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Abbas sets positive example for world leaders

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

The results of the Palestinian Authority matriculation exams were recently released and as an expression of the importance of education, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas personally phoned students who excelled. Among those who received calls were a visually impaired student, triplets and quadruplets. In his calls, Abbas promised that the PA would fund their higher education.

Abbas personally congratulating students who excelled in their studies and guaranteeing to pay the expenses of university studies, is a welcome change from previous years’ message to students, when the PA used the matriculation ceremonies to encourage martyrdom and congratulate students (and their families) who were killed while carrying out terrorist attacks. In 2016, the PA glorified the teenage terrorists who became Martyrs, calling theirs "the path to excellence" and "the great victory." (See below.)

The following are examples of Abbas’ different approach this year, promising to fund the university education of the students who excelled in their matriculation exams:

Posted text: “His Honor [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas guarantees a university education for a visually impaired student from Yatta who earned a grade average of 92%.”

A video in the Facebook post shows Abbas making a telephone call from his office:

Student: “May Allah honor Your Honor. And praise Allah, all of Jerusalem-”
Abbas: “May God protect you, give you success, and give you health… What do you want to continue [to study]?”
Student: “I want to study… translation and history.”
Abbas: “History and translation, it’s decided. You will study history and translation, and we – everything is on us… You will not worry about the expenses for studying.”

[Official PA TV Facebook page, July 13, 2020]

Contacting the triplets, Abbas had a similar message:

Posted text: “[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] scholarship for triplets in the Gaza Strip”

The video accompanying the post shows the family in the Gaza Strip speaking with Abbas by phone:

Abbas: “May they succeed with great distinction. We take pride in this, and I want to tell you: We will bring the three children to university studies, Allah willing… And like they succeeded in high school, they will succeed in university and bring honor to you and to us all.” 

[Official PA TV Facebook page, July 13, 2020]

The quadruplets who received the good news about a free university education from Abbas intend to study medicine, engineering, education, and art:

Posted text: “Behind the scenes – how the family of quadruplets received the news of [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] guaranteeing their higher education.”

Abbas: “Hello Abu Ahmed, how are you doing?”… May your four [children] succeed with distinction.”
Father: “May Allah bless you, Mister President.”
Abbas: “And I want to bless you... that all four will succeed with the same level of distinction. Allah willing, all four [will study] at universities.”
 

[Official PA TV Facebook page, July 13, 2020]

According to the PA Ministry of Education, of the 77,539 students who took the matriculation exams, 55,302 passed. The highest pass rates were recorded in the science and technology majors.

As mentioned, in 2016, in the wake of the PA instigated knife-terror attacks, Palestinian Media Watch exposed that the announcement of the official PA news agency WAFA regarding the results of the matriculation exams focused on those teenagers who had not finished their exams but had been killed in the terror wave, most while committing terror attacks. The PA glorified the teenage terrorists who missed their exams, and instead of criticizing their terror, put them on a pedestal saying that their teenage Martyrdom was "the path to excellence" and "the great victory":

"The day of the publication of high school matriculation exam results is known as a day of long expectation, and as a first step in the realization of the aspirations... Some of them are disappointed because they did not receive the grade they hoped for or did not succeed. Some of them view this day as the day of their birth and the start of their path in life, work, and building. However, the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and their relatives find themselves proud of the Martyrdom (Shahada, note play on words, also means "certificate") that their children achieved with the Creator and in the homeland...
Sixteen [students] succeeded [in achieving] the Martyrdom (Shahada) of the homeland and withstanding its difficult tests, for death as a Martyr is the path to excellence and greatness, and the path of those who know how to reach the great victory..."

[WAFA (official PA news agency), July 11, 2016;
official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 12, 2016]

Earlier this year, having identified the systematic abuse of Palestinian children, PMW released a special report calling on the United Nations Children’s organization, UNICEF to recognize and label the PA as a recruiter of child soldiers/terrorists.

The report included dozens of examples showing how the PA indoctrinates Palestinian children to hate Jews and Israel; to aspire to the destruction of Israel; brainwashes Palestinian children to admire murderers; weaponizes Palestinian children and promotes their participation in violence. The report further showed how the PA also pays substantial financial rewards to the child terrorists. Damningly, PMW’s report also shows how the PA leadership openly admits that the child terrorists are the PA’s “soldiers.”

For the sake of Palestinian children, PMW hopes that Abbas’ calls to the excellent students are more than a publicity stunt, but rather signal a true change in PA attitudes towards their children.