New York — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has written to President George W. Bush opposing the decision announcing this week that it will talk with certain non-Hamas members of the new Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government, despite the fact that it is government run by the Islamist terrorist organization, Hamas, whose polices remain the same. Hamas is on the U.S. list of terror organizations, has murdered over 500 Israelis and maimed thousands only the last six years of terrorism directed against Israeli civilians and has a Charter calling for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7). Its new partners Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, is not much better and its policies have also not changed. Fatah’s Constitution still calls for Israel’s destruction (Article 12) and the use of terrorism (Article 20).
The unity government emerged from an agreement earlier this month between Hamas and Fatah in Mecca which continues to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as Jewish state, end terrorism and fulfill existing agreements while promoting the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants to Israel and thus Israel’s dissolution.
Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, the spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, said the United States would work with pro-Western Cabinet members in an informal capacity saying, “There are individuals with whom we have fairly regular contact who are members of the unity of the government …We are not going to rule out that we could have contact with those individuals as individuals … because they play important roles in society.” The Washington Times reports that “amid signs of weakening international resolve to isolate the new government”, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported that the new Palestinian foreign minister, Ziyad Abu Amr, has received an invitation to visit an EU member state, France reportedly called for the easing of sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, while Norway, which isn’t a member of the EU, announced that it would recognize the new Palestinian government and restore economic aid. Ramiro Cibrian, head of the EU delegation to Israel, said the new Palestinian government “creates a new reality” ( Washington Times, March 19).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The Bush Administration’s decision to deal with non-Hamas members of the Hamas-dominated PA government is a victory for terrorism and extremism. It rewards a government that emerged on an extremist platform which said nothing about peace, reconciliation, renouncing terrorism or anything else essential to peace. There is not even a pretense of moderation in the Mecca Agreement that created this government which only goes to confirm what ZOA has long been saying, namely, that Fatah is the same as Hamas in its commitment to Israel’s disappearance and its use of terrorism. The long-standing charade by Abbas and Fatah that they are moderates and peace-makers has been exposed.
“The Bush Administration has now undone its principled boycott of the Hamas government and lessened any pressure that existed on it to be held accountable and change its ways. As a result, European governments are beginning to weaken in their resolve to boycott Hamas. Seeing all this, why would Palestinian terror groups committed to Israel’s destruction moderate or give up terror if they can simply wait out international pressure and wait for the U.S. to fold?
“We urge President Bush to disown the words of the U.S. Consul and to reconsider this decision which harms the president’s objectives in the Middle East to foster political moderation and democracy in the Middle East, fight and oppose terror regimes and to create the conditions for a peace settlement. Until the PA government fulfills Palestinian Arab obligations under the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to arrest terrorists and close the bomb factories and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism, there should be no negotiations, rewards or concessions to the PA.”