NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is deeply concerned about a report that the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to “negotiate under fire” — that is, to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, and make concessions to it, even as the PA continues to wage a daily terrorist war against Israel.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports (Nov. 6, 2004) that “The United States suggested to Israel that it must be more flexible about negotiating under fire,” and that while Yasir Arafat “could exert control over Palestinian terrorist groups, it’s unclear whether new Palestinian leaders will have the same clout, and Israel may need to be more flexible in working with the new leaders.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “The U.S. would not negotiate under fire with Osama Bin Laden, and it should not pressure Israel to negotiate under fire with the terrorist Palestinian Authority regime. Terrorist regimes should be defeated and eliminated, not included in negotiations and rewarded with territory and other concessions.”
The ZOA maintains that instead of lowering its expectations for Palestinian Arab action against terror, the Bush administration should be insisting that the Palestinian Arab leaders — PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA chairman Ahmed Qureia immediately take steps of which they are clearly capable, such as:
* Stop giving funds to the terrorist Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, which is controlled by Fatah, the largest group in the PLO.
* Fire all PA police officers involved in terrorism.
* Outlaw Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
* Change the names of streets, parks and schools that have been named after terrorists.
* Honor Israel’s 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists (as required by the Oslo accords), and arrest and extradite Sheik Abd Al-Aziz Awda, head of the Al Qassam Mosque in Gaza, who was indicted by the U.S. in February 2003 as founder and spiritual leader of a terror cell that murdered numerous Israelis and two American citizens, 20 year-old Alisa Flatow of New Jersey and 16 year-old Shoshana Ben-Yishai of New York.
The ZOA is likewise concerned that Secretary of State-designate Condoleeza Rice and new National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley may be inclined to put unfair pressure on Israel to make more one-sided concessions to the Palestinian Arabs:
* Rice’s failure to recognize Arab hostility: Speaking in San Antonio, TX, on Aug. 25, 2003, Dr. Rice claimed: “A new Palestinian leadership is emerging that understands and says, in both Arabic and English, that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood but rather the greatest obstacle to statehood.” In fact, the entire Palestinian Arab leadership continues to support violence against Israel, and not one Palestinian Arab leader has resigned over the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing terrorist war against Israel.
* After Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad declared that “The Jews rule the world by proxy: they get others to fight and die for them” and received a standing ovation from Muslim leaders in response (New York Times, Oct. 21, 2003) Dr. Rice said of Mohamad’s remarks: “I don’t think they are emblematic of the Muslim world.” (New York Times, Oct.21, 2003) In fact, hatred of Jews is widespread throughout the Muslim world. It is taught in the schools and preached in the mosques. Cartoons in Muslim newspapers routinely portray Jews in blatantly anti-Semitic terms. In Muslim countries, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the 19th-century forgery claiming to reveal the Jewish plan to conquer the world, is widely distributed, quoted, and believed.
* Hadley’s unfair focus on Jews of Judea-Samaria: As Deputy National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley has exhibited an inordinate focus on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and seems to have made their elimination one of his particular goals. The New York Times reported on May 21, 2003, that Hadley and Bush adviser Elliott Abrams took a helicopter trip across Judea and Samaria last year in order “to get a bird’s eye view of Jewish settlements to see which ones would eventually be frozen or even dismantled as part of the peace negotiations.” There have been no reports of Hadley ever showing any interest in the illegal Palestinian Arab settlements in those territories, even though illegal Palestinian Arab construction in the territories is proceeding at ten times the rate of Jewish construction, according to the Israeli government.