April 6 Update:
The Palestinian Authority’s mufti, Sheikh Ikremah Sabri, has issued a religious decree banning President Bush and Prime Minister Blair from setting foot on “the sacred, holy land of Palestine.”
The Jerusalem Post also reported that Christian leaders in Bethlehem announced that the two leaders would never be allowed to visit the Church of the Nativity.
Recent Palestinian rallies include gunmen shooting photos of Bush and Blair, and setting fire to effigies of the two Western leaders.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is broadcasting a music video that glorifies the “heroic” fighting of the Iraqis and celebrates the casualties inflicted on the U.S. forces. Pictured are scenes of U.S. soldiers carrying away a body of a killed comrade, a coffin draped with American and British flags, and Iraqis celebrating near a downed US helicopter. (info courtesy of )
The clip, “Be Strong Baghdad,” is viewable online at:
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April 1 Update:
Ali Jaafar al-Noamani, the Iraqi homicide bomber who killed five U.S. soldiers, has been honored by Palestinians who renamed the main square in Jenin as “Noamani Square.”
The Jerusalem Post quotes a senior Palestinian official in Jenin as saying: “We want to honor the brave Iraqi officer who carried out the first suicide attack against the American and British occupiers. We hope there will be more suicide operations in the coming days.”
Meanwhile in Lebanon, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah has announced they are sending suicide bombers to Iraq to increase the number of attacks on the coalition forces.
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As allied forces march toward Baghdad (where you will find the busy commercial district Yasser Arafat Street), the Palestinian populace and leadership are engaging in frequent pro-Saddam and anti-American demonstrations.
The Boston Globe ran this front-page headline (March 24): “Hussein Support Wide in West Bank” (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-7762105.html). And l’Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that last Friday alone, some 30,000 Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza to demonstrate support for Saddam. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030321/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_palestinian_gaza_1)
Lest one think that this outpouring is only directed against America (for its support of Israel), Palestinians have likewise been targeting the British. This week, Palestinians threw firebombs at a Ramallah branch of the British Middle East Bank. Palestinian sources reported that the assailants apparently targeted the bank in protest against British support for the use of military force in Iraq. (Haaretz)
See Palestinian demonstrators burning British flags:
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Here we present a sampling of recent pro-Saddam activity by Palestinians:
(1) In the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, about 700 Palestinians, most of them schoolchildren, waved Iraqi flags and posters of Saddam and burned U.S. flags, shouting “Death to America, death to Bush!” and “We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for Saddam!”
In Gaza City, a Palestinian Cabinet minister, Abdel Aziz Shaheen, told a crowd of about 1,500, “This is a war against all Arabs and Muslims.” (Associated Press)
(2) The most popular name bestowed upon male Palestinian babies recently born in Nablus (the largest West Bank city) is “Saddam.” An al-Kuds Nablus correspondent describes a state of euphoria in the town each time it becomes known that a US helicopter has been downed or American soldiers killed or captured by the Iraqis: “Drivers start honking their horns, passersby start chanting and others fire shots into the air.” (Jerusalem Post)
(3) Saddam’s open financial support for Palestinian terror has not ceased, despite the war. Last week, $30,000 in checks from the Iraqi dictator was handed to families of Palestinian “martyrs” in a public Gazan forum, under a picture of a merry Saddam. (AFP)
(4) In Gaza, a crowd of 200 Palestinian journalists demonstrated in support of Saddam. (We wonder how many of these journalists work for AP, Reuters, BBC…)
(5) Palestinians crammed Gaza shops this week to buy Iraqi flags, glossy pictures of Saddam Hussein, T-shirts, and American flags to set ablaze at a fervent demonstration against the war. (Associated Press)
(6) A Gazan Hamas leader opined that Iraqis should follow the Palestinian model and launch “martyrdom operations, using explosive belts against the American and British soldiers.” (The New York Times)
(7) [In Bethlehem], thousands of demonstrators marched in support of Iraq, burning U.S. flags and chanting, “Oh beloved Saddam, fire chemical weapons at Tel Aviv!” (AFP)
t>(8) Beyond these examples is a deeper, more formal connection: “Electronic Intifada” (http://electronicIntifada.net), the popular pro-Palestinian website catering to English-speaking audiences, is also the publisher of the pro-Saddam “Electronic Iraq” (http://electroniciraq.net/news/).
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HonestReporting salutes news agencies for publishing some of these reports. In the aggregate, however, while worldwide “peace protests” continue to receive broad coverage, Palestinian demonstrations have received far less attention.
HonestReporting encourages members to monitor your local media to ensure full coverage of Palestinians’ pro-Saddam/anti-American activities.
—- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND —-
Palestinian support for dictators whom Western democracies battle to uproot is by no means new. Recall:
– The warm brotherhood between Hitler and the most influential Palestinian leader, Amin Al Husseini, who lived in Germany during World War Two and organized Nazi Muslim troops. (see http://www.tellchildrenthetruth.com/gallery)
– The 1991 Gulf War, when Yasser Arafat stood almost alone among world leaders in supporting Saddam Hussein. (see http://www.ummahnews.com/viewarticle.php?sid=1095)
– Celebrations throughout the West Bank and Gaza in the wake of September 11. (see http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/critiques/Palestinian_Celebrations.asp, and photos at http://www.honestreporting.com/graphics/articles/celebrate.jpg)