October 10, 2002 Contact: (212) 481-1500 Attn: NEWS EDITOR
State Dept Again Tries to Whitewash Palestinian Arabs
NEW ZOA REPORT: PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY'S PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS AND
DESECRATION OF JEWISH HOLY SITES
NEW YORK - In response to the State Department's latest report whitewashing
Palestinian Arab actions against Jews and Christians, the Zionist
Organization of America has released a new report detailing the Palestinian
Authority's systematic persecution of Christian Arabs, desecration of Jewish
holy sites, and promotion of hatred against Jews and Judaism.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: "Once again, the State
Department is whitewashing the Palestinian Authority, in order to soften the
PA's image so as to faciliate the creation of a Palestinian Arab state,
despite the PA's complete failure to fulfill any of the conditions President
Bush outlined in his June 24 speech. The PA's record of persecuting
Christians and abusing Jewish holy sites demonstrates that a Palestinian
Arab state would be a repressive, intolerant regime whose policies would be
the opposite of everything America stands for."
For a free copy of the ZOA's new report, "The Palestinian Authority's War
Against Jews & Christians," please call the ZOA at 212-481-1500.
The ZOA's report is a response to the State Department's annual
International Religious Freedom report, which claimed that the PA "generally
respects religious freedom in practice"; that the PA "attempts to foster
goodwill among religious leaders" and that the PA "makes a strong effort to
maintain good relations with the Christian community."
The State Department report whitewashed the PA's systematic promotion of
hatred against Jews and Judaism; it included just one paragraph that
criticized "the rhetoric of some Jewish and Muslim religious leaders," which
it described as "harsh and at times constituted an incitement to violence."
The report also contained an outrageously distorted description of the
status of the Tomb of Joseph. In October 2000, a Palestinian Arab mob aided
by PA policemen destroyed the site. The PA then rebuilt it as a mosque and
barred Jews from the site; but the State Department report asserts that the
PA "paid for the refurbishment of Joseph's Tomb" after the October 2000
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The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest
pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen
U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the
dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on
college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice
Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.