One of the more glaring double standards in how the media reports about Israelis and Arabs is the use of the word "moderate" and "extremist." Attitudes that would be considered "extreme" should any Israeli hold that position are perfectly fine when Mahmoud Abbas holds a corresponding position.
Here are some of Abbas' viewpoints, made clear today in an interview to be published in Sunday's Washington Post:
* An offer similar to the one made by Clinton at Camp David, giving Palestinian Arabs 92% of the West Bank and Gaza, is completely unacceptable and out of the question. The "moderate" position is that some 400,000 Israeli Jews would have to be uprooted and could not possibly live in a Judenrein Arab Palestine. The 1967 Green Line, which the Arab nations never accepted themselves before 1967, is the sacrosanct borders of the mythical Arab Palestine.
* " I say and have always said that east Jerusalem is an occupied territory. We have to restore it." He is not saying that he would share East Jerusalem with Israel; he is saying that no Jews can live in the ancient Jewish Quarter, let alone the rest of Old Jerusalem which was majority Jewish since the 1880s.
* "Asked if he would demand to return to his birthplace, Safed, Abbas said: 'This is my right, but how I will use this right is up to me and to the refugees and to the agreement which will take place between us.' " - So he will not be flexible either on his "right" to move to Israel proper, either.
If an Israeli would say that they advocate the transfer of 400,000 Arabs, or that all of Jerusalem should stay under full Israeli control, or that Jews have the right to take back their homes that they had to abandon in Egypt and Yemen and Syria in the 1940s and 1950s, he would be dismissed out-of-hand as being a right-wing extremist who is against peace. But Abbas holds exactly these same positions, showing no flexibility at all in trying for a peaceful compromise.
To be sure, he keeps saying the word "peace" while he is parroting the extreme positions of his predecessor, master terrorist Arafat. And he wears a suit. So he must be moderate!
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