Archive for March, 2015

Mar 04 2015

When Palestine Becomes an Issue in Philadelphia Politics

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By Daoud Kuttab

When council woman Maria D. Quinones Sanchez from the city of Philadelphia walked into the Mas Islamic Center January 30th to meet with members of her constituency, she had no idea that she will find herself embroiled with the same kind of political controversy that is shaking up US-Israeli relations.

At the center which also contains the Hidayya Mosque, Sanchez met and honored an official of the Palestinian government. The Councilwoman from the seventh district of Philadelphia presented the symbolic Philadelphia Liberty Bell and a citation honoring the governor of Ramallah and El Bireh D. Laila Ghannam. The occasion was emotional as the Palestinian governor said that she hopes Palestine will be able to ring the bell of liberty and then removed her personal embroidered scarf and offered it to the Latino councilwoman as a gesture of friendship. Both Palestinians and American officials took pictures with the local Arab American community and proudly posted them on their respective Facebook pages. But that is when the troubles began.

Pro-Israeli US organizations and activists began research of the Palestinian governor and discovered a video in which Governor Ghannam participated on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas in an event marking those Palestinians who sacrifices their lives in the Palestinian struggle. In a video uploaded on YouTube February 12th the governor is seen praising the leaders of the Palestinian revolution who died in the anti-occupation struggle. Ghannam calls these leaders “great” and the anti-Palestinian Israeli group Palestinian Media Watch accuses Ghannam of honoring arch terrorists. Continue Reading »

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