Mahmoud Abbas, often called by his nom de guerre “Abu Mazen,” lied, and that should never be forgotten, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated emphatically.
Abbas was supposed to be the great moderate hope for peace when he replaced Yasser Arafat. But many forget that Abbas was long Arafat’s protege and served for decades as the arch-terrorist’s right-hand-man. Today, that is becoming increasingly apparent, as Abbas sounds more and more like Arafat with each round of violence.
As the Palestinian terror stabbings reached a climax last week, Abbas released a video statement to his people. World leaders, including those in Jerusalem, hoped Abbas would use the opportunity to calm the situation. He did the opposite.
Parroting past assertions by Arafat, Abbas insisted that the Jews were trying to take over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, and urged his people never to surrender. And just in case some of his listeners weren’t motivated by religious fervor, Abbas went on to claim that Jews were wantonly murdering Arab youth in cold blood.
Israeli police are “executing children like Ahmed Manasra,” the Palestinian leader charged angrily. No mention was made of the fact that Manasra had stabbed and nearly killed a 13-year-old Jewish boy.
Of course, the entire world now knows that Manasra is alive and well in an Israeli hospital, where he is receiving the same care as his victim, because that’s how Israel treats its enemies.
But the damage of Abbas’ lie had already been done. Nor was this the only time he had resorted to such deceitful incitement.
At the beginning of the current wave of violence, Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction published two flyers praising the “martyrs” involved in some of the initial stabbing attacks. The message was clear: These men had been heroically reacting to Israeli “aggression,” and any who followed in their footsteps would receive similar adulation.
These are but a handful of example of how Mahmoud Abbas, far from being a genuine partner for peace, is stoking the flames of conflict.
Yasser Arafat was a liar and a scoundrel. And the power brokers behind the Middle East peace process eventually came to realize Israel could never reach a viable, genuine and lasting peace with him. To believe that Abbas is any different has always been a fantasy that is finally being undone under the weight of reality.