Palestinian Authority Praises Murderer Of U.S. Senator’s Niece And Other Killers As “Heroines”
March 13, 2003

Why Doesn’t U.S. Protest?

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush administration to speak out against the Palestinian Authority’s praise of the murderer of the niece of a U.S. Senator as “a heroine.”

On March 11, 1978, Palestinian Arab terrorists led by Dalal Mughrabi massacred 37 people in an attack along the Tel Aviv coastal highway. One of the victims was Gail Rubin of New York, a renowned nature photographer who was the niece of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT). (The terrorists came across Ms. Rubin photographing nature scenes along the beach; they shot her dead, then hijacked a passing bus and killed most of the passengers.)

On March 11, 2003, the official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah published an article commemorating the 25th anniversary of the massacre. It stated: “On the morning of March 11, 1978, a woman Palestinian fighter, Dalal Mughrabi, created a legend that would be taught for many years, when she and her Fedayeen unit infiltrated the Palestinian coastal plain near Tel Aviv… Twenty-five years after this heroine’s death as a Shahida [Dying for Allah], many Palestinian women are following in her footsteps every day. Examples include Wafa Idris, [First woman suicide bomber] and Ayyat al-Akhras, [second woman suicide bomber] who performed acts of Shahada- Seeking during the blessed al-Aksa Intifada to protect the homeland. The Shahida Dalal Mughrabi shall remain one of the symbols of the Palestinian national struggle.” (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

The Zionist Organization of America points out that this is just the latest in a series of PA actions glorifying Mugrahbi:

* In August 2002, a school in the PA-controlled town of Al-Shuyukh, near Hebron, was renamed “the Dalal Mugrahbi School.” The school receives U.S. funding through the ANERA organization, whose spokesman, Peter Gubser, claimed on August 11, 2002 that the school’s directors had agreed to revert to the school’s original name; yet on August 16, 2002, the official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah again referred to it as “the Dalal Mugrahbi School in Al- Shuyukh.” (Palestinian Media Watch)

* There is a Dalal Mughrabi Girls High School (PA Television, March 31, 2000); a Dalal Mugrahbi Summer Camp in Rafiah (PA Television, August 9, 2001); a Dalal Mugrahbi Kindergarten in Dura (Al Ayyam, May 30, 2001); and a Dalal Mugrahbi Course in the Fatah Women’s Young Staff Preparatory Course ( Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, Jan. 25, 2002)

* On March 9, 2000, the PA affiliated newspaper Al Ayyam called the Tel Aviv coastal massacre “one of the greatest successes of the struggle.”

* On August 30, 2000, an official PA Television broadcast asserted: “Dalal is a symbol for the Palestinian nation.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “We call on the Bush administration to speak out against the PA’s glorification of the murder of an elderly American citizen. Bush’s silence sends a message to the PA that the U.S. does not seriously object to the PA glorifying murderers of Americans.”

The ZOA points out that the PA has repeatedly honored Palestinian Arab murderers of Americans by naming schools, streets and public squares after them:

* PA Names Soccer Tourney After Killer of American: The official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah reported on January 21, 2003 that the PA-sponsored soccer tournament in the PA-ruled city of Tulkarm was named “the Tulkarm Shahids [Martyrs] Memorial soccer championship tournament of the Shahid Abd Al-Baset Odeh.” Odeh was the suicide bomber who attacked a Netanya hotel on Passover last year, massacring 30 people, including a 90 year-old U.S. citizen, Mrs. Hannah Rogen. (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

* Public Square Named After Killer of Americans: In February 1996, the PA named a public square in Jericho after Yiyhe Ayyash. The U.S. State Department has named him as a prime suspect in the August 21, 1995 Jerusalem bus bombing in which Connecticut schoolteacher Joan Davenny was murdered. (Peace Watch Annual Report 1996; N.Y. Daily News, April 22, 1998)

* Streets Named After Killers of Americans: In December 1996, the PA named a street in the town of Beit Lahiya after Yiyhe Ayyash. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 17, 1996) A street in PA-controlled Al-Bireh is named after Abu Iyad (Salah Khalaf), a PLO leader involved in planning many attacks, including the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre, in which 12 people were murdered, including a U.S. citizen, David Berger of Cleveland, Ohio. A photo of the “Abu Iyad Street” sign appeared in the pro-PLO newspaper Jerusalem Times on September 25, 1998.

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