Skip to main content

PMW findings prominent in feature article in JNS on PA glorification of terror

Israel Kasnett  |
PMW findings prominent in feature article in JNS
on PA glorification of terror

Impossible to promote peace
when Palestinians are teaching hate
Until the Palestinian Authority ends youth incitement in textbooks, summer camps and in its general culture—and until European and other governments whose aid money funds such provocation do something about it—the cycle of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish violence will continue unabated, even while watchdog organizations monitor such actions.

Palestinian incitement against Israel runs rampant in the West Bank and Gaza, with Palestinian school textbooks full of hatred and including maps of the Middle East often minus Israel. The Palestinian Authority constantly incites against Israel in its television and radio programs, so it comes as no surprise that Palestinian society regards Israelis as the enemy.

That said, it’s also no shock that many Palestinians have carried out terrorist attacks on Israelis. One attack, in particular, stands out for Micah Avni.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on a beautiful Tuesday morning on Oct. 13, 2015, the No. 78 Egged bus turned the corner in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. When it stopped at the bus stop, two Palestinian men—Baha Alyan and Bilal Abu Ghanem, both residents from the adjacent neighborhood Jabel Mukaber—boarded the bus, one armed with a gun and the other with a knife. Shortly afterwards, they started indiscriminately shooting and stabbing passengers. A security guard at the scene was able to overpower and kill Alyan. Ghanem locked the bus doors in an attempt to stop security forces from boarding—and to stop passengers from fleeing. Police officers who had arrived at the scene opened fire at him from outside the bus. Shortly after, he was arrested and eventually jailed.

Avni’s father, Richard Lakin, 76, was a passenger on that bus. He was shot in the head and stabbed multiple times. He was evacuated by an emergency medical team and hospitalized in the intensive-care unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, where he underwent multiple surgeries. He died two weeks later on Oct. 27.

Lakin was a former principal at Hopewell Elementary School in Glastonbury, Conn. He wrote a book in 2007 titled Teaching as an Act of Love: Thoughts and Reflections of a Former Teacher, Principal and Kid. Upon moving to Israel, 32 years earlier, he and his wife opened a business focused on teaching English to people of all ages and backgrounds, including many Palestinian children from the area. He was still teaching up until the day of the attack.

Turning murderers into heroes’

Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli research institute that studies Palestinian society from a broad range of perspectives, discovered that a Palestinian public library in El-Bireh, a city 15 kilometers north of Jerusalem, recently held what it called a “cultural evening” titled “In the Presence of the Martyrs,” at which it honored four terrorists. Among them was Alyan.

Nan Jacques Zilberdik, a senior analyst at Palestinian Media Watch, told JNS “I’m not surprised to see that a Palestinian library honors murderer Baha Alyan. The Palestinian Authority has turned Alyan into a role model for Palestinian society since he murdered three Israelis. Turning murderers into heroes is common practice by P.A. leaders. The fact that Alyan once organized a reading event gave him added value for the P.A. They have been able to use a terrorist murderer to promote the importance of reading at universities and at public events. …
“The P.A. is teaching its kids that murdering Israelis and Jews is as basic a value as reading. I’m appalled, but unfortunately not surprised, that the P.A. contaminates the value of reading with their twisted value of killing Israelis.”

Avni is incensed that the P.A. glorifies terrorists, especially the one who killed his father. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas met with Alyan’s father and commended his actions on P.A. TV. The P.A. also pays Alyan a monthly stipend and even established a summer camp in his name.

Avni told JNS that there have been “numerous lectures at different universities in the P.A. and tons of memorial pages have been created online glorifying Alyan and teaching Palestinian students and children to hate and murder, educating them to kill Jews and Israelis.”

The fact that a Palestinian library was used for incitement especially bothers Avni since his father utilized libraries to teach peace.

“Taking this [incitement] into a library blew my mind,” he said. “My father loved teaching children to read and to love books. The Hopewell school set up a library where it teaches children kindness. If you juxtapose this with the library in the P.A., it drives home the moral challenge of us as a people who are educating for peace, and tragically, the P.A. is educating its children to hate and kill. With this vicious cycle of hatred and killing, you have to go to the root of it. The library is the core of that education.”

RelatedView all ❯