Sunday, July 2, 2017
For Israel, what peace partner?
In case you didn't know, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas has been touted as Israel's peace partner. The New York Times has called Abbas Israel's best peace partner (Elhanan Miller, "Why Mahmoud Abbas is Israel's best partner for peace", March 1, 2017). US President Barack Obama called Abbas a 'true partner' with Israel for peace ("Obama: Israel has 'true partners' in peace, in Abbas, Faayad", realclearpolitics, March 21, 2013).
Even Jews in Israel have bought into that false idea. Back in 2013, as the US was gearing up for another 'peace effort' starring US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel's then-President Shimon Peres called Abbas "Israel's partner for peace" (Tovah Lazaroff, "Peres: Abbas is Israel's partner for peace", jerusalempost, May 26, 2013). He was serious. He meant every word.
Peres, however, as always (regarding peace), was wrong. "Abbas is a real/true/best partner for peace with Israel" is one of those sayings that turn out to be more hopeful than actual, like "the New York Jets will win the Super Bowl this year". Many around the world believe that Abbas really wants peace and is willing to work for peace. They've been saying that for years. But no one ever found evidence Abbas acted in any way to validate that he wanted any such thing.
Meanwhile, there has been much evidence Abbas has rejected peace. For example, in 2014, Abbas called for violence on the Temple Mount by saying Jews had no right to enter onto the Mount and 'no right to defile it' (Itamar Marcus, Jaques Zilberdik, "PA TV broadcasts 19 times in 3 days Abbas' implicit call for violence in Jerusalem", palwatch, October 28, 2014). 19 times, Abbas called for his listeners to prevent Jews "in any way" from going to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site on earth (ibid). He also called for a 'Jerusalem Intifada' ("Abbas calls for 'Jerusalem intifada'--just like Arafat did", forzion, October 28, 2014). In answer, he got Arab 'Palestinian' rioting in Jerusalem.
He has refused to condemn any murder of any Jew (Khaled Abu Toameh, "Abbas calls for murder, Palestinians attack", gatestoneinstitute, October 7, 2014). He pays Palestinians to kill Jews (Eli Lake, "The Palestinian incentive program for killing Jews", bloomberg, July 2016).
Abbas isn't a peace partner. He's an avowed enemy of Israel.
In fact, Abbas has never said yes to peace (Robert Daninm, "Can Abbas ever say yes to peace?", newsweek, May 3, 2017). He's even admitted art least once that he has rejected peace with Israel (Josef Federman, "Abbas admits he rejected 2008 peace offer from Olmert", jerusalempost, November 19, 2015).
Now we get--yet again--evidence that Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have no interest in peace with Israel. This time, the evidence come from the UN.
On June 29, 2017, at an anti-Israel UN meeting called "UN Forum to Mark 50 years of Occupation", Palestinian Representative Saeb Erekat made clear how the PA leadership views Israel ("UN trumpets Palestinian revisionist fraud: all of Israel is Palestinian, no to a Jewish state", humanrightsvoice, June 29, 2017).
At that Forum, Erekat rejected Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state (ibid). He repeated the falsehood that his ancestors came to 'this land' thousands of years before Jews (ibid). He suggested that all of Israel was Palestinian--going back thousands of years before Jews arrived with the Biblical Joshua ben Nun (ibid). He claimed to come from a Palestinian city dating back 10,000 years, even though there exists no history text, archaeological findings or document before the mid-20th century that mentions the name of a "Palestinian" people, culture, nation or city.
Erekat suggested that the Jews of Israel were exploiting the Jewish religion for economic gain (ibid). He said Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was turning this conflict into a religious conflict (ibid).
He gave no evidence that any of these assertions was true or provable. He certainly gave no evidence that the PA was interested in talking about peace with any of Israel's Jews. His interest was as singular as it was hostile: the Jews don't belong in 'Palestine'. We were here first. This place is ours.
That's not the language of normalizing relations, inclusion or peace. It's the language of hate, exclusion and, ultimately, war.
Israel has no peace partner in the 'Palestinian' Authority. It never had such a partner. It never will.