Fatah Conference Missed Opportunity To Condemn Terrorism And Violence
New York, NY, August 11, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment that the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas failed to reject anti-Israel violence and terrorism in the political platform ratified at its conference.
While the Fatah Party platform affirms a process of negotiations with Israel (while reiterating maximalist positions on issues including Jerusalem, refugees and Palestinians in Israeli prisons) it promotes ongoing "struggle and resistance" against Israel and outright rejects recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and any current normalization of relations with Israel.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We had hoped that in its first gathering in 20 years, Fatah would make clear that Palestinian terrorism and violence is not acceptable and fully extend its hand to the people of Israel in peace. Fatah missed this important opportunity, and instead kept open the option of "struggle and resistance" alongside continued grassroots campaigns to delegitimize Israel through international boycotts and comparisons with apartheid South Africa. The platform presents yet another expression of rejection that has been a hallmark of the Arab and Palestinian response to Israel since 1947.
The Israeli public and its leaders have made clear that they are committed to negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians that brings peace and security to both peoples, and that they are willing to make serious concessions to bring that about. However, Israel has serious reservations about the Palestinian commitment to peace, given recent history when Palestinian leaders rejected negotiations in favor of suicide bombings and other forms of violence and terrorism against Israelis.
In setting out its new guiding principles, Fatah, the governing party in the Palestinian Authority, has not demonstrated that it is prepared to pursue a new course of action based on acceptance rather than rejection of Israel.
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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.