Following are excerpts from an interview with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which aired on Palestinian Authority TV on June 2, 2011:
Mahmoud Abbas: With regard to [Palestinian recognition] of a Jewish state, or whatever, this has never been an issue. Throughout the negotiations between the Israeli and us, from 1993 until a year ago, we never heard the words "Jewish state." Now, they have begun to talk about it, and our response was: "Go to the UN, and call yourselves whatever you want. We are not the party to address. Not only that – we refuse to recognize a Jewish state. Try to wrest it out of the UN or anyone else."
Why does Israel insist on demanding this from us, and us alone – it did not demand this from the Arabs, from Egypt, from Jordan, or from any Arab country with which it negotiated? Only from us. We know the reason, and we say: "No, we refuse."