New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is refusing to meet with Palestinian leaders during his visit to Israel this week. Maybe that’s a mistake.
The Palestinian Authority has invited him to visit the areas under its control, and The New York Times and others are accusing the governor of bias for refusing.
In our view, the governor would actually be performing a great public service if he did visit certain P.A.-controlled areas, especially some of the ones they don’t want him to see. That would help clarify many of the issues that need to be addressed before the Palestinian Authority is given a more prominent role in Gaza in place of Hamas.
There are those who believe that the P.A. is Israel’s partner for peace. Cuomo could shed some light on that question, by asking to visit these sites:
The studios of Palestinian Authority Television. Throughout the past week, P.A. TV has repeatedly broadcast an incendiary song about Gaza (and Israel) by Arab Idol winner Muhammad Assaf. A sample of the lyrics:
“Take my blood and give me freedom:
my country from the [Jordan] water to the [Mediterranean] water O Gaza, sacrifice your men liberally; each of them is worth two …
It’s either victory or Martyrdom, her men said
Soil of the forgotten land, watered with precious blood
My land, sing your song, gather your strength for freedom.”
Any Palestinian school (with an interpreter). Let the governor see, firsthand, whether the text books they use to teach are full of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred and incitement. The governor should especially ask his P.A. hosts to show him a P.A. school book thatb has a map acknowledging Israel’s existence.
One of the Palestinian public parks named after “martyred” terrorists.
Any Palestinian prison. According to the Oslo accords, the P.A. is supposed to imprison terrorists. Are there any terrorists in Palestinian jails today?
The P.A.’s Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. Under Minister Ziad Abu Eain, this P.A. office actually pays salaries to Arab terrorists who are in Israeli prisons. Cuomo might want to ask Eain about payments to the terrorists involved in the murders of three Israeli teens this summer; the two fugitives reportedly spent time in Israeli prisons. Did Eain send them checks during their incarceration?
The home of American citizen Azzam Rahim, of Texas, who was tortured to death by the P.A. police during a 1995 visit to his native village, near the P.A. capital of Ramallah.
The Tomb of Joseph. This burial site of a biblical patriarch is also home to a yeshiva, both of which have been repeatedly desecrated by Palestinian attackers. Are Jewish students and worshippers being granted free access to their holy site?
The I.T. office at the central headquarters of Fatah, which is chaired by P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas. Throughout the Gaza war, Fatah’s official Facebook page has been filled with praise of Hamas, photographs glorifying Hamas terrorists, anti-Israel accusations, and boasts about Fatah joining Hamas in firing rockets at Israel.
We think a visit by Cuomo to these people and places might prove rather
Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.