April 3, 2011
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) applauds Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for their bi-partisan Senate letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pressing for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to end incitement to hatred and violence against Israel and Jews. This letter, which ZOA helped facilitate, was co-signed by 25 additional Senators, and asks Secretary Clinton to identify specific steps the Administration is taking to compel the PA to end this dangerous incitement.
The letter, sent yesterday in the wake of this month’s brutal terrorist murder of the Fogel family in Itamar and the terrorist bombing of a civilian bus in Jerusalem, lists multiple recent examples of PA-sponsored incitement through public statements, media and grants.
“The Itamar massacre was a sobering reminder that words matter, and that Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel can lead to violence and terror,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to redouble your efforts to impress upon the Palestinian leadership that continuing to condone incitement is not tolerable.” The letter also documents several quotes by PA officials and by PA President Mahmoud Abbas praising terrorists and obscenely providing financial benefits to the families of the terrorists. The letter closed with a request for action: “We urge you to redouble your efforts to impress upon the Palestinian leadership that continuing to condone incitement is not tolerable. We also urge you to consider focusing adequate training and educational programs in the West Bank and Gaza that promote peaceful coexistence with Israel.”
Other signers of the letter included Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), James Risch (R-ID), Charles Schumer (D-NY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Joseph Lieberman (I-CN),
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA),John Ensign (R-NV), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Bill Nelson (D-NE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AK), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jon Tester (R-MT).
Joshua London and Daniel Pollak, Co-Directors of Government Relations for ZOA, commented: “While obviously everyone we spoke to in Congress was horrified by the grisly killings in Itamar and the subsequent terrorist bombing in Jerusalem, others were also rightly appalled by the unceasing Palestinian Arab incitement against Jews and Israel that routinely fouls the PA’s official media and religious and educational institutions and that helps inspire these attacks against Israeli civilians. It did not go unnoticed that glorification of terrorists and incitement to violence and hatred was broadcast on official PA TV in the days leading up to these murders. Or that the day after the Fogel family was slaughtered, a Fatah official, under Palestinian Authority auspices, engaged in public glorification of terrorism and incitement to hatred and violence by naming a public square in El-Birah (near Ramallah) for Dalal Mughrabi, an infamous Palestinian Arab terrorist. That is, as the Israeli people mourned and buried their dead, the Palestinian Arabs – at essentially that same moment in time – publicly celebrated the memory of a terrorist who led a 1978 attack which left 37 civilians dead (including 13 children) and 72 wounded.”
“This Senate letter is a useful reminder to other legislators that the Palestinian Arab leadership is enjoined by every signed agreement since the Oslo Accords to immediately end incitement to hatred and violence against Israelis and Jews in all media and religious and educational institutions under their authority. This incitement is not only morally repugnant, but it is also a direct violation of their obligations under all of these “peace process” agreements. Even more troubling, the PA continues to receive lavish financial, material and diplomatic support by the United States and other world powers, thereby rewarding, at a minimum, non-compliance with their obligations.”
ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud Senators Kirk and Gillibrand, and all of the other Senators who signed on to this letter, for raising the issue of incitement to hatred and murder against Israelis and Jews within Abbas’ PA with the Obama Administration and for putting this long-neglected item back on the State Department’s agenda. This will hopefully bolster the requests of the Netanyahu government in Israel that the incitement issue be placed firmly back on the agenda. It is high time that the PA was made accountable for its flagrant and vicious anti-peace, pro-terror words and deeds.”
“The ZOA has been almost alone among American Jewish organizations in raising the issue of Palestinian Arab incitement, relentlessly exposing and highlighting these “peace process” violations in our articles, speeches, press releases, letters and educational materials. Indeed, since the start of the Oslo process and the subsequent creation of the PA, the ZOA has maintained a laser-like focus on this issue, calling for immediate action to compel PA compliance to finally end their unceasing glorification of terrorists and incitement and inculcation of hatred, violence and extremism in the PA-controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps.”
“The Israeli government has recently and finally taken an important, long-overdue step in the right direction by raising the issue of Palestinian Arab incitement to hatred and murder with the Obama Administration. This strong effort by these 27 Senators to do so as well is yet another important step to hold the PA accountable and prevent this issue from being ignored or brushed aside.”
“The Obama Administration needs to support Israel in bringing the issue of Palestinian non-compliance on fighting terrorism and ending the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it to the center of attention. President Obama himself has said more than once that Palestinians need to end incitement before progress can be made and it is essential that all possible U.S. pressure – including withholding of U.S. aid – be exerted on Abbas and the PA to comply. Without this, all hopes for any true and durable peace are illusions built on sand.