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Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs ignores Fatah terror promotion in PMW report
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Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs chooses to ignore
evidence of Fatah terror promotion and glorification
in Palestinian Media Watch report
 
Ministry refuses to comment on Fatah terror support:
"We have nothing more to contribute"
  • Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs never intended to reassess Fatah's status as moderate, even if it was proven that Mahmoud Abbas' movement is promoting terror.
  • Ministry states it "does not share PMW's interpretation" that Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs implied that were such evidence presented, it would be cause for Denmark to reconsider its assessment. 
  • PMW presented report to Danish ministry documenting numerous examples of top Fatah leaders promoting and glorifying terror attacks against Israelis
  •  "We have nothing more to contribute," ministry says when urged by PMW to comment on the specific examples of Fatah terror promotion. Ministry's official response to PMW was mostly a standard EU declaration, that ignores the reality that Fatah openly promotes terror, saying merely:
Denmark "firmly condemns the terror attacks and violence from all sides and in any circumstances.  We call on political leaders to work together through visible actions to contribute to calm and address the underlying causes of the tensions."
 
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Click here to read PMW's full report as a PDF
 
Earlier this month, Palestinian Media Watch sent an open letter and report detailing Fatah terror promotion and glorification to the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs. The report was prepared as a response to an answer Minister Kristian Jensen had given in Danish Parliament, dismissing a specific example of terror glorification by a Fatah official as not representing Fatah. The minister further implied that were Fatah or the PA glorifying terror, Denmark would "reassess" their categorization as "moderate."
 
PMW's report brings clear evidence that this is the case: Fatah and its senior leaders promote terror and glorify murderers of Israelis.
 
However, the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has chosen to completely ignore the numerous examples in PMW's report. "We have nothing more to contribute," the ministry replied when urged by PMW to comment on the specific examples of terror promotion and add to the ministry's first answer - a general statement, which incorporated paragraphs from an EU declaration from January this year. It condemns terror and violence in the conflict, advocates resumption of dialogue and mentions Denmark's support of the Palestinians' state-building. (Full Danish statement below.) The ministry's excuse for not commenting on the examples in PMW's report or reassessing Denmark's view of Fatah was that the ministry "does not share the interpretation" by PMW that the minister indicated Fatah would be reassessed were it promoting terror:
 
"We do not share the interpretation of [question and answer] S507. That is purely PMW's own interpretation. We have nothing more to contribute - they [PMW] are welcome to publish the forwarded answer."
[Mail from Middle East - Israel/Palestine Conflict Department,
Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, March 29, 2016]
 
On Jan. 22, 2016, the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs described a terror promoting statement by Fatah official Abbas Zaki as "a sad example of inflammatory rhetoric," stating he "opposes," it. However, the minister added that he would not reassess whether Fatah remains a "moderate" partner for Denmark because Zaki is "a Fatah member residing in Lebanon, who is not considered to have spoken on behalf of Fatah, the PLO, the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian government." This information is incorrect, as shown in PMW's report. The minister continued: "The statement does not give the [Danish] government any reason to reconsider the assessment of Fatah and the movement's leader, President Abbas." [Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 22, 2016]
 
PMW understands the minister's statement in Parliament as clearly implying that were Fatah or its leaders, or the PA or the PLO found to be promoting terror, the Danish government would reassess its evaluation of them.
 
But this is not the case. Despite PMW's detailed evidence that Fatah and its leaders encourage terror attacks and endorse them when they have occurred, the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs does not find any reason to even comment on the widespread Fatah terror promotion documented in the report, let alone reconsider the ministry's evaluation of Mahmoud Abbas' terror promoting movement.
 
The ministry's only response was the general statement, which included the following:

Denmark "firmly condemns the terror attacks and violence from all sides and in any circumstances.  We call on political leaders to work together through visible actions to contribute to calm and address the underlying causes of the tensions."

The ministry took pains to continuously create a false symmetry between Israel's and the Palestinians' conduct toward one another, using phrases such as "the parties" and "both sides" when addressing the issue of violence and incitement. Never did the ministry address Fatah's terror promotion directly:
 
"We urge all parties to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement or provocation"
 
"[We] call on the parties to condemn attacks when they occur and adhere strictly to the principles of necessity and proportionality in the use of force." 
 
"We call on both sides to jointly and resolutely fight incitement and hate speech."
 
The only direct mention of the Palestinians did not concern Fatah's terror promotion either. It vaguely encouraged Palestinians to "engage in good faith" for the purpose of reaching statehood, and was concerned about internal relations in the PA, rather than the Palestinians' conduct toward Israel:
 
"We urge all Palestinian factions to engage in good faith in the reconciliation process which is an important element for reaching the two state solution.  The positive results of the past must not be lost and Palestinian institutions must continue to grow stronger, more transparent, more accountable and more democratic.  In this regard we call upon the Palestinian government to work towards genuine and democratic elections for all Palestinians."
 
The ministry's answer to PMW went on to mention the fact that Danish aid focuses on "state-building, including at the local level, and on promoting human rights" and ended by saying that "the increased threat from extremist, militant groups in parts of the Arab/Muslim world makes the need for progress on the Middle East peace process all the more urgent as the unresolved conflict is used as a recruitment tool in the propaganda of such groups." 
 
Click here to read PMW's full report as a PDF
 
The following is the answer sent by the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to PMW as its official and only response to PMW's report, and the ministry's refusal to comment on PMW's specific examples of Fatah terror promotion:
 
The Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to PMW, March 29, 2016 (1):
"Re: Open letter to the Danish Foreign Minister about his minimizing terror promotion by Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement (UM id: 1337990)
To Palestinian Media Watch, 
In response to your open letter dated March 2016 (attached) to the Danish Foreign Minister I am pleased to provide you with the below information. 
Yours sincerely,
 
JENS-OTTO HORSLUND  / [email protected]
Head of Department / Middle East and North Africa"
 
"The cooperation within the EU is a cornerstone of the Danish engagement in Palestine and in the Middle East Peace Process; both within the political and developmental spheres. In this context, Denmark operates within the general framework set out by international law and EU policies.
 
Denmark remains deeply concerned that the continuing cycle of violence has led to a serious loss of human life in Israel and the Palestinian territory in recent months. Denmark firmly condemns the terror attacks and violence from all sides and in any circumstances. We call on political leaders to work together through visible actions to contribute to calm and address the underlying causes of the tensions.
 
In particular, we urge all parties to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement or provocation and call on the parties to condemn attacks when they occur and adhere strictly to the principles of necessity and proportionality in the use of force.  We call on both sides to jointly and resolutely fight incitement and hate speech.
Denmark is strongly encouraged by the fact that the Israeli government and the Palestinian government are upholding security coordination in the light of an extremely challenging situation.  It is a key factor in addressing the risk of further and more violent developments.
 
We are convinced that only the reestablishment of a political horizon and the resumption of dialogue can stop the violence. Security measures alone cannot stop the cycle of violence. The underlying causes of the conflict need to be addressed.
 
Also, we urge all Palestinian factions to engage in good faith in the reconciliation process which is an important element for reaching the two state solution. The positive results of the past must not be lost and Palestinian institutions must continue to grow stronger, more transparent, more accountable and more democratic. In this regard we call upon the Palestinian government to work towards genuine and democratic elections for all Palestinians. 
 
Specifically with regard to Denmark's engagement with Palestine following the Oslo accords in 1993 and 1995, I would like point to the following aspects:
The Danish development engagement, together with that of other likeminded donors, has from the outset consistently focused on support for state-building, including at the local level, and on promoting human rights.  In addition, the international community continues to provide long term humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian refugees - which constitute a bigger group than the Palestinian non-refugee population - especially through UNRWA.
 
The Danish engagement in Palestine, and with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, aims to improve the livelihood and security of Palestinians as well as Israelis. But the increased threat from extremist, militant groups in parts of the Arab/Muslim world makes the need for progress on the Middle East peace process all the more urgent as the unresolved conflict is used as a recruitment tool in the propaganda of such groups." 
 
PMW to the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, March 29, 2016 (1)
"Dear Mr. Horslund,
Thank you very much for your general response. 
We would very much like to publicize your response to the specific issue of Fatah terror promotion and glorification as documented in our report.  
 
The Foreign Minister implied in his answer to question S507 that were Fatah involved in terror promotion it would be cause for Denmark to reconsider its assessment of this movement headed by Mahmoud Abbas. 
 
We are looking forward to hearing from you,
Kind regards"
 
The Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to PMW, March 29, 2016 (2):
"We do not share the interpretation of [question and answer] S507. That is purely PMW's own interpretation. We have nothing more to contribute - they [PMW] are welcome to publish the forwarded answer
Kind regards,
Henrik, pt"
[Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MENA - Middle East - Israel/Palestine Conflict)]
 
The following final attempt by PMW to receive a response from the Danish Foreign Ministry to the specific examples of Fatah terror promotion and glorification has gone unanswered
 
PMW to the Danish MFA, March 29, 2016 (2):
"Dear Henrik,
Just to make sure we understand correctly:
The Danish Foreign Ministry does not wish to comment on the many specific examples of Fatah's terror promotion and glorification as documented in PMW's report? 
Kind regards"

 


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