J Street condemns a claim on the official Fatah Facebook page that the organization has killed 11,000 Israelis and offered 170,000 “martyrs” and calls on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to publicly disassociate himself from this language and to end such incitement on official Palestinian communication channels.
This comes on the heels of similarly reprehensible measures by official Palestinian media. Just a few days earlier, the Fatah media bureau website posted an anti-Semitic cartoon accusing Jews of sowing divisions within the Arab world featuring a Nazi-style caricature of a Jew.
We understand that tensions are rising in the Palestinian community ahead of municipal elections in the West Bank expected to take place on Oct. 8 and that President Abbas’ ruling Fatah Party is under strong pressure from Hamas – which is still committed to the destruction of Israel. However, this does not excuse or justify in any way the kind of incitement we have seen all too often on Fatah websites and social media.
Anger and frustration are running high in the West Bank, fueled in part by lack of progress toward Palestinian statehood and the entrenching of the occupation. This is a dangerous situation, which requires responsible leadership. Most Palestinians support a two-state solution and co-existence. Whipping up anger and hatred amongst the most extreme elements of Palestinian society is irresponsible and counterproductive.
This election should not turn into a contest between Hamas and Fatah over which faction has killed more Jews, supplied more “martyrs” or hates Israel more. Ultimately, as President Abbas well understands, the future of the Palestinian people lies in a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.