The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to continuing, prolific examples of Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas ongoing support for the legitimacy of anti-Israel terrorism, rejection of Israel as a Jewish state. This week, it was reported that Abbas said that the Palestinian people had a national right to resistance against Israeli occupation (Abbas: Palestinian people have national right to resistance, Haaretz, March 22, 2010). Resistance is the standard Palestinian euphemism for terrorism against Israel.
This statement came only days after the PA honored terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking, in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were slaughtered. Abbas PA has also honored Mughrabi on previous occasions, including holding a public celebration for her 50th birthday last January.
Only weeks earlier, Fatah-controlled PA TV broadcast a sermon from Nabluss Bourin Mosque on January 29, in which Jews were declared the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger Enemies of humanity in general and Muslims exhorted to murder them with the words The Prophet says: You shall fight the Jews and kill them (PA TV [Fatah], Jan. 29, 2010, translation in Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PA TV sermon: Jews are enemies of Allah and humanity Kill them, Palestinian Media Watch, February 1, 2010).
Last December, Abbas himself referred to the three Fatah terrorists that murdered an Israeli, Rabbi Meir Chai, as shahids [holy martyrs] and dispatched a personal emissary to visit the families of the terrorists. Abbas said, Our latest Shahids (Martyrs) are the six who were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces in Nablus [terrorists who killed Rabbi Avshalom Meir Hai] and in Gaza [terrorists carrying explosives and a ladder near Israel’s border fence] (PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009, Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas glorifies recent murderers, Palestinian Media Watch, January 5, 2010).
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, Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, Abbas dupes US: Recognition is functional, not inherent, Palestinian Media Watch, October 5, 2006); 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).
- Fighting Israel: We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas: Aim guns against 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 and other terrorists: Allah loves the martyr (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005); Our latest Shahids (Martyrs) are the six who were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces in Nablus [terrorists who killed Rabbi Avshalom Meir Hai] and in Gaza [terrorists carrying explosives and a ladder near Israel’s border fence] (PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009, Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas glorifies recent murderers, Palestinian Media Watch, January 5, 2010).
- On wanted Palestinian terrorists: heroes fighting for freedom (Ed OLoughlin, Abbas courts Gaza militants for votes, 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 Jihads Fathi Shikaki: martyrs (Palestinian Media Center, September 14, 2005); The ways of the shahids [martyrs] Arafat, Abu Jihad [Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir], George Habash and even Sheikh Ahmed Yassin are the ways we recognize. These are the ways in which we are meant to preserve the national interests of the Palestinian people (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas proposes referendum to Hamas, Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2008).
· On Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder and leader George Habash: The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people for whom he fought for 60 years (PFLP founder George Habash mourned as historic leader for Palestinians, Daily Star [Beirut], January 28, 2008).
· 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 wont stray from Arafats path (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006).
· On using terrorism: At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we cant succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different (Abbas: Armed resistance not ruled out, Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).
· On Fatahs pioneering role in terrorism: I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what its like; when it is effective and when it isnt effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps (Abbas: Armed resistance not ruled out, Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).
· Condemning legitimate Israeli military operations to eliminate Palestinian terrorists. In May 2006, Abbas condemned as a barbarous slaughter the killing by IDF special forces in northern Gaza village of Beit Lahiya of four Palestinian terrorists and the wounding of a further eight who had been on their way to carry out Qassem rocket attacks against Israel (Michael Widlanski, Abbas and his media condemn Israel for Killing Palestinian racketeers, Independent Media Review & Analysis, May 30, 2006); labeled another Israeli incursion in to Gaza to stop terrorist firing into Israel as a crime against humanity (Haaretz, June 28, 2006); again condemned as a heinous massacre the killing by Israel of seven Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group, including Ata Shimbari, leader of the PRC unit that fires rockets into Israeli towns and cities (Jerusalem Post, October 23, 2006); condemned Israeli strikes in Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire into Israel as barbaric Israeli attacks (Abbas Accuses Israel of Working against Palestinian State, Asharq Al-Awsat [London], March 29, 2008).
- Equating Palestinian terrorism with Israeli strikes on terrorists: [Official statement] In February 2008, Abbass PA stated, The Palestinian Authority expresses its full condemnation of the Israeli military operation this dawn in (the Palestinian village of) Qabatiya just as it condemns the operation that took place today in Dimona (Ali Waked, Hamas: Dimona attack a heroic act, Yediot Ahronot, February 4, 2008). Again, in March 2008, President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the attack in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of many Israelis and he reiterated his condemnation of all attacks that target civilians, whether they are Palestinians or Israelis (Shlomo Shamir, British PM: Violent bids to halt peace process must be stopped, Haaretz, March 7, 2008);
- On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a red line that must not be crossed (Candidate Abbas confronts delicate balance on Hamas, Washington Times, January 3, 2005)
- On jailed Palestinian terrorists: our heroes. (Israel National News, May 26, 2006); In a statement broadcast by PA radio on Prisoners Day, Our position was and is still unwavering that it is not possible to make peace with Israel unless all prisoners and all detainees are freed There will be no signing of any agreement that does not guarantee freedom for all of them (Palestinians mark Prisoner’s Day across the West Bank, Agence France Presse (AFP), April 17, 2008).
· 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 We reject any attempt to resettle the refugees in other countries (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas: Aim guns against occupation, Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007); We will not give up the right of return (Ali Waked, Abbas: We won’t waive right of return, Yediot Ahronot, July 12, 2009).
- On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the Arab resistance (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).
- On Saddam Hussein: Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of Pan-Arab nationalism (Independent Media Review and Analysis, December 31, 2006).
ZOA National President Morton a. Klein said, The ZOA has long maintained that Mahmoud Abbas, the PA that he heads and the Fatah party that controls it and which he co-founded, are unreconstructed supporters of terrorism and not genuine moderates and peace makers. In the midst of the honoring of Fatah terrorist Dalal Mughrabi by his PA and having made no concession or gestures to either Israel or the Obama Administration, Abbas is willing to say publicly that terrorism is a Palestinian right.
A Palestinian leader who neither arrests terrorists nor ceases to honor them is not one who will lead Palestinians on a new path of peace and reconciliation. We have here a clear demonstration that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA cannot even be shamed into ceasing to honor a bloodthirsty terrorist. It should come as no surprise that this glorification of terror and 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).
As we noted at the time of Fatahs August 2009 Conference, it is clear that Fatah still does not accept Israels existence as a Jewish state, that it seeks its destruction, that it demands the so-called right of return whereby Israel would be inundated with Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war and their millions of descendants and that it will not conclude the conflict even were a peace agreement to be signed.
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 renew our long-standing call for the Obama Administration to desist from ignoring the incitement to hatred and murder within Abbas’ PA and to insist in talks with Abbas and other PA officials that the PA takes immediate action to comprehensively end this glorification of terror. Only when Palestinians reject the idea that it is a religious and national duty to murder Jews and to celebrate those among them who act on this instruction will there be any prospect of peace.