The Zionist Organization of America News Release, November 20, 2001
NEW YORK – Yasir Arafat’s official web site has acknowledged that Arafat still
has not outlawed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which
recently murdered Israel’s Minister of Tourism.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), noting that Secretary of State
Powell last month praised Arafat for reportedly outlawing the PFLP, is calling on
Secretary Powell to publicly retract that praise and press Arafat to outlaw the PFLP.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on October 22, 2001 that Secretary
Powell “welcome Yasser Arafat’s decision to outlaw” the PFLP, and said “I’m
glad to see that he is responding to that challenge.”
But the official web site of the Fatah movement, which Arafat chairs, asserted
in an editorial on November 19, 2001:
“To avoid any damage to the home front, President Arafat refused a
request by the U.S., Russia, the European Union, and the UN to outlaw the
Over the years, the PFLP has murdered numerous Israelis and at least 14
Americans, including eleven Hispanic-American tourists; Harold Rosenthal of
Philadelphia, who at the time was an aide to U.S. Senator Jacob Javits; and
Barbara Ertle, the wife of a prominent reverend from Michigan.
The PFLP also repeatedly hijacked American airplanes during the 1970s,
holding hundreds of Americans hostage.
During 1994-1995, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin repeatedly urged Arafat
to outlaw terrorist groups but Arafat ignored Rabin’s appeals. The October
1998 Wye agreement which Arafat signed with Israel required the Palestinian
Authority to “outlaw all organizations (or wings of organizations, as appropriate)
of a military, terrorist or violent character”.
Yet it never did so.
The ZOA notes that the PFLP is the second-largest member-organization of
Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), yet Arafat has not even taken
the elementary step of expelling the PFLP from the PLO.