The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is deliberating a proposed statement calling on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to change the Fatah charter, which calls to "eradicate" Israel. US Congressmen have submitted a
Clauses of the Fatah charter... call for... "the eradication of the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”
similar resolution in the House of Representatives.
The proposed statement details those clauses of the Fatah charter, drafted in 1964 and never repealed, that call for the "demolition" of the State of Israel, as well as "the eradication of the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”
Towards that goal, the charter endorses "armed struggle" as "a strategy and not a tactic, to uproot the Zionist existence." The Fatah organization, headed by Abbas, also calls on the world community "to prevent Jewish immigration" to Israel. Fatah, according to its charter, "opposes any political solution."
The statement on the Fatah charter, drafted and presented to the President's Conference by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), calls on Abbas to rescind the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and pro-terrorism clauses of the Fatah charter. "Rescinding these clauses," the statement reads, "would be an important confidence-building measure which would help to create a better environment to achieve progress in the peace talks."
Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Presidents Conference, said there has been very limited opposition to the ZOA proposal. Approval by at least two-thirds of the Conference's 50 member organizations is needed in order to issue the statement.
Palestinian Authority officials identified with Abbas claim that Fatah decisions from 1989 allegedly recognizing Israel superseded the Fatah charter's call for Israel's violent demise. However, current Fatah websites carry the charter in its full, original and unaltered form, including the offending clauses. In addition, Abbas's chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, recently rejected recognition of any Jewish State whatsoever when pressed on the issue by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Call for Fatah Charter Revisions in US Congress
US House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and US Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) introduced a resolution (H. Res.758) earlier this month that urges Abbas to officially abrogate 10 articles in the Fatah charter that call for Israel's destruction and for the continuation of terrorism.
Introducing the resolution, Blunt said, "There can be no reasonable expectation of a broad-based, long-term reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians while one side's constituting document calls for the complete destruction of the other. I believe it's absolutely critical that the insidious nature of [this] be brought to light - and that those with a genuine interest in working toward peace insist its most unconstructive provisions be abrogated from the text.... As long as Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah Party continue to promote the wholesale destruction of Israel, there can be no possibility for peace – whether in our time, or any other."
In a joint letter to their colleagues, Berkley and Blunt wrote, "Since the electoral victory of Hamas, and its subsequent takeover of Gaza, the Fatah Party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has gone out of its way to convince the international community that it represents the best hope for reconciliation and should be given
"As long as Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah Party continue to promote the wholesale destruction of Israel, there can be no possibility for peace." -- US Rep. Blunt
additional resources to carry out its goals.... But what most people don't know is that the Fatah Party's constitution, or party platform, still contains no fewer than 10 clauses calling for the destruction of Israel and terrorism against Israel, as well as expressing opposition to any political solution...."
The Ten Clauses
The ten clauses of the Fatah charter singled out in the proposed House resolution and in the President's Conference proposed statement include:
Article 22: "Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian cause or impose any international mandate on its people."
Article 12: "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military, and cultural existence.
Article 19: "Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated."
Article 17: "Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine."
Article 23: "Maintaining relations with Arab countries … with the provision that the armed struggle is not negatively affected."
Article 8: "The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism."
Article 7: "The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial, and aggressive in ideology, goals, organization, and method."
Article 24: "Maintaining relations with all liberal forces supporting our just struggle in order to resist together Zionism and imperialism."
Article 4: "The Palestinian struggle is part and parcel of the world-wide struggle against Zionism, colonialism, and international imperialism."
Article 25: "Convincing concerned countries in the world to prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine as a method of solving the problem."