ZOA To Bush: Qurei Is A Puppet Of Arafat; U.S. Should Refuse To Deal With Him
September 8, 2003

Qurei Has Called for
Violence Against Israel

NEW YORK- Ahmed Qurei, the new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, is a puppet of arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat and the Bush administration should refuse to deal with him just as it refuses to deal with Arafat, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, chairman of the board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and chairman of the National Executive Committee Dr. Michael Goldblatt have sent a telegram to President Bush, urging:

“Mr. President, you said in your June 2002 speech that the Palestinian Arabs must choose ‘new leaders, not compromised by terror.’ Ahmed Qurei does not qualify as such a leader. He is a virtual puppet of the arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat, he has urged violence against Israel, and he has even challenged Israel’s very right to exist. The U.S. should refuse to deal with Qurei, just as it refuses to deal with Arafat. Would America ever deal with Iraqi officials who are close to Saddam Hussein?”

The ZOA has released the following background memo, documenting Qurei’s extremism and support for violence against Israel:

Qurei Calls Arafat His “Brother”:
Qurei is known to be extremely close to Arafat. He repeatedly refers to Arafat as “Brother Abu Ammar,” publicly protested the fact that Arafat was not invited to take part in the Aqaba Summit, and recently said: “Everyone must realize that it is not possible to make peace without Arafat playing the main part.” (Al-Nahar, June 12, 2003; courtesy of MEMRI)

Qurei Opposes Taking Action Against Palestinian Arab Terrorists:
In an interview with the Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Nahar on June 12, 2003, Qurei said he opposes action by the Palestinian Authority against terrorist groups: “It is a mistake to aim the Palestinian weapon at a Palestinian.” (courtesy of MEMRI)

Qurei Opposes Calling Israel “a Jewish State”:
In an interview with the Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Nahar on June 12, 2003, Qurei said: “President Bush’s statement [at the Aqaba Summit] that Israel is a Jewish State aroused much concern among us. These words should not have been said.”

Qurei Called Creation of Israel “A Historic Mistake”:
In November 2001, Qurei declared his hope that British Prime Minister Tony Blair would “correct the historic mistake that Britain committed against Palestinians through the Balfour Declaration in 1917.” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 14, 2001)

The Balfour Declaration was Britain’s promise to create a Jewish National Home in Mandatory Palestine, although it did not specify what its borders would be. To describe that concept as a “historic mistake” is to say that Israel should never have been created.

Qurei Desecrated an Israeli Flag:
Israeli Official Called Act “Disgraceful” The Jerusalem Post reported on July 13, 1997: “Qurei walked over a freshly burned Israeli flag during a protest in Ramallah … A TV camera caught Palestinian protesters burning an Israeli flag as leading Palestinian Authority and PLO officials watched. Witnesses said Qurei smiled as he watched two Palestinian men burn the flag and then stepped over its charred remains. [Cabinet Secretary Danny] Naveh called the act ‘disgraceful’ and said it angered all Israelis and Jews.”

Qurei Urged Violence Against Israel:
On December 1, 1998, Qurei said at a rally: “The leadership that threw stones is ready to return and use stones to free the people and the land.” (New York Times, Dec. 3, 1998) The next day, a Palestinian Arab lynch mob attacked an Israeli vehicle near Ramallah, stoning the car and nearly killing its passengers. (Israel Gov’t Press Office report, Feb. 2, 1999; courtesy of IMRA)

Qurei Threatened Violence Unless “Right of Return” is Granted:
During a visit to China in 1999, Qurei threatened violence unless Israel met Palestinian Arab demands, including the right of millions of Arabs from around the world to “return” and settle within Israel. He stated: “Either [we achieve] a just peace that will guarantee the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including [the] Return, self determination, and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital—or there will be no peace but [rather] a return to the struggle in all its forms.” (Quoted in the PA-sponsored newspaper Al-Ayyam, Sept. 24 ,1999; courtesy of MEMRI)

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz, on Dec. 6, 1996, reported that Qurei said in an interview with the Tunisian newspaper Al Sabach: “If Israel does not honor the agreements, the Palestinians will also ask for Haifa, Jaffa, and Safed [cities within Israel’s pre-1967 borders] … The response to the continuation of the occupation will be more dangerous than the intifada …. the arms available … and the organizing is better than in the past … The alternative to peace will be bad for the Israelis, something which they do not want. The Palestinian people will oppose the occupation, from children to adults, including the Palestinian police. The Israelis must know that the Palestinians have many options and choices.”

The Jerusalem Post reported on June 5, 1996: “Abu Ala, one of the Oslo accord’s architects, threatened if Palestinian demands are not met, ‘We’ll take a different route and return to the past’.”

Qurei Demands Israeli Retreat to 1947 Borders:
Qurei has repeatedly demanded that Israel be forced to withdraw to the tiny 1947 United Nations partition boundaries, which would reduce the Jewish State to a small fraction of its current size and place large Israeli population centers, such as Beersheba, Nahariya, and Acre, in Arab territory.

Writing in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida in December 1998, Qurei stated that “the [Palestinian] state has internationally recognized borders, which are the borders set in the [1947] partition resolution.” (courtesy of MEMRI)

In an interview with the Israeli news agency IMRA on Dec. 23, 1998, Qurei said: “When we declared a Palestinian State in Algiers in 1988, we cited Resolution 181 [which is based on the 1947 borders]. So the partition borders are the borders we have declared.”

Qurei Says All Claims About Palestinian Arab Incitement are “Lies”:
In February 1995, Qurei met in Jerusalem with American Jewish leaders, under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The national president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton A. Klein, asked Qurei about the Palestinian Authority’s promotion of anti-Jewish hatred and glorification of violence in its official newspapers, radio, and television and school text books, in violation of the Oslo accords’ prohibition against such incitement. Klein said: “If you are educating people to hatred and murder, you can’t get to peace.”

Qurei replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There is no incitement by the Palestinians, those claims are all lies.”

In fact, the incitement has been so severe and unrelenting that in June 2001, the then-president of the Union of American Hebrew [Reform] Congregations Rabbi Eric Yoffie protested what he called the “anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi language in the Palestinian media.”

Qurei Allied With Anti-American Regimes:
At a ceremony marking the opening of a PLO embassy in Cuba on February 3, 1989, Qurei said: “It is highly symbolic that the first Palestinian embassy on the American continent was opened in Cuba, whose people renders assistance to the Palestinians in their just struggle for independence,” and he conveyed “fraternal greetings and sincere gratitude” to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. (Russian news agency Tass, Feb. 4, 1989)

Qurei Demands Jerusalem:
Asked by the BBC Radio on Feb. 17, 1997, which parts of Jerusalem should be negotiated between Israel and the PA, Qurei replied: “Not East or West—Jerusalem, the whole of Jerusalem.”

In an interview with the Israeli news agency IMRA on December 22, 1997, Qurei was asked if the PA’s demand for a capital in Jerusalem would allow Israel to retain neighborhoods that are technically beyond the 1967 border but are now major urban sections of the city, such as French Hill and Ramat Eshkol. He replied: “No. No. Of course no. That is occupied territory from 1967 and that is the compromise.”

Other parts of Jerusalem that are beyond the 1967 border include Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus, Hadassah Hospital, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery, the Western Wall, and Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.

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