Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for Hamas's military wing the Al-Qassam Brigades.
(photo credit: HAMAS AL-AQSA TV)
For years it has been known by many within Israeli society that there is a great disparity between what the Palestinian leadership headed by Mahmoud Abbas says in English to the Western World and what they say to the Palestinian people and Muslim world in Arabic. Abbas declares in English to his Western counterparts that he wants to see a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel. In Arabic, Abbas and his Fatah cronies continue inciting against “the Israeli occupation army” and encouraging Palestinians to use any means including violence and terror to accomplish the Palestinian objective of “liberating Palestine.”
This tactic is dually beneficial to the Palestinian Authority; on the one hand, they can appear to be moderates in the eyes of the Western countries, whose support they greatly need financially, and on the other they can appear to the Palestinians and much of the Arab world as being the driving force behind the “[armed] struggle for the liberation of Palestine” (Article 8, The PLO Charter).
While much of the Western World only follows what the PA says in English, there is an Israeli research institute called Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) which monitors what is being said by the Palestinian leaders in Arabic and releases translations to the public. Through extensive research and translations done by this institute, it becomes quite clear what the Palestinian leadership’s message is to their people: there is no “Israel” and Palestinians must do everything within their power to rid Palestinian lands of the “Zionists.”
The recent wave of violence which has spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the country has been encouraged and promoted by Fatah and Abbas. In a cartoon published on November 6, 2014 on “Fatah – The Main Page” (an official Fatah Facebook page), the Arabic word “da’es,” which means “run over,” appears on a street with the Aqsa Mosque in the distance. The word “da’es” is a play on the Arab acronym “da’esh,” or Islamic State. The following Arabic text appears below the image: “Hit the gas at 199 [km/h] for al Aqsa.”
This cartoon encourages terror, and it in fact “succeeded” – in the terrorist attack that occurred in Gush Etzion on November 10, a Palestinian terrorist tried to run over Israeli Dalia Lemkus. When he failed to kill her with his car, he exited the car and stabbed her repeatedly to make sure that she was dead.
While some will try to downplay Abbas’ involvement in the escalation of violence and pin the incitement solely on Hamas, the fact is that Abbas is personally encouraging and glorifying terror. On November 3, 2014, “Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,” the official PA daily, published a report on Abbas’ condolence letter to the family of the terrorist who attempted to murder Rabbi Yehuda Glick on October 29, 2014. In the report was the following: “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his anger and his condemnation of the abominable crime committed against Martyr [shahid] Mutaz Hijazi, who was murdered last Thursday [October 30, 2014] by the killing and terror gangs of the Israeli occupation army.”
The incitement coming from the Palestinian side is nothing new. Both Fatah and Hamas have long professed in Arabic that Israel has no right to exist. When Abbas proclaims to the West that he wants to see a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel, he is simply saying what all of the Western diplomats want to hear. They naively believe that Abbas is a true partner for peace despite what is being taught in Palestinian textbooks and broadcast on the Palestinian airwaves. Many Westerners truly think that if only the Palestinians had their own state in the Gaza Strip and the majority of the West Bank all of the problems between the Israelis and Palestinians would simply disappear.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. The goal of the Palestinian leadership, which is shared by many Palestinians, is to establish a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea,” leaving no room for the Jewish State of Israel.
While the Israeli leadership has made mistakes in the past few weeks, most notably with prominent Israeli Knesset members visiting the Temple Mount, it has long been known that the Palestinian leadership has used the lie that Israel is trying to retake the Temple Mount to encourage Palestinian acts of terrorism. This is the exact tactic Yasser Arafat used when Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in 2000. In fact, Fatah’s plans to start a second intifada were well under way before Sharon’s visit, but Arafat and the Fatah leadership used the incident to create panic and anger on the Palestinian streets.
Only when the incitement voiced by the Palestinian leadership stops and the Palestinians accept the fact that Israel is not going anywhere will there be a genuine chance for peace. Until then, there will be continued bloodshed and terror attacks.
While many argue over whether or not the current unrest is a “third intifada,” the fact is that the recent violence is simply a continuation of what has been going on since even before the inception of the State of Israel in 1948. Had the Arab leadership agreed to the terms of the UN Partition Plan in 1947 instead of continuing to incite and promote terror, the issue of a Palestinian state could have been settled long ago.The author has an MA in Jewish History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and runs the popular blog “The Story of a Lone Immigrant” (http://loneimmigrant.blogspot. co.il).