ZOA Surprised By Bush’s Claim That Palestinian Arabs Are Making “Progress” In Reforms
July 9, 2002

No Evidence Yet
of PA Fighting Terror

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed surprise at President Bush’s statement that “progress is being made” by the Palestinian Arabs in reforming their institutions.

In his press conference on July 8, 2002, President Bush said: “We are working to begin the reforms necessary among the Palestinians to create enough confidence in all parties so that security will improve…And I haven’t had the briefing yet, but I believe some progress is being made toward the institutions that I talked about that are necessary for a Palestinian state to emerge, which will give us all confidence in its ability to fight of terrorist activities.”

The ZOA points out that although two weeks have passed since President Bush outlined the conditions that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill, they have so far not fulfilled any of them.

[NOTE: To receive the ZOA’s weekly updates on Palestinian Arab compliance with the Bush Plan, please call the ZOA at 212-481-1500.]

President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must “engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure.” Yet during these two weeks, they have not arrested terrorists, seized their weapons, outlawed their organizations, or honored any of Israel’s 45 requests for extraditions. The Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, said on Israel Television on July 3: “The Palestinian Authority does not carry out any activity to foil terror. The foremost use of the funds collected by the Palestinian Authority from around the world is for terror activity.” (Terrorism has decreased significantly in recent weeks, not because of any Palestinian Arab actions against terrorism, but because Israeli forces are stationed in Arab-populated areas. Nonetheless, during the past two weeks, there have been at least 53 terrorist attacks, in which nine Israelis were wounded.)

In his speech, President Bush also stated that the Palestinian Arabs must “end incitement to violence in official media and publicly denounce homicide bombings.” Yet official PA Television continued to broadcast a steady stream of anti-Israel and anti-American incitement. Shortly after the president’s speech, PA Television debuted a new film glorifying terrorists and promising that they will be greeted in heaven by beautiful young women. And on the eve of America’s Independence day, July 4, the PA organized a mass rally against “American meddling.” Official PA Television broadcast coverage of the rally, focusing on a poster which showed President Bush’s name dripping with blood, next to a skull-and-crossbones.

In his speech, President Bush also demanded that the Palestinian Arabs rid themselves of officials involved in terrorism or corruption. Yasir Arafat recently fired two prominent PA security officials, but promptly offered them other posts in the PA. The New York Times reported that “the clash [between Arafat and those whom he fired] appeared to have more to do with political rivalry than reform.”

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