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October 15, 2015

'Moderate' Palestinian Authority Honors Murderers with Trees and Law Degrees

The Fatah movement, led by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, has honored Muhannad Shafeq Halabi by bringing soil from near the al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount to his grave. On Oct. 8, 2015 Halabi murdered two Israelis, Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Ahharon Bennett, and stabbed Benet’s wife and two-year old child in Jerusalem’s Old City before he was killed by Israeli police.

Illustrating their continued use of the “al-Aqsa” libel, as has been documented by CAMERA (“Incitement over Temple Mount Leads to Palestinian Violence, Again,” Sept. 16, 2015), Fatah officials said they brought the soil to Halabi’s grave, “so that the dead body of Martyr Muhannad Halabi can hug the soil for which he died a Martyr.”

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit watchdog that monitors Palestinian news outlets, Abbas justified current terror attacks by Palestinian Arabs against Israeli civilians and security forces, saying, “We have to protect our holy sites”—again falsely implying that al-Aqsa mosque and other Islamic shrines are in danger from a Jewish conspiracy.

Abbas similarly lied and incited violence in a PA-state television speech in which he claimed that Israel had “executed the child Ahmed Mansara in cold blood, just like they do to other children in Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories (“Abbas Accuses Israel of ‘Executing’ Child Terrorist,” Arutz Sheva, Oct. 14, 2015).

In fact, Ahmed Mansara was not executed, but is currently being treated in an Israeli hospital for injuries sustained from being hit by a car. Mansara was hit while fleeing, after he and his cousin stabbed a 13 year-old Jewish child on a bicycle.

On his Facebook page, Abbas adviser Sultan Abu Al-Einen called the attacks against Lavi, Bennett and his family a “heroic operation.” The PA received $440 million in U.S. aid last year alone, and under Abbas’ leadership, is frequently referred to by some in the press and policymakers as “moderate” (“PA to receive $440 million in U.S. funds in 2014,” The Jerusalem Post, Jan. 1, 2014).

Before murdering Lavi and Bennett, Halabi took to Facebook to justify his actions, stating that Palestinian “resistance” was a response to Israel’s (non-existent) activity at al-Aqsa.

On October 13, the PA Ministry of Education announced that it would plant olive trees and place signs with the names of terrorists, like Halabi, who have died killing Israelis.

By contrast, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the largest environmental, conservation and development organization in Israel, has been planting trees since 1901, often to honor the memories of Jews and non-Jews alike. JNF efforts have even led to Israel being one of only two countries in the world that saw a net increase in the number of trees at the beginning of the 21st century (“Helsinki Environmental ‘World Village’ Bans Jewish National Fund,” The Jewish Press, May 31, 2015).

Despite these efforts, Boycott Israel and other groups associated with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) effort, such as Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, have lobbied to ban the JNF, claiming it prevents peace by planting trees. A look at Boycott Israel’s website shows no similar outcry over recent PA tree-planting policies—nor any mention of recent Palestinian Arab terror attacks against Jews.

The PA Ministry of Education said it is planting trees and placing signs to honor “martyrs”, claiming doing so would “instill national and humanitarian values in the minds of the young, and respect for the symbols of the struggle.”

The PA Bar Association, which receives funds from the European Union and the United Nations, also honored Halabi’s memory by awarding him posthumously an honorary law degree. As PMW notes, the association also called the killer a “heroic Martyr” on its website, paid a condolence visit to his family and decided that it will “name its swearing-in ceremony for the next class of lawyers after Martyr Muhannad Halabi.”

Writing in The Washington Post's online blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, law professor David Bernstein also noted the PA Bar Association's decision ("Palestinian Bar Association Grants Honorary Degree to Terrorist Who Murdered Two Israeli's," December 30). Bernstein wrote, "I think it deserves more attention. Glorification of brutal terrorist murderers is hardly uncommon in the Palestinian territories; indeed, it's official government policy in both the West Bank and Gaza. But to have the bar association do it seems particularly noteworthy."

Mahmoud Abbas once asserted, “We cannot build foundations of a state without rule of law.” By naming a graduating class of lawyers after a dead murderer, what kind of state does Abbas expect to build?

PMW’s reports on PA efforts to honor perpetrators of recent terror attacks can be found here and here.

This post was updated on Jan. 4, 2016 to add The Washington Post article by David Bernstein

Posted by SD at October 15, 2015 11:08 AM


Why are the EU and Obama giving billions of dollars to these Fatah terrorists led by Fatah?
Palestinian Authority Rewards Terrorists for Number of Jews They Kill
FEBRUARY 8, 2015

Posted by: Ken Kelso at October 17, 2015 11:28 PM

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