NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice to suspend her planned meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei until he publicly refutes an article in the official PA newspaper praising a terrorist who murdered an Israel father and his two young daughters.
Those who incite murder by praising murderers do not deserve the honor of meeting with senior U.S. government officials, said ZOA National President Morton A. Klein. At this crucial moment in the international war against terrorism, the Bush administration must have a policy of zero tolerance for those who incite terrorism and praise terrorists.
An article in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on May 6, 2004 heaped praise on the murderer, Samir Quntar, who is serving multiple sentences of life imprisonment in Israel for murdering an Israeli father, Danny Haran, and his two young daughters in Nahariya in 1979. The PA newspaper praised Quntar as a name of pride in the history of the prisoners of the national movement and a beacon of light for us and for the generations to come and an authentic role model. Every day that passes Samirs pride grows, and our pride in him grows greater and greater. It called Quntars murders in Nahariya in 1979 the hours of heroism in Nahariya.
In addition to praising murderers in the official PA media, the PA has repeatedly glorified suicide bombers by naming streets, parks, schools, summer camps, and even soccer tournaments after them.
ZOA leaders will soon meet with Members of Congress to discuss the introduction of legislation to prohibit the use of American financial assistance in any Palestinian Arab city that has any public site named after any individual who was convicted of terrorist acts or was a member of any organization on the U.S. government list of terrorist groups.
Meeting Qurei now, the ZOA president said, sends a message that there is no price to be paid for the PAs refusal to fulfill its Road Map obligations, such as the obligation to stop inciting terrorism.
PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, in his own words:
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 Bushs 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 Britains 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 Govt 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 Jerusalem Post reported on June 5, 1996: Abu Ala, one of the Oslo accords architects, threatened if Palestinian demands are not met, Well take a different route and return to the past.
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 All of 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 PAs 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 Universitys Mount Scopus campus, Hadassah Hospital, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery, the Western Wall, and Judaisms holiest site, the Temple Mount.