NEW YORK – In response to the news that some Members of Congress and representatives of some Jewish organizations will meet in Washington this week with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has issued a list of 13 questions that it suggests the participants ask him.
1. Your doctoral dissertation, published as a book in 1983, is titled The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and the Zionist Movement. In it, you wrote that the Nazis may actually have killed only a few hundred thousand Jews, not six million; that the Zionist leaders collaborated with the Nazis to kill those few hundred thousand in order to gain international sympathy for the Jews; and that the interest of the Zionist movement is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater.
You have never publicly retracted, or apologized for, the book. In your speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council on April 29, 2003, you made a vague reference to the sufferings of Jews throughout history, but you did not mention the Holocaust. Can you please tell us: do you acknowledge that the Nazis murdered six million Jews? Do you still believe that the Zionist leaders collaborated with the Nazis? Do you still believe that Zionist leaders exaggerate the number of Jews killed by the Nazis?
2. In February 2003, the United States government issued an indictment against a number of Islamic Jihad terrorists for attacks that killed many people, including two young American women. One of those indicted is Abd al-Aziz Awda, who was described in the indictment as the founder and spiritual leader of the terrorist cell that carried out the attack. Awda is the spiritual leader of the Al Qassam Mosque in the Gaza Strip, which your Palestinian Authority controls. When will you be sending your police to the Al Qassam Mosque to arrest Awda and hand him over to the United States for prosecution?
3. The United States government has put Hamas and Islamic Jihad on its official list of terrorist groups. Do you agree or disagree with the United States that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terrorist groups?
4. According to the Oslo accords, the Palestinian Authority is required to honor Israels requests for the extradition of terrorists. Since 1994, Israel has submitted at least 45 such requests. When will the PA begin honoring these requests?
5. For many years, the Palestinian Authority has had a policy of paying salaries to terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel, including some terrorists who have murdered or injured American citizens. Now that the Bush administration is increasing the amount of American aid to the Palestinian Authority, and that aid is coming from the pockets of American taxpayers, can you assure the American public that you will stop paying salaries to terrorists who have harmed American citizens?
6. There are many streets, schools, summer camps, and public squares in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas that are named in honor of terrorists who have murdered American citizens.
For example, a street in the PA-ruled town of Beit Lahiya, and a public square in the PA-ruled city of Jericho, are named after Yiyhe Ayyash, who, was named by the State Department as a prime suspect in the August 21, 1995 Jerusalem bus bombing in which Connecticut schoolteacher Joan Davenny was murdered. A street in the PA-ruled town of Al-Bireh is named after Abu Iyad (Salah Khalaf), a PLO leader involved in planning many attacks, including the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre, in which 12 people were murdered, including a U.S. citizen, David Berger of Cleveland, Ohio. There is a PA summer camp named in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, who helped carry out the 1978 Tel Aviv Highway Massacre of 38 people (including Gail Rubin, niece of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff). There is also a school in the PA-ruled town of Al-Shuyukh, a kindergarten in the PA-ruled town of Dura, and a Fatah Womens Young Staff Preparatory Course, all named after Mughrabi.
Will you publicly pledge to the American public that you will change the names of those streets and other sites that are named in honor terrorists who have harmed American citizens?
7. You regularly refer to the parts of Jerusalem beyond the 1967 border as occupied Arab territory. Yet that area includes such sites as the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives cemetery, the Hebrew Universitys Mount Scopus campus, and Hadassah Hospital. Does that mean you regard the nursing staff at Hadassah Hospital as illegal settlers who should be expelled? Is a Jew who lives in Jerusalems Old City section an illegal settler who should be expelled?
8. In an interview with the Israeli Arab weekly newspaper Kul Al-Arab on August 8, 2000, the interviewer said, The Israelis want you to forget the past and turn your gaze to the future, to which you replied: According to this logic, he who wants to forget the past [the Israelis] should not claim that the Temple is underneath the Haram [where the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are situated]. They demand that we forget what happened to the refugees 50 years ago and at the same time they claim that 2000 years ago they had a holy place there. I challenge the assertion.
Are you willing to acknowledge that the ancient Jewish Temple did indeed stand on the site which we call the Temple Mount and you call the Haram, or do you still regard that fact as a Zionist conspiracy and fabrication?
9. According to the U.S. governments Foreign Broadcast Information Service, in your first press conference as prime minister, broadcast on the Arabic-language Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television on June 3, 2003, you said: Nobody can prevent people from expressing the popular stand through peaceful means, as was the case in the first intifada.
Yet that peaceful intifada included:
* Thousands of firebomb attacks, stabbings, and stoningsincluding the mass stoning of Jews at the Western Wall, injuring more than 40 (Oct. 1990), and the stoning attacks that killed Benny Meisner (Feb. 1989), Haim Sharabani (Sept.1989), and a 4 year-old Arab boy who was killed when the attackers mistook his familys car for an Israeli car (Nov. 1990).
* Steering a bus into a ravine off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, murdering 16 people (including an American woman, attorney Rita Levine of Philadelphia).[July 1989]
* Hijacking a Beersheba bus and murdering 3 passengers. [March 1988]
* A grenade attack on the Haifa mall, wounding 25 people. [August 1988]
Do you regard these kinds of violence as legitimate and praiseworthy?
10. You have repeatedly called for the release of all Palestinian Arab terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel. In your speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council on April 29, 2003, you said that the terrorists imprisoned by Israel are political prisoners; you called them heroes; and you proclaimed your respect and esteem for them.
Normally the term political prisoner is used to refer to someone imprisoned for their political beliefs. Yet these people were imprisoned for engaging in violence, including some who carried out massacres of many innocent civilianssuch as Ahmed Jbarra, who murdered 15 Israelis in the 1975 refrigerator bombing and whom you have appointed as special adviser to Yasir Arafat and given a seat on the Fatah Council.
Do you continue to regard the imprisoned terrorists as heroes?
11. In your speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council on April 29, 2003, you called Yasir Arafat my brother and companion, you said that your government will work under the direction of President Arafat, and you turned to Mr. Arafat and said, The government, Mr. President, is your vernment. Is it still true that Yasir Arafat is in charge and that you do not take any actions without his approval?
12. The Road Map required you to disarm terrorist groups and dismantle their infrastructure during Phase 1, which ended on May 31, 2003. How long will it take you to fulfill this requirement of the Road Map?
13. The Oslo accords required that the Palestine National Council convene and delete all clauses from the Palestine National Covenant that call for the destruction of Israel or urge violence against Israel. When did the Council take this step, and can you show us a copy of the new, changed Covenant?