During his meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last Saturday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Rice that the PA had ceased all incitement activities against Israel. Yet on the same day that they met, the PA's official news service WAFA "reported" that Israelis were sending hordes of wild pigs to Palestinian villages around Hawarah village in the Nablus district to attack them and destroy their fields. The PA's official news service even interviewed Hawarah Mayor Mansour Dmaidi, who backed these ludicrous and incendiary statements.
It is not surprising that Abbas brazenly lied to Rice about PA-sponsored incitement against Israel. After all, he lied to her about everything else. Most importantly, Abbas told Rice that he is opposed to terrorism. And yet, Abbas fervently supports terrorism. Abbas complained to Rice ? as he complains to anyone who will listen ? that Israel's actions to defend its citizens against terrorism make it impossible for him to fight terrorists. This is a logically unsupportable statement. If Abbas opposes terrorism, then he should support Israel's counterterrorist operations.
Aside from this, the prescriptions for Israeli action which Abbas sets forth on a daily basis are all aimed at strengthening rather than weakening terrorists. These steps include the release of terrorists from Israeli jails; the elimination of roadblocks meant to intercept terrorists on their way to bombing missions, as happened yet again this week at Hawarah; the re-arming of the Palestinian security services to which he is systematically enlisting terrorists; and a cessation of counterterror operations against all terrorists ? to name just a few.
There are two theories running now about the proper interpretation of Abbas's actions. The first is that Abbas is too weak to do anything to end terrorism and has consequently decided to embrace the various groups in the hope that in so doing, they will not assassinate him. The other is that Abbas feigns weakness in order to justify his lack of action against the terrorists who he, like Arafat before him, supports. In either case, the fact remains, due to weakness or guile, through word and deed Abbas has made it absolutely clear that he has no interest in doing anything against terrorists.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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