New York — Salaam Fayyad, prime minister in Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas’ government, often described along with Abbas as a ‘moderate,’ stated in a press conference in Cairo earlier this week that “We are certainly an occupied people and resistance is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people as an occupied people” ( Yediot Ahronot, July 30). Fayyad also said, “What is the essence of resistance, especially in light of the current occupation? … Does it not begin with all possible efforts to strengthen the permanence of the Palestinian citizens on their land? That is precisely the government’s agenda.” Although omitting reference to “armed struggle,” the PA platform does endorse Mahmoud Abbas’ call for a “popular resistance against the Israeli occupation” ( Jerusalem Post, July 30).
To this day, the Fatah Constitution labels Zionism racism (Article 7) calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) declares that this “struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished” and requires the use of terrorism as an indispensable part of the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19). Abbas further confirmed on October 3 last year in an ‘Al-Arabiya’ (Dubai) television interview that, “It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah … to recognize Israel.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Dr. Salam Fayyad, the PA prime minister and close associate of Mahmoud Abbas, is regularly promoted as one of the ‘moderates’ with whom Israel and the U.S. can and should work. He is a PhD/economist/finance expert, trained at the University of Texas. Yet now it is clear that Fayyad, just like Abbas, promotes terrorism and violence against Israel and continues to show fidelity to the outrageous tenets of Fatah as laid out in its Constitution.
“Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah are not moderates. Abbas co-founded the terrorist Fatah with Yasser Arafat and was his deputy for 40 years. He funded the Munich massacre. He wrote a Ph.D. thesis and a book denying the Holocaust. As president of the PA, Abbas said ‘it is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat.’ He refers to terrorists as ‘heroes fighting for freedom.’ He rebuffed President Bush’s call at the 2005 Aqaba summit to accept Israel publicly as a Jewish state. He has declared that neither Fatah nor Hamas need recognize Israel. He approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of Palestinian shahids — that is, dead terrorists.
“These facts underscore the stark truth that the issue therefore is not a Palestinian state, or borders but rather the sovereign existence of the Jewish state of Israel. Accordingly, negotiations and concessions to the Palestinians would be a waste of time, whether they be Fatah or Hamas. There is therefore no justification for describing Abbas and Fayyad as moderates or peacemakers and it is past time for the Bush Administration and other governments to recognize this fact and change their appeasement policy towards the PA accordingly.”