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9/11 Outrage In Colorado By: Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, September 05, 2002


Osama Bin Laden was apparently not available to address the students at Colorado College on the first anniversary of the September 11 Islamist atrocities. I say this because I doubt there could be any other plausible explanation for why Colorado College saw fit to ask Hanan Ashrawi, the most prominent spokesman for Palestine's war of terror in the west, to address its student body for the First Anniversary of America's second Pearl Harbor.

Colorado College president Richard F. Celeste, a former Ohio governor and ambassador to India during the Clinton administration, has defended the college's choice of this speaker, saying the invitation was intended to "provoke critical and engaged thought." Oh really? He might just as well have invited Holocaust Denier David Irving to address the campus on Holocaust Memorial Day, or to invite the head of the Klan to appear on Martin Luther King Day. Three Republican state legislators — Senate Minority Leader John Andrews, House Majority Leader Lola Spradley, and Rep. Debbie Stafford — say allowing Asrawi to speak sends out a bad message about terrorism. Namely that it is something good.

The 56-year old Ashrawi has long been the darling of certain segments of the Western media thanks to her fluent English, her PhD, and her gender. For example, Leslie Stahl of 60-Minutes has lauded Ashrawi as a "Palestinian who has been at the peace process longer than almost anyone." ("60 Minutes," December 11, 1994). Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, frequently appears on American television and radio. One rare exception to the journalistic fawning over Ashrawi was Barbara Amiel's 1993 profile of the Palestinian spokeswoman in the London Sunday Times. Amiel was struck by the "lies and distortions" in Ashrawi's retelling of events.

Hanan Ashrawi is the Madame DeFarge of the PLO, not to mention a long-time Holocaust Denier. She officially joined the PLO's "Palestinian Diplomatic Committee" and the "Intifada Political Committee" in 1988. Then, in 1991, Yasser Arafat appointed her as Official Spokesperson of the Palestinian Delegation to the "Middle East Peace Process." She served as the PLO's Minister of Higher Education and Research, and for one year was Head of its Political Committee. While pretending to be an "independent" civic activist outside the PLO, just quietly interested in protecting human rights for everyone besides Jews, in fact her non-profit organization (named MIFTAH) is propped up with $850,000 per annum granted it directly by Palestine's terrorist-in-chief Yassir Arafat.

Ashrawi's MIFTAH web site makes it clear that she has never come to terms with Israel's existence and has never met an Arab suicide bomber she does not like. Right after Palestinian terrorists murdered 28 people at a Passover seder in Netanya, Ashrawi gave an interview on Abu Dhabi TV. She made no comment on the Netanya attack, preferring instead to condemn Israel for forcing the expulsion of 13 Palestinian murderers to Europe. She appears on forums with those who support bin Laden.

Ashrawi has a long history of celebrating Palestinian atrocities and murders of Jews. Just two days before 9-11 she said on the Palestinian Authority's official Voice of Palestine (Sept.9, 2001): "The only language Sharon understands is the language of violence." She justifies random murders of Jewish civilians by Palestinian terrorists (Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 16, 2002). When Palestinian mobs tortured, mutiliated, gouged out the eyes, and lynched two unarmed Israeli reserve soldiers in Ramallah in 2000, Ashrawi cheered them on (Times, October 29, 2000). 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).

There has never been an atrocity directed against Jews that Ashrawi was not ready to justify. Ashrawi has even defended the Islamist fundamentalist terrorist group Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks. According to Ashrawi, Hamas is a legitimate component of the Palestinian "political spectrum," and she doesn't "think of Hamas as a terrorist group. We coordinate politically...the people we know and talk to are not terrorists." (UPI, April 30, 1993) This is the very person regarded by Colorado College as the appropriate speaker to discuss al-Qaeda's Islamist terrorism with objectivity.

Ashrawi does not recognize Israel's legitimacy in any set of borders whatsoever, and she routinely refers to Israel's creation as "the Disaster". She considers Tel Aviv and Haifa to be illegal settlements, Israeli-occupied Palestine in need of liberation.

She has justified the PLO murdering Palestinians it suspects of "collaboration" with Israel (on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour on Sept. 3, 1993). She has a very long history of telling the most blatant lies to the press. 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)

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.) She must be the only Palestinian on earth who is unaware of such behavior. She has long denied Jews have any right to immigrate to any part of Israel. In a speech in Detroit in 1995, Ashrawi "demanded...no more immigration by 'foreigners' [to Israel], by which she meant Jews." (Jerusalem Post, June 2, 1995)

In a speech in San Francisco in November 2001, Ashrawi declared: "You (the Israeli Jews) 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). In perhaps her most brazen lie of all, Ashrawi said in a speech in Washington, D.C. in February 2001: "Jesus was a Palestinian." (Washington Jewish Week, Feb. 22, 2001) Never mind that Jesus was a Jew who had a bar mitzvah and kept kosher. 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," meaning Land of the Jews.(For documentation of her many other lies, see http://www.camera.org/docs/alert/ashrawi.html and http://www.camera.org/docs/oncamera/ochanan.html.)

In the very days when all the news footage on earth was showing Palestinian mobs taking to the streets to celebrate Bin Laden's Sept 11 attacks on America, Ashrawi appeared on the screen and argued with a straight face that there were no such celebrations and that the Palestinians shared American grief. In fact the Palestinian street she represents was nearly unanimous in celebrating Bin Laden's great "victory". Ashrawi herself lectured Americans about how the attacks were America's comeuppance for its having supported Israel (appearing on ABC with Peter Jennings, September 13, 2001).

But her obsessive deceitfulness is not restricted to Palestinian barbarism. She has long been a Holocaust Denier. In an article in the July 2, 1998 official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, Ashrawi published an article calling the Holocaust "a deceitful myth which the Jews have labeled the Holocaust and have exploited to get sympathy."

Part of the reason for her mythical 'moderation' hailed so often by the media is that she was one of several Palestinian "intellectuals" who signed a petition against suicide bombings of Israelis. In fact, if one reads what that petition actually says, it turns out Ashrawi and her friends see nothing immoral at all about random murders of Israeli children and are not opposed to suicide bombings in principle; in the petition they simply argue that the timing for more such attacks is wrong (for now) because they are harming the PALESTINIANS (including bad press and Israeli reprisals). Some moderates! It is only the damage done by these attacks to the Palestinians that disturbs these "moderates."

In another expression of her moderation, Ashrawi came out against any compliance by the Palestinian Authority with its Oslo obligations to extradite terrorists and murderers. She has supported Saddam Hussein and condemned American moves to topple him, and has even denounced the Saudis for "kowtowing" to the United States. Since 2001 she has served as spokeswoman for the Arab League, an organization of Arab dictatorships that misses no chance to show its solidarity with Saddam Hussein.

This is the creature believed by Colorado College to be the appropriate keynote speaker on the day America commemorates the Islamist attacks on New York and Washington. Let Colorado College have the courage of its convictions. For consistency, let it award an honorary Ph.D. and set aside a seat of honor on its September 11 podium for Osama bin Laden himself!


Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.


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