The Israeli government is expected to launch an Incitement Index this month, an effort to measure the level of action and rhetoric expressing hatred of Israel within the Palestinian Authority, The Jewish Week has learned.
"Since the Obama administration says the PA must be held accountable for incitement and terrorism, we want to make sure those issues get increased recognition and awareness in Washington and elsewhere," said a senior official of the Netanyahu government, who asked not to be named because the government decision has not been made officially.
The Netanyahu government feels that while the U.S. has been pressuring Israel for more concessions to create a positive climate for negotiations, the Palestinians essentially have been given "a free ride."
The index will include reports, most likely on a quarterly basis, that will measure several things: levels of violence, encouraging an atmosphere of terrorism (like naming public squares in Palestinian territory in honor of suicide bombers or calling them martyred heroes); demonization (as in newspaper or broadcast media referring to Israelis as Nazis); and lack of education toward peace (such as textbooks decrying Israel and Jews, or maps of the region that do not include the Jewish state).
Eight specific categories will be rated, including the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders, as well as the PA media, official documents, Internet sites and mosques.
Most likely the scoring will go from minus 100 (promoting hatred) to plus 100 (promoting peace), the official explained. The official underscored that only the PA will be rated, not Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza, or Al Jazeera, the Arab media outlet.
"We're hoping that this effort will take some of the focus off of Jerusalem, and its policy on settlements," the Israeli official said, "and more on whether the PA is doing anything toward creating a climate for negotiations leading to peace."
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