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ZOA Agrees With Israeli Defense Minister Mofaz: It’s Impossible To Make Peace With Mahmoud Abbas

ZOA October 28, 2005

New York – The Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, today stated that it is impossible to make peace with Palestinian Authority (PA) chief, Mahmoud Abbas and his administration. In an interview today in Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper, Mofaz states: “We will not reach peace with the current Palestinian leadership – we have to wait until the next generation” (Jerusalem Post, October 28).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We completely agree with the sober, realistic assessment of Mahmoud Abbas and his leadership that has been put forward by Defense Minister Mofaz. Mahmoud Abbas has been in power now almost one year. In that time, he has not lifted a finger to dismantle the terrorist organizations, arrest their members, confiscate illegal weaponry or truly cooperate with Israel to prevent terrorism occurring. He has not ended the promotion of hatred and murder of Israelis and Jews in the Palestinian media, mosques, schools and youth camps that has poisoned a new generation of Palestinians. He has not ceased calling terrorists “heroes” or renamed the Palestinian streets, schools and sports teams named in honor of suicide bombers. He continues to pay the salaries of clerics who spew forth hatred and murder of Jews in Palestinian mosques.

“We should not be surprised that Mahmoud Abbas has done virtually nothing to promote peace or fight terror because he has always been an unreformed Palestinian extremist ideologue who in 1982 wrote a PhD thesis of Holocaust denial, which was published as book in 1984 with the title, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism. Abbas co-founded Fatah with Yasser Arafat and was Arafat’s top aide for 40 years. When President Bush asked publicly that Abbas declare his acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas refused to do so.

“As former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and senior advisor to Prime Minister Sharon, Zalman Shoval, notes, ‘Mr. Abbas himself has declared his uncompromising aims to be identical with those of Yasser Arafat – i.e. a complete Israeli withdrawal from its historic lands in Judea and Samaria – making Jerusalem the Palestinian capital, and insisting on the so-called “right of return” of Palestinian refugees – the latter being the Palestinian formula for destroying the Jewish state from within.’

“During Abbas’ campaign for president of the PA, he regularly stated in his speeches the following:

* On the future: “The small Jihad is over and the big Jihad has begun” (Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2005)
* On Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” (Haaretz, January 3, 2005)
* On Israel: “The Zionist enemy” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005)
* On terrorists: “These are heroes that are fighting for freedom (Haaretz, January 3, 2005). “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004). “We have a common political agenda,” (The Daily Star (Beirut), December 9, 2004)
* On the ‘right of return’: “We will never forget the rights of the refugees, and we will never forget their suffering. They will eventually gain their rights, and the day will come when the refugees return home.” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005).
* On suicide bombers: “Allah loves the martyr” (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005)

“More recently, Mahmoud Abbas has used these same, anti-peace themes and refused to fight terrorism:

* On the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza: “The Israeli withdrawal and the dismantlement of the settlements is the result of our people’s sacrifices and heroic resistance [ i.e. terrorism]” (Palestinian Media Center, September 9, 2005)
* On refusing to disarm terrorist groups: “With regard to dealing with the Palestinian organizations, this is our affair” (Daily Star (Beirut), September 22, 2005)
* On terrorist killings of Israelis: “These attacks … undermine our credibility on the international arena” (Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2005)

“Mahmoud Abbas’ negotiating positions in 2000 were as extreme as Yasser Arafat’s. When he succeeded Yasser Arafat, there was no reason to assume that he would be more reasonable in negotiations. He is not anti-terrorist, but he is anti-peace, as he will not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Basically, he is a Yasser Arafat in a suit.

“The ZOA calls upon President Bush to heed the words of Defense Minister Mofaz and to draw the necessary implications. We call for the United States to cut ties with Abbas and the PA. Just as President Bush understood and acted resolutely on his understanding that Yasser Arafat was an unreformed extremist with whom peace was impossible, the President should lead the way now that it has been shown so clearly that Abbas is part of the problem, not the solution.”

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