Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, and Israel's so-called “moderate peace partner”, made these remarks about Israel at the podium of the UN General Assembly;
Israel committed "genocide" in the recent Gaza conflict.
Israel committed a "series of absolute war crimes."
That anyone who expressed support for Israel's right to self-defense was wrong to do so.
Israel is "Judaizising" Jerusalem.
Israel is a racist occupying State.
That a war was waged by a racist occupying State (he meant Israel, not Hamas).
Israel is a colonial occupying power.
Israel is preparing a new Nakba (disaster) against the Palestinian people.
"It is impossible, I repeat, it is impossible, to return to the cycle of negotiations."
Not one word of the Hamas kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. Not a word about the thousands of Palestinian rockets hurled at Israeli civilian centers. Not a word about Palestinian terror attacks tunnels designed to slaughter Israelis and grab others, drug and drag them back into Gaza. Not a word even about the members of Abbas’s own people who were gunned down in broad daylight on the streets of Gaza, and executed by the walls of Gaza mosques. Not a word on the death and destruction that Hamas inflicted on the people of Gaza.
Not even a word about the infamous Hamas Charter which calls for the destruction of Israel and death to all Jews. Yet, staggeringly, this is the evil partner that Abbas insists must play a full role in Palestinian destiny.
The US State Department deplored his words as being "offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject. His remarks were counterproductive and undermined efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust."
If trust is lost it is entirely due to the actions of Hamas, and the words and intent of Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli politicians, from the left and right, blasted Abbas.
Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, said Abbas’s remarks “prove for the umpteenth time that he is not a leader who wants peace and strives to advance the lives of his people, but a person who is propagating lies, is engaged in incitement and spreads hate speech against Israel.”
He added, “We have no partner for an agreement to end the conflict, and so will not compromise the security of Israeli citizens.”
Likud Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis said the PA leader’s words revealed “the true face of the PA president. It is obvious that this is not a peace partner but a man who does not miss any opportunity to disseminate Palestinian lies and Israel-hatred.”
Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, said shortly after Abbas’s speech that the PA president demonstrated that “he doesn’t want to be, and cannot be, a partner for a logical diplomatic resolution. It’s no coincidence that he joined a national consensus government with Hamas.”
Labor Party MK, Eitan Cabel, called Abbas’s statements “false and outrageous. They are worthy of condemnation by any true peace supporter,” Cabel added, “Even if he has internal political needs which force him to ‘wink’ at Hamas, there is no justification for such remarks. This is a disappointing speech that strengthens those who oppose peace, and does not carry with it any hope.”
The leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Yizchak Hertzog, a staunch supporter of a two-state solution, was scathing about Abbas saying that his speech was full of lies. He was backed by Labour MK, Nachman Shai, who said that his speech was a sad day for anyone wanting two states for two nations. “The accusations that the PA president made are baseless lies, starting with the genocide to the claims of a new ‘Nakba.’ These things never happened.
The only Israeli Jewish Knesset faction that backed Abbas was the discredited Meretz (read ‘Communist’) party.
As such, the UN speech of the Palestinian leader succeeded in uniting the Israeli political spectrum for the first time since the cessation of the recent Gaza conflict.
There is an across-the-board feeling in Israel that if this is what the Palestinian movement thinks of Israel let’s bring it on! Let’s bring their false accusations to an independent and approved board of inquiry together with Israeli claims of Palestinian crimes and abuses, and let this selected panel examine both claims and pronounce who is guilty of international crimes, including terrorism, war crimes, deliberate human rights crimes, incitement to genocide, incitement to racial and anti-Semitic hatred, and murder.
Let’s bring a two decades old industry of lies and violence to an end by exposing, once and for all, the true nature of Palestinian leadership and society. Let’s show to the world the real, ugly, face of Palestinian intent as evidenced in their documents, statements, and actions. Let the world see that they nothing to do with a genuine and pragmatic peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel. Let’s put an end to this Palestinian deceit and rub the truth in the faces of those who have been hitting on Israel for all these years, and in the faces of those who have been perpetuating a no-chance two-state solution that has achieved little except throw billions of dollars into corrupt and hateful Palestinian coffers and into underground terror tunnels and factories of war, not peace.
Let’s not forget that Abbas is living on borrowed time. His elected four-year term ended in 2009. In Palestinian 2005 elections, Hamas won a 64% majority of the vote. If elections took place today their percentages would increase, according to all recent polls. Abbas lost control of the major Arab towns in the last municipal elections in the West Bank. Politically, he is a dead man walking.
This is not a time when Israel can gamble on its security and its future.
Talks are supposed to restart in Cairo. How can Israel be expected to make any gestures to a Palestinian regime that is united in its lies, violence, hatred, fraud, corruption, and murderous intent against a Jewish state which, to them, has no right to exist? What is there to discuss? That Abbas will recognize some of us? That he will accept part of the land until a time when he is replaced by a more forceful leader, or Hamas, who will then attack a rump state of Israel with no definable defensive borders?
This logic is dangerously absurd. There has to be an alternative that makes sense. One such alternative was the generous proposal made by el-Sisi, the new Egyptian president. It offered a large part of the Sinai to become the new Palestinian state. This would be linked to the Gaza Strip into one contiguous landmass hugely larger than a West Bank territory squeezed between Jordan and Israel with its impossible national density.
The Egyptian initiative would offer growth space to absorb Arabs interested in a “right of return” into a new Sinai-Gaza based state. It would have access to the sea and potential for a port. It would have territory for tourism, agricultural, industrial, and residential development.
From a regional perspective, it would avoid the friction of a rejectionist Palestinian entity rubbing up against the Jewish State of Israel. It would also ease the pressure of Jordan by having such an entity across the Red Sea and not across an embarrassing Israeli-held security buffer zone along the Jordan Valley. It would be a secure solution for both Egypt and Israel that would enable both of them, for separate and individual reasons, to keep a defensive eye of a Palestinian state in such a location.
Let’s be clear about this. It is a win-win-win-win solution for Palestinians truly desirous of having their independent state, for Israel, for Egypt, and for Jordan.
Those that have supported a two-state solution based solely in Judea & Samaria and Gaza should think again, support the Egyptian initiative, and exert heavy diplomatic and economic persuasion on the Palestinian to go this new route.
It won’t happen easily because the Palestinians have a long history of always letting an opportunity go to waste. They have rejected this proposal as they have to all others that have gone before. It is up to the international community to grasp the gift offered to the world by the Egyptians and force it down a begrudging, malevolent, Palestinian leadership who still think they speak for the whole of the Arab and Muslim world. It’s about time they are told they don’t.
It’s about time this alternative solution is forced on them, for their own benefit, because the corpse of 1967 lines solution was buried by Hamas and now by Abbas, if it was ever alive at all.
Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’ www.israelnarrative.com
He is the consultant on delegitimization issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College in Israel.