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April 29, 2003

Who is Abu Mazen?

Very interesting analysis of new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen's past public statements released today by MEMRI.   Frankly, I was impressed.   Abu Mazen appears to come out firmly against what he calls "the militarization of the Intifada", arguing that it is counterproductive to confront Israel militarily.

"The right thing to do is not to play in [Sharon's] field – that is, not to use weapons, but to focus on the political arena, where we could expose Sharon, and then either he would comply with the demands of peace or he would fall, as did Netanyahu."
He also appears to be willing to use force, if necessary, to restrain attacks on Israel.
"The new government's commitment is to determine the way, to declare it, and to persuade our people that this is the path that will lead to the desired goal. Here and there a number of people who will deviate from the Palestinian consensus will remain, and we will try to coerce them to place the supreme Palestinian interest above their individual interest, if necessary by using force."
If Abu Mazen can deliver on any of this, it will be incumbent upon the US to compel Israel to withdraw from the "occupied territories" and eliminate the settlements.   We shall see.

April 29, 2003 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I agree that the US will have to compel Israel to withdraw, but what do you mean by "occupied territories"? What flexibility do you see there from the immedietly previous boarders in terms of basic security needs and what about Jeruslulem?

Posted by: | Apr 30, 2003 6:45:22 PM

Good questions, and, frankly, I'm not an expert on the subject. That said, I guess I meant a return to the pre-1967 borders when I said withdraw from the occupied territories. However, I would expect that there would be some negotiations about adjustments to these borders for purposes of security, etc. As for Jerusalem, I really don't know. At a minimum, access to the holy sites would have to be assured for all parties.

I'm afraid this is a pretty lame reply, but I have not studied up on the issue. There is a hell of a lot of water that has to pass under the bridge until issues of this level of detail will need to be addressed. As, for example, consider yesterday's homocide bombing celebration of Abu Mazen's confirmation as the Palestinian PM...

Spart

Posted by: Spart | May 1, 2003 12:37:44 AM

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