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Apparently the transformation of Mahmoud Abbas, the terrorist in a Brooks Brothers suit, has been successful. Congratulations are pouring in from heads of state around the world following his election as president of the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, dedicated his victory to Arafat: “I present this victory to the soul of Yasser Arafat and present it to our people and to our martyrs.” Those whom Mr. Abbas call “martyrs,” we call suicide bombers, terrorists, murderers.

Abbas, who trained at the knee of Yasser Arafat, and served as the chief financial officer of the PLO, has become the poster boy for the “new and improved” Palestinian Authority. Abbas, an avowed anti-Semite, acquired his doctorate from a Soviet university where he wrote his doctrinal thesis based on the theory that the Holocaust never took place. The future of the PA is in the hands of the Judas who held the purse strings for the planners of the Munich Massacre.

Peace negotiations with Israel are on the agenda of the man who now heads the PA. The security of the Palestinian people rests on the shoulders of the man who, while campaigning in Jennin, rode on the shoulder of Zakaria Zubeidi, the local leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and committed to protect the terrorists, the “heroes that are fighting for freedom.”

With Mahmoud Abbas’ win on Sunday comes an invitation from President Bush to visit the White House. The president called the Palestinian election “historic,” a “key step toward building a democratic future.” There is talk of sending more taxpayer dollars to the PA in addition to the $20 million pledged late last year.

According to Mr. Bush, “The United States is looking carefully at how we can best organize and fund our own efforts to help the parties achieve a lasting peace.” The increased aid plan, still under review, could rise to as much as $200 million in 2005.

It is no secret, however, that Mr. Abbas considers Jerusalem to be the eternal capital of the Palestinian Authority. Following Arafat’s death, Abbas addressed a group from Arafat’s compound in Ramallah. He said:

We will continue the struggle to make your dream and our dream come true and to have a Palestinian child raise the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem, the capital of our independent Palestinian state.

Abbas favors the “right of return” – a plan that is diametrically opposed to President Bush’s statement last year that neither the Palestinians who lost land in 1948, nor their descendants, could return to Israel. According to Mr. Bush, they could, however, return to the Palestinian territories.

Other messages to Abbas poured in from around the world. Arab leaders were among the first to welcome Abbas into the ranks – among them President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt; King Abdullah of Jordan; President Bashar Assad of Syria; and Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab league.

Assad’s not-so-cryptic message came across loud and clear:

… we hope that the results of the elections will be the first stage in the creation of the independent Palestinian state and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

Amr Moussa added that talks between Abbas and Sharon would have to include a request for the Israeli prime minister to drop “… the demand specified in the international peace blueprint, known as the roadmap [which Mr. Bush supports], that the Palestinian Authority dismantle ‘terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.’” This means Mr. Sharon would have to be willing to accept a cease-fire by the armed terrorist groups that now reside in PA territory.

Abbas’ first major test as the new leader of the PA will come with the parliamentary elections in July. Hamas may well have candidates in those elections, and Marwan Barghouti’s opposition party could siphon off votes.

While the final results of the election were being announced in Ramallah on Monday, Hamas (which boycotted the election) was making its presence known during a rally at Bir Zeit University. College students at the rally chanted a blood-curdling litany, “Oh suicide bomber, wrap yourself with an explosive belt and fill the scene with blood.”

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri vowed to continue the attacks against Israel: “We will continue the path of resistance and jihad … We will not talk about a cease-fire while Israeli violence escalates. We will continue Qassam rocket attacks, shooting and resistance.” Other armed groups such as Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have also insisted that attacks against Israel would continue.

Who do you suppose came up with the idea that democracy equals freedom? Hitler was elected by a democratic majority, which proves beyond a doubt that the majority can be dead wrong!

On Sept. 20, 2001, President Bush made this statement:

We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism … Any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

The PLO is a terrorist organization that the United States and, indeed, the world, is legitimizing in the name of political expediency. We courted Arafat in the 1990s, and the intifada and its ensuing death and destruction was the result.

The result of the election will be the courtship dance between Abbas and Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Islamic Jihad, any number of terrorist cells operating in the PA … and the White House. According to an Israel Radio report, Hezbollah bolstered the coffers of Palestinian terrorist groups last year by $9 million, contributed by Iran. The money reportedly funded as many as 51 terrorist cells in the West Bank and Gaza.

The questions before the world now are these: Is Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or is he the answer to peace in the Middle East? How will President Bush maintain moral clarity and justify the Bush Doctrine on Terrorism while entertaining Abbas at the White House, rather than sending him to the jail house?

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