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Palestinian Chairman Abbas: I Will ‘Never Recognize’ a ‘Jewish State’

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"I've said it before, and I'll say it again"

As support for a Palestinian state grows (especially within the U.N.), Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas isn't holding back about his thoughts on a Jewish state. In a recent TV interview, the Palestinian leader said that he will "never recognize" a "Jewish state."

"First of all, let me make something clear about the story of the 'Jewish state,'" he told Dream2 TV on October 23, 2011. "They started talking to me about the 'Jewish state' only two years ago, discussing it with me at every opportunity, every forum I went to – Jewish or non-Jewish – asking: 'What do you think about the Jewish state?' I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a 'Jewish state.'"

But that wasn't all. He also commented on the recent soldier swap of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit:

"Hamas kidnapped – or rather, captured – a soldier, and managed to keep him for five years, and that is a good thing.

"We don't deny it. On the contrary, it’s a good thing that on a small strip of land, 40 × 7 kilometers, they were able to keep him and hide him."

You can watch the clip below courtesy of Memri:

Abbas has long rejected the idea of a Jewish state. During a 2009 speech he said “I do not accept it," and added that “It is not my job to give a description of the state. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic — it is none of my business.”

The most recent comment is coming to light just as UNESCO -- an agency of the U.N. -- voted yesterday to admit the Palestinians as a full member. The U.S. subsequently pulled funding from the group.

Still, the vote could have a domino effect. On Tuesday, the group's top envoy in Geneva said he believes that joining the U.N. agency for culture, education and science will “open the door” to joining 16 other U.N. agencies within weeks.

(H/T: Hot Air)

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