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ZOA: Bush Administration Should Drop Fiction That Palestinians Accept Israel & Seek Peaceful State Alongside Israel

March 27, 2007
ZOA
Contact: Morton A. Klein, 212-481-1500

New York — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush Administration to drop the fiction that Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Arabs in general have accepted Israel’s existence as Jewish state and seek a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel, following Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s comments to the media in Jerusalem on Sunday that, “I think that the desire for peace and support for a two-state solution is far broader in the two communities, among the Palestinian people and among the Israeli people, than just the two leaders [Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas]. It’s, in fact, something that has shown up in all kinds of polls. It’s shown up in all kinds of discussions with people on both sides that the Palestinian people and the Israeli people would like to have peace” (State Department, March 25, 2007).

Rice made further comments in the same vein about Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas today, claiming that “President Abbas truly desires to be a partner for peace. … President Abbas told his people that he could end the occupation by ending violence” (State Department, March 27, 2007). Yet, only weeks ago, Abbas and his Fatah Party joined the Hamas terrorist government after signing the Mecca Agreement. Those like Condoleezza Rice who have hung on to the mirage of Abbas’ alleged moderation must now confront the naked reality of Abbas joining an openly terrorist regime under an agreement which does not call for peace but for more terrorism; demands the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants to Israel and thus Israel’s dissolution; demands the release of jailed Palestinian Arab terrorists; and does not in fact even mention Israel let alone recognize it.

Secretary Rice’s words are completely at odds with the record of Mahmoud Abbas’ words and deeds and innumerable Palestinian opinion polls.

Mahmoud Abbas’ own words:

* On recognizing Israel:” It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel” (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006).
* Fighting Israel: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation … Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation” (Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).
* On Jews: “The sons of Israel are corrupting humanity on earth” (World Net Daily, January 11, 2007).
* On Israel: “the Zionist enemy” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005; CNN.com, January 7, 2005).
* On suicide bombers: “Allah loves the martyr” (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).
* On wanted Palestinian terrorists: “heroes fighting for freedom” (Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
* On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas’ Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki: “martyrs” (Palestinian Media Center, September 9, 2005)
* On Hamas: “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas” (Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).
* On Yasser Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” (Haaretz, January 3, 2005); “We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams” (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); “The Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path” (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006)
* On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a “red line” that must not be crossed (Washington Times, January 3, 2005
* On jailed Palestinian terrorists: “our heroes.” (Israel National News, May 26, 2006).
* On the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants which, if implemented would end Israel as a Jewish state: “The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable” (Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007).
* On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the “Arab resistance” (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).
* Saddam Hussein: “Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of Pan-Arab nationalism” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, December 31, 2006).

Abbas’ own deeds:

* Holocaust denial: He wrote a PhD thesis and published a book denying the Holocaust.
* Terrorist group Fatah: He co-founded with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat the terrorist group Fatah, whose Constitution to this day calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism against Israelis as an indispensable part of the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19).
* Funding terrorism: as senior PLO official, he funded the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.
Terror & incitement to violence: He has refused to implement the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan which requires him to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it.
* Terrorists’ plan for more violence: In May 2006, he endorsed the so-called ‘Prisoners’ Plan’, a document produced by jailed Palestinian terrorists, that endorses continued terrorism against Israel, legitimizes the murder of Jews, does not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, abrogates Palestinian obligations under the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan, and insists on the ‘right of return.’
* Money for suicide bombers’ families: In December 2005, he approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists.

Palestinian Polls:

* February 2007: 75% of Palestinian Arabs do not think that Israel has a right to exist; 70% of Palestinian Arabs support a one-state solution in which Jews would be a minority, not a two-state solution with a Palestinian Arab state living peacefully alongside Israel (Near East Consulting (NEC) poll, February 12-15, 2007).
* September 2006: 67% of Palestinian Arabs oppose Hamas recognizing Israel (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, September 14-16, 2006).
* September 2006: 57% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians; 75% support the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in a bid to obtain the release of jailed Palestinians terrorists; 63% are inspired by the Lebanese Islamist terror group Hizballah and seek to emulate it (Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, September 2006)
* September 2006: 61.3% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians; 52.5% support rocket attacks upon Israeli population centers (Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University, September 7-9, 2006).
* June 2006: 56% of Palestinians support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians (Palestinian Center for Policy & Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, June 2006).
* February 2006: 83.3% of the Palestinian Arabs oppose dropping the legally and morally baseless so-called ‘right of return’ of refugees and their millions of descendants to Israel and reject substitute solutions to the refugee issue (Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) poll, February 16-20, 2006).
* February 2006: 56.2% support terrorism against Israeli civilians (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) poll, February 8-12, 2006).
* December 2005: 51% of Palestinian Arabs oppose the disarming of terrorist groups; 82% support the absorption of members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad into the PA. (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, December 6-8, 2005).
* December 2005: 69% of Palestinians see terrorism as legitimate; 65% support Al-Qaeda actions in the USA and Europe (Fafo poll, December 22, 2005).
* October 2005: 60% of Palestinian Arabs oppose the PA disarming the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Bir Zeit University poll, October 2005).
* December 2004: 66% of Palestinian Arabs oppose the PA disarming the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Bir Zeit University poll, December 2004).
* April 2003: 75.6% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorism against Israeli civilians (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) poll, April 2003).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We continue to be perplexed that Bush Administration officials like Secretary Rice persist in making flat-earth statements about Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Arabs in general and their alleged desire for peace with Israel in a state alongside her. It is especially worrying that Secretary Rice believes that Palestinian polls bear out her completely false evaluations — Palestinian polls have consistently shown extremism and support for violence to be widely supported by Palestinian Arabs. The evidence we have provided (of which there is much more) shows that these claims are simply not credible or accurate. By stating the opposite of what the facts warrant, Secretary Rice is misleading the American public and pursuing a policy which lacks any factual basis and which will lead to another terrorist state while appeasing terrorists and terrorism. It is vital to realize that policies built on illusions will tragically fail and the sooner U.S. policy is revised the better.

“It is crystal clear from these polls and a great deal of other data that Palestinian Arab society clearly opposes acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state and consistently supports terrorism against Israeli civilians in an attempt to undermine Israel’s survival as a Jewish state. When consistent majorities of Palestinian Arabs are shown to support terrorism and non-acceptance of Israel, it is clear that there can at present be no peace process with such a society and its like-minded leadership. Under these circumstances, there should be no discussion of a Palestinian state. Rather than giving unmerited praise to Palestinian Arabs for moderation, the Bush Administration should fearlessly state the truth and make it clear that there will be no concessions, no negotiations and no American funds until the PA fights, arrests, extradites and jails terrorists and confiscates their weaponry and ends the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it. All of these promises were made by the Palestinian Arabs in the Oslo I, Oslo II, Hebron and Wye Agreements as well as the Roadmap, yet not a single one has been fulfilled.”

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