Abbas the “moderate”

Holocaust denial is not the sort of thing one normally associates with moderation. It is associated with unbridled hatred, ignorance, irrationality and xenophobia. Deniers usually fall into two groupings. There are the crass boors who spew forth whatever refuse enters their vapid minds without even the slightest attempt to provide empirical data to substantiate their odious views. And then there are the more sophisticated types whose denials are generally accompanied by fabricated evidence and couched in terms of scholarly pursuit and historical review.

The rantings of “Dr.” Issam Sissalem, a Palestinian academic who claimed on Palestinian Authority TV that Auschwitz and other death camps merely served as “disinfection” facilities, provides clear example of the former grouping. The unelected, autocratic “president” of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas provides a good example of the latter.

In the 1980s Abbas authored a Ph.D. thesis in which he referred to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews as a “fantastic lie” and claimed that the actual death toll was barely a sixth of that amount and that in any event, their murder was provoked by the “Zionist movement.” He further alleged that gas chambers were never utilized to murder Jews.

So there you have it. The leader of the Palestinian Authority shares the same beliefs and values as the likes of former Islamic Republic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former grand wizard, David Duke. This is the man that Israel is expected to trust with signed treaties. This is the man that Israel is expected to cede its ancestral land to. And this is the man entrusted by John Kerry to end Palestinian incitement.

It is beyond astonishing that neither the EU’s Catherine Ashton nor John Kerry have addressed the disconcerting issue of Holocaust denial with Abbas. The matter is even more pressing when one considers that Holocaust denial is pervasive among Palestinians due to systematic efforts by Palestinian Authority officials (often facilitated by Western financing) to promote incitement and hatred. Even more disturbing is the fact that Abbas, who is hailed as a “moderate” by Ashton and Kerry, continues to spew forth repugnant and highly revisionist views that are incongruent with peace-making and coexistence.

In a telling op-ed piece for the New York Times, Abbas bemoans the loss of his purported homeland but forgets to mention the inconvenient truth that it was the Palestinian Arabs who rejected partition and who fired the first shots of aggression. He also reaches the zenith of mendacity when he claims that “Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened.”

The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs left on their own volition with the belief that they would return once Arab forces were triumphant. That of course never materialized because despite all odds, it was the Jews who were the victors. It is also noteworthy that among the first of the Palestinians to flee were the leaders and more affluent, who had the means to do so. This flight further demoralized the Palestinian Arab peasantry and middleclass and adversely affected the Palestinian economy, leading to further flight by the masses.

Abbas’ stubborn adherence to a false and misleading narrative and continued refusal to accept responsibility and to acknowledge even the slightest culpability for the current Palestinian predicament is indicative of one who will never relinquish his claims to the whole. Abbas is intent on using the peace process as a tactic with the overall strategic goal of eliminating Israel. Should Israel ever decide to succumb to John Kerry’s pressure and relinquish Judea & Samaria, Abbas would be one step closer in attaining this pernicious objective.

Abbas has in the past expressed deep admiration for Haj Amin el-Husseini, an evil and deeply anti-Semitic character whose past Nazi connections are well documented. He has provided cash and cushy government jobs to murderers convicted of the most barbaric crimes, courtesy of the American and EU taxpayer. But most telling of all was an incident which occurred last year and represents one of the clearest examples yet of why Abbas cannot be trusted.

Abbas was present and seated in the front row during a sermon given by PA Religious Endowments Minister, Mahmoud al-Habbash. Habbash compared the current negotiations with Israel to a medieval pact signed between Muhammad and his rivals, the Quraysh, which Muhammad subsequently violated once achieving military parity. Abbas offered no rebuke or condemnation of his minister. On the contrary, the views expressed by Habbash are consistent with those of his boss.

John Kerry and many of his allies on the hard left are placing enormous pressures on Israel to engage in mammoth concessions and vacate strategic areas vital to Israel’s security. Moreover, they are asking Israel to surrender land to those sworn to her destruction. Abbas has proven to be a duplicitous, forked-tongue leader, slightly more polished than his predecessor but sharing the same ideology and genocidal aims. The cause of peace is noble and just but should not come at the cost of national suicide.

About the Author
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor. He has authored several articles covering political and military issues concerning Israel, the United States and the Mideast at large.
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