The Hamas newspaper this week chronicled with pride the ways in which different foreign leaders singled out the Palestinians as examples of ideal revolutionaries. The first leader cited by the Hamas weekly, Al—Rissala, for praising the Palestinians was Adolf Hitler:
"Adolf Hitler, while exciting the Germans of the Sudetenland — the Sudetenland is a German province that the Allies had annexed to Czechoslovakia after the First World War — told them in his broadcasts: Look at what the Palestinian revolutionaries are doing to Great Britain!!"
[Al—Rissala (Hamas Weekly), May 18, 2006]
It may be surprising to Western observers to see Palestinians taking pride in having been praised by Hitler. But it is important to understand that the utter revulsion of Hitler expected in the West is not true in Palestinian society. Palestinians can be found who are named "Hitler" as a first name: Hitler Salah [Al Hayat Al Jadida, Sept. 28, 2005], Hitler Abu—Alrab [Al Hayat Al Jadida, Jan. 27, 2005], Hitler Mahmud Abu—Libda [Al Hayat Al Jadida, Dec.18, 2000].
This phenomenon of Palestinians being named after Hitler was explained in an article in the official PA daily praising the rewriting of history and the doing of "justice" to Hitler:
"Even Adolf Hitler, who after the fall of Nazi Germany turned into a political horror for most of the writers and artists, during the last decades has started to return himself to his part of the picture. There are some in Britain who defended Hitler and tried to do justice for him. There are elderly people, among them Arabs, who still carry the name Hitler since their fathers, who were charmed by him, linked them [their children] with his name."
[Al—Hayat Al—Jadida, April 13, 2000]
One article explained the phenomenon of naming Palestinians after admired foreign leaders — such as Napoleon and the Nazi General Rommel:
"Sometimes parents name their children with foreign names, due to the father's admiration to a foreign personality. This is the source of the names: Rommel [famous Nazi General] and Napoleon."
[Al—Ayyam, November 15, 2001 "Woman's Voice" supplement].
The admiration for Hitler is consistent with the status of Mein Kampf, which a PA daily cited as a book on the best sellers' list.
[Al Hayat Al Jadida, Sept. 2, 1999]
Hat tip: N.S. Rajaram