Dedication is slap in the face to US government and Congress, which fought against the dedication and condemned it
by Itamar Marcus
Last week, the Palestinian Authority celebrated the anniversary of the Coastal Road Massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 37 Israeli civilians, by dedicating a monument in a square in Ramallah to terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led the bus hijacking in 1978.
Mughrabi Square is adorned with a large monument in the shape of what the PA tells its people is "Palestine" - a map that includes all of the State of Israel. In the center of the monument, there is an image of terrorist Mughrabi holding a rifle.
PA TV News broadcast the message of a cleric from the event, indicating that the lesson that Palestinians take from the Mughrabi attack is that murder is the way to "liberate the homeland":
"Dalal, God bless her, this female Martyr, she taught us how we can liberate the homeland... We all see her as a model and as a symbol for us."
This glorification of murder is not only odious; it is also a slap in the face to the Israeli and US governments who fought against this act. In 2010, Palestinian Media Watch first reported that the Palestinian Authority intended to name the square after Mughrabi. US Vice President Biden happened to be in Israel at the time, and Israeli news reported that PM Netanyahu asked Biden to put pressure on the PA to cancel the event. Abbas gave in and cancelled the event, although Fatah officials participated in a "popular inauguration."
Twenty members of US Congress then signed a letter to Abbas condemning the terror glorification:
"Dear President Abbas,
We are writing to express our concern over reports that the Palestinian Authority was planning to honor Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered 38 innocent people in cold blood - including an American citizen - on the 32nd anniversary of this horrific terror attack...
Honoring a terrorist who took the lives of so many innocent people will do nothing to further the peace process or instill in new generations of Israelis and Palestinians the conviction that peaceful coexistence is possible. Nor will young Palestinians be ennobled by venerating a murderer of civilians as a role model. We urge you to rescind the naming of the circle for Mughrabi and work to ensure an end to incitement and to the glorification of terrorism."
(See full letter below)
Secretary of State Clinton likewise condemned it, saying that naming "a square after a terrorist who murdered innocent Israelis" was "wrong and must be condemned." [Clinton speech to AIPAC, March 22, 2010]
However, last week, while Israel was busy with upcoming elections and the US focused on Iran and Islamic State, the PA chose to glorify this mass murderer of Israeli civilians.
The following is the transcript of the report that appeared on PA TV News:
PA TV newsreader: "On the 37th anniversary of her Martyrdom, 'Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Square' was inaugurated in Al-Sraa't in the Ramallah and El-Bireh District. The participants in the opening event said that this act is a gesture to the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi, to give her a portion of her reward, and so this square will serve as witness that our people will not forget its heroes and fighters."
Rabiha Dhiab, former Minister of Women's Affairs: "It is an eternal day and a painful anniversary, but [it also] gives us energy, honor and power on this day, the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the fighter commander Dalal Mughrabi. She who commanded a squad of self-sacrificing fighters, defined "return" [of refugees] in her own unique way and returned to Palestine to liberate Palestine."
Orthodox Christian cleric: "Dalal, God bless her, this female Martyr, she taught us how to liberate the homeland. She, who founded the Republic of Palestine on one of the buses of Palestine. We all see her as a model and as a symbol for us."
[Official PA TV, March 11, 2015]
PMW reported Fatah's announcement last week, the day before the dedication:
"We will mark the anniversary of the heroic coastal operation (i.e., the Coastal Road Massacre), which was led by Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi, and the deaths as Martyrs of Dalal and her heroic friends, at 3:30 p.m. across from Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Square in Ramallah."
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," March 10, 2015]
The following is the letter from US Congress members to Abbas condemning Dalal Mughrabi square:
PMW Note: In March 1978, a group of Fatah terrorists from Lebanon hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway. Confronted by the Israeli army, the terrorists killed many of the passengers on the bus, in total 37 civilians,12 of them children, and wounded more than 70. The attack is known in Israel as the Coastal Road Massacre.