PMW director Itamar Marcus is to receive the Abramowitz Israel Prize for Media Criticism this month. Sponsored by Kenneth and Nira Abramowitz, the prize is awarded by Israel’s Media Watch.

The goal of the award is to encourage journalists, pundits, public figures and organizations to contribute toward a critical review of the media.

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“One of the topics that the Israeli media is loath to cover seriously in the Palestinian Authority,” wrote Israel Media Watch chairman Eli Pollak and vice-chairman Yisrael Medad in describing the award.

“The Israeli media is dominated by those who believe that Israel’s future depends on the realization of the two-state vision. Our pundits describe PA President Mahmoud Abbas as a relative moderate, with whom one may cut a deal. This may be true or not, but the public deserves to know whether the facts support it.

“This is why Israel needs an organization such as Palestinian Media Watch. The organization, founded in 1996 by Itamar Marcus, has during the past two decades reported on the PA. Its material is available to all, yet the Israeli media is very loath to bring to the fore some of the egregious hate incitement in the PA, condoned by Abbas.

“This hate is not against the “occupation” per se, but is anti-Semitic. It encourages terrorism against Israelis and aggrandizes those who commit despicable crimes, such as killing infants in their beds, just because they were born to Israelis or “settlers.”

Why does the media ignore these warnings? One reason is that the idea of peace is so tantalizing that facts are not allowed to interfere. A more sinister motivation is racism – the Palestinians are not considered to be sufficiently civilized to be held to Western standards, and their behavior is discounted as that of primitives. Be it what it may, we at Israel’s Media Watch have found the Palestinian Media Watch and its founder and leader Marcus to be worthy of the media criticism prize this year.

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