Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, often described as a ‘moderate’ and ‘peace maker,’ has delivered a speech in which he rejected major proposed Israeli concessions, including on Jerusalem, and promised not to budge from any of the PA’s demands, while openly praising dead terrorist figures like the PLO’s Khalil Al Wazir (Abu Jihad) and Hamas’ Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as “martyrs.” In an address to thousands of Fateh supporters in Ramallah to mark four years since the death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas said, “We rejected Israeli proposals that stipulated making concessions including on Jerusalem and the refugees
We either get all six points Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees, water and security or nothing at all.” Abbas also stated that, “we will not accept any solution other than our freedom and independence and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of June 1967, including Jerusalem the eternal capital” (‘Abbas: In talks, Israel has proposed concessions regarding Jerusalem,’ Haaretz, November 12, 2008).
In the same speech, Abbas reiterated a past statement he had made about his fidelity to the path paved by Arafat: “The Palestinian leadership will continue to lead in the way of Yasser Arafat until a Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.” He also insisted that all jailed Palestinian terrorists be released: “the Palestinians will not sign any agreement with Israel which will not see the emptying of Palestinian prisoners from its jails” before praising some of the most notorious dead terrorists produced by Palestinians: “The ways of the shahids [martyrs] Arafat, Abu Jihad [Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir], George Habash and even Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – are the ways we recognize. These are the ways in which we are meant to preserve the national interests of the Palestinian people” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas proposes referendum to Hamas,’ Jerusalem Post, November 11, 208).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Mahmoud Abbas has been speaking and behaving for years like a pro-terror extremist who clearly rejects the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
“The ZOA has long argued that Mahmoud Abbas and the Fateh party that he co-founded with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat are neither moderate nor peace-makers. Abbas has consistently failed to implement long-standing Palestinian obligations under the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to arrest and jail terrorists, close the bomb factories and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism. What is the purpose of negotiating with Abbas if it is clear that he would refuse or be unable to fulfill any agreement that might be concluded?
“The PA and Mahmoud Abbas must be sent a clear message that their policy of supporting terror and Israel‘s elimination is unacceptable. Unfortunately, the praise and diplomatic and financial support lavished upon Abbas and the PA by world leaders, including President Bush ($700 million this year alone), has permitted them to evade making the indispensable reforms of Palestinian society that alone would make peace and reconciliation possible. Abbas latest words should be noted, his extremist record digested and appropriate conclusions drawn especially by President-elect Obama. In particular, we urge the President-elect to make any future aid to the PA conditional on its compliance with the written agreements from Oslo to the Roadmap.”