New York The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) applauds U.S. House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for demonstrating robust leadership in introducing this ZOA-supported resolution ( H.Res.758), which urges Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, who is also leader of the Fatah party, to officially abrogate the 10 articles in the Fatah Constitution which call for Israels destruction and terrorism against Israel, oppose any political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and label Zionism as racism. The ZOA has repeatedly called for Abbas to rescind Fatahs Constitution.
The Fatah Constitution has never been amended and remains in force to this day; it calls for the demolition of Israel (Article 12); the use of terrorism as an indispensable part of the strategy to obtain that goal (Article 19); condemns Zionism as racist (Article 7); calls on countries to prevent Jews from moving to Israel (Article 25); and opposes any political solution whatsoever (Article 22). Unsurprisingly, since September 2000, Fatah has been responsible for as many murders of Israelis as Hamas.
The ZOA strongly concurs with Congressman Blunts remarks in his statement following the introduction of this resolution: There can be no reasonable expectation of a broad-based, long-term reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians while one sides constituting document calls for the complete destruction of the other. I believe its absolutely critical that the insidious nature of [this] be brought to light — and that those with a genuine interest in working toward peace insist its most unconstructive provisions be abrogated from the text … As long as Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah Party continue to promote the wholesale destruction of Israel, there can be no possibility for peace — whether in our time, or any other. It goes without saying that a basic condition of negotiating with someone is recognizing their right to exist — and once thats granted, the right to live without fear of terrorism. But, at least according to the ruling partys constitution, even these fundamental concessions continue to be rejected by the Palestinian leadership.
In a joint letter to their colleagues, Representatives Berkley and Blunt wrote, Since the electoral victory of Hamas, and its subsequent takeover of Gaza, the Fatah Party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has gone out of its way to convince the international community that it represents the best hope for reconciliation and should be given additional resources to carry out its goals … But what most people dont know is that the Fatah Partys constitution, or party platform, still contains no fewer than 10 clauses calling for the destruction of Israel and terrorism against Israel, as well as expressing opposition to any political solution … We recently introduced a resolution calling upon President Abbas, in his capacity as leader of the Fatah Party, to abrogate these ten clauses. Regardless of your position on the outcome of any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, it is unacceptable that the primary Palestinian negotiating party continues to call for the destruction of Israel.
List of articles in the Fatah Constitution incompatible with peace-making and Israels existence:
- Article (22): Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian cause or impose any international mandate on its people.
- Article (12): Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military, and cultural existence.
- Article (19): Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab Peoples armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.
- Article (17): Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.
- Article (23): Maintaining relations with Arab countries … with the provision that the armed struggle is not negatively affected.
- Article (8): The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism.
- Article (7): The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial, and aggressive in ideology, goals, organization, and method.
- Article (24): Maintaining relations with all liberal forces supporting our just struggle in order to resist together Zionism and imperialism.
- Article (4): The Palestinian struggle is part and parcel of the world-wide struggle against Zionism, colonialism, and international imperialism.
- Article (25): Convincing concerned countries in the world to prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine as a method of solving the problem.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We strongly praise Representatives Blunt and Berkley for introducing this resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives. This resolution helps shed light on the unreconstructed and violent character of Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah party on the eve of Novembers peace conference in Annapolis. We would therefore urge Abbas to immediately verbally and publicly repudiate the Fatah Constitution before convening a meeting of the Fatah party to formally abrogate these hateful clauses from its Constitution.
Why should Israel make concessions to the ruling Fatah when Fatahs own Constitution calls for its destruction? If Abbas fails to condemn the Fatah Constitution or abrogate its clauses, then it will be crystal clear that he and Fatah are not the peace-desiring moderates they claim to be. Concomitantly, Abbas must fulfill the Palestinians commitments under the signed Oslo and Roadmap agreements — including arresting terrorists, confiscating terrorist weapons, and ending the incitement of hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools, and youth camps. It is clear that any Israeli concessions must come after, and in response to, these fundamental changes in Fatah, not the other way around.
As ZOA made clear in our full page NYTimes ad on this issue: President Bush said that we need to end terrorist states. We dare not create a new one in the Middle East. This resolution, H.Res.758, will hopefully serve to help inform and focus Congressional thinking as to why now is not the time to push for a Palestinian state, but rather to push for the removal and renunciation of the Fatah Constitution.
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