Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has defied senior members of US Congress by announcing his refusal to dismiss a senior PA official who glorified a murderer.
Following Palestinian Media Watch's report last month that Abbas' advisor and Head of the PA's NGO Authority, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, glorified the murderer of an Israeli just three days after the killing, five members of the US Congress sent a letter to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas demanding that the PA official be removed from office:
"We ask that you publicly and officially denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein's remarks at once and remove him from his position in your government."
The letter was signed by Reps. Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, and Brad Sherman. PA official Abu Al-Einein had praised the murderer with the following words:
"We salute the heroic fighter... Blessings to the breast that nursed [him]."
Abbas has now announced that he will not remove Abu Al-Einein from his position, and likewise rejected Congress' demand for condemnation.
In addition, the PA distorted the demands made by US Congress in the letter. Reports from different Palestinian sources said that the Congressmen demanded Sultan Abu Al-Einein be deported, despite the fact that deportation was never mentioned in the letter.
An announcement on the website of Fatah's Lebanese branch called the US request a sign of "American arrogance":
"This request testifies to American arrogance, to the unqualified preference for the Zionist occupation, and the insistence to ignore the Palestinians' national rights and principles, to judge things always on the basis of the American-Israeli strategic alliance, and on protecting Israeli security."
The following are the reports from Palestinian sources of Abbas' rejection of Congress' demand:
"In a letter [to Mahmoud Abbas], the American Congress demanded that the Palestinian Authority deport Sultan Abu Al-Einein, the Head of the Non-Governmental Organizations Authority, and President Mahmoud Abbas's advisor for local authorities. This was done after his recent statements were described [by Congress] as incitement against Israel.
Abu Al-Einein's Bureau Chief, Raafat Ulayyan, told Ma'an that American Congress sent an official letter protesting Abu Al-Einein's visit to the family of the person who carried out the operation (i.e., the murder) at the Za'atara check-point south of Nablus during which a settler was killed.
He went on to say that the Americans documented Abu Al-Einein's statements that called for the killing of settlers and for struggle, and demanded that the Palestinian Authority expel him from Fatah and banish him from the Palestinian territories to a foreign country.
Ulayyan stressed that President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA responded to the letter with a letter [of their own] in which it was emphasized that Sultan Abu Al-Einein is the chosen leader of a major organization, and that he is a PA employee working in the Fatah movement."
[Ma'an (Palestinian News Agency), Arabic version, June 12, 2013]
[The English version of the article added:]
The congressmen were identified by the JTA as Democrats Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Brad Sherman, and Ted Deutch and Republican Ed Royce.Their letter said that 'allowing this type of incitement and hate mongering to take place within your ranks is intolerable if you are truly dedicated to non-violence. We ask that you publicly and officially denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein's remarks at once and remove him from his position in your government.'"
[Ma'an (Palestinian News Agency), English version, June 13, 2013]
"Fatah Central Committee Member Sultan Abu Al-Einein said that the American government has demanded that the Palestinian leadership work to deport him from the Palestinian territories following 'My visit to the home of a family of a prisoner who killed a settler.' He made it clear that he would not leave.
Abu Al-Einein said in an announcement to the news agency: 'The American Congress has demanded that the Palestinian leadership deport me from Palestine following my visit to the home of the family of 24 year-old As'ad Muhammad Zaghal from the Tulkarem suburb of Shweikeh, who killed an Israeli settler at the Al-Za'atara military checkpoint on April 30, 2013. [Congress] saw this as inciting to murder settlers.'
He added: 'It is unfortunate that the American government sees only with one eye. It sees Sultan Abu Al-Einein visiting a disabled family, but it doesn't see the organized crimes that settlers and the occupation's soldiers commit against the Palestinian people.'
[www.fatehmedia.ps (The Information and Culture Commission
of the Fatah Movement), June 12, 2013]
Headline: "Fatah's Lebanese branch rejects the American Congress' request to deport one of its leaders from Palestine"
"This request testifies to American arrogance, to the unqualified preference for the Zionist occupation, and the insistence to ignore the Palestinians' national rights and principles, to judge things always on the basis of the American-Israeli strategic alliance, and on protecting Israeli security.
We express our solidarity with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the State of Palestine, and we declare before him that we are loyal soldiers on the way of the struggle that he is leading in the footsteps of the symbol Yasser Arafat. Similarly, we salute brother Sultan Abu Al-Einein, a member of the Fatah Central Committee who in the past led the [Fatah] movement in Lebanon. The brave and principled stands that brother Sultan Abu Al-Einein is taking are the least we can do to express our devotion to Palestine, to our people, to our cause, and to our revolution that will continue until victory."
[falestinona.com, the website of Fatah's Lebanese branch, June 14, 2013]