Olmert cancels community
in Yesha for Gaza Jews
New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has opposed the payment of $100 million to Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) announced today by the Israeli government of Ehud Olmert. Simultaneously, Israel announced that the construction of an approved Jewish community at Maskiot, which was to house Jews forcibly uprooted from their homes when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in September 2005, has been cancelled ( International Herald Tribune, January 18). According to Prime Minister Olmerts office, the transfer of funds to Abbas and the cancelation of the construction program is designed to strengthen PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his planned meetings Saturday in Damascus ( Israel National News, January 19).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The ZOA is strongly opposed to giving $100 million to the extremist, Holocaust-denying, unrepentant terrorist Mahmoud Abbas. Only last week, before 250,000 Palestinian Arabs, Abbas openly stated that it is legitimate to murder Israeli Jews. It is a myth that Abbas should be strengthened because he is better than Hamas. Both Hamas and Abbas have refused to put Israel on any map in the PA territories. Both Hamas and Abbas have refused to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry. Both Hamas and Abbas have refused end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feed terrorism. Both Hamas and Abbas have not renamed the streets, schools and sports teams that have been named in honor of suicide bombers and other mass murderers of Israelis.
Until Mahmoud Abbas does these things, there should no negotiations with the PA and certainly no funding or concessions to him. By transferring funds to him, Israel has indicated as clearly as it can to Abbas that no matter what he says or does, he will be accepted and rewarded, not only by others, but by Israel itself. Under these conditions, how does the Olmert government honestly expect Abbas and the PA to fulfill their commitments? It is astonishing that Mahmoud Abbas in one week can call for the murder of Jews and the next week get funded by a Jewish government. We urge the Olmert government to review its entire approach to Mahmoud Abbas and at the very minimum not to repeat the terrible mistake it committed this week.