Agudath Israel of America executive vice president Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel has called on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to reconsider whether the Palestinian Authority is entitled to aid it is receiving from the United States.
The Jewish leader called Secretary Clinton’s attention to the claim of affiliation with Fatah – the PA governing party – made by the Palestinian group that took “credit” for murdering 45-year-old Israeli father of seven Rabbi Meir Chai on December 24. That group, Imad Mughniyeh, identifies itself part of the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s military wing.
Rabbi Zwiebel also noted that while “when Rabbi Chai was killed in cold blood, Mr. Abbas neither disassociated Fatah from the murder, nor offered condolences to the Israeli’s family,” when three of Rabbi Chai’s suspected murderers resisted arrest and were killed by Israel’s security agency, “Mr. Abbas reacted by declaring the three deceased militants ‘shahids,’ or holy martyrs, and sending PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to pay condolence visits to their families.”
“There is something deeply wrong here,” wrote Rabbi Zwiebel to Secretary Clinton. The provisions of United States aid to the Palestinians, he pointed out, “require that it will only be transferred to a Palestinian government whose members accept the conditions of the international Quartet, including recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past agreements signed with the Jewish State.
“Mr. Abbas’ silence at the murder of Rabbi Chai by a group that claims affiliation with the military arm of Fatah, and his disturbing reaction to the killing of three of Rabbi Chai’s murderers, must lead us to reconsider whether Fatah meets these criteria.”