Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has publicly promoted the PAs glorification of Jew-killers, affirming an aspect of the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses Palestinian society under the Fatah-controlled PA. In recent days, Abbas PA named a town square in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking, in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were slaughtered. Some weeks earlier, Abbas and the PA honored Mughrabi with a posthumous 50th birthday celebration. In August 2009, Mughrabi was also glorified at Fatahs Conference in Bethlehem.
In publicly defending the honoring of terrorists, Abbas compared the PA decision to name a city square after a terrorist killer with an Israeli decision to name a road after an Israeli victim of terror. He also defended the hunting down of Arabs who sell land to Jews:
They [Israel] say about me that I carry out terrorist activities. What are those terrorist activities? That I search for those who sell land in Jerusalem and chase them. Of course I chase them, and I shall continue to do so. Is that a crime? [Israel says,] Does he [Abbas] not know that they [the PA] named a square after Dalal Mughrabi and he [Abbas] personally went [to the ceremony]? Of course I did not go myself, but I do not deny [the naming]. Of course we want to name a square after her. Okay, what about [murdered Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam] Zeevi? They [Israelis] named a road after him [in the Jordan Valley], near brother Saeb [Erekat, the chief Fatah negotiator], and so on. What is it [that Israel wants]? That we renounce our history? How? We … carried out military activities; can I then later renounce all that we have done? No, I dont renounce it (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 17, 2010, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas equates PAs naming of square after terrorist killer, with Israels naming road after terror victim, Palestinian Media Watch, January 19, 2010).
Abbas also said that there is no difference between Fatah and Hamas except that Fatah-controlled PA is the legitimate authority. He also boasted that the Palestinians have has not offered any concessions from May 1988 until today, thereby openly affirming the failure of the PA to fulfill its signed obligations under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews (Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Abbas: Only Difference from Hamas Is that Fatah Is in Power, Israel National News, January 18, 2010).
In recent weeks, Abbas PA also failed to condemn the most recent murderous attack by Fatahs own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in which an Israeli, Rabbi Meir Chai, was killed in a drive-by shooting. Worse, Abbas himself sent condolences to the families of the three Jew-killers who were subsequently killed by Israeli forces and PA prime minister Salaam Fayyad personally visited the terrorists families and called Rabbi Chais killers martyrs.
Palestinian media reported that the Secretary General of the Presidents Bureau, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, conveyed condolences on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas to the residents of Nablus and to the families of the three Shahids [Martyrs] for the Martyrdom of their sons, who were assassinated by Israeli occupation forces yesterday morning. He conveyed to the fighting families letters of condolences from the President [Abbas] and updated them as to [Abbass] decision to declare them as Shahids [Martyrs] of the Palestinian revolution. Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim said, Without doubt, what the [Israeli] occupation authorities have carried out is a wild and barbaric act and a deliberate, malicious assassination in cold blood (PA TV (Fatah) News, Dec. 27, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas turns 3 latest terrorists into Palestinian heroes, Palestinian Media Watch, December 29, 2009). They made no mention that these people murdered an innocent rabbi and father of seven children.
The PLO news agency WAFA reported that Prime Minister [Fayyad] visits Nablus and conveys condolences to the families of the Shahids (Martyrs). Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad today visited the city of Nablus in the wake of the Israeli military operation, and presented condolences to the families of the three Martyrs who were murdered by the occupation forces. Dr. Fayyad was accompanied by Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Said Abu Ali, leaders of the security agencies, and Police Director-General Major General Hazem Atallah, and they visited the house of mourning, which was held in the Trade Unions compound in the city… The Prime Minister condemned the Israeli military operation in the city (WAFA news agency, December 26, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas turns 3 latest terrorists into Palestinian heroes, Palestinian Media Watch, December 29, 2009).
The Fatah movement as a whole also glorified the dead terrorists: Mahmoud Al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that the occupation murdered these three young men as well as another three in Gaza, in cold blood. He described them as [military] commanders, brave heroes, and fighters (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 27, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas turns 3 latest terrorists into Palestinian heroes, Palestinian Media Watch, December 29, 2009). PA TV ran an image of a Fatah poster honoring the terrorists, which carried the slogan, With honor and admiration to those who are more honored than all of us.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, Mahmoud Abbas open, public and proud admission that he and the PA glorify Jew-killers is shocking and makes crystal clear that Abbas is in the same league as Arafat and Hamas when it comes to having no interest in making peace with the Jewish state. The ZOA has long maintained that Mahmoud Abbas, the PA that he heads and the Fatah party that controls it and which he co-founded, are unreconstructed supporters of terrorism and not genuine moderates and peace makers. Now we have an explicit refusal by Abbas to disown the glorification of terrorism by the PA to which much of the international community, including the United States, gives billions of dollars annually. We also have his explicit admission that there is no practical difference between Fatah and Hamas, whose respective constitutions call for the destruction of Israel and the use of terrorism against it, except that Fatah is in power. And we also have his boast that the Palestinians have made no actual concession in over twenty years. If anything could expose the utter hollowness of a phony peace process, this it.
Abbas refusal to disown the honoring of terrorists has clearly been prompted by the recent raising of the issue of Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder by the Netanyahu government with the Obama Administration, a development which ZOA strongly endorsed. Abbas response to the emergence of this issue has unusual importance: he has served notice that Palestinians will not cease inciting hatred and violence against Jews, even though President Obama himself has said on more than one occasion that the Palestinians must do this in order for peace to be possible.
This being the case, it is incumbent upon all civilized people to call Abbas and Fayyad evil leaders of an evil regime. The latest evidence of Abbas obscene and shameless defense of the honoring of terrorists conclusively demonstrates this fact. A Palestinian leader who neither arrests terrorists nor ceases to honor them but on the contrary, demands their release by Israel is not one who will lead Palestinians on a new path of peace and reconciliation.