Expert: Palestinian Hate Speech a Major Obstacle to Peace

Sunday, January 19, 2014 |  Israel Today Staff

World-renowned legal expert and former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler says mounting and unchallenged state-sponsored hate speech against Israel in the Palestinian Authority is a major obstacle to peace.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Cotler identified the curbing of anti-Israel hate speech as one of the pillars upon which the current ongoing peace process was built.

But, rather than end the incitement, the Palestinians have only escalated their hostile rhetoric. Cotler acknowledges that hate-speech exists in Israel, too, but that the difference is Palestinian hate-speech more often than not is emanating from the government itself.

By contrast, Israel's government itself does not encourage Israelis to hate the Palestinians, and in fact enforces strict anti-incitement laws.

Cotler revealed that a few years ago he spoke personally to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas about ending the incitement. Abbas seemed to agree that the hate-speech in his society exists, and promised to "look into the matter." Unsurprisingly, nothing came of those promises.

At the same time, Cotler lamented that Israel has not made a bigger deal of the ongoing Palestinian incitement, since it is teaching future generations of Palestinians to hate Israelis, even if a peace deal is eventually reached.

It should also be pointed out that the US and other Western peace brokers behind the negotiations have likewise all but ignored the Palestinian Authority's violations in this regard.

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