ZOA Opposes Secretary Rice’s Promotion Of A Palestinian State & Abbas’ “Moderate” Leadership
November 21, 2007

In speech to Jewish leaders

New York — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s promotion of a Palestinian state, claiming it is in Israel’s interest, and claims of “moderate” Palestinian leadership of Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, following a major speech by Rice which she delivered recently to the United Jewish Communities (UJC) General Assembly in Nashville, Tennessee ( State Department, November 13, 2007).

In a long speech, Rice made the following claim:

The violent extremism of Hamas stands in contrast to the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the legitimately elected president of all Palestinians who won a clear mandate to seek peace with Israel. President Abbas and his government are working to overcome a long, crippling legacy of misrule and they must fully carry out their responsibility to fight terrorism and enforce the law among all Palestinians. Yet President Abbas is demonstrating that he is a partner for peace and he is working to clarify the fundamental choice for his people, between the real benefits that peace and reform can bring and the prolonged suffering that violence and extremism guarantee. “

This is simply unmerited promotion of Abbas and Fatah, despite the long and clear record of their continuing anti-peace words and deeds.

Mahmoud Abbas in his own words:

  • On recognizing Israel:” It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel” (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006).

  • Fighting Israel: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation … Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation” ( Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).

  • On Jews: “The sons of Israel are corrupting humanity on earth” ( World Net Daily, January 11, 2007).

  • On Israel: “the Zionist enemy” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005; CNN.com, January 7, 2005).

  • On suicide bombers: “Allah loves the martyr” ( Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).

  • On wanted Palestinian terrorists: “heroes fighting for freedom” ( Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” ( Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).

  • On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas’ Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki: “martyrs” (Palestinian Media Center , September 9, 2005)

  • On Hamas: “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas” ( Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).

  • On Yasser Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” ( Haaretz, January 3, 2005); “We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams” (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); “The Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path” (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006)

  • On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a “red line” that must not be crossed (Washington Times, January 3, 2005)

  • On jailed Palestinian terrorists: “our heroes.” (Israel National News, May 26, 2006).

  • On the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants which, if implemented would end Israel as a Jewish state: “The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable” ( Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007).

  • On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the “Arab resistance” (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).

  • Saddam Hussein: “Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of Pan-Arab nationalism” (Independent Media Review and Analysis , December 31, 2006).

Mahmoud Abbas’ acts:

  • Holocaust denial: He wrote a PhD thesis and published a book denying the Holocaust.

  • Terrorist group Fatah: He co-founded with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat the terrorist group Fatah, whose Constitution to this day calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism against Israelis as an indispensable part of the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19).

  • Funding terrorism: As senior PLO official, he funded the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.

  • Promoting terrorists: In May 2006, Abbas named Mahmoud Damra, wanted by Israel for leading shooting and roadside bomb attacks against Israelis, including the killing of IDF soldiers near Neve Tzuf in 2000 and of an Israeli citizen near Tapuach, in Samaria, in 2001, as commander of Fatah’s Force 17. Damra also served under Yasser Arafat in order to escape Israeli arrest (Israel National News, 7, May 30).

  • Protecting terrorists: Abbas, like Arafat before him, has sheltered wanted terrorists in the Muqata, his presidential compound in Ramallah, including Khaled Shawish, a senior Fatah commander responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis and the wounding of dozens more in numerous attacks, until Israeli forces captured him when he ventured outside the compound in May 2007 ( Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2007).

  • Terror & incitement to violence: He has refused to implement the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan which requires him to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it.

  • Terrorists’ plan for more violence: In May 2006, he endorsed the so-called ‘Prisoners’ Plan’, a document produced by jailed Palestinian terrorists, that endorses continued terrorism against Israel, legitimizes the murder of Jews, does not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, abrogates Palestinian obligations under the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan, and insists on the ‘right of return.’

  • Money for suicide bombers’ families: In December 2005, he approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists (Israel National News, December 11, 2005).


  • The Fatah Constitution to this day calls for the “demolition” of Israel (Article 12); the use of terrorism as an indispensable part in 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).

  • Since September 2000, Fatah has been responsible for as many murders of Israelis as Hamas: the terror groups having murdered nearly 500 Israelis each since that date in scores of suicide bombings, hundreds of roadside bombs, and thousands of shootings.

  • Leading Fatah officials, including Abbas and Saeb Erekat, have publicly rejected the Palestinians ever accepting Israel as a Jewish state, revealing their intention to replace and subvert the Jewish state.

Other Rice statements:

  • “In our view, the security of the democratic Jewish state required the creation of a responsible Palestinian state.” Under the conditions just described, a Fatah-led Palestinian state would be simply another terrorist regime, not a peaceful democracy. Leading Middle East and security experts, like former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, former CIA Director in the Clinton Administration, R. James Woolsey, and the doyen of Middle East historians, Professor Bernard Lewis, have all publicly opposed the creation of a Palestinian state. The idea that a sovereign Palestinian state will bring moderation is baseless: Iran, North Korea and Syria are all sovereign states, yet none of them are moderate and peaceful. Statehood will simply enhance the Palestinians’ ability to pursue their extreme agenda. The major Israeli concession that would be required to bring this about would also reduce Israel to a highly vulnerable 9-mile wide waist, and bring Israel’s major population centers within rocket range of terrorists.

  • “America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security now and over the past several years has given Israel the confidence to work with us and with responsible Palestinians as well as with our friends in the Middle East to begin creating real conditions for peace, conditions that were not there just a few years ago when President Bush took office.” While America has often provided strong and principled support for Israel, the Bush Administration has often condemned Israeli counter-terrorist actions; extracted a promise from former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to harm Yasser Arafat or dismantle the PA; claimed to dispense with Arafat but continued to work and promote his Fatah hierarchy as moderates and peacemakers, leaving Israel with the same problem as early on in Bush’s presidency — a Palestinian regime harboring terrorists that does not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Moreover, which friends in the Middle East does Rice mean — Egypt, which, since Israel relinquished control of the Gaza/Egypt border to Egypt at Rice’s insistence, has not stopped the smuggling of offensive weaponry and the movement of terrorists from Egypt into Gaza? Saudi Arabia, which continues to fund the promotion of Islamist extremism across the world and which itself refuses to make peace with Israel?

  • “Most Palestinians now believe that Israel will always be their neighbor and that no Palestinian state is going to be born through violence … I believe that most Palestinians and most Arab states are ready to end the conflict.” Rice is simply ignoring abundant polling data showing the very opposite:

    Palestinian polls, 2003-2007:

  • February 2007: 75% of Palestinian Arabs do not think that Israel has a right to exist; 70% of Palestinian Arabs support a one-state solution in which Jews would be a minority, not a two-state solution with a Palestinian Arab state living peacefully alongside Israel (Near East Consulting (NEC) poll, February 12-15, 2007).

  • September 2006: 67% of Palestinian Arabs oppose Hamas recognizing Israel (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, September 14-16, 2006).

  • September 2006: 57% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians; 75% support the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in a bid to obtain the release of jailed Palestinians terrorists; 63% are inspired by the Lebanese Islamist terror group Hizballah and seek to emulate it (Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, September 2006).

  • September 2006: 61.3% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians; 52.5% support rocket attacks upon Israeli population centers (Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University, September 7-9, 2006).

  • June 2006: 56% of Palestinians support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians (Palestinian Center for Policy & Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, June 2006).

  • February 2006: 83.3% of the Palestinian Arabs oppose dropping the legally and morally baseless so-called ‘right of return’ of refugees and their millions of descendants to Israel and reject substitute solutions to the refugee issue (Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) poll, February 16-20, 2006).

  • February 2006: 56.2% support terrorism against Israeli civilians (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) poll, February 8-12, 2006).

  • December 2005: 51% of Palestinian Arabs oppose the disarming of terrorist groups; 82% support the absorption of members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad into the PA. (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, December 6-8, 2005).

  • December 2005: 69% of Palestinians see terrorism as legitimate; 65% support Al-Qaeda actions in the USA and Europe (Fafo poll, December 22, 2005).

  • October 2005: 60% of Palestinian Arabs oppose the PA disarming the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Bir Zeit University poll, October 2005).

  • December 2004: 66% of Palestinian Arabs oppose the PA disarming the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Bir Zeit University poll, December 2004).

  • April 2003: 75.6% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorism against Israeli civilians (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) poll, April 2003).

“Just consider, most Israelis now believe that a responsible Palestinian state is in the national interest of Israel and that true security will require an end to the occupation that began in 1967 … I believe that most Israelis are ready to leave most of the — nearly all of the West Bank, just as they were ready to leave Gaza, for the sake of peace.” Here, too Rice is incorrect. Israelis polls show the opposite:

  • A May 2007 poll has revealed that 71% of Israelis believe that the real goal of the Palestinian Arabs is to destroy Israel (with 42% also believing that the Palestinian Arabs would also expel all Jews); 72% oppose the uprooting of Jewish communities within the framework of further Israeli unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria; 58% of Israeli Jews reject the “land-for-peace” formula whereby Israel has made territorial concessions to the Palestinian Authority (PA); and 69% — believe that it is impossible to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinian Arabs (Independent Media Review Analysis, May 18, 2007).

  • A September 2007 poll by the Israeli daily, Maariv, found that 74% of Israelis oppose Israel mak­ing any further unilateral withdrawals.

  • A June 2007 Dahaf Institute poll found that 68% of Israelis are opposed to withdrawing from the Golan Heights and 53 percent are opposed to with­drawals from Judea and Samaria — in both cases, not even in return for a “real peace.”

  • A May 2007 INSS (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies) poll found that 58% percent of Israelis rejecting “land-for-­peace” formula and 72% opposing the uprooting of Jewish communities within the framework of further Israeli unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria.

“And among most Arab states, as they recently made clear in reaffirming the Arab League Peace Initiative, the question now is not whether Israel will exist, but on what terms to make peace with Israel. Indeed, the threat of violent extremism has created a new strategic alignment in the Middle East. Responsible states now see that they share a common interest in combating a common threat and that a responsible Palestinian state can be a bulwark against that threat.” By embracing this plan, the Bush Administration has e diverged from all previous ones in accepting some formula other than UN Security council Resolution 242 as the framework for peace-making. Under the terms of this plan, Israel would have to surrender not only eastern Jerusalem with its holiest Jewish sites, but also all of Judea and Samaria, where over 400,00 Israeli Jews live, including the strategically vital Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Moreover, the Saudi initiative insists on the ‘right of return’ and rejects any substitute for it, assuring “the rejection of all forms of Palestinian partition which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries,” meaning the rejection of the settling of the refugees and descendants in neighboring Arab countries and the granting of citizenship to them. All previous Israeli governments have rejected the ‘right of return’ as unacceptable and incompatible with Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. The Olmert government has been seeking the dropping of the ‘right of return’ from the initiative but Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saudi Saud al-Faisal, has ruled out any alteration in the initiative, as have the Arab League, which adopted the initiative when it was first produced in 2002, as well as Egypt and Syria.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, “It is clear that, in a headlong rush to create a Palestinians state, no matter what the Palestinians say and do, Secretary Rice is deluding herself and misleading her audience in asserting that a Palestinians state will be anything other than the newest terrorist state; that it is in Israel’s interest that such a state be created; that Abbas and Fatah represent new, moderate Palestinian leadership, that Palestinians favor peace alongside an Israel they truly accept, or that Israelis favor further, massive concessions to the unreformed PA. The promotion of these demonstrably false ideas suggests that the Bush Administrations’ policy is divorced from reality and can only lead to further disappointment and bloodshed further down the road. The ZOA notes and appreciate Secretary Rice’s positive and laudatory statements about Israel and its achievements but strongly believes that following a course of action based on such a major misreading of the realities of the situation is not the sort of action that should be taken by an Administration that claims that it ‘is the best friend Israel ever had.’”

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