NEW YORK – Twenty-seven senators, Democrats and Republicans, sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday asking her to identify steps the Obama administration is taking to end Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel.RELATED:Over 60 Jewish groups condemn boycott movement Israel Apartheid Week, and efforts to combat it, begin J Street opposes House letter bashing incitement Gov't index shows increasing PA incitement against Israel
The letter, spearheaded by US Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), was spurred on by the murders of the Fogel family in Itamar, as well as the terrorist bombing in Jerusalem last week.
The letter cites “continuing incitement directed against Jews and Israel within the Palestinian media, mosques and schools, and even by individuals or institutions affiliated with the Palestinian Authority.”
“The Itamar massacre was a sobering reminder that words matter, and that Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel can lead to violence and terror,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to redouble your efforts to impress upon the Palestinian leadership that continuing to condone incitement is not tolerable.”
Specifically, the letter references certain examples. One mention is of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser Sabri Saidam, who delivered a speech on March 9 saying that Palestinian weapons must be turned toward Israel, and that the anniversary of the death of Dalal Mughrabi (one of the perpetrators of a 1978 coastal highway massacre) should be marked by inaugurating a square in her name in the city of El-Bireh. Mughrabi was featured and extolled in a television program on Palestinian TV on February 9.
On January 24, a presidential grant worth $2,000 was given by the governor of Jenin to the family of a Palestinian terrorist, Khaldoun Samoudi, killed while trying to detonate two bombs against Israeli soldiers at the Beka'ot Crossing.
The letter references Al Hayat’s
report that on January 2, Azzam Al-Ahmed, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, attended a gathering on the 46th anniversary of the establishment of Fatah during which models of settlement buildings were blown up.
According to the letter, Al-Ahmed reviewed terrorist attacks perpetrated by Fatah and said, "Fatah is a mass movement which believed in popular revolution and wrested its right to use all means of resistance in order to achieve its aim."
“Although President Abbas has expressed his sorrow over the Itamar
massacre, the Palestinian Authority must take unequivocal steps to
condemn the incident and stop allowing the incitement that leads to such
crimes,” the letter states. “Educating people toward peace is critical
to establishing the conditions to a secure and lasting peace.”
The letter encourages Clinton to focus on “adequate training and
educational programs in the West Bank and Gaza that promote peaceful
coexistence with Israel.”