Council Member Honors, Then Denounces, Palestinian Official

Maria Quinones-Sanchez says she was unaware of Laila Ghannam's comments supporting terrorism.

Maria Quinones-Sanchez

Maria Quinones-Sanchez

Council Member Maria Quinones-Sanchez has condemned a Palestinian official who allegedly supports terrorism — but only after honoring that official with a Citation of Honor and a replica of the Liberty Bell during a January ceremony in Philadelphia.

Laila Ghannam, Palestinian District Governor of Ramallah, reportedly “has publicly and repeatedly praised and glorified Palestinian Arab terrorists and murderers specifically for those acts of terrorism and murder, including suicide bombings, stabbing captives to death, building of explosives, and torturing not only Jews and other Israelis – including the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics, as well as dozens of children – but Americans, including American diplomats,” The Jewish Press Reports.

Palestinian Media Watch, a pro-Israel webisite, posted several videos depicting Ghannam making inflammatory statements, and documented Ghannan’s alleged history of supporting terrorists.

Quinones-Sanchez released a statement to The Jewish Press withdrawing her honor of Ghannam:

I was invited to attend this event to meet the first woman elected governor in the Palestinian Authority, and whose work was described to me as humanitarian in nature and centered on furthering the rights of women and girls. My office honored her for these reasons.

I fully and unequivocally denounce the sentiments attributed to Governor Ghannam in this video, and have consistently condemned terrorist violence.

As an elected official who represents a significant Muslim-American population, including many Palestinian refugee families, I know my Muslim constituents to be good citizens and contributors to their communities. I strongly support interfaith efforts to build understanding across cultural and ethnic barriers, and I am committed to open, honest and productive dialogue with all who share the goal of peace.