Poll: 97% of Palestinians
New York – Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, often mistakenly regarded as a moderate, has explicitly praised the Lebanese Islamist terrorist group, Hizballah, for its hostilities with Israel, saying that it is a source of pride and sets an example for what he termed the Arab resistance (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006). He also told reporters in Yemen that Hizballah reawakened the Arab world with honor (Israel National News, August 8, 2006). He made these remarks shortly after the lethal rocket attacks on northern Israel that murdered 11 Israelis. The terrorist group Hizballah that Abbas is praising says it will never recognize Israel and believes it should be destroyed along with all Jews. As Hizballahs Hassan Nasrallah has said, if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. (The Daily Star, October 23, 2002). Nasrallah also referred to Israel recently as a temporary country (Associated Press, July 29, 2006). Additionally, a poll taken early this month by Near East Consulting, a Ramallah-based data analysis firm, shows that virtually the entire Palestinian Arab population — 97% of those polled — support the Hizballah terrorists. This position is also held by 95% of Christian Palestinian Arabs as well. Over 90% of the Palestinian Arabs said that kidnapped Israeli soldiers should not be freed unconditionally while 55% said they identified with Hizballahs goal of destroying Israel (Israel National News, August 8, 2006).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, There can be few things that more clearly expose the myth of Mahmoud Abbas supposed moderation than his statement of support of and admiration for Hizballah. Not only is Hizballah a terrorist group listed on the US list of terrorist organizations, not only has it committed acts of terrorism in several countries, but it has been almost universally accepted that the current hostilities are due to the unprovoked attack it launched on Israel last month. Mahmoud Abbas clearly approves of Hizballahs acts and goals, or else he could not possibly describe it as the pride of the Arab resistance. This demonstrates that Mahmoud Abbas is a sympathizer, supporter and promoter of Islamist terrorism and the murder of Israelis and Americans. Let it not be forgotten that Hizballah murdered 241 US marines in Beirut in 1983, several dozen US servicemen at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and tortured and murdered US CIA official William Buckley and Marine Colonel William Higgins.
Mahmoud Abbas words of praise for Hizballah should not surprise anyone, because he has previously described Palestinian terrorists wanted by Israel as heroes (Age (Melbourne), January 3, 2005). Campaigning for the Palestinian presidency in early 2005, he labeled Israel the Zionist enemy (CNN.com. January 7, 2005). He has refused to carry out Palestinian obligations under signed agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to disband terrorist groups, arrest and jail their members and confiscate their weaponry, saying that dealing with Palestinian groups is our affair (Daily Star (Beirut), September 22, 2005). He has criticized Palestinian terrorist acts only for harming the Palestinian interest (New York Times, October 26, 2005) not because murdering Jews is a despicable crime. Last December, he approved a PA budget that provided for payments to the families of suicide bombers (Judith Apter Klinghoffer, History News Network, December 5). He has even said that Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004). Abbas was also Arafats top deputy for 40 years, co-founded with Arafat the Fatah terrorist group and wrote a PhD thesis denying the Holocaust. This latest Abbas statement extolling Hizballah is but a further example of his unreformed extremism and underscores why he is no peace partner for Israel.
Similarly, this latest poll showing near-total support for Hizballah from Palestinians indicates that it is not only the Palestinian leadership that is part of the problem, but Palestinian society in general. It is often suggested that Palestinians really want a reasonable peace settlement with Israel but are led by extremists, but this poll is merely the latest evidence proving this to be untrue. This poll confirms that the Palestinian leadership faithfully reflects the attitude of Palestinians.