Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Monday was offered a $200,000 donation if he could back up a statement he made to The Wall Street Journal that the Palestinian National Council has officially renounced terrorism.
William Langfan, a Jewish American philanthropist, said the PNC’s charter, created in 1968, has, in fact, never been changed, still calling for the destruction of Israel, even though that was agreed to be removed in 1998, “pursuant to Arafat’s January 1998 letter to President Clinton.”
In a letter to the editor, seen by The Algemeiner, Langfan, a New York property investor now retired in Palm Beach, Florida, wrote:
“Nicholas Casey in his recent Wall Street Journal article ‘Palestinian Unity’ stated that some Israeli government officials say that negotiations with Hamas could one day become possible if it recognizes Israel.”
“He then quotes Yair Lapid, ‘It’s not like it didn’t happen before.’ ‘The PLO used to be a terror organization.’ I respectfully suggest that Lapid read Article 33 of the PLO 1968 Charter and ask himself where and when the Palestinian National Council (PNC) voted to modify or annul one article of their Charter.”
“The Charter unequivocally states that the establishment of Israel is illegal and void and that they would use armed resistance until Palestine was liberated. Charter Article 33 clearly states that no change in the Charter can occur unless 2/3 of the PNC members vote for a change.”
“I hereby offer Lapid $200,000 if he can come forward with a voted PNC resolution specifying the Articles of the Charter which have been changed or annulled pursuant to Arafat’s January 1998 letter to President Clinton.”
Rather than see the question as mincing words, Langfan’s letter spoke to the underlying environment of incitement to hatred that pervades Palestinian society:
“I also suggest that Lapid read a few days of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) documented translations of the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled TV programs, newspapers, and PA leaders’ utterances,” he wrote.
Langfan concluded: “The failure to change one word of the PLO Charter and the Fatah Constitution, the daily PA controlled media, the PA instituted second Intifada (after Oslo) which caused more Israeli civilian deaths than in any previous years, and many other facts too numerous to mention, rebut Lapid’s statement that the PLO is no longer a terrorist organization.”
Langfan’s son is Mark Langfan, the New York-based chairman of AFSI, Americans for a Safe Israel, and an independent policy analyst who focuses on cartography and the geography of the Middle East.