ZOA Praises Netanyahu Govt. For Urging Obama To Take Action On Anti-Jewish Palestinian Incitement To Hatred & Murder
January 15, 2010

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly praised the Netanyahu government for raising with the Obama Administration  the issue of continuous Palestinian Authority (PA) incitement to hatred, violence and murder against Jews, calling on it to take action. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office recently issued a complaint to the White House condemning ongoing incitement against Israel by PA leaders president Mahmoud Abbas, prime minister Salaam Fayyad and other senior Fatah/PA officials. This incitement is to be found in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. For many years, Israel has largely refrained from making official complaints or public criticism of Palestinian extremism and incitement and normally confined itself to making discreet complaints to PA president Mahmoud Abbas. ZOA also praised Prime Minister Netanyahu for making a strong public speech to his Cabinet on this issue.

In a letter to the Obama Administration drafted by Netanyahu political adviser, Ron Dermer, the Israeli government raised four specific recent cases of incitement and glorification of terror against Jews:


1. A recent ceremony in Ramallah, at which Abbas inaugurated a town square named in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking, in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were slaughtered. 


2. The PA failure to condemn the most recent terror attack in which an Israeli, Rabbi Meir Chai, was killed in a drive-by shooting two weeks ago by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operatives, a recognized terrorist group and armed wing of Abbas’ Fatah party. Dermer noted that the PA habitually refrains from condemning attacks that occur against Jews in Judea and Samaria.


3. PA senior officials paid condolence calls at the homes of families of the three terrorist who carried out the murder of Rabbi Chai who were later killed by Israeli forces and described them as shahids, or martyrs, of which Dermer said, “This is glorification of killers.”


4. A recent Fatah Website posting containing anti-Israel slogans.


In the letter, senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office urged their American counterparts to demand that Mahmoud Abbas cease to glorify the memory of terrorists who murdered Israelis. The complaint also insisted that the Palestinians live alongside Israelis peacefully and foster reconciliation (‘Israel to White House: Stop anti-Israel Palestinian incitement,’ Haaretz, January 7, 2010).


Additionally, Prime Minister Netanyahu told his Cabinet, “It is not only missiles and rockets that endanger security and push peace further off. Words can also be dangerous. Sadly, there has been a retreat in this area in recent months, both within the Palestinian Authority and by
its leaders. Whoever sponsors and supports naming a square in Ramallah after a terrorist who murdered dozens of Israelis on the coastal road – encourages terrorism. Whoever declares those responsible for the murder of the late Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai, father to seven children, as holy
martyrs – pushes peace further away. At the same time, incitement continues in the Palestinian media and education system; in its official media outlets and in the schools under its supervision. These serious actions represent a harsh violation of the Palestinians’ international obligation to prevent incitement. I say to the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority: Stop the incitement. This is not how peace is made. Peace is made by educating towards reconciliation, by encouraging good neighborly relations and by developing mutual respect. Therefore, the cessation of Palestinian incitement is a necessary condition, not for entering into discussions, but so that we may complete them in a way that will bring about genuine peace between our two peoples” (‘Cabinet communiqué, ‘PM Slams PA over incitement, etc.,’ Independent Media Review & Analysis, January 10, 2010).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We strongly praise the Netanyahu government for raising the issue of incitement to hatred and murder against Jews within Abbas’ PA with the Obama Administration and for putting this long-neglected item on the agenda between the two countries. For too long, Israeli governments and American Jewish organizations have preferred to ignore this elephant in the room and chosen to make completely ineffective representations to the PA itself. It’s high time that the PA was made accountable for its flagrant and vicious anti-peace, pro-terror words and deeds.


“More than any other major American Jewish organization, the ZOA, for the last 16 years, has relentlessly exposed this incitement in our own reports, speeches, articles and statements.


“In its official complaint, the Israel government rightly points to the continuing shameless glorification of the most vicious terrorists. As the ZOA pointed out in the aftermath of the murder of Meir Chai, Abbas himself sent condolences to the families of the three terrorists; PA prime minister Salaam Fayyad personally visited the terrorists families; and Mahmoud Al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, also praised the dead terrorists as heroes.


“The Obama Administration needs to support Israel in bringing the issue of Palestinian non-compliance on fighting terrorism and ending the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it to the center of attention. President Obama himself has said more than once that Palestinians need to end incitement before progress can be made and it is essential that all possible U.S. pressure – including withholding of U.S. aid – be exerted on Abbas and the PA to comply. Without this, all hopes for any true and durable peace are illusions built on sand.


“Without doubt, the Israeli government has taken an important, long-overdue step in the right direction in raising Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder with the Obama Administration and we commend the Netanyahu government for it.”

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