Hamas Visit to China Would Legitimize Terror
New York, NY, May 22, 2006 … Deeply troubled at reports that China has invited a high-profile member of Hamas to participate in a conference on China-Arab relations, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Chinese leaders to reconsider the invitation and to forgo meeting with members of the Palestinian terrorist organization.
"The Hamas leadership must be isolated until it meets the conditions set by the international community, including the renunciation of terrorism, the recognition of Israel's right to exist and the acceptance of previously negotiated agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We hope that China will reconsider and return to the prudent path of not meeting with members of Hamas."
Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar, a key member of Hamas, was invited to participate in the Second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, hosted by China and scheduled to take place May 31 to June 1. Al-Zahar was quoted on Palestinian TV on January 17 as denying Israel's right to exist: "We do not recognize the Israeli enemy, nor his right to be our neighbor, nor to stay (on the land), nor his ownership of any inch of land."
In March, ADL leaders met with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and other high-level Chinese officials during a mission to Beijing. At the time, the ADL officials stressed the importance of maintaining a united front by the international community against Hamas.
"During our meeting we discussed the importance of a unified position by the international community to hold Hamas accountable for its extremist ideology, which calls for the destruction of Israel, the use of terrorism and hatred toward the Jewish people," Mr. Foxman wrote in a letter to Mr. Li last week. "Unfortunately, an official visit to China by Mr. al-Zahar will greatly contribute to the appearance of legitimizing the Hamas regime of terrorism and hate."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.