THE WORLDPOST
03/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

New Palestinian Charter Drops Mention Of Zionism, Sparking Questions

Middle East observers are used to reading between the lines of the latest speeches by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to divine their true meaning. The latest challenge has been to interpret some missing words.

The Palestinian National Liberation Movement, known as Fatah, has long been infamous for its original charter's embrace of "the world-wide struggle against Zionism," denial of any Jewish historical or religious ties to the land, and the "eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence."

Fatah, led by Palestinian National Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, met last year to revise its charter for the first time in decades and that revision has just been translated by the Director of National Intelligence's Open Source Center, a copy of which was obtained by the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News blog.

The revised charter drops the aforementioned rhetoric about Zionism and Jews -- in fact, it fails to mention Israel, Zionism or Jews at all.

But that does not impress Jewish groups, who note that the charter continues to call for revolution and the liberation of Palestine.

Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, tells Huffington Post that "revolution means only armed military action" and "when they say 'sacrificing soul and blood,' it means that you're willing to die through suicide bombing and military action."

He also questions why Abbas does not explicitly renounce the old charter -- "If I'm the head of Fatah and I really want peace with the state of Israel, say that the old charter is completely null and void, that it's rescinded... Don't play games."