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Press Release

ADL Expresses Deep Concern Over U.S. Reaction To Latest Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation

New York, NY, February 10, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to express "deep concern" over the U.S. reaction to the latest reconciliation agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas. 

Noting that articles appeared today in the press reporting that the U.S. had told the Palestinian Authority that it did not object to the reconciliation agreement, the letter urged the U.S. to demand Hamas meet the Quartet requirements to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previously negotiated agreements prior to any cooperation or joint governance with the Palestinian Authority. The letter called on Secretary Clinton to "make clear to President Abbas there will be consequences to proceeding with a unity government with a pro-violence, anti-Israel Hamas."

The full text of the letter from Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, follows:

Dear Madame Secretary:

We are writing to express deep concern regarding the Administration's ambiguous reaction to the announcement of the latest reconciliation and governance agreement signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal earlier this week in Doha, Qatar. We strongly believe any association between Fatah and Hamas which does not expressly include an agreement by Hamas to accept the three well known and longstanding conditions of the international community deserves vigorous criticism, especially from the U.S.

Our concern is heightened by news reports today indicating the U.S. has conveyed directly to the Palestinian Authority that it does not object to the reconciliation agreement.

We firmly believe this development is not simply a matter of internal policy for the Palestinians. It directly and immediately implicates significant U.S. interests regarding relations between Israel and the Palestinians. It sends a message to President Abbas that Fatah can align itself with the terrorist Hamas organization without any consequences from the U.S. and it could create the perception that the U.S. commitment to the international community's conditions may be weakening. This kind of response only serves to reinforce the Palestinian Authority's reorientation towards Hamas, and away from negotiations and reconciliation with the State of Israel.

Simply affirming the terms for U.S. engagement with a Palestinian government, ignores the challenge of Hamas' refusal to meet the Quartet's requirements and continued public statements by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh unequivocally demonstrating continued bellicosity towards Israel.

We respectfully urge you to remain steadfast in demanding that Hamas must meet the Quartet requirements prior to any cooperation or joint governance with the Palestinian Authority, and make clear to President Abbas there will be consequences to proceeding with a unity government with a pro-violence, anti-Israel Hamas.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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