Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to respond to honors for Palestinian killer of U.S. senator’s niece

Did you know that the United States Senate has been underwriting a series of events publicly glorifying a Palestinian terrorist who murdered an American citizenin fact, a senators niece?  Well, it is, and this outrage must come to an end.

The terrorists name is Dalal Mughrabi. On March 9, 1978, she headed a squad of 13 Palestinian terrorists who set out from Lebanon towards Israel, in several small boats. They were members of Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). At the time, Yasser Arafat was chairman of the PLO and Fatah, and Mahmoud Abbas was his second in command. Today, Abbas is chairman of the PLO and Fatah, and president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The terrorists landed on a northern Israeli beach, where Gail Rubin, an American Jewish nature photographer, was taking photos of rare birds. Her work had been exhibited at The Jewish Museum in New York City and other prominent venues. She also happened to be the niece of then U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Connecticut).

One of the terrorists, Hussain Fayadh, later explained to the Lebanese Television station Al-Manar what happened: Sister Dalal al-Mughrabi had a conversation with the American journalist. Before killing her, Dalal asked: How did you enter Palestine? [Rubin] answered: They gave me a visa. Dalal said: Did you get your visa from me, or from Israel? I have the right to this land. Why didnt you come to me? Then Dalal opened fire on her.

Mughrabi, Fayadh, and the others walked to the nearby Coastal Road and hijacked an Israeli bus. They murdered 36 passengers, 12 of them children. Mughrabi was killed by Israeli troops. Fayadh survived, was sentenced to life in jail, but was then released in a prisoner exchange.

On May 29, 2013, the Jerusalem Post revealed that Fayadh had been hired as an adviser to Abbas, which means that some portion of his salary comes from the $500 million that the U.S. governmentwith the Senates approvalsends to Abbass PA each year.

Those U.S. funds are also used in part to finance the PAs ongoing public glorification of Mughrabi. The PA has sports tournaments and summer camps named after her. In 2011, the PA established a Dalal Mughrabi Square in the center of its capital city, Ramallah. Official PA television frequently broadcasts programs depicting Mughrabi as a hero and martyr.

Earlier this month, Abbass Fatah organized a public celebration of Mughrabis birthday. The event was broadcast on Fatahs Al-Awdah TV, which is headed by Fatah spokesman Ahmad Asaf. Students participating in the celebration were interviewed for the program. One said this of the killer of Senator Ribicoffs niece, She is our role model, an example for every Palestinian young woman. Dalal did everything we dream of doing. A second student declared, Dalal Mughrabi is inspiring. She inspires us and gives us the strength to complete the journey after her.

The Al-Awdah reporter cheerily added, Martyr Dalal Mughrabi raised the Palestinian flag from the heart of occupied Palestine. On her birthday we renew the promise to her and its fulfillment. Another student then described the work of the Sisters of Dalal Committee, a branch of the Fatah student movement. She was followed by the director of a PA government agency, the Palestinian Poets and Writers Association, who poetically hailed Gail Rubins murderer as the Purple Gazelle, the Flower of the Land. (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

Here are three steps that the Senate should take in response to this outrageous insult to the memory of one of its members:

1. No U.S. Senator should step foot in Ramallah until the PA changes the name of Mughrabi Park.

2. An amount equivalent to Hussein Fayadhs salary and Al-Awdah TVs annual budget should be deducted from the next installment of U.S. aid to the PA. Perhaps the money would be better spent if it were turned over to the families of Mughrabis victims.

3. The Senate should ask the U.S. Treasury Department to add the officers of Al-Awdah TV and the Sisters of Dalal Committee to the official U.S. list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The list consists of persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism. Surely someone who publicly glorifies a terrorist qualifies as a supporter of terrorism. The designation would prevent those individuals from entering the U.S. and would freeze any assets they have in this country.

These are, of course, just a few initial steps. Much more can be done. But if nothing is doneif the Senate continues to tolerate this outrageit will send a message to terrorists everywhere that they not only can get away with celebrating the murder of a senators niece, but can even get Senate-authorized funding at the same time.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is a candidate on the Religious Zionist slate (www.VoteTorah.org) in the World Zionist Congress elections.
This article can be read online here.

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