A nat'l day of celebrating ... Terror
by Stephen M. Flatow
New York Post
June 4, 2012
As a "goodwill gesture," Israel last week returned the remains of 91 Palestinian suicide bombers and other terrorists. The Palestinian Authority responded by holding a "national rally" to glorify the "martyrs" and will bury them with "full military honors."
I know, I know — sounds like the same old news from the Middle East: Israelis making one-sided concessions, Palestinians heaping praise on murderers. For most, it's probably getting a little boring.
Not for our family. For us, it's personal.
On April 9, 1995, a Palestinian suicide bomber attacked an Israeli bus, murdering eight passengers — including my daughter Alisa, a 20-year-old Brandeis University student visiting Israel.
The killer's body is one of those that the Palestinian Authority just got back, with "full military honors" to come.
But this is more than salt in the wounds of the Flatow family. How the Palestinians treat terrorists is the ultimate measure of their intentions toward Israel.
If the Palestinians have truly given up violence and the goal of destroying Israel, they should be treating terrorists as every civilized society does: by repudiating them, disarming them, imprisoning them and teaching their schoolchildren that terrorists are evil.
Instead, Palestinian leaders do just the opposite. The Palestinian Authority sends a special stipend to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons; families of dead terrorists get financial benefits. Streets, summer camps and sporting events are named in honor of these killers of innocents.
And Palestinian schoolchildren are taught that terrorists are heroes. Then-Sen. Hilary Clinton called such instruction "child abuse"; she was right: They're raising a whole generation to worship violence and death.
The week that Vice President Joe Biden visited the Palestinian Authority in 2009, the Palestinian Authority named a public square in its capital, Ramallah, after notorious terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. She was a leader of a terror group that hijacked an Israeli bus and murdered 37 passengers, including an American.
That slap in America's face earned the Palestinian Authority just a few mild words of disapproval from the Obama administration. America's generous financial aid to the Palestinian Authority kept on flowing.
Which brings us to the latest slap. Issa Qaraqi, the PA minister of prisoners' affairs, announced that the rally to celebrate the return of the "91 martyrs" would be held in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' presidential compound in Ramallah, with the families of the 91 mass murderers as honored guests.
Among them will be the family of the bomber who murdered Alisa.
After that glorification of murder, the remains will be sent to their individual hometowns, for more rallies as each killer is buried with a military funeral.
Qaraqi also declared Thursday a national "day of celebration."
President Obama has never been shy about speaking his mind when he has been upset at some Israeli policy decision. He has made sure that Israel hears his message — publicly.
Well, perhaps it's time that the Palestinians get a message from him, too.
Maybe the president should make it clear the United States considers these Palestinian celebrations of death to be offensive, immoral and an obstacle to peace.
Do it, but not for Alisa's memory, Mr. President.
Do it because it's right thing, because now is the time to say: Enough.
Stephen M. Flatow lives in New Jersey.