Posted by: ZOA Staff
November 12, 2015
News Press Release

ZOA Praises Congressional Letters/Resolutions Against EU Labeling Judea/Samaria Items, Palestinian Incitement

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) for authoring letters to the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, urging the EU to not implement additional labeling requirements for Israeli goods imported into Europe.  ZOA also praised House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) for circulating a letter to nominal head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) , Mahmoud Abbas, urging an end to incitement by the PA. The letter was signed by 369 members of the House of Representatives; and made it clear that the series of knifing attacks and other murderous violent acts by Palestinian Arabs against Israelis is directly attributable to statements and actions of the PA. In addition, the House passed a resolution by sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) “Expressing concern over anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement within the Palestinian Authority.”

As a first step, both houses have put the Europeans on notice that participating in BDS in any way will not be ignored by the US government.

The letters to the EU were sent before that organization issued new requirements on the labeling of agricultural goods from Judea, Samaria and the Golan areas of Israel.  Products produced by Jews from these areas will no longer simply be labeled as a product of Israel. Both letters pointed out that the EU does not take similar steps with products from any other area of the world where there is disputed ownership of land, and that it is not consistent with international trade law and practices. In effect, the EU is endorsing aspects of the BDS movement and is intending to facilitate the boycott of certain goods from Israel. Most of all, the letters point out it will be detrimental to moving forward with negotiations, and that the economic victims of any lost jobs are likely to be Palestinian Arabs.

The letters and the Congressional Resolution on PA incitement were very important to fight the false narrative that both sides are to blame for the current spree of killings of Israelis of all ages by Palestinian Arab terrorists using knives, vehicles, and recently, firearms.  The clear link between statements by Abbas and violence is undeniable. The resolution points out Abbas stated on Palestinian television that `we welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.’ Abbas also said “”The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours … and [the Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” Lies about Jewish attempts to destroy Muslim religious sites were repeated by every level of PA officials and especially the PA-controlled clergy.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, said, “We applaud the leadership of these legislators in bringing together the House and Senate to make the world understand that Congress stands with Israel on the issues of fighting BDS in all its manifestations and the continuing incitement to hatred and murder against Jews by the PA. Abbas’ ugly and incendiary Muslim supremacism and incitement isn’t new. He was doing the same a year ago, which helped to produce a spate of terror that claimed the lives of 11 Israelis. The ZOA has been urging for 20 years that Abbas and other PA leaders be held accountable for their vicious hate.

“The continuation by the Palestinian Arabs of the vilification and demonization of Jews and the promotion of hatred and violence against Jews in the PA schools, media, speeches, sermons and children’s camps is required if there is to be any hope of making progress on reducing the level of violence.”

ZOA Co-Director of Government Affairs Dan Pollak said, “ZOA has worked closely with Senator Cruz’s office and Rep. Lamborn’s staff to bring attention to the extremely unhelpful EU initiative to both houses of Congress.  As a first step, both houses have put the Europeans on notice that participating in BDS in any way will not be ignored by the US government. There is an attempt by the EU leadership to claim that the new anti-Israel regulations are technical and not intended to bring pressure on Israel.  This excuse is absurd, and the US Congress is going on record now as stating that there will be Congressional action in the future if Europe persists in irrationally focusing on measures that punish Israel even as the perpetrators of terrorism are escalating their atrocities.

“It is important to point out that the Senate letter on the EU regulations was bi-partisan. These letters and pro-Israel Resolutions like the one authored by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen make the larger point that support for Israel is very strong in Congress.  In regard to BDS, violence against innocent Israelis and the Iran issue, there is no question that Congress is standing with Israel.”