Writing for The Times of Israel, senior staff writer Avi Issacharoff criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for scapegoating Abbas as the cause for the recent disturbances in Israel and for failing to point the finger at the real culprits, Hamas. He posits that Netanyahu, in a quest to avoid negotiations with Israel’s “peace partners,” has painted Abbas as a purveyor of violence and thus, an obstacle to peace. He also notes that as a result of the disturbances, “an entire country is in a panic.”
I submit however, that the only people who are “in a panic” are Issacharoff and those of like-mind who detest Netanyahu, seek his demise and will stop at nothing to disparage him. Israel has in the past witnessed and endured far worse violence and each time weathered the storm calmly and resolutely. The people of Israel in the instant mini-crisis are neither panic-stricken nor hysterical though many on the left would like to have us think that. What better way to produce an “intifada” than by talking about it incessantly in the hope of producing a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Issacharoff’s analysis is fundamentally flawed on a number of levels. First, it is Abbas and his Palestinian Authority who are primarily responsible for the uptick in violence. No doubt that Hamas shares some responsibility but it is the PA’s continued campaign of incitement, where Jews are compared to the descendants of apes and pigs and Palestinians are continuously urged in TV broadcasts to confront the “barbaric monkeys” and “wretched pigs” aka Jews, that has led to the current state of affairs.
Abbas’s inflammatory rhetoric adds fuel to the fire. Responsible leaders don’t incite their populace to attack the citizens of another state and that is precisely what Abbas has done, over and over again. Responsible leaders don’t pay condolence calls to the families of assassins and refer to them as martyrs who will ascend to heaven, and that is precisely what Abbas has done. Responsible leaders don’t name squares and streets after people, who in normal societies, would be locked up in institutions for the criminally insane but Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has done so repeatedly.
Issacharoff refers to Abbas’s recent vitriolic, blood-curdling rhetoric, including the glorification of Yehudah Glick’s attempted murder as, “stupid.” “Stupid” is a term that should be applied to one who texts while driving or chain smokes. Stupid is not a term that one normally associates with visceral anti-Semitism and incitement to murder. When the leader of the Palestinians extolls the virtues of the murderer of Jews, that is incitement to murder and anti-Semitism, plain and simple. To call it anything else is “stupid” and delusional. I wonder if Issacharoff would refer to Goebbels’s propaganda pieces in which he depicts Jews as rats, as “stupid.”
Second, contrary to Issacharoff’s assertions, it is Abbas who remains the impediment to negotiations, not Netanyahu. In 2009, Netanyahu agreed to an unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze in the hopes of spurring on the anemic “peace talks.” Abbas waited nine months before engaging Netanyahu ensuring that there would be virtually no time for any meaningful substantive negotiations.
In the latest round of negotiations, Abbas remained the stumbling block, refusing to budge on the so-called Right of Return issue, refusing to acknowledge that the Jews have some rights here too and in general, maintaining the same tired rejectionist posture of his mentor-in-chief, Yassir Arafat who in turn adopted his views from the Nazi collaborator, Haj Amin el-Husseini.
Let us call a spade a spade and be honest with ourselves. Abbas is an autocratic ruler whose term of office was supposed to have ended six years ago. He is therefore a leader with absolutely zero legitimacy. He is also a Holocaust denier who in his doctoral thesis, denied the existence of gas chambers, called the deaths of 6,000,000 Jews “a fantastic lie” and somewhat paradoxically, blamed the Holocaust on the evil Zionists who incited the Germans to hate Jews. In other words, the Jews are responsible for the Holocaust which incidentally, never happened. These repugnant views place Abbas in the same category as former “Grand Wizard” David Duke and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The sad truth is that the Palestinians, whether Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Army of Islam or Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, share the same pernicious goals, which is the total eradication and annihilation of the State of Israel. The only difference between the former three groups and the latter is that Abbas and his cronies on the PA payroll wear ties whereas the other groups have adopted the fashion style of their brethren in the Islamic Republic. The sooner the left understands this concept and stops treating Abbas as though he was some toddler, dismissing his deleterious statements as the product of “stupidity” rather than something much more malevolent, the closer we’ll come to a sustainable peace but not before then.