On November 29th, 1947, the United Nations’ General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan; the Arab leadership rejected it. Sixty-five years later, on November 29th, 2012, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, excoriated Israel, praised Islamic terrorists, and received the overwhelming approbation of the General Assembly, which voted 138 to 9 (with 41 abstentions) to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state.”
Abbas was perfectly clear: “The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: Enough of aggression, settlements and occupation.” The world, then, through the U.N., would be rebuking Israel with its vote.
To be sure, President Abbas made some conciliatory remarks, such as, “We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is Israel.” But these remarks were completely overridden by his unstinting condemnation of Israel, whose policies, he claimed, “have thrown [negotiations] into the intensive care unit.”
How could he claim that he came to the U.N. to “launch a final serious attempt to achieve peace”?
Speaking of the recent conflict in Gaza, Abbas said, “Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace.”
Yes, this is how Abbas attempts “to breathe new life into the negotiations” with Israel: by failing to mention the thousands of rockets launched first by Hamas terrorists at Israel; by failing to acknowledge that some of these Palestinian “martyrs” were men like Ahmed Jabari, the mastermind of numerous mass-murder plots against unarmed Israeli citizens; by forgetting entirely that it was Hamas that brutally drove the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza.
Yet in the mind of Abbas (and apparently of the U.N. General Assembly as well), it is the Israelis who are the murderers, guilty of “brute force and war.” And how many times did Abbas speak of “Israeli aggression” in this speech, which was allegedly aimed at achieving peace?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.