The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) regards it as nothing less than a disgrace that President Barack Obama, in a short, emotionless statement, equated yesterday’s intentional barbaric murder of Jews in Jerusalem, who were hacked to death while praying in a synagogue, with the deaths of Palestinian Arabs killed in a war – initiated and maintained by them.
The ZOA is horrified by this bestial, revolting act of multiple murder. It deeply mourns the deaths of the slaughtered worshipers, which has left four widows and 24 children without their fathers, while Abbas continues to incite violence and Palestinians dance in the streets and hand out sweets.
Despite rightly calling this a “horrific attack,” President Obama’s words — “Tragically, this is not the first loss of life that we have seen in recent months. Too many Israelis have died. Too many Palestinians have died … I think it’s important for both Palestinians and Israelis to try to work together to lower tensions and to reject violence” — were an exercise in unacceptable moral equivalence. The ZOA strongly supports — as should President Obama — Israel’s efforts to protect its citizens and hunt down the perpetrators of recent attacks, but not imply that such efforts are part of the “violence” that must “lowered.”
President Obama also said — misleadingly — that Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas “has strongly condemned the attacks.” Yet, President Obama ignored Abbas’ statement after the murder where he demanded an end to the invasions of the Al Aqsa Mosque, the provocations of the settlers, and the incitement on the part of several Israeli ministers.” This false equivalence and lies about “invasions” of the Al Aqsa Mosque render Abbas’ condemnation false and meaningless.
The truth is that Abbas uttered a statement of condemnation when under pressure from Secretary of State John Kerry, and only after several days of the most flagrant and vicious incitement by him personally, and his PA officials.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is unconscionable for President Obama to completely ignore Abbas/PA’s vocal promotion of this terrorism over successive days and weeks, while only taking note of a single, clearly forced, insincere statement of condemnation by Abbas, which was immediately followed by a verbal attack against Israel.
“Abbas has not only praised those who have set out to murder Jews, but he and the PA have circulated lies about Israel working to endanger or destroy the Al Aqsa mosque and other Muslim sanctuaries in Jerusalem. That is nothing other than religious incitement to violence.
“Particularly in recent weeks, Mahmoud Abbas and other PA officials have praised attacks on Jews and called their perpetrators “martyrs.”
- Even today –– after Mahmoud Abbas’ phony condemnation –– senior Abbas adviser and Fatah Central Committee member, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, praised the two terrorists who hacked to death with meat cleavers and butcher’s knives the Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue. Al-Einein praised those who carry out ribat (religiously-sanctioned warfare against non-Muslims), declared that “Blessed be your quality weapons, the wheels of your cars, your axes and kitchen knives … We are the soldiers of Allah.”
- Yesterday, Al-Einein praised the murder of the four Jews in the Jerusalem synagogue as a “heroic operation” on his Facebook page. He also posted graphic images showing pools of blood and dead Jews in prayer shawls, as well as a photo of the dead terrorists with a bloody butcher’s knife on the ground next to them. Al-Einein referred to them as “Martyrs.”
- On November 7, on official PA TV, Fatah official Muhammad Al-Biqa’i sent blessings of “praise and esteem” to the terrorists Al-Shaloudi, MutazHijazi and Ibrahim Al-Akari, all of whom recently murdered or tried to murder Jews in Jerusalem, saying, “They are the ones who heard the call of Yasser Arafat, while the Arab and Islamic nation ignored his call: ‘Millions of Martyrs (Shahids) are marching to Jerusalem.’ They came out with their weapons, with their true belief that Jerusalem needs blood to purify itself of Jews.”
- In a November 5 interview, PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Abbas advisor, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, assured Palestinians that Abbas and the PA leadership support the riots, unrest, and terror attacks that killed civilians, saying, “First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out Ribat (religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) at the Al Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem … We are behind them. The leadership is with them … We are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque.”
- In a condolence letter to the family of terrorist Mutaz Hijazi, who was killed following his attempted murder of Rabbi Yehuda Glick last week,Mahmoud Abbas himself referred to the terrorist as a “Shahid” [martyr] who “rose to Heaven while defending our people’s rights and holy places.” Abbas also called Israel’s apprehending and killing the terrorist in a shoot-out an “abominable crime … by the killing and terror gangs of the Israeli occupation army.”
“The world has ignored this PA incitement, as well its unity agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization. This has encouraged the PA to champion the murder of Jews.
“President Obama, who has greatly increased aid to Abbas’ PA during his presidency to approximately $500 million annually, including $47 million that went to Hamas during the recent Gaza war, must immediately and publicly condemn Abbas for this poisonous, bellicose incitement to hatred and murder and demand that it cease immediately.
“Abbas and the PA must explicitly repudiate their support and approval of these acts of terrorism against Jews.
“It is unrealistic to expect that this will happen without the strongest international, including American, pressure on Abbas and the PA. U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to the PA should be terminated forthwith until this is forthcoming, as the ZOA has been calling for for years.
“It is also necessary that there be a genuine reformation in the world of Islam.
“We praise those brave imams and other genuine, moderate Muslims who revile and repudiate this terrorism and seek to build an Islamic community that does not wage war and terrorism on Israel and other non-Muslim polities.
“We caution everyone against rashly embracing Muslim extremists who utter carefully calculated and calibrated condemnations of terrorism while promoting radical Islam and radical Islamic terrorist groups.
“And we utterly reject perpetuating the falsehood that this terrorism we are seeing worldwide, and particularly this terrorism directed at Israel, has nothing whatever to do with Islam. Tragically, it does.
“Let’s stop fooling ourselves. This is clearly a religious war, waged by the PA and Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations –– not a war about territory, refugees, prospective borders or any other bill of particulars.
“The Palestinian Arabs have rejected Palestinian statehood along Israel on all occasions when one was offered –– in 1937, 1948, 2000, and again in 2008.
“Anyone who proposes that Israel continue to give land to set up a PA state, or even negotiate under prevailing conditions with Abbas’ PA is ignorant, refusing to recognize the basic reality that this is an Arab/Muslim war seeking Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews.
“It is therefore unconscionable for President Obama to ignore the blatant and vicious incitement to hatred and murder by Mahmoud Abbas. He should state in plain terms that the U.S. will terminate all aid to the PA if appropriate condemnation and repudiation of these terrorists, their murderous acts, repudiation of the PA’s alliance with the Hamas terrorist organization, and the dismantling of the whole PA apparatus of terrorism incitement are not forthcoming.”