NEW YORK – In the wake of the admission by the captain of Yasir Arafat’s “ship of terror” that the ship’s weapons were being brought to Arafat’s Palestinian Authority, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush administration to implement his policy of “zero tolerance” of terrorism, and immediately end all U.S. relations with Arafat and the PA.
The captain of the ship, Omar Akawi, admitted on Israel Television (Jan.7, 2002) that he was assigned to the mission by a senior Palestinian Authority official in Greece, Adal Awadallah, and that the arms were intended for the PA and not the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah despite claims by State Department officials that the ship might really have been bringing the weapons to Hezbollah.
The ship was intercepted as it headed towards the PA-occupied portion of the Gaza Strip, carrying over 80,000 tons of weapons (not 50,000, as originally reported by the media).
In a telegram to President Bush, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein wrote: “Your father ended America’s relations with Yasir Arafat in 1990 because of one attempted terrorist attack by a PLO member-organization. In the wake of Arafat’s attempt to bring in over 80,000 tons of weapons, which would have produced thousands of terrorist attacks, we urge you to implement your policy of “zero tolerance” of terrorism, and end all relations with Arafat’s terrorist regime.”
1. Stop U.S. support for Palestinian statehood: The U.S. should declare that it no longer supports the creation of a Palestinian state, since it is clear that such a state would be a terrorist regime.
2. Stop all U.S. financial aid: The U.S. should immediately halt its $100-million in annual aid to the Palestinian Arabs.
3. Stop U.S. assistance to the PA security forces: The Central Intelligence Agency should stop providing training and equipment to the PA security forces.
4. Pressure America’s allies to take action: The U.S. should pressure other donor-nations to withhold financial aid from the Palestinian Arabs.
5. Bar PA officials from entering the U.S. All PA officials should be declared persona non grata and barred from entering the United States, just as other terrorists are barred.
6. Take action at the U.N.: The U.S. should initiate action at the United Nations to strip the Palestine Liberation Organization of its “Observer” status.
7. Seize the PA’s assets in America: All PA and PLO assets in the United States should be seized (including the closure of all PA or PLO offices), and given to victims of PA terrorism.
8. Send the FBI to capture Arab killers of Americans: The U.S. should send FBI agents to PA territory to capture Palestinian Arab killers of Americans, and bring them back to the U.S. for prosecution and punishment.
9. Take action against the PA’s mistreatment of holy sites: The U.S. should initiate action in international forums to protest the PA’s desecration of Jewish religious sites and to demand the return of the Tomb of Joseph to Israeli control.
10. Create “Radio Free Gaza”: As suggested by Michael Freund, a former aide to Israel’s prime minister, the U.S. should establish a “Radio Free Gaza,” comparable to Radio Free Cuba, to beam broadcasts into PA territory protesting against the PA’s suppression of non-Arafat media, torture of political prisoners, persecution of Christian Palestinian Arabs, refusal to hold democratic elections, and mistreatment of women.