|Image Source: Times of Israel|
Mahmoud Abbas, who in addition to regaling in the title of president of the Palestinian Authority heads Fatah, features in a Times of Israel news report that shines some light - or perhaps it's more appropriate to say darkness - on how the moderate strain of Palestinianism views the cold-blooded murder of Israeli civilians.
The report describes the gala welcome-home reception bestowed on Rajaei Haddad. He recently completed serving a 20-year sentence in an Israel prison for murder. Naturally, he's hailed in their circles (literally) as “a leader, a hero, and a fighter.”
Palestinian Authority TV showed footage of the meeting between Abbas and Haddad, who spent two decades in prison for his role in the November 1997 murder of yeshiva student Gabriel Hirschberg הי"ד in Jerusalem's Old City of Jerusalem.
Here's how the terrorist murder was reported in the New York Times
At about a quarter past midnight, Mr. Hirschberg, 26, was walking with a friend in the dark alley when a gunman believed to be a Palestinian militant sprayed them with automatic weapons fire. Both of the students were unarmed and unaccompanied by the yeshiva's security guards or border police who guard the area.
Mr. Hirschberg, an immigrant from Hungary, was killed; his friend was badly wounded. (Initial reports said the second man also died.) The police said the weapon used was an AK-47 assault rifle. No arrests were reported, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility...
In the alley where Gabriel Hirschberg was cut down by a burst of automatic weapons fire early today in Jerusalem's walled Old City, four of his fellow yeshiva students held a study session opposite a makeshift memorial of Israeli flags and a candle. Bent over religious books, the students from the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva -- run by a right-wing group that has been buying homes in the Muslim quarter and elsewhere in East Jerusalem -- recited their lessons as Palestinian schoolgirls walked by warily, averting their eyes.
''This is to wake people up,'' said one of the yeshiva student, sitting near a bullet-scarred wall. ''Something happened here.'' ["A Jew's Slaying Fuels Tensions in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter", NY Times, November 21, 1997]
that our leadership gives top priority to the issue of our prisoners. "The president asked me about each and every one,” Haddad said.It also mentions - quoting an Arabic language report translated to English by the MEMRI Middle East Media Research Institute - that the gala event, held in Jerusalem, was graced by the presence of senior members of Fatah, the dominant faction in the ruling Palestinian Authority.
Some nauseating violence-adoring quotes worth noting:
- The convicted murderer: "The president [Abbas] asked me about each and every one. Let me thank the president for this meeting – he cleared his schedule so that we could meet immediately after my release. We sat together for a full hour, and he listened to me. He asked me about the prisoners, listened to me, and wrote down everything. The president sends his regards [to the prisoners]. He heard what I had to say."
- “First, let me salute our prisoners who are languishing in prison,” said Fatah Revolutionary Council secretary Adnan Ghaith, “Here, in our capital of Jerusalem, our people welcome a leader, a hero, and a fighter, who sacrificed 20 years for the sake of Jerusalem, Palestine, and our great people.”
- Fatah said the celebrations were intended to send a message to the Israelis that the issue of prisoners and “martyrs” was non-negotiable.
- “I am very happy to join the people of Jerusalem, our eternal capital, in welcoming this Fatah knight, who spent 20 years in the prisons of the Israeli occupation, in defense of our land, our people, our independence and our freedom,” said Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Moheisen. “This (event) is a message of loyalty to the prisoners, the heroes. It is also a message to the occupation that the issue of the prisoners and martyrs is where we draw the line.”
As far as we can tell, there was trivial-to-no news reporting coverage (other than in Israel) for the public honoring by our peace partner of this unrepentant murderer of Israeli civilians.
May Gabriel Hirschberg's memory continue to be a blessing for the people of Jerusalem and Israel.