A Palestinian terrorist who killed three people, including an American-born peace activist, in an October 2015 terror attack was honored at a ceremony in a West Bank high school run by the Palestinian Authority last week.
The program at the Shari’ah School for Boys in Qalqiliya, which was first reported by Palestinian Media Watch, honored terrorist Baha Alyan and his accomplice Bilal Abu Ghanem as a means to promote reading among 10th-graders. An invitation to the event went out bearing the PA’s official logo and the slogan “Baha is the idea and the idea doesn’t die.” The event called for students to creating “reading chains” in memory of Alyan.
Several PA government offices were involved in the creation of the event, including the Ministry of Culture, the District Governor of Qalqilya, the district’s Directorate of Education, the Qalqilya municipality, and the municipal library. Alyan has been similarly honored by “human chains of readers” at three Palestinian universities. A Palestinian NGO called Rural Women’s Development Society, which is supported by several United Nations bodies as well as European governments, also sponsored “reading chains” in Alyan’s honor last month.
At a speech at An-Najah University, Nablus District Governor Akram Al-Rajoub said of Alyan, “It is as if his soul is soaring above our heads and saying to us, ‘We are a generation that must have a national culture that will [help] us distinguish between right and wrong, a culture that will create a generation that leads rather than one that is being led.'”
After his father’s death, Lakin’s son Micah Avni charged that his father’s death was the result of “incitement and hate” on social media.
Avni met with Vice President Joe Biden when Biden traveled to Israel last month. Avni contrasted his father’s dedication to peaceful coexistence with Alyan’s father, who hailed his son as a martyr and was publicly greeted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “We have continued to teach our children to love, while our neighbors increasingly teach their children to hate,” Avni wrote in an open letter to Biden. He asked that Biden pass a copy of the letter to Abbas.
The ongoing glorification of terrorists comes as a poll conducted over the first three months of 2016 found that over 60 percent of Palestinians approve of “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel,” and a similar percentage believe that such attacks have a better chance than negotiations of leading to a Palestinian state.
Palestinian incitement, including claims that Israel seek to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque, have fueled the wave of terror that has killed 34 Israelis and injured over 400 more since September. Though the Israeli government routinely rejects the charge, and non-Muslim presence and activity on the Temple Mount remains highly restricted, Palestinian leaders often declare that al-Aqsa is in danger, an accusation that predates the founding of Israel.
[Photo: palwatch / YouTube ]