German envoy slams 'glorifying terrorists'

Family receives murdered Munich athlete's ID card; Ayalon: Palestinian leadership pushing away chances for reconciliation.

February 23, 2011 20:05
2 minute read.
Danny Ayalon at Nativ Haasara

Danny Ayalon JPost interview 311. (photo credit: Benjamin Spier)


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The German ambassador came out strongly on Wednesday against the Palestinian Authority’s practice of commemorating terrorists, saying: “Glorifying terrorists hurts all of us, and shows that the hate is continuing.”

Harald Kindermann was speaking at a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry during which the Olympic ID of wrestler Eliezer Halfin, killed in the 1972 Munich massacre, was returned to his sister. The son of a German police officer who took the ID and hid it for nearly 40 years turned it over to Israel’s ambassador in Germany after his father died.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that while Israel concerns itself with commemorating the victims of terrorism, “the Palestinian leadership is busy glorifying terrorism and the murderers. When Muhammad “Abu Daoud” Ouda, one of the masterminds behind the Munich Olympics massacre, died, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] praised his memory and heritage and called him his wonderful brother and a courageous leader.

“The Palestinian leadership is busy glorifying terrorism, thereby pushing the chances for reconciliation further away.”

Kindermann said it was impossible to “understand that those people get any support from governments or organizations.

And I think it is a clear sign of what terror is, and what we have to expect, and we have to unify fighting the terror. And in this we will definitely closely and forever stand with Israel.”

Ayalon’s reference to the PA’s glorification of terrorism came a day after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, at a meeting in Brussels with his EU counterparts, presented them with a document charting the PA’s “confrontational conduct” toward Israel.

The PA “fosters a culture of glorifying terrorists, openly commemorating their record of brutality. Among those honored by the Palestinian Authority are Abu Jihad, Yihye Ayyash, Dalal Mughrabi and others, who are responsible for the murders and injury of countless innocent Israeli civilians,” the document read.

The Palestinian Presidential Compound in Ramallah is itself situated on a street named after Ayyash, “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocents, including both Israeli and American citizens,” the document pointed out.

“In March 2010, a central square in Ramallah was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led the infamous Palestinian terrorist raid [the Coastal Road Massacre] against an Israeli bus in 1978, in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were brutally murdered,” the document read. “The aforementioned square is but one of numerous such sites in Judea, Samaria and Gaza which glorify Mughrabi’s ‘legacy.’” The 22-year-old Halfin was one of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by the Palestinian Black September organization at the Munich Olympics. His ID card was returned to his sister, Rima Goldwasser.

Ayalon, characterizing the Munich Massacre as the “lowest point in the history of sport,” called on the German authorities to “make every effort to locate other documents that are perhaps being held somewhere, because hundreds of documents are still missing.

“The return of these documents to the families is more than just a humane gesture; it is of historical importance for perpetuating the event and engraving it on the pages of history.”

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