Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
I respectfully and unequivocally state that not one word of the 1968 PLO Charter has ever been changed pursuant to Clause 33 of the Charter which states “that no changes in the charter can be made unless 2/3 of the membership of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) vote for a change.”
There is no written PLO Charter in existence other than the original 1964 PLO Charter and its amended 1968 version. The only special PNC session pertaining to the charter which has ever been held occurred in April 1996. Before the resolution was given to the PNC members, PNC Chairman Za’noun delivered a speech and stated the following: “But the version which was drafted is the least damaging that we could submit. It gives us an extension of six months until the Central Council convenes. And then the Central Council will discuss it. And it is within its rights to say they leave it for the National Council.”
Za’noun’s words clearly meant that the resolution was intended to delay any change in the Charter and still fulfill Article XXXI paragraph 9 of the Interim Agreement. This clause required that within two months from the date of the inauguration of the Interim Agreement, the PLO undertakes to have the Palestinian National Council meet to approve the charter changes in the September 1993 exchange of letters between Arafat and Rabin.
The PNC voted for a two-clause resolution. Clause One did not mention one specific clause annulment. It was a generalized statement that the PNC had decided to amend the Charter and cancel articles that opposed the September 1993 exchange of letters between Arafat and Rabin. Clause Two assigns the legal committee the responsibility of redrafting the Palestinian National Charter which will later be presented to the PCC during its first meeting. There is no evidence that any segment of Clause Two was ever fulfilled. There is no mention of Clause Two in any document after the 1996 PNC resolution. No other Palestinian document pertaining to the charter or the 1996 PNC Resolution was ever published until Arafat’s January 1998 letter to President Clinton.
Arafat boldly lied in the letter by stating that the April 1996 PNC Resolution resulted in 12 annulments (clauses 6-10, 15, 19-23, and 30) and 14 partial annulments (clauses 1-5, 11-14, 16-18, 25-27 and 29). Arafat in the letter converted the generalized language of Clause One into his own specific charter annulments and partial annulments. There is not one iota of evidence to sustain this untruthful conversion.
No special PNC session pertaining to the Charter other than the April 1996 meeting has ever been held.
The most powerful arguments Israel has as to why it should not meet with the Palestinians now is that Palestinian leaders have never changed one word of their charter’s declared goal of destroying Israel.
Additionally, Hamas has a charter that is even worse than the PLO’s. The 1998 Hamas Charter preamble states: “Surat Al-Imran (111), verses 109-11: Israel will arise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”
And Clause 11 of the 1998 Hamas Charter declares that the land of Palestine has been and is an Islamic Wafq in perpetuity.
If Israel were to present to world leaders and international bodies some recent PMW and MEMRI translations of PATV programs, some recent Palestinian newspaper articles, some recent inflammatory statements by Palestinian officials, and some Friday sermons by Palestinian imams combined with the above charters, no reasonably objective party could object to your refusal to meet with Abbas or any Hamas official.
William K. Langfan Palm Beach, FL
(Published on 7/14/2016 in http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-423/2016/09/14/0/)