NEW YORK – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) agrees with Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky, who said that if we “give them (the Palestinian Authority) independence. If that is what we do, then we will find that we have given independence not to a democratic state, but to a terrorist state. That is an important trap not to fall into.”
Sharansky added the Palestinian Authority election was not “truly free, free elections can only take place in societies in which people are free to express their opinions without fear. This is not the case in the Palestinian Authority.”
Other disturbing news has surfaced validating Sharansky’s election concerns. The Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported that Abbas gave at least $100,000 to wanted terrorists during the Palestinian Authority election campaign. The New York Sun reported that “one of the reasons none of the other candidates received much support is intimidation by the PA. ‘People are afraid to be seen even reading their campaign literature’ said one Palestinian; the message that the people have received from various leaders of the PA is that if they vote for a candidate other than Mr. Abbas, they will either lose jobs they already have in the PA or will not be hired by the PA in the future. (The PA is the largest employer in Judea, Samaria and Gaza).”
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza has alleged massive fraud. The independent human rights group petitioned the Palestinian courts to cancel the election results. They allege that thousands of people voted twice. The New York Sun reported that Palestinian Arab sources in the West Bank claimed that Fatah party activists were rounded up to vote in the afternoon and re-vote in the evening in order to obtain a large mandate for Abbas.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This was an election with low voter turnout, whose candidates (other than Abbas) were ignored by the Palestinian Authority government-controlled media. There were no debates and no real discussion of the issues. But more importantly, Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon said, ‘there has been no steps taken by Abbas to end the incitement or stop the terror.’
“If a Palestinian Arab state were established, it would only strengthen that society which promotes hatred and murder of Israelis and even Americans in their speeches, textbooks, media, children’s camps and mosques. We must always understand that although Syria, Iran and North Korea are sovereign states, they remain terroristic, evil regimes. Statehood without a change in the values of such regimes will only strengthen those regimes’s ability to cause greater harm.”