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Glorifying Terror

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden told a Tel Aviv University audience the furor over Israel's announcement for 1600 new apartments in a Jerusalem was behind him.

"I appreciate, by the way, the response given by the Prime Minister, who today is putting in place a process to prevent the recurrence that sort of event, and who clarified that the beginning of actual construction of this particular project would likely take several years," he said. "That is significant, because it gives negotiations the time to resolve this as well as other issues."

The controversy clouded Biden's visit; embarrassed Israeli Prime Minister and gave the Palestinian leadership a huge public relations boost with the U.S., E.U. and many other nations condemning Israel for its announcement. What it did obscure was a less well known controversy.

Israel had asked the U.S. to pressure the Palestinian Authority to stop a ceremony honoring Dalal Mughrabi on Thursday. It might seem innocuous but Mughrabi is no ordinary Palestinian. She and other terrorists hijacked a bus in 1978 and killed 37 Israelis, one of the worst terror attacks in Israel’s history. Today would have been her 50th birthday and the P.A. wanted to honor her by naming a square after her in Ramallah.

One of P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas aides called her a “bridge to our freedom.” Here’s his full quote:

"The Palestinian woman is the mother, the sister, the wife, the companion and partner [of the man] in areas of education, resilience, building and struggle and therefore she knows all the forms of the struggle and its sufferings. Starting with the first woman Martyr (Shahida) Shadia Abu Ghazaleh through the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and ending with the endless convoy of female and male Martyrs who all went to Paradise as they turned their blood into a bridge over which we pass on the way to our freedom, independence and national liberation from the burden of the occupation." Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 9, 2010.

We talked with Itamar Marcus, the head of the Palestinian Media Watch who first exposed this celebration. If you would like to read more about this you can see their website here.

On his website, Marcus documents the glorification of Mughrabi and other martyrs in the official Palestinian media. He says it reflects the kind of values that permeate Palestinian society.

These values of glorifying terror and terrorists are often out of sight of much of the Western media and not visible at photo ops with Palestinian leaders and visiting dignitaries like Vice President Biden. But this kind of glorification of terrorists in Palestinian society helps indoctrinate one more generation of Palestinians into terror.

Marcus – who has studied this kind of incitement for more than a decade – believes genuine peace will come when Palestinian society goes through a detoxification of values that glorify terror and terrorists.