New York – The ZOA has described as sickening the continuous refusal of Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas to condemn Palestinian terrorism against Israel. Following todays suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, in which 30 people were wounded, Abbas only stated that, This is sabotage and aimed at sabotaging the elections, not only the elections, but also the security of Palestinians … They aim to sabotage the elections and the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to impose law and order (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 19). Since coming to office, Abbas has refused to condemn terrorism against Israelis as a moral obscenity and crime to be fought, criticizing it only as a public relations nuisance that tarnishes the Palestinians international image.
Mahmoud Abbas previous statements following Palestinian terrorist attacks:
- I dont want my comment on the demilitarization of the uprising to be misunderstood
All I meant is that we are in a phase that does not necessitate arms because we want to negotiate (Washington Times, December 15, 2004).
- I say to them [the terrorists], this is not the time for this kind of attack (Washington Times, January 3, 2005).
- A crime against the Palestinian people (New York Times, July 13, 2005).
- These attacks threaten our national security and undermine our credibility on the international arena (Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2005).
- These events undermine the truce and calm we had respected (Reuters, October 17, 2005).
- It harms the Palestinian interests. (New York Times, October 26, 2005).
- These operations against civilians cause the greatest damage to our committment [sic] to the peace process (Palestine News Agency — WAFA, December 5, 2005).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is simply sickening that the leader of the Palestinian Authority lacks the humanity, principle and decency to tell the truth about terrorism committed against Israelis — that it is an abomination and crime against Jews which must be stopped and its perpetrators hunted down, disarmed and jailed. Mahmoud Abbas failure to do any of these things not only exposes his lack of commitment to the PAs signed obligations to end terrorism and incitement against Israel and his unsuitability as a peace partner, but actually assists and encourages terrorism by indicating that the head of the PA does not regard these atrocities, when committed against Israelis, as crimes. In this context, we note that when terrorists murdered Arab civilians (and others) in the Amman bombings last November, Abbas had no trouble condemning correctly the murder of Arabs as crime against humanity and expressing his deep condolences to Jordan and his solidarity with the brotherly Jordanian people.
Clearly, Mahmoud Abbas believes that the indiscriminate murder of Arabs is a crime, but the indiscriminate murder of Jews is not. The Bush Administration would be well-advised to confront Abbas and the PA with this shocking record and hold them to account, making future negotiations with and aid to the PA conditional on it acting decisively on its obligations to fight terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it.