Orthodox Union Protests Invitation to Arafat

Posted on January 28, 1999 In Press Releases

The IPA of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America today expressed dismay in a letter to Congressman Steve Largent (R-OK) at the invitation that was issued to Yassir Arafat to address the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. The IPA asserted that inviting Yassir Arafat to address this breakfast would lend him a legitimacy which at this point in time he still does not deserve. The text of the letter also includes the following statements:

“In violation of all the peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that Yassir Arafat has signed, he is still harboring Palestinian Arab terrorists guilty of the murder of eleven American citizens in Israel. His modus operandi has been to arrest the perpetrators of terrorism for a short period of time and then quickly release them. Among the eleven victims of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by these Palestinian terrorists for whom Mr. Arafat is providing refuge is Alisa Flatow whose family is a member of one of our congregations. This horrific act of terrorism, which constituted a bus bombing in Jerusalem in which Alyssa perished, took place after Yassir Arafat signed the Oslo Accords.”

“Representative Largent, Mr. Arafat has a long way to go until it can be honestly said that he is living up to the peace agreements that he has signed. Until then he is certainly not the symbol of unity that you would set before the American people to address the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. We strongly urge you to reconsider and rescind this invitation and to appoint someone much more suitable who can truly symbolize peace and reconciliation.”

“As far as Mr. Arafat is concerned, we would hope that you would join us in demanding that the Palestinian Arab terrorists who killed American citizens, including those that Mr. Arafat hired as member of his police force, be brought to justice.”