369 members of Congress recently wrote to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, “urging him to condemn the recent violence in Israel and end incitement to violence within the Palestinian Authority.” Seven out of eight Maryland congresscritters signed the letter. The only holdout was Donna Edwards.
The text of the letter is set forth below.
November 3, 2015
His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian National Authority
Dear President Abbas:
We are writing to express our deep concern over the recent wave of Palestinian violence in Israel and the West Bank. Unless immediate action is taken to end incitement and bring the situation under control, this escalating violence – including stabbings, shootings and other terrorist acts — will undermine the prospects of a two-state solution.
There have been some efforts to curb the violence and protect the peace. But statements made by you, other political figures, clerics and official PA media have undoubtedly served to inflame the current situation. False claims about changing the status quo on the Temple Mount or accusations of Israel executing an attacker — when, in fact, he is being treated in an Israeli hospital — only encourage more acts of terror. The abhorrent and deadly rhetoric – including calls for knife attacks on Israelis - must stop.
Now is the time for the Palestinian Authority to take concrete steps to avoid further violence. This starts with a sustained effort to publicly and officially repudiate these attacks, ending the unacceptable incitement to violence emanating from Palestinian Authority officials and institutions, continuing important security cooperation with Israel and agreeing to unconditionally renew direct talks with the Israelis.
The stakes are high. Now is the time for responsible and sustained leadership on these critical issues.
EDWARD R. ROYCE
ELIOT L. ENGEL
The signed copy of the letter can be found here.