NEW YORK- Dashing international hopes that a new, moderate leadership might emerge among the Palestinian Arabs, Yasir Arafat’s old terrorist cronies have assumed control of the senior leadership positions of the major Palestinian Arab institutions.
* Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has been named chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the umbrella-organization for Palestinian Arab terrorist groups and the parent-body of the Palestinian Authority (which governs 80% of Gaza and 42% of Judea and Samaria). Abbas was the number two man in the PLO, under Arafat, for more than forty years, and was the architect of numerous mass-murder terrorist attacks against Jews. As prime minister of the Palestinian Authority from April through September 2003, Abbas presided over the PA’s daily terrorist war against Israel, which in the past four years has included the murder of 1,288 Israelis.
Abbas said in Cairo on July 23, 2003, that “cracking down on Hamas, Jihad, and the Palestinian organizations is not an option at all”; offered cabinet positions to leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad (N.Y.Times, March 31, 2003, Israel Radio, March 31, 2003); praised the Arab terrorists imprisoned by Israel as “political prisoners” and “heroes”; and authored a book denying that the Nazis murdered six million Jews.
* Farouk Kaddoumi, longtime “Foreign Minister” of the PLO, was named chairman of the Fatah terrorist group. Fatah controls the Tanzim and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, which is on the official U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Upon assuming his new position, Kaddoumi told the Hezbollah television station Al-Manar (quoted in Ha’aretz, Nov.11, 2004) that violence against Israel is still a legitimate option: “Resistance is the path to arriving at a political settlement. We are not saying we are capable of defeating the Israeli army. But this policy was set out by the PLO when the martyr, our brother Abu Ammar (Arafat), stood before the United Nations in 1974 and said ‘I hold a rifle in one hand and an olive branch in the other. Dont knock the olive branch from my hand’. He meant: ‘I’m ready for there to be political talks, but if they go astray then we will continue carrying the rifle’, and thats been clear since 1974.”
In 2002, Kaddoumi declared that “the PLO no longer recognizes Israel and adheres to its national charter.” Thirty of the thirty-three clauses in the PLO charter, or covenant, call for the destruction of Israel or violence against Israel. Kaddoumi told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat on Aug.11,1994 that “Israel emerged in history by force and it will end like other such entities ended.” Kaddoumi told the Boston Globe in 1990 that he “does not accept Israel’s right to its pre-1967 borders.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 1990) Kaddoumi said in 1989: “We shall keep the gun at our side no matter how long it takes to regain our country .Regaining part of our territory will not make us forget the Palestinian land. We shall pitch our tent as far as our bullets reach. The Palestinian people will pitch their tent as a main base.” (Washington Jewish Week, May 4, 1989)
* Ahmed Qureia (Abu Alla), the current PA prime minister, will continue in that position. A longtime senior official of the PLO who was responsible for many of its terrorist operations over the years, Qureia has been prime minister since October 2003 and presides over the PA’s daily terrorist war against Israel, which in the past four years has included the murder of 1,288 Israelis.
Qureia has always opposed action by the PA against terrorists, saying “It is a mistake to aim the Palestinian weapon at a Palestinian” (Al-Nahar, June 12, 2003); attacked President Bush for referring to Israel as “a Jewish State” (Al-Nahar, June 12, 2003); declared his hope that British Prime Minister Tony Blair would “correct the historic mistake that Britain committed against Palestinians through the Balfour Declaration in 1917” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 14, 2001); and publicly trampled upon an Israeli flag (Jerusalem Post, July 13, 1997).