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May 24, 2016

‘Moderate’ Palestinian Movement Honors Japanese Terrorist

Flag of the PFLP

Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA), has honored a terrorist named Kozo Okamoto for his part in a 1972 attack in Israel that killed 25 people, including 16 tourists from Puerto Rico, and injured 70 others.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, reported that Okamato was praised on Fatah’s Facebook page on May 18, 2016.

Okamoto and two fellow members of the Japanese Red Army, a terrorist movement that frequently partnered with Palestinian terror organizations, Yasuyuki Yasuda and Tsuyoshi Okudaira, perpetrated a terrorist attack at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport on May 30, 1972. All three Japanese Red Army members had been recruited by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

One survivor of the attack, Ros Sloboda, recalled the sound of shattering glass, then “people started dropping, there was blood everywhere.? The carnage, she told the BBC in May 2014, was “the stuff of nightmares, really (“Survivor Recounts 1972 PFLP-Red Army Terror Attack at Tel Aviv’s Lod Airport,? Algemeiner, May 21, 2014).?

Yasuda and Okudaira were killed carrying out the attack and Okamoto was captured and subsequently tried and convicted by an Israeli court. Despite a sentence of life imprisonment, Okamoto was released in 1985 as part of a prisoner exchange with Palestinian Arab terrorists for Israeli prisoners. Although still wanted by Japan for his crimes, Okamato has received sanctuary in Libya, Syria and most recently, Lebanon.

In its Facebook post—which included a picture of the bloody aftermath of Lod Airport massacre—Fatah wrote: “44 years since the airport operation (26 killed and 80 injured). A thousand greetings to the Japanese fighter and friend, Kozo Okamoto, the hero of the Lod airport operation, May 30, 1972.?

As CAMERA has noted, (see, for example “Those Intransigent ‘Moderates’ of Fatah,? May 6, 2014) Fatah is frequently referred to as “moderate? by a wide variety of news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the U.K.-based Daily Telegraph, among others.

After PMW highlighted the group’s Facebook post, Fatah did not retreat from its praise of Okamoto. In a subsequent entry on the social media site, Fatah wrote:

“Responding to the Israeli media [PMW]…Blessings to the Japanese fighter, the comrade Kozo Okamoto, hero of the operation at the Lod airport. The Fatah movement is proud of all who have joined its ranks and the ranks of the Palestinian revolution for the freedom of the Palestinian people…? Fatah went on to describe the murderer as having “carried out one of the most famous self-sacrificing operations of the 20th century.?

As CAMERA has pointed out (“CAMERA Notes Palestinian Incitement in Washington Times,? Feb. 22, 2016), Fatah’s praise—and often support—for terrorist attacks is not new.

In his 2016 book Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left 1967-1989 (Cambridge University Press), University of Maryland professor Jeffrey Herf noted that on May 31 1972, the BBC monitoring service recorded a broadcast on Voice of Fatah radio in Arabic from Cairo extolling the Lod terrorist attack:

“The great, humane, revolutionary choice by a group of youths [the members of the Japanese Red Army] who were born thousands of miles from Palestine demonstrates the greatness of these youths, which is equal to the justness of the Palestine cause. It also indicates the position our cause occupies on the world level…?

Herf writes that after the news of the Lod massacre broke in Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, speaking to the Knesset, said “Woe to any revolution, local or global, which is built on blood and murder, conducted in the name of murder. Immediately after they heard of last night’s incident, both Cairo and Beirut hailed a great victory. Scores of people were killed and wounded. And their joy knows no bounds (Undeclared Wars with Israel, pg. 158-59).?

Fatah’s “joy? over violent murders, or what it called a “great, humane revolutionary choice,? remains unabated. And immoderate.

Posted by SD at May 24, 2016 01:18 PM


Can someone explain to me why the EU and Obama are giving these Fatah thugs hundreds of millions of dollars, while Fatah glorifies murdering Israeli civilians.

Posted by: Ken Kelso at May 27, 2016 08:11 AM

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