This week, Yasser Arafat appointed Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen") as prime
minister to run the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians.
On Wednesday, Arafat then met in his Ramallah office with representatives
of Russia, the EU, and the UN, and demanded they put pressure on Israel --
now that he has agreed to share powers with a prime minister.
on Arafat: "The Palestinian leader has thrown his weight
behind the reform process," and that
has been told that easing his grip on power is a key condition to restart
Actually, since Arafat hand-picked Abbas, it does not satisfy the world's
demand for the introduction of democratic reforms into the Palestinian
And since it turns out that Arafat is maintaining control of two crucial
portfolios -- security and peace negotiations -- the Abbas appointment
does not satisfy President Bush's demand for "new leadership not
compromised by terror."
As the Jerusalem Post writes
: "The whole American-European-Israeli idea
was to transform Yasser Arafat into a figurehead and transfer power to a
more palatable replacement. That, so far, is clearly not what is
---- Media Spin ----
Let's look at how the media is spinning this one.
For starters, The Guardian's Conal Urquhart (his real name) writes
Abbas has the stature and ability to sign a peace deal independently..."
This assertion should come as quite a surprise to Arafat, who gave Abbas
no such "ability." (Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
And The Independent (UK)
trumpets this headline: "Palestinians Vote for
Powerful Premier" -
"Powerful"?! (Comments to: email@example.com
By contrast, the Chicago Tribune's headline
spoke the plain truth:
"Arafat remains boss in deal to appoint prime minister: PLO chief keeps
reins on police, talks for peace"
---- Background: Who is Abbas? ----
Mahmoud Abbas holds a Ph.D. in history from Moscow's Oriental College,
where his doctoral thesis served as a basis for his 1984 book, "The Other
Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism." In this book,
Abbas raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination of Jews,
and suggested that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust was "less
than a million."
Abbas also proposed the sickening, bizarre claim that the Holocaust was a
joint Zionist-Nazi plot. He wrote: "The Zionist movement led a broad
campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule, in order
to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them,
and to expand the mass extermination."
It was this type of talk that led Austrian Freedom Party leader Jorg
Haider and French politician Jean Marie Le Pen to be ostracized by the
So how does BBC
"A highly intellectual man, Abu Mazen [Abbas] studied law in Egypt before
doing a PhD in Moscow. He is the author of several books."
BBC offers no details of the appalling contents of Abbas' writings.
Meanwhile, much of the media is praising Abbas as a "moderate" for having
criticized the use of armed attacks against Israelis. The same BBC profile
reports: "Referring to the current intifada, Abu Mazen has called for a
halt to armed attacks on Israeli targets to avoid giving Israel a pretext
to destroy the last vestiges of Palestinian autonomy."
Note that Abbas does not oppose killing Israeli civilians from a moral
standpoint; he just finds it strategically ineffective.
Further, in a March 3 interview with the London-based "A-Sharq al-Awsat,"
Abbas called for the continuation of armed struggle, and seemed only to
rule out suicide missions inside the Green Line.
Comments to BBC at:
See a full report on Abbas' Holocaust revisionism here.
---- Palestinian Denial of the Holocaust ---
Yasser Arafat and the PA have systematically dismissed the horrors of the
Holocaust -- in speeches, television appearances, interviews and books --
both before and after the Oslo accords were signed.
The PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeedah, featured an article by Palestinian
author Nabil Salam, declaring:
"Since its establishment, the racist Zionist entity has been implementing
various forms of terrorism on a daily basis which are a repetition of the
Nazi terror. This proves the shared roots of Nazi and Zionist thought.
This also explains the cooperation between the Jews and Nazis during World
War II, through which was revealed the forged claims of the Zionists
regarding the alleged acts of slaughter perpetrated against the Jews
during the same period." (September 3, 1997)
A PA television moderator declared: "It is well-known that every year the
Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6
million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there
were no more than 400,000." (August 25, 1997)
Hassan al-Agha, a professor at the Islamic University in Gaza City,
declared on PA television in 1997:
"The Jews view it [the Holocaust] as a profitable activity so they inflate
the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know
what number they will reach... As you know, when it comes to economics and
investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of
The Merchant of Venice."
Seif Ali Al-Jarwan, writing in the Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat
"They concocted horrible stories of gas chambers which Hitler, they
claimed, used to burn them alive. The press overflowed with pictures of
Jews being gunned down... or being pushed into gas chambers... The truth
is that such persecution was a malicious fabrication by the Jews." (July
Furthermore, Palestinians have refused to incorporate any aspect of the
Holocaust into their educational curricula, fearing it might strengthen
Zionist claims to Palestine. Hatem Abd Al-Qader, a Hamas leader, explained
that such instruction would represent "a great danger for the formation of
a Palestinian consciousness"; it would directly threaten Palestinian
political dreams and religious aspirations, such as the promise by Allah
that the whole of Palestine was a sacred possession to the Arabs.
(Al-Risala, Apr. 13, 2000)
And finally, The New York Times (April 6, 1989) reports that Fuzi Salim
Ali Madi, one of the leaders of Arafat's elite unit, Fatah Force 17,
selected the moniker "Abu Hitler" and named his two sons "Eichmann" and
Read more about "Palestinian Holocaust
Denial" in this article by Robert S. Wistrich