The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) voiced its support today for the written request made by a former U.S. Department of Justice official to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – that Mahmoud Abbas (a/k/a Abu Mazen), the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), be declared ineligible to enter the United States pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which bars entry into the U.S. of aliens who incite terrorist activity or endorse or espouse terrorist activity. (See 8 U.S.C. § 1182.) The written request was made on November 17, 2014, by Neal M. Sher, Esq., a former Director of the Office of Special Investigations in the Justice Department, who was responsible for the 1987 decision to bar entry to the U.S. of Kurt Waldheim, then the President of Austria, based on Waldheim’s assistance or participation in Nazi persecutions.
In his letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Attorney Sher detailed the “abundance of publicly available evidence” showing that “Abbas (1) personally incited terrorist activity and (2) used his position of prominence to endorse terror activity.” Attorney Sher also furnished evidence that “ranking officials of the PA and Fatah, over whom Abbas has control and for whom he must be held responsible, have engaged in a widespread, deliberate campaign to incite and endorse terrorism.”
Attorney Sher provided many recent examples of Abbas’ incitement and endorsement of terrorist activity, including the following:
- “Abbas publicly glorified the perpetrator of the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick – an American” – declaring the perpetrator a “martyr.”
- “Abbas publicly urged” that Palestinian Arabs “prevent Jews from entering the Temple Mount ‘by all means necessary,’ an unambiguous call for violence.”
- “A close adviser to Abbas proclaimed on the PA’s official Facebook page that the convicted terrorist who, in October, rammed his car into” a light-rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three month old American infant and wounding several other U.S. citizens and Israelis, “was a ‘martyr’ and worthy of honor.”
- “After additional incidents where vehicles were used as weapons of terror, official PA outlets incited Palestinians to show their anger by ‘“running over Israelis.’”
Declaring the ZOA’s support of Attorney Neal Sher’s request to the Department of Homeland Security that PA President Mahmoud Abbas be declared ineligible under federal law to enter the U.S., based on his incitement of terrorist activity, and his use of his position of prominence to endorse or espouse terrorist activity, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein stated, “It is time for our country to send the clear message to Mahmoud Abbas that, under U.S. law, he is not eligible to enter the U.S. when he, his partners and subordinates regularly incite a terror campaign against Jews in Israel. There are unfortunately a host of examples.
“In October, Abbas called for a ‘day of rage’ when the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was temporarily closed, describing the temporary closure as a ‘declaration of war.’ Last week, Abbas warned against allowing Jews to ‘contaminate’ the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. When Abbas commissioned the official emblem for his Fatah party, it depicted all of Israel as ‘Palestine’ covered by a keffiyeh (Palestinian scarf), with a picture of the terrorist Yasser Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle in the center. Abbas’ PA regularly holds parades and ceremonies glorifying deceased terrorists, and names streets, schools and sports teams in their honor. Large posters of these terrorists are on display in PA schools, universities and public places, honoring these murderers instead of condemning them. The PA pays pensions to suicide bombers and Jew-killing terrorists. The greater the number of Jews murdered, the higher the pension. And rather than distance itself as much as possible from Hamas, Abbas’ PA embraced this U.S.-designated terrorist group, whose charter calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel.
“The ongoing incitement by Abbas and others surely led to the savage, horrific murders of four rabbis yesterday – three of whom were American – with butcher knives, axes and guns while they were praying in synagogue. A policeman wounded in the terrorist attack also tragically died. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called this heinous attack ‘an act of pure terror,’ and condemned it as ‘a pure result of incitement, of calls for days of rage.’
“Mahmoud Abbas is not a leader who is trying to calm tensions and encourage peace with the Jewish State of Israel. He is leading a campaign of incitement and terrorism against Jews. The U.S. should make it clear that based on his irresponsible and unacceptable conduct, which is ongoing and well-documented, he is ineligible under U.S. law to enter our country.”