Middle East

A Barbaric Act

Palestine Report Online interviewed Palestinian Authority cabinet secretary Ahmad Abdel Rahman on the recent attacks on the United States:

PR: Can you describe the Palestinian reaction to the recent events?
AR: We are completely denouncing this operation of terrorism. This terrorism [was committed] against everybody in the world, against human beings. It is a barbaric act. We denounce it completely. We are ready to help the American people, the American administration, to find the killers who launched these terrorism operations against civilians, against everybody in this world. And I give my condolences to the American people, the American administration. We completely denounce these terrorist groups and these operations.

PR: Do you think that this could have been a Palestinian group?
AR: That is impossible. We are civilized people. We are not blind. We are not against the American people. We look at the American people as our friends. No Palestinian could think in this way. It is not the Palestinian way to do anything this way. It is too crazy, too stupid, too blind.

PR: Not even a small radical group?
AR: Not at all. From my experience in Palestinian political life, no group would think this way.

PR: How do you explain the scenes on Israeli television yesterday of some Palestinians celebrating?
AR: These are marginal, isolated people. I can tell you—rest assured—that 99 percent and more of the Palestinian people are horrified by this terrorism. What does it mean? What does it mean to destroy the trade center and hit the American Pentagon and kill American passengers in this way? We are against it. We are a civilized people. We are ready to help the American administration to find these killers. I say this to you as a matter of principle. The people who do this are animals, in fact.

PR: There have been reports of the American press and people blaming Palestinians. Are you fearful of this having negative effects for the future, even if the charges are completely false?
AR: No one has mentioned the Palestinian people, and I think that no one will mention it because this is a disaster for the Palestinians, as it is for all civilized people. It would be a disaster if anyone mentions our name like that. We are ready to cooperate with the American administration, with the American people, to find these people and to bring them to justice. In any place in the world, we are ready. We are against these operations, and we are horrified by them. They are against civilization, in fact. This is not a question of politics; this is a barbaric act.