PA Chief Abbas: Terrorism Against Arabs Is “Crime Against Humanity,” But Terrorism Against Jews “Damaging To Palestinian Interests”
December 6, 2005

New York – Palestinian Authority (PA) chief, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned last month’s terrorist attack in Amman, Jordan, as a “crime against humanity” but made no similar moral condemnation of yesterday’s terrorist attack in Netanya, which killed five Israelis and wounded over 30 more. At the time of the Amman bombings, Abbas expressed “his deep condolences” to Jordan, his “solidarity with the brotherly Jordanian people” and condemned the bombings as “a crime against humanity.” However, after yesterday’s suicide bombing in Netanya, Abbas simply condemned the attack on tactical grounds as “damaging to Palestinian interests.”

Earlier examples of Abbas’s failure to condemn terrorist attacks against Jews as an abomination:

  • “I don’t want my comment on the demilitarization of the uprising to be misunderstood … All I meant is that we are in a phase that does not necessitate arms because we want to negotiate” (Washington Times, December 15, 2004).
  • “I say to them [the terrorists], this is not the time for this kind of attack” (Washington Times, January 3, 2005).

  • “A crime against the Palestinian people” (New York Times, July 13, 2005).

  • “These attacks threaten our national security and undermine our credibility on the international arena” (Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2005).

  • “These events undermine the truce and calm we had respected” (Reuters, October 17, 2005).

Meanwhile, senior members of Mahmoud Abbas’ own party, Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, hailed the Netanya attack as a fully justified response to Israeli “aggression,” and vied with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) for the credit for the massacre which PIJ carried out. Abu-Mahmoud, a senior Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades member, said that Israel’s anti-terror measures “cannot occur without a response of the Palestinian resistance, at any time and in any place” (Jerusalem Newswire, December 5).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Mahmoud Abbas’ rote response to the latest act of terrorist mass murder in Israel as being a tactical mistake, not a crime and horror against Jews and Israel, simply confirms what we have said many times — that Mahmoud Abbas treats terrorism as a public relations issue, not as a scourge to be denounced and eliminated.

“It is clear that for Abbas, there is time and place for terrorism against Israel — thus his repeated failure to condemn it in clear, moral terms, along with the glorification of terrorists in the Palestinian media, mosques, schools, textbooks and youth camps. This state of affairs sends a powerful message to Palestinian Arabs that terrorism is noble and encourages more Palestinians to go out and try and murder Israelis. On the very day of this murder, Abbas approved the budget designed to take care of the families of such terrorists to whom the PA refers in official documents as shahids [martyrs]. Terrorists’ families are to receive a monthly stipend of at least $250 from the Abbas’ PA.

“In addition, further proof of Abbas’ promoting and glorifying terrorism is shown by the fact that only this week he named the Rafah border crossing after the terrorist Al-Moayed Bihokmillah Al-Agha, who was killed in December 2004 carrying out a terrorist attack that killed five Israelis. A PA that names a border crossing after a terrorist like Al-Agha is obviously lying when it pretends to be condemning the sort of terrorist attacks Al-Agha carried out.”

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