Abbas Adviser: “Blessings to the souls of our Shahids (Martyrs), whom we will not forget – not for the sake of a grant, not for the sake of a deal…”
August 1, 2011


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has renewed its call for President Barack Obama to terminate U.S. funding of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) – which recently signed a unity government agreement with the ‘kill the Jews’ Hamas terrorist organization – following statements from Abbas adviser, Sabri Saidam, defending the long-standing PA practice of honoring shahids “martyrs” [“martyrs,”  i.e., terrorists who were killed in the course of murdering, or attempting to murder, Jews]. Saidam repudiated the idea that the PA should cease doing so because of the displeasure of the PA’s international donors.


In an article in the PA official mouthpiece, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Saidam wrote, “We have named streets after leaders who are not of our people, and have marked the birthdays of other heroes who are not from our society, as a sign of honor and esteem for them. This in itself is good and admirable, but there must be equal or even greater zeal for the heritage of our own struggle. How many of our young children and school pupils know of Abu Ali Iyad [the first head of the Fatah terrorist group military operations, appointed in 1966 and responsible for numerous terrorist attacks], Abd Al-Fatah Hamoud [a founding member of Fatah], Ahmad Al-Shuqeiri [first chairman of the PLO], and others like them? What is their position on our study curriculum? How it pains me to see people who view our Shahids (Martyrs) as a burden because the donors will be angry and some countries will complain, or because economic and everyday interests will be harmed… Blessings to the souls of our Shahids, whom we will not forget – not for the sake of a grant, not for the sake of a deal, and not for the sake of a position” (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 19, 2011, translation in ‘Abbas’ advisor: PA should honor “Martyrs,”’ Palestinian Media Watch bulletin, July 31, 2011).


ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “We now have clear testimony from a senior adviser to Mahmoud Abbas that, not only does the PA glorify terrorism and incite Palestinians to perpetrate it, but that it regards it as a priority that must not be discarded. Rather than fulfill its signed Oslo commitments to end terror and to cease glorifying its practitioners, the PA basically says to the U.S. and the Europeans, who have given the PA billions of dollars over the years, that they can keep their money.


“The ZOA has long argued that all aid to the PA should be terminated until and unless the PA fulfills its commitment under Oslo to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA media, mosques, schools and youth camps.


“The PA is a regime that incites terror and which funds and honors dead or jailed terrorists and their families. There is no discernible reason for American taxpayers to finance it.”


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