U.S. must cease aid until incitement ends
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called for the Obama Administration to demand of Mahmoud Abbas Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) that it immediately terminate incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Jews, including rescinding the naming of dozens of streets, schools, city squares, youth camps and sports tournaments in honor of killers of Jews and ending incitement in its schools, media and speeches. The ZOAs call follows the naming of a square by Abbas Fatah in Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, after the terrorist leader Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the Fatah terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road massacre in which 37 Israelis, including a dozen children, were slaughtered (Response to Itamar attack prompts Israelis to ask whether Palestinians are serious about peace, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 14, 2011). At the scene of the event, which was festooned with Palestinian flags and posters of Mughrabi and organized by members of Fatah, Fatah member Sabri Seidam said, We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement (Palestinians honor Fatah terrorist, despite Israels protests, Haaretz, March 13, 2011).
It is genuinely shocking and unbelievable that, only a day after the horrid, monstrous, Nazi-like massacre of five innocent Jews, including three children, that Abbas and Fayyad can proceed with a grotesque ceremony of naming a town square in Al-Bireh outside Ramallah after the female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi.
The ZOA has also contrasted the Obama Administrations continual criticism and condemnation of Israel over building homes for Jews in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem with its refusal to condemn the PA over the glorification of a terrorist by the PA and called upon it to condemn Abbas and the PA and to demand an immediate end to PA incitement to hatred and murder of Jews in the PA media, schools and speeches.
In the recent past, Abbas PA has also honored many other deceased Palestinian terrorists. Last November, the PA honored Munich Olympics terrorist mastermind Amin Al-Hindi when the Fifth Convention of the Fatah Revolutionary Council headed by Mahmoud Abbas was named in his honor. In July 2010, Abbas honored Muhammad Daoud Oudeh (Abu Daoud), another mastermind of the Munich Olympics hostage-taking., calling him a wonderful brother, companion, tough and stubborn, relentless fighter. Abbas also called Oudehs family to express his condolences. Also last July, Abbas honored Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a Hizballah cleric named on the U.S. list of wanted terrorists and held responsible by the U.S. government for the 1983 suicide bombing that destroyed the barracks of U.S. Marines during a peace-keeping mission in Lebanon in which 242 U.S. servicemen were killed. Abbas dispatched a personal emissary to visit the dying Fadlallah in hospital and after his death sent condolences to his family.
The Obama Administration has been vocal condemning and criticizing Israeli actions with which it disagrees. In March 2010, Vice-President Joseph Biden condemned Israel for the announcement of forthcoming Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem (Remarks by Vice President Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, March 10, 2010). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described this Israeli decision as an insult to the United States (Moshe Dann, A blessing in disguise, Yediot Ahronot, March 15, 2010), while senior Obama adviser David Axelrod called it an affront and an insult (Israeli settlement action an insult: Obama aide, Yahoo News, March 14, 2010). Last November, on a visit to Indonesia, President Obama said of Jewish construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which has just been authorized for 1,300 new homes after an unprecedented, unilateral 10-month freeze that, this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations
each of these incremental steps can end up breaking down trust between the parties (Press Conference by President Obama and President Yudhoyono of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 9, 2010). In January this year, while on a visit to Kuwait, Secretary Clinton criticized Israel for demolishing a hotel on a Jewish-owned eastern Jerusalem site, describing it as a disturbing development (Press Statement, Demolition of the Shepherds Hotel, January 9, 2011).
In contrast, when the PA honors Mughrabi and other terrorists, the Obama Administration is silent. Its a deafening silence.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is highly significant that Abbas and the PA publicly honor terrorists, as they did this week yet again in the case of Mughrabi. They knew that this act, like dozens other anti-peace acts, would be picked up and reported to at least some small extent. But the PA doesnt care. It knows from experience that no-one will hold it to account, that no one will take note and alter their policy towards it. It knows it will pay no price. This is precisely what must change.
It is truly unacceptable, indeed, surreal, when the Obama Administration condemns Israel for the mere act of announcing that it will build homes for Jews in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem but says nothing to condemn the routine glorification of terrorists by the PA.
Even worse, when the Obama Administration was pressed to take up the issue of PA extremism and incitement after the 2009 Fatah Conference, at which Dalal Mughrabi was honored, the Obama Administration responded by falsely claiming that Fatah had not united on an extremist platform. When, in March 2010, Mughrabi was again honored by the PA, Secretary of State Clinton falsely claimed that the honoring of Mughrabi had been carried out by a Hamas-controlled municipality.
Israel building homes for Jews does not threaten peace and never did. But Palestinians honoring and glorifying blood-soaked terrorists does. We are appalled that the Obama Administration fixates on Jewish construction and seeks to brand Israel as the obstacle to peace, but virtually ignores PA incitement to hatred and murder.
As we said yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is correct to condemn the PAs glorification of terrorists and to demand an immediate termination of PA incitement. The Obama Administration must do no less. We also the Obama Administration to make it clear to Abbas that it will no longer provide $600 million – $1 billion in aid to the Palestinians unless all PA-controlled incitement ends and ends now. Furthermore, we urge the Obama Administration to make clear to the PA regime that, unless this occurs, the U.S. will not be able to support any further negotiations between Israel and the PA and will cease diplomatic and financial support to the PA.
It is high time for President Obama to end making Jewish settlement-bashing the lynch-pin of U.S. policy. Instead, the U.S. must make ending barbaric incitement and terrorism the key issue in bringing about a true peace.