Expert: 'Palestinian Papers' took focus away from true problem

Tuesday, February 01, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Expert Israeli analyst Yoram Ettinger told Israel Today that the recent leak of Palestinian diplomatic documents, dubbed “The Palestine Papers” or “PaliLeaks,” is ultimately a non-story, and only served to draw attention away from the true problem plaguing the peace process.

Even for those who saw PaliLeaks as justifying the Israeli position, Ettinger said the sensationalist reports still helped the Palestinian Authority by taking yet more eyes off of its most heinous violation - the continued teaching of Jew-hatred in Palestinian schools.

“All this focus on the leaked documents is causing people to further ignore the most crucial element of the Palestinian Authority, and that is its education system,” insisted Ettinger, a former Israeli consul general to the southern US who today is chairman of special projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research.

Explained Ettinger, “Nothing is more important in identifying human vision and ideology than that which we adults teach our children.”

“The fact is that ever since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, they have developed the most insidious hate education anywhere in the world since World War II,” he continued. “And that is most reflective of who [Palestinian leader] Mahmoud Abbas really is. Not what he whispers in the ears of gullible, naive Israeli and Western leaders, but what his schools are teaching Palestinian children.”

The issue of Palestinian education was actually a major topic years ago, especially when Yasser Arafat was still head of the Palestinian Authority. But Abbas’ clean-cut “moderate” image has in many ways blunted the argument that the Palestinian Authority is still a terror-producing entity. Ettinger says this is a huge mistake, and it is an even bigger mistake for Israel to allow it to happen.

“We should not be misled by the fact that unlike Yasser Arafat, Abbas does not carry a gun, shaves his face and has good taste in ties,” said Ettinger. “This should not mislead us, because really transparent evil (which Arafat was) is better than subtle evil.”

Ettinger concluded with a warning to Israeli and Western leaders: “Those who do not put an end to this are responsible for exacerbating the conflict.”

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