Who are the New Role Models for Young Palestinian Girls?

Who are the New Role Models for Young Palestinian Girls?


By Rachel Avraham

A couple of weeks ago, a Palestinian woman was shot dead after she attempted to stab Israeli police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City. Itamar Marcus, who heads Palestinian Media Watch, blamed this incident on Palestinian incitement that targets young Palestinian girls. He told Israel Today: “When girls grow up glorifying 17-year-old female suicide bomber Ayat Al Akhras and female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who murdered 37 civilians including 12 children, then every girl is influenced by them. Then, some of them become terrorists, as they have a plaque honoring them.”

In one Palestinian high school, there is a mural honoring 17-year-old suicide bomber Ayat Al Akhras. According to Palestinian Media Watch, at least 5 schools, a public square, numerous summer camps and sporting events, and even a cultural club for youth is named after Palestinian female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. “We have not seen one plaque honoring Palestinian female engineers so far,” Marcus noted.

According to a recent report in Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian daily Al Hayat Al Jadida did honor three Palestinian female engineers who won a competition for the reconstruction of the Beirut port: “They reached first place out of 24 projects from 13 states.”

The article also claimed that “the rate of female students who succeeded in the high school final exams and the fact that they lead their male counterparts in the first ten places (i.e., the ten students with the highest-grade averages) debunked all the claims of those sounding the expression: ‘Women are mentally and religiously inferior,’ and those who say that a woman’s place is in the home.”

Nevertheless, the article in Al Hayat Al Jadida also reported that “in terms of justice and equality, they are half of the society, but in terms of the general exam results, and specifically the national [results], they are three-fourths of the society, for behind every fighter, martyr, or prisoner stands a lauded woman.”

According to Marcus, “The Palestinian Authority generally presents female terrorists as role models. It was a welcome change to see them praise Palestinian female engineers. But at the end of the article, it went back to glorifying terrorists. Even an article that started out good could not move away from this model. So, now they are praising engineers along with the terrorists. There is no such thing as a peace process until they change this.”

A Palestinian woman holds up a poster of Dalal Mughrabi, who is a local hero for having successfully slaughtered so many Jews. For Israel, this behavior is the primary obstacle to peace.

As Palestinian Media Watch recently documented, Ata Abu Rmeileh, who is a high-ranking official in the ruling Fatah party, which the Biden Administration sees as a partner for peace, proclaimed not too long ago: “We’ll continue the resistance in all its forms, with all means, and with all our power to defend our Palestinian people and continue this resistance to realize the dream of the Martyrs and take revenge for the pure blood that flows every morning throughout our Palestinian areas.”

Palestinian Media Watch also noted that Fatah leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, recently called up the parents of Palestinian terrorists who waged attacks in Israel, calling them “martyrs of Palestine” and “heroes.” One of the people whom he called was the father of Israa Khzaimiah, the 30-year-old female terrorist who carried out an attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on September 30.

Abbas told her father: “Allah will increase your reward over our Martyr [Israa Khzaimiah], the Palestinian people’s Martyr… Allah will let her dwell in Paradise, and certainly her place is in Paradise because she is a Martyr of Palestine and Jerusalem.” The father replied: “Thank you, Mister President. You are considerate and good-hearted, and you are our father.” Abbas concluded: “This is my duty and even more than that. I always bow to our male and female heroes.”

In another report, Palestinian Media Watch noted that a recent PA TV children’s show highlighted five children glorifying Dalal Mughrabi as “the bride of Jaffa” and a “martyr.” According to the report, “The PA’s promotion of the murderer Mughrabi as role model for women, kids and Palestinian society in general is overwhelming. PMW has documented hundreds of examples of the PA’s active campaign to brand her as a hero for Palestinians, and particularly for youth.” As Marcus emphasized, “Even though they have started to honor other professions, the fact that they have not stopped honoring terrorists means that the problem continues.”

Brian Jenkins once stated, “Terrorism is theater.” In Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media, this author wrote: “Terrorists do not engage in meaningless violence. Each terror act is carefully choreographed by terror organizations in order to achieve maximum publicity for the terrorists’ cause. For the terror organizations, the goal is not to harm the immediate victims, but rather to solicit the attention of wider spectators.”

For the terrorist organizations, the wider spectators do not only include the enemy population, which is terrified by such wanton acts of violence, but also the youth among their own population, whom they wish to inspire to carry on the cause. As Marcus noted, “This behavior demonstrates to the public that the Palestinian Authority presents the Islamic faith as if it wants them to be terrorists. It teaches them that it is heroic to kill Israelis.”

This article originally appeared in Israel Today

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