The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Olmert government to cease being silent about Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) in its recent glorification of terrorist and terrorist acts, incitement to hatred and murder and its rejection of Israel as a Jewish state. The ZOA call follows yesterday’s address to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) by Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, which outlined the Olmert government’s attitude to recent developments.
In his speech, Ambassador Gillerman referred to the March 6 terrorist attack upon the Mercaz Harav seminary in Jerusalem, which claimed the lives of eight Jews, all but one of them teenagers, and wounded 11 more:
“ we have seen the great lengths that the extremists are willing to go to in order to kill and maim Israelis. Just over two weeks ago, a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the Mercaz Harav rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem and ruthlessly gunned down eight young men, who were studying the Bible in the upstairs library. Eleven others were injured, many of whom remain in serious condition As medical and rescue teams rushed to the scene, as the Israeli public heard the news of this appalling massacre, as mothers and fathers were called to retrieve the remains of their slaughtered sons, the extremists in Gaza [ZOA’s emphasis] rejoiced at the spilling of Israeli blood. I am sure that many in this Council watched with horror and disgust as Hamas terrorists joyfully fired their rifles into the air and passed out candy to children in celebration” (‘Statement by Amb Gillerman to the UN Security Council,’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, March 25, 2008).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We join the Olmert government and Ambassador Gillerman in their condemnation and detestation of the Palestinian rejoicing and support for the barbarous terrorist attack in Jerusalem and other terrorist acts, but we cannot understand or support the obvious omission in this connection of any reference to Mahmoud Abbas’ PA. This omission is clearly intended to skate over the fact that Abbas’ PA, which rules in Judea and Samaria, was equally effusive in its praise of the Mercaz Harav and other recent terror attacks.
“After the Mercaz Harav massacre, Abbas’ PA-controlled newspaper, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, honored Alaa Abu D’heim, the perpetrator of the Mercaz Harav massacre, by calling him a Shahid [Holy Islamic Martyr]. It also prominently placed a picture of the killer on the front page, with the caption, ‘The Shahid Alaa Abu D’heim.’ In a Page One article on the terror killings, his act is again defined as a ‘Shahada achieving’ action. The same paper also lauded Imad Mugniyeh, the veteran terrorist responsible for the murder of Americans and Israelis, 242 U.S. servicemen in Lebanon in 1982 and for many other terrorist attacks. He was wanted by 42 countries and appeared on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
“This is not the only case of Abbas’ PA praising terrorist and their deeds. All three PA newspapers controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-controlled PA also glorified the two suicide bombers who struck in Dimona on February 4, killing one person and wounding 11 more. Also, when the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, George Habash, died in January, Abbas ordered three days of mourning and had PA flags flown at half mast in honor of this pioneer airline hijacker and orchestrator of airport massacres.
Let us not forget that Mahmoud Abbas’ PA continues incitement to hatred and murder against Israel in its controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. Let us not forget that recently Abbas and his officials explicitly said that they reject Israel as a Jewish state. And let us not forget that Abbas gave an interview on February 28 to the Jordanian publication, al-Dustur, in which he said that ‘At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we can’t succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different.’ Yet, amazingly, this record did not rate a mention in Ambassador Gillerman’s speech. Instead, Abbas’ regime was described as ‘moderate’ and ‘legitimate.’
“It should come as no surprise that this glorification of terror and terrorism, rejection of Jewish statehood and openness to more terrorism continues when Abbas’ Fatah calls to this day in its Constitution for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an essential element in the campaign to achieve that goal (Article 19).
“The record shows that within the PA, few opportunities are missed to glorify a terrorist, celebrate a suicide bomber, or inculcate Palestinian youth into worshipping cold-blooded murderers. The record also shows that all aspects of PA life the schools, youth movements, sports teams, newspapers, TV, even the names of streets are made vehicles for honoring and praising terrorism. This in turn breeds more terrorists and bloodshed.
“Given this shocking record, we call upon the Olmert government to desist from ignoring the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA and referring to Abbas as a ‘moderate.’