|Two prize-winning peace makers (Dr Ashrawi on the right) [Image Source]|
Back in 2003, the rather divisive Ashrawi said of the then-current "intifada" that it would continue "in different shapes, different forms".
"We are not fond of mass suicide, but we want the right to resist occupation and injustice. Then the moment we say 'resist', the Israelis pull out the word 'terrorist' - so a child with a stone becomes the 'legitimate' target for Israeli sniper fire and a high-velocity bullet." [source]As though to pre-empt another unfair attempt by Israelis to "to pull out the word 'terrorist'", the award-winning Dr Ashrawi famously declared that
"They're telling us we have no feelings for our children. We're not human beings, we're not parents, we're not mothers and fathers... Sometimes I don't want to sink to the level of responding, of proving I'm human. I mean, even animals have feelings for their children."Dr Ashrawi's much-quoted (and never repudiated) statement first appeared in an interview she gave to Bob Simon of "60 Minutes". It was broadcast as part of an item called “Children on the Front Lines,” on Oct. 24, 2000 and quoted in "The Use of Palestinian Children in the Al-Aqsa Intifada" (Justus Reid Weiner/JCPA), published a week later on November 1, 2000. Though the original CBS source is no longer online, it can be found online in this CBS article published in 2009. The intro says Dr Ashrawi had been "in the forefront of the peace movement for years" and that she considers the Israeli claims about allegations of parental inhumanity in Palestinian Arab society to be "the epitome of racism".
|From the online video of the interview with Mrs Khalil Al-Hayya|
She's called Umm Osama in the broadcast. That's not an actual name but a sort of nom-de-TV; it means Osama's Mum. The interview is translated from the original Arabic to English courtesy of MEMRI whose mission is to provide invaluable access to things the Arab world routinely sees and hears but which very rarely come to the attention of the rest of us.
Umm Osama (actually Mrs Khalil Al-Hayya) speaks:
"Women in Palestine play a great role in raising their children and in encouraging them to wage jihad for the sake of Allah. This is absolutely the most glorious thing a woman can do. Women play their role and are not inferior to men. When a man goes to wage jihad, his wife does not say "Don't go" or try to stop him. She encourages and supports him. She is the one who prepares his equipment, bids him farewell, and welcomes [his jihad]... She instills in her children the love of jihad and martyrdom for the sake of Allah. If every mother were to prevent her son from waging jihad for the sake of Allah, who would wage jihad? Who would support Palestine? Palestine is dear to us, and its price is paid with our body remains and our lifeblood... Is not Allah's reward precious? Allah's reward is Paradise. Paradise requires from us our blood, our body remains, and our efforts for its sake... Sister (addressing the interviewer), jihad is ordained for us. It is our duty to wage jihad, because either we wage jihad or..."
Interviewer: "We want to die as martyrs."
Umm Osama: "Indeed we do. I am constantly praying: 'Allah, make the end of our days be in martyrdom.' I pray for this even for my husband and my children. None of us want to die in our beds. We pray that Allah will grant us Paradise." [more]
|From the online video of the interview |
with Mrs Khalil Al-Hayya
- 3-Jul-06: Marketing Suicide to Children
- 13-Aug-06: People Who Love Death... and What This Means for the Rest of Us
- 27-Mar-08: Palestinian infanticide