The very week that the Biden Administration announced that it is sending hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Arabs, the Palestinian Authority publicly lauded three terrorists who masterminded the brutal murder of an American citizen and ten other civilians.
I must ask:
-Is the PA so depraved that it genuinely adores people who savagely torture and kill innocent civilians?
-Is the PA so contemptuous of the United States that it assumes there will be no consequences for praising murderers of Americans?
-Is the PA convinced that groups such as J Street and B’Tselem are so slavishly committed to the Palestinian cause, that they will continue lobbying in support of the PA, no matter how low the PA stoops?
Apparently the answer to all three questions is “yes.”
Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch, we know that on April 10, the PA’s official television station and newspaper commemorated the anniversary of Israel’s assassination of three of the masterminds of the Munich Olympics massacre.
PA TV’s reporter declared that Abu Yusuf Al-Najjar, Kamal Nasser, and Kamal Adwan were “three of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian revolution, through whose death as Martyrs the Fatah movement and the revolution presented the most spectacular aspects of pride, glory and loyalty.” He called them “three righteous Martyrs,” and said that “the stories of [their] lives that emit a pleasant aroma remain present, so that they will always be the compass of preserving the national principles.”
That same day, the PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, enthusiastically praised the three mass-murderers for “their outstanding activity in the Palestinian resistance,” specifically citing “their participation in planning the Munich operation [in 1972].”
Eleven Israeli athletes were massacred in the Munich attack. One of them was an American Jewish weightlifter who was a member of the Israeli team, David Berger of Cleveland.
For those who have forgotten—and I fear that too many of us have—it was just six years ago that the New York Times published a major expose titled “Long-Hidden Details Reveal Cruelty of 1972 Munich Attackers.” The Times disclosed that Berger and the other victims were not merely murdered. They were also tortured and mutilated, something that was verified in a series of ghastly photographs of the corpses. The Times included this line in its article: “The New York Times reviewed the photographs but has chosen not to publish them because of their graphic nature.”
This is the attack that the Palestinian Authority, to this very day, hails as “glorious resistance.” This is the savagery whose masterminds the PA declares to be “righteous martyrs.”
Apologists for the Palestinian cause make a lot of excuses for the behavior of Palestinian Arab terrorists. There are no excuses for this. Civilized people—the kind with whom one can reach durable peace agreements—do not celebrate such barbarism. No. They declare, “We are ashamed that our fellow-Palestinian Arabs did that. We reject such behavior. We denounce them. We will not pay monetary rewards to their families.”
Civilized people do not proclaim their love and admiration for torturers and killers. Civilized people do not name streets and parks after such savages.
Yet despite the PA’s outrageous behavior this week, the Biden administration has not changed its plan to present the Palestinian Arabs with hundreds of millions of dollars in American taxpayers’ money.
The failure of the American government to publicly respond at all—even with verbal criticism—when the Palestinian Authority publicly praises three brutal murderers of an American citizen is an outrage beyond words. It was wrong for previous U.S. presidents —Republican and Democrat alike— to remain silent in the past when the PA praised the Munich killers, and it’s just as wrong today.
It’s equally wrong for Jewish defenders of the Palestinian cause to remain silent. They seem to think that in order to support the Palestinians, they need to cover up every instance of outrageous Palestinian Arab behavior. They’re making a terrible mistake. J Street and the rest are encouraging the PA to believe it does not have to change its ways, in the expectation that the Jewish left will continue to support it, no matter what.
That, in turn, casts a dark shadow over the chances for ever attaining meaningful peace with the Palestinian Arabs. Because nobody in their right mind—that is, the vast majority of Israelis—will ever believe that people who celebrate torture, mutilation and slaughter of Jewish civilians can be trusted to have a sovereign state just a few miles from Israel’s major cities.
Stephen M. Flatow, is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, a member of the board of Nishmat, and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.”