Thursday, November 18, 2004

Sharon to Abbas: change the culture of violence

From Jerusalem Post:
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a test on Thursday: End incitement against Israel in the Palestinian media and education system in order to prove that the new Palestinian leadership is ready for peace.
"The poisonous incitement on television and in the educational system, demonizing Israel, Israelis, and Jews, is the root cause of the suicide bombers and the terrorism, and it is more dangerous than any weapon," Sharon said, addressing Likud activists at the party's Tel Aviv headquarters. "The summer camps and the classes that encourage terror must stop. All this must be done before the first stage of the road map is implemented, as a test to reveal the true face of the Palestinian leadership."

A sample of what is shown on Palestinian Television can be seen here:
View Short Clips, all from Official Palestinian Television

Update: Incredibly, the Associated Press thinks changing a culture is easier than disarming militants:
Saying there was no longer a Palestinian peace partner, Sharon developed a "unilateral disengagement" plan, under which Israel would evacuate Gaza and four West Bank settlements and continue building a West Bank barrier to separate Palestinians from Israel.

Palestinians see the plan as an Israeli effort to strengthen its hold on parts of the West Bank they want for a future state.

Sharon has said he intends to push forward, but hinted he would coordinate the withdrawal if a new Palestinian leadership cracks down on terror.

On Thursday, he appeared to soften that demand, saying disarming militant groups was "a complicated process." Instead, he proposed two easier tests: ending anti-Israel propaganda in the Palestinian media and changing the Palestinian education curriculum to eliminate the "demonization of Israel, the Israelis and the Jews."

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