- and his silent approval of Palestinian terror
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Consistent with Palestinian Authority behavior throughout last year's terror wave, there has been no Palestinian condemnation of Friday's terror attack in which a Palestinian terrorist stabbed 3 Israelis to death in their home.
Likewise, Abbas' hypocrisy regarding "terror" is a continuation of his behavior in the past. While he refuses to condemn terror attacks against Israeli civilians, he repeatedly proclaims to the world that he is against terror. Less than two days after the horrific Palestinian attack, Abbas - ignoring the attack altogether - even emphasized to Palestinian scholars just how much Palestinians are against terror:
"We, the State of Palestine, are convinced that terrorism must be fought everywhere, and we have at least 83 protocols with various countries around the world to combat violence and terrorism."
[WAFA (English edition), official PA news agency, July 23, 2017]
But in the Palestinian perspective there is "terror," and there is "terror."
Just two days before Abbas made this statement, a 70-year-old Israeli man, his 36-year-old son and 46-year-old daughter, were brutally stabbed to death in their home while having dinner. They were celebrating the birth of a grandchild. The wife of the 70-year-old was severely injured and remains in hospital, while the wife of the son managed to hide with their children upstairs. A neighbor who heard screams shot and wounded the terrorist who was captured.
This attack has not been condemned publicly by any Palestinian leader. Even more significantly, when Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Al-Madani was "accused" on social media of having condemned the attack, his office hurried to deny this, instead threatening to sue those who claimed he had condemned the killing of the 3 Israeli civilians:
"The office of Fatah Movement Central Committee member and Chairman of the PLO Committee for Interaction [with Israeli Society] Muhammad Al-Madani denied a fake news item that was published on several questionable pages on social media. It was claimed that it was a quote of Al-Madani from an alleged interview with a Hebrew radio station, in which he condemned the operation (i.e., terror attack) that took place two days ago [July 21, 2017] in an Israeli settlement [Halamish] in the West Bank, in which 3 settlers were killed.
The office explained yesterday in a notice that Al-Madani did not speak with any local media outlet, Arab or Israeli, regarding the latest events. It was also said in the statement that 'Al-Madani will sue those spreading this fake and false news everywhere.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 23, 2017]
Ironically, Al-Madani was appointed by Abbas to chair the PLO Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, a committee that meets with Israelis on both the political and the grassroots level. But condemning the murder of Israeli civilians is obviously not within the committee's area of responsibility.
The lack of condemnation by PA leaders of the murder of the 3 Israeli civilians constitutes a silent approval of it.
But Abbas and the rest of the PA leaders do know how to condemn a terror attack. They routinely do so when terror strikes in the rest of the world. A recent example is this condemnation by Abbas of the terror attack in London on June 3, 2017. Note that Abbas also here emphasized that Palestinians "oppose all forms of terror":
Headline: "The [PA] president conveys condolences over the victims, condemns the attack, and emphasizes: 'We oppose all forms of terror'"
"[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday [June 4, 2017] condemned the terror attack that took place in London, the capital of Britain, in which dozens of innocent people were killed and wounded (see note below -Ed.).
The president said: 'We convey our heartfelt condolences to the Queen of Britain, the Government of Britain, and the British people, and also to the families of the victims of the terror event. We emphasize our permanent position that opposes all forms of terror.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 5, 2017]
An exception to the rule of not condemning terror attacks against Israelis was delivered by Abbas himself when he in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "condemned" the shooting and killing of two Israeli border policemen at the Temple Mount earlier this month (See note below.) In mild and much less clear terms than when he condemned the London attack and others, Abbas reportedly expressed to Netanyahu "his strong opposition to and his condemnations of the event that took place at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque." Palestinian Media Watch reported that at the same time as Abbas condemned "the event" - the murder of two Israelis - his own Fatah Movement posted to Facebook an old speech of his in which Abbas implicitly called for violence In 2014, official PA TV chose to broadcast this speech 19 times in 3 days, In it, Abbas called on Palestinians to defend Al-Aqsa "in any way whatsoever." It marked the beginning of a month of terror attacks in Jerusalem in which 11 Israelis were murdered in car rammings and stabbing attacks.
The fundamental reason why peace is so elusive and Palestinian terror is so commonplace is that the so-called "moderate" Palestinian leadership has intentionally directed Palestinians to believe that murdering Israelis and people visiting Israel is heroic and legitimate. Whether it is in Tel Aviv, like the murder of American citizen Taylor Force, or in Jerusalem, like the murder of British exchange student Hannah Bladon, or in a Jewish town on the West Bank, like the murder on Friday of three Israeli civilians, Palestinians who murder civilians in Israel and the West Bank are not condemned. On the contrary, they are glorified. Those who are captured by Israel receive generous salaries from the PA while in prison, and those who are killed while carrying out attacks are honored as "Martyrs" and their families receive monetary grants.
On July 21, 2017, Omar Al-Abd, a 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist, stabbed and murdered 3 Israelis - Yosef, Haya, and Elad Salomon - and severely injured 1 - Tova Salomon - as they sat at their Sabbath dinner table in Halamish, north of Ramallah. Al-Abd was shot and wounded by a neighbor and taken into Israeli custody, receiving necessary medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.
Before committing the attack, Al-Abd wrote in his "will" on Facebook that he was taking his knife to respond to what was happening at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and did not expect to return. A week earlier, a terror attack was carried out at the Temple Mount in which 2 Israelis were murdered. Following the attack Israel closed the Temple Mount for two days and reopened it with metal detectors at the entrance to the holy site. Palestinians interpreted these measures as an "aggression" and "attack" against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
On June 3, 2017, terrorists rammed a van into people on the London Bridge and then continued to Borough Market, where they emerged from the van and stabbed people, murdering 7 and wounding dozens of others. The terrorists were shot and killed by police. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.
On April 14, 2017, 20-year-old British exchange student Hannah Bladon was stabbed and murdered on the Jerusalem light rail by 57-year-old Palestinian terrorist Jamil Tamimi. Tamimi was apprehended by Israeli police immediately after the attack.
On March 8, 2016, Bashar Masalha, a 22-year-old Palestinian terrorist carried out a stabbing attack, murdering Taylor Force, an American tourist, and injuring 11, in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Masalha was shot and killed by Israeli police.