? They found a picture of him kissing a bloody shirt. He posted this of himself. What’s the bloody shirt? The bloody shirt is a terrorist who tried to murder Israelis just a few weeks ago and was killed.
ITAMAR MARCUS: He was shot by the Israeli soldiers and killed. So, when his body was returned to the PA, Tawfik Tarawi — a senior Palestinian official — went and kissed the blood of this terrorist. That’s what’s happening at this time — an intense hatred of Israel and glorification of terror.
ITAMAR MARCUS: By the way, we work with Palestinians. A lot of Palestinians are disgusted with their leadership. We’ve been working with more and more of them. They, in particular, are disgusted with the messages that the Palestinian Authority gives to its own children. Children are never given a free chance to grow up next to Israel as good neighbors. They are brought up with lies and deception. They believe that every Israeli is trying to kill the Palestinians. The one Palestinian who I’m friendly with — who’s met with me with members of parliament — has been in Israel and will travel with me right after COVID. He’s described how, as a young man, he was convinced that every Israeli was out to kill Palestinians because of the education.
ITAMAR MARCUS: And when an Israeli actually approached him and wanted to meet — approached by Facebook — he was afraid. Here it is. This is proof that he’s going to trap and kill me. In the end, they met in some neutral place, and he started meeting Israelis. He started going to peace meetings with Israelis. And then, he had his “wow” moment. He realized that his whole life had been a lie. And now, he’s working for this to change.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Palestinian children are not just taught to hate and kill. Palestinian children are also brainwashed to seek their own death. It’s called Shahid, which means “martyrdom” in English. We’ve seen — dozens and dozens of times — children on Palestinian TV and children’s programs, talking about the glories of martyrdom. One of the worst examples we saw was a little over a year ago. Fatah put this on its Facebook page. Again, Fatah is the party of Mahmoud Abbas — the main so-called moderate party.
ITAMAR MARCUS: There was a video of a young little girl, and she’s telling a story of a mother and son. Well, the boy didn’t finish his dinner. And the mother said: “I’ll give you a present if you finish your dinner.” So, he rushes and finishes dinner, and then his mother brings him a present. She hands him a rifle. And he says: “Why are you giving me a rifle?” And I’m going to quote you what the mother’s answer was: “My son, we were not created for happiness. In my eyes, you are meant for martyrdom. Our weapon is Islam, and our ammunition is our children. You are meant for martyrdom.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: Now, Fatah saw this video. It thought this was such a great video. It put this on its Facebook page! There could be no greater child abuse than telling a child that you are ammunition for Islam — or for anything else. You have no value or purpose in life other than to be ammunition. That’s what Fatah — the main, so-called moderate party — thought was important to tell its children.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Here’s what I’m just not getting. Members of Congress are not stupid. They have access to all the information that you’re talking about through your organization. If not, they can go directly to the Palestinians and monitor it themselves. The airwaves are free.
ITAMAR MARCUS: They aren’t, by the way.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: They aren’t.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: When you confront them with this information and say: “These are the people that you’re protesting for in the streets of New York, L.A., Brussels, London, Berlin — with chants of ‘from the river to the sea.’ This is what they’re talking about. It’s all a front. There’s no peace here. There’s no coexistence. There is just death and destruction.” What do they say?
ITAMAR MARCUS: They accept it. And the reason that there are already four countries, who stopped funding the PA — and all the others don’t give them the money directly — is because of the work that we’ve done.
ITAMAR MARCUS: When I go into Congress, I don’t come representing the right or left wing. I don’t come only to speak to Republicans or Democrats. I’ve been invited to the Foreign Affairs Committee when the chairman was Bob Berman, who was a Democrat. I’ve been invited to the Foreign Affairs Committee when it was chaired by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. I’ve been in other committees. And when people hear and see it — I let the Palestinians speak for themselves when I come to Congress. I come with my PowerPoint. I come with the presentation. They hear, and they see. I show that the same messages are coming from schoolbooks. The same messages are coming from the leadership. It’s coming from everywhere in society. When they see this, they get the message.
ITAMAR MARCUS: The problem is that the United States keeps hoping. They say: “OK, this is what it’s been up until now. Let’s speak to them. Let’s just tell them.” Then, Mahmoud Abbas will lie to them and say: “Yes, it’s terrible. I’m trying to stop it. I wish I could stop the incitement.”
CHARLES MIZRAHI: I’m sorry to interrupt. I remember when he came to the White House for the first — and I think only — time under the Trump administration. He actually said: “There is no pay for slay. Our textbooks do not have any of this incitement against Jews and Israelis.” [It was] a blatant lie. At the time, I heard from a contact of mine that you supplied Jared Kushner — the President’s son in law — with a whole reproduction of what the book was. The textbooks, articles … Is that true?
ITAMAR MARCUS: Trump met Abbas twice. The first time he met him, we — and everybody — watched the press conference afterward. Trump spoke positively about Abbas. Abbas spoke about how careful and anxious they are to teach their children about a culture of peace.
ITAMAR MARCUS: When we heard this, we were outraged. And we created a video. The video opens with Abbas saying: “We teach our children this culture of peace.” We put in example after example of children being taught to hate, kill and be martyrs over and over again. Then, we publicized this. We gave this to people in the United States Government. We gave it to people connected to the administration directly. We gave it to the Israeli government as well.
ITAMAR MARCUS: And then, the next time that they met — it was meetings with Netanyahu first. Netanyahu — from what we were told by people and what was actually said on the Israeli news — actually showed the videos to Trump. Trump saw these videos with his own eyes. And then, when he had the meeting later on with Abbas, the report said that he was yelling at him for lying to him. “How did you lie to me? How did you say you’re promoting peace? I’ve seen what you’re teaching your people. It’s not peace.” The relationship never recovered.
ITAMAR MARCUS: You can say anything you want about Trump. And like I said, we work with Republicans and Democrats. What Trump did was believe what was on TV. Abbas had no explanation for it, and he remembered it. He didn’t accept any story. “I didn’t mean to. I didn’t want to. It’s not going to happen again.” What happened was that he started a whole different plan. These people do not want peace. Let’s create peace between Israel and the other Arab countries.
ITAMAR MARCUS: That’s what eventually led to the Abraham Accords. It came out of this realization that the Palestinian Authority was a fraud. That was a good recognition. We’ve been saying that it’s a fraud for many years. Many American leaders understand that it’s a fraud.
ITAMAR MARCUS: I’ll just tell you that I had a press conference when Hillary Clinton was a senator. I had a press conference with her. We did a report on Palestinian schoolbooks. I sent her all the material that was in the report. I sent to the entire report. Her staff then called me back and forth for a number of days to ask questions. She was convinced. And then she had a press conference with me in the Senate. She introduced me. I presented the full report findings, and then she spoke at the end.
ITAMAR MARCUS: At the end, her words were: “The Palestinian Authority isn’t giving its children an education. They’re giving them an indoctrination. Together with the TV, it profoundly poisons the minds of these children.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: Hillary Clinton got it as well. The Palestinian Authority was poisoning the minds of the children. That’s child abuse. In fact, Hillary Clinton appeared with me at a hearing in the Appropriations Committee — the education division of the Appropriations Committee, where I spoke as well. There, she actually called it child abuse after I made my presentation.
ITAMAR MARCUS: The chairman of the committee actually went farther. He said: “It’s not just child abuse. It’s civilization abuse. These children are going to end up being suicide bombers, murdering other people all around civilization.
ITAMAR MARCUS: When they see it, they get it. Unfortunately, everybody has been too trusting of Abbas. Every time he says: “OK, I’ll do better. I really didn’t want this to happen. They’re doing it without me knowing it,” it’s all lies. We have the same things coming from his advisers and him and people he’s appointed. Anti-Semitism. There’s this myth that the Palestinian Authority’s hatred of Israel is based on land. And it’s about land. It’s also vicious anti-Semitism.
ITAMAR MARCUS: For a number of years, there’s a person who Palestinian Authority TV had on TV every single week, giving lessons on Islam. He was poisoning the atmosphere, talking about the evil of Jews over and over again. One time, he said the following: “An old man once told me, if a fish in the sea fights another fish, I’m sure the Jews are behind it.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: And then what happened the next year? This guy was appointed by Abbas. He met him in his office. They have the pictures there. He meets Abbas in his office, and Abbas appoints him to be head of an entire educational program — the Al-Aqsa school system in Gaza. So, you’ve got a guy who’s saying that every problem in the world is because of the Jews. And now, he’s running an educational program.
ITAMAR MARCUS: In part of that same lesson, he said: “Humanity will never be able to live in peace with them.” So, when humanity can’t live in peace with the Jews, and everything bad that happens in is because of the Jews, if you kill a Jew, you’re actually doing a service to humanity. This is the message that comes across from the PA — which is why they then have to celebrate terror while naming schools, sporting events and streets after the murderers. And they have to pay them. They’ve been telling them all along that by killing a Jew, you’re not only doing a service to Palestinians, but you’re also doing a service to humanity.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: This recent spate of anti-Semitism that we’re seeing sweeping the world — I can’t speak for the world now. I’m just going to speak about the United States. In New York City, Jews are being beat up by people chanting: “from the river to the sea” and carrying Palestinian flags in L.A. or other parts of the United States. There’s no difference in the Palestinian eyes between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. It’s more or less the same. You hate Jews. Israelis are interchangeable. Is that right?
ITAMAR MARCUS: Yes. And among the Palestinian Authority, that is absolutely true. I’ll even go beyond that. I pointed out before that they’re trying to get religious Islamic justification for attacks on Israel. I would say the concept of Palestinianism — the identity of Palestinians — is relatively new. It started with the PLO in 1965. That was the first time anyone said Palestinians were a people.
ITAMAR MARCUS: However, Islam has very deep roots. So, in order to promote hatred of Israel, the Palestinian Authority leadership promotes the hatred of Jews. [It] quotes Islamic sources. For example, when they want to convince Muslims that they have to kill Jews, they make quotes, like I told you before: “Kill them wherever you find them.” That was Mahmoud al-Habbash, the adviser.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Numerous times, we’ve heard on Palestinian Authority television the Palestinian Authority religious leaders quote from a particular Hadith. A Hadith is Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad. It’s part of Islamic Sharia. It’s part of Islamic law. And the Hadith says the following: “The hour of resurrection,” meaning the end of time, “won’t come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, which will say: ‘Muslim, servant of Allah, there’s a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: This is talking about the extermination of Jews — genocide. We have heard this numerous times on Palestinian television. In fact, the last time we heard it, the religious figure ended with the with a prayer. And he said: “Allah, count them one by one. Don’t leave even one.” This is official Palestinian Authority TV where nothing happens that goes against the PA. He called for genocide or extermination of every single Jew in the world.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Now, again, why are they doing this in the name of Islam? Because if Allah and Muhammad want you to do it, then you have to do it. If Mahmoud Abbas wants you to kill Jews, you can think about it and decide if you want to do it. But if Islam is telling you — if that’s what Muhammad or Allah want from you — then you better do it because you don’t want to burn in hell forever for not following Islam.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: In the United States, when you see the left and many Democrats supporting the Palestinians — especially during this last conflict with Israel, where Hamas said 4,300 rockets to kill Israelis, population centers, missiles that were going off by the hundreds in order to kill as many Israelis as possible. You see the Democrats and the left. Out in the forefront, for the Palestinians, I saw something which was absolutely outrageous: “Queers for Palestine.” Could you speak for a second about what the Palestinian Authority — in the Palestinian territories and Gaza — what they think of homosexuality?
ITAMAR MARCUS: Well, it’s absolutely prohibited. In fact, the dream of every of every homosexual Palestinian is to be able to get residency in Israel. Not so long ago, there was an interview on Israeli TV with one such Palestinian — who is now living in Israel. Essentially, his family turned on him. The government threatened him. He wasn’t allowed to do anything in public. Even privately, it was dangerous. He managed to get across to Israel, and asked the authorities to essentially save his life and not force him to go back. And now, he lives in Israel.
ITAMAR MARCUS: So, there is a Palestinian movement or organization supporting Palestinians who are gay. But it’s based in Israel. The public figures are all in Israel. Because to do it in the Palestinian Authority is a crime. You could end up being punished very severely — either by the letter of the law, which is probably not a letter of the law, or legal officials who don’t really care about what’s actually in the law but will go after you.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: You have the progressives. You have the left. You have the Democrats who are out in the forefront of every type of prejudice — gay rights, gender, and so on. And here, right in front, it’s illegal to be gay in the Palestinian territories and Gaza. The punishment is enormous. I saw one that had a penal code in Gaza. I think it was up to 10 years in prison. I think something to that effect. I don’t know if that was the case. Women also — how were they treated? This is what the left is supporting — the Palestinians and the Hamas. How are women treated in the Palestinian territories and Gaza?
ITAMAR MARCUS: Well, just to give you an example, the Palestinian Authority, which is supposed to be more moderate … We have had numerous examples of women’s groups condemning the Palestinian Authority. The penal code, for example, does not protect them under the old laws, which I think may have been changed — or Abbas talked about changing. Based on Jordanian laws, the old laws actually gave the husband the right to hit his wife.
ITAMAR MARCUS: I just have to point out that it is such a bad situation there. On International Women’s Day, a few years ago, the Palestinian Authority had a program, and the host was a woman. She was interviewing Mohamed Hussein, who is the mufti of the Palestinian Authority. She was asking about women’s rights and beating women. And he said: “I have to clarify this because people don’t understand this.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: Then, he started saying what the rules were. He said: “If the wife is not listening properly, you have to do three things. Before you can hit her, the first thing you have to do is censure her. Tell her she’s wrong, and hopefully she’ll listen. If she doesn’t listen, then you force her to sleep in a room alone. You don’t have relations with her.” Now, this is significant because the husband could have up to four wives. So, if you’re saying she’s alone — you’re busy and he’s busy. The other wives are ostracizing her from the family. And if she still doesn’t listen, only then are you allowed to hit her.
ITAMAR MARCUS: So, he’s telling that — and this was seen as progressive Palestinianism. You do this first, and only then can you hit her. And then, he said: “You don’t hit her hard. Sometimes, if you raise your hand, she will realize that she did the wrong thing, and she’ll learn. You won’t even have to hit her. And when you hit her, you shouldn’t hit her hard.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: Another religious figure on TV said that when you hit her, Islam doesn’t want you to hit her so hard that she’s going to get a scar. This is considered moderate. So, the place of women in Palestinian society is very difficult. Israeli women’s organizations are trying to help out, and they do. They’re in touch with them. They’re helping them set up and understand how far they can go and what their rights should be. But within Palestinian society, it’s incredibly problematic.
ITAMAR MARCUS: In fact, the mufti — I think it was a year ago — went on TV and told women … Some women in Jerusalem had gone to the Israeli police and complained because their husbands were beating them. All of Jerusalem is under Israel. It’s Israel’s capital.
ITAMAR MARCUS: An Arab woman was beaten by her husband. She went to Israeli police. And he then issued a statement prohibiting, under Islamic law, to go to the Israeli police. You have to resolve it locally. You have to resolve it in the family. Don’t go to Israeli police. Well, they could be killed before [they go to] the Israeli police. But no, don’t go to the Israeli police. Basically, he was saying: “You should allow yourself to be beaten and killed, but don’t go to the Israeli police.” And again, this is the mufti. These are top religious figures.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Here’s what I’m not getting, man. With their attitude, punishment, torture of gays, subjugation of women, hatred of Jews — wherever they are … I’m not an Israeli. Yet, in the streets, “Death to the Jews” is what they’re chanting.
ITAMAR MARCUS: It’s: “Kill them wherever you find them.”
CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, so when you talk about prejudice, women’s rights, gay rights, what do you make of Americans protesting against the democracy of Israel, where there is freedom, for people that are bent on the destruction of Jews, suppress and hate homosexuals and treat women as grown children. How could one jive the two?
ITAMAR MARCUS: It’s one of the most unbelievable dilemmas of modern society. I’m thinking that what’s happened is … They talk about viruses, COVID, and all the mutations … Well, Europeans have been hating and killing Jews since before the Middle Ages. Along comes Hitler who does something so bad that, for a number of years, it was not nice to be anti-Semitic. The world recognized how horrific it was.
ITAMAR MARCUS: I think what’s happened is we’ve had the mutation. I think it has morphed. And I think that same drive — that same anti-Jewish drive — has been there all of these years and is now covering itself up by claiming it is anti-Israel and anti-Zionism. But it, in fact, is that same old anti-Semitism.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Everybody focuses on the Nazis in Germany, but there were books written. I forget who the author was. One of them was: Hitler’s Willing Executioners, which talks about all the different people in so many countries in Europe that went along with it.
ITAMAR MARCUS: We know the stories of Jews who, after the Holocaust —if they survived the concentration camps — went back to their homes in Poland — where they were massacred by the Poles. We know the stories of the French deporting them. So, it’s been there. It’s been there in all of these countries for centuries. And for 70 years, you couldn’t do it. But it morphed. It has mutated into vicious anti-Israelism. And that has been packaged as human rights.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Hitler said: “Kill the Jews. You have to do it for humanity. It says it in Mein Kompf: “When I defend myself against the Jews, I’m doing the work of the Lord.” Well, that’s the Palestinian message, too. Hitler also said: “If I don’t defeat the Jews, it’ll be the funeral wreath for all humanity.” Again, those are the same words that the Palestinians say: “I’m doing it for humanity.” Hitler said it. The Palestinians are saying it.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Now, you’ve got these people in the streets of New York and European cities. They’re running around saying: “We are doing this in self-defense. This is a human rights issue. We are defending the Palestinians.” It is the same old anti-Semitism that has mutated into anti-Israel entities.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: And we haven’t even talked about Hamas and what it has been saying about this. What most people don’t get is that Hamas is the ruling governance of Gaza. Israel is not in Gaza. What is Hamas saying? It can take the gloves off because it is a terrorist organization.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Well, it is an open terrorist organization. The Palestinian Authority wears a suit and is a terrorist organization. The Palestinian Authority is doing all of these things. It’s paying killers salaries — promoting terror. It tells them that they have to kill Jews wherever they find them. The Palestinian Authority is also a terrorist organization in everything but designation. Hamas is a terrorist organization in designation. The United States and Europe of all designated Hamas [as a terrorist organization], which shows you how evil Hamas is.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Everything I’ve told you has been the Palestinian Authority. So, Hamas is another layer. And again, the basic difference is one of openness. Hamas says it right to your face, whereas Abbas, instead of saying it to your face, will apologize and say: “Oh, no. We didn’t really mean it. I’m going to change it.” That’s the whole difference.
ITAMAR MARCUS: And Hamas’s charter. Remember: I mentioned the Hadith to you before. The Hadith talks about the extermination of Jews as a condition for the end of time. The Islamic resurrection — the Islamic redemption of humanity — is conditioned on the extermination of Jews. Hamas has that in its charter. It’s a fundamental message from Hamas to its people.
ITAMAR MARCUS: And not only does it have it in a charter, but it introduces it with the following words — Hamas is the Islamic resistance movement — “The Islamic resistance movement is looking forward to fulfilling Allah’s promise — however long it may take.” And then, it has this Hadith about the extermination of all the Jews. So, it’s not just in there as a principle.
ITAMAR MARCUS: It is looking forward to fulfilling this as soon as it can — as long as it takes. It’s going to be killing Jews everywhere in the world from Israel, where I live, to New York, where you are, to everywhere around the world. This is the condition, and it’s going to do it for as long as it takes. It’s looking forward to it.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: It’s no surprise that they shot 4,300 rockets toward Israeli civilian centers in order to kill as many Israelis as possible — and that they use their children to defend their missiles. So, Israel would not attack where the missile sites were.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Yes, and the crazy thing is that the United Nations, European governments — a lot of them — called on Israel and condemned it for the high casualties of children. What these leaders of the Western free world don’t realize is that by those very statements — condemning Israel for the death of those Palestinian children — they have actually condemned hundreds more Palestinian children to be killed. Why? With those statements, they’ve told Hamas: “Your tactic is working. You’re putting children in harm’s way. They’re getting killed. Israel is getting blamed. Do it again next time.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: So, they not only wrongly criticized Israel, but they also condemned thousands of other Palestinian children to have missile sites and rocket launchers built right next to their schools and homes because the international community is going to condemn Israel. These leaders don’t know how carefully the Palestinian leadership is listening to them. They take their cues from them. The UN leadership and anyone in the United States who has condemned Israel for the death of children has killed more children with those statements.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wow. Do you see any resolution of this — where, one day, this would stop?
ITAMAR MARCUS: The only way this will stop is if the Palestinians who want peace — who know that Israel is the best neighbor that they could possibly have — eventually get more power. And the only way that will happen is if the Western world stops funding the Palestinian Authority.
ITAMAR MARCUS: When I met with my Palestinian friend and these Europeans, they said to him: “Maybe things will change if there’s a Palestinian state.” And he said: “No, please don’t give these people a state. If you give these people a state, I can never live in that country. It will never be free.” So, I asked: “What do you want?” And he said: “We need something [that’s] somehow connected to Israel. We will learn democracy from them. We will create and develop our own democracy. Don’t give us a leadership under the PA.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: Another question they asked was: “How many people in the Palestinian Authority know your opinions?” And he said: “I can’t tell you because if I were to express them, I might end up in a Palestinian jail, being tortured.” Then, he talked about Palestinian Authority. He said: “You must make this regime collapse. You must stop funding them.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: At the time, the United States wasn’t funding it. These were European members of parliament. He said: “Don’t fund them. Let them collapse. If they collapse, then we have a chance of a different leadership coming up. But as long as you are supporting this organization that is abusing us Palestinian people — they’re abusing us. They don’t care about us. As long as you keep doing that, we are never going to have a state that we can live in.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: That’s what the key is. Everyone’s afraid that the Palestinian Authority is going to collapse, and Hamas is going to come in. It’s not true. If the Palestinian Authority collapses, Israel knows how to strengthen other forces that really want peace in the Palestinian areas. There are such forces. I don’t want to talk about them, but there are such forces. And that’s what has to happen.
ITAMAR MARCUS: There has to be a little period of collapse. That has to be a period of some kind of turmoil. And then, a different leadership [has to] look to Israel as a friend or neighbor — one that doesn’t want to demonize every Jew on the face of the earth and understands that all the suffering that Palestinians have gone through all these years has been the direct result of the policies of their leaders — who don’t care about them.
ITAMAR MARCUS: As Fatah said to its children: “You are just ammunition for us.” That’s what the enlightened Palestinian realizes. His leadership sees him just as ammunition. Hopefully, there’ll be some kind of a way that these people can be organized and make some kind of change for the benefit of not just Palestinians but Israelis as well.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: They’re a lot smarter than close to 40% of the Democratic Party in the United States. Liberals and leftists who are protesting against Israel for the Palestinians are actually doing a topsy-turvy world. They’re going against human rights. These young university students … I think Bill Maher said: “You can’t learn history from Instagram.” They’re getting sound bites.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: That’s why I think your site is so fantastic. What a resource. Palestinian Media Watch — you have primary sources right from the horse’s mouth. You have a dozen or so translators translating, listening in and posting it every single day. And the world will hopefully start listening. You started with four countries, and hopefully, it’ll be more as time goes on.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Thank you very much.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Before I let you go, how is it possible that President Biden and the Democrats want to give more than $200 million in the face of all this evidence and everything you’ve mentioned that’s out there? Today, you can’t say you don’t know. Maybe 25 years ago — before the Internet was ubiquitous — only the military, the Secret Service and other clandestine organizations knew about it. But now, it’s right out there. What do you make of that?
ITAMAR MARCUS: What I’ve found in recent years — when traveling to foreign countries — is that politicians, world leaders and governments have no idea. They could know, but they don’t know. When I sit down with them for a one-hour presentation — 40 minutes with questions and answers — they get enlightened, and opinions change. Like I said, twice within two weeks, two different countries cut off funding. They don’t know. They could know. They don’t know. They think: “Why should we listen to what the Palestinians are saying on TV and education programs? Why should we care what they write in their schoolbooks? I can speak to Mahmoud Abbas. He’s going to tell me directly.”
ITAMAR MARCUS: That’s exactly what they think. “I want to travel to Ramallah. I want to meet with them and the head of the security service. Oh, I know what they want.” Well, they don’t. They should ignore them and just listen to them. They don’t even have to create a new infrastructure. Just go to our website and look at the new stuff we post every day. They’ll know exactly what the Palestinian Authority wants, what it feels, and how it’s probably laughing at the United States behind its back. “OK, we’ve fooled another one.”
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wow. For my listeners — for freedom-loving people — I highly suggest you send your congressman or senator an email with the Palestinian Media Watch site. Tell them to watch it. I looked at it, and I spent hours on it. The more I watch it — I was getting sick to my stomach. It was absolutely horrifying what they were saying — and not only towards Israelis but Jews and America. It is a travesty.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Correct. The United States is defined by the Palestinian Authority as this evil force in the world. In fact, a recent translation that we got from an educational framework for children said that the United States and Israel were both created the same way. They both stole people’s land. The United States has been the biggest donor to the Palestinian Authority since it was created, and it’s teaching its children that the United States is as evil as Israel.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Of course, Israel is the big devil for all these kids. The United States is just as bad. Well, the United States happens to be the biggest funder. It doesn’t matter. This is what they’re teaching the kids. They’ll say: “The dog will never bite the hand that feeds him.” The only one that does is the Palestinian Authority. It keeps biting the hands that feed them. It bites the United States. It attacks the United States. It insults the United States.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Last week, it published a video of people trampling the American flag. This was last week. We just published this. And this was at a time that the United States had just announced that it was giving them money. So, you trample the American flag, and what happens? The United States coughs up more money. There’s a lot of work that has to be done in Washington to understand who they should be funding and what the best is for the Palestinian people. Giving them money is the worst thing you can do. Giving the PA money is the worst thing you can do for the Palestinians.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, if you care about gays, women, children and prejudice, you need to wake up and see that what they’re actually doing is against all of that. And have your congressmen, senators, state officials, university professors — or whoever it might be — really understand what’s going on. If not, we’re going down the wrong path — which is just going to lead to more death and destruction for the Palestinians and those who are living in Gaza.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Absolutely. The Palestinian Authority is the worst thing that has ever happened to the Palestinian people.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wow. Itamar Marcus, founder of Palestinian Media Watch, it’s been really great speaking with you. As I think I know, I realize that after speaking with a guy like you, I know nothing. I’m going to put your site in description of the podcast. I think we need to get your site out there. And I remember when I spoke with you — I think it was close to 20 years ago — when you told me about this great idea you had: “Go big, or go home.” It was something to that effect
ITAMAR MARCUS: Yes, you did. You said: “You’ve got to go from a mom-and-pop store to be a supermarket.”
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wow. I’m so glad you became Walmart. You became Amazon. You’re absolutely phenomenal. I hope we speak much more frequently. And I hope to have you on the show again. God bless you, and keep doing the great work that you’re doing. Thanks so much, Itamar.
ITAMAR MARCUS: Thank you very much, Charles. It was great touching base with you again.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thanks for listening to this episode of The Charles Mizrahi Show. If you’re a new listener, welcome! If you’ve been listening for a while, we’re glad to have you back. Either way, we’d love to know what you think of the show. Please leave a review if you listen on Apple Podcasts. Reviews make it easier for others to find the show. You can also see the video of the interview on The Charles Mizrahi Show channel on YouTube.
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