ZOA Applauds Senators Specter, Wyden, and Casey for Senate Resolution Calling on Abbas to Cancel His Fatah Party’s Constitution Calling for: Terror, and Israel’s “Demolition”
News
April 7, 2008


Netanyahu and US House also

Calls for Cancellation

 

New York — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) applauds U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), and his co-sponsors Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), for demonstrating outstanding leadership in introducing this ZOA-supported resolution (S.Res. 499), 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 (the PLO charter is a separate document), which call for Israel’s destruction and terrorism against Israel, oppose any political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and label Zionism as racism… and condemns the continuing existence of these articles as part of the Fatah Constitution.” This Senate Resolution also takes Abbas to task for recently stating, “It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel,” and for having “openly signed the Mecca Agreement with Hamas, which does not recognize Israel and calls ‘for confronting the [Israeli] occupation’;” the Resolution continues by stating:

 

“Whereas, in 2007, there continue to exist 10 specific articles out of 27 articles in Chapter 1 of the Fatah Constitution that call for Israel’s destruction, call for the armed struggle and armed revolution against Israel to continue, call for the prevention of Jewish immigration to Israel, oppose any political solution, and label Zionism as racism; and

 

“Whereas the 10 articles of the Fatah Constitution that oppose Israel and Zionism are: (1) `Article (4): The Palestinian struggle is part and parcel of the world-wide struggle against Zionism, colonialism and international imperialism.’; (2) `Article (7): The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial and aggressive in ideology, goals, organization and method.’; (3) `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.’; (4) `Article (12): Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.’; (5) `Article (17): Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.’; (6) `Article (19): Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s 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.’; (7) `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 case or impose any international mandate on its people.’; (8) `Article (23): Maintaining relations with Arab countries . . . with the proviso that the armed struggle is not negatively affected’; (9) `Article (24): Maintaining relations with all liberal forces supporting our just struggle in order to resist Zionism and imperialism’; and (10) `Article (25): Convincing concerned countries in the world to prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine as a method of solving the problem.'”

 

The ZOA has repeatedly called for Abbas to rescind Fatah’s Constitution and has taken out full page ads in the New York Times and Israel saying so. This Senate Resolution is a companion to the House version (H.Res.758) introduced by Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), which already has 18 cosponsors. Former Israeli Prime Minister and current Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu also called on Fatah to cancel its Constitution.


The ZOA strongly concurs with Senator Specter’s remarks in his statement on the floor of the Senate following the introduction of this resolution: “Mr. President, I have sought recognition to offer legislation to encourage Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also the chairman of the Fatah Party, to officially abrogate the ten articles in the Fatah Constitution that call for Israel’s destruction and terrorism against Israel. In order to move the Middle East peace process forward, it is necessary that the Fatah Party recognize Israel’s legitimacy. The Fatah Constitution makes this impossible… By striking the polemical language from its constitution, Fatah would be setting an example for the Arab world. It would demonstrate that the Palestinian leadership understands the importance of words and perceptions in the peace process… I urge President Abbas to take action, not only in words, but with deeds.”

 

He called the Fatah Constitution “incendiary.” When Representative Blunt introduced the House version of the resolution, he said: “There can be no reasonable expectation of a broad-based, long-term reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians while one side’s constituting document calls for the complete destruction of the other. I believe it’s 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 that’s granted, the right to live without fear of terrorism. But, at least according to the ruling party’s constitution, even these fundamental concessions continue to be rejected by the Palestinian leadership.”

 

Daniel Pollak and Joshua London of the Division of Government Relations for the ZOA said: “We applaud Senators Specter, Wyden and Casey for introducing this resolution in the US Senate. Their leadership, along with the House effort led by Representatives Blunt and Berkley, sheds light on the unreconstructed and immoderate character of Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah party. The perception that Abbas and Fatah are the “moderate” alternatives to Hamas is the only thing that actually distinguishes one from the other. As the Fatah movement’s constitution makes clear, extremism and violence are still essential components of their strategy towards the State of Israel. As a first step, therefore we 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.”


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Why should Israel make concessions to the ruling Fatah when Fatah’s 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, S. Res. 499, along with 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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