“The PLO will not agree to recognize Israel as the Jewish State.” So said the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) this evening to MK Ahmed Tibi in a telephone conversation between the two. Tibi told Israel’s Ma’ariv daily that the Chairman said “there already is an agreement concerning mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO in September 1993 and there will be no further recognition.”
Abu Mazen added that he said these words in front of United States Jewish leaders during his last visit there.
MK Tibi initiated the phone conversation following reports according to which Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior official in the PA, said during an interview that “If Israel recognizes the ’67 borders, we will recognize Israel however she wants to be recognized, even if she wants to be the Chinese State.”
“Palestinian recognition of a Jewish Israel is irrelevant.”
MK Tibi said following the conversation that “Palestinian recognition of a Jewish Israel is irrelevant because it affixes a status of inferiority on Israeli Arab citizens in relation to the Jewish majority and further, it damages the ability of the PLO to bring the subject of refugees and the right of return to the negotiating table as the Arab peace initiative states.”
In his words, “This kind of recognition means fixing an inferior status on Israeli Arabs relative to the Jewish majority.”
He went on to say that the demand harms the Palestinian narrative in favor of the Zionist narrative. “It would have been better if Yasser Abed Rabbo’s declarations had never been said,” he remarked.