Until Mahmoud Abbas’ ‘Dying Day’

It used to be that when asked for his reaction to a terror attack on Israeli civilians, Yasir Arafat would typically respond with the bromide that the Palestinian leadership condemns attacks on “all civilians.”  While sometimes condemning Palestinian attacks on Israelis, he would suggest that Palestinian terror and Israeli response to terror were one and the same.

Apparently those were the good old days.

Deep into an article describing Tuesday’s murderous attack by a Palestinian terrorist at Hal Adar, outside of Jerusalem, the New York Times reports that,

“Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian movement led by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, posted an image on its official Facebook page of a poster of [the terrorist] hailing him as a ‘heroic martyr.'”

The article goes on to report that Hamas also praised the attack, but that’s hardly news.

Conspicuously, the Times article says nothing about Abbas’s reaction to the terrorist attack – beyond the “heroic martyr” posting on the Facebook page of the organization that he leads.

Apparently gone are the days when the Palestinian leadership thought it necessary to provide at least some criticism of Palestinian terror for Western consumption, even if it reeked of false moral equivalence. Now, apparently emboldened by the international community’s growing support of the Palestinian “cause,” seemingly irrespective of Palestinian behavior, the “mainstream” Palestinian movement says exactly what it thinks:  murdering Israelis is heroic and the “shahids” (martyrs) are destined for paradise and their families are richly rewarded for this life.

The depth of Palestinian arrogance cannot be overstated.  Nor can the moral blindness of the international community. The same day as the PA Facebook posting, INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, granted membership to the “State of Palestine.” Under INTERPOL procedures, the application was approved by an immoral minority of 75 of the organization’s General Assembly voting in favor, because 93 of the 192 members either abstained or chose not to vote.

In this environment, Fatah’s audaciousness is hardly surprising.  Abbas is currently thumbing his nose at the international community by refusing to stop payments to terrorists and their families – funds the Palestinian Authority receives from foreign countries.  As reported by The Algemeiner, Abbas informed Jared Kushner during their meeting last month “that he would never stop paying these salaries until his dying day, even if this cost him the presidency.”  While the U.S. Congress is moving forward on the Taylor Force Act, designed to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues its “martyrs fund,” the Palestinians are apparently not worried that the international community will turn off the spigot. As far as the international community is concerned, Abbas is the anointed moderate, presumably ready to make peace if only the Israelis were willing to end the occupation.  The Palestinians are clearly confident that no dose of reality will disturb this sacrosanct perception.

The consequences of turning a blind eye to Palestinian dysfunction go beyond undermining any chance of a two state solution in the foreseeable future.  It continues to erode the moral authority of the international community, undermining its ability to deal with the devastating results of so many other conflicts, as the sorry state of hot spots around the world so amply demonstrates.

Mahmoud Abbas may leave the presidency of the PA before his dying day.  If he does, it won’t be because the international community would no longer tolerate his embrace of terror.

About the Author
Gregg M. Mashberg is a lawyer in private practice in New York City, and has been involved in Israel advocacy
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