New York, NY, June 2, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly criticized the new Fatah-Hamas unity government headed by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah as a “step off the path towards Israeli-Palestinian peace.” ADL urged the United States and the international community to withhold recognition of the new government until Hamas renounces terror against Israel, acknowledges Israel’s right to exist and accepts all prior agreements.
ADL also expressed support for the idea of Congress imposing a “pause” on U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The new Fatah-Hamas unity government is a step off the path towards Israeli-Palestinian peace, and is another rejection of Israel’s efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict, and an outright negation of the tireless peace efforts of Secretary Kerry and others. By pivoting away from Israel and towards Hamas - a terrorist organization which continues advocating for Israel’s violent destruction - President Abbas is demonstrating a lack of interest in ending the conflict through a negotiated agreement with Israel.
Hamas’s presence in the unity government taints the Palestinian Authority. Despite Palestinian Authority claims that Hamas has accepted the international community’s criteria for international engagement by entering into the unity government, there is nothing in the unity agreement or elsewhere to even suggest that Hamas has agreed to the conditions or abandoned its violent philosophy.
The U.S. should exert maximum pressure on the new Palestinian government until Hamas expressly renounces terror against Israel, acknowledges Israel’s right to exist and accepts all of the existing agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Neither Hamas nor Fatah are entitled to a free pass by simply appearing to reconcile their differences.
Although we do not believe the U.S. should immediately end all funding to the Palestinian Authority, we support the idea of a pause in funding U.S. aid to see if the new government can qualify to avoid a full cut of funding under the 2006 Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act prohibiting U.S. foreign aid to a Palestinian government which includes Hamas.
The new joint Fatah-Hamas Palestinian government representing the West Bank and Gaza has been portrayed as including “politically independent professionals,” though there are a number of ministers backed by Hamas.
In April, ADL said that Israel’s suspension of their part in the peace negotiations was “fully justified” in light of the unity agreement.