Those who suggest Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO/Fatah have become the moderates in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict are fallacious (“When Journalists Lose Their Moral Compass,” Editor’s column, July 25). The Palestinian National Charter of 1968 called for the elimination of Israel:
• Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine;
• Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947… and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time;
• Article 21: The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions that are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine.
After the August 2009 Fatah Sixth General Conference, Fatah central committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad reported that “the movement’s charter remains as it was, without any changes.”
The Preamble to the 1988 Hamas Charter states:
• Article 13: There is no negotiated settlement possible. Jihad is the only answer;
• Article 31: It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region, because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror.
The official PNC and Hamas Charters remain in place today.
By their declarations in their own Charters the PLO and Hamas each declared war on Israel, immediately becoming aggressors against Israel and the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan. Therefore, Israel’s right to defend itself by any means possible is strictly within international law. So too, is Israel’s right to retain territories won in its defensive wars.
Spring Valley, N.Y.