Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Abbas in Briefing to Jordanian Daily Al-Dustour : I Am Against the Armed Struggle – But In Future Stages Things May Change (MEMRI)

On February 28, 2008, the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour published a summary of a briefing given to its editorial staff by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  The following are excerpts from Al-Dustour's summary of the briefing:

We Oppose the Concept of a Jewish State

"In Abbas's opinion, the Annapolis summit gave a boost to the political peace process, which we would like to see proceed according to the Road Map plan, incorporating the Arab [i.e. Saudi] initiative and U.S. President George Bush's vision. [The Road Map] calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state and an end of the occupation of the territories occupied in 1967. It is well known that the Road Map plan has become international [i.e. U.N. Security Council] Resolution No. 1515.

"However, while we cannot say that any significant results have been achieved so far, we are on our way, and aspire to reach a satisfactory solution before the end of 2008 – [a solution] that will end the conflict and ensure peace in the Middle East. Abbas added that when such a solution is reached, it will be presented to the Palestinian people, so that it can express its opinion. If [the Palestinian people] accept the plan, well and good! If they reject it, this will mean that they reject us [as well].

"Abbas stressed that he is opposed to the so-called 'Jewish state,' saying, We already rejected such a proposal at the Annapolis summit, last November in the U.S. [In fact,] the summit almost broke up over this issue. We were asked at the time [to agree] that the summit's concluding statement should refer to the Jewish state – but we categorically objected to this..."

I Never Asked Hamas to Recognize Israel

"As regards recognizing Israel, Abbas said: I never asked Hamas to recognize Israel; I only asked this of the national unity government, which maintained contacts with Israel. This is what I said to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and he supported me. Hamas ran in the elections on the basis of the Oslo accords, which recognize Israel. Nor am I the only one to demand recognition of Israel: indeed, the Arab initiative – which enjoys an Arab Muslim consensus – is prepared to [recognize Israel] if it withdraws from all territories occupied since 1967..."

I Am Against the Armed Struggle; However, in Future Stages Things may Change

"About the resistance, Abbas said: It was I who, in 1965, had the honor of firing the first bullet. Many people, locally and abroad, know the resistance for what it is, how and under what circumstances it brings pride – and when it does not, what benefit can be derived from it, and what constitutes serious, genuine, and effective resistance. It is also commonly known when resistance may cause harm, and when the time, place, and circumstances are auspicious.

"[Abbas continued:] We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance. We instructed everyone, including Hizbullah, as to what the resistance means. They were educated in our camps... At this time, I object to the armed struggle, since we are unable to conduct it; however, in future stages things may change..."

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