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Analysis: Finally: Arab affirmation: PLO Speaks out of two sides of its mouth

by David Bedein, February 1. 2011

February 1, 2011

David Bedein
Israel Resource News Agency
Center for Near East Policy Research
Beit Agron International Press Center
Suite 105-106
37 Hillel Street
Jerusalem 94581 Israel
Tel. 972-547-222-661

Analysis: Finally: Arab affirmation: PLO Speaks out of two sides of its mouth

For the past seventeen years, since the inception of the Oslo process, the passion of this news agency and research center has focused on the clearly dissonant PLO messages - the contrast between the PLO message conveyed to to Israel and to western countries which seemingly supports a two state solution, and  the consistent message communicated to the Palestinian people and to the Arab League which promotes a two stage solution to destroy Israel.

Take, as a case in point, the notion of The “Right of Return” - the “right” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants from the 1948 war to “return” to Arab villages lost in 1948.

The PLO Negotiations Department spokespeople always reassure foreign reporters that this is no more a request for an “in-principle” recognition of the right of return.

Yet official Palestinian media outlets and official Palestinian educational institutions present the Palestinian people with the “right of return” as the chief policy concern of the nascent Palestinian entity.

Every Palestinian school child in every Palestinian school learns the precise map of lost Palestinian Arab villages that must be liberated from Israel

Every Palestinian child in every UNRWA Palestinian refugee camp learns the precise contours of every village where their family was expelled from and where every Palestinian family must return to.

The official Palestinian web site,, speaks for itself in terms of this planned and precise promoted policy of the right of return.

Yet it has been a nearly impossible task to publish news stories about the official Palestinian message to to the Palestinian people for the mainstream media.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency will simply not run news stories that focus on what the Palestinian leadership communicates to their own people

The American Jewish Press Association will allow their conferences to hold a briefing which would delve into the message that the Palestinian leadership in the Palestinian media and in the new Palestinian schools. 

The mainstream Israeli media will rarely make any mention of the official Palestinian pronouncements in Palestinian media outlets or in Palestinian educational institutions.

There was a time when documentation of the official Palestinian message to the Palestinian people was hard to come by, and a logistical nightmare to obtain.

In the mid-1990's, our agency would dispatch messengers in the middle of the night to a Gaza checkpoint to retrieve videos of up to date PBC TV news broadcasts, new official Palestinian Authority school books, new  Palestinian maps,and films of Palestinian public figures at rallies, all of which conveyed a consistent message that promoted the obliteration of Israel – which contrasted with the well oiled PR machine operated of the PLO Negotiations Department which promoted precisely opposite message to the mainstream media that only wants to hear a seeming message of peace and reconciliation.

Today, however, access to official Palestinian TV, radio,print and internet media is easy to come by, and entry to Palestinian schools and Universities is easy to facilitate.

Yet the mainstream media had maintained a policy of ignoring the dissonant message of the Palestinian official representatives – until this week, when the Al Jazeera TV network, owned in large part by investors from the Arab nation of Qatar, produced thousands of internal documents which verified the double message of the Palestinian Authority.

For the first time since the inception of the Oslo process in 1993, the mainstream media finally reported that the the PLO indeed communicates in two tongues, in a tone of reasonable negotiation with Israelis and westerners, in stark contrast with the policy promoted by official Palestinian spokespeople to the Palestinian people.

In one day, Al Jazeera made the task of communicating Palestinian double talk that much easier.

Perhaps JTA and the American Jewish Press Association will ask Al Jazeera to host a colloquium of the American Jewish media in Qatar on the subject of the dual message communicated by the Palestinian Authority.



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