ZOA Condemns Russia Hosting Delegation From Terrorist PA/Hamas
March 3, 2006

New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has sent a letter Yuri V. Ushakov, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, condemning Russia for hosting a delegation from the Palestinian Authority (PA)/Hamas, the Islamist terrorist movement whose Charter calls for Israel’s destruction (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7).

The ZOA criticized Russia for easing Hamas’ path to being legitimized despite it being committed to a genocidal platform. Hamas leaders commenced a high-profile, three-day visit to Russia today, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for inviting them. President Putin’s surprise invitation for Hamas to send a delegation to meet with his government in Moscow was announced last month by Putin who said that, “We have never considered Hamas a terrorist organization” (Arutz 7, February 9).

The Russian initiative fractured the consensus of the Quartet (US, United Nations, European Union and Russia) that Hamas needed to commit itself to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous PA-signed agreements and obligations, including the 2003 Roadmap peace plan (Quartet statement, January 30). The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that Russia would convey to Hamas a position shared by the United States and other international mediators (New York Times, March 3).

Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, said upon arriving in Moscow that the organization did not intend to revise its refusal to recognize Israel. Hamas has murdered close to 500 Israelis and maimed thousands more in five years of terrorism, including dozens of suicide bombings in Israeli buses, restaurants, cafes and hotels.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The original Russian decision to invite the leaders of this genocidal, Nazi-like terrorist movement to visit Moscow was a disgrace and so was the rationalization for it that was offered by President Putin that Russia does not regard Hamas as a terrorist organization. It is hard to believe that such a statement can be made when a perusal of Hamas’ Charter indicates that it is a movement explicitly dedicated to murdering Jews.

“It is also unbelievable that this statement can be made when the hundreds of dead and thousands of maimed Israelis caused by Hamas terrorism is a matter of public record and disputed by no-one. Moreover, the notion expressed by President Putin that Hamas must be dealt with because it will inherit control of the PA ‘as a result of democratic, legitimate elections, and we must respect the choice of the Palestinian people’ is nonsense. Palestinians knew who they were electing when they voted for Hamas and they must accept the consequences of their decision. The world is not obligated to start funding and dealing with an organization dedicated to genocide.

“Russia’s decision to invite Hamas to send a delegation to Moscow before it has renounced terrorism, ceased all terrorist acts, renounced its Charter calling for Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews and publicly accepted the right of Israel to exist as Jewish state helps to paves the way to legitimizing it. This enhances Hamas’ stature and increases the likelihood that other countries can feel free to meet with Hamas and only today South Africa said they it would do so.

“The issue is not only that Hamas is a terrorist organization, but that it is committed to a genocidal program and working to eliminate one side to a dispute. Also, if Yasser Arafat and the PA failed to change despite years of diplomatic engagement, negotiations, funding and so on, on what basis does the Russian government believe that they will have any more luck with Hamas? Terrorist groups should never be negotiated with and efforts should be made towards eliminating their existence and effectiveness, not boosting them.”

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