Okay, but maybe it was just students who decided to honor Hammad – can you really hold students responsible for their actions? Maybe not, but students don’t have the authority to name courses after people. And al Quds offered a course on “human rights and democracy” named after Wafa Idriss, the first Arab female homicide bomber.
So maybe there is a problem with a particular department at al Quds, that doesn’t implicate the entire university.
Then what can one say about al Quds’ abu Jihad Palestinian Prisoner Movement Museum?
The al Quds University official website explains that the Museum is named for Khalil Al-Wazir. His “nom de guerre,” abu Jihad, means “father of the holy war.”
And what a father he was. Just as the University of Pennsylvania honors scholars and philanthropists by having their names grace buildings and research centers on its campus, al Quds University, the school which O’Conor is so proud of attending, honors abu Jihad.
Abu Jihad was a co-founder of Fatah, along with his crony, Yassir Arafat. He was Fatah’s military strategist and helped form the Shabibah – the Fatah Youth Movement. The Shabibah formed the nucleus for the first “intifada.”
In his role as head of commando – meaning, terrorist – operations, abu Jihad was responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis. But his exploits were not just limited to killing Jews in Israel. Abu Jihad was a part of the Fatah offshoot known as the Black September Organization. In this position, abu Jihad was intimately involved in the murder of the 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
And if O’Conor is not particularly troubled by the cold-blooded murder of Israelis or Jews, abu Jihad was part of the team that kidnapped, tortured and then murdered two American diplomats, U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charge d’Affaires George Curtis Moore, in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1973. Those diplomats were kidnapped in the hope that the U.S. would exchange them for the prisoner Sirhan Sirhan, the Arab Palestinian who murdered American Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
Abu Jihad was also involved in some of the largest massacres of Israelis in history. He was the mastermind of the 1978 “Coastal Road Massacre.” After killing an American tourist, Arab Palestinian terrorists hijacked an Egged bus carrying Israeli civilians. The attack ended with 38 Israeli civilians dead, including 13 children; dozens more were injured.
The al Quds website lovingly refers to abu Jihad as the “prince of the martyrs of Palestine.”
O’Conor does not share any of these al Quds University fun facts with her readers. Perhaps that is because this information has not been made available to the Penn junior. If so, maybe the Penn professionals should reconsider whether its students should get credit for the one-sided education they are receiving at al Quds. It’s worth asking the question.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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