March 22, 1999 Special Dispatch No. 28

Palestinian Reaction to U.S. Senate Decision

March 22, 1999
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 28

Following are Palestinian reactions to the American Senate's decision to impose American sanctions on the PA in the case of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state on May 4, 1999:

Secretary General of the Palestinian Cabinet, Ahmad Abd Al-Rahman warned Washington of the outcome of this decision and said that it jeopardizes stability, security, and American interests in the Middle East. "If our people do not get their legitimate national rights and first and foremost their right for self-determination and for the establishment of an in dependent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, it will jeopardize the entire region and the American interests will be in danger as well. " [1]

Arafat's Advisor, Basam Abu Sharif: "This position by the Senate does not come as a surprise to us. Most of the Senate's members were influenced by the extreme right and are hostile to President Clinton, like Jerry Fallwell and the Zionist AIPAC... The Palestinian people and its National Council who witnessed Clinton signing the agreements, believe that the recommendation of the majority of the Senate is unfounded... and in fact, does not serve the American interests... the Senate's position is hostile to the Palestinian people. We believe this position is a clear call for violence and encouragement for Israeli and Palestinian extremists alike… Real terrorism is the aggression against the freedom of a people in its entirety and preventing it from its right to establish its state."[2]

A Communique by the Palestinian National Council: "the American Congress' decision is, first and foremost, a disgrace to the American people and to the principles of its former president, Wilson, regarding self-determination of peoples..."[3]

Editor of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Hafez Barghuthi, under the title "Aweless Senators": "...Those who suffer from the Alzheimer insanity should not interfere in the business of another people... The threats of the Congress may frighten the entire world but not our people because we don't owe anything to anybody. We don't care about this unexpected American support of Sharon and his murderous terrorist myrmidons. Our blood is still on their hands like a sign that cannot be wiped off. Our peaceful people who restrained themselves in the face of calls for murder and settlement are ready to take the region decades back if they don't get their rights and state. They can cause an earthquake if they don't get the land... The Senators should hide their guilt which is uglier than Monica's guilt."[4]

Columnist Fuad Abu Hijla: "We never expected the Congress with its Zionist and pro-Zionist members to renounce Israeli organized terrorism and accept the establishment of a non-Jewish state on the land of Palestine... All that has happened reveals the true face of the US that unjust global fate made it the sole sponsor of unjust and unrealistic peace - due to its bias for the murderer instead of the victim..."[5]

[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 18, 1999.

[2] Al-Quds, March 19, 1999.

[3] Al-Ayyam, March 19,1999.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 18, 1999.

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 18, 1999.

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