Archive for the ‘Palestinian heroes’ category

Palestinians: Abbas’s “Culture of Peace”

May 8, 2017

Palestinians: Abbas’s “Culture of Peace”, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, May 8, 2017

(Please see also, Palestinian Daily ‘Al-Ayyam’ Reports On ‘Abbas’s White House Visit. — DM)

Thanks to Abbas’s falsehoods, his media continues to this day dishonestly to talk about “Jewish invaders and settlers storming” Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. This and this alone is the source of the knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

Perhaps by a “culture of peace” Abbas means calling — as he and his top officials regularly do — Israel an apartheid and racist state. Or maybe “culture of peace” means calling all Jews “occupiers” and “colonists” — or denouncing and threatening Palestinian children who play soccer with Israeli kids. Or naming schools and electoral lists after convicted murderers?

Under Abbas, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination is a business that has expanded exponentially. It has, in fact, grown to the point that a new generation has been raised on the glorification of jihadists — a generation impatient to draw yet more Jewish blood. If this is Abbas’s “culture of peace,” one has to wonder what he would consider a culture of war?

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas may soon be known for his sense of humor. Like many Palestinians, Abbas believes that Westerners will swallow his lies wholesale. Abbas, for instance, ended his May 3 meeting with US President Donald Trump with the following whopper: “We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

Abbas did not provide further details about the “culture of peace” upon which Palestinian children are being raised. Nor did anyone bother to ask Abbas or any member of his entourage to provide examples of the “culture of peace” in Palestinian society. Yet major Western media outlets were quick to publish Abbas’s unmistakable lie.

US President Donald Trump meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House, on May 3, 2017. (Image source: White House video screenshot)

Apparently, like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas is convinced that Palestinians can fool “all of the people, all of the time” about their true goals and intentions. Arafat lied to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when he told them that he and the Palestinian Authority were promoting peace and coexistence with Israel. Under Arafat, anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, schools and mosques intensified until Palestinians waged the Second Intifada in September 2000. This intifada was the result of seven years of vicious incitement and indoctrination that came after the inception of the PA. In a truly ironic turn of events, the Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, gave the Palestinians media outlets, including television and radio stations, which were then used to amplify hatred against Israel and Jews on a daily basis.

Arafat used these media outlets to tell his people — when then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in September 2000 — that Israel was planning to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque. It was precisely this incitement that triggered the Second Intifada, in which Palestinians wage a massive and ruthless campaign of suicide bombings and drive-by shootings that caused the death of hundreds of Israelis.

Under Arafat, it was anything but a “culture of peace.” His message to the Palestinians was: “We will march towards Jerusalem and we will sacrifice millions of martyrs on the way!”

Unlike many Israelis who were murdered by Palestinians at Arafat’s incitement, Arafat’s famous battle cry is still alive and well. Currently, it is being echoed by many Palestinians, including children, during rallies and demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This call-to-arms openly encourages Palestinian youths to “march towards Jerusalem” and become “martyrs.”

Only one week before the Abbas’s meeting with Trump, the PA president’s Fatah faction called on Palestinians to take to the streets and clash with Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers. The call was made in “solidarity” with Palestinian prisoners who went on a “hunger strike” in Israeli prisons. The hunger strike was not about Israel’s prisons, well-known for being among the most comfortable in the world; the hunger strike was actually a political move to compete for which terrorist would be Abbas’s successor. The prisoners are terrorists, most of them with blood on their hands; the more blood, the higher the promotion.

In the fight for Palestinian leadership, being a “graduate” of an Israeli prison is far more important than being a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. The Palestinians’ former prime minister, Salam Fayyad. Fayyad, an economist and reformer adored in the West, received only 2% of the Palestinian vote.

By calling for clashes with Israelis, Fatah is inciting Palestinian youths to carry out violent attacks against Israeli soldiers and settlers. This is the same Fatah led by Abbas — the same Abbas mouthing lies about a “culture of peace.” By voicing solidarity with convicted murderers and praising them as role models and heroes of Palestinians, Abbas’s Fatah pushes Palestinian youths to follow in their footsteps and engage in violence.

One day after the Abbas-Trump meeting, the current Palestinian Authority prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, participated in a rally in Ramallah, in solidarity with the hunger-striking terrorists. At the rally, Hamdallah affirmed the PA’s full support for the terrorists, by saying he was working to bring their case to the attention of the international community.

Like Arafat, Abbas continues to use alleged but non-existent threats the al-Aqsa Mosque to incite Palestinian youths against Israel. For the past 50 years, non-Muslims, including Jews, have been permitted to visit the Temple Mount as tourists. The visits were suspended when the Second Intifada began in 2000. But since the tourist visits resumed a few years ago, the Muslims have been trying to keep Jews away from the holy site. The Muslims claim that Jews are seeking to “destroy” and “desecrate” the al-Aqsa Mosque (on the Temple Mount) — a false claim that is added to the long list of lies and blood libels spread by Abbas and many Muslims. Abbas’s statement came in response not to any incidents at al-Aqsa Mosque, as Abbas and other Palestinians claimed: Tours of Jews to the Temple Mount are routine and peaceful.

In September 2015, Abbas stated that he “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.”

Shortly after this statement, Palestinians began waging a campaign of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis, in a violent insurgency known as the “Knife Intifada”. “We will protect Jerusalem and we will not allow them [Jews] to defile al-Aqsa (Mosque) and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with their filthy feet,” Abbas deceitfully announced.

It is still unclear why he decided to bring the church into the controversy surrounding Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. What is clear is that Abbas was lying: Jews had not entered either the church or al-Aqsa Mosque.

Ever since Abbas’s inciting statement, however, dozens of Palestinian youths have heeded his call by going out to stab or run over the first Jew they see. Their blood is on Abbas’s hands. He is the one who sent out the youths to “protect” al-Aqsa Mosque against the fictitious Jewish “invaders.” He is the one who continues falsely to talk about “herds of settlers storming al-Aqsa Mosque” — in reality, peaceful routine visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. Thanks, however, to Abbas’s falsehoods, his media continues to this day dishonestly to talk about “Jewish invaders and settlers storming” Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. This and this alone is the source of the knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

This, evidently, is the “culture of peace” to which Abbas is referring. How can he utter such a staggering lie when his media and top officials continue to delegitimize Israel and demonize Jews on a daily basis? How precisely is Abbas promoting peace when his Palestinian Authority names schools and public squares after Palestinian terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands? Earlier this year, for example, Abbas’s Fatah named a youth camp in Jericho after Dalal al-Mughrabi, a female terrorist who killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded more than 70, in 1978.

By honoring the murderers of Jews, Abbas is, instead, solely promoting a culture of hate and violence. His message to Palestinian youths is, straightforwardly: the more Jews you kill, the more honor and respect you will receive from your people.

Abbas talks about a “culture of peace” at a time when he and his Palestinian Authority are even combating all forms of “normalization” with Israel. The anti-normalization campaign, in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities, targets any Palestinian who dares to meet with Jews (even “pro-Palestinian” Jews). It operates solely under the auspices of the PA government. This campaign also promotes boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Its goal is to intimidate Palestinians who work towards peace and coexistence with Israel and to ban any business with Jews. Can any Palestinian invite Jews to a meeting in Ramallah without being targeted by the “anti-normalization” thugs, many of whom are affiliated with Abbas’s Fatah?

Perhaps by a “culture of peace,” Abbas means calling — as he and his top officials regularly do — Israel an apartheid and racist state. Or maybe “culture of peace” means calling all Jews “occupiers” and “colonists” — or denouncing and threatening Palestinian children who play soccer with Israeli kids. Or naming schools and electoral lists after convicted murderers? Those seem like debatable ways to advance his “culture of peace.”

Under Abbas, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination is a business that has expanded exponentially. It has, in fact, grown to the point that a new generation has been raised on the glorification of jihadists, a generation impatient to draw yet more Jewish blood. If this is Abbas’s “culture of peace,” what, one wonders, would he consider a culture of war?

How the Media Glorifies Palestinian Female Terrorists

April 26, 2017

How the Media Glorifies Palestinian Female Terrorists, Clarion ProjectRachel Avraham, April 26, 2017

Inset Photos (L-R): Suicide bombers Wafa Idris, Ayat al-Akhras and Hanadi Jaradat

JerusalemOnline news editor and political analyst Rachel Avraham, who recently published a book titled Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media, explains how the international media continues to justify Palestinian female terrorism from the Second Intifada to our times.

Brian Jenkins proclaimed, “Terrorism is theater.” According to my recently published book titled “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media,” terrorists do not engage in meaningless violence. Each terrorist act is carefully choreographed in order so that they can obtain maximum publicity for their cause. For the terror organizations, the goal is not to harm the immediate victims although that is certainly a bi-product of their wanton destruction but rather to solicit the attention of the wider spectators via the international press.

Women and Jihad argues that during the Second Intifada in Israel (September 2000 – February, 2005), the Arab, American and even the Israeli media gave into the publicity objectives of the Palestinian terror groups.  The media in the Arab world for the most part glorified Palestinian terrorism, thus rallying the Arab masses behind the Palestinian cause.

For example, the first Palestinian female suicide bomber Wafa Idris was compared to the Mona Lisa, Jesus Christ, Joan D’Arc and Khadija (the first wife of the Prophet Mohammed).  Suicide bomber Ayat Al Akhras was described to be “as tender and beautiful as a rose” and her suicide bombing was deemed to be “the height of bravery.”

Meanwhile, media outlets in the United States and sometimes even in Israel justified Palestinian terrorism in the name of covering the news objectively.   For instance, following the suicide bombing of Andaleeb Takafta, ABC’s Nightline interviewed a number of Palestinian officials, a Palestinian psychiatrist and an Israeli official.  Despite the asymmetrical nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Nightline related to them all as sources with equal credibility.

This worked to the benefit of the Palestinian terror groups.  On the program, Palestinian psychiatrist Dr. Iyad Sarraj declared, “We are so desperate.   We have nothing left except our bodies to turn into bombs.”  And following the suicide bombing of Hanadi Jaradat, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronot described the terrorist as “a pretty girl dressed in Western clothes like young Israeli girls.”   By describing the terrorist in this way, the terrorist was humanized.

My book argues that if the terrorist is a female, the media is eight times more likely to give the Palestinian terror group positive publicity. The atmosphere that existed in the American press following each Palestinian female terror attack during the Second Intifada also affects Israel during this present wave of terror as the American media relates to the female terrorists of our times in a similar manner.

This helps to create an atmosphere abroad where BDS motions, lawfare against Israeli officials, anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, anti-Israel reports by human rights organizations and other anti-Israel actions flourish.

Under this atmosphere of intense international pressure, the Palestinian terror groups hope that Israel will be forced into withdrawing to the 1967 Armistice Lines without the Palestinian Authority having to give Israel much in return and this will make it easier for the Palestinian terror groups to obtain their ultimate goal, which is the destruction of the State of Israel.

The UNRWA book battle

April 20, 2017

The UNRWA book battle, Israel Hayom, Jonathan S. Tobin, April 20, 2017

(More on the UN Rocket Warehousing Agency and the Palestinian authority. Please see also, UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum. — DM)

It is an article of faith for the international community and the Jewish Left that the ‎Palestinian Authority is a moderate force that wants to make peace with Israel. ‎That belief has been undermined by many of the PA’s actions and statements since ‎its creation after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, yet somehow it survives and forms the basis for many of the assumptions critics make ‎about Israel’s government.

The latest proof that the PA is a principle obstacle to ‎peace rather than its best hope has not received any attention in the Western press. ‎But a discussion of the conflict that has arisen between it and the United Nations ‎Relief and Works Agency speaks volumes about everything that is wrong ‎with the PA.‎

UNRWA is the world body that is devoted solely to aiding Palestinian refugees. ‎Unlike the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is tasked with helping all other refugees around the world, UNRWA doesn’t try ‎to resettle refugees or resolve their problems. On the contrary, since its creation ‎after the Arab failure to destroy Israel in its War of Independence, UNRWA has ‎helped to perpetuate the clash between Israel and the Muslim and Arab worlds and ‎championed the “right of return” that would spell Israel’s end. Its schools and aid ‎projects have been hotbeds of radicalism aimed at erasing the existence of the ‎Jewish state and have even been used by Hamas. In particular, critics have noted ‎the way UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza have curricula and textbooks ‎that teach up to 600,000 Palestinian youngsters to reject Israel’s legitimacy and ‎glorify the struggle to destroy it. ‎

But, like the rest of the U.N., UNRWA has been feeling some pressure to ‎reform. The Trump administration has shown a willingness to throw its weight ‎around that directly contrasts with former President Barack Obama’s support for the U.N. Under ‎new Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who previously headed the U.N.’s other ‎refugee agency, efforts to promote the libel that Israel is an apartheid state were ‎rejected. So when the Arab press reported leaks about a shift in UNRWA’s ‎education policy, this seemed to indicate that even that agency was feeling some ‎pressure to change its ways.‎

According to those reports, UNRWA was planning to alter the textbooks it uses ‎in its schools. Among the planned changes, cities inside Israel would stop being labeled as Palestinian, a practice that instills a sense in readers that the Jewish state is ‎merely a colonialist intrusion built entirely on “stolen” Arab land. Other changes ‎included an effort to tone down praise of Palestinians who commit terrorism ‎against Jews and Israelis. Its teaching about Jerusalem would treat it as a city that ‎is as holy to all three monotheistic religions, rather than just Islam. That’s significant because Palestinian efforts to claim that shrines such ‎as the Temple Mount and even the Western Wall are ‎exclusively Muslim were part of a campaign of incitement that led to the recent ‎‎”stabbing intifada.” Perhaps just as significant is that the new texts would also seek ‎to correct gender bias that was part of the old books.‎

But rather than welcome reform, the Palestinian Authority has reacted with fury. ‎Last week, the PA announced that it was suspending ties with UNRWA over the ‎proposed changes, which have yet to be formally announced. It said the revisions ‎to the curriculum were an “affront to the Palestinian people, its history and ‎struggles” and that the suspension would continue until the agency’s “positions are ‎corrected.”‎

The PA Education Ministry issued the following statement:‎ “Any distortion of the Palestinian curriculum is a flagrant violation of the laws of the ‎host country, and any change to any letter to appease any party is a betrayal of the ‎Palestinian narrative and the right of the Palestinian people under occupation to ‎preserve its identity and struggle.‎”

The implications of the PA position for the prospects for peace in this or future ‎generations cannot be overestimated.‎

For more than a century, Palestinian national identity has been inextricably tied to the war on Zionism. Throughout two decades of failed peace negotiations, the ‎supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority has consistently rejected Israeli offers ‎of independence that would obligate it to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish ‎state within any borders. Any chance that this will change rests not so much on ‎more Israeli concessions but on a sea change in Palestinian political culture. ‎Leaving aside the role of Hamas, unless the PA’s future leaders are able to embrace ‎peace without fear that doing so will be seen as a betrayal, the failure of more talks ‎is foreordained. UNRWA’s proposed changes are a step in the right direction. The ‎PA’s opposition is more proof that it is an obstacle to any hope for a better life for ‎both Israeli and Palestinian children.‎

UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum

April 18, 2017

UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum, The Jewish Press, April 18, 2017

(The UN Rockets Warehousing Agency will continue to teach young Palestinians to hate Jews. — DM) 

Photo Credit: The Center for Near East Policy Research

The announcement came after threats by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority who said the planned changes were “unacceptable”.

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Following all the exposure of incitement and anti-Semitism in the UNRWA schools, there was pressure on UNWRA to clean up the books and the curriculum they’re teaching from all the anti-Semitism.

Khaled Abu Toameh reports that it won’t be happening, “UNRWA says it has no intention to change textbooks and will continue to teach according to Palestinian Authority curriculum.”

UNRWA says it has no intention to change textbooks and will continue to teach according to Palestinian Authority curriculum.

PA defies US, will raise payments to Martyrs’ families

April 9, 2017

PA defies US,  will raise payments to Martyrs’ families, Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus, April 9, 2017

In defiance of the US, which is demanding that the Palestinian Authority completely stop financial rewards to families of terrorist “Martyrs” (Shahids), the PA is now raising the payments to the “Martyrs'” families. These PA payments include lifetime monthly allowances to families of suicide bombers, and other murderers who were killed during or after committing their crimes.

Muhammad Sbeihat, the Secretary-General of the National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine, which is the PLO organization dealing with the PA’s payments to “Martyrs'” families, explained last week:

“In the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly.”

[Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]

The fact that the PA is raising the amount of the allowances to Martyrs’ families, even slightly, at this time is in direct defiance of the United States. Palestinian Media Watch exposed in 2011  that the Palestinian Authority pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and allowances to families of terrorist Martyrs, and in 2016 exposed that the PA was lying when they claimed to have stopped payments to prisoners.

After years of international condemnation of the PA, the United States Congress recently proposed The Taylor Force Act to cut off financial all aid to the Palestinian Authority because of these payments to terrorists and their families. When Taylor Force, an American citizen, was murdered last year in Tel Aviv, American legislators were incensed to learn that the family members of the dead terrorist would be rewarded with lifetime payments, thus benefiting either directly or indirectly from American financial aid.

Similar legislation was proposed in the Israeli parliament last month, to deduct the equivalent amount that the PA pays to terrorists and their families from the tax revenues that Israel collects on the PA’s behalf.

The following are the payment amounts, mostly based on PA law signed by former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in 2011:

1- Immediate (one-time) payment: 6,000 shekels2- Monthly (life-time) payments: 1,400 shekels/monthly, plus additions 2A: Addition for spouse: 400 shekels 2B: Addition for each child: 200 shekels 2C: Addition for residents of Jerusalem: 300 shekels >2D: Addition for residents of Israel: 300 shekels

2- Monthly (life-time) payments: 1,400 shekels/monthly, plus additions 2A: Addition for spouse: 400 shekels 2B: Addition for each child: 200 shekels 2C: Addition for residents of Jerusalem: 300 shekels >2D: Addition for residents of Israel: 300 shekels

3- Monthly payments to families abroad: $350

3B: Addition for each child: $50

Total expenditure per year (2016 budget): 660,315,772 shekels ($180,839,067)

[Official PA 2016 budget]

In 2016, more than 32,500 Martyrs’ families received payments.

Raising the allowances at this time is a sign of the PA’s direct defiance of the US and other Western countries that fund the PA, many of whom have condemned the PA’s financial reward payments to terrorists and their families.

Note: Payments to Martyrs families go to families of all Palestinian terrorists killed during the act of terror including suicide bombers, or in any combat with Israel, as well as families of those killed during riots, or disturbances, including non-combatants.

In addition, at the ceremony where Sbeihat spoke, laptops were distributed to children of Martyrs including the daughter of a terrorist who murdered 9.

The following is an excerpt from the article in the Palestinian daily, Al Quds:

“The National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine distributed laptops to the Martyrs’ (Shahids) sons and daughters in the [Tulkarem] district who successfully completed high school studies last year, and are currently in their first year of university studies.

This was during a ceremony that was held under the auspices of Tulkarem District Governor Issam Abu Bakr, who provided considerable financial aid to fund the computers…

The Secretary-General of the [National] Association [of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat] mentioned the issue of stopping the allowances (mukhassasat) of many of the civilian Martyrs’ families (i.e., a few dozen families stopped receiving payments in February 2017, Ma’an [independent Palestinian news agency]) , and of some of the Martyrs’ wives who married the Martyrs’ brothers. He emphasized that the issue has been raised to [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, and that the Association and the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution are investing intensive efforts to deal with the issue as quickly as possible. He emphasized that Abbas and [PA] Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah are following the issue with the relevant parties, and expressed optimism about its resolution in a few days.

He emphasized that in the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly. He emphasized that the Association will continue its efforts and demands to improve the allowances of the Martyrs’ families, and deal with the issue of the allowances of the families of the Martyrs of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip in 2014 (i.e., 2014 Gaza War)…

At the end of the ceremony, the computers were distributed to Ahmed Ali Ja’ar (PMW was unable to find additional information -Ed.), Badour Ibrahim Al-Ajami (PMW was unable to find additional information -Ed.), Bisan Fawaz Badran (i.e., daughter of terrorist Fawaz Badran) [and additional children of Martyrs].”

[Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]

Fawaz Badran – 27-year-old terrorist and top official in the Hamas Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military wing), according to Israeli sources responsible for the planning of two terrorist attacks in Netanya in which 9 people were murdered, and dozens injured. On July 13, 2001, Badran was killed in a car explosion. Hamas blamed Israel for the car bombing, but Israel denied responsibility. PMW has been unable to confirm which attacks he was responsible for.

Palestinians: The Diploma for Terror

April 3, 2017

Palestinians: The Diploma for Terror, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, April 3, 2017

The unashamed glorification of murderers; terrorists paraded as role models and paragons of virtue to yet another generation of Palestinians. Under these conditions of unremitting incitement, no Palestinian can talk about peace with Israel.

When President Abbas visits the White House, it will be interesting to see if his “peace” stance includes a discussion of the Diploma for Terror.

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A glance at their leaders and senior officials tells them that Palestinian Authority jobs go to “graduates” of Israeli prisons.

Besides sending a message to Palestinians about who is valued in Palestinian society, the Fatah leader is also making it clear that the path to leadership and employment passes through Israeli prisons. Abbas’s senior representative is telling Palestinians that there is no need for them to pursue actual education: Israeli prisons are the best “universities.”

The longer the time spent in prison, the higher the military rank. Ten years will earn them the rank of Colonel. More than that will earn them General. The path to winning a job with a PA ministry also passes through Israeli prisons. These are the leaders touted as role models to young Palestinians.

Palestinians who are being held in Israeli prisons are “a model for sensibility and national culture and constitute a pillar for the establishment of a Palestinian state.” This glorification of Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are behind bars for murdering Jews, was issued last week by Fayez Abu Aitah, a senior representative of President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction.

Abu Aitah’s words of appreciation for murderers of Jews came during a visit he paid to Hatem al-Maghari, a Palestinian Authority (PA) policeman who was released last week after serving 17 years in prison for his role in the lynching of two Israeli reserve soldiers who mistakenly entered Ramallah. Upon his arrival at his home in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Al-Maghari received a hero’s welcome. Hundreds of Palestinians have since converged on his home to congratulate him on his release from prison and heap praise him on for his “contribution” to the Palestinian cause.

Abbas’s Fatah was quick to embrace al-Maghari as “one of our sons” in order to send a message to Palestinians that the Fatah faction is also involved in terror attacks against Israel. For years, Fatah’s opponents have been accusing it of abandoning the “armed struggle” in favor of a peace process with Israel. Groups such as Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad continue to criticize Fatah for not being sufficiently active in the terror campaign against Israel.

The release of al-Maghari provided an opportunity for Fatah to remind its Palestinian enemies of its “contribution” to the war against Israel. The lynching of the two soldiers inside a Palestinian Authority police station in Ramallah was one of the most brutal crimes perpetrated by Palestinians. The PA leadership has never accepted responsibility for the lynching of the two soldiers, who were being held by PA policemen inside the station after taking a wrong turn into the city as they were on their way to their base.

The hero’s welcome that al-Maghari received and the words of praise from Fatah leaders serve as a reminder of how murderers of Jews continue to be hailed as role models for Palestinians. President Abbas and his PA and Fatah representatives have long lauded Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as “heroes” and future leaders of a Palestinian state.

As Abu Aitah explained during his well-wishing visit to the released terrorist:

“The prisoners are the pillar of our national movement. They have sacrificed the best of our committed and responsible national cadres that are leading the struggle of our people. Our prisoners have turned (Israeli) prisons into universities from where the future leaders graduate.”

Besides sending a message to Palestinians about who is valued in Palestinian society, the Fatah leader is also making it clear that the path to leadership and employment passes through Israeli prisons. In no uncertain terms, he is saying to young Palestinians: “If you want to become a leader, you need to prove your qualifications by following the example of those Palestinians who carried out terror attacks against Israel and spent time in Israeli prison.” Again: Abbas’s senior representative is telling Palestinians that there is no need for them to pursue actual education: Israeli prisons are the best “universities.”

Palestinians have every reason to believe Abu Aitah; he is the top Fatah official. Just a glance at their leaders and senior officials tells them that Palestinian Authority jobs go to “graduates” of Israeli prisons. There is no shortage of such leaders who rose to power thanks to their involvement in terror attacks against Israel.

In the world of the Palestinians, terror is indeed the diploma of currency. Serving time in Israeli prison can even earn one a military rank without having to go to any military or security academy.

The PA, according to Palestinian sources, has one of the largest numbers of Generals and Colonels in the Arab world. Most of these high-ranking officers earned their titles thanks to the time they served in Israeli prison, not because they studied at any military academy.

Take, for example, Jibril Rajoub, the former commander of the Palestinian Authority’s notorious Preventive Security Force, who holds the rank of Major-General. Rajoub’s rank is largely the result of the 17 years he spent in Israeli prison for his role in terrorism. Rajoub is only one of dozens, if not hundreds, of former prisoners who hold such high-ranking titles but do not have any real military background.

Many high-ranking PA security officials, such as Major-General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, wear medals and decorations on their military uniforms even though they have not participated in any war. Damiri spent 10 years in Israeli prison for security-related offenses.

Many high-ranking Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials, such as Major-General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, wear medals and decorations on their military uniforms even though they have not participated in any war. (Image source: PA video screenshot)

These are the leaders touted as role models to young Palestinians. No small number of Palestinian senior “officers” failed even to complete their high school education. But that should not bother any Palestinian who is dreaming of assuming a senior job in a Palestinian state.

On April 17, the Palestinians will again mark “Palestinian Prisoners’ Day” by holding as series of rallies in solidarity with prisoners who carried out terror attacks against Israel. This event is marked every year by Palestinians to honor the “heroes” who made “huge sacrifices” on behalf of the Palestinians.

These “sacrifices” include the maiming and murder of Jews. The annual event in the West Bank is sponsored and funded by Abbas’s Fatah, in turn funded by Europe and the West, in the context of glorifying terrorists and encouraging Palestinian youths to follow their presumably heroic example.

A Palestinian teenager who wishes to become a “general” under Abbas need not apply to any sort of academy. The shortest route to achieve rank is by carrying out a terror attack against Israel and doing time in Israeli prison. The longer the time spent in prison, the higher the military rank. Ten years will earn them the rank of Colonel. More than that will earn them General. The path to winning a job with a Palestinian Authority ministry also passes through Israeli prisons. Former prisoners are treated as the “good boys of the revolution” and granted the plum jobs. Meanwhile, those Palestinians who actually choose to become educated once again lose out.

It would be no surprise, then, if al-Maghari finds himself awarded the rank of General in Abbas’s Fatah-controlled security forces.

And so it continues: the unashamed glorification of murderers; terrorists paraded as role models and paragons of virtue to yet another generation of Palestinians. Under these conditions of unremitting incitement, no Palestinian can talk about peace with Israel.

When President Abbas visits the White House, it will be interesting to see if his “peace” stance includes a discussion of the Diploma for Terror.

Breaking News: Rasmieh Odeh Reportedly Accepts Plea Deal

March 24, 2017

Breaking News: Rasmieh Odeh Reportedly Accepts Plea Deal, Investigative Project on Terrorism, March 23, 2017

Editor’s Note: For greater detail on the Rasmieh Odeh case, her elevation to hero by Palestinian advocates and the impact on her victims, please watch the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s five-part video series, “Spinning a Terrorist Into a Victim.”

On April 2, Odeh is scheduled to speak at an upcoming conference sponsored by a major BDS group, the Jewish Voice for Peace. Speakers on her panel include the rabidly anti-Israeli Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour.

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Palestinian terrorist Rasmieh Odeh, who faces a May 16 retrial for naturalization fraud, reportedly has agreed to plead guilty and leave the United States in exchange for avoiding any prison time.

According to a statement from her supporters, Odeh “has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement.” [Emphasis original.] The statement hailed the decision as “a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years.”

No court papers have been filed to confirm the report.

Odeh was convicted in November 2014 and sentenced to 18 months in prison, the loss of her citizenship and deportation. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain in February 2016, ruling that he improperly barred testimony supporting Odeh’s claim that she failed to disclose her Israeli conviction for participating in two 1969 Jerusalem bombings, including one at a grocery story that killed two Hebrew University students.

Drain granted a new trial including the testimony, prompting federal prosecutors to issue a new indictment adding greater emphasis on Odeh’s acknowledged membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group.

Odeh’s supporters treat her as a hero to the Palestinian cause. They have maintained that she is innocent of the immigration charge and insist she was not responsible for the 1969 bombings, even though she confessed and Israeli investigators found materials used to make the bombs in her home. That confession followed weeks of torture, they claim.

But records from her trial indicate otherwise. She confessed within a day of her arrest, records show. One Israeli interrogator called her “an easy nut to crack” and testimony at her trial indicated she identified more than 80 fellow PFLP members who later were arrested.

Thursday’s statement casts prosecutors as the party hesitant to go back to court, saying they “clearly want to dodge a public and legal defense that puts U.S.-backed Israel on trial for its crimes against Rasmea and its continuing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.”

That bit of spin is challenged by aggressive steps prosecutors took in preparation for a new trial. In addition to issuing the superseding indictment, they hoped to depose two women who worked with Odeh in the attacks and publicly discussed their roles.

Odeh served 10 years in an Israeli prison, but was released as part of a prisoner exchange with the PFLP. She made her way to the United States in 1995 and applied for naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 2004.She failed to disclose her terrorist arrest, conviction and resulting imprisonment despite specific questions about an applicant’s past record. And she never told immigration officials she was part of the PFLP.

During her 2014 trial, immigration officials testified that, had she answered honestly, she never would have been allowed into the country.

None of the evidence contradicting Odeh’s story gave her supporters pause. Thursday’s statement announcing the plea deal described her as “corner of the movement for social justice in the U.S.  From the Movement for Black Lives in Ferguson, Chicago, and beyond, to the call for a global #WomenStrike on International Women’s Day, Rasmea has become synonymous with resilience and resistance.” [Emphasis original.]

On April 2, Odeh is scheduled to speak at an upcoming conference sponsored by a major BDS group, the Jewish Voice for Peace. Speakers on her panel include the rabidly anti-Israeli Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour.