Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29-Feb-12: Mahmoud Abbas is truly a man of his word

Jerusalem's Mamilla Quarter
One of the key speeches at this week's "International Conference for the Defense of Occupied Jerusalem” in Doha, Qatar (see "26-Feb-12: A moment to think about Jerusalem") was the one delivered by Mahmoud Abbas. He has been the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization since 2004 and president of the Palestinian National Authority for the past six years on the Fatah ticket as  Wikipedia puts it, adding: "Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally extended his term for another year and continues in office even after that second deadline expired."

We're not here to teach the Palestinian Arabs about democracy and terms of elective office. If they want Abbas, or are unable to find the way to jettison him and the gerontocracy that accompanies him, it's doubtless a sad problem... but it's emphatically their problem.

In Doha, Abbas spoke in blunt terms about how he sees Jews relating to Jerusalem, and about what ought to be done about it. The official website of the Doha conference quotes him saying:
"The Israeli occupation authorities are using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab-Islamic and the Christian character of east Jerusalem. [Israel is] surrounding Jerusalem with an Apartheid wall and a band of settlements in order to isolate the city from its surroundings in the West Bank".
Reports say he accused Israel of pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing. Israel is destroying Jerusalem’s infrastructure and economic resources, he said. Not only is East Jerusalem the eternal capital of Palestine, but "Jerusalem is our identity. It is the beginning and the end for us... Jerusalem is the key to peace and the beating heart of our homeland.”

To prove how very sincere Abbas is about totally denying a Jewish connection to our faith's most important place on earth, the terrorist organization at whose head he stands - Fatah - took credit last night for the rocket attack on Israel's southern coastal city of Ashkelon. To quote the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency:
"Fatah said Tuesday that its operatives fired a locally made projectile at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. The Al-Aqsa brigades said in a statement that the rocket was fired at 8:30 p.m. in response to Israeli attacks on Jerusalem."
So how surprising is it that the political party of Abbas, who has famously (but absurdly) been referred to by many parts of the news commentariat as "moderate", would shoot rockets into a residential community and then take public credit for it?

Not very.

Consider "Fatah Official Does Not Rule Out Armed Resistance, Abbas Threatens Violence" and "Fatah Official: We Have Not Given Up The Military Option" Hat tip: Challah Hu Akbar ("Fresh Baked Middle East Nonsense").

One of the few things that ought to be absolutely clear about both overt terrorists (like the entire leadership and membership of Hamas) and less-overt terrorists who pretend to be democracy-minded elected politicians (like Abbas and the aging kleptocrats of his clique) is this: when they make a clear statement, particularly when it's a threat and certainly when it's said in the Arabic language to an Arab audience, they should be believed. For a man like Abbas and all that his life represents, there is perfect logic in firing a rocket into Ashkelon "in response to Israeli attacks on Jerusalem".

The vitality, the beauty and the progress of Jerusalem since 1967 are an insufferable insult and threat to Abbas and those aligned with him.

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