March 23, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9247

Article In Qatari Daily Praises Palestinian Terrorist Dalal Al-Mughrabi: She Was 'The Bravest And Noblest Of Women' And A Paragon Of Feminism

March 23, 2021
Qatar, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 9247


In a March 12, 2021 article in the Qatari daily Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, journalist Nawaf Al-Tamimi, a faculty member at the Doha Institute For Graduate Studies, glorifies Dalal Al-Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist. Al-Mughrabi was the deputy commander of the March 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 35 Israeli civilians were killed, many of them children, and 71 were wounded. Published several days after International Women's Day, Al-Tamimi's article criticizes Google for failing include Al-Mughrabi its Google Doodle video for March 8, 2021, which paid homage to trailblazing women around the globe, and extols her as a pioneering heroine who was a feminist without knowing it. It should be noted that Al-Tamimi repeats a false account of the Coastal Road massacre, widely circulated in Palestinian and other media, which describes it as an attack on soldiers rather than civilians.[1] 

Dalal Al-Mughrabi (Source: Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, London)

The following are translated excerpts from his article: [2]

"May 8, 1978 was not like any other International Women's Day, at least for one particular woman who was training at one of the bases of the Palestinian revolution in preparation for the day that Palestinian children will be reading about [even] 1,000 years from now. Born in the Shatila refugee camp [in Lebanon] in 1959, this young Palestinian woman, Dalal Al-Mughrabi, did not know much about the feminist movements around the world. Dalal was not a feminist, she was a fida'i who chose to mark International Women's Day by practicing the assembly and disassembly of an AK-47, not by endlessly debating the theories of French philosopher Charles Fourier, who coined the term 'feminism.'  Decades before Google and its owners were born, Dalal chose to challenge and rebel against the stereotypical perception of women. This was years before the organizers of International Women's Day would select the theme for 2021 – 'Let's all choose to challenge' – in order to encourage the breaking of gender stereotypes. Even so, Google did not include Dalal Al-Mughrabi among the women presented in the short clip it produced, celebrating the achievements of pioneering women from different cultures and races in various fields.

"Google did not remember the heroine Dalal Al-Mughrabi, even though she was a fighter who was martyred in defense of the most sacred of human rights: the right to live in freedom and dignity on one's soil and in one's homeland. [So] it can't hurt to remind the young people –  especially young boys preoccupied with their  manliness or young girls mesmerized by the trend of feminism rather than by its essence – that Dalal Al-Mughrabi was born to a family from Jaffa who fled to Lebanon following the Nakba of 1948, and joined the Palestinian fida'i movement while she was still in high school. She joined the Palestinian national liberation movement Fatah, and in 1973 she took part in the defense of the Palestinian revolution in Lebanon. When she was 20, a man named Khalil Al-Wazir, [aka] Abu Jihad [then head of Fatah's military wing and Yasser Arafat's deputy], chose her to be the commander of the Deir Yassin unit, comprising 12 fida'is, who would carry out an operation in the depth of Palestine. [They were to] capture an Israeli military bus and drive it to Tel Aviv in order to attack the Knesset [sic] and pressure the occupation to release Palestinian prisoners…   Dalal indeed headed the unit that penetrated [Israel] from Lebanon, by sea, on March 11, 1978, landed on the Palestinian coast, reached the main road [the Coastal Road] to Tel Aviv, captured a bus full of soldiers [sic] and took them hostage… Dalal was martyred along with the 11 fida'is  after causing the occupation army heavy casualties…

Dalal does not enjoy the fame accorded to the Syrian journalist and writer Hind Nawfal, born in 1860, who was the first Arab woman to publish a feminist magazine. Nor does she enjoy the status of Egyptian activist Huda Al-Sha'rawi, born in 1879, famous for fighting for the education of women and girls in Egypt. But Dalal was the bravest and noblest of women, because she 'went to war in order to create life,' as [Lebanese writer] Elias Khoury put it, and '1,000 years from now, Arab children will [still] be reading the story of the woman who led 11 men and headed a Palestinian Republic inside a bus,' as [Syrian poet] Nizar Qabbani wrote."


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