The following is a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Israel from David Bedein, Media Analyst and Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency at the Bet Agron International Press Center in Jerusalem. The full text of the Palestinian Authority's Constitution can be compared here in English or Arabic (final, official draft), courtesy of the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs.-- The Editors.
July 2, 2003.
The Hon. Dr. Dan Kurtzer
US Ambassador to Israel
Fax 03 5108093
Dear Dr. Kurtzer,
For the past three months, I have asked the U.S. government a fundamental question which has generated no response from the U.S. government, despite numerous requests from the U.S. press offices at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, the White House Press Office, the press office of the National Security Council, and the press office of the U.S. State Department. That question remains: What is the reaction of the U.S. to the finalized version of the new Palestinian State Constitution?
Our news agency obtained the ratified Arabic version of the Palestinian State Constitution from the Vatican and obtained verification as to its authenticity from Nabil Shaath, the PA foreign minister who chaired the committee that authored that constitution. That committee's work was sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the EU and US AID.
The PA State constitution, whose Arabic and English versions appear on the home page of our web site, www.israelbehindthenews.com, fosters a Teheran-style state based on Islamic law, devoid of religious freedom, human rights and civil liberties, while legislating the Palestinian refugee "right of return" to all Arab villages lost in 1948.
Meanwhile, that PA constitution places authority in the hands of its president, not in its prime minister. The current president of the PA is Yassir Arafat, whom the U.S. administration has declared persona non grata.
At a time when the U.S. is considers massive aid to the nascent Palestinian Arab entity, it would seem incumbent on you as the ambassador to Israel here to react to the new Palestinian State Constitution which is slated to guide that entity.
It would seem inappropriate for the U.S. to aid and abet the genesis of a totalitarian Islamic state.
Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency