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Middle East Issues

Setting the Record Straight in USA Today

Fatah, PLO are terrorist groups

I take issue with USA TODAY's descriptions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as “an umbrella organization representing Palestinians inside and outside the West Bank and Gaza,” and Fatah as “the largest faction within the PLO” (“Palestinian moderates hope to step in,” News, Nov. 12).

There's no need for such incorrect or vague descriptions. Fatah and other PLO factions essentially are terrorist groups.

•Fatah, like the PLO, was founded before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Its constitution calls for the destruction of the Jewish state by “armed public revolution” — terrorism.

•Arafat biographers Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin write that “between 1969 and 1985, PLO groups committed more than 8,000 terrorist acts … killing more than 650 Israelis, over three-quarters of them civilians, 28 Americans, and dozens of people from other countries.”

Today, Fatah commits terrorism through its Tanzim and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade affiliates. USA TODAY has accurately described PLO subgroups in the past. No need to change now. Fatah is a terrorist group, and the PLO is an umbrella organization of such groups.

Eric Rozenman, Washington director
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

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