PMW in the Media
Fox News on PA glorification of terrorist Abdallah Barghouti, exposed by PMW
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Palestinian leadership lauds infamous terrorist
as peace talks loom with Israel

by Joshua Rhett Miller

Just as hopes emerge for new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the official Facebook page of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah political party is lauding a convicted terrorist for killing 61 “Zionists” in a series of attacks.

The two sides' perceptions of Abdallah Barghouti, the bomb-making mastermind behind the infamous 2001 Sbarro attack and at least four other suicide bombings, is as good a measure as any for how far apart they are. Arrested in 2003, Barghouti is serving 67 life terms in solitary confinement in an Israeli prison. But to the party that rules the West Bank, Barghouti is a hero.

"The brave prisoner, Abdallah Barghouti, who has the longest [prison] sentence in the history of the Palestinian cause," reads the Facebook page, first reported on by Palestinian Media Watch.

Through its social media presence, Fatah glorifies five of the suicide bombings Barghouti organized between 2000 and 2003, including the attack at a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem that killed 15 people on Aug. 9, 2001.

The bombings were “self-sacrificing activity” and “martyrdom-seeking operations,” according to the Facebook page.

James Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said he found the posting to be “extremely troubling” ahead of possible peace talks.

“It’s extremely troubling that Fatah, which is purportedly committed to peace with Israel, continues to not only laud past terrorists, but to incite future terrorist attacks at the same time it’s supposedly negotiating the possibility of talks,” Phillips told FoxNews.com. “This just underscores the questionable commitment to genuine peace by Palestinian organizations that some say are ready for peace.”

The posting, Phillips said, is “one more instance” of confusing, sometimes conflicting messages emanating from Palestine. “It’s another example of Palestinian leaders saying one thing in English that they know Westerners want to hear and another thing in Arabic to their own followers to continue terrorism against Israel,” he continued. [...]