ADL Statement on The Appointment Of Abu Mazen As Palestinian Prime Minister
New York, NY, March 19, 2003 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), while expressing skepticism about whether a Palestinian prime minister will hold any real authority, said today's appointment of Abu Mazen to the newly created post "offers hope" of greater reform within the Palestinian Authority.
Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The appointment of Abu Mazen as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority offers hope that the PA may finally be serious about political reform and about stopping the violence and moving to serious negotiations with Israel.
At the same time, there is also reason to raise significant questions and to express skepticism about Palestinian intentions that only time and actions can answer. Will Abu Mazen have real power, or will it be a subterfuge for continuing control by Arafat? Does Abu Mazen, who as recently as 2001 spoke about the need for the right of return of Palestinian refugees, himself have intentions of moving the Palestinians in a new direction, or will we hear old, tired, and dangerous messages? Will Abu Mazen appoint individuals who are committed to change - internal within the PA and external in terms of the violence and hatred of Israel - or will the same anti-peace faces resurface?
Ultimately, the test as to whether real negotiations can resume will lie in the end of Palestinian terror and the emergence of leadership with real power free of Arafat's control. Will Abu Mazen's appointment be the beginning of that turning point?
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.