On May 12,2014, Arab sources reported that Hamas and Fatah (PLO) had agreed to form a new unity government for the Palestinian Authority (PA) (“Palestinians: Hamas-Fatah unity government to be announced by end of month”, Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2014). Almost immediately, two things happened. First, Israel said, this is horrible. This new unity government will not lead to peace. It will lead to terror.
No one listened.
The second thing that happened was that the world congratulated the Arabs. Abbas was brilliant. He told the nations exactly what they wanted to hear. He spoke of ‘peace’ (Jerusalem Post, ibid). He announced that his unity government would not actually be ‘unified’: none of the proposed Ministerial positions in the new government would go to Hamas. He declared, “Hamas would have nothing to do with the unity government’s program or policies” (Jerusalem Post, ibid).
Everyone applauded. Israel didn’t believe it. The US actually sighed in relief.
Without Abbas’ statement, the US would be committed to end aid to the PA. US law prohibited Hamas from having ‘undue’ presence or influence in PA affairs (“Palestinians form new unity government that includes Hamas”, The Washington Post, June 2, 2014).
Abbas was masterful. He used all the right words. He even announced that his new unity government would be non-violent (Washington Post, ibid). The world loved it.
The EU supported the unification—even though Hamas is on the EU’s list of terror organizations (“Netanyahu Condemns Europe on Stance Favoring Fatah-Hamas Unity”, Arutz Sheva, June 2, 2014). The US refused to condemn the new government.
Only Israel condemned it. Everyone else was pleased.
Three weeks later, as the swear-in date for the new government approached, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu restated his concerns. He said forcefully that this unity government would not strengthen peace. It would strengthen terrorism (“Fatah-Hamas unity government will strengthen terror, says Netanyahu”, The Guardian, June 1, 2014).
Two months from that initial May 12th unification announcement—and just eleven days after the new government’s swearing-in-- three Jewish boys were kidnapped from Israel. Terror against Israel had returned only days after the ink had dried on the new ‘non-violent’ unity Arab government.
Abbas had lied. His unity government didn’t promote peace.
Israel’s Netanyahu blames Hamas. For months, Hamas had been calling for increased kidnappings of Jews (“Netanyahu says Hamas to blame in kidnappings”, The New York Times, June 16, 2014). Now, Jews had been kidnapped.
In Gaza, officials gave out celebratory candy.
In Israel, Netanyahu declared that the kidnapping “should surprise no one,” because “Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians — including children” (New York Times, ibid).
No one listened. They believed Abbas’ lies.
Netanyahu announced that Israel holds Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority responsible for attacks against Israelis from PA-controlled areas. He stated that the kidnapping demonstrates the folly of all who would applaud an alliance between Abbas and a terrorist organization (“Kidnapping of teens brings much commentary, few facts”, San Diego Jewish World, June 15, 2014).
No one listened. They heard only Abbas’ ‘non-violence’.
Netanyahu has it right. It doesn’t matter who listens. We, the Jewish people, have the obligation to declare what is truth, what is false. Look at the world: without our voice, everything is a lie.
Abbas embraces a terror organization. The kidnapping took place on his ‘watch’. He is responsible.
No he isn’t, says Israel’s Opposition Leader Yitzchak Herzog (Labor). Don’t blame Abbas, he says. Work with him (“Opposition Chairman Herzog Says Don't Blame Abbas”, Arutz Sheva, June 16, 2014).
Herzog is wrong. Abbas is to blame. He must be held accountable for what his people have done. He may not have authorized the kidnapping. But he controls the PA. He is responsible for what happens there.
He is also head of Fatah. That makes him responsible because his Fatah has become an accessory to the kidnapping.
The official Fatah Facebook page has called on all PA residents to destroy store security videos and all documents regarding the kidnappers in order to hinder Israel’s search. That call to obstruct the capture of the kidnappers makes Fatah (and Abbas its leader) accessories to the crime.
An accessory is one who, while not actually carrying out a crime, conceals or otherwise helps the culprit(s) to avoid capture. That’s exactly what the Fatah Facebook page did as the Israeli search began. It gave instructions to help the culprits avoid capture.
Netanyahu is right. Herzog is wrong. Abbas is responsible.
Abbas and his new friends, Hamas, are responsible for this crime. Israel should continue to hold every PA/Hamas official it has arrested. These officials should be jailed until the boys are returned—safe.
If the boys (G-d forbid) are not returned safe, these Arab leaders must pay a price for the hate they incite against Israel.
What would you do with them?