U.S. State Dept. — Now Israel Can’t Be Expected To Negotiate
NEW YORK, April 24 — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the Obama Administration and the Israeli government to terminate relations with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA), following its conclusion of a reconciliation agreement with the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas, which controls Gaza. The State Department designates Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Top Hamas official Hassan Yousef announced that the terror group would not renounce its commitment to violence and the destruction of Israel, will not recognize Israel and “will not give up the resistance” [i.e. terrorism against Israelis] (Adam Kredo, ‘New Palestinian Government Refuses to Renounce Violence,’ Washington Free Beacon, April 23, 2014).
The ZOA believes such an agreement between Abbas’ Fatah/PA and Hamas automatically invalidates any rationale that could be made for promoting Israeli/Palestinian negotiations.
Fatah calls in its Constitution for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an indispensable element in the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19). Fatah terrorists have murdered over 500 Israelis since Yasser Arafat launched his terrorist wave against Israel in September 2000. Hamas calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the worldwide murder of Jews (Article 7), while Hamas terrorists have also murdered over 500 Israelis since September 2000.
Palestinian media outlets are already reporting that Hamas members are set to fill the PA’s ranks, and may even head the new government. Following the announcement of the reconciliation deal, Israel said it would not attend a negotiation session planned for Wednesday evening. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier said Mr. Abbas would have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas, saying, “Does [Abbas] want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other” (‘Hamas and Fatah unveil Palestinian reconciliation deal,’ BBC, April 23, 2014).
In a press briefing, the State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, responded to the news of the reconciliation deal, saying, “it’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist.” Asked if U.S. financial aid to the PA would be a casualty of this move, Psaki replied, “Well, obviously, there would be implications” (‘Jen Psaki, Spokesperson, Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC, April 23, 2014′).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “By concluding a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, a movement intent on a genocide of the Jews, Abbas’ Fatah/PA has shown conclusively that it is not only not a peace partner, but an avowed enemy of Jews and the Jewish state.
“As we have argued for many years now, we know from long, bitter experience that the PA is unlikely to accept even the most generous Israeli peace proposals, even ones that would endanger Israel, such as Ehud Barak’s 2000 peace offer or Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer. Indeed, they have frustrated American attempts to bring about peace negotiations in recent months by adding new demands and also refused even to talk to Israel for almost the whole of the past five years.
“Abbas’ PA has not fulfilled its commitments under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that helps fuel the conflict. It has repeatedly and explicitly refused to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Even without the Fatah/Hamas deal, talks with the Fatah/PA are devoid of purpose.
“Until and unless the PA genuinely reforms to cleanse itself of terrorism and extremism, fights and jails terrorists and terminates the culture of hatred and rejection that helps fuel Palestinian violent rejection of the Jewish state of Israel, there is no prospect of peace. Is there now any prospect of these things happening when the Fatah/PA allies itself to Hamas? They have nailed their colors to the mast.
“We therefore urge both the Obama Administration and the Israeli government to terminate relations with the Fatah/PA forthwith.”
Further Israeli reactions to the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation deal:
The secular left-of-center party Yesh Atid’s leader, Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, said that Hamas is “a jihadi terror organization that is proud of killing civilians – women, children, the elderly – just because they’re Jewish. If the Palestinians really want a treaty with Israel … how did they not demand from Hamas to say it is abandoning terror, to commit to not hurting innocent people and to follow international law?”
The Jewish Home party leader, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “We don’t talk to murderers … The agreement between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad brings the Middle East to a new diplomatic era. The Palestinian Authority turned into the largest terrorist organization in the world, 20 minutes from Tel Aviv” (Herb Keinon & Lahav Harkov, ‘Israel cancels planned peace talks meeting after Fatah-Hamas unity deal announced,’ Jerusalem Post, April 23, 2014).
About the ZOA
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States. With offices around the country and in Israel, the ZOA educates the public, elected officials, the media, and college/high school students about the truth of the ongoing Arab war against Israel. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations through educational activities, public affairs programs and our work on Capitol Hill, and to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media, in textbooks, in schools and on college campuses. Under the leadership of such presidents as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen Wise, and current President Morton A. Klein, the ZOA has been – and continues to be – on the front lines of Jewish activism. www.zoa.org.