Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just What Would A Palestinian State Under Abbas Be Like?

What a difference 6 years can make!
In 2003, ZOA sponsored a poll by John McLaughlin and Associates and here is what they found:
  • 71% of Americans believe that the Palestinian Arabs “should not be given a state”
  • 77% of Americans say that “the United States should stop giving the Palestinian Arabs $150-million” in aid each year.
  • 61% of Americans believe that “the goal of Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority is the eventual destruction of Israel.”
  • 51% of Americans believe that a Palestinian Arab state will be a terrorist state;
  • 73% of Americans want the U.S. government to demand that the Palestinian Authority “turn over all Palestinian Arabs accused of killing or injuring American citizens.”
  • 64% believe that world leaders should refuse to meet with Arafat’s number two man, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), since he has claimed that the Nazis did not murder six million Jews—just as world leaders have refused to meet with others who have denied or distorted the Holocaust.
That was then. And now:
Let's talk about Mahmoud Abbas, whom Condoleeza Rice once considered a weak and ineffective leader, and is now supposed to be the leader of the proposed Palestinian state. Let's not forget that before being humiliated and driven out of Gaza, Abbas was the man in charge in Gaza--and yet could not do a thing about the Kassam rockets that were being fired regularly at Israel, not only by Hamas, but by members of Abbas's Fatah as well. Let's take a look at some articles that covered Abbas's accomplishments:
  • January 3, 2005: "Abbas tells militants to stop attacks: He says the rockets provoke Israel and are useless"

  • May 3, 2005: Palestinian police released a member of a Hamas rocket squad despite a pledge by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to get tough with those violating a truce with Israel."

  • May 30, 2005: "Abbas - who has faced down a gauntlet of Israeli criticism for not using force to crush militants - said the time had come for Hamas to renounce violence and enter into dialogue with his ruling Fatah party."

  • July 18, 2005: "Abbas pledges end to Gaza attacks Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he will "do his utmost" to stop Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Jewish communities."

  • August 19, 2005: Charles Krauthammer: "Mahmoud Abbas has nothing to offer and has offered nothing"

  • July 7, 2006: "Abbas's repeated calls for militants to stop firing their crudely made projectiles into Israel since his election in 2005 have largely gone unheeded."

  • August 21, 2006: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was forced earlier this week to call off plans to deploy PA security personnel in the northern Gaza Strip when several armed groups, including militias from his own Fatah movement, threatened to attack these forces, PA officials here told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. [emphasis added]

  • December 6, 2006: "In the five months before the truce took effect a week ago, Gaza fighters fired daily barrages of rockets at Israeli towns and villages..." [emphasis added]

  • April 7, 2007: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Saturday for his security forces to step up efforts to prevent rockets from being fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip."

  • June 14, 2007: "Witnesses say Hamas forces have taken over Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' compound in Gaza City. Abbas wasn't there at the time."

  • November 4, 2007: Even after Abbas flees to the West Bank, the rockets continue out of Gaza,--"The military wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement claimed responsibility on Sunday for launching six home-made rockets into southern Israel."[emphasis added]
This is leader of a new Palestinian state that is going to live peacefully side by side with Israel--with Israel's security assured? Just imagine what a new Palestinian state under Abbas would be like.

Of course, this merely shows that Abbas is a weak and incompetent leader, it does not address his being a 'moderate'. But the fact is that while there is discussion about opening talks with Hamas once it fulfills the 3 preconditions: recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and agreeing to follow past Israeli-Palestinian agreements--Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have arguably done none of these either.

Joel Mowbray pointed out in March 2008 that Abbas said that there is no need to recognize Israel--except to receive money:
The Palestinian finance minister has to come to an agreement with the Israeli finance minister about the transfer of the money. So how can he make an agreement with him if [the PA finance minister] does not recognize him? So I do not demand of Hamas nor any other to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day to day life, yes.
In the same article, Mowbray writes that Abbas has not eschewed terrorism either:
Appearing much less careful than when speaking in English, Mr. Abbas last week told the Arabic-language Al-Dastur, I was honored to be the one to shoot the first bullet in 1965, the year his organization, Fatah, initiated terrorism against Israel. (Transcript provided by PMW.) The renowned moderate Palestinian leader then explained his pride in having taught resistance to many in this area and around the world ... including Hezbollah, who were trained in [PLO] camps.
In fact, instead of renouncing violence--Abbas and the PA have been encouraging it. In an article in the Jerusalem Post, Itamar Marcus of Palestine Media Watch wrote about how terrorists are still honored in the West Bank:
  • A computer center was named "after the martyr Dalal Mughrabi." In 1978, she hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians--including 12 children andAmerican photographer Gail Rubin. The funding came from Abbas's office

  • Mughrabi is apparently a favorite terrorist to honor. Last summer the PA sponsored "the Dalal Mughrabi football championship" for kids as well as a "summer camp named for martyr Dalal Mughrabi... out of honor and admiration for the martyr."

  • The PA also held a party honoring exceptional students, also named "for the martyr Dalal Mughrabi," under the auspices of Abbas. At the party, a representative for Abbas "reviewed the heroic life of the martyr [Mughrabi]

  • On the 31st anniversary of Mughrabi's terrorist attack, the PA broadcast a special program in celebration of the attack and refered to the killing of 37 civilians as "one of the most important and most prominent special operations... carried out by a team of heroes and led by the heroic fighter Dalal Mughrabi"
Marcus notes that that in addition to honoring Mughrabi as a hero, "the PA has a long and odious history in Arabic of celebrating terrorists as role models and heroes, often involving US money."

Finally, Abbas himself has not followed agreements with Israel, as per the Roadmap which requires the PA to "issue unequivocal statement affirming Israel’s right to exist in peace and security." Abbas's convoluted definition of what recognizing Israel means, let alone his comments about Israel not being a Jewish state fail to fulfill that most basic requirement--not to mention his refusal to disarm terrorist groups, stop attacks against Israel, and use force to confront terrorism.

Just what kind of Palestinian state is Obama--and the rest of the world--trying to create? The history of Abbas's incompetence as a leader combined with his refusal to negotiate with Israel in the interests of peace, should convince any impartial observer that at the very least the leadership and infrastructure of a state needs to be established before any thought can be given to pushing ahead with a two state solution. The fact that those who insist on pushing for a Palestinian state do not take note of the warning signs indicate that Israel's current 'peace partner' is not the only one who is being dishonest.

Being kicked out of Gaza was the best thing that ever happened to Abbas, allowing for the continuation of the myth that a two state solution is feasible.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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