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 It is shown on PLO websites today without any caveat or indication that it has been superseded.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.