For many of us, one of the most disturbing images has been that of the celebration of a few Palestinian youths after the tragedy.
This image has been played over and over again on CNN, thus reinforcing the myth that somehow the whole of the Arab and Muslim world rejoices at our pain.
Closer examination has revealed that that celebration was in fact a very limited phenomenon, limited to a few Palestinian villages. Almost every single head of state in the Muslim world has expressed grief and outrage over this tragedy, fully expressing sympathy with the Americans who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.
We believe that it is important that these images, these words, also receive national attention.
The terrorist act was strongly condemned by every single Palestinian organization including Fatah, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, Workers Unions and Committees, Human Right organizations (AlHaq, Law, Palestine Center for Human Rights), student associations, municipalities, mosques and churches, etc.
The U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem reported that he has received a huge stack of faxes from Palestinians and Palestinian organizations expressing condolences, grief and solidarity. He himself was pained to see that the media chose to focus on the sensational images of a few Palestinians rejoicing. The Palestine Legislative Council condemned the terrorist attack on the United States and sent an urgent letter of condolences to J. Dennis Hasterd, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Palestinians in East Jerusalem held a candle-light vigils on September 12 and 14 to express their grief and solidarity with the American families struck by this tragedy. Abdel Qader Al-Husseini, son of the late Palestinian leader Faisal Al-Husseini, led one of the vigils. Jerusalem University students, along with the President of the University and the Deans of the various faculties, began a blood donation drive in East Jerusalem. Students and professors went to hospitals in order to donate blood for the American victims who need it. The 1 million Palestinian students in the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, stood five minutes in silence to express their solidarity with the hundreds of American children who have been struck by this strategy, which resembles in its shocking effects their daily sufferings. In Iran, Tehran's main soccer stadium observed an unprecedented minute's silence in sympathy with the victims. Iran's Ayatollah Imami Kashani spoke of a catastrophic act of terrorism which could only be condemned by all Muslims, adding the whole world should mobilise against terrorism.