NEW YORK - Hanan Ashrawi, a leading Palestinian Arab apologist for terrorism, should be disinvited from the upcoming Colorado College symposium about the 9/11 terrorism, the Zionist Organization of America is urging.
Ashrawi is scheduled as the first keynote speaker at Colorado College's three-day symposium, September 12-14, 2002, on "September 11: One Year Later"
In a letter to Colorado College president Richard F. Celeste, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, chairman of the board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and National Executive Committee chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt wrote: "An apologist for terrorism should not be invited to speak at a symposium about the 9/11 terrorism. Inviting Hanan Ashrawi to speak at the Colorado College symposium is like inviting David Duke or Louis Farrakhan to a symposium on race relations in America. The U.S. is engaged in a war against terrorism, and Ashrawi is on the side of America's enemies."
Hanan Ashrawi's Record of Extremism -- A Sampler:
* Supports Palestinian Arab Terrorism:
Asked in September 2001 for her comment on the latest Palestinian Arab murders of Israelis, Ashrawi said on the PA's Voice of Palestine (Sept. 9, 2001): "The only language Sharon understands is the language of violence." (Translation provided by Prof. Michael Widlanski of Hebrew University and the IMRA News Agency.)
In an interview on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour on Sept. 3, 1993, Ashrawi was asked about the PLO's murder of hundreds Palestinian Arabs, some of whom were accused of "collaborating" with Israel. (The New York Times reported on May 31, 1992 that, in fact many of them were murdered because of clan rival or violating Islamic moral strictures.) Ashrawi replied that the murders were "a ticklish issue...they can't just be dismissed as acts of violence." Likewise, in an interview with The Progressive (June 1992), said that the PLO's murders of Arabs were caused by Israeli "brutality" and "the lack of achievements in the peace process."
Violence "is not what the uprising is about... it is essentially a human voice, a real cry from the heart ... There were, of course, individual acts of violence... Desperate people commit desperate acts." --Excerpt from interview with Ashrawi in the New York Times, Nov.17, 1991
In August 2000, Ashrawi said: "In a sense, the army of occupation and the settlers have become legitimate and select targets of Palestinian resistance." (Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 16, 2002) Palestinian Arab spokesmen regard as "settlers" any Jew who resides in any of the territories that Israel won in self-defense in 1967, including the Old City of Jerusalem. Thus a Jew who lives in an apartment near the Western Wall is a "settler" who, in Ashrawi's view, it is "legitimate" to murder.
When two Israelis were tortured and lynched to death by a Palestinian Arab mob (including Palestinian Authority policemen) in Ramallah in October 2000, Ashrawi justified the murder by falsely claiming that the Israelis were "undercover Israeli agents" who "were clearly infiltrated and planted into the midst of a protest march in the heart of the city." (In fact, the Israelis were driving near the city, took a wrong turn, and were stopped by PA policemen, who arrested them, brought them into the city, and handed them over to the lynch mob.) (Jordan Times, October 29, 2000)
* Lies About Palestinian Arab Responses to 9/11:
Ashrawi said in Portland in November 2001: "I understand America is a nation in mourning. As Palestinian, we share your pain and grief." (Portland Jewish Review, Nov. 15, 2002) ...In fact, the Associated Press reported on September 11, 2001, that "thousands of Palestinians celebrated Tuesday's terror attacks" by singing and dancing in the streets of Nablus (Shechem), Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and Palestinian Arab neighborhoods in Lebanon. Thousands of Palestinian Arabs also held rallies in support of Bin Laden in Gaza on September 14 and October 8, and in Ramallah and Nablus (Shechem) on October 12, 2001.
On October 26, 2001, the official PA radio station "Voice of Palestine" broadcast a sermon denouncing the U.S. military action in Afghanistan, calling America "heretics," "dogs," "imperialists," and "killers." The sermon was delivered by preacher Yusuf Abu Senan, an official of the PA's Ministry of Religious Affairs.
* Lies About Palestinian Arabs' Use of Violence:
In an interview with CBS in November 2000, Ashrawi falsely claimed that Palestinian Arab children were not being sent to engage in violence against Israelis. "Not even animals would send their children into battle," she said. (Jerusalem Report, Nov. 20, 2000) Similarly, in an interview with the Jordan Times, Ashrawi said: "The most blatantly racist slur is the Israeli theft of our humanity as parents. In an attempt to rob us of our most basic feelings for our children, we are accused of 'sending children out to die' for the sake of 'scoring media points'." (Washington Jewish Week, Feb. 22, 2001) ...In fact, Palestinian Arab terrorist groups frequently send teenagers to carry out terror attacks, and Palestinian Arab parents are frequently quoted in the international media praising their children who engage in violence against Israelis.
Ashrawi told the New York Times in 1992: "Only the voice of power works...We've been very reasonable and very gentle and nonviolent, and look what they got us: more suffering for our people..." (August 23, 1992
* Lies About the Holocaust:
In an interview with the New York Times (July 24, 1998), Ashrawi said that "she knew of no Palestinian officials who had made statements distorting the Holocaust." ...In fact, an article in the July 2, 1998, the official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda published an article calling the Holocaust "a deceitful myth which the Jews have labeled the Holocaust and have exploited to get sympathy."
And in A Voice of Reason, a sympathetic book about Ashrawi (authored by Barbara Victor; published by Harcourt Brace & Co.), one of her own top aides, Suhair Taha is quoted on p.223 as saying: "I've studied the Holocaust in great detail and frankly, it's a big exaggeration. Maybe Jews were killed, along with a lot of other people, during the course of the war, but never any mass extermination. That's Zionist propaganda."
* Opposes Jewish Immigration to Israel:
Speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C. in 1997, Ashrawi said: "Any kind of Jewish immigration into Israel is going to take place at the expense of the Palestinians."
(Transcript of Conference on the Middle East Peace Process at the Center for Strategic and International Studies-Judith Kipper, Moderator; October 9, 1997)
At a speech in Detroit in 1995, "Ashrawi demanded...no more immigration by 'foreigners' [to Israel]." (Jerusalem Post, June 2, 1995)
* Calls for the Eventual Destruction of Israel as a Jewish State:
In a speech in November 1999, "Ashrawi ended her speech by discussing the idea of a bi-national state...Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis will be able to permanently establish separate states, Ashrawi said. Ultimately, they will have to merge and form a one-person, one-vote democracy in order to survive." (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Dec.1999)
* Falsely Blames Israel for Lack of Democracy in Arab World:
Ashrawi said in Portland in November 2001 that the "threat" which she said Israel poses to the Arab world is the reason for the absence of democracy among the Arabs. "The threat to Arab national security became a very good reason for Arab states to reject democratic institutions to preserve the status quo," she said. (Portland Jewish Review, Nov. 15, 2002) ...In fact, the Arab states were dictatorships long before Israel even existed.
* Urges Israeli Jews to "Go Back to Brooklyn":
In a speech in San Francisco in November 2001, Ashrawi said (addressing herself to the Israeli people): "You should go back to where you belong; what right do you people from Russia and Brooklyn have to our land?" (Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, Nov. 16, 2001)
* Lies about Israel's Policies:
In a speech at Yale University on April 8, 2000, Ashrawi claimed that Israel is "carrying out ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem." (Jewish Currents, June 2000)
In a speech in San Francisco in November 2001, Ashrawi falsely accused Israel of "enslaving" the Palestinian Arabs. (Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, Nov. 16, 2001)
* Lies About Palestinian Arab History:
Ashrawi said in Portland in November 2001: "There was an attempt to cast the Palestinians outside of history. We are one of the most ancient peoples of the region.." (Portland Jewish Review, Nov. 15, 2002)
In fact, prior to Israel's creation in 1948, Arab residents of Palestine did not even consider themselves "Palestinians." They called themselves Arabs or Syrians and referred to Palestine as Southern Syria. It was the Jewish residents of Palestine who were commonly known as "Palestinians." The Palestinian Arabs are indistinguishable from the Arabs in surrounding countries; the have the same language, culture, and history. The idea that the Palestinian Arabs are an "ancient people" has no historical basis; it is a propaganda invention of the 1960s-1970s.
Ashrawi said in a speech in Washington, D.C. in February 2001: "Jesus was a Palestinian." (Washington Jewish Week, Feb. 22, 2001)
In fact, the New Testament does not even use the word "Palestinian"; it refers to the area in which Jesus lived by its correct historical name, "Judea."
* Whitewashes Palestinian Arab Terrorism Against Israel:
"In [Ashrawi's autobiography,] This Side of Peace, Ashrawi repeatedly denounces Israeli assaults on Palestinians, but in describing 30 years of Mideast history she never mentions a single PLO terrorist attack. There is no reference to the fatal attack on 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Or to the 1974 hostage-taking at a Ma'alot school in which 24 people were killed and 64 wounded. Or to the 1976 Entebbe hijacking in which four Israelis and seven terrorists were killed as Israeli forces rescued more than 100 hostages. Or to the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, in which 37 Israelis died after terrorists commandeered a bus on the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway."
--Natalie Weinstein's review of Ashrawi's book, This Side of Peace, in the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, June 9, 1995
The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.