With Philadelphia councilwoman’s decision to honor a Palestinian terror supporter, the City of Brotherly Love becomes a place where hatred is promoted.

Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Sanchez appeared to promote her own version of liberty when she chose to award a veteran supporter of Palestinian terror with Philadelphia’s prestigious “Liberty Bell” and “Citation of Honor” awards, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.

The honors were bestowed upon Laila Ghannam, the Palestinian District Governor of Ramallah, by the American official at the end of January “in recognition of the impact of her extraordinary actions for her nation and her cause,” the official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported.

Ghannam’s “actions for her nation” include ongoing promotion of terror by glorifying some of the most horrific Palestinian murderers, presenting them as heroes and role models, and promising to follow in their path, as PMW has meticulously documented.

For instance, Ghannam honored Hamas bomb mastermind Abdallah Barghouti by visiting his home and family. Barghouti, who built several bombs for suicide bombers, is serving 67 life sentences for his complicity in the murder of 67 civilians.

At one official PA event, Ghannam promised to follow the path of arch-terrorists who murdered hundreds of civilians. The list included the infamous founder of Hamas, Ahmed Yassin, responsible for the deaths of hundreds in suicide bombings on buses and in cafes in Israel. Ghannam declared:

“We promise and swear to these mighty ones: We are still [following] your path… The President and icon, Martyr Yasser Arafat, Dr. George Habash (founder Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), comrade Abu Ali Mustafa (head of PFLP), Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Hamas founder), Fathi Shaqaqi (Islamic Jihad founder), Samir Ghosheh (Sec.-Gen. of Popular Struggle Front), Abu Jihad (a founder of Fatah) and all the great leaders.”

PMW has documented tens of instances in which Ghannam, the Philadelphia Liberty Bell Award recipient, has repeatedly honored terrorists in speeches, by laying wreaths on their graves, and by visiting their families. In total, her “role models” are responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings, shooting attacks and stabbings.

Ghannam also regularly categorizes murderers of civilians as shahids (martyrs), the highest status in Islam, indicating she believes the murder of Israeli civilians is an act sanctioned by Islam and promoted by Allah, which is to be admired by Palestinians, PMW explains.

Councilwoman Sanchez was extremely proud of her honoree and posted photos on Facebook of herself with Ghannam receiving the award. The photos have since been removed. She also tweeted, “I was honored to welcome the first woman Governor of the city of Ramallah, #Palestine, to Philadelphia Dr. Leila Ghannam. Women making moves.”

Update: PMW sent a copy of its report to Councilwoman Sánchez, proving that Ghannam has honored dozens of Palestinian terrorists who have murdered hundreds of civilians. Within hours, Sánchez issued a statement including the following words:
“I fully and unequivocally denounce the sentiments attributed to Governor Ghannam in this video…”

When asked for further clarification by PMW, Sánchez’s office wrote: “The use of the word ‘attributed’ was simply because the Councilwoman can only read these statements in PalWatch’s (PMW’s) translation, as she doesn’t speak Arabic. Her condemnation of the content, as translated, is unequivocal.”

Also in response to PMW’s query, Sánchez’s office added: “We will look into whether it is possible to withdraw a citation.”

By: United with Israel Staff


Call to Action!

act now

Contact Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Sanchez to complain about her misguided decision to award Palestinian District Governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam, a supporter of terror against Israeli civilians.


Suggested text:

Dear Councilwoman Sanchez,

I was horrified to learn that you decided to reward Laila Ghannam with Philadelphia’s prestigious “Liberty Bell” and “Citation of Honor” awards. This was an extremely poor choice given that Ms. Ghannam has been proven to support terror against innocent Israeli civilians.

Please withdraw the misplaced citation.

I encourage you to reward supporters of peace – not supporters of terror.

Thank you.


(Your name)


Write or call Councilwoman Sanchez:

City Hall, Room 592
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290
(215) 686-3448, (215) 686-3449
FAX: (215) 686-1936


Write to her on her Facebook page: