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Excerpts from the Mahmoud Abbas profile:
In the mid-1950s Abbas became involved in underground Palestinian politics, and joined a number of exiled Palestinians in Qatar. While there, he recruited numerous people who would become key figures in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and was one of the founding members of Fatah in 1957.
Through the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, Abbas travelled with Yasser Arafat and the rest of the PA leadership-in-exile to Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Widely regarded as a pragmatist, Abbas is credited with initiating secretive contacts with leftist and pacifist Jewish organizations during the 1970s and 80s, and is considered by many to have been a major architect of the 1993 Oslo peace accords (evidenced in part by the fact that he traveled with Arafat to the White House to sign the accords).
Mohammed Daoud Oudeh, mastermind of the Munich Massacre of eleven Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972, alleges that his deadly operation (spearheaded by Abu Nidaland carried out under the name “Black September“) was funded by Abbas….
On April 27, 2009, Abbas addressed the Palestinian Youth Parliament. In the course of his speech, he candidly rejected the legitimacy of Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, drawing enthusiastic applause from his audience. He said:
“The ‘Jewish state.’ What is a ‘Jewish state?’ We call it, the ‘State of Israel’. You can call yourselves whatever you want. You can call yourselves whatever you want. But I will not accept it. And I say this on a live broadcast. It’s not my job to define it, to provide a definition for the state and what it contains. You can call yourselves the Zionist Republic, the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist [Republic] call it whatever you like. I don’t care.” (Click here to see a video of Abbas delivering this quote.)
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