There they go again. Palestinian Media Watch reports that the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, announced Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan for an upcoming fencing tournament for youth named after terror chieftain Abu Jihad.
You read right. Salam Fayyad, the man who is constantly touted by Western leaders as a “moderate” and a “peace advocate,” is heading up a tournament that glorifies mass murderer Abu Jihad.
A founder and longtime leader of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, Abu Jihad (real name: Khalil al-Wazir) had a long resume of atrocities on his resume, including planning the hostage taking at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1975 in which eight hostages and two Israeli soldiers were killed, until his career was cut short by an assassination in 1988.
Funny: The U.S. media played up ex-President Bill Clinton’s warning about the dangers of hateful rhetoric here in America on the anniversary of Oklahoma City. But our Middle East policy-makers don’t seem to worry much about the P.A.’s far more active promotion of violence.
P.A. newspapers, radio stations, and school textbooks routinely demonize Jews as insects, animals, terrorists, Nazis — and demons.
During Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to the region in March, the P.A. defended a decision by the municipality of Ramallah, its capital city, to name a public square in the El Bireh neighborhood after notorious terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. She was one of the leaders of a terror group that murdered Gail Rubin — a relative of the late Connecticut Sen. Abe Ribicoff — and 37 Israeli bus passengers in another attack devised by Abu Jihad.
That outrage was drowned out in all the furor over the Israeli announcement of construction in an east Jerusalem neighborhood that the P.A. has its eyes on. Eventually, the Obama administration expressed some mild disapproval of the P.A. action. But while anger over the Israeli building generated lists of specific U.S. demands for Israeli concessions, the response to the Palestinians contained no demands, no deadlines, no consequences of any kind.
The square in Ramallah and the fencing tournament join a long list of schools, summer camps, streets, and computer centers named after terrorists in P.A.-controlled territory.
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said on April 8 that the P.A.’s policy of publicly glorifying terrorists “must end.” Good words, but where’s the beef? The deadline? The consequences for not going along?
Crowley made his statement the day after President Obama signed an order to continue U.S. financial aid to the P.A. — now more than $500 million a year.
“The words we use really do matter,” said Bill Clinton three days prior to the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Yes, they do. The words of the Palestinian Authority — on its street signs, in its newspapers, on the banners at its fencing tournaments — really do matter.
When will the Obama administration take meaningful steps to change them?