P.A.’S Abbas Praises Saddam As “Symbol Of Pan-Arab Nationalism”
January 4, 2007

Palestinian Arabs mourn murderous
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein

New York – Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has publicly praised the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, in a statement read on PA television and radio, saying, “Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of state nationalism and Pan-Arab nationalism who helped the Palestinian revolution.” Ordinary Palestinian Arabs have also publicly mourned the death of the murderous Iraqi leader following his execution on December 30.

The Fatah terrorist group, which Abbas co-founded with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, said in a statement, “The Palestinian Liberation Movement-Fatah-condemns the execution of Former President Saddam Hussein … It is against international law and international principles.” The terrorist group, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is part of Abbas’ Fatah, issued its own condemnation, saying that Saddam’s execution was “a betrayal of all that is Arab and Islamic.” A Hamas spokesman, Fauzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Islamist terrorist group that won Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, condemned the execution as “a political assassination” while Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas lawmaker, said that “this is proof of the United States’ criminal and terrorist policy in its war against the forces of resistance in the world.” Samah Massar, the anchorwoman of the PA official mouthpiece, ‘Voice of Palestine’ radio, stated that “The execution of the former Iraqi president was widely condemned … This is a blow against all that is Arab and all that is Muslim” (Yediot Ahronot, December 30; Michael Widlanski, Independent Media Review and Analysis, December 31).

Ordinary Palestinians have also greeted Saddam’s execution with mourning. In the town of Yabed, near Jenin, some 500 Palestinian Arabs participated in a march in honor of Saddam, firing guns in the air, chanting slogans in praise of him and also opening a mourning tent in his honor. Another 500 Palestinian Arabs held a rally in the city of Halhoul, near Hebron, burning American and Israelis flags and chanting slogans against Iraqi Shiites who opposed his rule (International Herald Tribune, January 1). Other Palestinian mourning ceremonies took place near Bethlehem, where the popular Palestinian committee for refugee affairs began a mourning ceremony in the al-Azeh refugee camp, and in Khan Younis, Palestinian youth took to the streets and began marching in honor of Saddam. The marchers held many pictures of Hussein alongside former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat (Yediot Ahronot, December 30).

During his 23-year reign of terror in Iraq, Saddam Hussein was responsible for several wars, including the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) that resulted in a million deaths, genocidal campaigns against Iraqi Kurds and Shiite civilians, the use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and his own Kurdish civilians and Scud missile attacks on Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saddam Hussein also funded the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, giving US$25,000 to the family of each suicide bomber and US$10,000 for each Palestinian killed in fighting. The stipends amounted to an estimated US$35 million. Saddam was also cheered by Palestinians in 1991 when he attacked Israel with Scud missiles.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Mahmoud Abbas’ words of praise for Saddam Hussein further demonstrate that he is not a political moderate that so many governments and much of the media make him out to be. To the contrary, Abbas, who co-founded the terrorist Fatah with Yasser Arafat, was Arafat’s deputy for 40 years and wrote a doctorate and book denying the Holocaust, stands revealed by his latest statement as supporter of the most extreme elements in Arab society. Saddam, like Fatah, preached a fascist form of Arab nationalism and financially supported the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. It is therefore not surprising that Fatah and Saddam enjoyed such close relations over the years and that Abbas should honor Saddam’s memory as well as mourn his death.

Under Mahmoud Abbas, the PA has not fulfilled its commitments under signed agreements with Israel and also the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it. Instead of combating terrorism and hatred, he condemns Israel for conducting legitimate Israeli military operations to eliminate Palestinian terrorists. Last year, he condemned as a ‘heinous massacre’ the killing by Israel of seven Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist group. He refers to Palestinian terrorists as ‘heroes fighting for freedom’ and rebuffed President Bush’s call at the 2005 Aqaba summit to accept Israel publicly as a Jewish state. Abbas has also declared in November last year that neither Fatah nor Hamas need recognize Israel. He has approved legislation granting benefits to the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists. He supports the legally baseless ‘right of return,’ whereby Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants would flood Israel and which is incompatible with Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. He has declared that ‘the Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path’ and that Palestinians would never change the principles and goals of Yasser Arafat. Whatever else he is, Abbas is not a moderate or peace-maker.

“The spontaneous and open mourning for Saddam Hussein within the PA only underscores the fact that America’s enemies and Israel’s enemies are cut from the same cloth and that Palestinians feel great affection for the murderous dictator who brought so much grief and suffering to the Middle East. As so often in their history, Palestinian Arabs have made alliances with the most brutal and savage regimes, as long as these regimes supported their war against the Jews — Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Middle Eastern despots like Saddam.

“The Bush Administration has announced that it will provide $150 million in aid to Abbas. We strongly urge the President to rescind this decision in light of Abbas’ past record as well as his strong and unambiguous support for Saddam. It is often argued by Palestinian apologists that Palestinians are not part of the wider Islamist terror campaign or other anti-American regimes and groups, but these official and popular Palestinian demonstrations and ceremonies honoring Saddam, a brutal aggressor, mass-murderer, supporter of terrorism and opponent of the United States, show that the Palestinian Arabs are on the wrong side in the war of terror and the regimes that sponsor it in addition to being virulently hostile to Israel’s existence.”

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