NEW YORK- While Western media reports are praising the statement by PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas (“Abu Mazen”) opposing the use of “live weaponry” by Palestinian Arabs, little attention has been paid to the fact that in the same statement, Abbas recommended a revival of tactics such as stabbings, firebombings, and stonings.
In an interview with the London newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Abbas said there should be a temporary halt to the use of “live weaponry”, which harmed the Palestinian Arabs’ image. He did not say there is anything morally wrong with murdering Israelis. Abbas also said “the intifada should continue, but that it should return to the use of tactics employed in the first such uprising from 1987 to 1993.” (Washington Times, Dec. 15, 2004)
Similarly, in his first press conference as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority last year, broadcast on the Arabic-language Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television on June 3, 2003, Abbas said: “Nobody can prevent people from expressing the popular stand through peaceful means, as was the case in the first intifada.” (Foreign Broadcast Information Service)
According to the Israeli government, 236 Israelis were murdered in that “peaceful intifada,” which included:
* Thousands of firebomb attacks, stabbings, and stonings — including the mass stoning of Jews at the Western Wall, injuring more than 40 (Oct. 1990), and the stoning attacks that killed Benny Meisner (Feb. 1989), Haim Sharabani (Sept.1989), and a 4 year-old Arab boy who was killed when the attackers mistook his family’s car for an Israeli car (Nov. 1990).
* Steering a bus into a ravine off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, murdering 16 people (including an American woman, attorney Rita Levine of Philadelphia).(July 1989)
* Hijacking a Beersheba bus and murdering 3 passengers. (March 1988)
* A grenade attack on the Haifa mall, wounding 25 people. (August 1988)
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America, said: “If Abbas was sincerely interested in ending Palestinian Arab violence against Israel, he would tell the Palestinian Arabs, via PA television, radio, and newspapers, that murdering Jews is morally wrongnot just tell a British newspaper that the Arabs should, for tactical reasons, temporarily use knives and firebombs instead of rifles.
The ZOA president added: “If Abbas really wants to stop terrorists from using ‘live weaponry’, he should use his twelve security and police forces to start confiscating the tens of thousands of live weapons held by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and terrorists in his own PLO. If he really wants to stop the terrorists, he should be arresting terrorists and prosecuting them. Eleven years ago, the world was fooled by Yasir Arafat’s words of peace, which he never translated into action against terrorists; now the world is being fooled again, by the words of Arafat’s senior deputy, which, once again, are not backed by any meaningful action against the terrorists.”