An Israeli PR video recently uploaded on the internet is causing a stir in the Arab world. In the video, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon challenges the Palestinian narrative regarding the occupied territories and national identity.
Addressing the historic status of the West Bank, he says: "Whose territory is it?" Having received over 190,000 hits on youtube, the video has incurred the wrath of Palestinians and Jordanians alike. It has also received widespread news coverage in the Arab press including a special program in Al-Jazeera.
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Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat issued an official response on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in which he accused Ayalon of distorting international law and perpetuating the conflict. Jordanian press was outraged at Jordan's depiction as illegal occupier of the West Bank in the video.
Ayalon, in response, challenged Erekat for a public debate on international law issues. "For too long, Israel has stayed silent in the face of the distortion of facts and the international law. I call on any leader from the Palestinian Authority or the Arab world to confront me on the matter publically. The only way to reach a solution is by telling the truth. "
Meanwhile, more than 100 Jewish and non-Jewish schools in the US announced they will sreen the video as part of history classes. The Central Conference of American Rabbis also said it will show the video in lectures to Jewish soldiers serving in the US military.
UK-born Jewish journalist Melanie Phillips praised the clip in her blog, saying "at last Israel starts to make its case."
Meanwhile, Ayalon is already planning more videos, one of which will discuss the "truth about Palestinian reguees."
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