The Palestinian leadership continues to glorify terrorists and Nazi collaborators by naming schools after them and presenting them as role models to the students.
When Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with President Donald Trump at the White House earlier this month, Abbas said that the Palestinians teach their children and grandchildren “a culture of peace.”
But Abbas’ embracing a “culture of peace” in Washington is meaningless when his schools in Ramallah embrace a culture of terror.
Palestinian Media Watch, a watchdog that monitors Palestinian incitement and education to hatred, has meticulously documented how the PA systematically teaches Palestinian children to hate Israelis and perpetrate violence against them. Even the names that the Palestinian Authority has chosen for its schools encourage children to see terrorists as personal role models.
The PA has named at least 28 schools after terrorists and at least three schools after Nazi collaborators. Significantly, the PA Ministry of Education is directly and solely responsible for the naming of schools.
Terrorists Presented as Heroes and Role Models
PMW has found evidence that in practice, students who attend such schools refer to terrorists as personal heroes whom they respect and aspire to emulate.
For example, the Shadia Abu Ghazaleh School for Girls is named in honor one of the first Palestinian female terrorists. She was killed in 1968 when a bomb she was preparing accidentally detonated. This is what the girls studying in the school, one of two named after Ghazaleh, said about her when interviewed on PA TV:
PA TV host: “What do you know about Shadia Abu Ghazaleh? You study in a school named after her”
Girl 1: “Shadia Abu Ghazaleh is a model of the patriotic woman…”
Girl 2: “She was a model of the wonderful female Palestinian fighter. We follow her path in this school.”
Girl 3: “We’re happy that our school is named after a very well-known Martyr, who played a role and who did something great.”
Girl 4: “The school is named after her to commemorate her… and encourage people to be like her.”
Girl 5: “Shadia was a model for us and will remain a model for us and we’ll follow her path.”
The students definitely know that it is a bombmaker they are praising as their role model, because a mural with her face and biography appears prominently on a school wall, saying, “Shadia Abu Ghazaleh… participated in the operation that blew up a bus. She was at home preparing a bomb in order to detonate it in an Israeli building in Tel Aviv but it exploded in her hands.”
When young students were interviewed in the Dalal Mughrabi School, the girls likewise expressed admiration for their school’s namesake:
Girl 1: “Dalal Mughrabi is a great leader… Our mothers give birth to thousands like Dalal, and she still walks among us… I personally am proud to attend the Dalal Mughrabi School.”
Girl 2: “My life’s ambition is to reach the level of the Martyr fighter Dalal Mughrabi.”
Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Highway, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.
Schools Named After Nazi Collaborators
The PA also named a school after Nazi collaborator and war criminal Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the time of the British Mandate. During World War II he moved to Berlin, where he was a Nazi collaborator and an associate of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. Al-Husseini was on Yugoslovia’s list of wanted war criminals and was responsible for a Muslim SS division that murdered thousands of Serbs and Croats. When the Nazis offered to free some Jewish children, Al-Husseini fought against their release, and as a result, 5000 children were sent to the gas chambers
The PA has named two schools after Nazi collaborator Hassan Salameh, a leader of Arab gangs in the Lod and Jaffa region in the 1930s and 1940s. Salameh – a loyal follower of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who spent World War II in Berlin supporting the Nazi war effort – was recruited in 1941 as a Nazi agent. In 1944, he was sent on a mission by the Nazis in the British Mandate of Palestine, with the goal of starting an Arab revolt against the British and poisoning Tel Aviv’s water sources. The plot was discovered and thwarted by the British. In 1947, Salameh was appointed by the Mufti as Deputy Commander of the “Holy Jihad” Army that fought Israel in the 1948 War of Independence. In June 1948, he was killed in battle.
PA schools also teach children to idolize terrorists in artwork and imagery. For example, the Artas High School for Girls near Bethlehem chose to hang a photo of 17-year-old female suicide bomber Ayyat Al-Akhras over the school’s entrance. Ayyat Al-Akhras had murdered two civilians in a supermarket in 2002.
“If Abbas wants to create a culture of peace, he needs to take action and not just talk,” PMW said. “A minimal first step would be to announce that during the coming year the PA will rename all Palestinian schools named after terrorists and Nazi war criminals. This step will certainly be welcomed in Washington and by the international community.”
“But more than that, if accompanied by the cessation of other terror glorification, it would be a first glimmer of hope that the PA may really be interested in being a peace partner,” PMW added.