An op-ed I have written discussing the continuing trend in the Palestinian Authority to pay tribute to mass murderers is now circulating in the Jewish press throughout the United States. As a result, I've been invited by Jay Bernstein of Shalom USA radio in Baltimore to be his guest on the opening segment of the Sunday morning radio program at 8:30 AM. You can hear the interview on the web here.
Here's the op-ed as it appears on-line:
Palestinian Hate, U.S. Silence
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 Yasir 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 pundits and policymakers don't seem to worry much about the PA's far more active promotion of violence.
PA newspapers, radio stations and school textbooks routinely characterize Jews as insects, animals, terrorists, Nazis and demons.
During Vice President Joseph Biden's visit to the region last month, the PA named a public square in the El Bireh neighborhood of its capital city, Ramallah, after the notorious terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. She was one of the leaders of a terror group that murdered Gail Rubin - a relative of the late former senator 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 the PA has its eyes on. Eventually, the Obama administration expressed some mild disapproval of the PA 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 PA-controlled territory.
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said last week that the PA'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 PA - now more than $500 million a year.
"The words we use really do matter," Bill Clinton said last week. 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?
Stephen M. Flatow is founder of the blog Terror Victims' Voice. His daughter Alisa was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza in 1995.