New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly opposes President Bush’s request for a massive increase in U.S. aid to the Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA).
In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush said, “I will ask Congress for $350 million” for the Palestinian Authority. It is striking that the apparent basis for the President’s request to massively increase aid to the PA is Bush’s belief that ‘the goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace is within reach,’ and this money will help this so-called move toward peace.
ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, “It is breathtaking and heartbreaking to see that a well-intentioned President Bush is making all the same mistakes in dealing with the PA regime as did the Clinton administration. Under the Oslo agreement 11 years ago, Arafat and the PA agreed to dismantle and disarm the terror groups, arrest terrorists (including dozens of Palestinian Arab killers of 52 Americans; just recently — 3 U.S. envoys were murdered in Gaza), end the promotion of hatred and murder of Jews in their media, schools, and speeches, and recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, in order to receive Israeli land concessions and US funds.
When Arafat did none of those things, Clinton ignored it and did not hold him accountable, provided US funds, pressed Israel for land concessions, and gave international legitimacy to a terrorist. Arafat and his terrorist cronies learned they never had to take American demands seriously. Now, Arafat’s 40-year deputy and successor Abbas has followed in Arafat’s footsteps by fulfilling none of his obligations, while calling Israel the “Zionist enemy,” calling suicide bombers “heroes,” calling for a “big Jihad,” and proudly expressing his duty to “implement Arafat’s policies,” all in the last month — yet Bush ignores all this, praises Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and rewards him with a dramatic increase in aid. Now Abbas and his terrorist cronies have also learned not to take American demands seriously.
“Has the Bush administration forgotten all the regrets issued by Clinton advisors like Dennis Ross, by Jewish leaders, and by Israeli leaders when they publicly apologized for the tragic mistake of not holding Arafat accountable to his Oslo promises! Is history repeating itself. Is this Oslo redux.
“While Bush properly condemned Syria ‘for continuing to harbor terrorists'” and allowing its territories to be used by terrorists, Bush ignores the fact that Abbas and the PA harbor terrorists, gives them jobs in the PA regime and police force, demands that Israel not pursue terrorists and release those already in prison and does not dismantle a single terror group. Abbas then proclaims ‘I will not use guns against my own people.’ Really! What do they think every police force in the world does. They use guns to capture and arrest their own citizens who are criminals and murderers, and if Abbas really cared about peace, he would not demand release and amnesty for terrorists. Because if Abbas really cared about peace, he himself wouldn’t want terrorists free to potentially jeopardize a real peace with Israel.'”
Barbara Tuchman wrote a famous book called, “The Folly of Nations” describing serious mistakes nations made that led to disaster. We, at the ZOA, regret to say that this mistaken appeasement and propping up of Abbas’ terrorist regime could end up being the next chapter in Tuchman’s book.
On behalf of the ZOA, Klein stated, “We urge the Bush administration and Congress to stop this folly and stop the funding of the Palestinian Authority terrorist regime until they fulfill their 11 year old obligations under Oslo and two year obligations under the Road Map. This is appeasement of the worst sort; Mr. Bush, don’t close your eyes to the facts of Abbas’ actions and inactions, as Churchill said, ‘You must look at the facts for the facts are looking at you.’ Churchill added, ‘Those who appease the crocodile will simply be eaten last.’ The US proposed to increase aid and establish a Palestinian Arab state when no structural reforms have occurred, sends a message to terrorists everywhere that terrorism can and does pay. This harms our international war against terror.”
In fact, only last week, Israel’s foreign minister Silvan Shalom said, “While the PA is still preserving their infrastructure, the terror organization’s can rebuild and bring about a situation in which time they can carry out a series of terror attacks which will bring down this whole process and send it to hell.” (Ha’aretz, Jan. 27. 2005) “To simply have a cease-fire is a ticking bomb and an optical illusion, which will blow-up in our faces.” (Israel Radio, Jan. 27. 2005)
In discussing Abbas’ background, Klein said, “I must also add that I, myself, as a child of Holocaust survivors born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, find it especially painful to see the respect and credibility given to Mahmoud Abbas despite the fact that he has written his Ph.D. thesis in 1982 at Moscow Oriental College openly denying the Holocaust.
He followed this with a book in 1984 entitled, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and the Zionist Movement, where he stated “only a few hundred thousand Jews” died during the Holocaust, and that the gas chambers were not used to kill people. Abbas also wrote that a partnership was established between Hitler’s Nazis and its leadership of the Zionist movement the Zionists led a broad campaign of incitement against Jews in Nazi Germany to arouse the Nazi government’s hatred of them, and expand the mass extermination.’ This was allegedly done by Jews, according to Abbas, to create sympathy for the creation of Israel.
When Croatian President Franjo Tudjman wrote a book doubting the Holocaust had taken place, international pressure forced him to retract those statements. When Austria party leader Joerg Haider praised members of the Nazi SS, he was ostracized by the international community as was French politician LePen when he questioned the existence of the gas chambers and demeaned the Holocaust. Why then is Mahmoud Abbas’ profound Holocaust denial ignored. We respectfully ask why are Jewish leaders like Eli Wiesel and Professor and Holocaust Denial expert Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University not speaking out. Both of these great writers and scholars have spoken out against many less important Holocaust deniers. Why are other Jewish leaders equally silent on Abbas’ Holocaust denial.
The ZOA will be taking the message of demanding PA compliance with the Road Map before any funds can be distributed to the PA to every member of Congress. We will be speaking out publicly on this issue throughout the country and in the media, and will be placing ads promoting the truth about Abbas’ policies and the mistaken US policy of prematurely supporting him and his regime. In his major speech on the Mideast President George Bush demanded of the Palestinian Arabs, “new leaders — not compromised by terror.” Abbas is not such a leader and does not deserve our U.S. tax dollars provided by hard-working U.S. citizens.