Voices of Palestine: Abbas Zaki
Top leader advises Palestinians to pursue the destruction of Israel, but to "keep it to yourself."
Editor’s note: Below is the latest profile of Frontpage’s new series, “Voices of Palestine,” which will illuminate the core beliefs, in their own words, of leading figures in the Palestinian death cult. Click the following to view the profiles of Ahmad Bahr, Mahmoud al-Zahar, Ibrahim Mudayris, Yasser Ghalban, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Wafa al-Bis, Mahmoud Abbas, Ahlam Tamimi, Yassir Arafat (Part I and Part II), Abdallah Jarbu, Sheik Ismail Aal Radhwan, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Yunis Al-Astal, Fathi Hamad, Khaled Mash'al and Ismail Haniya.
Abbas Zaki, former PLO envoy to Lebanon and current member of Fatah’s Central Committee, has spent his entire political career championing the PLO’s efforts to destroy the Jewish state of Israel.
Moreover, Zaki has not confined his animus to Israel alone, but has directed it also at the United States, a country which he considers “to be an enemy because its only strategic alliance is with Israel.”
Zaki (born Sharif Ali Misheal in Hebron in 1943) began his career in 1962 when he joined Fatah, the largest political faction within the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In 1982 Zaki was named by Yasir Arafat as the PLO’s envoy to Yemen, a position he held until he was expelled from that country in 1986.
From there Zaki spent the next three years at the PLO’s Tunisian headquarters, where he was an assistant to Mahmoud Abbas, then head of the PLO’s department of national affairs and now president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). By 1989 Zaki joined the Fatah Central Committee, the highest decision-making body of the PLO.
Following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in 2005, Zaki was named the PLO representative to Lebanon, a post he held until he was forced to resign by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in 2009. He is now a central committee member of Fatah, the leading member party of the PLO and the PA.
Zaki has used his varied political roles to promote, among other things, the PLO policy of negotiating while engaging in terrorism; support of suicide bombing attacks on Israeli civilians; and repeated rejections of Palestinian independence based on a two-state solution.
For example, in November 2008 Zaki said the PLO views Israel as “an enemy country, which owes us certain things. The heroic Vietnamese used to negotiate with the French, while they were slaughtering them.”
To this end, Zaki wholeheartedly endorses the use of suicide bombers launched at Israelis, saying in 2009:
I now support any operation that will make the women and men in Israel cry … All those who always flex their muscles, and say they want to slaughter Israel – this is their opportunity ... Currently, in light of what is happening to the children of Gaza, any martyrdom operation is permissible, I swear by Allah … You asked me if I support, in light of this bloodshed... Don't forget we're Arabs – we believe in blood vengeance … We should have afflicted them with three or four operations, and then their women would have said to those sons of bitches: "Come home, we are getting killed here." When Israel focuses on one front, other fronts should be activated.
It should be noted that Zaki claims the Palestinians’ use of terrorism, including suicide bombing, has been sanctioned by the world’s largest deliberative body, noting in July 2009 “We have [U.N.] General Assembly Resolution 3236, [which permits us] to use all means of struggle, including armed struggle…Therefore, on the strength of international legitimacy, we will wage the campaign on all its fronts.”
The details of that campaign can be found in the PLO’s 1974 Ten-Point program which outlines its planned phases to eradicate the Israeli state, a program that Zaki has steadfastly maintained “has not changed… even one iota… the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy.”
Zaki outlined in an April 2008 interview the final phase of that strategy, one which mandates that the PLO “proceeds through phases...When the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem...[we will] drive them out of all of Palestine.” “We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith” he also affirmed.
Thus, while driving Jews from Israel is the ultimate objective of the PLO and associated Palestinian factions, these groups do accept an intermediary step in the form of the temporary implementation of a two-state solution.
Zaki made that point most recently in a September 2011 television interview on Al-Jazeera in which he assured viewers that the Palestinian Authority’s public demands for a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 armistice lines was but the first step in a “greater goal.”
The settlement should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.
Zaki then made perfectly clear that, although the PLO and the so-called “moderate” Fatah engages in bad-faith negotiations with Israel, the leadership has never lost sight of the greater goal. Rather, Zaki lectured the audience that the most advised strategy was one of stealth, and that knowingly deceiving the international community was the only way their objectives could be achieved:
If one says that one wants to wipe Israel out... C'mon, it's too difficult. It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
Of course, Zaki has long understood the inevitable dangers an independent Palestinian state would pose to Israel, having preached that message as far back as 2009 when he said:
With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? ... They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.
While some may still cling to the false belief that the Palestinians, including Fatah, seek a permanent peace and the establishment of a peaceful state alongside Israel, the words of Abbas Zaki should disabuse them of that notion. As Zaki said of the PLO, “We talk politics, but our principles are clear.”
For Israelis, those principles are not only clear, but deadly.
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