The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises the Manhattan jury verdict announced yesterday – after a decade-long legal battle and lengthy trial – which found that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) knowingly supported six terrorist attacks in Israel in which American citizens were murdered and severely injured. The jury award clearly confirmed that the PA/PLO are in fact responsible for terrorist attacks on innocent Jewish and American civilians, and that PA/PLO sponsorship of terror cannot be tolerated. It is time to heed the jury’s message – and to once again officially designate the PLO as well as the PA as foreign terrorist organizations, and to cut off all payments of U.S. tax funds to the PA.
The PLO was created in the 1960s to violently destroy Israel. It is one of the most infamous terrorist organizations in the world. The PLO and its various factions have been responsible for hijacking airplanes; bombing airports, hotels and restaurants; massacring 22 Israeli school children at Ma’alot after taking over 100 children hostage; massacring eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics (via PLO/Fatah subsidiary Black September); murdering 38 Israeli civilians including 13 children and wounding 71 in the Tel Aviv Coastal Road Massacre, and numerous other acts of terror that took thousands of innocent lives.
The six attacks for which damages were awarded yesterday occurred in the midst of the Second Intifada. After former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the PA a state in 2000, the Palestinian Arab leadership responded by launching the Second Intifada’s reign of terror. From 2000 though 2005, Arab homicide bombers, who were supported, sponsored and incited by the PA/PLO, murdered 1,100 innocent Israelis and severely wounded and maimed 8,000 innocent Israeli citizens, in hundreds of homicide bombings of Israeli buses, pizza parlors and other “soft targets” where civilians congregate. The death toll only diminished after Israel finally started building the security fence in 2005 to stem these attacks.
This past summer, Fatah (the PLO faction which is the governing party of the PA), bragged that Fatah has murdered more Jews than Hamas has. Most recently, the PA/PLO/Fatah have been inciting murdering Jewish babies and other civilians in deadly car Intifadas.
The U.S. State Department designated the PLO to be a terrorist organization until the early 1990s, when the PLO//PA signed the Oslo Accords agreeing to stop terror activities and cease inciting terrorism. But, from day one, the PLO/PA violated the Oslo Accords. In textbooks, schools, clubs, and state-run media and mosques, the PA/PLO-Fatah continued to incite terrorism against Jews and Israelis. The recent Manhattan trial produced evidence confirming that the PA/PLO/Fatah have continued to pay salaries to convicted terrorists to reward Arab terrorists for murdering innocent Jews.
The current U.S. State Department list of designated foreign terrorist organizations includes various PLO/PA affiliates and splinter groups, including HAMAS (the Palestinian Arab branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now part of a unity government with the PA); Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (a PA/Fatah affiliate primarily operating in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria); Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ, a terrorist organization which mediated unity between Hamas and the PA/Fatah); Abu Nidal (which split from the PLO in 1974); the Palestine Liberation Front (which has a pro-PLO faction, which was responsible for the murder of disabled American Jew Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985); Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP, which was founded as a member of the PLO); and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (split off from the PFLP). It is time to add the PA, and once again place the PLO-Fatah on the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.
ZOA National President Morton Klein stated:
“Sadly, even if the PA/PLO actually pays the $655.5 million jury awarded to the victims who brought the lawsuit, this will not bring back the precious lives and limbs and eyes and health destroyed in the PA/PLO-sponsored attacks. However, the award can help choke off the funds that would otherwise be used to support more PA/PLO terrorism against innocent Jewish civilians. The verdict also confirms the need to officially designate the PA/PLO as foreign terrorist organizations, and the need and legal obligation to end U.S. funding of the PA, which has cost U.S. taxpayers $500 million per year.”
“We also strongly urge the UN to withdraw the PA’s observer status and to stop the PA from becoming a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) or any other UN body. The PA should not be permitted to file false charges against Israel at the ICC.”