The latter is why he called for elections that he never intended on holding, and then canceled them as they drew near, on the false grounds that Israel was to blame for “forbidding” the participation of east Jerusalem Arabs.
It also explains the letter he sent to President Reuven Rivlin on Friday, expressing his “sorrow” over the tragedy at Mount Meron late Thursday night “that claimed the lives of dozens of victims.”
Referring to the deadly crowd-crush at the grave site of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai during Lag Ba’omer celebrations, Abbas added, “We are praying for the victims and hope for the recovery of those injured.”
This might sound like heartfelt condolences – perhaps even a goodwill gesture toward Israel – if not for the fact that Abbas has spent his entire career, starting with his Holocaust-denying doctoral thesis, inciting his people to kill Jews.
Nor is it necessary to review his past. All along, and as recently as this week, PA officialdom under his rule has been consistent in its support for the cold-blooded murder of innocent Israelis.
On Sunday afternoon, for instance, the Nablus branch of his Fatah faction urged residents of the area surrounding the escape route taken by the perpetrator of the drive-by shooting at the Tapuah Junction to delete CCTV footage that might help Israeli security forces apprehend the terrorist.
As the research institute Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) revealed in the aftermath of the attack – which left 19-year-old Jewish students Benaya Peretz, Amichai Hala and Yehuda Guetta wounded (with Guetta sadly succumbing to his wounds on Wednesday night) – the Fatah group used Facebook to call on “our lauded people... to get rid of the contents that were stored in the [security] cameras of your homes or your businesses today, and not to transfer any media content among yourselves.”
In a second post the same day, the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture reiterated the Nablus branch’s “emphasis” on “resistance [as] a natural right of the Palestinian people against the Zionist arrogance.”
These pronouncements came on the heels of an attempted stabbing that morning at the Gush Etzion Junction. In this case, it was a 60-year-old Palestinian woman heading toward Israeli soldiers with a knife. When she ignored their calls for her to halt, they shot in the air. When that didn’t deter the would-be terrorist, they aimed at her legs. She later died in the hospital.
Despite the predictable vilification of the IDF that ensued, one aspect of the event that has been overlooked sheds light on the climate that Abbas has created in the PA.
The woman in question reportedly had emotional problems, possibly relating to issues of “dishonor.” It’s thus feasible that she orchestrated the scenario in order to lose her life as a heroine and martyr. Doing so, after all, not only would turn her instantly into a PA role model, but would guarantee her family a hefty monthly stipend from Abbas’s “pay for slay” budget.
A similar motive likely spurred the Palestinian man who two days earlier approached and pointed a broken bottle at Israeli police offers at the Efrat Junction. He, too, was shot after disregarding orders to stop.
Meanwhile, as PMW reported, three days prior to the above incidents, official PA TV featured Abbas’s religious-affairs adviser teaching viewers that “Islam does not want you to be submissive to others,” and “if you die fighting, you go to paradise; if you kill the enemies, they go to hell.”
IN OTHER WORDS, the uptick in violence since the start of the Muslim month of Ramadan in mid-April didn’t simply emerge out of nowhere. Ditto for the so-called “TikTok intifada” – the latest Palestinian fad of beating up Orthodox Jews and sharing videos of the physical aggression on the popular platform.
According to PMW founding director Itamar Marcus, during the week leading up to Ramadan, the PA TV quiz show The Tune of the Homeland repeatedly broadcast a music video in which Palestinians declared, “I fired my shots, I threw my bomb, I detonated, detonated, detonated my [explosive] belts... My brother, throw my blood on the enemy like bullets.”
During the song, the narrator interjected, “We will defend Palestine with our bodies. Our bullets will make sounds of joy to herald signs of victory in order to cut off the invading occupiers, who came from across the sea and settled in our lands.”
The timing of the spike in incitement was not accidental. Facing serious opposition within Fatah, and fearing the very real possibility of a Hamas victory in the West Bank as it obtained in 2006 in Gaza, Abbas turned to his favorite default strategy: demonizing the Jews and Israel. It’s nothing new for him, of course; he’s been feeding his people antisemitic blood libels for years.
These include claims that Israel steals the organs and poisons the water supply of innocent Palestinians. More recently, he nurtured the fabrication that Israel was denying vaccines to Palestinians, when it was he who flatly rejected two genuine Israeli offers to open a coronavirus vaccination station on the Temple Mount complex, the site of al-Aqsa Mosque, for the Palestinians worshiping there to receive their shots.
This, as it happens, is the very Muslim house of prayer that he regularly exploits for the purpose of stirring up trouble. And it works like a charm.
Apparently, declaring that the Jews are coming to storm the cherished holy place, and “desecrate it with their filthy feet,” is a perfect ploy to rile up testosterone-loaded youth sparring for a fight. Indeed, contrary to most of the reportage about the riots in Jerusalem during Ramadan, it was actually heightened instigation on the part of Abbas and his henchmen that lit the proverbial and literal match.
The PA and its apologists in Israel stated that the many and varied assaults on Israel Police officers and Jewish pedestrians were due to the placement of barricades around the Old City of Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. Yet when the barriers were removed on April 25, hundreds of east Jerusalem residents flooded the location chanting, “With blood and fire we will liberate you, Palestine.”
Ironically, the reason that police had cordoned off the area in the first place was to prevent that very type of thing from happening. Abbas couldn’t have been happier at the display, particularly since Hamas was upstaging him by launching barrages of rockets into southern Israel, and using Jerusalem as its latest excuse and electoral boost.
Unfortunately for the terrorist organization that rules Gaza, it won’t be getting the opportunity to see its power solidified at the ballot box any time soon. Though Abbas is the obstacle, however, Hamas is faulting Israel.
No surprise there. Scapegoating and aiming to eliminate the Jewish state are two things that Fatah and Hamas have in common. The only difference is that Abbas lies to the West about both.