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Special report: Sari Nusseibeh - a moderate by whose standards? (PMW-PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH) By Itamar Marcus 07/29/02)Source: http://www.pmw.org.il PMW} PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH PMW} PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Introduction:
Prof. Sari Nusseibeh, president of "Al-Quds University” and the Palestinian Authority’s holder of the Jerusalem portfolio has been singled out by many in the West and in Israel as a moderate with whom Israel could make peace. In fact there was significant international pressure on Israel to reopen his offices at the university recently because he is seen as a moderate. However, the term “moderate” is vague and misleading. Is he a moderate by Western standards - openly rejecting terrorism, promoting peace and reconciliation with Israel through negotiations? Or is he “moderate” only relative to terrorist organizations like Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority, which has been openly promoting terrorism?

The following three items offer some insight as to the beliefs and opinions of Sari Nusseibeh.

1. The main graphic in an official student calendar from his university, Al-Quds, which appears on every page of the calendar and on the back cover is a map of Israel, encircled by the Islamic moon and swords. [See pictures below.]

2. An interview with Nusseibeh on Al Jazeera TV, together with a Hamas leader and a mother of a suicide terrorist, in which he expresses admiration for terrorists and acceptance of terror as valid, when it brings positive political results.

3. An analysis of the open letter he signed calling for a halt to suicide bombings in Israel, because they were “politically damaging”.

1. “Al-Quds University” Calendar: The following maps of Israel encircled under the Islamic moon and 2 swords are from an official student calendar of Sari Nusseibeh’s university, Al Quds.

These maps of Israel under the sword appear on the back cover and as a watermark on each and every page of the calendar. The encircling of all of Israel represents Islamic “Palestine” replacing Israel, through the sword.

The calendar’s dedication on page 1 continues the violent themes: “[Dedicated]... to the mothers who stand firm, the believing women who received the funerals not by collapsing, but with deep belief and acceptance of fate and even with cries of joy …
“…to the pure, who stand today despite their poverty, their lack of means, and their disgrace, stand erect and unwavering in the face of the American evil and those who aid it, because they know that the arrogance of heresy can be bent only through Jihad and Istishhad.” [Istishhad means to Seek Death for Allah, and is also used to define suicide bombers.]

The calendar is by “The committee representing the women students- Student Council”, “The Faculty of Religious Promotion and the Foundations of Faith Al-Quds University.”

2. Interview on Al Jazeera TV and petition:
Sari Nusseibeh was interviewed recently on Al Jazeera TV together with Khaled Mash’al, a Hamas leader and Um Nidal, the mother of a suicide terrorist. The following are segments from the Nusseibeh interview, with some lines from the first 2 interviews to give the context for Nusseibeh’s remarks.

It should be noted:

1. The very act of participating in an interview with both a Hamas leader, who defends and explains his procedures in choosing suicide bombers, and the mother of the suicide terrorist who killed 5 teenagers, without distancing himself from the hatred he heard, lends his approval to mass murderers.

2. In the interview, Nusseibeh expresses his explicit admiration for the terrorist’s mother, in her sending her son to be killed for Jihad.

3. He denied that he condemned suicide bombings - he has respect for those Jihad fighters - and he does not reject terror as a political tool. Both in the interview and the petition below -Terror is not rejected but is to be evaluated by its political results.

The interview:
Moderator [general questions]: “What are the cultural components of this Istishhad [Seeking Death for Allah]? What doctrine impels a mother to call upon her son to undertake Shahada [Death for Allah]?

Moderator [to Hamas leader Mash’al]: “My first question, esteemed sir… is that there are those who accuse you of practicing demagoguery and brainwashing those who go to blow themselves up and die. What is it exactly that you do?”

Khaled Mash’al: “The overwhelming majority on the Palestinian and Arab street understand that the Shahids [suicide terrorists-ed] are those who take it upon themselves to resist, they are those who give of themselves; they are those who offer their efforts to the military wings of the resistance groups…”

Um Nidal: “My son is not dearer than Islam. I have offered him as a gift and a sacrifice to Allah, may he be glorified, and to His true faith, in order to protect this faith, and to raise the banner of ”there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of God” over the land of Palestine and all the lands of the world. If we do not undertake Jihad, heresy (kufr) will cover the world…our purpose is not to live; our purpose is to please Allah, may he be glorified, this is our foremost and final goal in this life.”

Nusseibeh: What comes to mind as I listen to comrade (lit. sister) Um Nidal is the verse “Paradise is under the feet of the mothers”. Praise is due to this woman, and to every Palestinian mother, and to every Palestinian female resistance fighter and Jihad fighter on this land. That is the first thing. I do not want to mix between my political words and my political analysis and the respect that every Palestinian feels for every resistance fighter and every Jihad fighter and every one who believes that there is no life possible under occupation, and that there is no life other than independence and honor.

[Nusseibeh is asked about the advertisement he signed “against” suicide bombings in Israel]

Nusseibeh: “It could be there is some confusion in the words I have heard, between the framework dealing with the personal motivations of those who undertake these actions, and on the other hand, the framework that we are talking about, which is the issue of political benefit or gain. I don´t want to get into the issues of anyone’s personal motivations, …rather we want to discuss specifically the area of the political benefit, because we believe that any action relating to the resistance must be subjected to criteria, that is, whether this action causes benefit or damage. One must also distinguish between the Shahada-seeker who targets military targets, and who targets civilian targets. In our [public] advertisement, we were specifically addressing ourselves to this type of Shahada- seeker, the type of armed explosive operation, and we said the following. And we said, and I want to emphasize, that we did not condemn or denounce, and we did not indulge in sentimental talk. Rather, we spoke in a brotherly way in order to create a dialogue, in order that there would be an evaluation in which all of the theoreticians and those involved would participate. And as you yourself stated in the beginning of this segment, Comrade (lit. brother) Ghassan, all are involved in this issue from the standpoint of assessing positive benefit the positive benefit versus the damage of actions against civilians within Israel.” [http://www.aljazeera.net/programs/open_dialog/articles/2002/7/7-2- 1.htm] [Al Jazeera TV July 14, 2002]

3. Petition:
“We, the undersigned, out of our sense of national responsibility, and in light of the difficult situation of the Palestinian people, hope that those who stand behind the military actions against civilians in Israel, will reconsider their actions and will cease to encourage our boys to perform these operations, because we do not see results from these actions other than [increased hatred]… We believe that these operations do not advance the fulfillment of our endeavor, for freedom and independence… Military actions are defined positively or negatively not by its own criteria [i.e. the success of the attack itself] but rather according to the achievement of political goals…” [Al Quds, June 19, 2002].

Conclusions:
Nusseibeh follows the consistent pattern PMW has noted for years among PA leaders - having a moderate language for diplomatic encounters in English while supporting terrorism and anticipating Israel’s destruction in Arabic. (PMW.ORG.IL 07/29/02)


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