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March 13, 2003

Outrage of the Day

LGF rightfully cites this outrage and the need for letters to be sent to the YMCA
Yesterday Saddam Hussein distributed 260 grand in blood money to the families of Palestinian mass murderers, rewarding and reinforcing their debased culture of Islamic death worship.

That’s not our outrage of the day, although it should be. Saddam has done this before; in fact, as this AP story points out, he’s funded these psychotic freaks to the tune of $35 million in toto. (Of course, we all know Iraq has not been proven to support terrorism.)

Here’s the AP’s description of the festivities:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Saddam Hussein has distributed $260,000 to 26 families of Palestinians killed in 29 months of fighting with Israel, including a $10,000 check to the family of a Hamas suicide bomber.

In a packed banquet hall on Wednesday, the families came one-by-one to receive $10,000 checks. A large banner said: "The Arab Baath Party Welcomes the Families of the Martyrs for the Distribution of Blessings of Saddam Hussein."
And there’s the outrage.

The banquet hall.

Because it wasn’t just any “banquet hall” where this celebration of genocidal mass murder took place. It was the Gaza YMCA.

Sheik Yassim Jamasi said he was grateful for the $25,000 cheque he received from Saddam Hussein, but it did not change his attitude towards the Iraqi president.

Along with the money, the old man yesterday received a certificate from President Saddam in recognition of his son's futile suicide attack on an Israeli gunboat. In January, Mahmoud Jamasi strapped explosives to a raft and guided it towards the vessel off the Gaza coast, but was blown to bits by Israeli gunfire before he could do harm to anyone else.

Still, the Hamas fighter was the absent star of yesterday's gathering at the Gaza YMCA as the only suicide bomber to be honoured by President Saddam's envoys, who handed out $245,000 to the relatives of those who died recently in the intifada, or suffered other losses such as having their homes destroyed by Israeli forces.
Please note: this YMCA is run by the Geneva-based World Alliance of YMCAs, who apparently have no problem with their facilities being used for such purposes. Damian Penny emailed about this; as a YMCA board member he’s appalled, and he’s written to tell them. If you’d like to do the same (I have), here’s the email address for the World Alliance of YMCAs: