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Abu Mazen: No Cause for Celebration 
 
 

Abu Mazen has officially been appointed Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. says that the appointment meets its conditions, and prepares the way for the presentation of the Road Map plan to Israel and the P.A. This, despite the fact that Abu Mazen's authorities are not as wide as had been hoped. Though Abu Mazen need not present his government to Arafat for his approval, the PA Prime Minister Mazen is accountable to Arafat, who has the authority to fire him and appoint a successor.

Middle East affairs expert Prof. Dan Shiftan of Haifa University spoke to Arutz-7 about Abu Mazen. "We hear that you do not think that his appointment is a cause for celebration," he was asked. Shiftan responded,

"Not at all. In general, I don't think that we have any cause for celebration regarding the Palestinians for the foreseeable future. This is because the problems there are much deeper than can be solved merely by replacing one person with another. We must understand that we have a war not only with Arafat, or even with the Palestinian Authority - but actually with very vast sectors of the Palestinian people [sic]. Abu Mazen represents the very radical Palestinian position that is not willing to accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel as a Jewish state, and instead tries to uproot it demographically... It could be that there is some advantage to having Arafat weakened, but this is a far cry from hopes for peace or for reaching an arrangement."

Shiftan also said that Abu Mazen "may have made a tactical decision that the use of force is not helpful to the Palestinian cause at present, but this is because he wants to save it for a later date... Abu Mazen was among those who helped cause the Camp David summit to fail, because of his radical stance on the Right of Return - but he said afterwards straight out that the Palestinians had nothing to feel about for foregoing the Israeli offer of 95%, because '95% is not 100%.'"


03/19/2003 

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