The PLO Remains a Terrorist Organization

April 21 2021

This week, J Street—the American “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group—held its annual conference, which featured among its speakers the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas. In his address, Abbas emphasized the importance of revoking the 1987 Anti-Terrorism Act, which designates the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of which he is the chairman, as a terrorist group. The blogger who writes under the name Elder of Ziyon sees no reason to change the law:

One of the proofs of the PLO’s terrorist nature [cited in the act’s text] is its 1968 charter, which says (among other things) that “armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine, thus it is an overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase.” The 1968 PLO charter . . . is still in force. It is shown on PLO websites today without any caveat or indication that it has been superseded.

An analysis by Heba Baydoun [on the Arabic-language Palestinian news website] Maan last year looked at this exact question and concluded that the supposed vote to change the charter held in front of Bill Clinton in 1998 was all a show and had no legal force. . . . If you look at the list of official meetings of [of the PLO’s governing] council, it isn’t listed—it happened between the 21st (1996) and 22nd (2009) meetings. . . . Unlike official meetings, there was no opening session, no count of a quorum; many of the attendees who “voted” were not members of the council. . . . It was political theatre to fool the U.S. into thinking that the charter was changed. The show-of-hands vote was purely symbolic.

Moreover, if the charter had been amended and the offending terrorist sections removed, where is the new charter? It has never been published. Because it doesn’t exist.

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Read more at Elder of Ziyon

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, J Street, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror, PLO

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform