File name:   230518_ABBAS_OBIT_ALKASSIM_VTR
Runtime: 00:04:08:12

Correspondent: Mohammad Al-Kassim
Outcue:
on his health and wellbeing

For the Palestinian leadership, an era has come to an end.

For well over a decade Mahmoud Abbas has been a key figure in the private and public Palestinian landscape – head of the PLO since 2004, at the helm of the Fatah faction, and serving as Palestinian president since his election in 2005.

Abbas's life began HERE in 1935, in the picturesque city of Safed - what was then the Galilee region of Mandatory Palestine. 13 years later, the family fled north to Syria – leaving behind Israel's war of independence - what the Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe.

It was in Syria that Abbas began his studies…a LAW degree in Damascus came first… then a PhD in Moscow that would come to be a source of criticism throughout his life**** - his dissertation entitled "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism."

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In 1961, Abbas living in Qatar at the time, was recruited to join Fatah, then an underground group advocating armed resistance against Israel, founded by Yasser Arafat. This began a cooperation that lasted until Arafat's death in 2004

Abbas was a successful fundraiser for the PLO in its early days and in 1970 was named head of the international department a position he used to forge relations with Israeli peace activists and pacifists. So when the Oslo accords were negotiated it was no surprise to find him among its main architects and to see him accompany Arafat to the landmark event in Washington in 1993. The accord bears his signature.  

After Arafat's death Mahmoud Abbas was an obvious successor. He took office in 2005 in the midst of the second Intifada and managed to shift Palestinian Foreign Policy. Being an advocate of non-violent resistance, he shed the military garb of his predecessor and traded it in for a western style suit. The United States, encouraged by this appointment, introduced the "Road Map" a plan expected to lead to a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

But his terms was also stained by stagnation and challenges. When former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert offered him a deal including 95% of the West Bank for the future Palestinian state, negotiations fell though and while Abbas made economic progress, channeling money from Europe and the US into the West Bank, peace remained allusive, and Palestinian society suffered from deep internal division and despite attempts, Palestinians remained split between the Fatah movement in the West Bank and the Gaza based Hamas ruling party.

The PA chief was painted into a corner as Israel fought bitterly with Hamas, pushing Abbas to the sidelines.

As infringement upon Palestinian civil liberties increased, Abbas was also accused of ruling with an iron fist as he cracked down on hardliners and political opponents.

His later years saw a decrease in financial support from the EU, UN and the US due to wide spread government corruption and lack of progress in the peace process.

Adding to his troubles, Abbas witnessed as Arab states gradually losing interest in the Palestinian cause.  

Israel accused him of not being a true partner for peace and together with the US slammed the PA's for promoting violence, paying hundreds of millions of dollars to families of convicted terrorists.

The election of President Trump and his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, marked a new low in Palestinian American relations.

Still many in Israel saw Abbas as a stabilizing factor in the bloody conflict between the two nations.

Towards the end of his life, internal Palestinian conflict along with the lack of progress in advancement of peace and diplomatic efforts took their toll on his health and well-being.

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V/O: PERHAPS ONLY GEORGE WASHINGTON BROUGHT A MORE DESERVING RESUME TO THE PRESIDENCY THAN GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, AMERICA’S FORTY FIRST PRESIDENT WHO DIED TODAY IN HOUSTON TEXAS AT THE AGE OF 94.

V/O: PRESIDENT BUSH WAS BORN IN MILTON MASSACHUSETTS IN 1924. HIS FATHER PRESCOTT BUSH WOULD BECOME A SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT, BEGINNING A POLITICAL DYNASTY SPANNING NEARLY SEVEN DECADES AND SPAWNING TWO PRESIDENTS

V/O: GEORGE BUSH, NICKNAMED “POPPY”, ATTENDED THE ELITE PHILIP’S ANDOVER ACADEMY. IT WAS THERE THAT HE WOULD MEET BARBARA PIERCE WHO WOULD BECOME HIS WIFE OF 73 YEARS

SOT: BARBARA BUSH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JSKreVk4Us (:56-1:00) I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM PRACTICALLY AT FIRST SIGHT

V/O; BUSH GRADUATED AND ENLISTED IN THE NAVY AS AN AVIATOR. IN A WORLD WAR II MISSION OVER CHICHIJIMA ISLAND, HIS PLANE TOOK FIRE, BUT BUSH COMPLETED HIS BOMBING BEFORE PARACHUTING INTO THE PACIFIC TO BE RESCUED LATER BY A US SUB.

SOT: BUSH ON WAR RECORD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh72XctOv5M  (:54-:1:00) IF SOMEBODY DIDN’T PICK ME UP I WOULD HAVE BEEN CAPTURED AND KILLED. THEY WERE VERY BRUTAL ON CHICHIJIMA

V/O: BY THE END OF THE WAR BUSH HAD COMPLETED 58 MISSIONS AND WAS AWARDED THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

V/O: GEORGE AND BARBARA WOULD MARRY AFTER THE WAR AND BUSH ENROLLED AT YALE UNIVERSITY

V/O: AFTER COLLEGE THE BUSHES STARTED A FAMILY AND MOVED TO TEXAS WHERE HE PURSUED A BUSINESS CAREER, LOST TWO SENATE RACES AND WON A HOUSE RACE

V/O: IN THE SEVENTIES BUSH SERVED AS AMBASSADOR TO THE UN, CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE, SPECIAL ENVOY TO CHINA, AND CIA CHIEF

V/O: IN 1980 BUSH RAN FOR PRESIDENT, BEATING RONALD REAGAN IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES. REAGAN RECOVERED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND WENT ON TO WIN THE NOMINATION, AND THE PRESIDENCY WITH BUSH AS HIS RUNNING MATE

SOT: REAGAN: https://www.c-span.org/video/?31278-1/1980-republican-vice-presidential-nomination (:03-:15) I HAVE ASKED AND I AM RECOMMENDING TO THIS CONVENTION THAT TOMORROW WHEN THE SESSION RECOVENES THAT GEORGE BUSH BE NOMINATED FOR VICE PRESIDENT

V/O; AFTER EIGHT YEARS AS VICE PRESIDENT, BUSH KNEW IT WOULD BE A CHALLENGE TO STEP FROM REAGAN’S SHADOW, INTO THE SPOTLIGHT.

SOT: CONVENTION SPEECH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psbKsJ7Kg48

(3:27-3:35) AND NOW YOU MUST SEE ME FOR WHAT I AM.THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

V/O: HE OFFERED PROMISES THAT HE COULDN’T KEEP

SOT GHWB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZtaZTEO3jA (47-:54) READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES

SOT: AND OTHERS THAT DEFINED HIS LIFE

V/O; BUSH CONVENTION SPEECH: (4;07-4:18) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psbKsJ7Kg48  I WILL KEEP AMERICA MOVING FORWARD, ALWAYS FORWARD, FOR A BETTER AMERICA, FOR AN ENDLESS ENDURING DREAM AND A THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT

V/O: STILL, BUSH DEFEATED DEMOCRAT MICHAEL DUKAKIS IN 1988

SOT: BUSH INAUGURATION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMmrNcdmdVY (19:37-19:53) SOME SEE LEADERSHIP AS HIGH DRAMA AND THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS CALLING, AND SOMETIMES IT IS THAT, BUT I SEE HISTORY AS A BOOK WITH MANY PAGES AND EACH DAY WE FILL A PAGE WHICH ACTS OF HOPEFULNESS AND MEANING.

V/O: HIS PRESIDENCY HAD SUCCESSES, FROM THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TO OPERATION DESERT STORM, AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION THAT WOULD STOP SADDAM HUSSEIN’S AGGRESSION IN KUWAIT

SOT: BUSH TO CONGRESS: (1:05-1:22) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBMu5JuTlkA

AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF I CAN REPORT TO YOU THAT OUR ARMED FORCES FOUGHT WITH HONOR AND VALOR, AND AS PRESIDENT I CAN REPORT TO THE NATION AGGRESSION IS DEFEATED, THE WAR IS OVER

V/O: BUSH APPEALED TO AMERICANS WITH STRENGTH, BUT ALSO GENTLENESS

SOT: DANA CARVEY; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z851sZXYq5g (1:20-1:33) THE WAY TO DO THE PRESIDENT IS TO START OUT WITH MR ROGERS “IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD” THEN YOU ADD A LITTLE JOHN WAYNE “HERE WE GO WE’RE GONNA GO OVER THE RIDGE” YOU PUT EM TOGETHER AND YOU’VE GOT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH.

V/O: A VERY POPULAR POST DESERT STORM BUSH STILL STRUGGLED WITH A LACKLUSTER ECONOMY. DEMOCRATIC OPPONENT BILL CLINTON SEIZED ON THIS

SOT: CLINTON: (:42-:50) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta_SFvgbrlY IN MY STATE WHEN PEOPLE LOSE THER JOBS THERES A GOOD CHANCE I’LL KNOW THEM BY THEIR NAME, WHEN A FACTORY CLOSES I KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO RAN IT. WHEN A BUSINESS GOES BANKRUPT I KNOW THEM.

V/O: BUSH LOST TO CLINTON IN 1992. 8 YEARS LATER HE BECAME THE FIRST PRESIDENT SINCE JOHN ADAMS TO HAVE A SON ELECTED PRESIDENT. HE WAS AWARDED THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM IN 2011

SOT: BUSH MEDAL OF FREEDOM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXBdfbULldU (26:18-26:31) OVER THE ARC OF HIS LIFE PRESIDENT BUSH HAS SERVED OUR NATION AS A TREMENDOUS FORCE FOR GOOD AND WE PROUDLY SALUTE HIM FOR HIS UNWAVERING DEVOTION TO OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WORLD

SOT: BUSH, IS SURVIVED BY 5 CHILDREN, 14 GRANDCHILDREN AND SEVEN GREAT GRANCHILDREN

SOT: PRESIDENT OBAMA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuCCIqCWX_0 (3:39-3:49) WE ARE SURELY A KINDER AND GENTLER NATION BECAUSE OF YOU AND WE CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH

SOT: GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, THE LONGEST LIVED US PRESIDENT, DEAD AT 94