Bush Administration silent on Abbas
failure to condemn terror
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, through his Presidential Spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rdainah, condemned Israeli airstrikes on Monday against Palestinian terrorists launching daily barrages of rockets into Israeli cities from Gaza, killing 11 of them, as a terrible crime (Maan News Agency, December 18, 2007). The Israel Air Force struck four times in the Strip, killing Majed Harazin, described by Israels Security Service, Shin Bet, as being in charge of the rocket arsenals; and Karim Duhduh, who was responsible for the production of Qassem rockets. Four other terrorists were killed in these attacks, three more members of a Qassem rocket crew trying to fire rockets into Sderot were eliminated in a subsequent strike, and two more were killed in a fourth strike on a military installation of the group near KhanYunis. No civilians were killed in these attacks, which Abbas labeled a terrible crime.
Neither President George W. Bush nor Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have uttered a word of criticism or condemnation of Abbas silence on continuing rocket attacks on Israel or asked him to condemn these attacks.
Abbas has previously condemned Israeli military strikes targeting terrorists. Some examples:
- Condemned as a heinous massacre the killing by Israel of seven Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group, including Ata Shimbari, leader of the PRC unit that fires rockets into Israeli towns and cities (Jerusalem Post, October 23, 2006).
- Labeled an Israeli incursion in to Gaza to stop terrorists firing into Israel as a crime against humanity (Haaretz, June 28, 2006)
Abbas condemns legitimate Israeli military operations to eliminate Palestinian terrorists. In May, Abbas condemned as a barbarous slaughter the killing by IDF special forces in the northern Gaza village of Beit Lahiya of four Palestinian terrorists and the wounding of a further eight who had been on their way to carry out Qassem rocket attacks against Israel (Independent Media Review & Analysis, May 30, 2006).
Abbas has praised the terrorists he supposedly recommitted himself to fighting at Annapolis:
- Allah loves the martyr (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).
- Heroes fighting for freedom (Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005);
- Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
Abbas has even explicitly refused to fulfill Palestinian commitments under the Oslo agreements and the Roadmap to fight and dismantle terrorist groups:
- On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a red line that must not be crossed (Joshua Mitnick, Candidate Abbas confronts delicate balance on Hamas, Washington Times, January 3, 2005).
- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas brushed aside an appeal from the Quartet of international peace mediators to dismantle militant groups … Abbas said: With regard to dealing with the Palestinian organizations, this is our affair ( Abbas dismisses plea to disarm militants, Daily Star (Beirut), September 22, 2005).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is extraordinary that Mahmoud Abbas is widely believed, including by the Bush Administration, when he makes statements in English committing himself to fighting or opposing terrorism, yet remains silent on continuing, daily terrorist assaults upon Israel. Abbas record clearly shows that he is not willing to condemn terrorism against Jews; he is only willing to condemn Israeli strikes upon the terrorists which are necessitated by the very terrorism he refuses to fight and end. The record also shows that Abbas praises terrorists, explicitly refuses to dismantle their networks and jail the murderers, and refuses to condemn terrorism against Israelis (but not others) as a crime and moral obscenity.
It is deeply worrying and inexcusable that the Bush Administration, especially at a time it proposing massive funding for Abbas PA, does not demand that Abbas fulfill his anti-terror commitments and does not condition U.S. funding to him on fulfilling them. To the contrary, President Bush and Secretary Rice have repeatedly and profusely praised Abbas as a peace-maker and moderate .
Why exactly would Abbas PA reform and make concessions when this Administration gives it a free ride? This is appeasement, pure and simple, something which the distinguished professor of classics and history at Yale, Donald Kagan, reminds us has never worked even once in history.