The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, has recently produced several anti-American cartoons which depict the United States as a menace to the Arab world. (The journalists of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida are on the payroll of the PA). In two cartoons (both October 20), the United States is depicted as a Grim Reaper surrounded by the skulls of Arab victims and a global dominator sitting atop the globe. In a third (October 30), the losses of American servicemen and women in Iraq are celebrated by showing the stripes of the American flag replaced by skulls with Uncle Sam looking on and weeping. The caption for the cartoon reads, “More than 100 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq this past month!” (translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch, November 2).
Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, who produced the report on the PA cartoon, note that “Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which published these hate cartoons, is under the complete control of the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.”
Despite these horrific anti-American pieces allowed under the auspices of Mahmoud Abbas, the Bush Administration has reiterated often that it regards Mahmoud Abbas and his PA regime as moderates with whom Israel should negotiate and who are worthy of American support.
Recent statements by Bush Administration officials supporting and praising Mahmoud Abbas while ignoring PA extremism:
- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice : “I know the commitment of the Palestinian people to a better future. I know firsthand the commitment of President Abbas and moderate Palestinians to that future” ( Address to American Task Force on Palestine, October 11).
- Rice: “We have great admiration for you and your leadership…You have the strong support of the United States” (Press Conference with Abbas , October 4, 2006).
- President George W. Bush: “President Abbas is committed to peace, and to his people’s aspirations for a state of their own” ( Address to UN General Assembly , September 19).
- Rice: “…we continue to believe that President Abbas … is someone with whom we can work and with whom we are working and we hope that the opportunities will present themselves for the United States to continue to engage him” (Press Conference , September 13).