Last week, Palestinian Authority President Abbas showed up at the European Parliament with an invisible olive branch in one hand and a big bag of lies in the other. On the continent in which Pinocchio’s lies are famous, he was in good company. His speech at the European Union Parliament had its leaders lapping up his lies as if they were a herd of thirsty cats lapping up milk. But rather than milk, he was serving venom. The Europeans drank it down, and gave an enthusiastic standing ovation no less.
For decades, as much as Israel tried to reach a peaceful settlement with our neighbors, the Palestinians have been known for lies and intransigence. It’s hard enough to make peace in what is by all accounts a difficult situation. But it’s especially hard when the Palestinians lie as if it’s a national pastime. The truism remains, that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The only difference this time in Brussels is that Abbas did his lying on the world stage.
Speaking the day after Israeli President Rivlin, it was clear that Rivlin and some of their European hosts were trying to broker a meeting between the two leaders whose homes are not more than 30 minutes apart. Rivlin was enthusiastically willing to meet with Abbas, even referring to him as a “friend.” Abbas refused.
One of the reasons that Abbas refused is because he doesn’t have to meet with Israelis to gain sympathy. He sees Europe pushing a solution without his having to negotiate face to face with Israel, much less end incitement and terror against Israel. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, but it was puzzling all the same. President Rivlin said he was "very sorry to learn (Abbas) rejected such a meeting ... I was very happy to welcome the initiative. I must say I find it strange that President Abbas... refuses again and again to meet Israeli leaders." Rivlin added that direct talks between the two sides were the only answer to reach an agreement that would bring peace. Abbas and Europe see it differently.
But if that weren’t enough, Abbas not only refused to do something proactive that could have led to creating positive relations that might be a foundation for peace, he got up in front of the world stage and lied as naturally as he breathed.
Abbas whitewashed and justified Palestinian terror as if Israel's very existence were to blame which, though a disgusting lie, may not be new in the Palestinians’ bag of lies. He also had the audacity to assert that all terrorism would end if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were resolved - on his terms. The fact that Abbas doesn’t even control the plethora of Palestinian terrorist groups which continue to do everything possible to wreak terror, death, and injury undermines this myth. But it’s also certain that the vast array of other Islamic terror organizations and sponsors such as ISIS, Hezbollah, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda, and Iran are not just going to close shop voluntarily when (if) peace comes about.
The Europeans didn’t care about facts. It’s much easier to put their heads in the sand and think that the terror that’s pervading their continent will end, despite millions of Syrian and other Islamic migrants flooding their countries, and that the migrants will become good neighbors, when Israel just gives in to Arab demands.
Abbas wasn’t finished. He then went on to lie about Israeli rabbis encouraging the poisoning of Palestinian water which evoked ancient and not so ancient blood libels that would make Hitler blush. "Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians. Isn't that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?" Then, realizing how absurd he was, Abbas recanted.
But the damage was done. The lie was out there flooding the world with a tsunami of hate. That he recanted was too little, too late. And what of the Europeans listening to this rabid scourge? Did they get up and walk out in protest? Did they raise a voice calling out the Palestinian liar-in-chief? No. They gave him a standing ovation!
One looks back and can still be amazed by the fact that what looks like a cultured western people could have engaged in all the wars, crusades, murder, genocide and slander that marks the past 100 years of their history alone. But when a continent is poisoning its own wells, blaming Israel at every turn for the violence aimed at it for decades, it’s easy to see this as all part of the same pattern.
There are far too many examples of this. But the most recent—other than giving Abbas this forum to lie to the world—that they continue to push the latest farcical plan concocted in Paris to impose peace without the parties actually resolving differences among themselves, says it all. Letting Abbas off the hook to make peace, not receive it on a silver platter, is just another example of their appeasement.
No doubt this will be followed by even more European money being thrown at the Palestinians to sustain this status quo, funding Palestinian incitement and terror, adding to the billions already "invested," giving new meaning to throwing good money after bad. Europe will continue enabling this, allowing the impotent leader of a people that cannot define themselves as anything but victims not to budge.
And maybe that's another reason why Abbas won't meet Rivlin, won't negotiate, and continues to come out with slanderous lies. Because if the Palestinian Authority were in fact ever to make peace, it would define its own people out of existence. For five decades they've only been able to define themselves as alleged victims of Israel rather than, as one close Arab friend said to me in words I could never have thought of, taking responsibility for building their own future.