Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Balfour Declaration: how Abbas thinks of peace

Later this week (May 3, 2017) Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with US president Donald Trump in Washington, DC. It will be their first face-to-face meeting. 

Everyone knows their agenda. They will discuss how to bring peace to the Arab-Israel conflict.

In the weeks leading up to this meeting, Abbas has made several statements about peace, including one that already credits Trump with success ("Historic peace deal is possible under Trump's leadership, PA's Abbas says,", jns, March 16, 2017). But  Abbas has also made other comments during this same time period (March 6, 2017-present). These 'other comments'  suggest that peace isn't really on his mind.

Consider his comments (both last year and now) about the 1917 Balfour Declaration. This document was written 100 years ago. It helped pave the way for the United Nations (in 1947) to vote to create the State of Israel.  So much has happened since 1917, most people have forgotten about it. But not Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas is so incensed that Britain should have issued that document in 1917, he has sought to sue Britain over it (Lizzie Dearden, “Palestinian president plans to sue Britain over 1917 Balfour Declaration and support for 'Israeli crimes'”,, July 27, 2016).  That didn’t go anywhere. It failed. But Abbas didn’t give up.

After his lawsuit gambit failed, Abbas changed his approach. He demanded an apology from Britain (Bethan McKernan, “Palestinians demand UK apology for 1917 Balfour Declaration that pledged British support for the creation of Israel”, independent, November 1, 2016). Regarding this ‘apology’, Abbas said Britain should not only apologize for the Declaration, it should also rectify the damage it did by writing it (ibid).

For rectification, Abbas demanded that Britain recognize the state of ‘Palestine’ (ibid).

I’m not making up this stuff. It’s real. The Palestinian Authority will hold you responsible for something you did 100 years ago. It will not forget anything you did. 

In fact, this nonsense is so serious that Britain has now formally addressed Abbas’ demand for that apology.

The British will not apologize (“Britain refuses to apologize for Balfour Declaration”, arutzsheva, April 25, 2017). It stands up for the document. It states it is proud to have played a role in the creation of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority still won’t give up. It now says, if Britain will not apologize, the PA will go back—literally—to square one: it will sue Britain in ‘some’ international court (Patrick Goodenough, “Palestinians Fume After UK Gov’t Rules Out Apology For Jewish Homeland Declaration”, cnsnews, April 26, 2017).

This call to sue, then demand an apology over something that happened 100 years ago, then recommitting to sue all raise a question: what in the world is Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) doing? Do they want to think about peace, or about attacking everything and everybody associated with Israel? These three actions (lawsuit, apology demand, lawsuit) do not suggest a search for peace. They suggest a spiteful demand to humiliate someone for a perceived wrong from 100 years ago.

That's not going to bring peace. It'll just get Britain's hackles up (which is exactly what happened). 

How can anyone be serious about 'peace' today when he's focusing on 100 years ago? He can't.

If ever you wanted proof that the Palestinian Authority has absolutely no interest in peace with Israel, this is it. The PA is fuming over something that happened in 1917? Really?

The world looks for peace between Arab and Jew in 2017. What’s Abbas and his PA looking for? It’s looking to settle a pro-Israel score with Britain from 1917.

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