(May 6, 2018 / JNS)
Mahmoud Abbas, the long-serving and un-re-elected president of the Palestinian Authority, made another anti-Semitic speech. But it was more than that. It fitted into the paradigm of “national identity theft,” in which the Arabs-called-Palestinians have long been engaged: Jews do not belong in this part of the world.
The Jewish “longing for Zion” is “baseless” he asserts.
However, given that he ended his Jewish history ranting with an appeal: “We say: We will live with you together on the basis of two states,” several peace groups still hold out hope that their plan of political resolution of the Arab conflict with Zionism can be achieved (proving that the Zionist anthem “Hatikvah” still resonates with them).
This “despite-it-all” thinking was obvious in Amira Hass of Haaretz who seems to believe that it is possible, despite Abbas being anti-Semitic, that as long as he supports a two-state solution, he’s to be considered within limits. In her piece, “Scent of anti-Semitism in Abbas’ Speech Doesn’t Change His Support for Two States,” she goes a step further into dark conspiracy and turns her attention to another problem of Abbas, saying: “His insistence on falling into the trap of declarations that will aid Israeli hasbara.”
In other words, we can now proceed to ignore his anti-Semitism and deal with Israel, rather than the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s defense of its historical, cultural, legal and religious rights to a homeland are reduced to a hasbara trap. That his anti-Semitism is the root of his anti-Zionism seems to escape her.
Another reaction from peace promoting groups is Americans for Peace Now (APN).
Responding to a tweet of mine, Ori Nir, feeling attacked, wrote: Yisrael, Not fair to accuse me of forgiving/overlooking [Abbas’ anti-Semitism]. Check out my tweeted statement about Abbas’ anti-Semitic comments. I (APN) was the only US group that sent out a statement in Arabic condemning it—no if’s, and’s and but’s.
That, for sure, was commendatory. Nevertheless, that APN was the only group to do so, at least at the time he tweeted, is outrageous.
But I pushed him further: Okay. So now you will break any & all relations with Abbas and demand the P.A. condemn his statement otherwise the Diaspora Peace Promoters will not cooperate any further. Yes?
Nir responded: No.
That is a challenge, and it may be insurmountable for APN. And if not, I am thinking that J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace and IfNotNow—among other Diaspora-based radical groups laboring to undermine Israel’s diplomatic standing, security and Zionist ratio—will be incapable of doing that.
They will engage in or dance around BDS, either of the resettlement project to return Jews to the Land of Israel—living, thriving, planting and constructing—or even the Zionist project, per se. But they will, I think, tolerate naked anti-Semitism.
And that is not liberalism or progressivism. To know what it is, I suggest that they confer with Mahmoud Abbas.
Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and author.