Major Jewish Organizations Condemn Palestinian Presidents Call to Arms
Palestinian President’s Call to “Raise Rifles Against Occupation” Deeply Disturbing
New York, January 17, 2007… “We are deeply concerned at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for violent attacks against Israel. His statements appear to continue the rejectionism of Yasser Arafat rather than fulfill his public commitment to end the violence. In addition, his praise of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is disturbing. While not living up to his responsibility to end Palestinian terrorism, he now sends a message encouraging it, just days before a scheduled meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Qassam rockets continue to be launched into Israel on a daily basis and many attempted suicide bombings have been foiled by Israeli security forces in recent weeks. This call for terror against Israelis casts doubt on the sincerity of those earlier statements. His extreme rhetoric also undermines the diplomatic efforts the US Administration are undertaking to try to make progress in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” said leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Speaking at a Fatah rally on January 11, marking its 42nd anniversary, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, “Let a thousand flowers bloom and let our rifles, all our rifles, all our rifles, be aimed at the occupation.” He did this in the context of warning his followers against internecine warfare, saying “but it is forbidden to raise rifles against one another.”
The impact of his speech was evidenced immediately thereafter as other Fatah officials echoed his words on Palestinian television.
“We learned in the past the power of words of incitement which seem to vindicate those who pursue violence rather than negotiations. There has to be accountability for what leaders say as well as what they do,” the Jewish leaders added.
representing 51 national Jewish organizations
on issues of national and international concern;
the Orthodox Union is an active and leading member organization