Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on December 16, 2006.
Mahmoud Abbas: Now people have begun to whine about the PLO, about the Executive Committee, and about whatever... They are sitting in comfortable places, and have not got the dust of this homeland on their shoes. They talk from afar. They give orders from afar, and reject offers from afar. Give orders to yourselves! Talk about yourselves. The people here will make the decisions.
In the past, they said: "Under no circumstances will we accept a state, unless it includes all of Palestine, because Palestine is a land of Islamic endowment." Fine. This doesn’t work. I can say: "We demand all of the land," and you will applaud me. This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work. There is a reality – either you acknowledge it, or you will get crushed. Then they began talking about another thing: "Yes, we accept a state within the 1967 borders." Did they or did they not say this? What’s so new about this? But there is one condition. Those people beyond the Green Line – we don’t recognize them, but we will give them a hudna for 15 years. Is this conceivable?! Will the [Palestinian] cause remain in a state of hudna for 15 years? This means the end of the [Palestinian] cause.
[Some in Hamas say]: "2-3 months, and the siege will be lifted." A man – who is a liar, by the way – came here. This liar is Alistair Crook. He used to work for the EU. He said to them: "Be patient." They said [to the press]: A high-ranking European official came to us. Alistair Crook is a pensioner! He’s been a pensioner for 2-3 years, and has nothing to do with the British authorities – not with the security, or any other authorities. Once, a former city council member from America came here. [They said]: "A congressman visited us, and said to us..." What is this?! These are illusions. I hope that we will be dealing with facts, rather than living in illusions, believing in our own lies, and start chasing these lies, like the village fool Juha...
They began to say that the government operates by Allah’s decree, and that this is divine will. In other words, you are not allowed to oppose it, because nobody opposes the will of God. Does any of you oppose the will of God? Nobody opposes Allah. Don’t tell me your government represents the divine will, and that I cannot oppose it. Don’t we have a democracy? What is democracy? There is a majority and a minority. Some support the government, and others oppose it. If you want to terrorize me, and tell me this is the will of God, this is unacceptable. People who go on strike are traitors, and so are people who oppose or criticize the government, because they criticize the will of God. What is this?! This terrorism is unacceptable, and is not allowed. They should not use the religion. The religion is for Allah. Religion is for Allah in the mosques, the churches, and the synagogues. We all respect it. We are all religious, by the way, and nobody should patronize us. We have been praying and fasting since before many of them were even born. It’s a disgrace to accuse others of heresy and whatever... A guy who, two days ago, was still wearing shorts, says: "This is an infidel." This is a disgrace!
I have decided to call for early presidential and parliamentary elections.