While hopes are high that the new Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen (or Mahmoud Abbas) will be able to bring necessary reforms that would lead to a cessation of the Israeli/Palestinan conflict there are also issues of his past that raise doubts. Mazen’s doctoral dissertation tried to show that only 1 million Jews died in the Holocaust rather than 6 million, and all of it was sparked by David Ben-Gurion. This has resulted in a sharp rebuke from Congressman Tom Lantos of California who offered Mazen a tour of the US Holocaust Museum to educate him on the facts.
While being a Holocaust denier is bad enough, Mazen is also connected to the terrorist attack against Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich in the 1970’s. It is believed that Mazen/Abbas financed the terror attacks while working as an official with Arafat’s Fatah movement. It is believed that he did not know what the money was being used for, but even then the connection exists.
The Palestinian kleptocracy is unlikely to approve anyone who would end their terrorist ties and their misappropriation and stealing of funds. While hopes are high for the new Prime Minister, he has a long way to go before he can be said to have produced real and viable reform.