Kerry and Abbas meet in Amman, Jordan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
It is not nice to be amused while Israelis are being stabbed, stoned and run over by frenzied young terrorists. But how can one keep a straight face when hearing the Palestinian Authority spin the situation? With a little charisma-coaching, PA President Mahmoud Abbas could be a stand-up comic; he’s already got an international audience applauding his primitive discourse. Imagine the gigs he would get if he polished his act.
One routine the terrorist-in-a-tie needs to hone is his song and dance about canceling the Oslo Accords – the 1993 agreement between his predecessor, Palestinian Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat, and prime minister Yitzhak Rabin for which the two received the Nobel Peace Prize.
This was funny enough by itself, since peace was the one element of the treaty establishing the PA that eluded the whole process. Furthermore, only the Palestinian side benefited from it. Arafat received accolades, along with lots of land. From being a terrorist pariah, he was suddenly granted full-fledged legitimacy as a player on the world stage.
Even the second intifada – the suicide- bombing war he launched after blowing up negotiations with prime minister Ehud Barak in 2000 at Camp David – did not rob him of his ill-deserved peace prize.
Abbas, on the other hand, was given the benefit of the doubt from the get-go.
Though an Arafat loyalist and Holocaust denier, he came to power after the PA was a recognized entity. Wearing a suit rather than military garb and an Islamic keffiyeh, he was automatically seen as a more Western kind of guy.
But he, too, was out for Israel’s destruction “in stages.” And he also perpetrated terrorism against innocent Israelis while pretending to negotiate peace. Nor do any gestures on Israel’s part to appease him suffice, because his aim is not actually statehood in the true sense of the word. It is, rather, the mantra and mantle for keeping himself relevant at home and abroad.
So when, on September 30, he told the UN General Assembly that Israel “leaves us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation” of the Oslo Accords, it is a miracle that he did not elicit howls of laughter from the peanut gallery in New York.
This week, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, who was among the chief negotiators of the Oslo Accords and subsequent phony “peace talks,” took the comedy act a step further. He told the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi on Thursday that the Palestinians may have to rescind their recognition of Israel.
One is hard-pressed to find a bigger hoot than that.
In the first place, though the only concrete action required of the Palestinians at Oslo was to amend the PLO charter calling for Israel’s annihilation – and even this was only promised in a series of letters exchanged between Rabin and Arafat – its newer version was never ratified.
Second, Israel is the only party that has upheld its commitments – only using military force in self-defense.
The current Palestinian terrorist war being conducted against innocent civilians and soldiers erupted, according to Abbas and his henchmen, as a result of a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount. That there was no such change makes no difference. Spreading lies is how the Palestinian leadership operates. Its success at the dissemination of propaganda only serves to strengthen its resolve.
And this time around, Abbas is letting the kids do his dirty work, with knives and rocks, without having to lift a finger – other than for emphasis when denouncing Israel at the UN.
There are disagreements among Israeli politicians, pundits and the public about how to handle the current crisis. Debates on the viability or wisdom of the “twostate solution” are rehashed ad nauseam, to point that one doesn’t know whether to cry or yawn.
But a crucial little factoid keeps getting drowned out in the cacophony and camouflaged by blood: no official Palestinian body has ever recognized the Jewish state.
This is worthy of at least a partial smile, because something that never existed cannot be canceled.The writer is the web editor of The Algemeiner (algemeiner.com) and a columnist at Israel Hayom.