MK Yuval Steinitz: Abbas Same As Arafat
October 20, 2006

Wash. Times: Abbas Part of Problem

New York – Yuval Steinitz, Member of Knesset (Likud) and former chairman of Israel’s Foreign Affairs, and Defense Committee, said yesterday in a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York City, “Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, is the same as Yasser Arafat, maybe worse, and should be treated like Arafat.” He also said just as former Prime Minister Sharon wouldn’t speak to Arafat and shut off his electricity and phones to make it impossible for him to function; the same actions should be taken against Mahmoud Abbas. Steinitz condemned Abbas for “allowing Hamas to run in the previous elections” despite Arab/Israeli agreements stating that no terrorist group will be allowed to run in any Palestinian Arab election. He said Abbas “has done nothing against terrorism ever and he doesn’t even speak against terrorism…but he does speak about the so-called right of return which would destroy Israel, as a Jewish state. We surely should be worried about his real intentions.” Steinitz added that “Abbas should be punished by Israel, he is certainly not a better partner than Arafat.”

MK Steinitz recommended that Israel should have a five-year experiment now that the Palestinian Arabs control all of Gaza and see if they can make Gaza a civilized, functioning, peaceful society. Only if they can do that and only after that should Israel negotiate with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

In an editorial today, the Washington Times wrote, “It is a disservice to the Palestinians to continue to pretend that failed, bankrupt leaders like Mr. Abbas are part of the solution to their plight. In reality, they are part of the problem. It ill behooves America’s top diplomat, Condoleezza Rice, to suggest that such people are latter-day versions of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is incredible that people continue to state that Mahmoud Abbas is a moderate, despite the fact that he co-founded the terrorist group Fatah with Yasser Arafat and was his deputy for 40 years. He funded the Munich massacre. He wrote a Ph.D. thesis and a book denying the Holocaust. As president of the PA, Abbas said ‘it is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat.’ He refers to terrorists as “heroes fighting for freedom.” He rebuffed President Bush’s call at the 2005 Aqaba summit to accept Israel publicly as a Jewish state. He declared that neither Fatah nor Hamas need recognize Israel. He approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of Palestinian shahids — that is, dead terrorists. He praised the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and endorsed the so-called Prisoners’ Plan, which supports terrorism, does not accept Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state, abrogates Palestinian obligations under past agreements and insists on the ‘right of return.’ He has funded the salaries of Hamas’ new security force, the so-called Executive Force, that deploys over 5,000 armed men. As long as we continue to whitewash Abbas and ignore his anti-peace actions, there is no chance that he will begin to change and do what’s necessary to have any chance for a real peace.”

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