New York – The ZOA has praised President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and members of Congress for stating clearly that, following the Nazi-like Hamas partys victory in last weeks Palestinian legislative elections, the United States continues to regard Hamas as a terrorist organization with which the US wont deal and would cut off funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless Hamas renounces its call for Israels destruction. President Bush stated in an interview on Friday, If they dont, we wont deal with them …The aid packages wont go forward. Thats their decision to make, but we wont be providing help to a government that wants to destroy our ally and friend [Israel] (Washington Post, January 28).
Secretary of State Rice also said yesterday prior to heading to London for a meeting of the Middle East Quartet (US, UN, EU and Russia) that, The United States is not prepared to fund an organization that advocates the destruction of Israel, that advocates violence and that refuses its obligations under the 2003 Roadmap peace plan. We were troubled by Rices partial back-peddling by her indication that the Bush Administration would however follow through on aid already promised to the PA (Associated Press, January 30).
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has said, The United States Congress will not be giving money to a government that supports terrorism, that refuses to disarm its militias, that has as its goal in its charter the destruction of Israel (Reuters, January 29). Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) stated, If Hamas does not join the peaceful nations of the world at the table of cooperation and peace, the consequences will be the loss of Americas support and funding for the Palestinians (Houston Chronicle, January 27).
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of House International Relations Committees subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, will introduce House legislation this week to slash American funding to the PA and the UN; designate the PA a terrorist sanctuary, and close down some PA offices in America as part of a reduction of Palestinian-American diplomatic ties. Even after Israel withdrew from Gaza, they [the PA] refused to disarm Hamas and other terrorists, and they allowed them to gain strength. We must ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to assist, directly or indirectly, those who carry out terrorist attacks and those who allow these attacks to continue by doing nothing to combat terror. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY), said that he thought some of the measures articulated by Ms. Ros-Lehtinen would enjoy broad, bipartisan support in Congress as more lawmakers come to recognize that Americas propping up the PA has been wrongheaded … [US aid] has been based on the wrong foundation ever since it started back in the days of Oslo. It hasnt brought us a more pro-U.S. state of mind there. It hasnt brought us a more peaceful region. It hasnt brought us, arguably, improved services to the Palestinian people (New York Sun, January 30).
Hamas Charter openly calls for the murder of Jews (Article 7), the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and claims to be fighting a world-wide anti-Muslim conspiracy led by Jews, citing the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in support of its views (Article 32). Since the outbreak of the Palestinian terrorist war in September 2000, Hamas has killed has killed almost 500 Israelis, and wounded and maimed almost 3,000 more in scores of suicide bombings and hundreds of other attacks.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The ZOA commends President Bush for opposing US dealings with the Nazi-like Hamas party, now that it has won the Palestinian elections. We also praise Secretary Rice, Senator Frist and Representatives Cantor, Ros-Lehtinen and Weiner for stating that funding a Hamas-led PA while Hamas continues to call for Israels destruction and wont renounce terror or live up to Palestinian commitments is something the US will not do.
Hamas is not only a terrorist organization but it has a genocidal program and it therefore important that the US not only call for it to renounce its call for Israels destruction but also insist that it renounce other clauses in its Charter, including calling for the murder of Jews and claiming a world-wide anti-Muslim conspiracy lead by Jews. Without an unequivocal abrogation of this anti-Semitic, genocidal platform, without publicly accepting Israels right to exist as a Jewish state, without ending all incitement against Jews and Israel, and without arresting terrorists and closing the bomb factories, there cannot be the possibility of a future peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That is why we are concerned that funds already promised to the PA be withheld until the vital changes to Hamas that both the President and Secretary of State have rightly called for have taken place.