Photo courtesy of Pamela Hall

“Fatah, the PA, the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas’ factions that incite and glorify terrorism, have no place in the civilized world,” announced Helen Freedman, Co-Executive Director of Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI. “Abbas’ appearance at the UN Security Council is a farce, a failure, and a total charade. He should be escorted out of the U.S., NYC, and the UN as speedily as possible, just as Mayor Giuliani removed Arafat from Philharmonic Hall in 1994.”

Judy Freedman Kadish, Co-Executive Director of AFSI said, “We give thanks to President Trump, Ambassador Friedman, and Middle East Envoy Greenblatt for reversing the anti-Israel animus that existed in the Obama administration and demonstrating to the international community that America is Israel’s friend, ready to denounce terror, incitement, and the rewarding of terrorists.” Kadish also praised UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for denouncing the UN for its failures with UNWRA and UNESCO and its constant condemnation of Israel.

It was noon on President’s Day, Feb. 19, across from the UN at the Isaiah Wall, First Avenue & 43rd Street, when loyal AFSI members and passionate protesters gathered to JUST SAY NO! to Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the UN the following day.

Abbas had announced his intention to denounce President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. In response to that, AFSI’s signs, prepared by AFSI Board Member Charlie Bernhaut, stressed that JEWRUSALEM IS THE ETERNAL, INDIVISIBLE, CAPITAL OF THE JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL. Other signs emphasized Abbas’s support for terror, his masterminding the Munich massacre, his Holocaust denial, and the fact that he is in his 13th year of his 4 year elected term as president of the PA.

Helen Freedman spoke about the experiences she has with her Chizuk missions to Israel when they try to ascend the Temple Mount, the holiest site in the Jewish world. She decried the fact that, “Arab control on the Mount makes Jews into second-class citizens, deprived of their civil rights.”

Irwin Graulich, well known inspirational speaker, addressed the need for Sovereignty whereby Judea and Samaria would no longer be step-children to the parent Israel, but would become part of the whole. Demolitions of Jewish communities like Amona and Netiv Avot would then cease.

Glenn Richter, famed for his leadership of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, and a loyal AFSI member, reminded us about the recent murders of Rabbi Raziel Shevach and Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, two remarkable rabbis and family men, gunned down and stabbed by PA terrorists. Mahmoud Abbas rewards these terrorists with lifetime payments to them, if they survive the attacks, or to their families. Fortunately, the Israeli government is passing policies that will withhold payments to the PA that would go to the terrorists. Instead, the money will go to victims of terror. America’s Taylor Force Act will hopefully also discourage the terrorists because the payments won’t be there.

Charlie Bernhaut spoke about the need for all Jews to get involved and participate in protests. He stressed that, “Standing idly by with folded hands is a recipe for disaster.”

Unfortunately, the only other group to make its presence felt was the Neturai Karta, an extreme, fringe, Jewish group that dresses in Chassidic garb, and carries PA flags and pro-Iranian signs. They stood above the crowd at the Isaiah Wall, chanting anti-Israel slogans. It is a sad commentary that New Yorkers, and especially the mainstream Jewish organizations, are such non-participants in activist events, and that an anti-Israel Jewish organization can make such a showing. It is our shame.

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