Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is one happy jihadist this week. Not only did he arrive in New York with the blessing of Hamas, but he was given a warm bath by most member states of the United Nations.
The guy who has been a has-been practically from the moment he came to power following the death of Yasser Arafat is suddenly being taken seriously.
As he approached the podium at the General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, he was applauded like an A-Lister at the Academy Awards. This welcome, coupled with his prior knowledge that a huge majority of the body was going to support his bid to upgrade the PA to non-member status, gave him a bit of bounce to his step and boom to his oratory.
So emboldened was “Abu Mazen” by the events leading up to the big day that he didn’t bother camouflaging his hate-speech for Western ears — a practice at which all Arab leaders perceived as “moderates” excel.
Even the Israeli press was shocked at the language and tone of the man who has come to be considered the only hope for a negotiated settlement of a “two-state solution.” The sole concern the liberal Israeli intelligentsia has had about Abbas is that he does not command enough power over the entire Palestinian entity. They argue that he must be strengthened, by Israel no less.
That Abbas is a terrorist in a tie does not factor into this argument. After all, now that Hamas rules Gaza, the PLO can be viewed as the more reasonable group with which to conduct talks.
Too bad Abbas doesn’t see it that way. And his speech at the General Assembly is just another piece of proof. Not that evidence of his true intentions is lacking, mind you. On the contrary, every word he utters in Arabic indicates that the only difference between him and his Hamas counterparts is in his willingness to play the American and European game, while working toward the aim of destroying the Jewish state, and weakening the rest of the West, in stages.
That Abbas chose Nov. 29 as the day for his General Assembly bid was no accident. This was the date, 65 years ago, when the same General Assembly voted “yes” to the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab. This was, in fact, the original “two-state solution.”
Then, as now, the Arabs rejected it. Then, as now, they waged war against Israel.
This did not prevent Abbas from mentioning the anniversary in his speech, using it to — gasp! — blame Israel for the plight of the Arabs in its midst.
Most interesting was the way he began by talking about the recent war in Gaza, a place he has not been allowed to enter for fear he will be slaughtered by rivals in Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But never mind. Any excuse to talk about martyrdom is fine with him.
“Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when it is still … burying its beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression,” he said. “Still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace.” (No mention of Iranian missiles launched from Gaza at Israeli civilians.)
“The Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to end the Israeli occupation and for our people to gain their freedom and independence. This aggression also confirms the Israeli government’s adherence to the policy of occupation, brute force and war,” he said, conveniently omitting his own repeated assertions over the years that the entire state of Israel is “occupied territory.”
He went on: “… There was certainly no one in the world that required that tens of Palestinian children lose their lives … no need for thousands of deadly raids and tons of explosives for the world to be reminded that there is an occupation that must come to an end and that there are a people that must be liberated …”
And then he came out and admitted that the whole trouble goes back to the establishment of the state of Israel.
“The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba [“The Catastrophe”] of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history … Our people always have strived not to lose their humanity, their highest, deeply held moral values and their innovative abilities for survival, steadfastness, creativity and hope, despite the horrors that befell them and continue to befall them today as a consequence of Al-Nakba and its horrors.”
To give an example of a consequence of the “catastrophe,” Abbas pointed to “the incessant flood of Israeli threats in response to our peaceful, political and diplomatic endeavor for Palestine to acquire non-member observer status in the United Nations … threats [that] were carried out in a barbaric and horrific manner just days ago in the Gaza Strip.”
To add chutzpah to lies, he claimed, “We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people … continue to witness an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in occupied east Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”
He attributed Israel’s ability to “perpetrate war crimes” to “its conviction that it is above the law and that it has immunity from accountability and consequences …”
Then, after stating that he was willing to have a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and for a resolution of the refugee issue (a euphemism for the “right of return”), he stressed, “The rope of patience is shortening and hope is withering. The innocent lives that have been taken by Israeli bombs … are a painful reminder to the world that this racist, colonial occupation is making the two-state solution and the prospect for realizing peace a very difficult choice, if not impossible.”
Abbas not only got a standing ovation; his bid was approved. The one true sentiment he expressed was one Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should finally acknowledge: A “two-state solution” is impossible with people bent on Israel’s destruction.
Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the Arab Spring.”