"Don't blame us for honoring terrorists. It's our culture!"

From Haaretz:
Israel barred the Palestinian governor of Hebron from entering Israel, after he paid his condolences to the family of a man killed by settlement security after stabbing an Israeli girl to death in her home.

Mohammed Nasser Tra'ayra, 19, from the Palestinian village of Bani Na'im, jumped the Kiryat Arba settlement's perimeter fence and then broke into an isolated home, stabbing 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel in her sleep. He was then shot dead by the settlement's security force.

The governor said that the visit to Tra'ayra's home was of a social and religious nature, and had no political statement. Ahmed further stated that he had no special benefits from Israel. Sources close to the governor accused COGAT of incitement against him, saying that such condolence calls were a norm in Palestinian society and don't constitute a statement of support for the terrorist's acts.
This is not the first time we have heard this excuse. Saeb Erekat paid a condolence call to a "martyr" who shot two Israelis and Mahmoud Abbas has sent condolence letters to the family of a man who tried to ram his car into soldiers.

Previously, Abbas had sent not so much a condolence but a letter calling for revenge to the family of the person who almost assassiated Yehuda Glick, saying "With anger and condemnation we received the message about the heinous crime committed by the murderous, terrorist gangs in the Israeli occupation army against Muataz Ibrahim Hijazi, who rose to heaven as a casualty in the fight for the Palestinian people's rights and for the holy sites."

Is this explicit support for and praise of terrorists simply "social and religious?" Is visiting the family of murderers and terrorists simply a "cultural" issue?

It is easy to answer that question. If it is merely a social obligation to visit the families of the dead, as it is in other cultures, then the question is whether Hebron's governor visits the families of every car accident victim, everyone who succumbs to cancer, everyone who dies from a heart attack in his district.

If so, then he might have an argument. Of course, it would mean he has no time to actually do his job since he would be spending 12 hours a day visiting the bereaved.

Let's be honest. The reason that the families are being visited is because their terrorist sons are heroes to Palestinians. There is no other reason - and there is no excuse.

Israel is doing the right thing in not allowing Hebron's governor to enter Israel. Terror supporters should not be allowed into the state that they want to destroy.

But for Israel to be consistent, it should bar Abbas and Erekat from entering Israel as well from their overseas junkets, along with every member of the PA government that expresses support for terror. Then the message might get through that it is unacceptable to treat murderers like heroes.

Those who do must learn that their decisions have consequences.




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