Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Nom de Guerre

I continue from the previous posting.

This sentence appeared in the NYTimes yesterday:

"It won't happen by itself, or because someone likes Abu Mazen," he said, using a common name for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader.

So, I wrote to the Public Editor, Daniel Okrent, and suggested that a correction be made. My exact words were:

"Abu Mazen is the nom de guerre of Mahmoud Abbas from his days as a terrorist, a leading member of Fatah.

It is 'common' only in that it is common for terrorists to take assumed identities and that is how his fellow terrorists referred to him."

I received this reply:

Dear Yisrael Medad,

The editors do not believe a correction is merited. I raised your concern with Mr. Okrent as well and he agreed there's nothing to correct. Thanks for writing.

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times

Well, after spending some time researching the matter, this was my comback:

Dear Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times

I'm sorry that your answer was as it was.

Even the NYTimes itself has termed "Abu Mazen" as a nom de guerre by no less a personage than Steve Erlanger himself. Does the NYT not believe in consistency in its terminology?

In addition, you will find below over two dozen sources from very reputable and professional journals, papers, periodicals and even one Ramallah newsblog all of which support my contention that Abu Mazen is Mahmoud Abbas' nom de guerr from his days as a terrorist including Al Ahram, a Saudi paper, other Arab and Islamic news agencies, Palestinian sources, UPI, AFP, Janes, Slate, National Review and others.

Yisrael Medad
Here's Steven Erlanger himself:
Peace? West Bank mayor has other worries
Thursday December 30, 2004
...Omar thinks the Palestinian elections are almost worthless. Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, and his main rival, Mustafa Barghouti, were both told about the land debate here, Omar said.

of course, there may have been other references but I cannot do a full NYT search but maybe search around these dates: March 29; April 1)

The Erlanger story also appeared in the International Herald Tribune.

an article by Edward Said (who sourely ought have to known, as he was, in addition to being himself a member of the PNC, a professor of English and language)

Archaeology of the road map

All sorts of reasons have been given for the emergence of the road map: that 56 per cent of Israelis back it, that Sharon has finally bowed to international reality, that Bush needs an Arab-Israeli cover for his military adventures elsewhere, that the Palestinians have finally come to their senses and brought forth Abu Mazen (Abbas's much more familiar nom de guerre, as it were), and so on.

and how about James Zogby, premier Arab publicist:

MR. SLEN: What should we call him? Officially, he’s Mahmoud Abbas.
MR. ZOGBY: He’s Mahmoud Abbas -- that’s his name. And it’s a familiar term. It’s been used as a "nom de guerre" as well. But formally, he’s Abu Mazen. That’s his name.

Arafat deputy says Palestinians have plan for calm
CAIRO - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's deputy in the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Mahmud Abbas, said the Palestinians have a plan to calm the conflit with Israel, in remarks published on Friday.
"We can start by implementing security wherever it is possible, like in Gaza where there are remains of the (Palestinian) security services," Abbas, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Mazen, told the Arabic daily Al-Hayat.

RAMALLAH - Former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is a polished and moderate politician more admired abroad than at home. Better known by his nom-de-guerre, Abu Mazen, a name taken from his dead first-born son, Abbas quit as Arafat's first-ever premier in September 2003. After barely four months in the job, he walked out after failing to wrest full control of the Palestinian security apparatus from him.

Source: Agence France Presse

and to the others:-

Only God can save us
The new Palestinian president's visit to the Gaza Strip was not as welcome as he hoped, Serene Assir reports from Gaza

On Tuesday, President Mahmoud Abbas (known by his nom-de-guerre Abu Mazen) arrived in Gaza to hold talks with the armed Palestinian militias, seeking to limit the armed resistance against the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and the illegal settlements. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades spokesmen, however, told Al-Ahram Weekly prior to the president's arrival that they have no intention of letting up until the Israeli occupation ends.

Analysis: U.S. targets Syria
By Richard Tomkins
UPI White House Correspondent
Published 2/15/2005 5:48 PM
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- U.S.-Syrian relations hit a low Tuesday as Washington withdrew its ambassador from Damascus in the aftermath of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and renewed calls for Syria to withdraw occupation troops from the country.
"Syria is up to it eyeballs in terrorism," said a diplomat, who requested anonymity. "(Syria-supported) Hezbollah is working right now very, very intensively to either discourage or to foil the new process that is taking place between the Israelis and the Palestinians and have even threatened Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas) personally."

Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, has promised to crack down on attacks on Israel in an effort to move peace talks forward. So far he appears to have achieved some success, but he is walking a tightrope with Palestinian radicals.


Arafat's successor?
Palestine, Politics, 2/13/1998
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat reportedly told US president Bill Clinton that his successor would be Mahmoud Abbas, currently deputy head of the PLO.

"When my time will come, I will be replaced by my brother, Abu Mazen," Arafat was quoted as telling Clinton, using Abass's nom de guerre, during a January 22 meeting at the White House, the London-based Foreign Report said.

"Who is to blame for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian prime minister? The question has been obscured by a smokescreen of recriminations and threats, but the answer is clear enough. Mr Abbas, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Mazen, was forced to relinquish the post created for him only 100 days ago by the man he was intended to replace: Yasser Arafat ...
"By refusing to hand over control of security forces, Mr Arafat never gave his rival a chance to stop Hamas and other terrorist groups sabotaging negotiations with Israel. If, once Abu Mazen has departed from the scene, the simmering Middle East conflict now boils over, the blame will lie at Mr Arafat's door."
Arab News Editorial, Saudi Arabia, September 8
All sorts of reasons have been given for the emergence of the roadmap: that 56 per cent Israelis back it, that Sharon has finally bowed to international reality, that Bush needs an Arab-Israeli cover for his military adventures elsewhere, that the Palestinians have finally come to their senses and brought forth Abu Mazen (Abbas's much more familiar nom de guerre, as it were), and so on.

The welter of conflicting scenarios, bluffs and counter-bluffs, proposals and counter-proposals, seems to be based on a secret document drawn up in October 1995 between Yossi Beilin, then a top aide to then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (and now Israel’s justice minister), and Mahmoud ‘Abbas, commonly known by his nom de guerre of Abu Mazen, who is widely regarded as Arafat’s second-in-command in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Both men were instrumental in the secret "Oslo channel" that led to the Declaration of Principles signed at the White House on September 13, 1993.

Nobody expects prisoners in Israel to be released with the sudden victory of Abu-Mazen, nor for the violence to stop, Abu-Mazen, his nom-de-guerre, who is none-other-then Mahmoud Abbas, who admittedly received just over 60% of the vote, from 60% of the Palestinian populace in the territories alone, I think in-spite of the clear majority in the numbers, of course things could have been very different with other more just factors in place.
As for Abbas himself, the best Palestinians have to say about him is that he's sensible; his opponents, though, vilify him as a corrupt Fatah apparatchik and puppet of Israel and America. Such contempt was apparent near the Israeli Army checkpoint outside Jericho, where a line of Palestinian taxis was delayed for hours during security preparations for Abbas's visit to the city. "The Israelis wouldn't be doing this for Abu Mazen if he wasn't working for them," said one driver, using Abbas's nom de guerre. "F- - - his mother," said another.
Abu Mazen may quit

Two months after his appointment as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas - better known by his nom de guerre of Abu Mazen - faces difficulties that seem to him to be insuperable. Foreign Report has been told by a source close to the beleaguered leader that he is seriously considering quitting his job. This would be a major setback to a stumbling Middle East peace process.

Did Mahmoud Abbas Finance the 1972 Munich Olympic Takeover?
And if he did, does it make him a less trustworthy negotiator in 2003?
By Michael Young
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2003, at 1:11 PM PT

As Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas prepares for a meeting Friday with President George W. Bush, he knows that the U.S. administration, in its evolving cosmography of Palestinian-Israeli relations, believes him to be a real gentleman. Abbas, known by the nom de guerre Abu Mazen, is said to be everything Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, is not: sincere, responsible, and conciliatory.

Britain Rebuffs Sharon's Appeal to Boycott ArafatWednesday, 16 July 2003, 10:58 amPress Release: Palestine Media Center - PMC

Britain Rebuffs Israeli PM’s Appeal to Boycott Arafat
Britain rebuffed visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s appeal Monday to cut ties with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Sharon, calling Arafat the “main obstacle” to a revived Middle East peace process, failed to persuade Prime Minister Tony Blair to cut Britain’s ties with the Palestinian president.
“We still have our differences with Britain on a series of issues, including Arafat,” a senior Israeli official said after Blair hosted a private dinner for Sharon, who was on a three-day visit, in London on Monday.
Prior to Sharon's meeting with Straw, an Israeli source told AFP: "The prime minister will say that Arafat remains the major obstacle on the road to peace because of his relentless efforts to undermine the process and Abu Mazen.”
Abu Mazen is the nom-de-guerre of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas.

The man who at one time seemed the most likely candidate to succeed Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, is now sidelined after falling out of grace with Arafat. Abbas, better known by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen, became the first prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.


Bush Speaks with Palestinian Leader Abbas
NewsMax Wires
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush inserted himself personally in the sputtering Middle East peace process on Tuesday, telephoning Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to urge them to stay the course in pursuing proposed steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The calls came in the wake of terrorist bombings in Israel and the Palestinian territories that threw new obstacles in front of the so-called "road map" to peace presented by Washington May 1.
White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer said the president told Abbas - who goes by the nom de guerre of Abu Mazen - that all parties must take concrete steps to end terrorism and create an environment in which peace would have a chance.
Presidential elections were called after Palestinian President Yasser Arafat passed away on November 11. For some years, Israel saw Mr Arafat as the main obstacle for peace in the Middle East.
Ten candidates, including seven independents, are running for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority. Fatah, the largest party, chose Abu Mazen as its official candidate.
After Arafat’s death, Mr Mazen (nom de guerre of Mahmoud Abbas) was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

March 19, 2003, 9:45 a.m.Laundering Abu MazenA Holocaust revisionist, a conspiracy theorist, and a promoter of terrorism.By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Mahmoud Abbas, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen, has been tapped by PLO leader Yasser Arafat to be the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.

He is favourite to take the mantle of Yasser Arafat, but Mahmoud Abbas must still face the hard men of Gaza and the West Bank, writes Ed O'Loughlin in Ramallah.
Electoral razzmatazz, Western-style, has yet to catch on in the Palestinian territories. At a campaign rally in Ramallah on Tuesday Mahmoud Abbas, the runaway favourite to win the Palestinian Authority chairmanship this weekend, had to make do with the drummers of the Al Am'ari scout troop and a public address system playing patriotic songs.
Nor have those around Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen, his nom de guerre) quite worked out the modern spin-craft of keeping supporters "on-message".
"Sharon, Abu Mazen will dig your grave!" chanted one group of fist-pumping young men, referring to the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. They clambered on to each others' shoulders and pushed their way to the front of the crowded hall. "With our blood we will redeem you, oh Palestine!"
December 29, 2004
Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) At It Again
That is, of course, not true. I use it to make a point about the likely winner of the Palestinian election. Some guy named Ted running for office may not alarm you. You may - knowing how entertainers like to get involved in politics - mistake the name for a former Saturday Night Live cast member. However, if you recognize the full name as the real name of the domestic terrorist called the UnaBomber, that would concern you. The same scenario is true for Mahmoud Abbas, who went by the name Abu Mazen when he was a terrorist. In Palestine he runs for office as Abbas, in Israel they remember him as Abu Mazen. I think I'll use that name when refering to him from now on too.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad agree to
conditional ceasefire, says Israel
Harinder Mishra
Jerusalem, January 23
In a major boost to peace prospects in the Middle East, leading militant factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed to a conditional ceasefire for about a month after talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
“As far as we understand, there is an agreement between (Abbas) and the heads of Hamas and Islamic Jihad for a ceasefire for a certain period ... about a month,” Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz told Israel Radio today.
The two militant factions have agreed to the ceasefire in return for a future role in the Palestinian Authority, Mofaz said.
Palestinian sources did not confirm the development immediately. They said that Abu Mazen (Abbas’ nom de guerre) is still holding talks with other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
Arafat officially asks Abbas to be his prime minister
RAMALLAH: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Wednesday officially asked his moderate PLO deputy Mahmud Abbas to become prime minister a day after parliament approved the creation of the post, a top Arafat aide said here.

Nabil Abu Rudeina told reporters that presidential secretary Tayeb Abdelrahim had asked Abbas on the veteran leader’s behalf to take the job of prime minister sharing power with the head of the Palestinian Authority.

“Arafat called Abu Mazen today to officially ask him to begin his duty as prime minister,” Abu Rudeina said, using Abbas’s nom de guerre. He did not comment on Abbas’s response.
Abbas, 69, a polished, moderate PLO veteran who served four rocky months last year as Arafat’s prime minister before quitting in frustration, was once a Washington favorite.
He attended the June 2003 summit in Aqaba, Jordan, that launched the US-sponsored “road map” for peace and was invited to the White House for talks with Bush the following month.
But Abbas, better known by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen, made little headway toward a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has now claimed more than 4,500 lives since 2000.

Fork in the Road Map

By Clifford D. May
Scripps Howard News Service
May 8, 2003
Today, Mahmoud Abbas, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Mazen, is the new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. His challenge, like Ben-Gurian's more than half a century ago, is to establish “a monopoly on the use of force” in the territories under his control.

I am aware of William Safire's column on May 18, 2003
but nevertheless, I think I have made a rational, logical and supportive case for terming Abu Mazen a terrorist nom de guerre.


mesin fotocopy said...

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what you've got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
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