Orthodox Union Outraged by Continued Palestinian Terrorism Urges Placing PA on Terrorist List

Posted on March 27, 2001 In Press Releases

The Orthodox Union today expressed its outrage at the continued, unrelenting campaign of terror being perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority. This deliberate, planned and orchestrated campaign to spread fear and shed innocent blood cannot be tolerated by any civilized nation. The Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and Fatah’s Tanzim jointly mastermind terrorist attacks on innocent Israelis, whose latest victims include a ten-month-old baby girl who was shot by a Palestinian sniper as she was held in her mother’s arms in Hebron. These Palestinian terrorists seek to achieve their political goals through carefully calibrated violence, instead of through direct negotiations at the bargaining table. The Palestinians, through this terrorist campaign, have proved that they do not want a place at a peace table; rather they are interested in terrorizing the Israeli people into giving into their outrageous demands. “The time has come to finally realize that the Palestinian Authority, with its support and encouragement of Arafat’s Tanzim and other terrorists under their command, is a terrorist organization,” said Betty Ehrenberg, OU Director of International Affairs. “As such, it belongs on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist groups and should not receive any American assistance or recognition.”

In addition to these latest Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism, at least twelve American citizens have been killed in terrorist attacks in Israel since 1993. In violation of the Oslo accords, the Palestinian Authority has provided those implicated in these terrorist attacks with refuge. Recently, the Palestinian Authority has released the very terrorists responsible for the murders of Alisa Flatow, Sarah Duker, and Matthew Eisenfeld, to participate in the current intifada, instead of prosecuting them in accordance with the agreements that they signed.

The Palestinian Authority, let by Yassir Arafat, is in flagrant violation of its numerous agreements with Israel and the United States. With the advent of the peace process, the PA agreed to stop the violence against Israel and to renounce terrorism; to prohibit incitement of violence and hostile propaganda; to protect Jewish holy places; and to confiscate illegal weapons. The Palestinian Authority has failed miserably in all these categories and instead it has recently released more than 100 known terrorists from its jails, cooperated with terrorist groups including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, has directed and participated in armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians and along with the Tanzim PLO militia, has perpetrated more than 6,000 live fire attacks against Israelis in the last several months, using illegal and increasingly lethal weapons.

Once again, in light of this deliberate campaign of violence against Israelis, we believe that the Palestinian Authority now qualifies as a terrorist organization and as such should be included on the State Department’s list of terrorist states and organizations. The American government should reassess its relationship with the Palestinians. Palestinians involved in violent attacks against Israelis should be barred from the United States, the U.S. should consider closing the PLO office in Washington and American assistance should be withheld until the Palestinian Authority complies with its commitments.

A “Dear Colleague” letter is being circulated in Congress urging President Bush to reassess the U.S. relationship with the Palestinians and to consider the above recommendations. The letter is being circulated in the House of Representatives by Reps. Henry Hyde (R-IL) and Tom Lantos (D-CA) and in the Senate by Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Sam Brownback (R-KS). The Orthodox Union is urging all its members to immediately call their Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor this important letter.

It is time for the American government and people to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Israel’s safety and security and to recognize the uniquely common values and interests which Americans share with their only reliable democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.