The Philadelphia City Council recently presented the first woman governor of Ramallah with two of its highest honors.
Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez gave the Citation of Honor and a replica of the Liberty Bell to Dr. Laila Ghannam, governor of Ramallah, on Jan. 30, 2015.
But unbeknownst to Quiñones Sanchez, Ghannam has honored, extolled and glorified dozens of Palestinian Arab murderers of hundreds of Israelis, including dozens of children, as well as men who tortured and murdered American diplomats.
Mid-afternoon Israel time, the Palestinian Media Watch released a detailed and documented dispatch cataloguing the many different occasions on which Ghannam expressed admiration for brutal terrorists.
Upon receipt and review of the information provided by PMW, Quiñones Sanchez issued a complete denunciation of the sentiments expressed by Ghannam. Quinoñes Sanches stated that she “has consistently condemned terrorist violence.”
LAILA GHANNAM HONORS TERRORISTS
The information provided about Ghannam to Quiñones Sanchez was extensive and included the following:
– Ghannam has publicly and repeatedly praised and glorified Palestinian Arab terrorists and murderers specifically for those acts of terrorism and murder, including suicide bombings, stabbing captives to death, building of explosives, and torturing not only Jews and other Israelis – including the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics, as well as dozens of children – but Americans, including American diplomats.
– Ghannam extolled their actions as “martyrs,” as “pioneers,” as “heroic,” as “providing examples to young people,” as “giants of resolve” and as “giants of defiance.” By referring to these murderers as martyrs (shaheeds), which is the highest status in Islam, it means she believes those murders are acts sanctioned by Islam, promoted by Allah, and are to be admired by Palestinians. She also promised to follow in their path.
– Among the dozens of terrorist murderers whom Ghannam has honored, several deserve special mention.
One, Abdallah Barghouti, prepared the explosives used in suicide bombings that killed 67 civilians, including the Sbarro Pizzeria bombing (08/09/2001, killed 15, 8 of whom were children, 130 injured), The Sheffield Club (in 2002, 15 killed), Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall (12/012001,11 killed, 180 injured), Moment Café (03/092002, 11 killed, 54 injured), Hebrew University cafeteria (07/31/2002, 9 killed, including 5 Americans, 85 wounded). Ghannam paid a solidarity visit to the Barghouti family, and saluted Abdallah and all the prisoners and their families.
– Another terrorist whom Ghannam has honored is Khalil Al-Wazir (a/k/a Abu Jihad). Abu Jihad was the co-founder of Fatah, its military strategist, and second in command to Yassir Arafat. Abu Jihad was head of “commando” operations in Israel, helped plan the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre (11 Israeli athletes killed), the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre which involved the hijacking of a bus and resulted in the deaths of 37 civilians, many of them children, and the 1973 kidnapping, torture and murder of two American diplomats in Sudan.
PHILADELPHIA COUNCILWOMAN REJECTS GHANNAM’S GLORIFICATION OF TERRORISM
The following is the full statement released by Quiñones Sanchez:
I was invited to attend this event to meet the first woman elected governor in the Palestinian Authority, and whose work was described to me as humanitarian in nature and centered on furthering the rights of women and girls. My office honored her for these reasons.
I fully and unequivocally denounce the sentiments attributed to Governor Ghannam in this video, and have consistently condemned terrorist violence.
As an elected official who represents a significant Muslim-American population, including many Palestinian refugee families, I know my Muslim constituents to be good citizens and contributors to their communities. I strongly support interfaith efforts to build understanding across cultural and ethnic barriers, and I am committed to open, honest and productive dialogue with all who share the goal of peace.
Kudos to Palestinian Media Watch, to Councilwoman Quiñones Sanchez, and to those in the Philadelphia community who urged the right people to do the right thing.Lori Lowenthal Marcus