When Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House in May, he assured Donald Trump that “we are raising our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.” But when President Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem, the US leader was furious. “You lied to me,” Trump reportedly said. “The Israelis showed me that you are involved in incitement.”
Indeed, there’s an abundance of proof that Abbas is a systemic liar. For example, Abbas and his Fatah cohorts constantly praise Palestinians who have murdered innocent Israelis — despite claiming to support “peace.” Fatah leader Nabil Shaath recently said that the Palestinians’ right to use “armed struggle” is “indisputable.”
In addition to misleading Trump, Abbas also lied to Secretary of State Tillerson about stopping payments to terrorists’ families. Tillerson later had to admit — once again — that the Trump Administration had been duped. Abbas apparently told Jared Kushner that the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s payments to terrorists and their families were the government’s “social responsibility.”
Sadly, this is not the first series of lies that PA governments have tried to hoist on American presidents.
Yassser Arafat lied to President George W. Bush when he promised that he was no longer involved in terrorism or importing weapons into PA territories.
In January 2002, the Israeli Navy seized a Lebanese cargo ship — the Karine-A — that was en route to the Palestinian Authority. It contained Katyusha rockets , anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles, mines and 3,000 pounds of C4 explosive — enough to supply 300 suicide bombs. Israeli intelligence agencies provided US officials evidence of Arafat’s direct involvement in the shipment, but Arafat told Bush that he had “no knowledge of the Karine-A.”
“I am disappointed in Yasser Arafat,” President Bush said on January 25, 2002. A National Review article at the time quoted an Arab journalist who loved Bush, “because Arafat told him that he had nothing to do with the Karine-A, and Bush found out it was a lie. Everyone tolerates Arafat’s lies. But not Bush!”
The Karine-A affair triggered the Bush Administration’s re-assessment of Arafat. In response, Bush called for Arafat’s removal from power — and refused to invite him to the White House.
But the greatest pack of lies were those heaped on President Clinton. Arafat constantly told Clinton that he wanted “peace” — despite all evidence to the contrary. Former Clinton official Dennis Ross said that Abbas really wanted “a one-state solution…a single Arab state encompassing all of historic Palestine.”
While Arafat claimed to renounce terrorism and support peace with Israel, he was simply lying to Clinton. White House spokesman Jake Siewert summed it up best in January 2001: “In the end, words don’t matter here. Deeds do.”
When it comes to the current Palestinian leadership, every day that incitement is supported, endorsed and encouraged by the Palestinian Authority, is a day that Abbas is lying to President Trump.
Trump now has a choice. Will he follow the principled path of President Bush — who refused to have anything more to do with a lying Palestinian leader? Or will he follow President Clinton’s misguided trust in a Palestinian leader, and continue on the same potholed path to “peace” with a perennial liar and terrorist supporter? Unfortunately, the correct choice is clear — and has been for longer than anyone can remember.