American Jews to demand Abbas change Fatah charter

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

While the international community insists on viewing Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a "moderate" peacemaker, the fact remains that the official charter of Abbas' ruling Fatah party openly calls for the eradication of the Jewish state.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations intends to bring that fact to light when Abbas travels to Annapolis, Maryland next week to participate in a US-hosted Middle East peace summit.

If Abbas is serious about making peace with Israel, he must officially and publicly amend the Fatah charter as a "confidence-building measure which would help to create a better environment to achieve progress in the peace talks," read a statement released by the Presidents Conference.

Using language reminiscent of the Hamas charter, Fatah's founding document calls for the "eradication of the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence," and declares that the group "opposes any political solution" to the conflict.

Earlier this month, US Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced a resolution spelling out why a true peace agreement could never be concluded "while one side's constituting document calls for the complete destruction of the other."

"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," Blunt stated as he presented the bill.

Abbas formulated the charter together with his late mentor, Yasser Arafat, in 1964. Despite the Fatah-dominated PLO entering into a supposed peace agreement with Israel, the charter was never amended.

Arafat himself hinted at the reason for keeping the charter intact when, almost immediately after signing the 1993 "Oslo Accords," he told Arab journalists that the peace deal was merely a tactical step toward ultimately fulfilling the Fatah charter's terms.

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