The Corner

Abbas, Man of Peace

January 11, 2007:  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (laying a wreath at the grave of his longtime friend and boss,Yasser Arafat):  “[W]ith the will and determination of its sons, Fatah has and will continue. We will not give up our principles and we have said that rifles should be directed against the occupation…. We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation….”

February 28, 2008:   Abbas (in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper al-Dustur): “At this present juncture, I am opposed to armed struggle because we cannot succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different.”  Abbas goes on to recount with evident pride: ”I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is….  It is common knowledge when and how resistance is detrimental and when it is well timed….  We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps.” April 25, 2008:  President Bush (addressing the media about Abbas, who is sitting next to him at the White House):  “The president is a man of peace…. He’s a man of vision. He rejects the idea of using violence to achieve objectives, which distinguishes him from other people in the region.”

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