Daily Israel Report

Abbas Calls Terrorists "Our Heroes"

Just two days after PM Olmert called him a "very decent human being" who is "opposed to terror," PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas call Palestinian terrorists "our heroes."
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/26/2006, 8:04 AM / Last Update: 5/26/2006, 10:49 AM

While Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, takes on the position of "moderate" and attempts to convince Hamas to accept Judea and Samaria for now, his words to audiences at home present a different picture.

Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that monitors and reports on anti-Israel hatred in the PA media, reveals that Abbas twice this week referred to Arab terrorists serving "tens of life sentences" in Israeli jails as "our heroes." PMW's Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook report that the terrorists referred to are "arch-terrorists who have personally killed tens of Israelis and are sentenced to one life sentence for each murder."

Speaking on PA TV on May 23 about the jailed terrorists' recent "conciliation plan" between Fatah and Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas expressed his satisfaction with the initiative of those he called "our brothers, our jailed heroes... [their] initiative proves that these heroes, who are sentenced to tens of life sentences, feel too that the homeland is in danger..."

Noting that the document calls for an Arab state on "all territories occupied in 1967," Abbas said, "We must stop dreaming and accept what we can take now. Let us not speak of dreams. Let us take the Palestinian state on the ’67 borders."

"Clearly," PMW concludes, "Abbas rejects terror for tactical reasons only, and not because it is immoral... Abbas has always been careful, in Arabic, not to condemn terror because it is evil or immoral. He has criticized suicide terror only because it hurts the PA cause, as he did after the December 2005 suicide attack that killed five in Netanya."

Click here to read PMW's bulletin, PA on Terror: 'Condemns' on paper, Praises in practice.

"Israeli and Western leaders are so eager to find a viable partner for peace," write Marcus and Crook, "that they often mistake Palestinian Authority leaders' 'lip service' in English as statements of truly peaceful intentions. But as PMW has reported for the past decade, the only way to understand these leaders' real opinions is to pay attention to what they are telling their own people in Arabic. These are the only messages that count."

Olmert has said that he believes that Abu Mazen of Fatah has no control over events in the Palestinian Authority, due to the fact that the rival organization, Hamas, won the recent elections. Despite this, under pressure both abroad and at home, Olmert has agreed to meet with Abu Mazen in the near future.