The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to the continuing terrorism of Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas Fatah and the need for the U.S. to cease funding and training PA personnel in light of the recent murder of an Israeli, Rabbi Meir Chai, by Fatahs own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists. Rabbi Chai, a teacher and father of seven, was gunned down in a road-side shooting by three members of Fatahs Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Two of them, Raed Sarkaji and Anan Sabeh, had been previously released from Israeli prisons and were later located and killed by Israeli forces after refusing to surrender (Khaled Abu Toameh, Fatah warns of intifada against PA, Jerusalem Post, December 28, 2009).
The Fatah Constitution, drafted in 1964, never since amended, calls for the complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence (Article 12) and for terrorism as a strategy and not a tactic this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished (Article 19). In the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA), PA-salaried clerics calls for the murder of Jews; PA publication glorify terrorism; PA school curricula inculcates terrorism and martyrdom as a national and religious duty; PA maps do not show a country called Israel and Fatahs 43rd anniversary emblem, shows Israel labeled Palestine and draped in a Palestinian headdress.
Since the start of the Palestinian terror wave in September 2000, Fatah terrorist groups like the Tamzim and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have murdered over 500 Israelis in suicide bombings, road-side bomb attacks, sniper attacks and other terrorist outrages. This is roughly the same number murdered by Hamas during the same period. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is listed on U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations.
Statements by Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Fatah figures rejecting Israel as Jewish state, opposing its existence and supporting terrorism
· Mahmoud Abbas, PA president and Fatah chairman: I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will. (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Mahmoud Abbas: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will, Palestinian Media Watch, April 28, 2009).
· Abbas: The Palestinians do not accept the formula that the state of Israel is a Jewish state. (David Bedein, Olmert reports to Israel Cabinet Meeting, Bulletin [Philadelphia], December 3, 2007).
· Abbas: 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, Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, Abbas dupes US: Recognition is functional, not inherent, Palestinian Media Watch, October 5, 2006).
· Abbas: [W]ith the will and determination of its sons, Fatah has and will continue. We will not give up our principles and we have said that rifles should be directed against the occupation . We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas: Aim guns against occupation, Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007).
· Marwan Al-Barghouti, the jailed Fatah terrorist chief: Resistance to the Israeli occupation is a national obligation, and it is a legitimate right (C. Jacob, Fatah Members: The Principle of Resistance and Armed Struggle Must Not Be Relinquished, Middle East Media Research Institute, August 6, 2009).
· Kifah Radaydeh, senior Fatah official: Fatah is facing a challenge, because [Fatah] says that we perceive peace as one of the strategies, but we say that all forms of the struggle exist, and we do not rule out the possibility of the armed struggle or any other struggle. The struggle exists in all its forms, on the basis of what we are capable of at a given time, and according to what seems right [PA TV July 7, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Fatah official: Our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine, Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, July 12, 2009).
· Najat Abu-Bakr, Fatah MP in PA legislature: Confirmed that Fatahs goal remains the destruction of Israel, but that their political plan is to focus on the West Bank and Gaza Strip: It doesnt mean that we dont want the 1948 borders [all of Israel] … but our current political program is to say that we want the 1967 borders. (PA TV, Aug. 25 2008, Najat Abu Bakr Ribat 1948, Palestinian Media Watch, July 12, 2009].
· Rafik al-Natsheh, senior Fatah official: We will maintain the resistance [i.e. terrorism] option in all its forms and we will not recognize Israel Not only dont we demand that anyone recognize Israel; we dont recognize Israel ourselves (Ali Waked, Senior Fatah official: We wont recognize Israel. Fatah official: Movement to display commitment to armed struggle in upcoming convention, Yediot Ahronot, July 22, 2009).
· Muhammad Dahlan, former commander of Fatah forces in Gaza: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Western funders misled: Fatah still refuses to recognize Israel, PAs recognition only to receive international aid, Palestinian Media Watch, March 17, 2009).
· Abu Ahmed, Fatah commander: The base of our Fatah movement keeps dreaming of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa and Acco. …There is no change in our official position. Fatah as a movement never recognized Israel (David Bedein, The American Sanitizing of a Terrorist Group, Israel National News, October 5, 2006).
· PLO foreign minister Farouk Kaddoumi: The Palestinian national charter has not been amended until now It was said that some articles are no longer effective, but they were not changed. Im one of those who didnt agree to any changes (Khaled Abu Toameh, Kaddoumi: PLO charter was never changed, Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2004).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is vital that the U.S. cease to build up the military infrastructure of Fatah. Not only is such a policy based on willfully ignoring the fact that Fatah still promotes hatred and violence in their schools, media and speeches and continues to name school sports teams and streets and, most recently, a major computer center, after terrorists, but it ensures that Fatah becomes a greater danger over time to Israeli lives. U.S. General Keith Dayton, who is training Palestinian forces, may think that he is creating new law-abiding Palestinian police forces that will contribute to peace and stability but in fact all he is doing is ensuring that Fatah terrorists will be better trained to combat Israel in the future.
In the latest tragic case, we see that Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists, two of them previously released from Israeli prisons as part of amnesties and confidence-building measures, have simply returned to terrorism and claimed innocent Jewish life and orphaned seven children in the process.
ZOAs position in all this is straightforward: the U.S. should not be funding and training Fatah until and unless the PA, which Fatah controls, fulfills its signed obligations under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. Obviously, as long as Fatah leaders refuse to arrest terrorists or even to regard terrorism against Israelis as morally obscene; and where Fatah terrorists continue to murder Israelis, Fatah is unworthy of U.S. funding or training.