UN, Norwegian Government, Distance Themselves From Palestinian Youth Center Named for Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi
The United Nations and the Norwegian government have moved swiftly to distance themselves from a Palestinian youth center named after one of the most notorious terrorists to strike at Israelis, after it emerged that the building where the center is located carries the logos of UN Women and the Norwegian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The center, which opened last week in the village of Burqa in the West Bank, is named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Fatah terrorist who carried out the bloodiest terrorist attack in Israel’s history, the “Coastal Road Massacre.” On March 11 1978, Mughrabi led a group of PLO terrorists who landed on Tel Aviv beach and went on to seize a bus full of passengers which they drove north on Israel’s Coastal Highway. The operation ended with the deaths of 38 Israelis – including 12 children – with a further 71 wounded.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) – an Israeli monitoring organization that has tracked the scandal – said that the purpose of the center was to promote Mughrabi as a hero. Reem Hajje, a member of the Burqa village council, noted that the center “will focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups, and that it constitutes the beginning of the launch of enrichment activities regarding the history of the Palestinian struggle.”
On Friday, both the UN and the Norwegian government criticized the center, but claimed that they had cut their support for the center before it was named in Mughrabi’s honor.
“The United Nations support for this center ended last year,” said Robert Piper, UN Assistant Secretary General for Development, in a statement from Jerusalem. “The inauguration of the center took place a few weeks ago, well after the UN association with it concluded. The name chosen by the community center is wrong and unacceptable. The UN Women logo should not be associated with it and it will be removed immediately.”
While Piper did not specifically mention terrorism, the Norwegian statement was more forthright in that regard.
“The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. “Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.”
Brende added that it “was not until after Norway had stopped providing funding for the centre that it became known that it was to be named after the Palestinian terrorist. This happened in connection with the opening of the centre last week. Neither the Norwegian authorities nor the UN were consulted in advance or invited to the opening ceremony.”
Norway is among several European governments providing millions of dollars each year to Palestinian NGOs whose development programs are frequently springboards for the promotion of BDS and the glorification of terrorism.