“Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem.”– Mahmoud Abbas
jewishinfoNews on Skype over a two day period interviewed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Here is the final part of the interview. The first part was published on October 17, 2015.
jewishinfoNews: Mr. President, let’s continue talking about the violence in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities. Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday morning in a speech at the 37th World Jewish Congress that the Israelis “are not only fighting a campaign of physical assault on the Jewish State … it is always proceeded and accompanied by an assault on the truth, a campaign of defamation and slander.”
Abbas: Well that is his opinion, isn’t! Just refer to what I said at my recent speech at the UN. Specifically, I stated that “Israel is scheming to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” I called “on the Israeli government, before it is too late, to cease its use of brutal force to impose its plans to undermine the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem. Unless Israel stops its scheme and its actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the conflict will change from political to religious, creating an explosive situation in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.”
jewishinfoNews: Yes, indeed. Netanyahu mentioned it in his speech when he referred to Israel wanting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque as one of the ten big lies. He said, and I quote, “the only way you can fight lies and especially big lies is to puncture them with the simple truth.” He said that Israel is not seeking to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He added, “This is particularly farcical. It would be farcical if it wasn’t tragic. Israel is the only country that protects the holy sites in the Middle East. You see the Muslims, the militant Shiites and militant Sunnis blowing each other’s mosques to smithereens… churches, of course, synagogues… ancient sites of great world heritage blown up. The only place where the holy shrines of all are absolutely guaranteed is in Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and of in the rest of Israel.”
Abbas: Cleans his glasses and doesn’t respond.
jewishinfoNews: Mr. President, moving on. Yesterday, The Times of Israel published a report that stated, “A series of videos glorifying the wave of deadly stabbing attacks against Israelis was released Sunday by the Islamic State terrorist group. The videos, bearing such titles as Project Behead the Jews and Message to the Mujahedin in Jerusalem, were uploaded from sites under Islamic State control in Syria and northern Iraq. Some of the videos spread on social media and were accompanied by the hashtag #BeheadtheJew.”
And a few days ago a picture and text tweeted from a Fatah Twitter account on Oct. 11, 2015 of young Palestinian school girls with yellow Fatah headbands holding a placard with the text: “The settlers are Israeli ISIS”. In addition, in a cartoon published on the website of Fatah’s Information and Culture Commission, Israel is portrayed as an Islamic State executioner dressed in black with a Star of David on his hood and the text “Judaization” across his robe. The executioner is swinging an axe, about to decapitate a Palestinian whose head is the Dome of the Rock. The Palestinian is resting his head on a sleeping chopping block labeled “the international disregard.”
Mr. President, one minute ISIS is telling you to behead the Jews and the next moment Fatah is portraying Israelis as an Islamic State executioner. Which one is it to be? Don’t you think this is utterly bizarre and definitely confusing to your people? If these issues weren’t as grave as they are, all of this might remind us of the comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello, “Who’s on First?” Is this democracy? Will you be happy with the diminished international support you might receive because of it?
Abbas: “The international community should support the Palestinian people and continue its aid in all forms, and not punish them or starve them because of their democratic choices. This is happening at a time when the Palestinian Authority is trying to preserve the period of calm and abide by agreements reached with Israel… Israel is seeking to escalate tensions and explode the situation to avoid fulfilling its commitments.
“If the settlement activities in Palestinian land and construction of the so-called separation wall on confiscated Palestinian land continue, we might soon find ourselves at a situation where the foundation of peace, a free Palestine state living side by side in peace and security in Israel, is a factual impossibility.”
jewishinfoNews: Mr. President, you once said, and I quote, “We will not allow the state of lawlessness, the disorder of weapons, taking law into one’s hands, kidnapping and attacks on government institutions and state land to continue. . . .No one is above the law.”
Abbas: However, I’ll repeat again, “The international community should support the Palestinian people and continue its aid in all forms, and not punish them or starve them because of their democratic choices.”
jewishinfoNews: What democratic choices are you referring to Mr. President? It’s been said that “the biggest danger is that this act of defiance by your children against the PA will turn into a tsunami that will undermine Mahmoud Abbas and the PA in its present format.”
Mr. President, Canadian Tarek Fatah once said, I quote: “Any nation, any society, any country that is created on the basis of a hatred towards the others, will soon run out of people that it can hate or groups it can decimate and it will devour itself.” With your youth running amok, out of control, with pure hate in their eyes and it seems assisting in undermining your leadership, when they’re exhausted with the Israelis, are you afraid your children will turn on you Mr. President?
Abbas: “It is high time that the Palestinian people restore their freedom and independence. It is high time that the decades, the long decades of suffering and pain would stop.”
jewishinfoNews: But Mr. President, your youth are running amok, out of control, with pure hate in their eyes, taking the law into their own hands, killing and maiming Jewish children, mothers and fathers, in fact any one in their way be it Jew or Christian.
Abbas: Stares ahead.
jewishinfoNews: This past May, Ambassador Uri Savir, who has spent his professional life on the strategies of peacemaking in Israel, he established the Peres Center for Peace and is currently the Center’s honorary president said in an article published in al-Monitor, he foresaw what was going to happen. He said: “Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian national struggle for its historical and religious significance in Islam. East Jerusalem is also the only territory occupied in 1967 that was annexed by Israel (except for the Golan Heights). The Palestinians often claim that Israel is attempting to turn the Temple Mount (or Haram al-Sharif) Jewish; it’s a misplaced fear but widely believed. Therefore one can expect that, should an uprising (intifada) break out in the West Bank, it would have Jerusalem as a central theme, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque, which may also become the central battleground.”
It was just over one week ago that Palestinian Media Watch said that while Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, “professes the PA’s alleged wish for peace,” his “own Fatah movement is busy glorifying murder as ‘a symphony of love for Jerusalem.’”
To quote the Fatah Twitter account, “A symphony of love for Jerusalem. If the occupation wants to hear it again and again, it should continue invading Jerusalem, attacking our noble women and desecrating our Noble Sanctuary [the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza] and our Jerusalem.” [Fatah Twitter account, Oct. 12, 2015.]
Abbas: Remains silent.
jewishinfoNews: CNN has quoted you in the past as saying, “Peace and security will never be achieved unless there is an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, I hereby call on you, Palestinian people wherever you are, to stand together, to close ranks and be alert, to be aware of the Israeli plots to undermine our national mission.” Mr. President, this sounds very much like a call to arms.
Abbas: “The current situation in the Palestinian territories cannot continue, there is no longer a partner for us in Israel and there is nothing for us but to internationalize the issue.
jewishinfoNews: You mean by restoring your people’s freedom and independence you’re wantonly allowing your children to kill Jews? Is that what it’s all about, Mr. President? Is this your way out? Your final hurrah? Finally you see this as personal satisfaction in getting your
(Photo credits: Palestinian Media Watch (PMW); wranter; NDTV. Editorial quotes: in part from PMW)
(This interview is envisioned in the virtual unconsciousness of the author)
* * *
SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”