Monday, March 9, 2015

The French get it right, demand extradition of a murderer.

Palestinian Authority sheltering Paris terror suspect

By Stephen M. Flatow/

After January’s Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris, the Obama administration pledged to assist the French authorities in every way possible. Now it has a chance to make good on that promise.

The French government recently issued arrest warrants for three Palestinian terrorists involved in an earlier attack on a Jewish restaurant in Paris—and one of them is being sheltered by the Palestinian Authority (PA). That earlier attack should be of particular interest to the United States government, since two American citizens were among the victims.

On August 9, 1982, Palestinian terrorists firing submachine guns and hurling hand grenades attacked lunchtime diners at the Jo Goldenberg Restaurant, in the Jewish quarter of Paris. Six people were murdered, 22 wounded. Among the fatalities were two women from Chicago: 66-year-old Grace Cutler and 31-year-old Ann Van Zanten, a curator at the Chicago Historical Society.

If the names Grace Cutler and Ann Van Zanten are not familiar to you, don’t be surprised. They are among the more than 100 Americans who have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the 1960s but have been almost completely forgotten. They are not even mentioned on the U.S. State Department’s website, where rewards are offered for information leading to the capture of killers of Americans abroad.

Sadly, the State Department has never shown any serious interest in bringing Palestinian killers to justice. Evidently it fears that putting such terrorists behind bars in America would anger the PA and create a crisis in American-Palestinian relations. And so justice remains trampled in the dust.

The only instance in which the U.S. government issued an arrest warrant in such a case was in the wake of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro, and the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer. That, however, was before the U.S. had a relationship with the Palestine Liberation Organization and before the PA existed.

Eight years later, the Oslo accords were signed, the PA was established, and the U.S. began pouring $500 million per year into the new Palestinian regime. As part of the deal, veteran terrorists such as Achille Lauro mastermind Mohammed Abbas were declared “moderate” and permitted to move to PA-controlled territory.

When members of Congress protested, the Bill Clinton administration lamely claimed that the statute of limitations had expired on prosecuting Abbas. The Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service weighed in, with a detailed report in 1996 which concluded that since Mohammed Abbas was fugitive from justice, the statute of limitations did not apply. Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the American Jewish leadership pursued the issue.

As the years passed, and the number of American victims of Palestinian terrorism increased, Jewish leaders began to take an interest in the issue. In August 2002, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations officially called on the U.S. government to demand that the PA surrender suspects in such attacks. The George W. Bush administration ignored that request and so far, the Obama administration has, too. But it remains the official position of the organized Jewish leadership.

Now, the French authorities have forced the issue by issuing arrest warrants for the three killers in the 1982 Jo Goldenberg attack. The suspects’ names were not announced, but their places of residence were. One lives in Ramallah, the capital of the PA. Given the enormous size of the PA police, security, and intelligence forces—among the largest per capita in the world—it is inconceivable that the PA does not know how to find him.

If PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not prepared to hand the terrorist over to the French, the U.S. should issue its own warrant for his arrest, since Americans were among those murdered. If Abbas claims that the PA police are unable to locate him, the FBI should send its agents to Ramallah to search for him. And the organized Jewish leadership should do everything in its power to galvanize the Obama administration to act.

(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 ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.)

You read this article here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What to do about Ramallah

A comment about the recent insult suffered by a NYC Councilman

We all share the outrage of New York City Councilman David Greenfield at being asked by U.S. diplomats to remove his yarmulke during a visit to Ramallah on Sunday.

Greenfield and other City Council members were in Israel on a solidarity mission sponsored by a major New York Jewish organization.

Perhaps it’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah – but not just because of the yarmulke incident.

Four years ago, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the Palestinian Authority established a Dalal Mughrabi Square in the center of Ramallah, which is the PA’s capital city.

Every New York City Councilman, and every New York-based Jewish organization, should be thoroughly familiar with the late Dalal Mughrabi, since she was the leader of one of the most notorious Palestinian terrorist attacks in which a New Yorker was murdered.

On March 9, 1978, Mughrabi led a squad of 13 Palestinian terrorists who set out from Lebanon towards Israel, in small boats. They were members of Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. At the time, Mahmoud Abbas – today the chairman of the Palestinian Authority – was the PLO’s second in command.

The terrorists landed on a northern Israeli beach, where Gail Rubin, a Jewish nature photographer from Manhattan, 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 U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Connecticut).

One of the terrorists, Hussain Fayadh, was later interviewed by the Lebanese Television station Al-Manar and recalled 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 didn’t you come to me?’ Then Dalal opened fire on her.”

Mughrabi, Fayadh, and their 11 fellow gangsters then walked over to the nearby Coastal Road and hijacked an Israeli bus. During the course of the attack they murdered 36 passengers, 12 of them children. Mughrabi herself was killed by Israeli troops.

Fayadh survived, was sentenced to life in jail, but then released in a prisoner exchange. In 2013, he was hired as an adviser to PA chairman Abbas. (Meaning that he is paid, at least in part, from the $500 million the U.S. government sends Abbas each year.)

The Dalal Mughrabi Park in Ramallah is just one of the many ways in which the Palestinian Authority glorifies Gail Rubin’s murderer. The PA has sports tournaments and summer camps named after her. Official PA Television frequently broadcasts programs depicting Mughrabi as a hero and martyr.

Earlier this year, Abbas’s Fatah organized a public celebration of Mughrabi’s birthday. The event was broadcast on Fatah’s Al-Awdah TV. Students participating in the celebration were interviewed for the program. One of them said this of the killer: “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 director of a PA government agency, the Palestinian Poets and Writers Association, chimed in that Mughrabi is “the Purple Gazelle, the Flower of the Land.” (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

I do not know what moved a prominent New York Jewish organization to sponsor a trip that included a visit to Ramallah. Gail Rubin’s memory deserves better. Here are a few ways in which Gail might be honored:

* New York’s Jewish organizations should announce they will not sponsor any visits to Ramallah until the name of Dalal Mughrabi Park is changed to Gail Rubin Park.

* Jewish leaders should pledge to refrain from meeting with Mahmoud Abbas until he fires Hussain Fayadh, the accomplice to Gail’s murder.

* Councilman Greenfield and his colleagues on the New York City Council should name the block that includes 115 East 65th Street in Manhattan “Honorary Gail Rubin Place.” That’s where the “State of Palestine Observer Mission to the United Nations” is situated.

Well, that's what I think.

You can read this on-line here.