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February 3, 2015 2:24 am

How to Respond to Honors for Palestinian Killer of US Senator’s Niece

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow / JNS.org

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Dalal Mughrabi. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgDid you know that the United States Senate has been underwriting a series of events publicly glorifying a Palestinian terrorist who murdered an American citizen—in fact, a senator’s niece?  Well, it is, and this outrage must come to an end.

The terrorist’s name is Dalal Mughrabi. On March 9, 1978, she headed a squad of 13 Palestinian terrorists who set out from Lebanon towards Israel, in several small boats. They were members of Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). At the time, Yasser Arafat was chairman of the PLO and Fatah, and Mahmoud Abbas was his second in command. Today, Abbas is chairman of the PLO and Fatah, and president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The terrorists landed on a northern Israeli beach, where Gail Rubin, an American Jewish nature photographer, was taking photos of rare birds. Her work had been exhibited at The Jewish Museum in New York City and other prominent venues. She also happened to be the niece of then U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Connecticut).

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One of the terrorists, Hussain Fayadh, later explained to the Lebanese Television station Al-Manar what happened: “Sister Dalal al-Mughrabi had a conversation with the American journalist. Before killing her, Dalal asked: ‘How did you enter Palestine?’ [Rubin] answered: ‘They gave me a visa.’ Dalal said: ‘Did you get your visa from me, or from Israel? I have the right to this land. Why didn’t you come to me?’ Then Dalal opened fire on her.”

Mughrabi, Fayadh, and the others walked to the nearby Coastal Road and hijacked an Israeli bus. They murdered 36 passengers, 12 of them children. Mughrabi was killed by Israeli troops. Fayadh survived, was sentenced to life in jail, but was then released in a prisoner exchange.

On May 29, 2013, the Jerusalem Post revealed that Fayadh had been hired as an adviser to Abbas, which means that some portion of his salary comes from the $500 million that the U.S. government—with the Senate’s approval—sends to Abbas’s PA each year.

Those U.S. funds are also used in part to finance the PA’s ongoing public glorification of Mughrabi. The PA has sports tournaments and summer camps named after her. In 2011, the PA established a Dalal Mughrabi Square in the center of its capital city, Ramallah. Official PA television frequently broadcasts programs depicting Mughrabi as a “hero” and “martyr.”

Earlier this month, Abbas’s Fatah organized a public celebration of Mughrabi’s birthday. The event was broadcast on Fatah’s Al-Awdah TV, which is headed by Fatah spokesman Ahmad Asaf. Students participating in the celebration were interviewed for the program. One said this of the killer of Senator Ribicoff’s niece, “She is our role model, an example for every Palestinian young woman. Dalal did everything we dream of doing.” A second student declared, “Dalal Mughrabi is inspiring. She inspires us and gives us the strength to complete the journey after her.”

The Al-Awdah reporter cheerily added, “Martyr Dalal Mughrabi raised the Palestinian flag from the heart of occupied Palestine. On her birthday we renew the promise to her and its fulfillment.” Another student then described the work of the “Sisters of Dalal Committee,” a branch of the Fatah student movement. She was followed by the director of a PA government agency, the Palestinian Poets and Writers Association, who poetically hailed Gail Rubin’s murderer as “the Purple Gazelle, the Flower of the Land.” (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

Here are three steps that the Senate should take in response to this outrageous insult to the memory of one of its members:

1. No U.S. Senator should step foot in Ramallah until the PA changes the name of Mughrabi Park.

2. An amount equivalent to Hussein Fayadh’s salary and Al-Awdah TV‘s annual budget should be deducted from the next installment of U.S. aid to the PA. Perhaps the money would be better spent if it were turned over to the families of Mughrabi’s victims.

3. The Senate should ask the U.S. Treasury Department to add the officers of Al-Awdah TV and the Sisters of Dalal Committee to the official U.S. list of “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” The list consists of “persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism.” Surely someone who publicly glorifies a terrorist qualifies as a supporter of terrorism. The designation would prevent those individuals from entering the U.S. and would freeze any assets they have in this country.

These are, of course, just a few initial steps. Much more can be done. But if nothing is done—if the Senate continues to tolerate this outrage—it will send a message to terrorists everywhere that they not only can get away with celebrating the murder of a senator’s niece, but can even get Senate-authorized funding at the same time.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is a candidate on the Religious Zionist slate (www.VoteTorah.org) in the World Zionist Congress elections.

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  • Braham Horwitz

    stop paying these murderers

  • HaDaR

    It is SHAMEFUL to show the picture of the Arab terrorist assassin instead of showing the picture of her victim.
    There is an issue in Judaism with showing the faces of evildoers.

  • gert

    Notice the date-
    Why is this just now being written about? Why was this not publicized then or did |
    not see the article at the time?

  • This is absolutely reprehensible. Surely, I do not care for my tax dollars to support this situation and I now feel we shouldn’t be giving any money to the Palestinans

  • Pierre Elie Mamou

    the world is iller and iller

  • michael fandal

    failure to implement proposal by stephen flatow demonstrates our leaders’ lack of earnest desire to counter terrorism and bloodlust and glorification of savagery. such restraint and inaction only encourages the monster and enhances likelihood of more atrocities transforming civilization to shrivilization mocking supreme sacrifices of our armed forces interred throughout the world and in the usa. meek leadership digs our own graves which defaces our brave and diminished the meaning of our flag and anthem.

  • Markus E Brajtman

    This shows the evil mind of the supporters of terrorism
    Why has the US not stopped sendng American tax money to help terrorism?
    When will the US citizens demand a stop to the money being paid to “glorify” terrorism?

  • It’s time to stop funding terror. I want to see a bill written specifically to cut off all funds to the Abbas-led
    PA, which is linked by their own agreement with Hamas,
    a designated terrorist organization. If this new congress can’t draft such a bill, it is complicit with the previous one in funding terror, aiding and abetting murder of Israelis
    and Jews the world over, as well as Americans and allies of America.

  • Bullfrog Europe

    The use of American money to honour the name of Mughrabi is a disgrace. Then again, the likes of Obama, and those who deal with countries like Qatar, Turkey, Saudi and Pakistan is an outrage.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    I am writing this response from Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish State of Israel. As an American citizen, I can and must articulate the hurtful feelings reading this article dredges up as I am old enough to remember that terrorist event quite well. What a ghastly disgrace! When I read articles which expose such egregious behaviour in America, I amat once appalled, horrified, and profoundly ashamed of those who would both plan and participate in such outrageous events! America, wake up! Your president–my president with a lower-case “p”–and some few members of your Congress–my congress with a lower-case “c”–are making havoc with American values and morals regarding the terrorist being glorified as cited in this article and the putrid dealings with our archenemy Iran going on as I write this. The senators involved, the sorry American president, and the ignominious secretary of state involved in these machinations will be remembered for their infamy as their legacy to the annals of American history.

  • Pinchas Baram

    Insightful article, as usual, by attorney Flatow— but it raises an old question: WHERE THE HELL IS THE ADL AND THE AJC AND ALSO AIPAC WHEN WE NEED THEM, AS IN THE CASE AT HAND??

    Okay, let’s assume they are dead in the water. So attorney, what’s the next step, and the one after that? Please lead the charge and hopefully readers will follow suit. Contact me if I can be of specific help: pbhealer@hotmail.com

  • Why don’t you start an official petition process aimed at the Senate?

  • yehudi

    may the Creator of the world protect all of am yisrael and bring these enemies to justice.

  • Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate probably won’t stop funding events that celebrate the PLO’s “death” culture. History shows that the PLO is indeed a terrorist entity, and trading land for peace never works. Hopefully, future statesmen will have the moral fiber to cutoff the PLO and its terrorist partners.

  • Robert Sklar

    The Obama’s position is that w/o funds from America, the PA will be overcome by Hamas other terrorists; and that punishing Abbas accomplishes nothing. Perhaps there is another approach. How can we encourage more young Israelis to marry and have children. What if 200,000 Israelis moved to the Galilee and the Golan and in the next 10 years had 5 children in each family, or 500,000 children; and those children, in the next 30 years had 1 million children, all living in the Galilee and Golan. For my part, I don’t care who the Palestinians venerate. The question is what do we venerate. Thank you

  • Leo Toystory

    These steps are like trying to clean up a mud pit with a doily. The entire Palestinkian enterprise is so demented, perverse, rotten and degenerate that there can be no place for them in a civilized world.

  • art

    Obama/Kerrill demand that we forgive and accept abbas as a partner for peace. Obama/kerry/hillary demand that we not question or criticize abbas. Obama/kerry/hillary still require us to believe the lie that the pa wants peace. Enough already admit the peace process is dead blame abbas for destroying the hope for peace stop paying abbas extortion money

  • Scott Riemersma

    This is sick. If congress can look past this come 2016 we need to start throwing the bums out.

  • martin

    disgusting is all I can about this

  • Michael Garfinkel

    “Fayadh survived, was sentenced to life in jail, but was then released in a prisoner exchange.”

    This is what to expect when terrorist killers aren’t hanged.

  • Muslims acting like Muslims. Nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Isaac brajtman

    I can’t wait to have a square named after Abbas

  • Emmett

    Par for the course. First get the Israeli government to stop financing & supporting the PLO terrorists with Israeli taxpayer’s money. The corrupt leftist Israeli governments have been forcing Jews to not only finance their own murders, but support the PLO enemy with all their basic needs to wage war. Don’t forget that Israel’s current PM is also a leftist traitor by deed, regardless of what label he or the govt controlled media claim him to be.

  • Michael Abramowitz

    well what is Sen. Ribicoff doing about this outrage? if he is doing nothing, why should the rest of the Senate or the rest of the government for that matter?

  • Nora

    I cry for our children, killed by savages who have no respect for life and nurture the lies they’ve been taught since the mid 1970s. Gail Ruben’s book “Psalmist with a Camera” is a beautiful work of love. May G-d keep her beautiful soul by his side.

  • steven L

    The US Administration, the senate and the congress are all overwhelmed by incompetence and negligence.
    There are enough reasons to stop funding of UNRWA and PA but nothing is done.

  • noellsq

    The US politicians should be recalled both parties for their un-American policies. Spending on the wrong things and giving money for our enemies to buy weapons.

  • Melissa L

    Why is there a picture of the terrorist instead of Gail Rubin?

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