“Mahmoud Abbas is a fraud and not interested in peace,” said Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), in an interview with Arutz Sheva at the fifth annual Jerusalem Conference. “He is just trying to get as much as he can through negotiations that he could not get through any sort of war.”

Klein explained that Abbas is not a moderate, as much of the Israeli and Western world believes, and his actions even in the past few weeks are evidence of this. When George Habash, a notorious terrorist, was killed, Abbas called for three days of mourning and to fly all the flags at half-mast. Also, he recently approved the new official “Fatah” poster, which shows all of Israel as “Palestine” and includes a rifle and an oversized picture of Yasser Arafat.

Abbas is also a “career Holocaust denier,” Klein notes, "who wrote his PhD thesis and an entire book on the topic. He also glorifies suicide bombers and until recently, praised Hamas. It is astonishing to me that the Israeli media, the American media, George W. Bush, Ehud Olmert - all ignore all this … believing that if you give him a state, maybe things will be okay, maybe he’ll revert to being totally decent.”

Klein believes that President Bush is actually appeasing Abbas and is trying to send a message to the Arab world that he is not against Muslim culture. The Israeli government tries the peaceful route mostly because of pressure from Europe and America, but fails to appreciate that Congress would support an Israeli decision to refuse to negotiate with the Palestinians.

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In a recent press conference with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Sayam Fayad, Klein asked him how he could claim to be moderate when his actions suggest otherwise. Fayad could only say that his government sometimes did things that are not consistent with its goals. “In other words,” said Klein, “he had no answer.”

Klein, who has a personal relationship with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has asked him these questions. But he says Olmert supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, and is willing “to expel 70,000 Jews.” Klein objects, saying that “statehood and sovereignty does not resolve the problem,” citing Iran and North Korea as examples. “A Palestinian state will make things worse, not better, and too few people understand that reality.”

Israelis and Americans are being misled by their governments and are not being educated about the true nature of Abbas and his “moderate” government, Mr. Klein feels.  A visitor to (mostly Conservative and Reform) synagogues across America, he says that once he explains the facts, these American Jews realized the negotiations process makes no sense. “I have tremendous confidence in American Jews,” said Klein, citing a recent poll which found that 81% of U.S. Jews do not believe that the goal of the PA is only to have a state.

Kleins explains that “if the Palestinians wanted peace, the incitement in the textbooks, in the newspapers and TV that promote hatred and murder against Jews and Israelis would have ended,” and they would not be calling for the release of terrorists from prison. “Their goal is Israel’s destruction, and that is why nothing has worked and nothing will work…until they transform this society.”

ZOA Opening Headquarters in Jerusalem

The ZOA will be opening a new office in Israel next week. The new Jerusalem office will open February 24 at 9 AM with a news conference at the Menachem Begin Center.

Jeff Daube will be Director of the new Israel office. The aims of the ZOA in Israel are to educate MKs and Cabinet members, promote legislation to strengthen Zionist and Jewish identity, host and address Birthright groups, meet visiting US officials and students, monitor anti-Jewish bias on Israeli campuses and track the activities of radical groups such as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).