Mahmoud Abbas, who has succeeded Yasser Arafat as chairman of the PLO, is no moderate. As co-founder with Arafat of the terrorist Fatah group and as Arafat’s number two-man in the PLO for more than 40 years, Abbas 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 ongoing terrorist war against Israel. During that period, 78 Israelis were murdered and 489 wounded by Palestinian Arab terrorists.
Abbas told the Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on March 3, 2003. that when he met with Hamas terror leaders. “We didn’t talk about a break in the armed struggle It is our right to resist. ‘The intifada must continue, and it is the right of the Palestinian People to resist and use all possible means in order to defend its presence and existence.”
Abbas said in Cairo on July 23, 2003 that, ‘cracking down on Hamas, Jihad and the Palestinian organizations is not an option at all. He offered cabinet positions to leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad (NY Times, March 31, 2003; Israel Radio, March 31, 2003). He praised the Arab terrorists imprisoned by Israel as “political prisoners” and “heroes” and authorize a book denying that the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews.
Abbas’ attitude toward terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are on the U.S. terrorist list because they have murdered hundreds of Israelis and American, is already clear. Recently, he met with their leaders and invited them to take part in upcoming Palestinian Arab elections. Instead of dismantling and outlawing these terrorists, he is offering them a chance to gain power.
President Bush, in his June 24. 2002, speech about the Middle East, said that the Palestinian Arabs must “elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror.” Mahmoud Abbas is not such a leader.