The Palestinian Authority (PA) contrary to Mahmoud Abbas condemnation in English while in Washington, D.C., of the murder of four Israelis by Hamas terrorists has not denounced the killings as a crime or massacre in addressing Palestinians, but has actually affirmed the right and duty of terrorism against Israel, while being critical only of its timing from a public relations point of view.
In Washington, Abbas said, What happened yesterday and what is happening today is also condemned. We do not want at all that any blood be shed, one drop of blood, on the part of the from the Israelis or the Palestinians a statement that incidentally condemns Israeli military action (what is happening today) against the terrorists in response to the murder. Yet, upon return to the PA, Abbas affirmed the right of resistance (i.e., terrorism against Israelis) but criticized Hamas attack merely for its timing, saying, why isnt [Hamas] resistance happening every day, and isnt happening at all, except on the day we went to negotiations?! Why did resistance become legitimate only today? (PA newspaper, Al-Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010).
Also, in Ramallah, PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, often described as a moderate and peace-maker, was reported as saying, that the operation which took place tonight in the Hebron area and its timing, harms the efforts being made by the PLO to gather international support for the Palestinian position He said: We condemn this operation, which contradicts the Palestinian interests and the efforts of the Palestinian leadership to gather international support… (PLO news agency WAFA, August 31, 2010, translations in (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Killing of Israelis must be timed just right, says PA, Palestinian Media Watch bulletin, September 15, 2010; Just a Question of Timing? Jerusalem Post, September 15, 2010).
In other words, the PA does not consider the murder of the 4 Israelis as a crime. It only criticized the killings for their timing and the possible harm that might arise for the PA and Palestinians in terms of international perceptions, while affirming the legality and righteousness of terrorism in general terms, as it often does:
- Mahmoud Abbas: We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas: Aim guns against occupation, Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).
- Abbas: Allah loves the martyr (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).
- Abbas on terrorists killed by Israel: Our latest Shahids (Martyrs) are the six who were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces in Nablus [terrorists who killed Rabbi Avshalom Meir Hai] and in Gaza [terrorists carrying explosives and a ladder near Israel’s border fence] (PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009, Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas glorifies recent murderers, Palestinian Media Watch, January 5, 2010).
- Abbas speaking of Palestinian terrorists: heroes fighting for freedom (Ed OLoughlin, Abbas courts Gaza militants for votes, Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
- On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a red line that must not be crossed (Candidate Abbas confronts delicate balance on Hamas, Washington Times, January 3, 2005).
- Abbas on jailed Palestinian terrorists: our heroes. (Israel National News, May 26, 2006);
· Senior Fatah/PA official Nabil Shaath on the legitimacy of terrorism: The armed conflict had to be temporarily put on hold because of the inability to engage in the armed struggle, which has become undesirable now, although it is the right of the Palestinian people The current distancing from the armed struggle does not mean its absolute rejection especially since the armed struggle at the present time is not possible, or is not effective (May 20, 2010, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
· Nabil Shaath: It is our right to return to the armed conflict whenever we view that as our peoples interest. (June 7, 2010, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida).
· Abbas reacting to a terrorist assault on Israelis: These attacks threaten our national security and undermine our credibility on the international arena (Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2005).
This stands in sharp contrast to the PA condemnation of intra-Arab acts of terrorism or any Israeli military action in which Arabs die:
· Abbas reaction to deaths of violent Islamist activists on Gaza flotilla ship that defied Israeli blockade of Gaza: Israel has carried out a great crime (Al-Ayyam, June 17, 2010); Israel is guilty of the killing of innocent people, (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 27, 2010); a premeditated and with determination to kill (PA TV, May 31, 2010).
· Other PA reaction to Gaza flotilla: PA Israelis described as pirates, murderers, barbarians, transgressors of international law, lacking any connection with humanity, (June 3, 2010); Israeli conduct amounts to more than piracy and more serious than a massacre in its ugliness and its inhumanity. It is worse than a crime a gang dressed up as a state, (June 5, 2010); calls on international community to protect humanity from Israeli fascism Another barbaric Israeli massacre, bringing shame upon humanity and the civilized world Israeli savagery a massacre against humanity (June 1, 2010); Tayseer Tamimi, then PA Chief Justice of Religious Court denounced the shameful crime (Al- Hayat Al-Jadida, June 5, 2010).
· Abbas reaction to the murder of Arabs in the terrorist bombings of a hotel in Amman, Jordan: A crime against humanity [expressed] his deep condolences to Jordan and solidarity with the brotherly Jordanian people (Four Palestinian Senior Officials Killed in Amman´s Bombings, PA International Press Center, November 10, 2005).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We have here a clear demonstration of PA falsehood and attempting hoodwinking of the outside world, pretending to oppose terrorism when in fact it supports it, lauds it and only criticizes particular actions carried out by its rivals like Hamas when these groups do so at a time not of the Abbas choosing. As can be seen above, clear statements have been made by Abbas, Shaath and other PA officials testifying to their belief in the rectitude of terrorism against Israelis and their criticism of it being limited strictly to tactical considerations which could change at an moment.
It is very telling that Mahmoud Abbas finds appropriate words and phrases like vicious and crime against humanity, to describe terrorist acts when Arabs and Muslims are the victims, but not Jews. It is obviously not accidental that, when Abbas is called upon to make a statement on the latest Palestinian terrorist act against Israelis, he studiously refrains from condemning it in moral terms as an evil crime and only criticizes it for bad timing and bringing Palestinians bad publicity.
These PA statements underscore the futility of current negotiations which cannot succeed when the Fatah/Pa neither accept Israels existence as a Jewish state nor truly oppose or work to root out terrorism perpetrated against Israelis.