PA's Image Problem of Ululating Terrorist Mothers

Dead terrorist's mother explains: 'we ululate for our children because they marry virgins in Heaven,' but PA official warns of bad PR.

Ari Yashar ,

Jerusalem 'martyr' mother (file)
Jerusalem 'martyr' mother (file)
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has a long history of broadcasting images of Palestinian Arab women ululating in cries of joy over their dead "martyr" terrorist relatives, particularly in cases of mothers celebrating the terrorist activities of their children - but one official has warned the custom may be creating a public relations problem.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated a broadcast on official PA TV from late last month, in which the mother of a "martyr" explained the ins-and-outs of the celebratory ululations, saying "it's true what they say that we ululate for our children because our child is going to Heaven to marry the Dark-Eyed Virgins."

"We say 'praise Allah' for everything. It's our duty to give ourselves and our children," said the mother of the dead terrorist, even as she admitted, "praise Allah, it's true that this hurts and that we feel agony and pain. Today, every day and every moment, I miss my son. I'll never forget my son."

"It's not that we don't love our children. We do love our children, but also our homeland. We say 'Allah willing' and maintain our resolve," she said.

Her position was backed by Widad Manawil of the General Union of Palestine Workers, who said "we tell all women to learn from the resolve of Palestinian women, from the one bidding her Martyr son farewell and the one welcoming her prisoner son with ululations."

"A nation of barbarians"

However, one PA official recognized how bloodcurdling the ululations are, and how they present the relatives of the dead terrorists and Palestinian Arab culture in general in a bloodthirsty light.

"I am against ululations, against restraining the emotions and against presenting ourselves as a nation of barbarians who don't care about loss and deprivation," said PA Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam. "In psychology, this is called denial, while we Palestinians have learned that it is pride."

She added, "when the world sees us carrying a martyr and hears our ululations, it thinks we have no feelings - especially when it's a child; for when a child dies as a martyr, the first image we publish is of him holding a weapon. The mother must express her feelings, and this is what I tell all the mothers I visit."

Despite her words, Ghannam, who was recently honored by a Philadelphia Councilwoman, has been very active in promoting "a nation of barbarians," honoring countless terrorist murderers guilty of vile acts throughout numerous public statements.

PMW has documented how Ghannam said in a speech "we promise and swear to these mighty ones: we are still (following) your path," going on to rattle off a list of senior terrorists from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PSF).

Her list included "the president and icon, Martyr Yasser Arafat, Dr. George Habash (PFLP founder), comrade Abu Ali Mustafa (head of PFLP), Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Hamas founder), Fathi Shaqaqi (Islamic Jihad founder), Samir Ghosheh (Sec.-Gen. of PSF), Abu Jihad (a founder of Fatah) and all the great leaders."

Yassin alone was responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings targeting buses and cafes.