US President George W. Bush on Thursday insisted that his guest, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, is unique among Middle East leaders in that he totally rejects the use of violence to achieve political and national goals.
Speaking to reporters following his Oval Office meeting with Abbas, the president firmly stated that Yasser Arafat's long-time right-hand man and successor is "a man of peace. He's a man of vision. He rejects the idea of using violence to achieve objectives, which distinguishes him from other people in the region."
Based on that assertion, Bush demanded that the time has come to work toward the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state with all haste.
Various Israeli media pointed out the errors in Bush's claims by reminding readers that earlier this year, Abbas told a Jordanian newspaper that he still views the use of terrorist violence as an justifiable option for the Palestinians.
Speaking to Jordan's Al-Duster in February, Abbas revealed that while he "does nt support a return to armed struggle at this point in time... at a later date, this could be an option for the Palestinian people [sic]."
In that same interview, Abbas boasted that he was the one to first lead Arab terrorism against Israel in an organized fashion. The PLO co-founder reminisced that it was he and Arafat, during the period that they occupied southern Lebanon, who had taught organized terrorism to other groups throughout the region and the world.
Bush also ignored the fact that just last month, official Palestinian media directly controlled by Abbas' regime publicly praised the Israeli Arab terrorist who murdered eight young Jewish bible students in Jerusalem as a "holy martyr."
Earlier this month, Abbas announced that he would honor five female Palestinian terrorists jailed by Israel with the PLO's highest award.
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