Photo Credit: Amir Levy / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters, in New York, USA.

Palestinian Media Watch sent a letter last week to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas be denied entry to the US for the UN session this week due to his direct responsibility for paying salaries to terrorists and rewarding families of terrorists who were killed during their attacks.

The United States in the Taylor Force Act stated that these two payments are “incentivizing terror.”

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Abbas, as head of the Palestinian Authority and head of the Palestine National Fund (PNF), is the one responsible for these payments, and is therefore the one incentivizing terror. US law prohibits entry to those promoting terror:

“Aliens who are… ineligible to be admitted to the United States… (VII)[one who] endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity, or support a terrorist organization…” [Code Chapter 8, § 1182 (3)(B)(7)]

Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon reported the State Department’s response to PMW: “I can’t speak to the specifics, but typically, as host nation for the United Nations, the United States is generally obligated to admit foreign nationals traveling to U.N. Headquarters in New York for official U.N. business.” [The Washington Free Beacon, Sept. 20, 2018]

In its response to the State Department, PMW has written that during the Obama Administration an Iranian UN Diplomat Hamid Abutalebi was denied entry to the United States because of his involvement in terror activity and the murder of an Iranian dissident.

Every month, Abbas rewards Palestinian terrorists who have murdered American (and Israeli) citizens and are in Israeli jails today. There’s absolutely no justification to bypass American law and admit this terror supporter into the US.

PMW is turning to all American organizations to join us in asking the Administration to implement American law and prohibit Abbas’ entry.

Following is The Washington Free Beacon story followed by PMW’s letter to Sec. of State Pompeo:

“The Trump administration is being pressured to prevent Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from entering the United States to participate in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, a platform Abbas routinely uses to bash Israel and foment violence against it, according to a letter sent to the Trump administration and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW, an advocacy organization that tracks anti-Semitism and calls for terrorism in the Palestinian media, is petitioning the White House, State, and Treasury Departments to deny Abbas entry to America under new federal statutes barring international terrorist leaders from traveling to the United States.

The pressure campaign-which is being met with passivity in the State Department-comes on the heels of the passage of new legislation cracking down on the Palestinian government’s use of American aid dollars to pay the salaries of convicted terrorists and their families.

That law, known as the Taylor Force Act, was approved by President Trump and recently implemented. Since that time, the Trump administration has frozen millions in aid dollars to the Palestinian government, frozen its bank accounts, and booted its top officials from the United States.

Other statutes in the law could be used to deny Abbas entry to the United States due to his position as the leader of a Palestinian government group known to be paying off terrorists, PMW argues in its letters to the Trump administration.

‘The reason to prohibit Abbas’ entry is that he is head of an organization that according to American designation ‘incentivizes terror,’ PMW director Itamar Marcus wrote in a letter to the administration and provided to the Free Beacon.

‘The Taylor Force Act, which passed the U.S. Congress and was signed into law by Pres. Trump, declares that paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and Martyrs’ families is an ‘incentive to commit acts of terror,’ the group argues.

‘The Palestinian Authority, through the Palestine National Fund, makes these terror-promoting payments,’ the letter states. ‘Mahmoud Abbas is the head of the Palestine National Fund.’

‘The recipients of these payments include murderers of U.S. citizens and members of U.S. designated terrorist organizations,’ the group states. ‘So according to American law Abbas is head of an organization that incentivizes terror and which provides “material support” to terrorists, terrorism, and designated terrorist organizations, contrary to [federal laws codified under] 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B.’

The State Department, however, when asked for comment on the matter by the Free Beacon, declined to take a position on the letter and its contents.

A State Department spokesperson told the Free Beacon that, in most situations, foreign nationals must be admitted to the United States due to its role as the U.N.’s host nation.

‘I can’t speak to the specifics, but typically, as host nation for the United Nations, the United States is generally obligated to admit foreign nationals traveling to U.N. Headquarters in New York for official U.N. business,’ the official said.

‘The State Department’s response is alarming because allowing Mahmoud Abbas into the U.S. is in direct violation of the letter and spirit of U.S. law,’ Marcus told the Free Beacon. ‘U.S. law is very clear on protecting its borders from terrorists and includes prohibiting entry to those involved in incentivizing terror.’

‘Mahmoud Abbas is the head of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian National Fund – both of which make monthly payments to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and to families of killed terrorists,’ Marcus said.

PMW rejects this argument in the letter sent to top administration officials.

‘There is no doubt Abbas will use his UN address to continue these attacks,’ the letter states. ‘While it may be argued that the United States is committed to allow the entry and free passage of certain persons into the U.S. to participate in meetings of the United Nations, that commitment is limited to the “Representatives of Member” States. Since Palestine is not a member state of the United Nations, Abbas does not enjoy these privileges and his entry into the U.S. must be specifically granted.’

PMW, in materials provided to U.S. officials, further argues that Abbas’ role as the head of an organization paying convicted terrorists-some of whom have killed U.S. citizens-designates him as a global terror leader, thus making him ineligible for entry to America.

‘Noting its involvement in terrorism, Israel declared the Palestine National Fund a terror organization,’ PMW writes in its letter to the Trump administration. ‘According to Israeli law, Mahmoud Abbas is the head of a terror organization. It should also be noted that Abbas and other organizations he heads are using every platform to attack and insult the U.S.’

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Fatah political party, headed by Abbas, ‘mocked the 9-11 tragedy by depicting President Trump about to fly a plane into a building shaped like the PA map of “Palestine” that includes all of Israel and is painted in the colors of the PA,’ the group notes.

Perhaps even more concerning as it relates to U.S. law, Abbas has publicly advocated for the ”’destruction of the house” of President Trump, and [he] uses almost every opportunity to attack the U.S., the current administration and its policies,’ PMW writes to U.S. officials.” [The Washington Free Beacon, Sept. 20, 2018]

PMW’s letter to Secretary of State Pompeo:

US Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo
U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street,
N.W. Washington, D.C. 20520,
September 13, 2018

Dear Mr. Secretary,
Re: Deny entry to the US to terror incentivizer, Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, will be traveling in the coming days to New York to participate in the 73rd UN General Assembly. A crucial question facing the US government at this time is whether it should allow Mahmoud Abbas to enter the United States.
The reason to prohibit Abbas’ entry is that he is head of an organization that according to American designation “incentivizes terror.” The Taylor Force Act, which passed the US Congress and was signed into law by Pres. Trump, declares that paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and Martyrs’ families is an “incentive to commit acts of terror.” The Palestinian Authority, through the Palestine National Fund, makes these terror promoting payments. Mahmoud Abbas is the head of the Palestine National Fund.
The recipients of these payments include murderers of US citizens and members of US designated terrorist organizations.
So according to American law Abbas is head of an organization that incentivizes terror and which provides “material support” to terrorists, terrorism and designated terrorist organizations, contrary to 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B
Noting its involvement in terrorism, Israel declared the Palestine National Fund a terror organization. According to Israeli law, Mahmoud Abbas is the head of a terror organization.

It should also be noted that Abbas and other organizations he heads are using every platform to attack and insult the US. On Sept. 11 Fatah, headed by Abbas, mocked the 9-11 tragedy by depicting President Trump about to fly a plane into a building shaped like the PA map of “Palestine” that includes all of Israel and is painted in the colors of the PA flag. [Official Fatah Facebook, Sept. 11, 2018]

Abbas has also called for the “destruction of the house” of President Trump, and uses almost every opportunity to attack the US, the current administration and its policies. There is no doubt Abbas will use his UN address to continue these attacks.
While it may be argued that the United States is committed to allow the entry and free passage of certain persons into the US to participate in meetings of the United Nations, that commitment is limited to the “Representatives of Member” States. Since Palestine is not a member state of the United Nations, Abbas does not enjoy these privileges and his entry into the US must be specifically granted.
As a public act to demonstrate America’s earnestness in fighting Palestinian terror, PMW is urging you Mr. Secretary to prohibit Abbas’ entry due to his position as leader of a terror incentivizing and funding organization, under both Israeli and American designation.

Sincerely,
Itamar Marcus
Director, Palestinian Media Watch

Maurice Hirsch
Director of Legal Strategies

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