Monday, August 01, 2011

PA continues to honor "Martyrs" and not worry about donors' grants

From PMW Bulletin, 31 July 2011, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik:

Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas' advisor, Sabri Saidam, recently defended the PA's honoring of Palestinian "Martyrs" by naming streets after them and marking their birthdays. Palestinian Media Watch has reported on the PA policy of turning terrorists into role models by naming events and places after them. Abbas' advisor said Palestinians should continue this practice and not be concerned about the condemnation from foreign countries or the possibility that countries who support the PA financially will cut funding:

"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..."

Earlier this year, Saidam expressed strong support for naming a square after the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi whose bus hijacking killed 37 Israeli civilians in 1978. The official PA daily reported that he "emphasized that the anniversary of Dalal's Martyrdom-seeking (i.e., her terror attack) should be made greater by inaugurating a [city] square in her name." Following a popular inauguration of the "Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Square," Saidam told Agence France-Presse:

"Every one of us has tried in his own way to express his pride in this Shahida [Martyr Dalal Mughrabi]."

In the recent article he wrote in the official PA daily, he also expressed sorrow over the fact that some Palestinians view the Martyrs "as a burden" and do not wish to commemorate them out of fear of evoking international condemnation:

"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."

Saidam lamented that Palestinian youth don't know the names of past leaders, and mentioned three Fatah leaders from the 1960s: Abu Ali Iyad, Abd Al-Fatah Hamoud, Ahmad Al-Shuqeiri. Abu Ali Iyad was appointed head of Fatah military operations in 1966, and was responsible for several terror attacks. Abd Al-Fatah Hamoud was one of the founding members of Fatah and Ahmad Al-Shuqeiri was the first chairman of the PLO.

When Palestinian Media Watch publicized the PA's plans to inaugurate a square named after Mughrabi in 2010, international disapproval and criticism forced the PA to cancel the inauguration. However, Fatah went ahead and held informal inaugurations in 2010 and 2011.

As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, the PA has named numerous places and events after Dalal Mughrabi....
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