The mother and aunt of a young Palestinian man who brutally slaughtered nearly an entire Jewish family last year went on Palestinian Authority television recently to praise his murderous actions and to denounce Israel for having the audacity to put him in jail.
Hakim Awad was given five life sentences by an Israeli court last August for his role in the March 2011 massacre of the Fogel family in the northern Samaria Jewish community of Itamar. During the home invasion attack, Hakim and his cousin, Amjad Awad (who also received five life sentences), mercilessly stabbed to death Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their young children, including a four-month-old baby.
The Fogel massacre sent shockwaves through Israeli society both because of the brutality and the purposeful targeting of young children, at least two of whom were sleeping when they were set upon by the Awad cousins.
Palestinian society views the murders and the murderers much differently.
Last week, Palestinian Authority TV aired a program called "For You" decrying Israel's imprisonment of convicted Palestinian terrorists. Hakim Awad was one of the stars of the show.
Phoning in to the show, Awad's aunt read a poem she had written for Hakim and referred to the blood-soaked killer as a "hero" and a "legend" among his family, friends and peers. Awad's mother also got on the line to lament that she was being prevented from visiting her son due to the severity of the "Itamar operation" - Palestinians regularly refer to the murder of Israeli Jews, even children, as military "operations."
The hostess of the "For You" program also added her own greeting to Hakim Awad.
This continued justification and even glorification of the murder of Israeli Jews is for most Israelis the primary reason the peace process is going nowhere. As part of the original "Oslo Accords," both sides were obliged to educate their populations for peaceful coexistence.
Remarks such as those expressed by the Awad matriarchs suggests that Palestinian society has actually been educated to hate Jews even more. And it is a certainty that at least some young Palestinians watching "For You" took away the lesson that they, too, can become "legends" by murdering Jews.
[Translation of the 'For You' program was provided by Palestinian Media Watch]